23: Claustrophobic

Unable to shut my eyes, I watch as my death approaches me as with every step the abhorred beast takes towards me.

Growling as he prances towards me, with a daunting glimmer in his eyes, the beast looks almost pleased with my reaction to its presence. I try to keep my fear under control, but there is only so much an impassive façade can hide.

A couple more strides and the beast and my death would be right in my face, acknowledging I gulp down the lump clogging my throat, as my vision occasionally burs as the throbbing in my head increases.

"I didn't want this to end this was Luna Regina." The man in the cloak sheltered behind the beast remarks, yet my mind barely registers his words.

The beast assessed the scene before him, taking his time knowing well that incapacitated in my seat by the impact to my head-that is oozing blood that trickles down my temple, to my face, and down my neck, tinting everything in its part crimson-I'm in no state to attempt my escape.

I bite my tongue to refrain from whimpering as the throbbing increases and pain shoots throughout my body originating from my head! If I'm going down today, I'm sure as hell not going down without a fight!

With that resolute in mind, I grab the first solid object I can get within an arm's reach-a spanner I find under my seat-and fueled with the remainder of my energy and accuracy, I throw it in the beast's direction.

Dodging the object flying in its direction, the beast lets out a snarl so powerful that birds the trees harbored left their homes and fled the scene!

"Feisty huh, not a bad color on you." The man comments rising to his feet. "But puella, not even you, with all of your powers, can change the inevitable," he opines with an odious chuckle.

"Finish her Legatus," he commands, and acting on orders the beast pounces towards me using its hind legs.

Instinctively shutting my eyes, I wait for the fatal impact...but it never comes. Pealing one eye open, I come face to face with a showdown of some sort. Instead of one, I now witness two beasts before my eyes. Both distinctive in nature, but beasts nonetheless.

Taking a leap, the new wolf-like creature attacks the mud-brown beast who appears to be wounded. He was fine just moments ago I note only for realization to hit me, the other beast saved my life!

Growls infiltrate the air, as the metallic stench of blood remains to be the persistent and dominating one. My vision immediately scans the area for the clocked man, but to no avail, it's almost like he disappeared!

The sound of teeth clashing and pain-fueled howls pull my attention back to the scene in front of me. With the sandy blond fur wolfish creature on top of my former assailant-the mud-brown one-I try my best to keep my gaze focused on the ongoing fight.

Then all at once...in one swift move, the sandy blond beast brings his jaws down on the neck of the mud-brown one, and with a final pain imbued cry the mud-brown beast stops its struggle and breath.

Laying limp on the ground I focus my attention on the other beast in attempts to pull away from the darkness sucking me into it, yet with every passing moment, it's just getting tougher to resists.

"Luna Regina!" Are the last words I hear before darkness embraces me throwing me down a fathomless pit.

...

Heat is the first sensation I feel as my body stirs breaking out of unrestful slumber.

My arm, legs, and almost all of my exposed skin seem to be ablaze. The throb in my head returns as my heart slams painfully against my ribcage.

All I see around me is pitch-black darkness and voices that are inaudible yet their presence prominent. There is an aura around me, something eerie...something almost uncharacteristic.

The fire setting me aflame creeps through my arms and spreads like a wildfire, yet there is nothing I can do to stop it. In hopeless attempts, I try pushing against the invisible barrier in my head that's preventing me from opening my eyes, but it's an uphill battle.

"Luna Regina." I hear a voice call out, but its origination feels like to be outside my body.

"Regina, soror mea, you need to wake up." The same voice pleads, and at once my mind snaps into place matching the stranger's voice to the same one, I heard before giving into the darkness.

Who is this man?

Why does he keep calling me Luna Regina?

What does that name even mean?

The more I push against the barrier holding me captive, the more it starts to close in on me. Claustrophobia starts to kick in-I start to claustrophobic, trapped inside my own body!

"She needs to rest, her body needs heals," Leon's familiar voice reverberates through my head.

Where am I?

"I need to know she's alright!" The unfamiliar voice argues, his voice strained with self-conviction.

"She will be, once she has had time to heal properly," I recognize Theo's voice almost immediately.

"Look we know you're worried about here, and we're very grateful to you for saving her life, but you need to relax. The doctor said it will take her some time to regain consciousness, the hit to her head was pretty bad." This time it's Ava who speaks her tone laced with understanding and empathy.

"This is all my fault! I didn't do my job right!" The man pronounces solemnly, his tone strained barely above a whisper.

What job is he talking about?

And why is this all his fault?

"Stop beating yourself up man, there was no way for you to know about the ambush," Hunter's voice reassures, leading me further on the path of complete confusion.

"I should have! Keeping her safe is my responsibility. I failed her once in the past and now again." The man's hoarse tone reaches my ears telling me that he has moved closer to me-wherever I am-than he was before.

"But you saved her life! That has to count for something!" Kelly's unmistakable voice hits my ears and with her interjection, it becomes evident to me that the entire group is present here, and for some reason this makes me feel at ease...safe almost.

"But I could have been too late," he argues hopelessly while I'm still left unsure of his identity.

"Why does this matter so much to you anyway. Did you know Faith?" I hear Leon ask giving me the impression that even they don't know this man's identity-which in context to their previous conversation, I find rather strange.

"Because she's my soror and it is my job and responsibility to protect her." The man responds in a heartbeat leaving the room dead silent and me utterly confused.

"You're her brother?" And with those words blurted out by Theo, shock consumes me as the wall around my head starts to spin and within seconds everything starts to become hazy all over again.

Author's Note:


~Kia