You sit at Patrick's kitchen counter, your hands wrapped around the double scotch he poured into a square cut glass for you.. He stands opposite you, elbows on the counter-top with his aqua eyes on you..
You can't stand the intensity of it, so you keep your eyes on the glass as you trace your finger around the rim.. "You know how you told me about.. Your, um, training .. The training the IRA rebels made you complete.." You pause and peek up, his brows furrowed in confusion at your point of entry to this conversation..
But he nods.. "Yeah.. " He replies slowly, leaning in a little closer to hear your quiet voice..
"Well.. I can kind of understand what happened to you better than you think.. Because it happened to me.. Obviously not the Irish Republican Army part.. But.. My fath--" You stop yourself..
It's time to stop pretending, you keep living in the lie and feeding it.. You need to unpick the fact from the fiction.. Which is not as easy as it sounds much of the time, since fiction has been most of your existence.. "Anderson Daley.. I guess you could say he.. Trained me.. As a young girl.." Patrick freezes stiff as you heave another deep breath, your hands shaking as you sip the scotch that burns its way down your throat.. "Not to fight.. Or to kill, or anything like that.. But how to behave, how to cope with pressure.. And stress... And.. Pain.." You let your mind drift back to the days living under Anderson Daley's rule of law..
"Anderson isn't my father... He brought my mother and I from a live slave auction.. I don't really remember that part, but I know that's how it happened.. How we ended up with him.. Its not as uncommon as you might think.." You lift your eyes from the glass to see his expression has gone cold and stony.. "Patrick?.."
"Keep going.." He closes his eyes and nods his head.. His teeth are clenched and his shoulders rise and fall with deep breaths as he attempts to calm himself..
"At first it was relatively normal stuff for the daughter of such a wealthy man.. Elite finishing schools run by cruel nuns and lessons with sadistic etiquette matrons.. But it was right before my thirteenth birthday when my mother died, in a car accident..I think.. And after that it wasn't long before Anderson told me I would need to learn to endure immense pain if I was to serve my purpose in the family.. That's when the real cruelty began.."
You pull open the shirt you wear to reveal the scars you hate so much around your torso, sides and back.. Anderson had called them "tests", if you could pass a test without crying, without making a sound - it would stop.. Otherwise you would have to face the same test.. Over and over until you learned.. The same tests that had made you strong enough to endure extreme amounts of physical pain, but left you feeling emotionally fragile and helpless.. "He would use lit cigars, letter openers, corkscrews.. Basically anything he could find to cause me maximum pain and leave minimal scarring.." He comes around the bench to look closer at your scars..
A pained gargle escapes his throat as his palm slides over the skin to cover them in a tingly warmth.. "Jeezuz Yevie.. You.. You are stronger than I ever gave you credit for.." He seems to be truly in awe.. Either that or shocked by the sick and twisted facts that led you to this moment..
All you know is you would rather die than continue living in the lie that is the image that Congressman Anderson Daley created for the world to see.. "I was already sold to the senator for his horrible son, to be his wife, even way back then.. The senator would come to the house to check my progress.. Sometimes, he would even join in with Anderson.." You choke up, shaking your head and wrapping Patrick's shirt tightly around yourself you let out a sob..
He pulls you towards him into his soothing embrace, but you resist, pushing back from his chest with one palm.. "I'm not strong.. I'm stupid, Patrick. What I did today at lunch.. There will be consequences far beyond me being written out of the Daley dynasty.." You reach out and stroke the side of his handsome face..
You have to warn him, have to protect him.
Evil has already invaded your life, you won't let it touch Patrick too.."So you need to get as far away from me as you possibly can.. I don't care that you kept secrets from me, if anything happened to you I could never forgive myself Patrick.. You are too important to me.."