Chapter 3: Destroy
Unravel Him Playlist on Spotify.
Song; (Hidden Citizens- Casualty) & (MISSIO- I don't even care about you) & (Tracey Chattaway- Holding on)
I blacked out.
Or at least I think I did.
My entire body went numb, frozen, blank, cold, nothing.
It was as though life itself was nonexistent.
It was just darkness, void, emptiness.
Like my dream.
Someone was taunting me.
Eventually I opened my eyes, only for them to blur into melted colors of distortion and reality.
Dazed beyond belief, my fingers curl around the ground, nails scraping ice and I’m glad I still feel the cold despite everything else.
“Get her up.”
I’m jerked to a stand, my head swaying weakly in response.
“I think she needs a bit of a wake up call, don’t you agree?”
Cold water is thrown on my face and I gasped, abruptly torn from my disoriented state.
Karen smiles at me as her lackeys retreated within the gathering crowd, hoisting a now empty bucket out of the way.
Shakily, I try to make sense to what was happening and considered my position.
From whence it was empty just mere minutes ago, dozens of them, boys and girl alike are now in the Skating Rink.
And they were circling me.
“What the hell is this?” I demanded, my voice croaky.
“Take a good look Vanessa,” She mocks, gesturing out towards them. “This, is payback,”
Stepping forward, she raises a manicured finger and tapped my nose. “I’m not letting you off so easy this time.”
“So what you did with my father’s death wasn’t enough?”
She snaps her fingers and the hands that held me up are released making me fall forward from the lack of support.
“You always have to have the last word huh? Every, single time. It never ends with you.” She spits, obviously frustrated.
Steadying my swaying body, I managed what I hoped to be a sarcastic smile despite seeing black lines sport my vision.
“You need the entire student body to help you with payback?Afraid, I might give another bruise on that other cheek of yours?”
The embers in her dark eyes swirled with fury. “Careful what you say,”
“Nothing you’ve done, has ever stopped me from speaking what’s on my mind.” Glaring at her, my head continued to pound but the pressure slowly receded.
“Not when you had three guys assault me, not when you had my father’s death plastered all over the walls.” Momentarily, I pause in my words, thinking it over.
What use did she have coming back and picking a fight with me?
She had what she wanted.
She wanted to humiliate me, take my dignity away.
Didn’t she do that?
“Why are you really here Karen? It’s not because you think you can win, no... no, you lost the moment Kale betrayed me.”
Then it clicks.
My assumptions were right.
I had won without fighting back and she hated it.
Staring at her now, I don’t have to be an idiot to piece together the pieces of her frustration.
“What did you expect when you did that? That I would fall? Break under the pressure? Cry in front of you and beg for forgiveness?”
Stepping forward, I ignored the fire that’s spreading around my body, it’s talons digging further into my flesh. “How many times do I have to tell you that you will never win?”
“You tried so hard, to beat me down, so hard, to break me.” I managed to hiss, my tone well beyond venomous.
“At the end of the day, whatever you do, won’t make the Moore and Fell boys run to you. Do you know why? Because you’re an insufferable piece of-”
Karen releases a shrill cry before she launches forward, hand drawn.
She pushes me down, my bandaged side taking the brunt of my fall.
I screamed, fiery licks of pain traveling up my spine and back.
She jerks her nails across my mouth and clamps down, instantly cutting me off.
“You want to see what I can do? You want to see just how far I can go?” She grabs something from one of the onlookers and smashes it above my head.
Glass and liquid strewn itself all over the place and I shut my eyes to shield them in fear of getting cut.
“You think you know me? You think you know who I am!?” Karen clutches the collar of my T-shirt and leans forward so I can see the need to kill in her eyes.
“You don’t know anything about me.” She brings forth a shattered glass bottle, the edges dangerously sharp and lethal.
“No one is going to miss you. No one is going to go looking for you, you know why? Because you’re a nobody. A nobody. Just like that girl. What was her name? Malorie?”
The tip of the glass cuts into my neck and the searing sting finally snaps me out of my haze just in time to lash out.
“Don’t you dare say her name!”
She loses her grip on it for a second and I take the moment to kick her backwards, using what was left of my remaining strength to get her as far away as possible.
Karen falls on her backside with a startled yelp and before she can get back up, I pulled myself up on my elbows with a strangled groan.
The ice was soaking through my clothes and it brings no comfort to my throbbing wound.
“Karen, Karen, stop, you’re talking this too far!”
Jessy struggles against Karen, hoping to stop her.
It falls on deaf ears as Karen shoves the girl aside and onto the other students who have their phones up.
