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The Curse/A Novel of the Breedline series
THE CURSE
: Snatched/Part Two by scongrove

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
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Thanks for taking the time to read my chapter. It's new, so if you catch typos or mistakes, please let me know. Stay safe & enjoy!

Jena was desperate to open her eyes. As much as she fought to open them, she found it useless. It was as though her lids were glued shut. Was she dreaming… or dying? She’d never expected death to feel like this. So quiet… so lonely. “Nicolas,” she moaned. “I’m so sorry, Nicolas.”

She was struggling against the silence, fighting to overcome the darkness that was fast closing in. It wasn’t long before she slipped into a dream.

Underneath the light of a full moon, surrounded by a thick layer of fog, she ran so fast that her feet barely touched the ground. With long strides, she continued to make her way toward an old cemetery. It seemed so familiar somehow, but she couldn’t understand why.

As she approached the entrance, the wrought-iron gates were wide open as if they were inviting her to enter. She jogged past row after row of graves with cracked and withered headstones. Some of the stones were simple rectangles, others had rounded shoulders, and a few had flowers arranged over the tops. And that’s when she heard a noise. It was the sound of twigs snapping under foot. With her heart stuck in her throat, she instantly stopped in her tracks. She could hear the rhythm of heavy breathing coming from behind. She could almost feel the warm breaths on the back of her neck.

The moment she spun around, she was caught by surprise and knocked to the ground. She closed her eyes as terror and pain exploded within her. Lying there on her back in the wet, soggy grass, among all the dead bodies buried deep below, she suddenly felt trapped. When she lifted her lids, a shadowy figure stared down at her. It was so dark, she couldn’t tell if it was a man, or a woman, but by the weight pinning her down, it was surely a man. She immediately feared for her life. When she opened her mouth to scream, a large hand silenced her.   
        

A man stood above Jena and watched her. By the rolling of her eyes underneath her closed lids, and the whimper that escaped her lips, he realized she was dreaming. Although, it sounded more like a nightmare. And he wondered who Nicolas was?

Out of nowhere, Jena caught an overwhelming scent. It was a stench of evil. The perforating odor hit her nostrils and nearly made her sick. Within seconds, her skin crawled with a wild sensation. She felt a tickling of tiny hairs as they erupted from every pore. And her fingernails expanded with long, sharp claws. She could even feel her gums throbbing with a raw sense of power until her teeth lengthened, forming into sharp points.

In the blink of an eye, as she tore at her attacker’s jugular, his mouth opened with a wet, gargling gasp. Before he took his last breath, she stared into his horrified gaze and said, “When I finish my run, I’m coming back…” She arrogantly grinned, her fangs shining like ivory pins. “…to eat you.”   
        

“Ms. McCain…”

Then, she heard an unfamiliar voice from somewhere. Was she still dreaming? It was calling out to her as though it was coming from a faraway distance.

When Jena finally regained consciousness and opened her eyes, an image of a man suddenly came into view. He was looming over her with an enthusiastic expression in his steely blue eyes. The surgical mask he had on kept his features hidden, but she could tell he was older by the creases on his forehead and wrinkles etched in the corners of his eyes.

She struggled to move her arms and legs, but unfortunately, they wouldn’t budge. She’d been secured to some sort of platform with metal clamps. Even her head was bound to the unholy contraption. The only thing she could move was her mouth. And it was as dry as sandpaper. So dry, her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. She was so damn angry, she wanted to slap that look off his face.

Finally, she couldn’t stand the weight of his stare and managed to get her tongue to work. “W-Who…” Her words slurred. “…are you?”

The moment he tore off his mask, his expression changed. The lines on his forehead deepened and he looked over her face with a clinical eye. It made her uncomfortable, like she was being put under a microscope. She noticed his features had a slightly Latin American cast and he appeared to be in his late fifties or perhaps early sixties. His hair was coal-black with flakes of gray. It was clear he was a physician of some kind by the white coat he wore and the stethoscope he had draped around his neck.    

“I don’t believe we’ve been formally introduced,” he said. “My name is Doctor Henry Michaels.”

“What the hell do you want with me?”

