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Days passed until I was led back into the training room. It turned out that I had indeed sprained my ankle, although not badly it was enough to grant me a small respite from the gruelling schedule that I was now embarking on. Aro had taken my words at face value and my training was increased. Felix allowed me no respite from what seemed a never ending workout. In some ways I was glad that I had this, it gave me a focus away from wondering when Laurent would tell me that things were in place for me to make my escape, for real his time. I was often exhausted by the time I was returned to my cell that I would fall asleep and the circle would begin anew.
I didn't see Laurent for the first few days, and I began to wonder if he was still here, or had they discovered our plans? There was no way that I could ask anyone without arousing suspicion. Then one night as I was returned to my cell he stepped inside with my food.
We didn't speak as James released my handcuffs and left. I eat the food without drawing breath causing him to chuckle.
"I remember when you wouldn't eat anything Edward, how things have changed."
Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand I answered him. "I have to, have you not heard how hard I am working these days?"
He nodded. "Yes I had." Then he moved to sit on the bed next to me. "This is going to be a big night, a lot of people are going to be there. It is going to be the perfect time for you to escape. But we need to be cautious. I will only tell you when on the night what the plans are to be. That way you cannot slip and reveal anything in error."
"Why? Do you think I would betray you? I have to get out of here before I go crazy. Believe me, I would never say anything." I rambled.
"I know, it's just the less you know the better." He then rose to his feet. "All you need to do is be ready to follow the instruction that I will give you. Now I have to leave before people become suspicious. Do not step out of line, obey every order they give you. There should be no reason for them to punish you. I know that James is looking for a reason, any reason to hurt you. You have to fight that night or else all will be lost."
I nodded. Watching as he walked to the door of my cell I confirmed "I will be ready." With that he left.
My mind was racing, soon I would be out of here forever, back with Bella and my family. Safe from harm once again, this nightmare would be over but a new one would begin as I tried to rebuild my life, knowing that I would have to tell her the truth behind my absence. She would need to know, no she deserved to know the truth. My fear was that it would rip us apart when I had fought so hard to get back to her. The thoughts refused to leave me alone and I spent the night sleeping fitfully making the next days training even harder as I struggled to keep myself awake. If Felix noticed he didn't say anything he worked me harder than before and I was exhausted by the end of the session. I was ready to pass out when James walked into my cell sneering.
"On your fucking knees Cullen."
I instantly obeyed and felt the cold snap of handcuffs as they encased my wrists. He brought me to my feet, growling in my ear. "Don't think about trying to escape. Then again maybe you should, all I need is a reason and I will beat you to within an inch of your pathetic, miserable life." I didn't respond, other than to drop my head down avoiding all eye contact as he led me through the corridors and upstairs to Aro's office. The daylight hurt my eyes and I was forced to squint, it had been so long since I was exposed to it. The darkness of my prison had become what I was used to so this was akin to shining a very bright light directly into someones eyes. However, I didn't stop, I continued to walk where I was being led.
As the doors closed behind me I knew what was expected of me and I sank to my knees before his desk while I waited for him to address me. My eyes were half closed and remained fixed on the ground in front of me as I took deep breaths to calm myself for whatever announcement he was about to make. The ticking of the clock was the only way to mark time as I waited to be addressed, each time I heard the melodic tick to I relaxed a little more my own heartbeat falling into a steady rhythmn. Then suddenly a pair of high polished black leather shoes filled my field of vision.
"Mr Cullen. How nice of you to join me here." The words felt like ice to me, I had no choice in the matter.
"You requested my presence Master." I answered forcing the words to sound contrite.
"Well it is wonderful to see that you know how to behave in my presence." He walked away from me. "I have brought you here to tell you about the next event that you will be showcasing your talents at. You will have noticed that we have increased your training regime, that is all in preparation. The night in question is the largest event I host and obviously, only the very best of my men will represent me. Do you feel worthy of that task Mr Cullen?"
I didn't know if I should answer, but a sharp shove in my back told me that an answer was expected, regardless of if I had a choice in the matter.
"Of course Master, it would be a great honor to represent you." I replied.
"Excellent. Then your training will increase and you will be showcased that night. I am very much looking forward to it. As is your last opponent, Riley Biers. I was frustrated last time you met as I know that he should not have taken you down so easily so I have arranged a rematch for you, which you will win. Do I make myself clear?"
I nodded, I remembered how Riley had taunted me and somehow he seemed to be in league with James. Things next time would be very different, the fight would be fair and more importantly I would win.
It seemed that we had been dismissed as I was pulled to my feet and led back downstairs, James pushed me back into my cell where I fell on the ground. Instinctively I curled into a ball as I half expected him to attack me in some way. I think that for a moment he did entertain the idea but then I heard Felix's voice behind him.
