Strength of an Assassin(4)

By: Stormy Glenn

I would have snorted if I’d been in my human form, but that would have alerted them to my presence. It wasn’t as if they didn’t know I was there, though. I was locked in a cell. Hopefully, I wasn’t important enough to acknowledge.

I preferred to keep it that way.

The man in the white suit stormed off. A door slammed a moment later. I tried not to shiver in fear when one of the other guards walked up to the first one. I hated it when there was more than one. It was like they egged each other on to see who could inflict more pain.

“What did he say?”

The first guard lifted his lip back in a snarl. Even from where I was curled in the corner of my cell, I could see the hatred in his eyes. He did not like his boss.

“Either we find someone to toss into the pit,” Westcott said, “or he’ll make one of us fight the beast.”


Westcott turned to look at his coworker. “Can you get anyone?”

“Not before tonight’s event. There’s not enough time. The damn thing starts in twenty minutes.”

Westcott shot the man a hard look. “Well, I sure as hell ain’t gonna do it.”

The other guy shook his head rapidly. “Me either.”

“If we don’t get someone—”

“We’ll get someone.”

“What about that one?” Westcott asked.

I forgot to breathe when I realized he was pointing at me.

The second guard reached up and rubbed the back of his neck, looking a little hesitant. “Me and the other guys were kind of hoping to keep that one around a little longer.”

And that right there was why I was ready to be thrown to the beast.

When both men walked toward my cell, I turned my muzzle back into the corner and closed my eyes as tight as I could get them. I might be ready for death, but I didn’t want to see it coming.

“He’s not going to offer much entertainment.”

“No, but he’ll bleed when the beast rips him apart. That’ll make ’em happy.”

I didn’t whimper.

I didn’t.

This was it. This was when I was going to die. I let out the breath I had been holding. Okay, I could do this. I was ready to escape this place any way I could, even death.

Hell couldn’t be any worse.

* * * *


I stiffened and then lifted my head when the guards stopped in front of my cell. I braced myself, knowing what was coming. I refused to voluntarily step into the pit. The guards knew that, and they enjoyed shooting me with their disgusting drugs. They enjoyed watching me fight to retain control as the extra doses of adrenaline raced through my body.

I jerked when the darts hit me. It would have made sense to try and dodge them, but I had been hit enough times to know I couldn’t escape them. There really was no place to run. If I stayed in my cell, they shot me. If I went out into the pit, they shot me.

They always shot me.

I was going to shove those darts down their throats before I ripped them out.

I knew I needed to conserve my energy for the clash ahead. I had been battling them long enough to know my opponents would play dirty. I couldn’t very well blame them. They were fighting for their lives.

And I had no mercy.

I couldn’t remember how many I had killed. Being an assassin, the deaths on my hands shouldn’t have bothered me, but they did. This wasn’t sanctioned killing. It was just killing. Worse than that, it was killing for someone else’s enjoyment.

I clenched my hands as my body came to life, my blood pumping faster, my heart racing. The drugs they pumped me with when they wanted me to fight shot through my system at an alarming rate. I knew I had mere moments before my reason would be gone and I became what they called me, a beast.

I started to pace the length of my cell. My ability to think was a mere slip of a memory. Everything was becoming an angry red haze. I dug my claws into the palms of my hands as I tried to fight it off. The smell of blood—even my own—made it that much harder to fight. It aroused my instincts to hunt and kill.

I heard the chanting long before the gate leading to the pit rose. I thundered down the narrow stone corridor almost against my will. Every muscle in my body was tense, making me anxious. I could smell fear. It was a thick, cloying scent. Acidic.

It was a weakness.

A weakness I needed to destroy.

The clapping became a thunderous noise when I entered the pit. The sound pounded in my head, a beat that goaded me on. I lifted my nose into the air and inhaled a deep breath. The stench of death hung in the air. The fear was stronger. The excitement nauseating.

I growled when the gates lifted. Two men came out, one to the right of me and one to the left. Their claws were already extended, ready to fight. I curled my lip back and flashed my fangs at them before darting a glance at the gate directly across from mine. The closed gate.

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