Hushed voices teased his subconscious, pulling him from his restless sleep. Idiot guards. They honestly thought he couldn’t hear them, couldn’t discern every syllable hissed between clenched teeth. The acrid stench of fear rolled off of the men, invading his miniscule cell.
They argued over who would bring the pathetic ration of water to the prisoners. Cowards. Brave when they held their implements of torture against their restrained victims. Yet when they were unarmed? The bastards refused to come near him or his men.
Pity, that. All they needed was one chance, one slipup, and Dante could free himself and his men. As he shifted, a dull clank echoed off of the thick stone walls of the cell. His lip curled in disgust. Chained like a fucking animal. The steel collar around his neck would be problematic, but the heavy links anchoring his bulky body to the floor were another matter. A sharp tang assaulted his senses with every inhale. Morons were so proud of the collar with its spikes that jabbed him if he made the wrong move, yet it never occurred to them to check the integrity of their leash. A few sharp tugs at just the right angle and the links would snap. All he needed was the right time.
Frowning, Dante realized the conversation had shifted. They were discussing a woman now, a new captive, boasting of what they’d do to her when their captain was through with her. Something stirred within him, a long buried protective instinct, but he stifled it. It wasn’t his job to protect damsels in distress. He couldn’t afford to lose focus, not his men were counting on him.
Squelching his annoying, nagging conscience, Dante shifted his battered frame to a more comfortable position. Well, at least as comfortable as he could get in a room the size of a child’s playpen. A whisper of sound across the hall drew his attention. He met the glowing gaze of Raven through a crack in the heavy oak door and nodded once. It was time to plan.