"I suggest you get some rest for tomorrow we train harder than before. You have to be in top shape for the event. No excuses this time will be tolerated Cullen, if you do not please the Master then there is nothing that anyone can do for you." He leaned down and removed my restraints before he turned to leave with James.
"May I ask when this is?" My voice sounded so small, but I needed to know.
Felix turned to me. "Five days from now." Then he slammed the cell door behind him.
Five days, that was all that I had left here in this rotten, stinking shit hole. Five days before I could walk in the sunshine, breathe fresh air once again, hold Bella in my arms. Finally there was a light at the end of the very long and dark tunnel that I had been in. All I had to do was wait. I knew that Laurent wouldn't let me down, he had promised me that there was a way to free me at this event. My trust and ultimately my life were in another's hands. As much as I hated that thought, I knew that there was nothing I could do other than to get through the next five days and be ready for my chance.
The days blurred into one long mass of training, I was restless knowing that soon my ordeal would be over very soon. It was hard to keep my eagerness under control and a couple of times while I was training with Felix I felt him staring at little too intently, could he know that I was thinking? Sometimes it felt like he could look right into my mind and see what going on in there, it scared me. After that I made a huge effort to be calmer it seemed to working until one day as he escorted me back to my cell he questioned me.
"You seem to be looking forward to this fight Cullen. Any particular reason?"
I stumbled as his words sank in. "Erm, no. I have down here too long and I know that last time I disappointed Master. I feel have to right that wrong the only way can, by doing the best I can at the next event. He also said this was an important night for him. I have to please him."
Silence fell between us as we walked the rest of the way to my cell. Once there I walked inside and he stared at me.
"Yes, it is an important night. We all fight, it's about his standing in this world. Failure is not an option." He confirmed.
"We all fight? You mean that you fight too?" I asked shocked.
Felix nodded. "Yes. James, Laurent and myself all participate in our own events."
I couldn't think of anything else to say and so Felix left me alone as he retreated into the darkness, leaving me alone once again with my thoughts. As I laid down my brain was running wild, they all fought? That must mean that this was a huge event. I mean Aro had said as much but I hadn't realized just how big this was going to be. I pitied the person that would be fighting against Felix, the man was huge, his size dwarfed that of Emmett and I always thought that he was well built. It would be like running into a brick wall at full speed. James, now he was another matter. Lithe and devious, he would know and employ every trick in the book to get what he wanted, to win. I just hoped that I wasn't put up against either of them as there was no way that I would survive.
The next morning I woke naturally and found myself wondering what had happened to my normally wake up call for training. It was quiet, almost too quiet down here and I shouted to try and get someones attention but no one came. The hours seemed to pass and still there was no sign of life down here with me. This was strange. Even when I was in here alone I could still hear people moving around, feet shuffling on the floor and yet now there was nothing. Had they left me here alone to rot? Maybe Laurent's plans for the fight had been uncovered and this was seen as the perfect punishment for me to die alone in my cell.
My breathing started to get faster and my heart pounded quicker in my chest, this couldn't be happening. Not after everything that I had endured, I wouldn't die down here. I grabbed hold of the bars, shaking them with every ounce of strength that I had as I screamed for someone, anyone to acknowledge me, and still no sound came. Eventually I fell to the floor, exhausted as tears began to fall from my eyes. I wasn't aware of anything until I felt a hand upon me. Instinct made me flinch away from them, cowering into the nearest corner that I could find Then I saw Laurent crouching in front of me.
"Ssh, it's okay Edward. There is no need to be afraid." He whispered.
"Laurent? I thought you were gone? I shouted and no one came." I managed in a hoarse voice.
"I know, we were all otherwise occupied. We had training and then a stratetgy meeting to attend to finalize plans for this evenings fight." He paused briefly looking around my cell. "Has no one been down here today?"
I shook my head. "No, that's why I thought that things had gone wrong. I was worried about-"
He silenced me by placing his hand over my mouth. "You should have been brought food throughout the day. Strength will be required for tonights events." He rose to his feet. "I will see to it that you are cared for. I might not see you until the venue. But I will be there when you fight. Trust me on that."
I nodded, showing that I not only understood but also that I trusted him and with that, he left.
I had been fed and allowed to shower before I was given a change of clothes. Then just as every other time I had been escorted outside my wrists were bound and my head covered. The drive was boring an no one spoke. From the sounds I could make out were were travelling through a city, there were people shouting and the general noise you would associate with being there. The van stopped and I could hear someone banging on the side right next to where my head was shouting profanities. I jumped in surprise and for a split second thought about shouting for help, surely they would hear me, then I felt a blade press against my throat.
