Chapter 53: Suppressed and Oppressed
After I caught up to Hunter, he brought me home. He wasn’t speaking to me, or to anyone in the matter.
I was surprised to see that he managed to keep himself together, and in all honesty, it bothered me. I knew he wanted to mourn, I knew he needed to, but he wouldn’t let himself. Every time I asked him if he was okay, he’d avoid the question or simply ignore me—very much like the way he was acting when we first got to the hotel after running away.
I wasn’t going to let it go. He was hurting and I wanted to be here for him.
I sat at the edge of our bed, my bare feet dangling just above the ground as I lightly rocked myself back and forth. I wore my usual night garments: a white tank top and panties.
The sound of the shower going off pulled me out of my thoughts, my eyes wandering to the bathroom door. I had been waiting for Hunter to get out of the shower so that I could have a talk with him. He couldn’t avoid it forever. Sometimes you just have to let yourself...cry.
After a few minutes, the door was pulled open as the lighting had been switched off. The second he stepped out, he took a single glance at me before shutting the door behind him.
“You should’ve been asleep by now,” he mumbled as he walked to the other side of the bed and picked up his cellphone.
“Hunter?” I stood, my eyes shifting to him. Again, he avoided me and kept his attention on the screen of his phone. I sighed, “Can you not do that?”
He glanced at me and I could see the hurt in his eyes. Still, he ignored me and returned his attention to his cellphone.
I approached him. The second I came to a halt merely inches away from him, he released a deep sigh. “What is it, Celic?” He questioned as he finally withdrew his attention from his cellphone.
I grasped his forearm, my hand wrapping around it to push it down, forcing him to put his arm at rest. “Do you want to talk about it?” I eyed him, another deep sigh passing his lips.
“There’s nothing to talk about. People die all the time. So, what?” I was amazed at how quick he went from seeming so down to just being irritated and annoyed.
He doesn’t mean that. He’s just hurt.
I sighed, “When I was hurt, I admitted it to you. I let you comfort me. Why can’t you do the same?”
His jaw clenched, eyeing me as he said, “Because I’m not fucking weak.”
It wasn’t hard for him to tell his response hurt me, because a couple of seconds after he did, a glint of regret flashed in his eyes. “I didn’t mean it l—”
“Is that what I am to you? Weak?” I cut him off.
An exasperating sigh escaped his mouth, “No. It’s just...I’m fine. Okay? She was going to die anyway. We all knew it. There’s no point in being sad about it. She’s gone. Oh, well.”
Why is it so hard for him to admit that he’s hurt?
He was making it seem like he didn’t care about her. Like he never did.
I eyed him for a moment. I didn’t want to say anything that would set him off. He was upset enough as it was.
“That’s not true...You loved her. You’re not fine. I know you aren’t.” Every word coming out of my mouth just seemed to upset him even more. His nostrils flared.
Hesitantly, I continued. “It’s o—”
“Damn it, Celic! I said I’m fine!” A deep growl emitted from the back of his throat as he threw the phone across the room. The sound of it breaking against the wall made me flinch.
I gulped, my eyes searching him. He trembled in, what I could only assume was anger. He furrowed his eyebrows at me and I could see the tears build in his eyes before he bowed his head.
He’s not okay.
This is just his way of trying to deal with his pain: hiding it.
Hesitantly, I took a single step closer. I placed my hand under his chin, his attention instantly snapping to me.
I whispered, “You don’t have to be tough all the time...It’s okay for you to lean on someone.”
He eyed me, the tears in his eyes threatening to fall the longer he stared into my own. “She was good. She never hurt anyone. She was just a kid, Celic...She didn’t deserve to die,” his voice cracked and in that moment, he broke.
His soft sobs made my heart sink. Uncontrollable tears fell from his eyes and before I could attempt to comfort him, he wrapped his arms around me and buried his face into the crook of my neck.
“I was never there for her...” he spoke through his sobs, “So many times she begged me to stay and visit her more often and I never did...” His hold on me tightened as his sobs grew louder.
He feels guilty...
A knot formed at the edge of my throat and small tears built at the brim of my eyes. I wanted to cry, but I held back. I needed to be strong for him; I wanted to be strong for him.
I slightly pulled away from him, cupping the sides of his face as his eyes found my own. “It’s okay...” I whispered to him.
The second those words left my mouth, he shook his head. “No, it’s not...” his voice trailed off.
I sighed, “Baby, she’s at peace. She isn’t in pain anymore. This is what she wanted.”
He eyed me for a moment before his sobs muffled and I found myself wiping his tears from his face.
“Can I hold you?” My voice was sincere.
Without hesitation, he nodded.
Gently, I took hold of his hand and pulled him closer to the bed till I laid flat on my back. He’d climbed on, carefully positioning himself on top of me. My legs straddled as he rested between them, his body quickly finding comfort on mine.
Carefully, he rested his head on my breasts. The second my hands found his bare back, he released a sigh in relief. I planted a gentle kiss at the top of his head, caressing his upper back and the side of his head with my hands.
