Chapter 50: Before The Sun
My blood boiled, anger still coursing through me.
Hope deserved far worse than what I did to her.
If she was so upset because I marked her, she should’ve taken it out on me. At what fault was Kevin? I really didn’t give a damn about Cam, but she also tried to kill my unborn child.
I hoped her body attempted to resist the sunlight because I knew that she was too weak to resist it forever, and her death would come slower.
She deserved a slow and painful death.
My only regret? Trusting her. I should’ve left her in that cellar even if it risked that witch killing her. Hell, it would’ve done me good if she did.
I opened the door to Kevin’s bedroom, walking in as my eyes landed on her small form. She laid on her side, clinging onto her teddy bear, and an ice-pack resting on her cheek.
As I edged into the room, I noticed Jordan leaning against the wall, her arms crossed just beneath her chest, her attention being strictly on Kay.
“Big brother?” The sound of Kevin’s small voice reverted my gaze to her.
I sat beside her and I planted a gentle kiss on the top of her head. “Are you okay?” I asked, my heart breaking the second my gaze met her’s. Her eyes held so much sadness and I couldn’t help but feel guilty for it.
If I had been there, she wouldn’t have gotten hurt.
She was hesitant to take hold of the ice-pack, placing it on the nightstand as she nodded. Now having a clear view of her face, I noticed the scratches on her cheek and healed. Sadly, a bruise had taken their place.
Because of the weak state her body was in, she healed slowly. Very slowly.
A deep sigh passed my lips as I took her hand in mine. “She’s never going to hurt you again. Okay?” I assured her.
“Erebus…” Jordan’s voice trailed off. “I don’t think Hope h—”
“Don’t.” I interrupted her before she could say what I damn well knew she was, but I couldn’t blame her for wondering the same thing I did.
Hope always showed so much kindness towards Kay and risked her life for her. But from what I saw, all fingers were pointed at Hope. I couldn’t stop to ask Kay what happened because she was crying hysterically. She couldn’t talk even if she wanted to.
I acted on impulse.
At that point, I hoped my assumptions weren’t wrong, because if they were...
Kevin’s gaze faltered, shifting away from Jordan and to meet my own as she took my hand in hers. Tears had built at the brim of her eyes, a light sob escaping her mouth.
“Kay, what happened?” I asked.
Watching her cling onto her teddy bear a little tighter, I knew she didn’t want to talk about it.
She released a shaky breath, averting her sight to the teddy bear she clung onto as she asked, “What about her baby..?” Her voice was merely above a whisper.
I furrowed my eyebrows. For a second, I was taken aback. “What baby?”
“Th-The one in her belly…” She muttered.
Why would she be worried about...
My blood ran cold. Every nerve in my body set me on edge.
“Kay, what happened?” Jordan questioned as she approached us. She kneeled to Kevin’s eye level and carefully brushed the hair strands away from Kevin’s face, tucking them behind her ear.
She sighed, “I walked out of big brother’s room and I saw Hope. I asked if she would walk me here and she said she would…” The small tears that threatened to fall only grew larger. “But then we went to the throne room and Cam started calling me mean names...She was mad at me for sleeping with big brother and told me to stay away from him…”
My heart sank.
“She hit me and Hope pushed her away…” With her final words, I felt my face flush.
Anger. Anxiety. Fear. Guilt.
My emotions were overwhelming.
Before she could mutter another word, I rushed out of her bedroom. My desire to rip Cam’s head off drew me to my bedroom, barging in only to find that it was empty.
I growled, yelling for the man who I had ordered to keep watch of her, “Nathan!”
In the next moment, stood before me, having rushed to me. “Yes, s—”
I cut him off, snarling, “Where the hell is she?!”
His eyes widened, the fear that washed over him being obvious. “Sh-She said you gave her permission to leave, s-sir,” he shuffled his words through his teeth.
A growl emitted from the back of my throat as I grabbed the front of his shirt and slammed him against the wall. “I did not give you permission to let her out of this house nor out of your goddamn sight!”
I shoved him out of the room, releasing him from my hold. “Find her. Now!” I demanded as I began to tremble in anger, my skin heating at the mere thought of her.
“Uh..S-Sir...” he stuttered.
“What?!” I spat as I eyed him.
He hesitated, “Th-The sun...”
Then, it dawned on me.
In an instant, I pushed the thought of Cam to the back of my mind, shoving Nathan out of the way as I rushed to the cellar.
The moment I met the passageway leading to the cellar, Hope’s horrifying screams pierced the silence in the air. Within a second, I found myself breaking the door open and running down the long corridor till my eyes landed on Hope.
The smell of burning flesh was overwhelming, the sunlight penetrating the thin layer of glass residing behind her and cascading on her back.
Ignoring the burning on my skin, I rushed past her and took hold of the chain attached to the window shutters. As I pulled them shut, her screams muffled. She cried in pain as she pleaded. “Please, help me…”
I scanned her body and I felt sick to my stomach. Her wounds hadn’t healed. The only thing that prevented her body from completely being drained was the dry blood covering her open wounds.
Her dry blood…
I did this...
The sound of her soft sobs dropped a heavy burden in my chest and it only grew larger by the minute. The guilt that washed over me nearly became unbearable. I despised myself and the longer I looked at her, the feeling of self-hate only grew.