Those ready-to-kill-eyes fall back on me and I prepared myself.
“You know what Vanessa?” Her voice was back to normal levels but it was slick almost. Like oil.
It didn’t sound right.
“I can’t break you. But I can most certainly make sure it hurts.”
Karen snatches another glass bottle from her friends and uncorks the top.
It’s only now do I choose to understand what my sense of smell is telling me.
“I’m going to enjoy this.” She tips the bottle and the liquid spreads out over the ice in splatters, pooling just beneath my feet.
“I’m going to really, enjoy this.”
I don’t spot the lighter in time before she drops it and fire engulfed the Rink whole.
There’s a stunned silence, the line of heat circles my form before going in for the kill.
For a while I don’t feel anything.
Until the fire goes through my skates and my ankles start burning alive.
That’s when I yell out a warning and scramble to take them off all the while backing away from the fast approaching fire.
It’s merciless almost.
How fast it grows.
How quickly it spreads.
I’m nowhere close to the flames now but the damaged had already been done to my skates in which the heat was burning through rubber and plastic.
Everyone registers what is happening and at that point, the line of alcohol Karen had spilled all over the ground earlier on had blazed into an inferno.
When my skates refuse to give way, I jerk my fingers deeper into the material only successfully blistering them even more.
Get them off, get them off-
“I won’t let you win! You won’t win!”
Sharp nails dig into my scalp, practically scraping flesh and before I can react, Karen smashes my forehead against the ice.
It rattles the very foundation of my brain.
Strangely I have a flashback of my dream from a few days ago.
When I was trapped in the darkness and was desperately trying to get away from the fire.
What had happened in that dream?
Something latch onto my foot and engulfed my ankles, the tug causing me to lose my grip.
My body sunk in a matter of seconds towards the flames awaiting arms.
The ringing clouds my senses and my head spins.
Suddenly I’m frozen, stuck in time, stuck in that dream.
The flames, oh god the flames.
They were eating me alive. They were reducing my body to ash.
Students all around me are shrieking in both terror and excitement but the ringing in my ears has turned my body cold.
So I give up on my skates and cover my ears, feeling a bead of blood drop from my now cut brow.
Too many voices overlapped each other.
Someone was laughing.
“Get away from her!”
Doors are blasted open, hinges are torn off.
The demented, malice-like face she has on her, only last for several seconds before a flurry of black and leather catches her eye and mine.
It’s always that voice.
The circle ruptures, the heir of Graymoore appears, springing forth from whence he came like a deadly storm.
He punches the first person he sees and tosses a female student when she was in his way.
Furious blue green eyes glow under the bright lighting and as he faced the onlookers with palpable expression, I watch him transform.
Gone was the Thomas Moore everyone knew.
Here was the Thomas Moore no one understood.
Thomas eyes flash violently at the scattered crowd who falters in their steps. His lips curled, fists clenched.
Three words come out.
“Block the doors.”
People began to run when they realized who he was.
He was someone they never should have messed with.
None of them can prepare when several more familiar faces fill the Rink, each of them dispatching the crowd with furious reprieve.
Jared, Victor, Evan, Zanthus and Mason.
Thomas watches the running crowd with malicious intent. “No one leaves! Not one!”
Evan and Zanthus pulled the gate on the entryway, both of them effectively sealing anyone from escaping the Ice.
Jared jerks a student back down on the ground when he tried to climb over the glass wall and kicks him in the stomach.
“Victor, hold that crowd!” Mason announces from his grounded position.
The panicked screaming from the students becomes too much, eventually, I no longer feel Karen holding my hair and fall to my back.
“Shit-Vanessa? Vanessa, can you hear me?” Hands reach for my left arm.
Someone else uses a fire extinguisher to diminish the flames and the smell of smoke evaporated only to be replaced with the billowing fumes.
“Elios, the skates, get them off, now.” Matthew.
Both of them quickly slip the skates off and I can hear them hissing from the pain it gave them but they pushed on regardless of it.
When they were finally off, I nearly weep from the comfort of the cold air but instead chose to hold it back and reopen my eyes.
Matthew and Elios visibly breath out sighs of relief before pushing me to sit up.
“Come on,” Elios tells Matthew. “We might need to carry her.”
“I... I’m fine.” I tell them, surprise by the indignation in my voice. “Give me sec... please...”
The pounding in my head.
The stab in my side.
The burns on my feet.
“Vanessa, we’re going to need you to stand, can you do that?”
I nod at Elios as a way to distract myself from the pain.
He and Matthew gently supports me as I stand and for a second I almost panicked when I couldn’t feel my legs.
