Chapter 42: Understand
Unravel Him Playlist on Spotify.
Song; (NF- Trauma)
He moves, feigning left and going right. I directed the attack, maneuvering so his move is thrown out from under him.
Then I dive, instincts and years of habits guiding me forward.
It feels robotic, mechanical.
Like my body is here but my soul is simply spectating.
I’m not here at all.
We exchange several blows, each time deflecting and evading.
Left. Right. Uppercut. Dodge.
Everything I do, everything he does... I don’t respond to it, not emotionally. Physically, I meet him head on, but mentally I’ve retreated.
It was happening again.
Happening as usually as it normally does when I fight.
The control of my body is taken over by something else.
I only call it that because it’s not a person.
It’s nothing because I don’t feel, anything.
Keeping mid range, I kicked at his abdomen with my right foot and hit home.
He grunted and grabbed my leg before tossing it so I lose my balance and fall.
I skidded a few meters before getting up and charging.
He meets me halfway.
I receive another punch, one in the abdomen, another to my chest.
My next attack is halfhearted. This earns me a kick that causes me to roll over, too stunned to breathe.
But I keep going.
The ground is hard on my knees as I scrap them from another blow on his end.
I cried out from pain when I felt my forearm being twisted so I was arched backwards.
His breath is hot against my neck as he twisted my arm hard enough for it to sprain.
I trash, but his arms lock around my shoulders quickly before we are thrown against the ropes. The impact makes me grunt, my body rejecting the strain it has been through.
Somehow I hear him speak through the gasps we share.
“Where are you?”
I look at him, eyes distracted, lungs full.
“You’re not here.” He growls as explanation.
No... I am not.
And I can’t help it. I can’t hide it.
Because it’s him, it’s always him, it’s always so difficult.
My intentions reveal themselves in full light, peeling the layers off one by one, leaving me vulnerably exposed as the mask I’ve perfected over the years cracked ever, so, slightly.
It wasn’t a lot.
It was just enough.
Because the truth is when I’m in the ring, fighting...
I don’t think, I don’t feel, I just do.
In return, I don’t hurt, I don’t regret, I don’t lose.
I put my life on the line, I put my soul in jeopardy, I put my death up for grabs.
And it’s sick, because nobody can beat me, nobody can fight me and win.
So each time I’m thrown out here, each time I face an opponent, I give everything I got, I give everything, to die.
Because I don’t care. I’ve longed stop caring.
And now... here he was... he was here. He was my salvation. He was my hope. He could end this for me.
I wanted, him to end this for me.
As all this whirls around my mind, reflecting outwards in my eyes, eyes he can see and analyze.
Eyes he can’t help but gasp at how far I’ve gone, how far... I’ve truly fallen.
I fight like it’s my last.
Because that’s what I’m trying to do.
I’m fighting to die.
With him... it was possible. It was finally, possible.
I can die.
Words form in my throat as I stare at his disbelieving gaze. “I’m sorry.”
Not sincere. Just a hollow thought.
Words to comfort him, not me.
Just like that, his blue green eyes narrowed into unimaginable fury. A roar escapes his lips sounding both heartbroken and maddening as I’m thrown to the side so hard, my teeth snag against my lip.
The crowd screamed.
I stayed on the ground for a couple seconds before slowly getting up, fingers touching the tender spot of my bottom lip.
King is shaking. His arms tremble and his jaw grounds hard against his teeth.
He’s mad, boiling with rage and as I stared hard enough, regret.
It takes every will power inside him to spit out that word.
I have the decency to feel ashamed, guilty.
What I’m trying to do is the easy way out. The quick and efficient way to stop feeling altogether.
People call me a killer. I’ve done terrible things. I’ve taunted and made lives miserable. I seemed invincible at times.
But this one, twisted secret, I’ve rooted inside me was something not even Jonas had realized.
Every time he sent me out to fight he doesn’t know I wish to never make it out alive. If he did maybe he would never have thrown me in it so eagerly.
But I do make it. I do survive.
Every time, over and over and it just wasn't right.
When I shot Jackson and the gun was right there...
God, I wished I’d taken it.