“I love you, Hunter,” I whispered to him.
He released a shaky breath, his body laying still on top of mine. “I love you too, little dove.” He whispered.
“You’ve really disappointed me, Silver. What the hell were you thinking?!” My father snarled. “We owe Doraime’s coven protection?”
I sighed as my father continued to emphasize how incredibly disappointed he was, my eyes set on the carpet floor beneath me.
After bringing me home, he called a ‘family’ meeting, including Tarlac and Kenneth to see how big of a mess I made and how they would clean it up.
I sat on one of the couches in the living room, my grandmother sitting on the empty spot to my left as my mother did to my right. Kenneth took a seat on the hand chair residing not far from my mother as Tarlac sat on the one residing not far from my grandmother. As for my father and grandfather, they both sat across from me.
“What made you think we would go along with this?” My grandfather asked, a bit more calm than my father.
I had no intention of attempting to lie. I’d learned my lesson.
I shrugged, mumbling, “I’m your only grandchild...I knew that if I asked for something, you wouldn’t say no.”
My grandmother scoffed, “So, you took advantage of us, huh?” I didn’t want to argue or sit here and be interrogated. I just wanted them to leave me alone. So, I remained silent.
After a few minutes of silence, my father cleared his throat. All else’s attention had been directed to him, but mine remained on the ground.
I couldn’t stop thinking about what it felt like to be home again. I thought I’d be relieved or happy in some sort of way. But, honestly, I felt trapped again.
“As long as you’re his daughter, you will never be free.”
A deep sigh escaped my mouth, my eyes shifting from the carpet beneath to my hands resting on my lap.
“What did Erebus do to you?” My father questioned.
I shook my head, my attention reverting to the carpet. “Nothing,” I muttered.
My mother signed, taking my hand into hers. The feeling of being beside her again was one I truly missed.
“Sweetie,” she said, “you have to tell us what he did to you so we can help you.”
I was already irritated and annoyed, but the second those words left my mother’s mouth, anger washed over me.
I pulled my hand away from hers, my eyes fixated on my father. “He didn’t rape me. Is that what you want to know?” I snapped.
My father glowered. He parted his lips to speak, but before he could my grandfather growled. “That is not what she asked. Stop being a smart ass and answer the damn question. You’ve done enough to piss us off. Keep at it and I’ll make sure you don’t step foot out of this house till you learn to obey.”
Damn, is that you, Erebus?
Judging by the infuriated look on my father and grandfather’s face, I knew they heard my remark. It came of no surprise to me that they were snooping in my mind.
Frustrated, I clapped my hands together and sat up. “Okay! You wanna know what he did to me?” I spat. “He showed me what it’s like to be utterly defenseless. He showed me what it’s like to have to fight for myself. He didn’t give me special treatment or kiss my fucking ass because mommy, daddy, poppa, and momma would have his head if he didn’t.”
A humorless chuckle passed my lips, my attention altering between my father and grandfather. “If I wasn’t your family, none of this would matter. I would still be there or I’d probably be dead. So, please…” my voice trailed off, “...don’t sit here and tell me he deserves everything he has coming to him, because although he really does, if it were anyone else, you wouldn’t give a damn. Hell, you’d probably praise him for it.”
I paused, my breathing uneven as my anger continued to spike, “After all the horrible things he did to me, after all the crap I put up with, he gave me my freedom!” I shifted my gaze to meet my grandfather’s as I spoke to him and him only, “What did you do to your slaves, huh? After you were done playing your sick twisted game with them, what did you do?” The hard look on his face instantly softened, a hint of guilt flashed in his eyes.
“At least he had the balls to apologize and admit he was wrong. At the end of the day, you’re just as bad, if not, worse.” As those words left my mouth, I suddenly wasn’t just angry anymore. Sadness had quickly become an overwhelming feeling.
Then, the thought of Kevin depressed me even more, and the thought of being locked away in this house only added to my frustration.
Still, I continued to stare into my grandfather’s eyes until he could no longer look at me with that wounded pride of his. His gaze shifted away from mine as mine met my father’s. He continued to eye me with so much disappointment in his face and it only upset me more.
...image is all he fucking cared about!
“Can I go to my room now?” I questioned. I felt as if I stayed there any longer I would break in front of them and that is the last thing I wanted.
“No. We’re not done.” Just as my father spoke, I let out a deep sigh.
“What else do you want me to say?!” My voice cracked. I felt fed up with everything.
“You want me to say ‘I’m sorry’? Okay, dad, I am so sorry!” I shouted. “I’m sorry that I’m such a disappointment! I’m sorry that I created this one great lie because I wanted a glimpse of freedom! Can I go now..?” My voice shook. I tried to keep the tears from falling, but it was useless. And, after one fell, another followed and another until I just couldn’t stop crying.
My father parted his lips to speak, but before he could mutter a word, I stood and stormed off.