At least until I feel the ice that tells me my nerves are okay.
They’re just blistered, nothing too serious.
If Elios and Matthew hadn’t taken off my skates-
Twisting around, I jerk my gaze over to my ruined possessions and nearly burst into tears right there and then.
“My skates,” I repeated.
The few links I had left from my father were practically nonexistent at this point but my skates,
They were everything to me. They were my sole purpose of everything that made me who I am.
They were me.
“I’m sorry,” Elios swallows hard beside me and as I slowly face him, I don’t have the heart to reply.
It’s written all over my face.
Shouts of fear from the crowd earlier on regains my attention to see them all scattered, scared beyond belief.
In front of them stands a man I know very well.
“Let me go! Let me go right now!”
A high pitch voice alerts me to see Karen getting dragged forward by none other then Mason himself.
“Shut up, if you know what’s good for you.” He hisses at her, his grip tightening on her struggling arm as she continued to plead.
He brings her towards Thomas who stares down at her, oddly silent.
“No! Stop it, let go-”
His voice is so soft and yet it echoes.
The chatters quiet down and the crowd watch, entranced, horrified.
Karen stops struggling and Mason lets go. “W-What?”
“I said,” He steps forward, the chain around his neck clinking in response. "Kneel.”
For a while both Karen and him stare at each other.
I watch Karen’s face turn paler, each second passing like slow ticks on the clock.
“Y-You can’t do that...” She attempts to fight back. “I’m under Graymoore! My Dad-”
“Will no longer work for me.” He flat out declares, voice grating. “Unless, you kneel. Either way, I’d be happy to break every piece of bone in your body.”
The threat is clear.
“Please,” Thomas hisses sweetly, hands in his pockets. ”Please, give me a reason to.”
Several more moments pass. Karen trembles vigorously, feet shaking.
And then, like slow motion, she bows her head and kneels, hands on either side of her.
Her hair curtains her face, blocking her expression but no one was worried about that.
They’re more worried about the heir of Graymoore who’s cynical gaze is back to the waiting crowd.
The corner of his lips turn up.
It’s not a smile.
It’s a grin.
“You, you, and you.” He points out three more.
Two males, one female.
Jessy and two other unknown students.
The same guys who held me up earlier on and carried the alcohol filled bottle.
Jared pulls the two males from their huddled position while Victor grabs Jessy, easily drawing her forth from where she hid.
The three shared glances at each other but made no move to fight back.
Not when Thomas stands there, his dangerous aura giving way to the fact that he was a viable threat.
He raises a finger. “Kneel with her,”
It’s Jessy who moves first in the few seconds that pass.
She situates herself directly behind Karen and falls to a bowed position.
That’s where she stays, unmoving and obedient. I don’t have to be her to know she did not want to test the heir of Graymoore’s temper.
Not now. Not ever.
The two other males exchanged glances but make no further progress then that.
Thomas raises an unimpressed eyebrow. “Do you want me to repeat myself?”
They weren’t the same people that assaulted me back in Karen’s house which is what my slow brain tells me.
Thomas does something I’ve never seen him do. He throws his head back and laughs, the sound cold and empty.
“How about this, if you can get through me. I’ll let you both leave. How’s that for equality?”
Something must have registered in Thomas because he saw it before I did.
The black haired one lunges forward in an attempt to disarm Thomas but he was quicker.
In one move, he grabs onto the black haired's shirt before twisting him backwards and pulling his neck so it snapped back.
There’s no hesitation as a hurling punch is sent directly down.
I heard a crack, followed by a mutilated groan.
Thomas drops the immobilized body and re stands to his height, sandy blond hair flickering gently over his right eye.
His knuckles clenched, blood dribbled down.
The other male student, widened his eyes in fear and shakily clutches the glass bottle. “Look, I’m sorry. Okay? Just... Just don’t hurt me.”
Something like amusement flashed in Thomas’s eyes.
He takes the bottle away from the brunette’s grip and looks down at it, bored. “You should have thought of that before you messed with my girl.”
I heard the sickening crush of teeth and glass before a distraught yelped penetrated the Rink.
The loud sound and spraying liquid startles Jessy who jerks her eyes to her swaying friend just in time for the brunette to collapse against his side.
Blood poured out from the shards in his cheek as he lays there, limp.
Only the slight up and down movements of his chest tells me he still lives.
Jessy shakily exhaled, fear oozing out of her pores. She makes eye contact with me and I don’t know what expression I gave her because she immediately look away when I catch her.
“Vanessa... you don’t want to see this, we should go.” Elios tells me, his voice low and hoarse.
