Ravage (Scarred Souls #3) - Tillie Cole Page 0,1

think of what to do, where to go, when a crash sounded from the direction of the boys’ dorm.

“Valentin?” Inessa sniffled into my neck. I could feel her whole body trembling. Her heartbeat was racing, its vibration pounding against my bare chest. I squeezed my eyes shut, trying desperately to think of another place to hide. The heavy boots of the Wraiths sounded like thunder, no, worse, a stampede of elephants, coming at us from all sides, slowly caging us in.

Then it hit me—the medical room on the floor above. In seconds my feet were sprinting up two flights of stairs. Inessa never made a single sound the entire time I was running. My thighs burned with the effort, until I came to the old door with a red cross painted on its only glass panel. But the sound of boots increased. The boom boom of footsteps grew closer still. I sweated. My heart raced. This wasn’t going according to plan. The doorknob turned. Just then the loud click hit my ears. It was the boys’ dorm door opening.

Rushing through the medical room door, I shut it tight. Moonlight filtered into the room, showing four small beds. There were no closets to hide in, no hidden doors or cupboards to hide behind or climb in.

Loud voices filled the air. Knowing that the Wraiths were coming our way, I ran to the farthest bed and placed Inessa on the floor. Her hand gripped on to mine so tightly, but I couldn’t stop to comfort her. I had to get us safe.

Dropping to my knees, I pulled Inessa to the floor and crawled under the bed. Inessa followed—she always followed anything I said or did without question—and we shuffled under the small bed. I made for the corner, making myself as small as I could, and wrapped Inessa in my arms, her little body curled tightly against my chest. We stayed still, very still.

We breathed quietly. Inessa cried silent tears, her small body trembling. I kept tight hold, hoping and praying that the Wraiths wouldn’t come our way. That they would pass us by tonight. That they wouldn’t load us onto their trucks, headed to God knows where?

Placing my hand on the back on Inessa’s head, I brought her cheek against my chest and closed my eyes as I laid a kiss to the top of her black hair.

There was silence. A silence so heavy I didn’t dare breathe for fear of it sounding out. Then a small creak outside of the medical room’s door sent white-hot sparks slicing down my spine.

Inessa whimpered against my chest, so I put my finger over her lips, desperate for her to not make a sound.

I watched the floor for any sign of shadows, and my stomach fell when I saw the door open and several boots fill the room. Their voices were low as they talked to one another. They were Georgian, some words in their language unfamiliar. I held Inessa tighter, watching like a hawk as the boots walked around the room, stopping at each bed.

Then on a sharp turn, two sets of boots made their way from the room to the hallway outside. My wide eyes focused on the two pairs of boots left, two pair of boots that slowly, painstakingly slowly, began approaching this bed.

I held my breath, too scared to even exhale as the boots came to a stop. Tears built in my eyes and I knew this was it.

The Wraiths had found us.

And it all happened so quickly.

In a flash the bed we were hiding under was overturned and the lights were flicked on, blanketing the room in a blinding white light. I flinched as Inessa screamed in my arms, the sudden flare of light blinding her, too.

I blinked, and blinked again, until the faces of the Wraiths came into view. There was a man, a huge dark man, and next to him was a woman. The woman was dressed all in black—as all of the Wraiths did—like a military uniform, her hair tied back in a bun. And her narrowed dark eyes were watching us, mainly focusing on the back of Inessa’s head. I tried to keep my sister close, to keep her face hidden, but as if feeling the woman’s stare, Inessa lifted her head and looked round. And I watched as the female Wraith smiled. A smile spread on her thin lips. Looking up to the man who stood by her side, she nodded her head.

Immediately understanding