Despite the severity of the situation, I give him a sad, empty smile. “I guess it came down to this after all.”
I’m choosing to jump like how my Dad and Malorie did.
“No,” He slashes at the air like he could cut whatever wall was between us. “No.”
And he’s backing up, he’s retreating, he wants nothing to do with this, he wants nothing to do with my intentions.
But I don’t let him.
Feigning a left, I made a sharp right and skidded on snow before grabbing the ropes and sliding beneath the other side.
With his back now to me, I used the rope to pulley forward and forced my entire weight against him.
He stumbled, caught off guard as my knee jerked so it belted his chin mid-turn. “Fuck!”
King recovers quickly and hurls a left kick, deflecting my blow so I end up colliding with my own knee.
I gasp and take the moment to cradle my own leg, already feeling a bruise.
Before I can even move, he’s grabbed hold of my shoulder and spun me around so my back is trapped against his chest, effectively rendering me immobile.
“I don’t... want to hurt you.” He says against my ear, restraining me so I can’t move.
He was panting. I was panting too.
“Don’t make me hurt you, please.”
I struggle and wince when he squeezed, cutting my oxygen off.
I ignore his command, fighting harder, gasping when his grip grew tighter.
But its all I know.
Its all I can do.
And as he holds me down, feeling the tremors my body release, I make the decision to seal my fate.
King anticipates my movement just as quickly as I execute it, his leg kicking the back of my knees so I fall, no longer able to stand.
His hand is around my neck, the other digging into my abdomen.
I can’t move.
I can’t go anywhere.
I’m trapped, on my knees, forced into submission.
“You... don’t know anything.” I speak, voice hoarse, hoping I could convince him to tighten his grip even more.
“I can’t stop. I need this. I need, to finish this.”
King forces my face to meet the ground knowing I was seconds away from breaking his grip. “I can’t let you do that.”
The action causes me to buck but only succeeded in turning over on my back so I see he’s straddling me.
We locked arms and I shoved my elbow up, hitting his eye.
He flinches feeling the pain from the new bruise but does not move.
Instead he leans closer, allowing me to see his blue green eyes flare with unquestionable emotions.
Emotions I can’t handle nor understand.
“I can’t give what you’re asking of me,” He whispers, reaching deep into my soul for a part of me that still beats. “I can’t do it, Ginger.”
He longs for me to respond, to stop fighting altogether.
But I don’t do that. I don’t do any of that.
A barrel of frustration has honed in on my chest, twisting his words painfully deep.
This feels like a betrayal.
Why couldn’t he do it?
First Jonas... now him?
Why couldn’t anyone give me what I wanted?
Why couldn’t they put me out of my misery?
Why did they want me to stay so badly?
I didn’t want this.
I didn’t want any of it!
Brimming with un-kept rage, I used the last of my energy to flip us over and pinned both of his arms on either side of him, trapping him there.
“Why did you look for me?”
I’m angry, enraged.
“Why, did you come here?”
He laid still, silent by my claim.
“You could’ve moved on... You could’ve chosen to forget about us, eventually, someone else would come along! Someone stronger, someone that could finish me!”
I take a deep breath almost shaking at this point. “It didn’t have to be you.”
The bodies I’ve left in my wake should’ve scared him.
It should’ve ward him off and attracted someone else. Someone who’s just as eager to put a stop to my madness as I am to create it.
So why was he here?
Why did he have to come back?
Tightening my hold over his hands, I leaned forward, not caring that the crowd around us continued to scream for us to shed more blood.
“Why didn’t you just, walk away? Why didn’t you just leave me?”
“Then what?” He finally cracks, his tone grave. “I watch you spiral? I watch you lose yourself because you couldn’t handle what Veronica did?”
The mention of Veronica forms a burst of something that rises up my spine, momentarily masking my wants.
“She betrayed me.” I say, because its the automatic response.
“You got your revenge didn’t you?” King said, his features schooled into blankness.
The blood freezes in my veins as he spoke his next words.
“I saw the room. I saw what you did to her.”
Her eyes widen, terrified.
I smiled. “Beg,”
The dagger dug into her skin and she trashed, screaming for help as I held no mercy.