Matthew sends me a discreet nod, agreeing with Elios. “Come on, Elios and I will get you out of here.”
“I’m not going anywhere.” I tell them, eyes narrowed. “At least until I know what Thomas is doing.”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Elios gestures to the frozen heir of Graymoore who’s entire figure oozed power. “It’s payback.”
Glancing back and forth between Elios and Thomas, I shook my head. “Then stop him.”
“We can’t.” Matthew slowly speaks but ultimately sighs. “We... we don’t want to.”
They didn’t want to?
Around me, the other boys make no move to stop Thomas.
Not Mason, Victor, Jared, Evan or Zanthus.
It’s not because Thomas was too strong for them or that they couldn’t subdue him, they just didn’t want to.
The expression on their faces lets me know they are more than happy to let this happen.
They wanted it.
They craved it.
“It’s not both of us anymore, it’s all of us.” He clarifies. “You have my friends, and... you have his friends.”
Mason told me that weeks ago.
That I had both Thomas and Mason’s friends.
That I had them, if I needed it.
Staring at them now, I finally understood what I’ve been missing this entire time.
All those assumptions. All those worries and concerns.
It had been staring at me right in the face but I hadn’t acknowledged it.
The familiarity in their actions and moves?
It was familiar to me.
Because I am one.
A Ring fighter.
And one of them... one of them might be King.
“Scared?” Thomas looks down at the shattered glass he held before throwing a lopsided smile to Karen. “You should be.”
He marches towards Karen and pulls her by her denim jacket, practically dragging her across the ice.
Karen releases an odd mix of cries and whimpers, her fingers digging onto Thomas’s wrist but he merely held on tighter, drawing her in so they were only inches away.
For the first time since I met her, she truly, looked, vulnerable.
“Did you really think you could control me?” He spits out, fingers curling around her collar. “Did you really think your pathetic attempts at seducing me were going to work?”
Karen shook like a leaf, each word from Thomas practically a blow to her pride.
“If there’s one thing I know about girls like you, you will never stop trying to get what you want, and what you want, is me and Mason. So I’ve come to a conclusion.”
This wasn’t Thomas.
This Thomas was cruel, cold, unforgivable.
This Thomas was one I feared.
“You’re not going to have either of us because you’ll be too busy trying to learn how to speak again.” Thomas holds up the broken bottle to Karen’s throat, situating it directly on her vocal chords.
The Rink went dead quiet.
Karen’s breathing slowed down.
He smiles at the horrification shining in her eyes. “You take away other people’s dreams? I take away yours.”
I remember, partially.
And Thomas was going to take that away from her.
“Did you stop?” He demanded, shaking her hard. “Did you stop when you had pictures of her father’s corpse hung all over the walls? Did you stopped then?!”
He knows it was my Dad.
Did that mean... he knew my secret too?
My body must’ve faltered because both Elios and Matthew quickly tightened their hands on my arms
Tears are streaming down her face, both from panic and fear. “Please, I’m begging you! I’m begging you, I’ll do anything! Anything!”
He chuckles, the glass shard came closer to her neck. “I want you to stand there Karen. I want you to stand there and not move.”
“I want you to stand there Vanessa,” She mumbled, lips close to my ear. “I want you to stand there and not move.”
“No,” The memory of the assault burns clear in my mind. This is wrong. It’s wrong.
“No, no Thomas stop!” Leaping out of both Elios and Matthew grip, I threw myself directly in the line of sight of the heir of Graymoore.
I’m breathing hard, my chest rising and falling.
Dozens of eyes are on me and yet there’s only one pair I’m waiting for.
Slowy, agonizingly, he snaps his bloodthirsty eyes away from Karen and reluctantly brings them over to me.
I hitch in a breath.
The blue and green in his eyes are lost in a sea of anger. There’s so much anger in them. So much rage.
Under all that, there’s also a sense of security in them.
The sense of wanting to protect someone they cared for.
“I want to do it.” He quirks a wicked smile. “I want to do it.”
“I know, I know...” I’m anxiously fighting against the tears. “I know you want to do it Thomas... but it’s wrong. It’s wrong.”
“You don’t get to decide their fates.”
“No,” Stepping forward, the burns on my feet make me wince but I bit my lip and schooled my expression so he didn’t see it. “You don’t get to decide for them either.”
He sees it however, my momentary lapse, those cloudy eyes spot it immediately. “She hurt you.”
“She did hurt me Thomas... but you’re hurting her now.” I nodded, agreeing whole half heartedly with him.
