Authors: Candace Blevins
Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy, #Urban, #Erotica, #Bdsm
I’d known it would hurt, but this was worse than the traditional flogging a virgin must undergo in order to Change. I was more than determined, though, so I did it fast and didn’t make a sound, even though I wanted to scream and cry.
Halfway through the process I knew I’d been wrong about having hours until my escape was discovered. They were used to smelling fear on me, but not pain, and certainly not blood. I was going to have to fly for my life and hope they couldn’t keep up. I cut faster, and my blood flowed into the hot water at my feet.
As the knife finally reached the outer edge of my right foot, I stood and imagined myself a swan, thought of how it felt to Change after I was flogged, and breathed in relief as I felt the transformation happening. The herbal concoction worked, and the anklet would end up in the water once I turned into a swan and it could come off my foot. As I Changed, it only took a few slices with my claw to rip the skin on top of my right arm enough for it to come free of the skin and turn into a wing, thank goodness.
I made it onto the window sill, looked out at the Waccamaw River, and knew if I couldn’t figure out how to fly within a few minutes, and the crash landing didn’t kill me, I needed to find an alligator and hope he was hungry. I was going to either escape or die — I couldn’t live the rest of my life trapped in this house, and being forced to marry Cyrano was the final straw. People might make fun of the Princess trapped in the mansion with anything her heart desired at her fingertips, but
Princess preferred freedom to riches.
I jumped from the ledge, stretched my wings, and breathed easy as the wind caught them and I soared up instead of plummeting. I beat them, pointed my head the direction I wanted to go, and it just somehow
I’d spent years on borrowed tablets from various servants, looking through Google Earth so I could find my way to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the offices of Drake Security. I had no idea where Aaron Drake lived, but figured I could find him at work.
I followed the coast to Savannah, Georgia, fighting the ocean breeze, and figuring out how this brain parceled the information I’d taken in with my other brain. I managed to access what I needed to make the journey, and I followed the coast as I learned to soar, turn, dive, and climb. The winds coming in off the ocean were brutal at times, fluffing my feathers the wrong way until I lost control and only regained it by luck. I soon discovered I needed to get higher to keep from being buffeted by the sea breeze, but going too high made it hard to see landforms well enough to navigate when there weren’t many lights.
I didn’t know how much of a head start I had, so I kept moving even as I experimented, terrified they’d find me and haul me back to my father’s house.
When I reached Savannah I found what I was sure was the interstate, and followed the line of lights north. I was exhausted when I reached what had to be Macon, and I continued north a little ways before making a right turn, hoping I could find the wildlife refuge and a relatively safe place to get some rest. I was so tired, and terribly uncomfortable in this body, but needed to stay a swan until I made it to Chattanooga. I wasn’t sure I could cut myself open again, and besides, I no longer had the knife.
I only rested a short time before I flew north, once again following the interstate. I was sure this wasn’t how swans normally navigated, but it was the best I could manage. I breathed a little easier as I went over Atlanta, knowing my journey was close to an end. I often swam miles a day, in either the lap pool or the endless pool, but I’d never been so tired in my life.
When I made it to Chattanooga I headed towards the Tennessee River, followed it until I recognized their unique Aquarium building, and then followed the streets out of the downtown area to the old school building that housed the Drake Security offices. My landing was far from graceful, but I made it into the woods across the street, found a tree limb I hoped would be safe, and waited.
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