He spoke the name with an air of distaste that did not go unnoticed by the blonde. The fake smile on her face widened and she was almost barring her teeth at him.
“Did you need something?” He asked trying to contain himself from slapping her hand away.
Marissa only took his question as an invitation. She let her hand drop from his shoulder and sat down next to him, on the seat that Nikolai would be occupying in minutes. The skin-tight outfit she wore did nothing to hide her form. Her breasts were pressed tightly together and Ax wondered how she was even able to breathe properly.
A teasing glint shone in her eyes. Marissa raised her arm again, this time to trail down the front of his shirt. She dug her nails into his skin trying to cause a reaction out of the brooding man. The one night they had spent together had been as uneventful as one would expect yet she continued trying to make him remember. Sure Marissa was beautiful but everything about her seemed fake. And desperate.
“Mar.” He thought that calling her by her nickname would be enough to convince her. “Nothing will happen between us again. Just get it through your skull.”
“Give me one chance.″ She purred and let her fingers fall into his lap. “I’ll show you just how good I am, then you won’t be able to let me go.” She said as a matter-of-fact.
She had been throwing herself at him ever since they were in high-school yet she still hadn’t understood. Always had been a slow learner that one.
“You see that’s what separates you from the women I actually enjoy to fuck.” He muttered already exhausted by breathing the same air as her. “They are not desperate. And they do not have to convince me.” Celia had put up a good fight before giving in to him and he admired her for that. The hunter within him had enjoyed the chase, he wanted nothing more than to claim what was rightfully his.
Marissa’s expression turned sour.
She never was really good at accepting defeat.
She would eventually crawl back to her cave in order to lick her wounds and accept her defeat but until that she would try every dirty little trick she had learned over the past few years.
Time spent in her presence was becoming more and more tedious. Her presence was intolerable, to say the least. She never had anything remotely engaging to say and so after a quick fuck, she was disposed of like an old toy. To be honest, Ax pitied her. She threw herself at him, needing some reassurance to calm the insecurities she had grown up trying to suppress. Always trying to be perfect, always trying to look composed, it had to be wearing her out.
“You’ll change your mind, you’ll see.” She promised. “Then you will see why I don’t have to beg a man to fuck me.”
“Hell will freeze over before that happens.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you, it will be getting extremely hot.”
Ax ran his hand through his hair and closed his eyes briefly not really understanding why any woman would try to do anything in order to please a man. Had no one taught them that they should feel cherished? That someone should fight for them? Give them all of his attention? Love them until he couldn’t breathe, too consumed by his love and everlasting adoration?
Celia was sitting in one of the tables in the back of the pub along with Mina and her best friend and occasional hook-up, Erik. Celia had met Erik during her first week at the university. He had shown her around the classes she had not already been to and made sure that she had tried at least one kind of pizza from the local Pizza Hut. Celia hadn’t bad the heart to tell him that prepare pizza was not the way to impress an Italian but something made her keep her mouth shut and accept whatever he threw her way. She had been in dire need of friends you see.
She didn’t come to the pub often, she didn’t drink and so being there was kind of an oxymoron just like a sheep in a wolf’s den. It simply made no sense. But somehow the metaphor did not belong in that sentence. She had indeed been at the wolf’s den, several times in fact, but she was not a sheep. Sheep were normally used to describe someone who was misguided and needed to find his way back to flock, however, Celia knew exactly what she was doing and who she was doing it with. She had let her wolf take over her body and torture her mind even when he was not physically present.
So what did that make her?
Would she still be considered a sheep or had she earned her title as a wolf herself? Only time would tell.
The pub was more crowded than she would normally like but that could also be explained based on the fact that it wasn’t part of her character to go out in such places. That was somewhat expected, knowing that introverts could not really enjoy the company of many people. Even open spaces seemed crowded and suffocatingly small after a while. Thoughts stopped running inside your head and it was filled with the voices of the people occupying the room. It was terrifying and sometimes it could feel even painful.
Mina stood up to get drinks for herself and Erik while grabbing a juice for the philosophy student. She couldn’t help but wince when Erik teased her about her choice of beverage. She just shook her head and muttered something about not liking the taste, when in fact the reason behind that little quirk was much darker.
Erik arched his back and stretched before falling against his chair once more.
