Chapter 40: Family Prison
In that moment, everything felt perfectly right: that’s how I knew everything was horribly wrong.
As I emerged into our home, I noticed the awfully crowded entrance hall and my father who stood but a few feet before me with a terrible look of utter worry and anger on his face. My eyebrows furrowed at him, my eyes shifting to look at my brother who edged closer to me as I came to a halt.
“What’s going on?” I hesitantly asked.
I was reluctant about standing in a room with so much tension floating in the air. Even more so when I saw the angry look on my father’s face shift to utter fury as his eyes landed on Hunter.
“Dad?” I called in a shaky breath.
He’d moved so fast that I saw nothing and felt a gust of air brush past me, brushing my hair to my face.
“What the hell were you doing with my daughter?!” My father snarled.
I heard a loud slam behind me, and it made my blood run cold. Before I could so much as turn to look at what I had already pictured in my head, I felt my brother’s grip on my upper arm. In one swift movement, I found myself standing at the far end of the room being held by Kyle’s untiring grip. Fortunately, my brother wasn’t so cruel that he allowed me to have sight on what appeared to be my father grasping Hunter’s neck
“Dad! Stop!” I cried out.
I tried with everything inside of me to move toward the situation to try to stop my father, but my brother’s grip only tightened as he grasped harder onto my upper arm, bruising my flesh.
“Kyle..?” I whimpered in pain.
He looked at me with sorrowful eyes and he whispered, “I’m sorry…”
How could you..?
My father’s growls filled the air and though the strongest woman—person—in the world stood but a couple of feet from my father, she did nothing to stop him. Instead, she looked at Hunter with apprehension.
It came of no surprise to me that she wouldn’t stand up against my father. After all, what kind of friend would she be if she stood in between my father and the man that he believed someway harmed his precious daughter?
“Celic, did he hurt you?” My father tried to ask calmly.
“What..? N-No!” I stuttered. “D-Dad, he didn’t hurt me.”
I wasn’t sure what hurt more: the fact that he didn’t believe me or that he wouldn’t give me the chance to prove to him that Hunter was innocent of whatever crime my father thought he was guilty of.
“Where the hell did you take her?” My father glowered at Hunter.
When it took too long for Hunter to answer, my father grew even more irritated and snarled, “Answer me!”
His eyes shifted to a pitch-black color with blood-red orbs and the veins that surfaced beneath them slithered up from his cheeks to the brim of horrifying eyes. I saw his fangs elongate when he threatened Hunter with a hiss.
The unique look never ceased to make my heart drop and my blood run cold. No matter how long I lived beside them, I would never get used to the terrorizing look of a Seeker getting to a “losing control” point.
May I love one, may I spend the rest of my life beside them all, I may forever fear the very same things that protect me.
It seemed, I wasn’t the only one who was afraid.
“In the woods!” Hunter gave in. “To a waterfall in the damn woods…”
I could see it in his eyes: he may have been just as afraid as I was. However, unlike I, Hunter didn’t fear for his life. Instead, he feared the truth of what ending his life meant: me shattering into nothing.
My father’s breathing had become erratic as he clearly fought to stay in control. I could tell that he was really trying to have mercy on Hunter. Unfortunately, at death’s hand may they be, the Seekers, Hunter in specific, had a tendency of not knowing when to keep his mouth shut.
“Did you touch her?” My father growled lowly.
Hunter smirked, a scoff breaking past his lips.
“I didn’t fuck her, if that’s what you want to know.” He spat.
My father didn’t like that. He really didn’t like that.
“Dad, no!” I screamed at the top of my lungs as I watched him drive his hand through Hunter’s chest and took hold of what I knew was his heart.
“Dad, please!” I cried. “Please, don’t do this!” I fought.
I punched my brother as hard as I could. I struggled against his grip with all of my strength, but it was useless.
My eyes locked with Hunter’s for a brief moment, and I could tell what he was saying loud and clear to me. His dying words to me were: I love you.
“I-I love him…” My voice cracked as tears streamed down my face.
I felt my stomach turn, a knot form at the brim of my throat, and the air leave my lungs.
I couldn’t breathe.
There was a loud ringing in my ears and all of my senses numbed for a split second. I thought it was all over until I heard my father speak.
“What?” He spat.
Slowly, he turned to look at me with those horrifying eyes of his. And, in that moment, I knew that he was still my father. He terrified me to death, but in that moment, I knew that he was my father. And my father would never harm his children. Because, to my father, his children were his world.
I was my father’s world.
“I’m in love him.” I let out in a shaky breath.
It was the greatest act of defiance, but it had to be done. I could see from the corner of my eye that the only one who had tried to fight for me was my mother who was being held back by her own brother.
