Hello, beautiful people, it's Peytona! Happy Excerpt Tuesday!! Hope your weekend was fun. Mine was fun. I went to a haunted trail on Sunday night. It was pretty creepy.
Let's get right into it. Here's the next chapter of The Mutates. Enjoy!
...Bad Taste in the Mouth...
Who knows how long it took for me to wake up. The room was dim, but I could see a lot better than I ever had in my lifetime. Tyler was lying on the bed beside me. He was wrapped up around his chest and shoulder. He seemed perfectly still on his back. His chest heaved up and down calmingly. I looked him over and was happy to see that they had fixed him up right. He looked fine. I didn’t know what time it was, but I was getting edgy as every minute past. I wondered where Andy and Lola were. I missed them instantly.
I sat up, feeling the soreness of my ribs. They seemed to repair themselves faster than normal. I moved my gold hair out of my face and looked to Tyler again. I wanted to get up in the back of my mind and look for the others, but I just didn’t have it in me to leave him behind. Guilt was still torturing my heart. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am,” a thought drifted in my head like some kind of fog. “I’m so sorry,” the words were spoken in a whisper, threatening to brush out unto my lips any moment. He looked so peaceful in his sleep. I could only imagine what his dreams were about and if he could still feel the pain of my assault even after they gave him sedatives. I wouldn’t know how many.
“You’re awake,” a voice called to me. I knew who she was before I even turned to look at her. Her eyes were like the sky during the winter; ice cold and unwelcoming.
“Yeah,” I retorted unkindly, “I am. What do you want, Elana?”
Her red lips curved upward unfeelingly and she sauntered closer like some sort of predator. Sometimes I wonder if maybe Dr. Herman experimented on her too. “I guess I just wanted to see you up close,” she said, seating herself in a chair. “It wasn’t long ago that you were locked up and screaming wretchedly. It’s fascinating to see you up and about.”
I shivered as the memory of the tubes flooded back to me. “Is that all?” I demanded, hearing my voice distorted by a growl.
She smiled lightly. “Mostly. And I wanted to give you a piece of advice.” She leaned closer to me and the smile faded. “You’re worth more to us alive than dead and keeping the doctor happy is my top priority. You upset him again, and I promise you I’ll…”
“I’d like to see you try,” Tyler cut in, slowly sitting up to glare at her. “If you ever threaten my girlfriend again, I’ll make you regret it.” The bitterness in his voice was uncanny. I felt affected by it, too.
There was a smug expression on her face. “You look at me like you expect me to be scared,” she replied, sitting up.
“You should be!” he snarled, frightening me but it had no effect on her. I could hear in his voice that he had more bark than he had bite.
“I’ve been watching your face intently while you’ve been here,” she said, crossing her arms, “but no matter how hard I try, I don’t remember you. Does that hurt your feelings?” She tilted her head in a patronizing way.
I’m not sure if Tyler breathed for a minute. “What?” he whispered, his body shaking.
“I have no memory of you,” she retorted, making her words harsh. “I don’t remember your father either.” A thoughtful expression appeared on her face. “I’m sorry, kid. My earliest memory is of Herman nursing me back to health with his pet close behind him. I don’t remember you at all.”
It took Tyler a moment to speak. “I… I don’t… I can’t believe that,” he said brokenly.
She shrugged. “It’s the truth. You’re a stranger to me. The only thing I share with you is blood apparently.”
His breathing became ragged as he stared at her. He struggled to keep himself human. “I don’t believe a word you’re saying,” he seethed. She made a face at him that clearly said, “You don’t have to believe me, but it’s the truth. And I don’t care either way.” “Get out,” he seethed. “GET OUT!!” His voice was coated with an animal snarl, making him sound like some kind of monster. I’d never admit this to him then, but... I was afraid of him in that instant. He looked like he could have killed her.
She didn’t flinch from his piercing words. She just stared at him with unfathomable eyes. I tensed, not knowing what she was planning to do. Abruptly, she got up from her chair and walked away.
Tyler was nearly hyperventilating as he fought against the morphing. I could see his bones trying to configure into something else under his skin. His eyes were clenched tightly while his body shook. So much sympathy swept through me I reached out and touched his arm. My movement was slow and my arm was heavy, but I touched his warm skin and he stopped convulsing. He opened his eyes and looked at me. There was so much pain in those eyes that looked like Elana’s.
“I need a hug,” he said to me. He sounded younger for a minute. I fought myself as I staggered to my feet and sat on his bed. His movement was much slower than mine as he wrapped his arms around me. He held me gently as I held him. I was so afraid that I would hurt him again. I stroked his back and laid my head on the shoulder that wasn’t wounded.
“I’m so sorry,” I croaked. “So very sorry.”
“You didn’t do anything wrong. I’m not mad at you,” he replied softly, inclining his head onto my own.
“You should be. I ruined everything,” I started to cry.
“No, she did. They did. You didn’t do anything,” he said, hardening his voice. “She ruined me, ruined my father, ruined us. We’re mutates because of her,” he growled.
I looked up into his eyes. “When we escape, we’ll never see her again. She won’t hurt us anymore. She’ll be dead just like she was before.”
His blue eyes froze up and he nodded stiffly, trying to control the morphing once again. I stroked his back again until he could calm down. I was surprised that I wasn’t angry like he was. All I could feel was sympathy and guilt.
“How long have we been sleeping?” he asked softly.
“I don’t know. It’s so quiet. I don’t even know what time it is.”
“It’s time for breakfast, kids,” Dr. Herman’s voice rung in our ears. I nearly bit my tongue as I struggled to stay calm and silent.
“Where are Andy and Lola?” Tyler asked.
“They’re out on the balcony, waiting for you both. Now hurry up, and get dressed. Under your beds, there are clothes for you.”
“We’re already wearing the clothes you gave us. What’s wrong with those?” I challenged, glaring up at the ceiling.
“If that suits you, feel free to wear that instead. We’ll be waiting for you,” he replied sickeningly sweet.
I glared into Tyler’s eyes, “I’m gonna kill him one day.”
He didn’t say anything, but his eyes gleamed with laughter. “Let’s get dressed,” he suggested, releasing me and getting off his bed to look for the clothes.
I brought up the clothes from underneath my bed and was surprised to see normal clothes. There was a pink t-shirt with a cool design on the front. Upon further examination, there were two vertical slits by the shoulder blades. They were nearly invisible. I refused to think about the reason for the slits. The jean shorts had a hidden slit in the back as well. It pissed me off that he would even think of having us morph in these. Couldn’t we just have some time to rest? Some time to be normal for just a second? “I’m sick of this place already,” I hissed under my breath.
“I know. But, we need to stay here,” Tyler said softly. “Hurry up and get dressed.” With our backs to each other we put on our clothes.
“Ready?” I asked, turning to him. He hadn’t placed his t-shirt on yet. The bandages were gone from his shoulder and chest. There were bite marks... my bite marks. They looked like mud spots against his skin. Across his chest... my claw marks scarred him. They were the same muddy shade. Four long streaks marked him. My throat tightened as I watched him examine his scars.