Chapter Twenty-Nine - Abby
Alexz was stalking Cory like a lioness catching dinner for her cubs. She ran the blade from wrist to wrist, following all the curves of Cory’s muscles as she passed his shoulders. Goose bumps rose on his skin from the cool air that seemed to blow into the gazebo. My feet were numb from the cold ground, pain aching up my ankles.
“Abigail, I am going to give you a choice. If you agree to help me with my plans, I will cut Cory loose and he will be free to go. If not, I’m going to let Alexz practice with my knives on his skin. What’s your choice?” Father said, crossing his arms in front of him.
“Don’t do it.” Cory said, causing me to look at him. “Don’t. I’m not worth it.”
“Alexz, care to provide an example of what I’m talking about?” Alexz nodded towards my father. I couldn’t see Cory’s back but I did see her move with a quick sweeping motion, slashing the skin on his back. Blood splattered from the blade as he cried out on pain, pulling against the chains. I gasped, jumping forward. The grip the guards had on me tightened as they yanked me back.
“Are we clear?” My father asked me. “Each moment you hesitate, he’ll get another injury. What’s your choice?”
“I’m fine, Abz. Don’t listen to him.” Cory said, locking eyes with me. Alexz moved again, another slash to his back. He winced, arching away from her.
“Please don’t do this!” I exclaimed, giving my father a pleading look. “You’re hurting him!”
“Agree to the terms and I will release him.” He said. I didn’t answer, causing him to shrug his shoulders. Alexz repeated the action again twice, Cory swearing loudly.
“I can do this all night, Abby. He has a lot of skin to work with.” Alexz called out, slicing a small cut into Cory’s bicep. I glared at her, rage fueling in my chest. The gem was bouncing around so hard in the metal box around my neck that it was lifting up off my skin. I wish it was burst out of its prison and help me wipe these horrible people off the face of the earth. It was no use though. It banged off the walls but they didn’t end bend or dent.
“Again, Alexz.” Father called. She did as she was told, swiping the blade over his skin three more times. Blood was dripping on the ground behind him, the dark red color sending chills through my body. He gasped and flinched with each cut, squeezing his eyes shut tight with pain. Alexz’ heels clicked as she skipped back to the front of Cory, tracing his chest with the blade.
“Well?” She asked, giving me a pregnant glance. My mouth was dry as I glared at her. Turning back to Cory, she pushed the blade into the skin of his left peck and slowly dragged it down in a diagonal line. He let out a yell of pain as she did, the chains straining from him pulling on them. She didn’t pause as she went for his other peck.
“STOP IT!” I screamed. “I’ll do it. I’ll do it! Just please don’t hurt him anymore.” Sobs escaped me as tears streamed down my face. Alexz smiled widely at me over her shoulder before walking over to my father. He took the dagger from her and handed it to the guard next to him.
“I knew you would see the light sooner or later, dear.” My father stated, stepping toward me. He ran a hand over my hair before facing Cory who was hanging limply there, trying to catch his breath. Blood seeped down his torso, soaking into the black pants he wore. “Thank you for your assistance, Agent Forester. We could not have done this without you.” Scorpio nodded at the guards who were holding my arms. They released me, allowing me to run forward.
“Cory? Cory. Are you alright?” I whispered, cupping his face in my hands. His eyes slowly opened and he grinned down at me.
“You weren’t supposed to give up that easy, kid. I still had some fight left in me.”
“You’re so dumb. I couldn’t just stand there and let them keep hurting you like that. I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay. You’re safe. That’s all that matters to me. Let me get out of these chains and I’ll get you out of here.”
“No.” I whispered, shaking my head. “You’re going to get out of here. Leave and don’t come back. It was a mistake coming here to rescue me. This is all my fault and I can’t risk your life.”
“I’m not leaving here without you, Abz. I love you. I can’t leave you behind.” A tear slid down my cheek as I smiled at him.
“I love you, too. That’s why you need to go. Thank you so much for showing me the kind of life I would have loved to have with you even if it was just for a few days. I’m so grateful to have met you.” Standing on my toes, I pressed my lips against his.
“I can’t spend the rest of my life knowing that I didn’t try to save you from this hell.” He whispered, pressing his forehead against mine.
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. This is just where I am meant to be.” With one last kiss, I turned to my father. “I said yes so let him go.”
“Well, there is just one more thing we need to do first.” He glanced at his watch. “And would you look at that! Midnight. It’s officially Christmas. What kind of host would we be if we didn’t invite the special agent to your wedding?” Lucas walked over and roughly grabbed my elbow, pulling me towards my father. I yanked my arm out of his grasp, taking a step back from him.
“I thought we were going to do it in the morning.” I said, glaring at Lucas.
“Yes, but why waste this golden opportunity! Cory can be your witness to your union. I hope you don’t mind, Agent Forester. We were going to do this in the morning but plans do seem to change an awful lot when you’re in the picture.” He cleared his throat and clasped his hands in front of him. “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join these two in the eyes of the Lord. Love is of many lovely things including honor, loyalty and obedience.” Scorpio turned to Lucas. “Lucas, do you promise to love Abigail for the rest of your life? To love, honor and cherish her through sickness and in health, richer or for poorer, until death does you part?”
“I do.” Lucas said, grinning at me. I glanced over at Cory who was struggling in his restraints again, trying his best to get to me. A guard walked over and grabbed him by the hair, forcing him to look up at us.
“Abigail, do you promise to love Lucas for the rest of your life? To love, honor and obey him through sickness and in health, richer or poorer, until death does you part?” The gazebo fell silent as everyone looked at me. I couldn’t find my voice, unable to make a sound. Rolling his eyes, Lucas pulled his handgun from his waist and pointed it at Cory. He cocked it and glared down at me.
“We’re waiting for an answer, darling.” Lucas said, proving he was in no mood for patience.
“I do!” I exclaimed, finally able to speak. He put his gun back, forcibly grabbing my elbows.
“Since I know no one will be objecting, we will skip to the best part! With the power invested in me by the state of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.” The guards, my father and Alexz clapped as Lucas pulled me closer to him and forced his mouth on mine. I shoved him off of me, causing me to stumble to the ground. Two guards also undid the chains holding Cory, sending him to the ground as well. He collapsed, a groan escaping his lips as he landed. He pushed himself up on his knees as I tried to crawl towards him. Lucas grabbed me by the hair though, pulling me to my feet. The guards grabbed Cory and forced him to stand. “Please show Agent Forester our best regards on his way out.”