Chapter Twenty-Seven - Abby
My father shut my bedroom door behind him as we entered. Where fear should have prickled, I was left with a dull feeling of numbing pain. Cory was dead. He wasn’t coming to rescue me. I was trapped here like a rat on a sinking ship, no way out. Numbly, I walked over to the vanity on the side of the room and sat down. I peaked at my reflection, tears shimmering in my eyes. Taking a haggard breath, I closed them. A single tear slid down my cheek that my father wiped away. I didn’t flinch when he touched me.
“Abby, I know you think I am being injustice towards you. You must understand I only want what’s best for you and our family. Lucas will make a strong husband and partner when it comes to taking over for me. He knows how this game is played and will be a great deal of help when it comes down to dealing with the industry. We have made enough money for you to live a comfortable life here. You could buy whatever your heart desires. You can make this life anything you want it to be. Please stop acting like I’m torturing you by giving you what I have to give.”
“This isn’t the life I wanted, father. Don’t you even care about the dreams I had for my life? What I wanted to do with it? I wanted to be a writer! To write great stories and novels for people to read. It’s been my dream since I was a little girl. Even Mother knew that. Why couldn’t you just want me to be happy?” I asked, looking at him with my tear-filled eyes.
“You are my only child, Abigail. I can’t have you chasing silly dreams when this family has a name to uphold. The Marrero name has been the leader in this field for centuries. Sacrifice needs to be made to ensure that’s going to continue. I’m sorry it needs to be this way but I will not let my father’s name be tarnished because of a silly girl with some notion that she’s more important than the rest of us. The only reason I agreed to have a child with your mother in the first place was so that you could follow in my footsteps with the family name.” I stood, my fists balled in rage.
“I won’t help you. I don’t care what you do to me. I am not going to help you kill more people and ruin lives. I’m not twelve years old anymore. I’m not afraid of you or that monster you call an employee. You can lock me in here for the rest of my days but I will spend those days trying like hell to escape. I will not be the reason that innocent people die.” Sighing, he walked over to the vanity and picked up a handheld mirror that was there. He looked into it, my reflection in the glass.
“Your mother felt the same way. Abigail, if you really feel that way, there is another way around this.” He set the mirror down and glanced at me. “Produce me a grandchild with Lucas and you are free to go.”
“What?” I whispered.
“Any child you have will be able to control the crystal as well. If you do not wish to be a part of this life, provide me with a grandchild who can fill the part. Once you do, you are free to go and live as you wish.”
“I would never give you a child to suffer like I did. You are out of your mind to think I would do that.” Shrugging, he clasped his hands behind his back and walked towards me.
“It’s your choice. I’ve given Lucas permission to spend the night with you tonight. I would think rather hard about what choice you are going to make. If you play your hand right, you could be a free person in just nine months.”
“He’s not going to touch me. I don’t care what you’ve told him. That man is never going to lay his hands on me.”
“It’s a wife’s job to make sure her husband is pleased. Since your little adventure with Agent Forester, I felt like you may need some help with that. It is the only reason I am allowing Lucas to lie with you tonight.” He turned towards the door. “I would not make Lucas wait any more. I would hate for him to harm you before the wedding tomorrow. Your face is too beautiful for that.” With that, he opened the door and left. I sat back on the chair next to the vanity and buried my face in my hands. It felt like my whole world was crashing down around me. Here I was again, getting dragged down the aisle towards Lucas but with the added threat of him coming for me tonight. Before, my father had made it certain that Lucas was to not touch me until we were married. Now, I’m certain Alexz has told him about my “training” with Cory, leaving me up for Lucas to do as he please. It was punishment for leaving. I knew it.
A knock on the door made me jump. I sat glued to my chair for a moment until it opened. A masked guard slipped in, quickly closing the door behind him. Standing, I slid the chair in front of me. “Get out of here. My father nor Lucas would be very happy to see one of their men in here with me.” I warned, ready to fight if need be.
“Good thing I’m not one of them.” The man said, reaching up for his mask. He pulled it off, revealing short blonde hair and a wide smile. Agent Cory Forester stood there in front of me.
“You’re alive!” I exclaimed softly, running over to him. I wrapped my arms around his neck as he squeezed me in a hard embrace. “They told me they killed you. I thought for sure you were dead.”
“Hey.” He whispered, pulling away just enough to look down at me. “I told you before that I’m never going to let him or anyone hurt you ever again. I promised you and I never go back on my promises.” Leaning in, he pressed his lips to mine in a quick kiss. “We have to get you out of here. Where’s the crystal?”
“Here.” I held up the metal cube that hung between my breasts. “They sealed it in this box to control the power. It’s locked with a key that Alexz has. I can’t get it to break either.”
“Shit.” He whispered, picking up the cube to look at it closer. “We’ll have to get out of here first then figure out a way to open it. Go change into something you can run in and I’ll sneak you out of here.”
“Cory, there’s something I have to tell you first. My father-“ There was a hard rap on the door, one I knew belonged to Lucas. He’d done it a hundred times before, letting me know it was him. “Hide!” I whispered, shoving Cory towards the closet in the corner. He closed the closet door as Lucas opened the bedroom one. Lucas looked at me confused, two champagne glasses in one hand and a bottle of the liquor in the other.