"Don't even think about it Cullen, or I will slit your throat." The voice of James spoke menacingly into my ear.
We began to move again but his knife remained at my throat, keeping me silent. I daren't even breathe. Then we pulled off the road and appeared to be travelling up a steep hill and then we appeared to be following a repetitive route with more inclines. This was strange and highly disorientating for me. So much so that when the van stopped moving and I was led out I fell to the ground. Hard concrete met me as did he laugh of James.
"Get the fuck up Cullen." He mocked as he grabbed hold of my arm, dragging me to my feet.
I was then pushed forward and I began to walk toward the voices that I could hear in the distance. Once we were close James pushed me to one side and then I was pushed to my knees. I had expected my restraints and hood to be removed but they remained in place. The voices were carrying to where I was and I could make out Felix and Aro along with some others that I didn't recognize. They were discussing the plan for this evening and who would be fighting when. My name was mentioned and instinctively I turned toward them only to have my head pulled in another direction and yet again James' voice was too close for comfort.
"That doesn't concern you Cullen." He released my head, pushing it forward in the process. "Laurent! Come and take him away, this really doesn't concern him."
I heard footsteps approach and I was helped to my feet. "James, you treat worse that you would an animal. You should at least show him respect." Laurent snapped.
Suddenly before I could do anything to stop it, I was pushed and fell. My head hit the concrete and it hurt like a bitch.
There was the sound of scuffling near and seeing as I couldn't see my instinct was to curl into a ball to try and protect myself as I was sure that I was the last thing on their minds right now.
A voice cut through the air. "Enough! We have far more important things to deal tonight than your perpetual pissing contest." Felix roared. "I really don't have the time to be dealing with this shit. Now go, you both know what you have to do."
I heard grumbles and half hearted apologies before I felt a hand on me once again. "Come on Edward, we need to get you ready." With that Laurent led me away, once we were some distance away he removed my hood and cuffs, briefly examining me for signs injury. There were marks around my wrists where the cuffs had pulled at the skin. He let out a sigh as he led me toward the stairwell, I stopped to look around my surroundings. I was in a parking garage. This was a strange place to hold a fight, a little too public I would have expected it to be somewhere quieter, with less chance of being discovered.
It was as if he knew what I was thinking. "Come, after we see the doc I will show you around." Then he took me up three flights of stairs to where there was a man sitting on the tailgate of his Chevrolet SUV. When he saw us approach he didn't move, infact he hardly acknowledged our presence until we were stood infront of him.
He glanced at his watch "I don't clock on for at least another hour."
Laurent leaned forward and grabbed him around the throat. "You work when we say, don't forget it."
When Laurent pulled back I swear that I saw a glimmer of fear cross the mans face as he scrambled to his feet.
"Okay, Okay. What is it you need me to do? Isn't it a little early for fighting." He asked.
"Just make sure he's okay. He fell to the ground and banged his head. Master will not tolerate anything stopping tonight." I could feel the chill in Laurent's tone, then he pushed me to sit on the tailgate while he stood watching what was happening intently.
The Doctor rummaged in the trunk and managed to examine me declaring that there were no serious injuries and that my wrists were okay but would need to be cared for as the skin had been broken. There was nothing that he could see that would prevent me from fighting tonight. Once Laurent was satisfied he led me away and over to the edge of the floor where we would see the bright lights of the city below us.
Finally I asked. "What do I have to do tonight? What are my instructions."
Laurent didn't look at me. "I cannot tell you, master will speak to you soon." There was a pause as he pulled a pair of leather cuffs from his pocket before handing them to me. "Put these on. No one should see the injury to your wrists, that could raise too many awkward questions."
I scoffed. "Oh and we wouldn't want people to wonder about me, would we?"
He turned on me. "Do you want to get out of here? I have put alot into getting you out of here tonight, and you mock me? I could just walk away now and let you continue to rot, is that what you want?"
His words were like a punch in the gut. "No, please. I'm sorry, I certainly didn't mean any disrespect to you. I understand how much you are risking for me and I hope one day to be able to repay your kindness. If there-"
He cut me off, his hand raised between us. "Don't make promises that you can't be sure you will keep. There are no guarantees here." With that he turned and walked away from me.
I fastened the thick leather bands around my wrists, They were a close fit and covered the marks left by the handcuffs. Taking some deep breaths I walked toward him. "I'm sorry if I offended you, that was not my intention. I promise I will do as you ask tonight." I swallowed afraid to ask but forcing the words out. "So, when I get my instructions?" I wanted tonight over and done with so I could be free.
