Mom loved to play chess as much she loved dancing.
I would see her play alone, planning her every move carefully and win every time. Grace was just as close as her. She would always save her King no matter what. Queen didn’t matter to Grace. But mom on the other hand-She would always save her Queen. I quite remember her saying the words very often.
In a game of chess, the most dangerous isn’t the King, it’s the Queen.
In our cruel game, I was that unfortunate Queen. Who had to protect the King. Who had to be the winner. Who had a game to end.
“Processed everything yet?”
I can feel the swollen eyes and the slightly dopy smile in my face. Processed? I’ve been dying to think of a way to get out since last night. Suddenly something slams into me, knocking me over my side. A slap?
“You know why Mad Dog took so much interest in your whore of a mother? She was a cunning cunt I tell you. She had the guts to steal from the Mexican cartel and then ask for protection from us.” Did mom steal from them? I should scream at Desmond. Warn him to stop lying. But somewhere in my mind, I know mom was always a walking mystery. So I listen.
“Mad Dog was interested to know what she stole. What gem would that be that can make a mafia leader hunt down a pregnant woman? Enough to even declare war between cartels. You know what the gem was, bitch?”
No. I don’t. But I wonder though. Money? Jewelry? Our lives?
“Your sister.” He stops to wait for my reaction. My sister? Grace? What the-
“Ever met your father, bitch? Heard his name?”
No. We didn’t. Mom told us that he died when we were little. We never even asked as we didn’t particularly remember having any moment with him. Was it a mistake on our part? Should we have to ask anyway?
“W-What you’re saying-”
It stings when pain strikes me again. Another slap? “Keep up, bitch! I’m only going to tell this once. Ceaser’s rival partner Pedro...Knight. Your father, a well-known murderer. Hell, I’m surprised how your stupid worthless self didn’t get to know that. Every cartel knows his demise. The one your mother created.”
Mom did this? Did she really?
“You see, she was a married woman yet had an affair with the most well-known murderer of the century. She didn’t even think of her son, she just ran when she got pregnant. And you two still worship your mother like she was some fucking Goddess!” He spats narrowing her eyes. I doubt he sees my blank expression. He’s in his own world to care about what’s going on. “When Pedro got to know he killed the poor man she was married to. Some say he was gutted badly until his intestine was visible. You carry a murderer’s blood, bitch. And you thought you can avoid your destiny.”
I want to laugh at him. But this is true, isn’t it? I couldn’t be satisfied with being only Gwen. Grace couldn’t save herself from the violence even after ending her revenge. We had Knight blood in us after all.
“Mad Dog got to know. His original plan was to send your mother with the firstborn in a silver plate to Pedro. So he took her in. We saw her breaking apart day by day. Fuck! Those were golden days.” He gives me a smirk. “Then your mother had to run. The last we found her two years ago. Now, here’s come the interesting part.”
Do I want to hear more? But what choice I have other than that?
“You were the surprise, bitch. Boy Mad Dog was surprised to see another child already alive. Guess what? She went back to Pedro willingly for money. Your father didn’t take this very well. He tortured her enough that you worthless piece of shit had to come in this world.”
The ways he says it-no. My lips tremble badly. I want to scream. In agony. In her pain. In ours. No! I refuse to believe it. Mom can’t be-she can’t suffer like me. I-I wasn’t a product of-
“A rape. Yeah, that’s what the whore got. So we thought you should get a taste of it too. Our plan was to fuck you to death and then take Grace to her father. Too bad the neighbors saved your sorry ass.”
A small noise of protest leaves my lips. Too small to hear. Maybe it’s a whimper or the pain of who I am by birth. How would Seth react if he knew? I imagine how he must’ve lived his teenage days. Drunk. Wasted. Lost. Raped.
He never said the words but I saw the look on his face when he said how mad Dog used him. How did he live days after days like that? How did mom do? How did I-
“Fuck bitch! Look at me!” My spine tense the moment I feel his hand tightens around my neck, forcing me to look up. Brown eyes, cropped hair and that ugly smirk welcome me. “Ah...now it’s better. When I ask you something, you better answer it.”
