Never trust the devil when he's smiling.


BRING!

I snarled when the alarm went off and jolted me rudely from my slumber. The harsh sound sent blaring echoes ricocheting off the stone walls of this prison; I had called this place home my entire life. With a groan I rose slowly off of the ground. It felt like I was rising from my grave, and honestly I would have preferred to be dead. "It's too damn early." I heard the girl in the cell next to mine mutter. I silently agreed with her. Eager to see what might be happening, I walked forward and leaned heavily on the bars of the door while I readjusted my torn clothes and forced my short red hair into a tamer look. Anything new was a rare occurrence, but it was better than sitting in the corner of my cell and staring at the same speck of dirt for an hour.

Footsteps alerted me that someone was nearing. I shot a bitter glare to the warden when he came by; he was banging the large metal pole he carried around on the bars of the cells of people that hadn't woken up yet. A few didn't even bother to move; some of them may be dead. It wasn't uncommon, the conditions were horrid and most of us were sick, starved and exhausted; or they were beaten to death. The weather wasn't too cold now fortunately, it was disgusting to listen to people you knew freeze to death through the night. Most of the people here didn't care, but I hadn't been able to get rid of my heart like the others had. I silently sent a prayer for each body I saw carried out. I didn't believe in any sort of deity, but wherever the dead souls went had to be better than here.

"Hey little one." A nasally voice snapped me out of my thoughts. I narrowed my eyes as I turned to stare at the guard that had spoken; I had known him several months and he never ceased his litany of crude jokes or attempts at seducing the women here. He appeared to be around forty and had a mouth full of bad teeth. He shamelessly eyed me up and down, and suddenly I felt completely naked under his scrutinizing gaze. None of us were given really "covering" clothes unless somewhere along the way you'd been able to pick up a jacket; some didn't have much, if anything at all to wear. Slaves didn't have rights or needs according to the rest of the world.

The guard reached his filthy fingers through the bars and I backed away to press against the back wall; if I could have then I would have clawed straight through it. It was set up like a dog pound here; three solid stone walls and a barred door in front. The ground was stone tile, filthy and colder than sin at night. The guards rarely bothered to clean the cells. "Don't be like that, we could have some alone time in my office." He grinned in what I'm sure he thought was a persuasive expression.

My lips curled in a disgusted sneer and I snarled at him with hate, pointed ears flattening against my skull in my anger. "Get out of here Ryoku, I'm not interested in a sleazy old pervert." I snapped.

Ryoku bared his teeth at me, brown lumps showed in a disgusting manner as he spit at the ground. "I'd probably get a disease from stickin' it in some worn out whore like you." He grumbled, like any old bastard would when they didn't get what they wanted.

I scoffed and crossed my arms as I watched him walk off, likely to try and get another pretty young thing into bed. Most of the guards were this way, coercing the female slaves to do things with them with promising deals of giving the women food, clothes or a blanket. Their words were often so tempting despite the rarity of them keeping their promises. I had never fallen for the tricks, for I had seen too many lies told to believe anyone here. Often the guard would grow angry and dole out violence to us. Marks scarred all of us, whether from their own hands and legs or from their blades and poles; they were inescapable. With a wary sigh I glanced up when the warden made his way past my cage. I liked the warden better than the guards, only because he didn't toy around with you. You did something wrong, you got the whip, that was it. None of the pointless talking or sadistic play.

"Number 666 needs water." He called to the guard. I rolled my eyes; he couldn't call us by name? Were our names honestly not even worth learning? It was as if I wasn't anything other than a number, stock for them. I stayed in the corner as another guard filled the bowl with water. A warning glare was shot at him when he stepped towards me. He frowned in frustration, but backed out and locked my door behind him. I knelt to the bowl and cupped my hands to gather some of the water, taking long drinks. My dry throat was relieved and I sat back with a content smile. Up here, we were lucky. We were what they called the "crown pets." It meant that we were the more expensive; we weren't the common slaves that the poor would use simply for a day of farm work, or the ones that walked the streets at night. We were sold out to royalty, to the rich.

I didn't understand why I was kept up here as a special slave, I was sold to anyone that was willing to pay up. Most of my work was hard labor and maid work. Besides the fact that when I was younger I was counted as a "common slave." I thought that perhaps it had something to do with my family, but I wasn't sure as I knew nothing about them aside from the fact that someone once said I looked like my mother. I was very little at the time, I remember no life before this prison. I was sixteen now, young and fresh, they say. Nearly all of my time was used mostly for labor; I was a wolf-hybrid, meaning I was strong. I was used to being a laborer and maid, and in fact I welcomed it. Most girls here were sold as sex toys. The closest I'd ever come to anything even remotely sexual was being an exotic dancer a few times. I liked to dance, but the people ruined it. Damn predators. A loud clicking startled me and I flinched when the warden opened my door; he would only come in if someone purchased me. It had been a little over a month since my last time out. Every time was dreaded.

