They pin his arms and legs, one kneeling on each limb so no matter how violently Daren struggles he cannot fight free. A sliver of bright blade glints at the corner of his eye amid a chorus of wolfish laughter. Not again. He seizes up in panic. No, no, not again, no. Please. But the words never leave his lips. Daren clenches his jaws tight as the blade pierces his flesh and slides beneath, not down but sideways to cause the maximum amount of pain and the minimum amount of damage. His back arches and he groans, the sound caught deep in his throat, the pain excruciating, but Daren won’t give them the satisfaction of hearing his screams. He won’t beg them to stop. It wouldn’t matter anyway; his assailants won’t cease until they grow bored and leave him a trembling, bleeding wreck on the tile. Until then Daren moans behind tight pressed lips and tries to sink into the darkness beneath the agony.