“So we have established that you might be the only person in this place that doesn’t actually drink.” Erik commented as he saw Mina reach their table while holding a tray, carefully balancing the drinks.
“And?” Celia asked and arched an eyebrow at his direction.
“It’s just frustratingly odd. Everything about you is very odd, suspicious even.”
She almost laughed. What was so suspicious about wanting to keep her privacy?
“Oh well, there’s no point in hiding the truth anymore, you caught me.” She replied, a soft almost amused look crossing her features. “Can you keep a secret?” She leaned closer towards him, wanting to give them the illusion of privacy.
Erik nodded solemnly. “Of course, whatever you want. You have my word.” He promised and looked at her expectantly. Mina was less than ten metres away and each second that passed she grew even closer.
Celia leaned even closer so that his ear was right next to her mouth. “I am a spy.” She whispered and returned to her earlier position trying very hard to conceal her laughter.
For a few seconds, Erik’s face looked ashen and his expression remained serious. He muttered the word ‘spy’ over and over but no sound could be heard. Celia could not contain herself any longer. Her laugh echoed through the busy pub. In seconds she was clutching her stomach and trying to catch her breath. Erik’s eyes narrowed and he gave her a humorless chuckle. “Oh yeah, that’s so amusing. Bullshit your friends. Very funny, Celia.”
“I like to think I’m hilarious.” She articulated.
“You arrogant wrench.” Erik joked. “You are the only person who has that opinion. But seriously who are you? Why the fresh start?” It was apparent that not everybody respected boundaries. Apollo was an exception but Celia suspected that was because his older brother was as secretive as she was. Maybe even more so.
“What’s up with the interrogation, Erik?”
“I’m just your friend. I need to know so that I can help you.” Erik tried reasoning with her but Celia chose not to comply.
“Well if you must know I’m Princess Anastasia of Russia, daughter of Tsar Nikolai the second.” She deadpanned.
By the time the last word came out of her mouth Mina had reached the table and was placing the drinks on each side. Celia held her mango/pineapple juice in her hands and was taking small gulps in her effort of avoiding further discussion about her life.
“Why didn’t Brian come along?” She asked, trying to stray away from their previous conversation. What would happen if they knew the truth about her? Knew that she was nothing more than a good for nothing coward?
“You haven’t heard?” Erik rewarded her with a quizzed expression.
She shook her head. “What happened?” Brian was another one of Mina’s friends.
“He said still in the hospital from when that lunatic attacked him.” Mina informed her. Celia hadn’t been aware of what had occurred. She only knew that someone had attacked Brian but she hadn’t known how seriously he was injured. To be honest, sometimes it felt like events passed her by and nothing even tried to warn her.
“Yeah, I doubt he’ll be coming back here any time soon.” Erik added.
Mina looked lost for a second, searching something inside her mind. Aburtly her features lit up and a giddy smile sat on her expressive face. “By the way, you won’t believe what I saw while I was grabbing the drinks.”
“What did you see, Mina?” Celia inquired politely, knowing that Erik did not care nearly enough to bother with asking the question.
“Well, let’s just say that two of the hottest men this shithole has to offer are just a few tables away from us.” Erik shot her a glare and rolled his eyes.
Mina huffed in response. “Oh, my God Erik you are good looking too. You are just no Alexander Vidal.” Celia almost chocked on her juice when his name was uttered. Thankfully Mina hadn’t seemed to notice while Erik just gave her a questioning look.
Ax is here? She wondered. She knew that she couldn’t make a lot of questions if she wanted to escape her friend’s inquisition.
The only thing she could do was go and see him. Celia excused herself quickly enough and headed towards the restroom, which was placed near the side exit of the pub. On her way there, Celia had to endure every immature action the other occupants of the pub did.
Ax had been pretty easy to spot. A smile lit up Celia’s face when her eyes fell on his muscled form. It was a subconscious reaction, she couldn’t control it but, unfortunately, it was short lived.
Next to Ax sat a woman. Celia could only see part of her profile but it wasn’t hard to see that she was extremely beautiful. Her blonde hair had been tied back in a high ponytail which made her high cheekbones and Angelina Jolie lips become even more pronounced. She was skimpily dressed and Celia burned with anger. Anyone would have been a fool not to notice her.
