Stay Strong

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Chapter 21

A/N: WARNING! THIS IS VERY VIOLENT! If you do not wish to read this chapter head to the end and I will summarize it for you.

It has been days. My stomach ached but my body hurt even more. I knew my time was going to run out.

True to his word, Theodore came down every day. And every day it got worse. I had a cut on both of my collar bones, one along with my cheek and three on my stomach. Yesterday he cut me twice before leaving, telling Gavin that today was the day he was going to cut deep enough to scar.

I continued to try and get out of the restraints everytime they left, determined not to die here. I wouldn’t let Candice be raised by Lorelai.

“Aspen,” Landon cried when we heard step coming down the staircase. I knew then that today was the day more scars would be added to my collection. I hung my head and stopped struggling against the ropes.

“Rise and shine, sunshine,” Theodore teased and he gripped my chin hard and raised my face up. When I made eye contact with him, I spit in his face.

“Argh!” he yelled, stumbling backward, rubbing at his eye. He glared at me before backhanding me across the cheek he had already cut. I winced as I felt the fresh blood run out of the previously clotted wound.

“Turn on the camera,” Theodore hissed at the other two men in the room.

They did as told and Theodore came around to stand behind me. “Gavin,” he tsked, “tomorrow is the last day you have before you run out of time. But today is the day I make good on my promise.”

He untied one of my arms. Gripping my wrist, he bent my arm so my hand was beside my face, exposing the scar that brought so many haunting memories with it.

“I believe that this scar here means something to you. Doesn’t it, sunshine?” he whispers in my ear.

“Leave her alone, you bastard!” Landon screamed. I heard him press and bang against the bars of the cell.

“Shut the hell up!” Theodore yelled at him before returning his attention back to me and the camera.

The pressed the knife against my skin and I brace myself for the pain about to follow.

But nothing can prepare you of something like this. The pain that erupted throughout my whole arm, made worse by the fact that he was moving the blade through my flesh so slowly made me whimper as my eyes watered.

“Scream,” Theodore whispered. I refused to, so he twisted the knife slightly.

A scream ripped through my throat as a burning fire spread throughout my arm. I struggled to breathe through the pain, clenching my teeth in hopes of stopping myself from screaming again.

The pain made it so hard to think, I choked back a sob and tears leaked from my eyes, burning the cut on my cheek.

Flashes of Hector ran through my mind.

“I found both of you,” Hector grinned as he raised the knife to stab Candice. My arm came up as pain exploded through my arm. I forced myself out of the memories.

It took all to long for him to pull the knife out of my arm. I felt nauseated by the sight of the bloody knife.

“Just one more for today,” he drawled in my ear. I couldn’t help but flinch as I panted through clenched teeth. I would kill him.

He pressed the knife against my forehead, right along my hairline. I swallowed thickly as I felt the knife break my skin again and clutched my eyes tightly.

The knife drug through my skin and I was glad I had my eyes closed because blood ran down my forehead and into my eye. I screamed at the feeling, my body trying the move away from the knife, but Theodore held me in place.

He stopped once the cut was the length of my eyebrow. I couldn’t stop the sob that escaped from my tightly closed lips. He pressed his finger against the wound across my forehead and pushed. Hard.

Another scream ripped from my throat. The pain was too much. My vision swam as he continued to press against it. I just wanted this pain to end. Please, God, just make it stop!

Suddenly Theodore jumped back from me, releasing his hold on me. I tipped my head back, struggling to get my ragged breathing under control as tears mixed with blood.

“Aspen!” Landon screamed. I smiled gently, hoping he could see me. I forced myself to breathe as evenly as possible, though every breath made the cuts on my collarbones ache and throb.


The fog in my head cleared when I heard the loud noise, my brain dully registering it as a gunshot. Theodore rushed past me and I heard him stomping up the stairs with the others following him. I looked down at my lap, covered with blood, and noticed that my arm wasn’t tied back up. My brain was instantly working, even with the throbbing, burning wound.

I moved my arm slowly, gritting my teeth against the pain that shot up and down it. I was barely able to untie my arm before my other one fell into my lap, no longer wanting to listen to the signals my brain was sending it that told it to move.

Blood continued to run out of it and I barely spared the time to recognize that losing this much blood wasn’t healthy.

I bent down and untied my feet with my good hand, careful of my arm. I carefully stood up, before stumbling a few steps, my vision swimming. I clutched the chair with my good hand when I heard people thundering down the stairs.

Theodore rushed towards me once he was off of the last step, knife in hand. He wrapped an arm around my waist, pulling me against him, my back against his chest.

Two other people followed him. I recognized them as Gavin and Ross, but only barely.

I hung limply in his hold as he pressed the knife against my throat.

“Don’t move or I kill her!” Theodore yelled. I stared at Gavin, making eye contact with him as best I could with only one eye opened.

I slowly tilted my head to the side, mindful of the knife and closed my eyes. Maybe Gavin would realize what I was doing.

A loud bang echoed through the room and I flinched. I opened my eyes and shoved the knife away from my throat just in time to keep it from slicing it open. I collapsed to my knees as I felt immense relief flood my body, making me extremely tired. We were safe.

Warm hands gently cradled my face and I winced. “Don’t go to sleep, Aspen. Not yet. Stay awake. For Candice,” Gavin whispered as people came rushing into the room. I nodded my head but my vision was already darkening around the edges.

Everything that happened next felt as if I was experiencing it outside of my body. My brain was barely able to register the pain anymore.

I was being lifted onto a stretcher by two paramedics. Once we reached the top of the stairs, they took me through a hallway and out of a door. I was momentarily blinded by the lights of police cars and ambulances. When they loaded me into an ambulance, I felt a large hand grip mine. I looked into gray eyes and a sense of peace washed over me. I smile gently at Landon as I finally slip into unconsciousness.

A/N: Theodore comes back day after day and this day he cuts Aspen deep enough to scar. Cutting her once along her forehead and along the scar, she had gotten from Hector before Gavin and Ross can make it to the basement to save her. She is brought out on a stretcher after Gavin has shot Theodore. Then she loses consciousness.

Here’s the last chapter for today. I hope you guys enjoy! Bye Bye!

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