“I’m so sorry…” Was all I could mutter as I broke the shackles holding her wrists captive. Her body collapsed onto me and I held her carefully. My attempt to hold her up without harming her more than I already had was useless. With even the lightest touch, she winced in pain, her cries never stopping.
I carefully secured my arm on her scalded back, placing the other on the back of her knees before gently lifting her up.
Having a clear look at her face, though she kept her eyes closed, I knew that only the top layer had healed. She couldn’t see me, and if she could, I doubted that she recognized me. Even in this state, I knew that she would never let me touch her again. She’d rather die than let me save her life from the danger that I put it in.
When I turned to the side, I caught the witch, Doraime, glaring at me with so much hatred in her eyes. I tried to avoid her, keeping my attention on Hope as I began for the exit. However, just when I stepped into the corridor, the witch spoke.
“You’re a dead man…” her voice trailed off.
I didn’t pay her any attention, continuing my way down the passageway. The only thing keeping the silence at bay was the sound of Hope mumbling.
“Nathan!” I called out as I entered my bedroom. Just as before, within a matter of seconds, he entered the room.
I was in the bathroom now, sitting Hope on the edge of the bathtub. In the brighter light, I could see the extent of what I had done to her, and my breath caught in my lungs. “I need blood…” I lowered, my voice trailing off.
I held her up as I carefully removed the remaining pieces of fabric from her body. “Hope, baby, I need you to stay awake. Okay?” My voice shook.
I’m so sorry...
I held her closely, careful not to let her fall as I opened the faucet and waited for the tub to fill.
I knew that in placing her into the water, the second the dry blood was washed off she would begin to bleed again. I needed her to feed even if it was just enough for her wounds to heal.
Without a second thought, I brought my wrist up to my lips driving my fangs through my skin and allowing the blood to seep out of my pierced flesh. I was quick to place my wrist over her mouth, and she didn’t hesitate, parting her lips and gently suck on my puncture wounds. The second my blood met her senses, a light moan emitted from the back of her throat.
I was reluctant to move my wrist away from her mouth, but the second that I had done so, she gasped for air. As I scanned her body, I watched as most of her wounds began to heal and I felt a sense of relief.
You’re going to be okay...
Carefully, I pulled her into my arms before placing her into the bathtub. In doing so, I turned the faucet off.
I knew she would still be in a lot of pain, so I was careful to bathe her.
It was about half an hour till I had completely cleaned her body. Although I struggled to keep her awake, I managed to keep her from completely losing consciousness until I took her out of the bath and laid her on my bed.
I didn’t hurt her...
I tried to protect her...
I tried to save her...
I didn’t hurt her...
Somebody, save me...
The sudden taste of blood woke my tastebuds, my instincts being to drink the blood being poured into my mouth. A deep moan emitted from the back of my throat, my senses only partially returning.
Unfortunately, the blood being offered to me didn’t last very long.
When I was finally able to lift my heavy eyelids, the lighting in the room blinded me for a split second before I was able to distinguish my surroundings.
It didn’t take more than a minute for me to realize where I was, quickly sitting up to meet the gaze of the man that I wished I’d never see again. A string of chills shot up my spine, fear and anger overtaking me.
Tears began to build at the brim of my eyes as the memory of the horrible things he did to me flashed in my mind.
“Hope?” He reached his arm out to me, his hand being merely inches away from my cheek.
“Don’t!” I yelled, his movements immediately stopping.
“Please, just don’t touch me…” my voice cracked as the tears in my eyes rolled down my cheeks.
“Hope, I’m s—”
“Please, stop....” I cut him off. “Are you happy now? Huh?” My eyes searched him, ignoring the undeniable remorseful look on his face.
“You got what you wanted… You broke me. Does it make you happy? Did it boost your ego?” I couldn’t stop the soft sobs from breaking past my lips.
“I didn’t...” He sighed, “I th—”
I scoffed, already knowing that his excuse was going to be before it left his mouth. “You thought I hurt her? Seriously?! I almost gave my life to save her, I would never hurt her! And out of all people, you believed the woman who you didn’t even know whether it was your child she is carrying or not!”
“Hope, I —”
“She’s been trying to get rid of me since she met me and you didn’t, not for a second, stop to think that maybe she was lying?!” I snapped and I had no intention on stopping until I finished saying what I wanted to say.
“I have done nothing to you! Nothing! After all the crap you put me through, I forgave you! My god, I was fucking falling for you! I thought you changed! I hoped that maybe the man that enslaved me had a change of heart… And you know what hurts? What kills me is that you fooled me into trusting you just so that you could hurt me more than you already had…”
As hard as I tried to stop the tears from falling, I couldn’t and at that point, after everything, I didn’t want to. I was tired of holding everything back, so I allowed myself to give up.
As expected, he had nothing to say. He simply watched me practically drown in my sorrow.
Though, after a few minutes of silence, he cleared his throat. “You once asked me, what would it take for me to let you go? You are no longer bound to me nor do I have any intentions on keeping you enslaved. You’ve earned your freedom.”
I scoffed, “This is what it took..?”
He sighed, “You saved my sister. Twice. I only see it fit that I give the woman that saved her what she wants.”
I parted my lips to speak, but before I could mutter a word, the door was knocked off of it’s hinges. Our attention instantly snapped to the doorway. My father and grandfather stood before us, their nostrils flaring as their gaze landed on me, quickly wandering to Erebus.