The room spun for a moment, and I could see everyone’s faces as my father came back to me. His eyes shifted to norm as the threatening veins sunk and his behind his face. It had gone so silent that a pin crashing onto the marble floor would’ve been so loud that it’d have pierced my ears.
I felt guilty and not for loving the person that I loved. I felt guilty because I was who my father was most proud of, but in that moment, I disappointed him to no end.
As terrible as it may be, the only thing that I feared just about as much as losing Hunter was disappointing my father.
What have I done..?
“Go to your room…” My father’s voice trailed off.
He drew his hand from Hunter’s chest, stained with Hunter’s blood but void of his heart. I thought that the tears would stop falling from my eyes once I saw that my beloved was safe, but they didn’t. Instead, they fell faster and harder.
“Now, Celic.” He cut me off.
I wanted him to yell at me. I wanted him to tell me that he was furious with me because maybe then he’d forgive me. But, he never did.
“I can’t look at you right now.” He whispered.
“Now!” He snarled.
I flinched so hard that it may have been what caused Kyle’s grip to finally loosen and let me go.
“Or, I swear I’ll kill him.” My father added as he slowly reverted his sight to Hunter.
I could feel everyone’s stares on me, burning holes into my skin. When all of this was as it was, all I could do was look to the man that I wanted to hold me, just as he had that night that I fell apart.
When my eyes landed on him, he wouldn’t dare look at me. I didn’t know if it was because he too was disappointed in me, but I suspected as much.
The Hunter that I knew would’ve wanted me to hold onto my pride and tell my father on my own terms—not out of desperation.
If there was any way that my heart could break more, I prayed that I’d never feel that kind of pain. Because in that moment, I wanted nothing more than to disappear into the abyss.
“I’m sorry…” I whispered.
With that, I did as my father wanted: I left. I turned on my heels and went straight to me room, just as he wanted me to.
I closed the door behind me and sat on the cold floor with my back pressed against the cold wood. My knees were bent before me and I hugged them tightly with my arms as I tried to keep my heart from falling out of my chest.
Or, at least, it felt as if I was trying to keep my heart from breaking out of me.
“You’re going to stay the hell away from her.” I heard my father say.
I couldn’t tell if he was still angry or just bitterly disappointed, but seconds after those words left his mouth, I heard the front door slam shut.
He was gone.
Hunter was gone.
A couple of minutes went by before I heard a pair of footsteps cease at my doorstep and I sensed the presence of the second person who had betrayed me today: Elijah.
I never gave him the chance to knock: I banged on the door and yelled, “Go away!”
I was glad that he wasn’t persistent and that he left just as I asked him to—I didn’t want to see anyone or be with anyone. It felt as if my world was falling apart and all I could do was sit there and think about how I’d forever be this way. And, the longer I sat there, the more I understood why Silver left.
This was why she left. If I was this restricted, then she must have been in her own family-built prison. Unlike me, she came from a long line of Seekers. Unlike me, her mother was just as strong as her father; therefore, no place for her to feel any sense of solitude from this form of slavery. She could never escape this hell unless she had done it exactly the way that she did it.
Ultimately, it didn’t cost her a thing. She never had her freedom to begin with. At least with Erebus, she had what her parents took from her before she was even born: choices.
She has choices…
Maybe it was time that I got to make choices too.
My eyes rose, shifting to the set of double doors that opened to a balcony. I blinked the last tears from my eyes, and as my eyelids rose, I saw him.
There he was—Hunter—standing in my bedroom with the doors to the balcony wide open.
“Hunter?” I called.
“Hello, Little Dove.” His voice was a relief.
Reluctantly, I rose to my feet. It was his impatience that drove him to rush to me and wrap his arms around me tightly. He held me as if he was trying to put me back together.
“Hunter…” I whispered. “You have to go. If my father f—”
“I don’t give a damn.” He cut me off.
He slightly pulled away from me, briefly, only to plant a gentle kiss on my lips.
“I don’t care. I had to make sure you were okay.” He said.
A warmth filled my chest, and I wanted nothing more than to make sure that it stayed there and that the warmth that I knew that he felt in his own did as well.
Our eyes shared each other, selflessly, for a while, and it was good. It was so good.
“I can’t stay here. You know that, right?” He whispered as his hand rose to cup my cheek.
No… Please, don’t leave me.
The bridge of my nose stung, and I could feel my eyes begin to water again. But before I could say a word, Hunter shushed me.
“So, run away with me.” He said with desperate-filled eyes.
He sighed, taking my hands in his to offer reassurance.
“Run away with me, Little Dove.”