The blonde was stroking Ax’s arm and her expression showed that she was focused on him. Celia stood still. She couldn’t turn away from the scene that was unfolding right before her very eyes. Her hand trailed toward his clothed chest. She had grown even bolder and Ax did nothing to stop her prying hands.
The woman lazily created patterns on him, stroking him whenever she could get away with it. At some point, Ax grabbed her hand and removed it from his body. Celia felt a breath of relief escape her tense form. The woman rewarded him with a light chuckle and leaned forward to tell him something to which he seemed to have replied rather coolly, from what Celia could gather from his demeanor at least but not even that provided any comfort. Ax was guarded, he didn’t let his emotions on show. He could have been thinking about a million different things and there was no way for her to truly know.
The moment the woman’s hand fell on his lap, Celia took a step back.
The image was battling with her sanity. She had no idea what Ax was doing with that woman but that didn’t mean that she didn’t have any guesses. Perhaps, he had grown tired of her and she was the replacement. Perhaps, she was an old flame, a girlfriend even. That would certainly explain the reason why he had been so secretive with her.
She felt sick. Her body screamed at her to leave, to abandon the theatre before the play had even reached the ending scene.
Celia felt betrayal running thick through her veins. It filled her being completely and took everything she had to give. Betrayal came with an old friend of Celia’s : Bitterness. Bitterness was all she tasted.
All she needed to do was return to her home and sleep, forget that she had ever witnessed such a scene. Perhaps, she could even try stuffing her face with ice cream in her quest of sending the Bitterness away. She did not need him or any other man for that matter. She was perfectly capable of fending for herself. She was independent. She was strong, stronger than most people.
But at the same time, she wasn’t.
There was a part of her that didn’t want to be strong at that moment. That part wanted to wallow in self-pity due to how inadequate she had apparently been. She wanted to do what any traumatized animal would do: hide and hope sleep could heal.
When her phone rang she knew it was him and no matter how desperately she wanted to avoid him she couldn’t help but take it out of the pocket of her jeans. As soon as she saw his name on the screen she closed her eyes and took in a deep breath, summoning all the courage she could find.
Celia returned to the table she had previously occupied and made up an excuse. She left after promising Mina to call her as soon as she had arrived home safely. She didn’t waste a second. Her feet carried her to her car where she opened the door and stepped inside.
Ax had not stopped calling her but she had no real desire to answer him. So her phone continued to ring and Celia tried to drown out the sound with angsty rock.
Ax was persistent, she had to give him that. He never stopped, not even hours later when she had reached her bed and was trying to summon Morpheus and his healing powers.
Celia couldn’t keep her thoughts at bay and the fact terrified her. She couldn’t help but think that he was with her. Touching her, caressing her flawless body in the same way he had caressed Celia’s just hours ago.
She tried to resist but a sob escaped against her will. The sound, although practically non-existent, was heartbreaking. Betrayal had never felt so painful.
Ax had come into her life unexpectedly. He had established a place for himself in her life, he had made her crave his presence, his touch but he had never asked for permission.
He did as he pleased.
And she loved that.
She needed that.
She craved that, she craved him.
She wanted him with a burning passion. It was just like the old saying ’when life gives you lemons...′, unfortunately, she appeared to have squeezed them right into her eyes.
As if she needed any more proof about how much of an invalid she was.
She was destructive , towards herself and others. Mostly others. At a very tender age she had been the reason at least five lives had been destroyed beyond repair. There was no way that she could ever forget it.
And how could she forget it? If it hadn’t been for her and her reckless behavior Jay would have still been alive. He would have gone to law school, just like he had always planned. He would have been able to travel and see the world, he would have been able to experience so much more than he actually had. But because of her, he would never fall in love, he would never marry, never have kids or grow old. Because of her stupidity, Jay would be a teen spirit forever.
’No one can love a ruin. And look just what happens to those who do.′ Her father’s final words to her kept ringing in her ears. Celia had been used to it by now, there is nothing she could have done to change the past.
Oh, but how she longed to do it. Return to a time when everything was simple when innocence was real. However, that would forever be characterized as wishful thinking.
Celia was lying on her Queen sized bed. The bed was warm but she missed the comfort that came when Ax’s body was wrapped around her own. The warmth of his body collided with hers and she was at peace. Celia couldn’t explain it but his presence provided comfort, she actually felt secure in his arms.
He took the nightmares away but he was also the reason they returned.
