Sky was human once. Now he’s part demon, and he can’t stop himself from catching fire every time he feels strongly about something. Any emotion will do—fear, shock, arousal. Being freed from the lab he’d spent almost a year in would be a good thing if he could control his new ability, but as it is, he risks setting the warehouse and the council assassins on fire, including his mate.
Ulric can’t say he’s happy about his mate’s ability to control fire, but that’s mostly because Sky can’t control it right now. Even though Sky pushes Ulric away, he has help and people who can teach him what to do. The problem is that when it comes to Ulric, Sky doesn’t seem to be able to keep his emotions in check, and that might mean they can never be together.
Ulric is ready to do everything he can to help Sky, even if it means getting burned here and there. Sky doesn’t share that opinion, though, and he knows he has to learn control—or let Ulric go.
Everything was the same. Everything was always the same.
Sky knew the four walls of his cell by heart. He’d spent so much time staring at them that he could find specific cracks and stains. He didn’t most of the time, but it wasn’t like he had anything else to do. He’d rather be staring at walls than having the scientists poke and prod him until he did what they wanted. Things were always better when he was left alone in the cell—for everyone, including those damn scientists.
Sky leaned closer to the wall his bed was pushed against. He wrapped his arms around his knees and watched the door. He knew they’d come soon. It was time.
They never gave him a more than a few days between one experiment or the other. Even after he’d killed that guard, they’ve never stopped. He’d been horrified by that death, but they’d been over the moon over it. They wanted him to learn how to kill, to gain control.
Learning control would mean he’d have to leave. He didn’t want that, either. He wasn’t going anywhere, and that was for the best. One man had died, and that was more than enough for Sky. He wouldn’t put anyone else in danger.
He probably could have found a way out of the lab. With the power the scientists had given him, there was little he couldn’t do. Hell, he could burn down the building while sitting on his bed, and once everything was gone, he could walk out of the ruins. It would be easy. He only had to get angry or scared, or to feel any other strong emotion. So far, he hadn’t been able to stop himself from catching fire when he felt. That was why he was relieved when the scientists gave him pills to calm down or to sleep, but they hadn’t done that in too long. They needed him to catch fire. He wouldn’t learn control otherwise.
He didn’t want to learn, though. He knew he should. It would be the best way to make sure no one else got hurt. But it would also give the scientists what they wanted. They were trying to turn Sky into a weapon and control him, but they needed him to be able to catch fire on command. He didn’t know what would happen to him if he succeeded, but he could imagine it too easily.
Everyone in the lab was a weapon. That was the point of the lab. Sky had seen people coming in and going out. Some of them had been dead, and his heart hurt for them, even though he’d never talked to any of them. But some of them had been alive, and they’d obeyed the scientists and soldiers who’d come to pick them up. They’ve given up their freedom to get out of the lab, and Sky wasn’t going to do that.
He would have given anything to be free a few months ago. He’d been in the lab for what felt like years, and maybe he had. He had no way to know how many days had passed. He didn’t even know when it was night or day. There were no windows in the cell, or anywhere else in the lab. The only way for him to count the days that passed were the meals, but he couldn’t trust that, either. Some of the guards liked starving Sky and the other prisoners. They shouldn’t, because it could hinder the scientists’ work, but they didn’t care, and as long as the scientists didn’t find out, they’d be fine. It wasn’t like the scientists were going to believe or even listen to the prisoners.
And they were nothing more than that, nothing more than experiments.
Sky had been human once. He wasn’t sure why they’d chosen him, of all people. He’d been human, nothing out of the ordinary. But now he was special. He hated it, but he knew he couldn’t change it, not anymore. The scientists had gotten rid of his humanity and replaced it with an inferno of fire.
Sky had no idea how to deal with it.
At least the shifters knew how to handle having another side. He didn’t. That was probably one of the reasons he had such a hard time controlling the fire. That, and his emotions were always high when scientists were poking at him.
They hadn’t lately. It was a relief, because they usually wanted Sky to hurt people. They thought the only way for him to learn control was to use his power. That was exactly what he was trying to avoid. They wanted him to set people on fire.
He wanted to set himself on fire and die. He’d tried the first few days after he’d realized what he had become, but he hadn’t succeeded. He was fire now, and the ability to die by fire was gone from him. He should be relieved, but he wasn’t. It would have been the best and fastest way for him to be free. Instead, he was stuck here, in a fireproof room, at the mercy of the people who wanted him to become a killer.
He’d rather starve himself than do that.
Leaving the lab would mean killing people, and it was the biggest reason he hadn’t. The scientists and the guards were always careful when they moved him from his cell, but it would be so easy to catch fire in the hallway. But what would Sky do once he was out? Even if he considered those necessary deaths, they were the only ones who deserved to die. What about the people out there? Sky could set them on fire with just a thought, an emotion, and he wouldn’t do that. He was dangerous, and he belonged in the cell.
He just wished the scientists weren’t still experimenting on him.