Scars, Pain, & Despair

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Chapter Twenty-Three

Proserpina

I stopped fighting them. I let them take me away after Thia fell to the ground. Dead; I don't know how I could determine that so fast but a part of me knew. That part of me also howled in sorrow though I kept it within me for I barely knew the woman. It built up in my chest like my heart was ready to burst then it came in flashes.

Flash. I saw myself yelling and fighting Kaden to get to Thia back when she was alive. I was so angry with her for hurting someone I loved except I couldn't remember who. Flash. I remembered Thia talking to me in the arcade about someone she wasn't friends with anymore. It felt like a warning of sorts except I wasn't sure about whom. All that matter was that I knew her and she knew me; whoever I was or am now.

I did not say anything to the others as we walked for it was too soon and the loss to fresh. My old friend disappeared leaving us to clean the mess. Kaden carried Thia in his arms, John and Nathan stood on either side of me in case I did something, and Astera walked in front of us her head hung and quiet sobs shaking her shoulders. She should be grieving except I couldn't bring myself to feel bad or to comfort Astera or feel guilty for not comforting her. I just needed to keep trying to trig my memory before I can confront anyone.

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Nathan

Thia was gone. There was no denying when the bullet hit her. I thought of offering to carry her back for Kaden but we all needed our space. The house was in view now and soon we would have to keep walking to meet Uncle. Thia's burial would have to wait until his Highness was satisfied with our delivery. Proserpina was lost in thought as we were walking probably trying to figure out why her 'friend' shot one of our people.

My blood boiled at Astera; no doubt she was the cause of the events leading to the loss of a valuable team member. We were too young to die at carnivals but Thia was still dead because Astera forced our hand. None of our lives were more valuable than anyone else's and she would learn that.

In the motel room John and I stood in front of Proserpina like a wall shielding her from completely seeing him. If anything it should be something happy to trigger her memory not a mean old man. Kaden stayed at the house, choosing to bury Thia first in defiance to his uncle.

"Where were you?" Uncle questioned still heated with anger from earlier. Astera was a step ahead of us, to my left with her spine straight and a stone face of a soldier.

"We were at the carnival." There was no hesitation in her voice or crack in her tone.

"Why did you not come at our calls?"

"I did not have service sir," the lie fell off her lips without a second to spare with confidence behind it making it sound believable. Uncle was not fooled. Crunch; Astera's nose broke at the force of Uncle's fist.

"Do Not Lie to Me!!" He boomed, "Have I gone soft on you?! It seems everyone thinks I can be fooled by a mere child!!"

"No of course not sir!" Astera bowed her head obediently. Proserpina gasped from behind us making us stiffen in case she tried to fight towards Uncle but she stayed put.

"Why did you not come at our calls?!"

"I was going to head back after we had some fun at the carnival. We did not mean to defy you sir! I swear we would never."

"Interesting because my friend here says you did not even bother looking at your phone the whole time." My eyes shot to the man I had not seen when we entered. He stood with his back to us and his silver cane head facing us as it glinted with some of Proserpina's blood from earlier.

"Shit."

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Proserpina

He was here. I did not believe he could've followed us for we were out in the open for so long the others would've seen him trailing us. There was something every wrong here. I tried to see Kaden's uncle but I couldn't see much more than a few quick glimpsed from behind the boys. My legs refused for my command to move passed them leaving me cemented to the floor behind the wall in front of me.

"Sir! He shot Thia! She is dead!" Astera exclaimed, horror cracking her stone cold voice.

"Yes he already told me of the incident. It is quite a pity I would've preferred if he shot you, I rather liked Thia. She was much better than you could ever be."

"I did not expect her to jump in front of them so fast or at all," My old friend spoke turning to face us after a while. He spoke almost like Thia's life did not matter though we had been around death at the arena; I couldn't help but be filled with outrage at his dismissal.

"That's quite alright my friend; all is forgiven." Something in me similar to my grief fought inside me to see Uncle's face. Almost like everything would fall into place if I saw his face out in the open.

"Who are you?" My mouth said the words though I didn't tell it to. An older conscious in my mind that was exhausted and too ready to put this puzzle together. I knew who this man was because I lived with him so did the exhausted part but still needed answers.

"You are going to speak to me then you will speak to my face." The man who used to be my caretaker said coldly. He wanted me to see him and Uncle.

"Who are you?" My voice hardened. I moved to go around Nathan when he gripped my hand gently.

"Please Proserpina. Trust me, don't do this," Tears ran down his cheeks. "Let's just run like the old times." Smiling at him I leaned in and pressed a kiss to his cheek then turned to see my captor and Uncle.

"That's better now isn't it?"

"Don't dodge the question. Who are you?"

"How cute you think you are all grown up with your friends with you."

"Child this is Gavin Leer." Uncle snapped at me as if he was to scold me for my manners.

"Gavin Leer," I repeated feeling the weight of it on my tongue and committing it to memory. Nodding I continued walking determined, "What's my name?"

I had a name and no one would deny it to me. Everyone would know it soon just as I did. I saw it all: my parents, Nathan, John, Kaden, Astera, and everyone he made me forget. I have been kept captive long enough.

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