Perhaps Olivia had been right and perhaps Eros was not the only toxic one in the family.
Sleep did not come to Celia easily. Her mind kept torturing her, showing her pictures of the blonde woman. She had been way to beautiful to help with her ego. Celia replayed how her greedy hands were all over Ax and it awakened a primal instinct inside of her. She wanted nothing more than to have gone over to them and grabbed the woman by the hair, dragging her away from the black haired mechanic.
Celia had an over active imagination. Due to that, she was capable of creating ten different scenarios from one scene. She was the give her an inch she’ll take a mile type.
When sleep eventually graced her with his presence she was too tired to care that he had brought along the man that dominated her dreams along with her real life.
Ax stepped out if the overly crowded bar. His head was aching from the sound of laughter that originated from drunk college students and all kinds of other disinteresting people.
He was very glad that the day was almost over but he knew that he had a lot to do before he could even contemplate being truly peaceful and appreciative of the fact that he was free.
The first thing he had to do was seek comfort in the arms of his little dove.
As soon as his feet touched the pavement a few steps away from the entrance of the pub he called her number once but she didn’t pick up. After that, he called her, again and again, trying to reach her, but she never responded. He was confused by the turn of events. Had something happened? Had he done anything wrong? Ax tried to recall if he had said or done anything to offend her but his memory did not reward him with anything.
Darker thoughts crossed his deviant mind. What if something had happened to her?
Once the thought had registered he moved decisively towards his car, which was parked only about half a bloke away from the pub. He didn’t enjoy the crowded streets and so it was better for him to be able to get away quickly and not wait for somebody to move his car if the need appeared.
As soon as he reached his car he knew what he had to do.
Primal instincts took over at the moment that he fired the ignition of the Jeep. He couldn’t sit back and do nothing, it wasn’t part of his nature. The need to protect what he considered as his own was overwhelming. He needed to be sure that she was safe before teaching her a lesson for ignoring him.
The drive to her house seemed to be taking ages. Ax couldn’t even see straight, too caught up in his quest to even bother. Everything was a blur. The hunter inside him refused to acknowledge anything besides her. He came to a stop and killed the engine directly in front of her house.
He took out his cell phone and his fingers hovered over her number. He noticed that her car was parked in her driveway and that the lights in her bedroom were turned on. Ax caught her shadow moving across the room and felt relief flow around his system immediately.
Thank fuck. He thought as his breathing returned to normal.
But if she wasn’t harmed then why was she ignoring him?
His eyes narrowed as her shadow came to his view again. His relief turned into white hot anger as he continued to call her and she continued to ignore him. Ax didn’t stop calling, not even when he saw that she had turned off the lights and had most likely gone to sleep. His patience was running thin.
What game was she playing at?
Ax had to restrain himself from breaking down her door and ask for explanations. He had tried to be gentle with her, tried hard not to give her any reason to leave before he could push her away. That is what would happen at some point, Ax was sure of it.
But for the time being, he needed her more than he needed air. She was capable of taking all his worries and throwing them away. Sometimes Ax almost felt like she knew what was troubling him, what was weighting him down.
But it was impossible, how could she have ever known?
“One last time.” He mumbled to himself before pressing the button again. One last time and then he was moving on to plan B. The phone rang and rang causing his frustration to grow.
He almost terminated the call a second before his phone’s speakers were dominated by her voice. “Hello?” Her voice was soft but there was a groggy quality about it that made Ax wondered if she had indeed decided to sleep at some point.
“Hello?” He repeated incredulously. Was she serious? Had she just brushed him off with a freaking hello?
“Yes, hello Ax. How may I be of assistance tonight?” Sarcasm doesn’t suit you little dove.
He decided to let her comment pass, not giving it much thought. “I am angry with you.” He stated simply as he stared directly at her window, waiting for her room to light up. It never happened. Apparently, Celia was as much of a nocturnal animal as he was.
And who could blame her? The darkness gave solace to those who sought after it. It was the only time sinners didn’t have to hide. They could run free and satisfy their desires no matter how dark or twisted they were. The darkness nurtured, it healed.
In the darkness, there were only two categories of people: Preys and Predators. Preys were more naive, they didn’t understand how freeing the dominance of darkness felt. They were too afraid of the monsters lurking to appreciate its beauty.
