Author's Note: Hello! Thanks for stopping in to read this! I'm very excited to get it out to everybody because I think it's the most mature work that I've done...and I don't mean that, like, sexually. :P I worked really hard on the wording and the plot and everything. So please make sure that you review, because I would greatly appreciate feedback! One thing you should know (if you read this far into this AN) is that this world I created isn't modern, it's kind of more village than technological city, if you get what I mean. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee. Just this world/plot (which was inspired by many different things that you might pick up on or might not) and some of these characters.
The binding ropes hurt Blaine's wrists like they were made of sandpaper. He could feel them digging into his parchment skin and he smelled the coppery scent of his own blood as he felt small rivulets trickle down his fingers. His shoulders ached from the force of his arms being bound behind his back and his legs felt like they were about to give out.
However, no matter the amount of discomfort Blaine was in, he wasn't going to panic. He had told himself that mantra the moment his house had been invaded and he had been forcefully taken. Trying to stop his mind from getting lost in those brutal memories-his mother's screams, the sound of Cooper hitting the wooden floorboards, his father's angry protests-Blaine clenched his teeth and tried to keep his mind on the task at hand.
He was being led through a suffocating stone maze. Above him were many impenatrable feet of grey rock, to his sides were flaking walls that closed in on the narrow hall they walked, and below him was an unrelenting path of stone that he had been walking on in a constant state of supressed fear.
From the moment the four men had forced him down in the tunnels, Blaine had been occupying his brain by memorizing the path they were taking. His arms were bound behind him, but that was his only restriction, and they didn't impair his sight. The 17-year-old planned to take advantage of that.
He was trying to take in as many details as possible so that he would have enough information if the opportunity for escape ever came. Left, left, right, left... Blaine had always been proud of his brain power and its information intake, but they seemed to be walking on endlessly and the sequence was getting to be too much for him to remember. Right, left, left, right... It didn't help that every single door and tunnel looked exactly the same. Blaine had no landmarks to go by.
Thankfully, his entire attention could be focused on the path they traveled. The men escorting him hadn't given him any trouble since they had bound him and taken him underground with them. Blaine didn't know if he would be able to concentrate if they distracted him, but the extent of their interruptions was an occasional shove forward if Blaine stumbled or treaded slower than intended.
Left, right, left, left... Blaine was losing track. They were forcing him along too quickly; he didn't have enough time to review the past turns before they came to a new one. He began to wonder if maybe they were walking him around just to disorientate him. The cut on his forehead was bleeding faster now, trickling down Blaine's temple, but thankfully not impairing his vision. He was getting dizzy, though, and his resolve was wavering.
The man on his left suddenly grabbed a fistfull of the teenager's curly hair, forcing him to stop in his tracks with a gasp of pain and surprise. The other three burly guards stopped in unison as well in front of a door like the endless ones passed before. They were almost robotic in their movements, and the fact that they were wearing the same protective leather made them almost seem like the same person. "What-" Blaine started to ask, but was backhanded by the man on his right before he could get the sentence out. The boy bit his lip and struggled to hone the sharpness of his thoughts.
"Don't speak unless you are spoken to." The man's voice was deep and gravely and reminded Blaine of large gears grating against each-other in a machine. He nodded, using this moment of stillness to run over the different turns they had taken, from the beginning. He couldn't hold on to them, though! There were too many in his mind and he was having trouble finding the order he had placed before.
He didn't know how to get out.
With this realization that his only possible advantage had disintigrated behind his eyelids, Blaine felt a smothering sense of hopelessness that he attempted to push back, but still it lingered around the edges of his mind.
The man in front of him seemed to be talking to the door. Craning his neck in a subtle way, Blaine managed to see around the man's close-shaven head to discover that he was speaking through a small opening at eye-level. He tried to catch what was being said. "...the Third...yes...little resistance..." The snippets that Blaine could hear his escort saying were making no sense to the befuddled boy.
After the confusing conversation was evidently resolved, Blaine heard the opening slide shut with a snap, and the door swung out to reveal a fifth man. He waved a hand stiffly to the four surrounding Blaine and they walked away without a word, leaving the teenager alone in front of the new threat.