“Calm down, Ms. McCain,” he said, holding up a halting hand. “I’m not going to harm you. I just want to learn about what you are.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” 

“Oh, come now, Ms. McCain.” His lips curved up. “You can drop the act. I already know all about the Breedline species and your little secret.”

She snarled her upper lip. “You have no idea what you’re dealing with.”

“On the contrary,” he said, cocking a brow. “I know quite a bit. The only thing that has me stumped is how you bring on your creature. Are you able to shift at your own free will or does the full moon bring forth the change?”

She kept silent and fixed her eyes on his calculating glare, swearing to God Almighty, she’d take her secret to the grave. 

“Stop with all the bullshit,” she finally said. “I want to know the truth.” Her voice grew insistent. “Tell me the real reason why you’ve brought me here.”

The physician’s eyes grew shadowed and suddenly he looked angered by her demanding words. And there was also a coldness to his expression. The look of a madman. Then, he released a deep breath and lightly patted her on the shoulder. “I’ll leave you to think about your next choice of words, Ms. McCain.” As he turned to leave, he paused and added, “There’s one more thing you need to know. My patience only goes so far.” He heavily emphasized the word patience. “When I return, I’ll expect an answer to my question.” 
 
At the sound of the door closing, Jena shut her eyes and squeezed them tight. She was so pissed. And what was more irritating, she couldn’t shift. Whatever they’d given her must be affecting her ability to sense evil and malice. It was the only explanation she could come up with. She couldn’t even smell it. Surely by now she would have picked up the scent. The physician should have reeked of it, but there had been nothing.
If only she knew where she was. Focus, Jena. You’ve got to focus, dammit.  
           
So if they didn’t intend to do her harm, and had no intention of killing her, what did they ultimately want? Where they going to experiment on her… use her as a guinea pig? That was Jena’s worse fear. And how did the physician find out about her and the Breedline? Someone had to have leaked out the information. And it had to be someone close to the Covenant. Maybe whoever gave them up was being threatened in some way.

Jena pondered for several moments until she couldn’t think no more and blanked out her mind. She took a deep breath and tried to shake off the effects of the drugs those assholes had given her. She prayed it would pass soon. Her creature was the only chance she had if she ever planned on getting out of here. Wherever here was.   
 
She opened her eyes as panic quickly set in. What if this was permanent? What if she lost her ability to shift? No, she thought. That can’t happen. She’d been cursed. And to her knowledge, nothing could lift the curse once you had a taste of human blood. Although her fate had been sealed, and her life had been completely turned upside down, she would continue to fulfill her promise. God had tasked her with an important purpose: To protect innocent people and destroy evil. That was her destiny.   
 
Anger and then determination coursed through her veins. Jena sucked in air through her nose and slowly released it. Calm down, Jena. You’ve got to come up with a plan. Somehow, you’ve got to find a way out of this place.  
 

Her adrenaline suddenly kicked in when she heard the creak of a door opening. She swallowed and remained quiet, straining to hear even the slightest noise. As soon as she heard footsteps creeping along the floor, fear gripped her throat until she could barely draw in a breath.

They were getting closer and closer. In anticipation, her eyes frantically moved side-to-side. She was desperate to catch a glimpse before they came up on her. And then, a face appeared.

Instantly, Jena flinched and let out a surprised gasp.

It was a woman. An older woman with gray hair. She had it pulled back tight and arranged in a bun on top of her head. Although her eyes were as black as midnight, they had a kindness to them. She reminded Jena of her grandmother who had passed years ago. The thought eased her in a strange way. 

“Shhh…” the gray-haired woman whispered, holding a finger to her lips. “Don’t be afraid.” Her voice was soft and as caring as her eyes. “My name is Fiona. And I’m here to help you.” 

“Who are these people?” Jena asked in a hushed voice. “And what do they want with me?”

“I don’t have time to explain,” Fiona whispered as she started working at the restraints that bound Jena’s arms. “But trust me, they are not good people. They will never let you go.”

As soon as Fiona freed Jena’s arms and legs, she went to work on the metal clamp strapped over her forehead. The moment Jena felt completely free of the restricting device, she raised her head so that her gaze met Fiona’s.

