Strength of an Assassin(4)By: Stormy Glenn
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.
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.
No one appeared.
That was strange.
I always fought three opponents. I always killed three opponents. Where was the third man I was supposed to kill? I wanted to get it over and done with so I could go back to my cell. I hated having all the people watching me. I hated being their entertainment.
If I could, I’d kill them all.
After determining no one was coming out of the gate—at least not immediately—I turned my attention to the other two men. The crowd was not going to be pleased that this would be so easy for me.
Like I gave a fuck.
I tilted my head back and roared loud enough to shake the rafters. I was angry, enraged, and downright pissed off. The haze that had started with the darts was quickly spreading until I didn’t care that the men I faced were probably not there of their own free will.
I just wanted to kill.
I wanted to feel their blood on my hands. I wanted to hear their screams as I ripped them apart, and then their last breaths as they left this world.
I snarled at the two men, watching as they started moving toward me from different directions. They might not have met before now or had the chance to talk to me, but it was obvious that they realized I was the greater threat. A smart man would try and team up with his opponent to take me out first.
I wondered how smart these guys were.
My chest heaved as I breathed, my muscles bunching. The extra doses of adrenaline I’d been shot up with surged through my system, taking away my ability to think. Fear and excitement permeated the air, saturating it until I couldn’t smell anything else.
I heard the crowd above me go wild as the two men leapt at me. The pain that ripped through my body as their razor sharp claws sank deep into my flesh only heightened my need for blood.
And not my own.
I roared again and swung. Elation filled me when my claws connected and my hand came away bloody and wet. I swiped out at the nearest shifter again, watching as large scratches appeared across his face. It was a wound he wouldn’t be healing from.
I grunted when something hit me from behind. I snarled as I slowly turned. How the man had gotten his hands on a wooden club I would never know, but he was going to wish he had never picked it up. I ripped the club out of the man’s hand and tossed it away. I didn’t need weapons to kill.