"Soon. Come with me." He walked away and I followed him as he down the stairwell and led us out onto one of the floors. Laurent opened his arms wide. "This is where is will all happen. The largest fight in our calendar and the most lucrative. There will be fights happening on several different levels simultaneously." He turned to me. Yours, will be one of the main events. It-"
He was stopped from explaining further by Felix shouting. "Laurent! You are both required downstairs. Master is ready for you."
Laurent nodded and led me down the stairs and out onto the level we had been on previously where he and James fought. Aro was stood to one side deep in conversation with the man I recognized as his brother. We stopped just in front of them, automatically my head bowed and I clasped my hands together in front of me. It took all I had not to fall to me knees. I have no idea how long I was standing there but I retreated into my own world.
I didn't hear the voices around me that were speaking to me, it felt like they were a million miles away from me, not addressing me at all. Then I fell to the floor, writhing in agony. The pain stopped just as quickly as it had started and I scrambled to my feet before daring to look into the eyes of my tormentor.
"Oh so you do pay attention then Mr Cullen? I was beginning to think that this recent obedient streak of yours what too good to be true." Aro said.
"Not given permission to fucking speak." Cauis interrupted his hand raised to strike me, I didn't flinch or show any sign of fear to him.
Aro stepped inbetween us, taking hold of his hand. "We have talked about this before brother. You don't interfere. Remember?"
Cauis simply nodded. "Forgive me, I meant no disrespect. Brother." His words were laced with something, but I couldn't work out if it was sarcasm or indifference.
Aro turned his attention back to me, slowly turning away from his brother "Mr Cullen, I assume that you were distracted as you were thinking about how to please me tonight and make me some money?"
I dare not answer him as I was unsure what the right answer would be. Laurent came forward and spoke. "Master, he has been treated by the doctor and classed as fit to fight tonight."
Aro's eyes flickered briefly to Laurent as look of annoyance on his face. "Good." He then took a step closer to me. "Mr Cullen, tonight you are going to fight like you never have before. There are at least two fights scheduled for you. The first is more of a warm up than anything. The second, a rematch between you and Biers who you fought last time out." He paused as an evil smile flickered across his face. "It seems that you made quite an impression on him, he asked for you specifically. Normally I would not allow such a request but he was quite persuasive. Who am I to say no to him?"
I knew better than to answer. Of course I remembered our last meeting, James had broken my fingers just before it and I had been deprived sleep so I was definitely not at my best. This time I would be ready for him, I was in good shape and had been training hard. Biers would not know what had hit hm.
Aro gave further instructions to Laurent who simply nodded and then led me away once we were effectively dismissed. He led me to a corner where my hands were bound with tape in readiness. I could hear the sound of people arriving, filling the air with excitement. It seemed to filter into me. I was excited to do this, maybe because freedom was now within reach. I warmed up by running from one side of the parking lot floor and then back again before I began shadow boxing, practicing my punches and generally psyching myself up for what was to come.
All too soon Laurent placed his hand on my shoulder saying two words to me that sent a thrill of pure excitement through me.
This was it, I was in the home straight now. Two fights stood between me and my freedom, I could see it, taste it and soon I would experience being free of my captors and this nightmare would be over.
Again no beta on this, hopefully Steph will be back soon, but thanks to Leigh Warner fro pre-reading. I wasn't sure about leaving it here, I wanted to do so much more but it didn't feel right. Please do leave me a review, anyone who does will get a sneak peek of the next chapter. Not sure when it will post yet.
Fandom for LLS
I am contributing to this, it is something new and will be a dark Carlisle, very dark and delicious. So if you want to get the first one, maybe two chapters well ahead of the rest head onto my profile page and follow the link and donate. If you need tempting, here is a teaser.
My name is Carlisle Cullen, I am 573 years old. Surprising I know, I can hear the questions forming in your feeble mind already. Is he really that old? How is he not dead? To answer those two, yes I am really that old, and how am I not dead? Well that is simple really. I am a vampire, and yes those do exist.
I am the patriarch and founder of our coven, which many know as the Olympic coven. To the humans who are lucky to share the same air as me, I am Dr Cullen, the kindly doctor who works long hours at the local hospital, taking care of the sick and injured who require medical attention. To others of our kind, I am the head of our coven, someone to be respected and revered. To the coven members who I brought over into this world, or allowed to join, I am to be feared and respected in equal measure. My word is law, to go against my commands is foolish. To those who really know me, the real me I am a figure to be feared, and rightly so
Why am I telling you this? Well that's simple. I don't want you to think I am any kind of monster for what I'm about to tell you. One of the rules of my coven is that all who enter are mine to command and control. If I want something they have, I will take it. This applies to everything, their possessions, food and of course and most importantly their mates.
PLEASE NOTE: This will NOT post anywhere until the whole story is complete and I have no idea how long it will be chapter wise.