Celia had shown him that she was not afraid of anything with skin. Her fears involved a different kind of monsters. Her monsters did not disappear after the Sun rose, blending in with the preys like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. No, her monsters remained monsters and so they hid their true identities from everyone, even themselves. Ax briefly wondered if she was one of those monsters.
“Oh, the irony.” She muttered and rewarded him with a bitter chuckle.
Ax didn’t understand her sudden change of attitude. “I’m outside your house. You have two minutes to get down.” Ax terminated the call before Celia could start arguing with him.
Five whole minutes passed before Ax caught a glimpse of her figure stepping outside the small house. The young woman turned around reluctantly. Her eyes skimmed the area before locating his Jeep.
It was dark but as it is known all nocturnal animals can find their way better when there isn’t an ounce of light. Celia’s feet carried her to his car. She took in a deep breath and opened the door, feeling his scolding hot gaze on her face immediately.
Celia did not let that discourage her. He could be angry all he wanted but that did not change the truth and what had actually occurred.
Ax’s eyes scrutinized every inch of her semi covered body but were not able to find any bruises or other signs of abuse. The only thing that actually gave him a sign of what had happened to her was her tear stained cheeks.
What made you like this little dove? Come on, baby, give me something. He thought and tried, in vain, to gain her attention. Instead of obeying Celia stared straight ahead into the darkness.
A muscle tickled in his jaw. “So now you are ignoring me?”
“Whatever gave you that idea?” She inquired indifferently.
Ax shook his head and muttered something incoherent under his breath. He raised a hand to touch her but once he was able to reach her, she flinched away. Ax immediately withdrew his hand and a confused look crossed his expression.
“If you don’t fucking want me to touch you, then at least turn around and look at me.” Once she had obeyed he felt the primal urge to growl in response to her indifference. “What the fuck is going on, little dove?”
“I’m sorry to disappoint you but everything is fine.” Her voice did not resemble her. It was an odd thing to think Ax knew that but he couldn’t help himself. It bothered him immensely.
Her eyes matched the coldness and aloofness of her voice. She gave nothing away but Ax knew that something had happened to her, he just couldn’t figure out the what. The hunter inside him begged him to crush her against his frame and give her the comfort she had to be seeking.
His arms shot out before he could think the action through. They rested on her shoulders and he couldn’t help but shake her a little bit, trying to bring her back to her normal fiery self.
“You do not get to play this game with me, Celia.” He yelled at her. Ax was beyond enraged by his and her actions and there was nothing he could do to stop himself from feeling this way. “You’ve been ignoring me all motherfucking night, why Is that?”
Celia wanted to get out of his car but she also wanted to be petty. She wanted to ask him about the woman and know how long he had been playing with her.
“I don’t want to see you anymore.” She stated firmly.
Ax showed no emotion. He kept his unshaven face indifferent but on the inside, a storm was brewing and it promised disastrous results. He couldn’t but ask himself if she had found somebody else. A boy her age, someone who couldn’t even shave yet. Someone who couldn’t satisfy the darkness inside her.
“And why is that?” He inquired without a hint of curiosity.
“Oh, it’s nothing really. I simply figured out the reason why we always seem to be hiding.” She knew nothing, Ax was sure of it. If she did know the truth about his secrecy she wouldn’t be inside his car she would be running far away from him.
“There’s no reason to hide, you know. I saw you earlier.” She replied. Celia tried to stop any sarcastic comments from being heard. “She’s beautiful, you shouldn’t fuck around behind her back.” She commented and then continued. “And to think that I was convinced you were a decent man. Also, I’d like to apologize for the scene I’m making, I can assure you I don’t make a habit of it, but I deserve better than being a side piece. Even if it is for you.”
Ax nodded and tried, unsuccessfully, to hide a smile. “Are you done?” Celia nodded.
“I have to admit there’s a lot of unreleased anger inside that small body of yours but that’s beside the point. The point is that you are being ridiculous.”
“Am I now?”
“Yes.” He spoke in a patronizing tone. “If you are referring to the woman that was sitting beside me at the pub then I’ll have you know that I don’t make the same mistakes twice.”
″I don’t understand.” Nor did she want to, to be honest.
“Marissa is a walking STD that doesn’t take no for an answer.” He explained.
Celia shook her head. “Even if that’s true, I still don’t feel like we should continue.”