Karen’s pulled taut in Thomas’s hold. Her dark eyes are switching to me and back at a rapid pace. “Vanessa help me-”
“Karen, shut the fuck up.” I snapped, silencing her at once.
Desperately, I try to make sense of what I was doing.
What was I doing, stopping Thomas from ruining someone’s life?
I should let him.
After all, Karen brought this on herself.
So why was I stopping him?
Rubbing my heavy eyelids, I feel my head bow at the action, obviously sensitive.
“Vanessa, we should get you to the nurse’s office,” Mason moves to approach me. “Come on, I’ll-”
“No, I’m not, going anywhere!” Irritated, I sent the heir of BourneFell a scathing glare before refocusing on Thomas. “You can’t make me go either.”
I shook my head. “Stop trying to scare me off Moore, I’m done running away.”
“You can’t stop me from doing this.”
“Goddammit, do you hear yourself?” The pressure in my head was rising again. “You’ve already hurt her. Do you think taking away the thing she loves most is going to solve problems?”
His grip over the shattered bottle tightens.
“If you do this it will never stop. This game of cat and mouse all of us are playing is just, going to keep repeating and I am tired...”
“Fine, stay and watch.” Thomas scoffs, at ease with his decision.
He brings the shard down, closer to Karen’s neck, the tip just inches away from penetrating the skin. “I didn’t take you to be squeamish either so this shouldn’t be difficult.”
“Alright, go ahead. Destroy her only purpose of living. Destroy everything she based her life on. Go ahead. Destroy it Thomas. Destroy it like how Graymoore destroyed mine.”
I said it.
Something flicker in his eyes. It’s brief and lingers. “What are you talking about?”
So he doesn’t know.
He knows my father is dead but he doesn’t know why or how it happened.
“What do you mean Graymoore destroyed your life?”
“Thomas, let go of Karen.” My stare remain leveled with him. Blank and expressionless. “If you can’t do it for yourself. Do it for me.”
A growl erupts from somewhere at the back of his throat. Animalistic and broad.
For a while it looks like he’ll never do it and then he does. He drops his hand and eventually releases Karen.
The silence that transpire between us after that hung heavy.
Maybe it was because I knew Thomas or maybe it was just a fighter’s instinct.
But I knew he would’ve never let Karen go without a scratch.
Not after what she’s done to me.
Kicking her knee, he made her fall before driving the shard straight through her left palm and onto the ice.
There’s a scream. A bloody terrifying scream.
I see the blood as it gushed out from her injured palm.
I see the tears of surprise and pain.
I see Karen weep for the sins she committed.
“Far from it,” He deadpan tells me, getting up and flicking the leather coat aside.
Through all that, somehow the only thing that comes out of me is a breathless scoff.
A scoff of disbelief.
Thomas could’ve done much worse. He could’ve chosen to ignore me and went ahead mutilating Karen’s voice.
But he stopped.
“Jessy, get Karen to the nurse’s before she bleeds out,” I spoke to the still kneeling girl.
She tried to stop Karen earlier on, I didn’t forget that.
Jessy’s mouth hung agape as I addressed her and quickly, she’s already up and helping Karen to a stand.
The brunette turned redhead, weakly follows Jessy, her whimpers reduced to low cries.
Thomas nostrils flares and he grips Karen’s forearm before she could take another step.
“You touch her again and I will kill you, do you hear me?”
“Thomas-” I try to say.
“I said,” He hisses, tightening his grip. “Do you hear me?”
Karen vigorously nodded and pulled away as though he burnt her. Those embers eyes glistened with tears.
“Evan, Zanthus.” Staring at the duo guarding the gate, I subtly shook my head.
They exchanged looks with each other before doing as I say and opening the gates, allowing a wounded Karen and her friend to pass.
With the gates open it doesn’t take more than a minute as the crowd rush out of the ice in scattered patterns.
None of them wanted to stay and fall victim to Thomas if he so changed his mind.
A couple of them picked up the brunette and black haired Thomas knocked out and dragged them out of there until eventually only the nine of us remained.
The Moore boys, the Fell boys and me.
Exhaling shakily, I am amazed by the weight that’s been lifted off my shoulders.
That proves it.
In allowing Karen to leave,
I forgave the people who killed my Dad.
I forgave Thomas.
Most of all, I forgave myself.
“What did Graymoore do?”
Turning around, I glance at him to find him waiting for an answer.
An answer that was long overdue.
But instead of giving him what he wanted, I smiled in response.
“I guess we’re all disappointments then.”
Tucking my red hair back up my ear, I take one last look at my ruined skates before limping towards Evan and Zanthus.
They don’t stop me as I walk out.
None of them do.
So I left for home.