“Does it goes both ways?” I can’t stop myself from blurting out. My fingers are throbbing thanks to Desmond’s constant digging his shoe over my hands that even clenching them doesn’t help. Stop. I’ve to remember, just stop talking. Keep silent as you did all those years ago. If you could do that then, you can do the same thing now.
“What did you say?” He laughs, the haunting sound reminding me of that night. “Fucking say that again.”
“Does it goes both ways?” The defiance comes so easily that I’m tempted to try that again just to see what happens. What more he can do anyway? The one person who I thought mattered turned out to be a liar and weak. Weak enough to go back to Pedro for the second time. But he doesn’t give me the chance to. His rough blood filed hands seize a chunk of my hair painfully to drag me to the far end of the room. I know what is waiting for me there. I have to mentally prepare myself for the pain.
Though still, I can’t stop the gasp that leaves my lips feeling the cold water dripping over my face. Looks like the shade is filled with more water than yesterday. It drips at a faster speed making it hurt to breathe.
“You should be happy you’re not getting the same punishment as your lover boy.”
The flinch comes from nowhere. I think I would have staggered back or collapsed into the ground if I was standing. I can’t feel my face, the water going to wrong places, wrong pipes constantly. How many times I’ve choked by water by now?
“Don’t want to know how he’s suffering?” He taunts jerking his head in my direction. “I heard he was injected with something deathly.”
I warly scan his face to find something. Any clue that will reveal that he’s lying. Just playing with my heart. But unfortunately, I find none. He’s dead serious.
“Oh yes! He was even whipped. But that’s not even the best part.” What more can he do? I laugh at my own question. These people had no line, no barrier to cross. A part of me wants to hear, another doesn’t give a shit. Seth has seen the devil in his glory and learned his tricks just fine. He can survive this hell probably far better than mine.
He has to. For me. For us.
“Ceaser is bringing a party for him. They have alcohol, plenty of them.” My heart stops. He can’t probably know, can he? Maybe the emotion of dread shows in my face as the asshole laughs. “That’s not the end of these, bitch. Ceaser wanted a private party for his dealers. The one for the men who go to stripper club in disguise to hide from their wives.”
The seriousness of his jumbled words didn’t much make sense until the next ones hit me harder than I’d like to think. “Heard of gay clubs, yes? Nowadays it’s harder to hide the identity of our dealers even in VIP’s. So we thought to serve your lover boy as a replacement. I heard he was such an obedient pet.”
No...Bile creeps up the back of my throat of thinking of what he’s going to go through because of me. He wouldn’t survive this. There’s no way in hell it’s ending without damaging him badly.
“W-What if-” I trail off thinking of thousands of lies I can feed him. But none sounds like he wants then one thing. My dignity or soul? Seth has all of me anyway. It wouldn’t matter if I lose some in my way.
“What if I offer you a deal exchange of his safety?” I sound like a child whining about their favorite toy. The one they know they destroyed on their own and yet hoping to get patched by their parents.
He looks interested though. His eyes narrow slightly but I have his full attention. Or he’s just humoring me. Go figure. “And what do you think you can offer that will save his poor life?”
“Me.” There’s no hesitation. “You can keep me. I will do anything you all say. Just let him go. Otherwise no deal.”
"No deal. Looks like the club made you grow an extra spine, bitch. Listen here-” I’m not prepared to feel my hair tugged painfully. He has forced me to stand halfway awkwardly with the rope around me. “We were planning to hand you over after your lover got his punishment. Now it looks like you two may never meet again.”
“You can’t do this!” Fear has warped it’s ugly hands around me. But for who that I’m not sure yet. And it’s starting to eat me alive the moment his filthy hands are on me, dragging me by my hair from the room to God knows where.
“Leave me!” Desperate for escape my hands search anything that can find. But all I can get is the dry blood from my fingers, the skin noticeably red. No gun, no knife. No him. No escape. “Where are we going!?”
He doesn’t listen. He only stops when we are standing near a jet. And when he opens his mouth, even my broken self has no idea how many cracks will be in them. “If you think we are bad. Then you’d personally know who Pedro Knight really is.”
“Oh yes.” Please stop. “We’re sending you to where you long should’ve been died.”