“You’re jealous.” There was something oddly fascinating about knowing that she cared enough about him to give in to the green eyed monster. “There’s nothing wrong with being jealous, little dove.”
Celia received his words as an effort to taunt her. She turned her body and moved closer to him, wanting her glare to be visible in the limited light. “I don’t care about who you fuck. I just don’t want to be played with.”
Ax moved closer towards her. One of his hands was resting on the glove department while the other was on the head of her seat. He had caged her like the predator he was.
“For fuck's sake, Celia.” His fist collided with the glove department causing it to pop open. It felt like time had slowed down at that moment. One word ran through his head as he saw that her eyes took notice of what was inside. Fuck.
Celia stared at the item in question with curiosity. She did not appear afraid but perhaps she had perfected her poker face in the hours they had been apart. “Why exactly are you carrying a weapon, Ax?”
“For protection.” He replied simply.
Celia nodded. “And who do you need protection from?”
“People who want me dead.” Ax believed that being vague with her would help keep her away from true danger. Ax was aware that he was hurting the younger woman with his behavior but there was nothing else he could do. He wanted to keep her. Wanted her to be his but he couldn’t have that, at least not wholly, for as long as Bruce was breathing the same air as him.
“I understand that you are dealing with a lot but all of this is just another thing I can’t handle. I’m sorry.” She was conflicted. On the one hand, she wanted nothing more than to give herself to him. Follow him into the darkness and let him guide her. But on the other hand, she knew she couldn’t return to her old way of living.
He was everything she knew she had to avoid yet she couldn’t stay away.
“Don’t you fucking walk out on me.” He commanded but he knew he held no real power over her.
“Not everything is about you, Ax. Let me go.” Usually, Ax loved her fire but at the moment he wouldn’t mind being the one that extinguished it.
“Listen to me. I will only say this once.” He fumed. “I am dealing with some shit from my past. I am also trying to remain in control of the situation but right now you are being a real pain in the ass.”
“I am deeply sorry I am being such an inconvenience.” Her tone matched his. She was still caged between his arms and her hazel eyes were glued to his rich dark blue ones.
Perhaps it was the proximity or perhaps it was the fact that he was acting like an untamed animal but whatever the reason might be she wanted him. She wanted him like she had never wanted anything before in her life, however, she felt something inside her burn. It begged to be let out.
Her first confession.
“Do you honestly believe I can keep this charade up forever? I am a warm body to you. You fuck me and then I’m on my way. I deserve more than that, Ax.” She confessed and shakily raised one hand towards his face. Her palm connected softly with his stubbled cheek and she simply left it there. “I am not able to get my thoughts straight because hours pass and then I find myself in the exact same position.”
Ax resisted the urge to close his eyes and lean in her touch. “You want me.” He argued, wanting desperately to make her see that they were both victims of the bond they shared. That magnetic feeling that brought them together shouldn’t be the reason they would be apart.
Celia nodded. “Yes, I do. Really fucking bad but it doesn’t matter.”
“Oh, but it does.” He contradicted. “I want you too. That’s why I have been doing this, all this time. I can’t stand not seeing you, touching you even if it is only for a day.”
“When you want somebody, you don’t keep them in the dark. You don’t treat them like this.” Her hand fell from his face and her body turned away from him, reaching for the door handle. “I need to sleep, I have class in the morning.” She excused herself with those words.
“Goodbye, Ax.” The door opened but before Celia was able to get out of the car his strong arms grabbed her by the waist and dragged her back to his muscled chest. His movements were made in panic, he needed her to see reason and so he tried to show her how perfectly they fit together. Her head turned in his direction, she probably wanted to demand he let her go, but the mechanic had other plans.
His lips pressed against hers possessively. Their tongues fought for dominance in a battle that was surely going to end without a winner. Ax’s grip on her might have been bruising but she replied just as ferociously. The kiss reeked of passion and desperation, a very bad combination.
Ax could feel her defenses slip away as a small whimper escaped from her lips. However, she broke the kiss before he could convince her of staying. She pushed against his chest and was able to slip away from his grasp.
“This isn’t over.” Ax promised.
“Oh, but it is.” She contradicted walking away from the car, practically running towards the safety of her house. Run from the Wolf, little girl, but don’t think for a minute that he won’t find you.
And he let her.
He let her leave.