“Were you speaking to someone in here?” He asked, closing the door behind him.
“Just myself. Please leave.” I responded, glaring at him. I walked over to the vanity and kicked my heels off. My feet sighed in relief, welcoming the soft carpet under them now.
“Your father gave me his blessing to be here. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” He set the glasses on the dresser and poured the champagne into them. “Alexz told me about your conversation when you first arrived. I always knew once you left here, you would go find some poor bastard to be a little whore for.” He picked up one of the flutes and drank from it. “No matter. Once you are my wife, I will be the only one you will be pleasing for the rest of your life. I will kill any other man who even dares to look at you in the wrong manner.”
“Charming.” I muttered, turning away from him. He grabbed my arm and forced me to look back at him.
“Like your father, I am quite sick of your childish behavior. It’s time someone taught you a lesson.” He drained the flute, setting it back on the dresser. Stepping closer, he seized my other arm and forcibly pulled me closer. “You have no idea how badly I wish I could have done this to you before you ran off. I dreamt about forcing you on your knees and using your mouth to please me.”
“Keep dreaming.” I said in a low voice, shoving him off of me. Anger flashed crossed his face and he grabbed me by the throat with both hands. I gasped as he leaned in close to my face.
“You are going to learn what happens to those who don’t obey.” He forced me towards the bed, shoving me down onto the mattress. I landed face down on the down comforter. Clawing, I tried to slide towards the other side of it but he held me down with one of his knees. Reaching up my skirt, he ripped down my underwear and forced my legs apart. Fear bubbled in my chest and up my throat as I did my best to kick and claw at him. It only made him more eager, pinning my wrists with one hand against my back. “I’m going to fuck you so good that you’ll forget all about that pretty boy agent.” He snarled in my ear, positioning himself between my thighs.
Suddenly, a force slammed into Lucas toppling him to the floor. Sitting up, I realized it was Cory who was now on top of Lucas, pounding the hell out of his face. He punched him over and over again, switching hands as he went. Jumping off the bed, I pulled my underwear back on. Lucas let out a gurgled shriek between the blows. Blood was splattering the wall with each impact. “You sick son of a bitch!” Cory yelled, landing one last punch to Lucas. The bedroom door flew open, three guards standing there. They looked around the room in shock when they saw me standing there, Agent Forester pummeling a more than likely dead version of Lucas. Two of the guards ran over and grabbed Cory by the arms, yanking him off of Lucas who miraculously managed to roll over to his side. His face was mangled and unrecognizable. Blood poured from every opening and mounds of what use to be his face hung there.
“Let him go!” I exclaimed, punching one of the guards holding Cory. The guard fell back, surprised, leaving the other guard open for an attack from Cory. The third guard yelled for help, holding up his gun towards Cory. I kicked it out of his hands, landing another kick to his face. He howled in pain, covering his face. Blood poured from his nose and down his arms. Five more guards ran into the room, guns drawn. I glanced at Cory who had blood smeared on his face. It wasn’t his though. One of the guards pulled something out of his pocket and two strings shot forward and into Cory’s chest. He began to seize, falling to the ground with a jerking motion. Distracted, one of the guards grabbed me, holding my arms behind my back.
“Well now.” My father said, slipping into my now overfilled bedroom. He glanced down at Cory who was now unconscious on the floor. He was still breathing though, his chest rising and falling. He looked over at Lucas who was now being helped up by two guards. I struggled against the one holding me but it was no use. “This certainly does change somethings. I believe I know just how to get what I want from you now. Everyone, please meet me in the courtyard. I believe it’s time for some Christmas Eve fun.”
Turning, my father walked out of the room. The guard holding me followed, pushing me out the door. I heard them pick Cory up off the ground and their footsteps behind us. We walked down the stairs and headed towards the back of the house. Scorpio pushed open a sliding glass door and led out to the large courtyard behind the house. On the left was the pool house and on the right was the stone gazebo he had built when I was a child. It was one of my mother’s favorite places to sit with me when she was alive. When it was the right season, hundreds of roses would surround the structure. Now, little Christmas trees were set up with white twinkling lights. The gazebo itself had strands of lights wrapped around the pillars.
The cement was cold under my bare feet as a second guard grabbed me, the first one struggling as I tried to pull away. My father entered the gazebo, turning to face the rest of us. Two guards were carrying Cory’s limp body, his head sagging to the side between them. “Get me some chains and bring the device to me.” My father said, nodding at one of the smaller guards walking with us. The guard nodded, heading off towards the gardening shed in the far corner of the yard. He returned moments later, thick chains in hand as well as the box that contained the device Cory had tried to steal from the warehouse days ago. He set the box down on the ground behind my father. Two more guards came up the path we had taken, Lucas between the two of them. He had been stitched back up, his face clean of the blood but still bruised and swollen. He shot me a dirty look, hand on his gun. He turned his attention to the men holding Cory. He said something and they dropped him, hard on the ground.