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It was supposed to be used for cutting vegetables, but the blade leaving his hands felt so unique that for a moment he believed that that could be its only purpose. Time seemed to slow down as the metal knife sliced through the air and impaled itself in Tremaine’s side. He rushed to her side, horrified. She let out a strangled cry of pain, but soon lost consciousness as a result of blood loss. He really hadn’t meant to kill her. He removed the knife, thinking that would help, but it only increased the amount of blood spilling onto the floor and covering his hands. There was no going back. No second chances. She lay dead on the kitchen floor, still holding the earrings in her right hand. He picked them up and put them on. He had just finished the fastenings when his father, awoken by the cries of his bride, stepped into the room. He saw Tremaine on the floor. He saw her blood covering Caetano’s hands as he put on her earrings.

Caetano’s father glared at him with such anger that Cae was struck with paralyzing terror. His father had been angry at him before in his life, but this was different. This was unadulterated hatred. Caetano lost control of his bladder as his father snatched up the knife and grabbed Caetano by the shoulder, his grip tight enough to bruise. If his father noticed the tears streaking down Cae’s cheeks or the wet patch forming on Caetano’s trousers, he didn’t react. His focus was on Caetano’s ears. He gripped the top of Caetano’s head with the same power he had used on Caetano’s shoulder and the knife. With one swift motion, he sliced into Caetano’s left ear, cutting of the point and the earring with it. Caetano wrenched free from his grasp and ran out the door into the night. He kept running until he could barely stand. Then he climbed a tree and tried to muffle his cries with his arm. His teeth dug into his forearm until the only sound he could hear was the terrified beating of his own heart.

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