“Thank you,” Jena murmured as she slowly pulled herself upright. 

The old woman’s features quickly brightened and then shifted into seriousness. “There’s not much time. Quickly…” She offered Jena a small handgun and motioned toward the door. “You must hurry.”

Jena looked down at the gun in her hand and then back up at Fiona. “But… what about you. Aren’t you coming with me?”

“There are others,” Fiona said, her eyes filled with regret. “I cannot leave them behind.”

“I promise…” Jena hurried to her feet and scurried to the door. “If I manage to get out of here, I will come back for you. And I’ll bring help.” 
   
Fiona nodded in silent understanding and said, “I’ve sent the guard posted outside your door for a nurse. You’ve got at least eight to ten minutes before he returns. As you step out the door, take a left. Keep going until you come to an exit. That door will lead you to a stairwell. When you get to the bottom, there’s a manhole. Once you open it, there’s a secret underground passageway that will lead you to safety.”

“Do you know where this passageway ends up?”

“It will take you an hour to get there,” Fiona went on to explain. “But eventually, it will lead you through a canyon and into the Berkeley Fire Trails. You’re going to need a flashlight to guide you through the tunnels and provisions for the journey. As you climb down into the manhole, you’ll find a small rucksack with those things. It’s the best I could do in such short notice.”

Jena opened the door and before she rushed out, she glanced back at Fiona and smiled. Seconds later, she followed Fiona’s instructions, realizing she only had moments before it was discovered she’d escaped. Finally, as she made it to the exit, her pulse suddenly leapt into her throat at the sound of footsteps coming from behind. And then a voice called out, “Stop!”

On instinct, Jena spun around and aimed the gun.

Dr. Michaels quickly raised his hands and took a few steps back. “I promise, Ms. McCain, there’s no way out of here so put the gun down.”

She shook her head. “No way, asshole. Either you stay back, or I swear… I’ll shoot you.”

His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed. “Come now…” He took a step forward. “Let’s talk about this.”

“I’m warning you.” Jena raised her voice. “Stay back!”

He lowered his arms and then took another step. Jena squeezed the trigger, sending him to his knees with his hand over his left arm.

He looked up at her completely shocked. “Y-You shot me.”

“Well…” she shrugged. “I warned you.” Dumbass.

When she turned and fled through the exit, the physician yelled, “Nooo…”

To be continued. . .

P.S. Jena's dream was actually a dream of my own a few months ago. I know... sounds crazy, right? I thought it was strange but very fitting to add in my story.

Author Notes
A reference for terms and cast of characters in this chapter, especially for new readers:

BREEDLINE - A species of humans that have the ability to change from human form into wolf form if they are born an identical twin. They are not like the old legend of the Lycanthropy myth. The Breedline species can shift into their wolf at will. The moon has no power over them. They do not pass their ability to other humans. Although they live among humans, their species is secret. In wolf form, they have super-strength, speed, and heightened senses. Compared to humans, Breedlines have tremendous advantages when it comes to health. Their bodies heal fast and are not subject to illness or diseases. The only thing that slows their healing process is silver. It is their kryptonite. Besides old age, a silver bullet to the brain is the only way to kill a Breedline.
All male Breedlines change into their first wolf at the age of eighteen. Female Breedlines do not go through the change until they make love to their Breedline bonded mate.

BREEDLINE COVENANT - The Breedline species must live within the boundaries of their Covenant. There is one in every state. A council governs its laws and oversees the species population.

BREEDLINE BONDING - The male Breedline spends his life searching for their bonded mate. When two Breedline species experience a bond, they instantly feel a simultaneous, desirable attraction. The bond is for life. It is possible for them to have more than one mate in their lifespan.

Jena McCain - She is an inspiring artist with the ability to speak with the dead. Jena was attacked and bitten by an age-old creature and cursed with a lust for human blood. Now that she is to become the creature and hunt humans, instead of killing innocent people, she will only hunt evil.

Nicolas Ratcliff - He is immortal with the power of invisibility and supernatural speed. He works for the San Francisco Police Department as a detective. He's bonded with Jena McCain.

     

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