It had been two days. Two days since I found out my entire life was a lie. Two days since I breathed fresh air, saw sunlight, or changed clothes. It had been two days without Dax.
I thought about my mother, how she must have felt finding out she was pregnant by a man she no longer loved. I thought about my father, or at least the man I thought was my father; I remember his love for me, his support, and his belief in me. I yearned for his presence, needing to hear his voice, his advice. My thoughts drifted to Dorian who had driven himself mad over the loss of my mother and then the restricted access to his child. I wanted to escape my own mind for a moment, just for a little while. I cried consistently and refused to eat, despite Dorian bringing me meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At night, I could hear him talking to someone, the sound of him beating some poor human being echoed throughout the house. My only escape from this bedroom was the window, which had been nailed shut and covered with pink drapes. The heat was excruciating and there was no cooling system set up in the house, so I roasted in silence. I couldn’t do this anymore, I had sat around and sulked long enough. I needed a plan.
It took me an hour to orchestrate everything. I had tiptoed down to the kitchen where I baked a cake and pulled out a bottle of whiskey I had found under the sink. When Dorian came up the stairs, his hands stained in blood and bruises, I pretended not to see them.
“What is all of this?” Dorian asked from the doorway.
“I know we’ve never spent Father’s Day together, so I thought I’d make up for the years we missed.” I forced a smile, presenting him the cake.
“Wow, Sweetheart, I’m touched.” Dorian pressed a kiss to my temple. “This looks delicious. Thank you so much.” It took me everything not to wipe away the vile kiss, but for the sake of my plan, I smiled through the disgust. We sat down and he sliced the cake while I popped the spun the cap off of the bottle of whiskey. “Whiskey? Isn’t that a harsh drink for my little girl?” He pinched my cheek and I laughed cynically.
“I’m just... trying to keep up with my Daddy.” I grit through my teeth, pouring both of us a glass. Dorian chuckled, forking the piece of cake into his mouth.
“Your mother was a wonderful baker,” Dorian shook his head and sighed, “Too bad.” He stood and brought his plate to the sink and I struggled not to pounce on his back, and strangle him right there. When he sat back down, we clinked our glasses together in cheers. I let the alcohol drip down the side of my face that wasn’t visible to him, while he downed the entire glass. It continued on like that, the left side of Dax’s shirt became saturated in whiskey while Dorian became disoriented, drunk. “You know,” Dorian slurred, twirling a few strands of my hair around his finger, “You look just like your mom did when she was young, just so beautiful. And fit, God was that woman fit.” He gave me a once-over, “You’re a spitting image.” I felt bile rise in my throat but I swallowed it down and poured him another glass.
“Thank you.” I muttered, watching as he wobbled in his chair. He swallowed the remaining remnants from the bottle and started to pass out.
“You know, I don’t know why you associate yourself with such a piece of shit. You could’ve had any man, but you chose him. You are just like your mother; picking the wrong guy for some easy dick. ” I swallowed back the urge to to punch him in the face and quickly came to his side, helping him out of the chair, and onto his feet. “Thanks, Sweetheart.” He poked my nose and helped very little in walking him back to his bedroom. I threw him on the bare mattress and started toward the door. “Where are you going?” He belched, watching me through hazed eyes.
“I’m going to clean up the kitchen and then I’ll come back up so you can... Read me a bedtime story.” I flashed him a smile before climbing down the steps. Finding a hammer in one of the drawers in the kitchen, I pulled the nails out of the front door that Dorian had sealed shut after my first attempt to escape. Once all the nails had been pulled out, I quietly opened the door. A cool breeze blew through the open doorway and I fluttered my eyes closed.
And yet suddenly I was frozen in my tracks. There was someone downstairs, I couldn’t just leave them in Dorian’s hands, especially after I leave. I padded over to the basement door, which creaked as I opened it and I grimaced, flicking the light on. Tiptoeing down the creaky old stairs was a painstakingly slow process, but I followed the flickering light bulbs to a dingy room where I found a body heaped on the floor. A sob racked my chest as I took in the familiar tattoos.
“Dax?” I whispered, my hand shaky as I leaned forward to touch him. He moved, his eyes squinting up at me under the bright lights. “Oh my god.” Tears fell freely from my eyes, taking in the sight of Dax’s body bruised and cut, his bottom lip slit open with dried blood crusted down his chin.
“Princesa, funny meeting you here,” He attempted to joke, but winced as he moved, “I think my rib is broken.” I craned my neck to the side to see a slight dent in his normally perfect abdomen.
“Let’s get you out of here,” I turned around and searched for a key, finding the brass piece of metal handing on a hook near a tool bench. I was in the middle of unlocking Dax’s left cuff when a shot ripped through the silent evening air. I whipped around, finding Dorian with a pistol in his hand, pointed at Dax.
“Fuck.” Dax curse and I turned my attention back to him, a bullet hole punctured his right shoulder.
“You pick him over your own father?” Dorian slurred, walking toward me. Dax pulled the key from my hands and carefully unlocked his right wrist from the cuff, slumping against the wall in pain. I stood, swallowing hard as my mental case of a biological father neared me. “He’s using you for your body, Sweetheart, can’t you see that? What I’m offering you is a lifetime of love that no one else can give you.” I pulled out the hammer and braced myself like it were a baseball bat.
“Don’t come any closer.” I warned, my voice shaking.
“You wouldn’t hurt your own father, would you, Sweetheart?” He cocked his head to the side and pouted. I slowly lowered the hammer and Dorian smiled, “See, everything is okay.” I nodded slowly.
“It will be.” I threw the hammer and Dorian dropped the gun to catch it. Quickly springing forward, I caught the firearm and pulled the trigger.