The Leopard's Witchy Mate - Elle Boon
NOELLE SHIVERED UNCONTROLLABLY. Goddess, she didn’t think she’d ever be warm again. Looking at the wall where she marked the days, something she only did once a day, her throat felt tight at the amount of time she’d been there. Her family had probably given up searching for her. Her sister Merry had probably already married and had children by now, while she was withering away.
Her arm fell to her side, the ability to hold it up too much for her. Her captor, she wouldn’t call him master no matter what he did to her, was making notes in his computer. He couldn’t see her markings on the wall; the little bit of power she used was only seen by her. It was silly, stupid really because she knew he would be cruel if he ever found out. Another shiver racked her frame. At twenty-one, she was all of five feet three, but she didn’t think she even weighed a hundred pounds. She stared at her arms, seeing every vein as if they were a roadmap to her life.
“I’ve got it.” Remdezevier stood so fast from his chair it fell over.
She turned her head toward him, blinking slowly. “What is it this time? I told you I can’t transfer my gifts to you. I’ve told you that for years.” When she had been a child, she’d begged him to let her go. As she’d gotten older, she’d tried to do as he’d asked, suffered his experiments, even when she’d known they wouldn’t give him the results he wanted.
“Yes, well, you don’t know what you are. Your family didn’t either. But I’m a genius, and I’ve isolated your blood and have figured it out. Come here,” he ordered.
Noelle scooted her legs off the side of the bed, her heart beating faster than she was sure it should. “I don’t feel very well.” She put her hand over her chest, feeling her heart racing beneath her palm.
“Quit procrastinating and come to me. You won’t like it if I have to come get you.”
When she didn’t move quickly enough, he jerked the silver chain connected to her ankle, cutting into her flesh. Blood she couldn’t afford to lose flowed down onto her foot as she cried out. “Please stop.”
He laughed, uncaring of the pain he caused.
She hobbled to where he wanted her. The glass separating them kept her from doing any harm to him. Not that she could in her weakened state, but she’d have tried just the same. She let her mind drift as she put her arm into the opening and felt the familiar prick of a needle. Her ankle bled freely as he drew vial after vial from her arm. She wished he’d take all of her blood, wished it would end with the last pull, but like all her wishes and dreams, they never came true.
“There, all done. That wasn’t so bad, now was it? I don’t know why you always fight me.” He sighed heavily like she’d disappointed him.
Noelle wanted to reach her arm through and choke his skinny neck. She’d caught glimpses of his life outside the steel walls he’d enclosed her in. When he left her, he went home to a wife and child. They had no clue he was a sick and twisted man who held her captive.
She collapsed before making it to the bed, the cold hard floor meeting her like an old friend. Dr. Remdezevier’s laughter echoed around her. She tried to cushion her face, so she didn’t crack her cheekbone like the last time, but she wasn’t sure if she succeeded as stars exploded around her.
When she woke up next, darkness surrounded her. The taste of copper filled her mouth and her senses. She was used to pain racking her frame, but this felt different. This felt like her life was slipping out of her.
A moan from somewhere near her, a feminine one had her trying to lift her head. Goddess, that hurt almost too much for her to do.
She blinked, then it dawned on her she couldn’t see through her hair. Lifting her arm, she brushed the white strands back, trying to come to terms with what she was seeing. Huddled in the corner were several girls. No, not girls, women. Noelle struggled to get her body into a sitting position; the bleeding had finally stopped from the wound in her ankle.
“Who...who are you?” she croaked, voice cracking from thirst and blood loss.
The women all jumped as if scared. Noelle’s gaze went