She inhaled deeply while peeking through the slightly open blinds.
Her heart was hammering in her chest, and there was a slight tremble in her hands.
Her mother was soundlessly sleeping on the hospital bed and Clarice was impatiently waiting for her to wake.
Clarices mind was swarmed with intrusive thoughts that could not seem to come to a halt.
She could not stop thinking about Cerberus, nor the fact that he wished to rid himself of her mark.
That thought made her stomach churn in disgust - she hated it.
She hated that he could do something like that without an ounce of regret. She hates him.
But as she had told him, nothing that he could ever do is a surprise to her, for she had grown used to his ruthless ways.
The sound of the monitors beeping wildly shook Clarice out of her state and she instantly swirled around - her eyes no longer glued on the void night sky and the large trees that swayed in the cool breeze.
“Mommy?” Clarice called out to her mother, her voice brittle and soft as she gazed worriedly at her mothers pale face that had a couple of scratches on it.
Clarice watched as her mother squirmed a bit before her face scrunched up and her eyes slowly blinked open.
Clarice bit her bottom lip nervously while gazing as her mothers eyes slowly adjusted to the room.
“Mom, are you feeling alright? Should I get the healer?” Clarice asked softly, her voice barely above a whisper as she neared her mother.
Kims eyes widened when they reached Clarice and she quickly shook her head before pushing herself up with a groan.
Clarice jumped to help her with furrowed brows, her hands gently grabbing onto Kims shoulders and helping her sit up comfortably, “easy mom, easy.”
The second Clarice tried to pull away her mothers hand swirled around her shoulders and she felt herself get engulfed by her mothers familiar warmth.
Clarice smiled weakly before hugging her mother back - making sure not to apply any pressure to her wounded body.
Kim let out a small whimper on Clarices shoulder that she tried to cover with a weak cough but Clarice easily heard it and pulled back slightly while her mothers hands were still around her.
“Do not cry. Please. It is all going to be alright. See, you are safe, you are with me.” Clarice whispered reassuringly while wiping away her mothers tears.
Kim frowned while shaking her head, “I-” she could not finish her sentence because her throat clogged up and Clarice gently pulled away from her mother and reached for the bottle of water that was on the desk beside the hospital bed.
She opened the bottle and slowly handed it to her mother who took it with a grateful nod and instantly took a sip, Clarice watched her with a frown.
She absolutely hated seeing her mother look so broken.
Kim cleared her throat, “I am glad that you are alright my dear.” Kim stated hoarsely while handing the bottle back to Clarice.
Clarice capped it and placed it where it had been before letting out a confused and humorless chuckle, “me? Mother, you got hurt, I am glad that you are alright.”
Kim shook her head, “what had happened to me...” she trailed off while lowering her gaze, her eyes brimming with a fresh wave of tears that made Clarices nose burn.
“It is not important. I only feared that he would come after you... Nathaniel is.... He is...”
Kim could not finish her sentence and Clarice could feel how hard it was for her mother to talk about this and quickly reached out for her mothers hand and rubbed it soothingly.
“Calm down. You do not have to explain anything right now. Just.... calm down.” Clarice told her softly, her eyes analyzing her mothers tear-stained face.
Kim nodded her head while frowning, her chest was heaving up and down and the erratic beeping of the monitors was all that could be heard in the room as they both succumbed to restless silence.
After about a long minute of consoling her mother Clarice pulled away from her with a small reassuring smile, Kim watched her daughter curiously.
“I will go get the healer. He must check your wounds and your state. You are utterly shaken, we need to make sure everything is alright.” Clarice stated, slowly explaining to her mother that she was not going to leave her, but instead get the healer and bring him to her.
Kim shook her head and grabbed Clarices hand tightly making Clarice raise a brow worriedly, “do not leave me. Stay here. It is not safe!” Kim stuttered out, it was as though she was in a crazed state that she could not be pulled out of and that concerned Clarice.
“Mom, I am just going to get the healer-”
“No!” Kim cried out loudly before tugging Clarice closer towards her, groaning in pain when she felt a sting in her torso and Clarice noticed the way her mothers flushed and tear-stained face scrunched up.
“Do not go out there alone!” Kim warned with wide eyes making Clarices face fall - her mothers hysteria was shaking her to her core.
She had never in her life seen her mother look this way and it worried her.
“Mother, calm down. You are in the hospital there is no danger here.” Clarice tried to remind her mother, hoping to bring her out of her trance.
Kim looked wildly from side to side, her hammering heartbeat echoed in Clarices ears and she could see how frightened her mother was and that made her heart hurt.
Her father must have horrified her.
Kim pulled Clarice closer and grabbed her cheeks, making sure her daughter was looking at her and only at her.
Clarice gulped and felt her eyes well up when she noticed the way her mothers orbs twinkled with despair and fear - it broke her heart.
“Mom, please.” Clarice begged her, begging her to shake out of this state.
Kim shook her head before gulping loudly, her bottom lip quivering.
“You are in danger. If he finds you, he will not stop until he gets you, and if he does...” Kims voice cracked loudly making a stray tear trail out of Clarices left eye, her own heartbeat picking up.
Kim inhaled shakily, “if he takes you-”
Clarice cut her mother off, “who mother? If who takes me?”
Kim closed her eyes tightly before opening them, the stern narrow in her eyes overpowered anything else and Clarice could see how serious her mother was in this moment.
“Dad?!” Clarice cried out in confusion, “I do not understand, why would he-”
“He is not your father and if he finds you, if he takes you, he will never let you go.”
Clarice felt as though the world was falling around her and she could feel her vision begin to blur.
She suddenly felt light and as though she could not stand, if it had not been for her mothers hands on her cheeks, she was sure she would have allowed herself to succumb to the darkness once again.
Her chest felt tight and everything felt a lie.
“What” she breathed out in confusion, struggling to find her breath, Kim watched her through tear glossed vision with a frown on her face.
“It is true my dear, unfortunately, it is very true. That man, he is not your father.”