Everything froze around me, save for Valentina running into the distance. A moment later, I heard a stifled cry from behind me, and I tried to take my eyes off of Riecher’s body lying on the floor, but I couldn’t tear them away. Time seemed to stand still in that moment as the shock set in. One moment it was like that, and the next, time fast forwarded as chaos ensued.
I could hear Niall scream as he pushed past me, dropping to his knees next to the body of his father. Niall scooped Riecher into his arms, pleading for his father to stay with him, tears streaming down his face. My heart lurched knowing that his efforts were useless. Ramsey approached him quietly, crying as well. She kneeled down beside him, trying to comfort him, but he pushed her away, screaming incoherently.
I finally gained the strength to look away from my would-be father-in-law, turning to look at Elias, and my heart dropped into my stomach. He stood as still as a statue, his eyes frozen in place on the scene in front of him. Niall screamed for help as Elias remained planted in place, which stirred worry in my heart.
“Elias?” I asked quietly, reaching out for him, and he flinched away from me, tearing my heart further. “Please…” I begged, expecting him to look at me or walk to his brother, but he stayed still.
“Don’t,” he whispered quietly before walking away.