The large man in the doorway was wearing the same leather getup as the other men that Blaine had encountered, except he was wearing a helmet of some sort and dark gloves on his hands. The exhausted boy assumed that he was of another ranking than the four who had brought him there.
One of the gloved hands reached out and grabbed Blaine forcefully by one of his bound arms, before he could even think of running. The teenager stumbled as he was yanked forward and turned around so that his back was to the threatening man. Without thinking, Blaine struggled against the grip of steel, but the man did nothing except pull down the collar of Blaine's tattered shirt so that his bare right shoulder was visible. Finishing the inspection of some kind, he released Blaine, who was shoved through the open door.
Looking up through curly hair falling in his face, the teenager watched as the gloved man closed and locked the door he had just entered. He was now trapped. The man turned to him and grabbed him by the arm again, forcing him to the center of the room. Blaine looked around him, taking in his new surroundings with a calmness of somebody using adrenaline to get through tasks without exploding emotionally.
The room was built from the same stone as the halls were, except the floors were made of wood panelling that made a hollow sound whenever the man walked with his heavy boots. It made Blaine wonder if there was maybe a place beneath the floor, although he couldn't imagine the use. There wasn't much occupying the space in this room, except for what stood directly in front of Blaine and the man. A strange wooden table with thick, solid legs was placed in front of a chair that looked to have restraints built into it. There was a burning fireplace in the wall to the right of them.
The gloved hands grasped his arm once again and Blaine found himself thrust forward and down into the chair. A knife was grabbed off of the table and then the burning in Blaine's wrist disapeared as the ropes were cut with a single stroke. With practiced ease and fluidity, the man swiftly took the leather restraints that were nailed into the wood and he had Blaine tied down before the teenager could even think of struggling.
Now, to replace the pain of the ropes, Blaine had the biting of leather in his forearms and a disconcerting immobility. He watched with horrified hazel eyes as the man grabbed a piece of metal and thrust it into the fireplace beside them. Blaine thought he knew what the metal piece was, and this caused him to break the previously enforced 'don't speak unless you are spoken to' rule.
"What do you want with me?" He asked, noticing the hoarse tone to his own voice that was placed there by barely-restrained panic.
The man turned away from the fire to look at him. "Don't pretend like you don't know." He said in a voice that sounded like glass being crunched under a heavy tire. He turned back to the fire and lifted up his instrument to examine it.
Blaine swallowed a sob or a scream, he wasn't sure which, but it felt the same. He had been right. The metal instrument that the man had warming in the fire was a brand of some sort. Hoping against hope that it wasn't for him, Blaine continued talking. He wasn't sure what the use of stalling was in a grim situation like this, but he had to try something. "No, I don't. I don't know anything about why I'm here!" He tried to keep the hysterical tone out of his voice, but failed a little when the man, seemingly satisfied with the heat of the brand, moved towards him.
Blaine stared at the red-hot metal held in the man's gloved hand and swallowed hard, testing the strength of the bonds that gripped him to the chair. His arms, bound with his palms up, wouldn't move an inch. The man clearly had no intention of continuing to talk with the frantic teenager, and soon he was standing silently on the left-hand side of the chair. He brought the brand closer to Blaine's upturned left arm.
Watching it get closer to his vulnerable inner wrist, Blaine lost all of his control and started to cry, nearly spraining his arm as he struggled frantically against the restraints. "Please! Please, don't do this!" He wasn't sure what he was even saying, but even that dissapeared as the scalding metal met with the skin of his arm and the room was filled with his screams of pain.
After some time, the brand was lifted, but the pain didn't dissapear with it. Desperately trying to smother his sobs, Blaine looked down at his left arm. Drawn in an angry red was a symbol about five centimeters in diameter. It was made of two circles, a smaller one inside the larger one, and a jagged lightning bolt in the center.
He didn't know what it stood for. He didn't know why he was branded. He didn't know the reason for men to raid his village and invade his home, hurting his family and capturing him. He didn't know why he was here or what they wanted him for.
Blaine had no answers, only a feeling of shattering panic and fear of the unknown.
Author's Second Note: I know my cover art's lame. It was made on Paint. :P. Anyways, please tell me what you thought! I hope you like it and want to read more! Because I have a couple more chapters written and I'll get them out when I feel the need to. :P xoxo