The prompt for this week is: I'm having the time of my life.
The smaller rocks hurt, but it was the large rock I’d stumbled over and the ones that pummeled my body as I lay dazed on the ground that had done the most damage. Sickening pain radiated from my lower leg. More blood dripped down my face to mix with the dust coating my skin, and the iron tang filled my mouth when I licked my lips. The rough tunnel was crumbling, and I cringed to think what had happened to that underground facility if the damage was this bad outside of that building. I was glad I’d sent Ritch ahead with the others while I made sure nothing followed us.
I held on to the wall, though the rocks shifted and more fell every time I had to take a hopping step forward. A light danced in the darkness, and I wasn’t sure if it was real or something my rattled brain was imagining.
“Park?” Ritch’s tentative voice startled me. He was wheezing, but I could make out his face through the thick dust. He looked okay—or at least not worse than he had in that room. “Are you okay?”
“What are you doing? You need to get the hell out of here. Some of those things might have escaped!” I took a step forward with my broken leg and cried out as bone ground on bone and the scent of fresh blood filled the air. Dizzy waves crashed over me, and I fought back the urge to vomit “Fuck!”
“Are you okay? What happened?” Ritch slipped under my arm and took my weight as he wrapped his arms around my chest. I coughed, and he eased his hold.
“Broke my leg.” We hobbled out of the tunnel and into the basement of the house. A werekin swept a bright light through the darkness. It seared my eyes, and I snarled. “Watch it!”
“Sorry. Had to make sure you weren’t one of those feral things.”
“We’re not. Where is everyone?”
“Made it out. Alpha asked me to make sure you got out when your mate insisted on going back in for you.”
“I’m not his—”
I cut Ritch off. “Take my left side.”
“Oh, shit, of course.” The guard came up on my uninjured side. We made our awkward way through the basement and to those rickety stairs which were still standing. Thank the fucking gods for small miracles, at least.
Of course, they were narrow, so we ended up going sideways, each of us on a different stair. My foot knocked into one of the boards, and I promptly leaned over and vomited, unable to hold it in as the pain stole my control over my body. I’d have fallen if I didn’t have two sets of arms holding me up.
“We can try to lift you,” Ritch suggested
“I’ll be fine. Go. Another one.” After an eternity, we made it up and out of that underground nightmare. Werekin were moving around the room, but I could smell the acrid stench of Deke’s fear and anger. He hovered over Kraig while someone cleaned him up with a first aid kit.
“We need help over here,” Ritch shouted. One glance down at my leg told me exactly where the panic in his voice came from.
The break was as bad as I thought it was, and pieces of bone were sticking out of my calf. The wound looked like raw meat, and I was filthy. Werekin are sturdy and heal quickly, so we rarely had the need for medical care beyond basic first aid, but this was going to hurt—a lot.
Doctors were rare, hence the reason the bastard who’d held Kraig captive had been able to gain access to so many clans, but there was one with us who was trustworthy. Good thing, because I was definitely in need of her services.
“Is he okay?” I asked Deke, nodding toward Kraig.
“Oh, I’m having the time of my life,” Kraig said. He hissed and cringed away when the claw marks on his neck were swabbed.
“Physically, he’ll be okay.” Deke’s voice was grim. He rubbed his chest.
“Are you okay?” I sank down gratefully in the chair someone dragged over to us, but I was having a hard time staying upright. I leaned against Ritch, nuzzling his side. For those few seconds he’d been held by Trein before the ferals attacked, I’d feared the worst. Sending him ahead of me in the tunnels had been gut-wrenching, but I needed him to be okay first and foremost. I knew Deke felt the same way about my brother.
“We lost her, Park. I felt it when the connection snapped. Your father’s soul too. I’m so sorry.”
Kraig looked up. “Don’t be sorry about that bastard. He’s the one who betrayed us, betrayed Mom. Dad’s soul was corrupt from the betrayal of his kin and streak, and that same evilness was in the man they put it in.”
It had to be true, because Ritch had told me stories about his cousin, and he’d been a good man. And clearly Kraig was still himself, the same honest and caring brother I’d grown up with, even if the suffering he’d endured had aged his spirit and put shadows in his eyes.
Other werekin were in the kitchen, moving in and out. I think it was a triage area because most of them were hurt; claw marks and bites, even one guy who looked like he had a venomous stinging wound surrounded by necrotic tissue.
This wasn’t the place to ask more questions, but I desperately needed to know how Trein had taken Mom, Ritch, and Kraig. “Is the area secure?” I asked.
Landon entered the room just then. “It is. We’ve posted men at the entrance to the facility through the basement here and at the other end of the tunnel that was in a building on the far side of the property. The werekin who surrendered are under guard.”
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