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The discovery continues.
With Renee still unconscious in the hospital, it was left to her brother Derek to give the closing comments. "Fellow werewolves, we have truly made history here this weekend. We leave here not as individuals but as a people, a people who can live openly and freely with the respect of human and Were alike. May the friendships formed here strengthen, and may each annual gathering bring as much harmony and success as this one. May the new matings be fruitful and bring joy to your packs." He paused as the applause died down.
"And yet, our hearts ache because the one who is the driving force of this event, a woman who demonstrated her courage and honor to all, remains in a fight for her life. Renee Johnson should be here with...." Everyone held their breath until his smile broke wide on his face. "She's waking up!" The applause and yells nearly brought down the house. "May Luna protect you and guide you, Wolfstock is now closed, now make a hole I have to get to the hospital!"
The Betas of the Johnson and Santa Fe packs had already cleared a path and both Alphas raced out. The wolves left behind shifted and howled in thanks. On live TV, much of the nation rejoiced as well.
Cartel Safe House, Southern New Mexico 18 months ago
Maria woke up when they brought the latest girl in. She sat up from the thin mattress on the concrete floor that formed her bed, pulling the wool blanket around her. She watched the crying woman be pushed into the adjoining cell. Like the others, the woman was naked, bleeding and had been raped repeatedly. The men just locked the door and laughed, leaving the two of them alone in the near dark of the basement.
"What's your name?" There was no response, just more sobbing. The woman laid down on the thin mattress and ignored her. It was too bad, she was already defeated. At least the angry ones had a chance. She saw the faraway look in her eyes that told her she had already checked out.
She wished again that she didn't have Were ancestry; she knew she was tougher and could heal faster than the whores, daughters and other innocents that came through here. Juan used kidnapping and torture of family members as a means to an end, both because it was effective and because he liked it. He couldn't get it up with a woman who wanted to be with him, it took force and violence to sate his lust. Maria's wolf gave her the ability to take abuse and recover quickly just mean that Juan could beat her, rape her and leave her for dead more often.
She always healed up. They knew she would need lots of food to do so, and they would feed her well until she recovered then starve her so she wasn't too strong to resist. The next week, it would all happen again. Six months of this, or so. Time passed quickly when you were locked in a basement, the light never changing, only the shift changes of your captors to mark the time.
The next morning, Ms. No Name was dead. Humans he went through quickly because he couldn't hold back on his impulses. Those that survived the first night with him often didn't make it past the second. Some had tried to make friends with her, but she had stopped doing that. It was too hard losing them.
One of the men dragged her body out and stuffed her in a 55 gallon drum. Her parents would never know what happened to her.
Hector came with her breakfast, and he was smiling. She knew enough to know this wasn't good. "Maria, good morning! Good news, your father has made a good payment this week, so you've been invited to a party to celebrate!"
Maria knew better. She had felt the bond with her father break as she was bundled into the van the day they took her, but she was smart enough not to let on that she knew. Like all her pain, she kept it buried deep inside where they couldn't see it.
Luis came down the stairs with a syringe in hand and Paco behind him.