Hurt her more.
Gripping the dagger tighter, I forced it downwards, towards her right eye.
“Vanessa, Vanessa, please! Please, let me go! Let me go!”
I hit her eye lash, then her eye socket.
“Let me go! Let me go, please!”
Blood squirted out, tainting half my face.
“N-NO! WAIT! WAIT, PLEASE!”
The memory hit me hard and I shook my head, nauseated by the smell of iron.
“Everything... you’ve done Ginger, everything you left behind for me to find... I’ve seen it all.” He wets his dry lips and swallows hard.
“From Veronica, to Ethan, Travis, Jonas, the Danivels, Jackson...”
The world blurs.
“I’ve seen... everything.”
The monster. The animal. Me.
So he should be angry. He should lose control.
I prepare for it.
But it doesn’t happen.
Instead, he’s still and quiet. Frozen and solid.
“I had to do it.” I blurt out, my words shaking and I don’t know who I’m trying to convince.
Me or him?
All those things I’ve done, they were necessary. They had to be done.
“I had... to do it.”
He stares at me, never once doubting my words. “I know. I understand.”
Shouldn’t he lose control?
Shouldn’t he attack me?
Shouldn’t he be doing anything?!
Why wasn’t he looking at me like I was the most vile thing on Earth?
I admitted in hurting Veronica.
I admitted that I wanted to do it.
So why was he staring at me like that?
Why was there no... judgement?
WHY WASN’T HE JUDGING ME?!
“I understand, Vanessa.” He repeats slowly, fingers gently cupping my face and its only now do I realize I’ve let him go. “I understand.”
A sob erupts from somewhere deep in my chest, breaking through walls and reserves.
The tension between us amp up to a billion and yet he approaches it with gentleness and clarity, comfort and...
“No,” Shaking my head, I grabbed hold of his collar and shook him hard. “No, no, stop!”
He can’t do this.
He can’t look at me like I’ve never done anything wrong.
He can’t look at me and forget what I’ve done.
How could he?
Why would he do that?
His blue green eyes continued to glitter and I falter, feeling tears well up in my eyes.
“Stop looking at me like that- ST-STOP! I DON’T WANT TO SEE IT!”
I don’t deserve it.
I don’t deserve any of it.
Horrified, I recoil and fall backwards, struggling hard to control my raging emotions and how fast they boiled over.
No. No. No.
This wasn’t supposed to happen.
This wasn’t... no, oh god no.
It’s suddenly very hard to breath and as I try to control it, my body desperately trembling, I find a something lodged in my throat.
Pure primal agony escapes my lips as I scream tearfully, raw abandon ripping in my chest.
I can’t be what he wants me to be.
I don’t want to be.
In a flurry of madness, I’m scratching my face, my arms, my chest, my hair, anywhere, to get it to stop.
His hands are on mine before I can scream again and I’m spun against the ropes, my back scratching the post as he practically held me down.
I kick and scratch, angry, terrified yells consuming me.
My head is pounding, my chest is constricting.
I can’t do this.
I can’t do this anymore.
“I’m not who you think I am.” Anguished and in peril, I beg him. “I can’t be different for you, I can’t-”
“That’s where you’re wrong.” He cuts me off. I stare at his ocean eyes and feel my heart stall. “I’ve never wanted you any differently.”
It slices deep, burying straight for my heart and soul.
I clench my teeth, it hurts, fuck it hurts.
I’m gasping for air as it begins to burn.
“I won’t... break.” Its a worthless plea as I feel my whole world tilt and fall, shattering into pieces. Pieces too broken to fix.
“I... can’t, break.”
King sighs bitterly as he leans closer, his lips against my forehead. and his hands cupping my face. “You already have.”
I feel the strings loosen around my ears before he rips the mask off my face, throwing it far onto the open air.
The carved wooden piece hits the platform with a soft thud.
Snow is still falling as the crowd is silenced.
Snow is still falling as the murmurs start.
Snow is still falling as Thomas buries my head to his chest and didn’t let go.
A/N God, I missed this book. But I also remembered why I had to take breaks from it.