"Showers, section sixteen, now." He barked to us, I hadn't noticed he'd opened the doors to the other cells too. I was being paranoid; it happens when you live this kind of life. I threw my ratty clothes to the ground and headed out. As usual, I was jostled violently down the corridors by other women and into the large showering room; I was small so it was easy to get lost in the crowd; or beaten to death by them, whichever happened first. Showers were a less than pleasant ordeal because you had to be quick, steady on your feet, and resilient to extremely hot or cold temperatures. I cringed when ice cold water made contact with my skin. You could only bear it, thus I grit my teeth as I scrubbed my skin vigorously. I was glad my hair was only about to my chin, it didn't get matted like the others' long hair did. I scratched at a wandering hand and growled a warning to the women near me. Nearby was a shelf, I jerked a bottle of bathing liquid from it as I began to shiver slightly. It felt like I was being bathed in snow for god's sake.

The water abruptly shut off and instead of milling around like the other women I bolted back to my cage, the quick run dried me off decently so I could redress. Upon arriving back to my cell, I made a surprising discovery. "The hell is this?!" I whispered to myself, for in place of my old clothes was a clean outfit, I'd say brand new. It consisted of clean underwear, red shorts that barely reached my thighs and a black tank-top. Once I was dressed I heard a bored voice drawl out to me. "New lookers today, sweet pea."

I shot a look over my shoulder at the one guard I didn't hate. He was much kinder than most, and a huge plus was that he was gay, so he didn't try to attack any of us. I brushed my fingers through my damp hair as I approached the door to talk with the guard. "Who are they?" I called to him as he milled around our section. What could I say? I was curious as to what jackass might pass by my cell. His reply was something I never wanted to hear.

"Akatsuki." He answered, but his usually cheerful tone was sober. In my shock I accidentally slipped on the damp floor of the cell and landed on my knees. As much as that hurt, I was pleased to hear other cries of shock from my fellow comrades, so I didn't look like a total idiot. Akatsuki? Coming here? They're the biggest criminal gang that was known; what the hell do they need from any of us?

Suddenly I was snapped out of my curious and horrified thoughts when a male voice -loud- male voice, spoke, filling the entire section. "Why do I have to come to this shithole?" The voice exclaimed, clearly displeased about being here. Well, weren't we all?

"Because it pays well if you bring in a capture." A deeper, resonant voice replied to the complaint.

"It'd be fucking better to sacrifice the slut." The first voice muttered. I narrowed my eyes, and cautiously moved forward and looked past my door bars to see two men. One was very tall, probably close to seven feet. His skin was darkly tanned, from what I could see, since most of it was covered by thick clothing, including his face. He was currently speaking to the warden and he was holding an older, blonde woman by her arm. So, they were here selling.

Bastard.

The tall man's companion was shorter, six feet, maybe a couple inches taller than that. He had very pale skin and silver hair that was slicked back to keep it out of his eyes. They both were wearing the trade mark black and red Akatsuki cloak, but the pale one's was open slightly. Clearly he was bored with the ordeal and he turned around to walk down the corridor; I was caught off guard by his piercing eyes. They were bright fuchsia, a beautiful color, actually. I was too caught up in them to notice the man approach. "What the fuck are you looking at?"

I blinked in shock and realized I'd been staring at the man. I glared at his demanding tone, having not taken too kindly to it. "A fucking dumbass." I snarled in retaliation. I was horrible with my words, I had a temper and could never keep my mouth shut, and I had scars to prove the trouble this brought me too. He raised his eyebrows, clearly taken aback. I guess he hadn't expected me to answer him, or at least not in such a brazen way.

"You little bitch, who the fuck do you think you are?!" His eyes narrowed into a scowl. I couldn't help but scoff at his exclamation.

"I know who I am, snow white! Now why don't you take your loudmouthed ass back to your boyfriend?" I smirked when he bared his teeth in an angry snarl.

"You think you're fucking brave? You're a whore in this shithouse and you think you can go around with that fuckin' mouth of yours?" Oh, he thought he was clever with his insults did he?

"Just like you think you can go around talking to people like they're trash, you arrogant bitch?" I immediately shot back.

Without a second's hesitation he came closer to my cage. He had a good few inches on me, and he was built muscular, somehow I doubted he wouldn't just rip the bars off the door. Not that I was intimidated. "Bitch, you should watch your damn mouth before it gets you in trouble.

"What are you going to do about it?" Instantly I regretted what I had said. I stepped back when a sinister and less than sane smirk crossed the man's face. He turned to the warden.

"Hey asshole, give me the redhead."


AUTHORESS NOTE:

Dear God, Jesus, Jashin, Zeus, whatever deity there is- I've started another story.

*- Similar to the three-in-one shampoo, conditioner, and body wash we would use,

Heh, can you tell who my favorite character is? XD

Also, I feel the need to say, this story WILL be dark. Well, darker than what you normally see from me. I know I have problems writing angst so I can't say how bad it will get, but the plot that's stuck in my head has pretty unfriendly things.