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"Jenna... Jenna, you have to wake up now.' Charles' voice sounded so far away. Had she made it back to the mansion? 'Jenna, wake up!' He urged.
No, she couldn't go back... Victor's face loomed at her, snarling. She woke with a lurch, gasping clean air into her lungs.
And there he sat, lounging like he was king of the... hovel. Fire danced in a dirty hearth. An old, once abandoned hunting cabin, most likely. It was small, the bed was nearly in the kitchen. No electricity- none that he'd bothered with, anyways. She was on the floor, likely dropped from the soreness of her back. Once her body recognized that she was in no immediate danger- for the time being- her breath started to slow, as did her heartbeat. But she kept her eyes on the lounging Sabertooth.
He had a beer in one hand and kept his eyes on the fire, seemingly lost in thought. It was storming outside, wind was howling and the roof was knocking. Lightning flashed and thunder roiled so heavily. She was surprised the shack was still standing. There were several leaks, she could hear them dripping even if she couldn't see them. At least she wasn't in the middle of one.
He took a sip of his beer as she assessed. "Do you remember when we were kids? When the first storm came while we was makin' our way to Boston?" He finally said, breaking silence.
She thought for a moment. "I remember Jimmy nearly got hit by that big tree branch." She supplied. "You knocked him out of the way."
"I... shielded you from it. Took us forever to get you out from underneath it, but..."
"Way I figure it, I could just leave you in a cement bath or bury you so far under ground you won't know which way was up." He interrupted, finally glancing at her out of the corner of his eye. "But where would the fun in that be?" He smirked, taking another sip.
"Fun? This is fun for you?"
"Honey, this is the most fun I've had in years." He smirked.
"I'm a lot stronger than-"
"Oh I know. Believe me." He urged, sitting forward. "But one of these days, that little shield of yours will fail, just like it did with those wolves. Just like that tree." He'd been lucky he'd been born with a regeneration ability other wise he'd have lost his leg.
"So, you plan to... to what? Hunt me for eternity?"
"What happened to the kid?" He suddenly asked, making her shift. She didn't like to think about that. But he deserved to know as much as she did.
"He died." She hugged herself, not looking at him. "I... I was told they burned him alive as a witch's familiar. He bit one of the men when they... They knocked me out."
"They knocked you out." He didn't ask, but she could feel the rage he was exuding.
She put her hand to her head, like she could still feel the blow. Sometimes, she felt she could. "I killed as many as I could, but someone... they snuck up behind me, must have been closer to the house than the others. He hit me. Knocked me out. When I came to, I was in a cage and the house... it was on fire. I couldn't... I was so weak." Tears burned her eyes and she didn't dare look at him. Couldn't bear the anger or disappointment or the pity he might once have shown her. Couldn't bear it more if he didn't. "They... They tried to burn me alive, but it didn't work." They hadn't been able to touch her, her shield protecting her in her unconscious state. So, they'd herded her into a cage and sold her to the highest bidder for food and horses.
She let her face fall into her hands. So many times she could hear him screaming, calling for her, banging on the door, on the windows. No parent should ever have to go through that horror.
Her sleeve had slipped up and he caught sight of a familiar brand. He'd run into it a few times across his travels. Fighting rings and whatnot. They'd sold her into slavery. Why hadn't that healed? Like the gash on her head from before or her arm when she'd landed on the roof? Why did she have such a scar? He didn't ask, it would be fun to find out for himself.
Suddenly, she rose into the air, intending to escape, only to fall back, weak. The sleeper agent from the gas grenade was still working its way through her system. She wasn't going anywhere for a nice long while. Once she'd been unconscious, he'd tried to kill her with monoxide, from a car, he'd tried to drop her from the rooftop, he'd tried so many things. But her shield never wavered. More powerful when she was unconscious. Probably an instinct left over from her time in the rings. No one was safe. Ever. Didn't help that she'd been drawing from his regeneration to heal her wounds. She didn't seem like she understood that, and he wasn't about to tell her.
That mark he'd given her on their wedding night... He'd never thought it meant anything more than an instinct from his animal side. Never thought it would mean so much more than that she was his. If he had...
She pushed her hair out of her face and twisted it over her shoulder, braiding it quickly before tossing it back, the weight of it keeping it how she wanted. This was his Jenna. He'd thought she was dead. He'd thought she'd been in that grave with their son. His anger surged as he thought of the past and he threw the empty bottle into the hearth. She flinched at the shattering, though none of the glass came close to touching her.
"So help me, if I catch you, I will kill you." He stormed outside, rain be damned.
That damn telepath couldn't watch her all the time.