You can't believe your eyes, it's like seeing a ghost.. Your heart feels frozen in your chest and there is a lump in your throat that is impossible to swallow.. "Ah, Darling.. I was wondering when you would arrive.. He beckons her affectionately and your mind reels.."
You'd recognise this woman, anywhere, with her striking features that mirror your own.. Your mother.. Except, she is not as you had convinced yourself to remember her all those years ago.. Not soft and smiling, filled with love.. No.. That was all a lie you conjured up to comfort yourself.. The truth is she is, and always was stiff and cold.. A distinct air of disgust glimmers in her gaze as her eyes flick over to you, then back to the senator.. She doesn't bother to look your way again.. "M-mom?" Your voice comes out as a whisper as everything you thought you knew shatters apart..
Images from your past, memories of her snarled face begin tumbling though your thoughts .. The many times she had been cruel, neglectful.. Terrible.. Times you had locked away in some deep dark corner of your mind, desperate to forget them.. Because, if even your own mother couldn't love you.. What does that mean?
That you are worthless.. Unloveable..
"MOM!?" It takes a moment for you to realise you are screaming and sobbing now.. The effects of your mental breakdown becoming physically apparent.. The safe little cocoon of lies you had spun in your mind is unravelling, and for a minute, your sanity unravels along with it..
"What is SHE doing here?" Heather Feilds whines and turns her nose up at you as her words sting you like a venomous bite..
Michael chuckles, crossing to her side and lifting her hand to his lips.. "Now, love.. Don't be that way.. You know you are my one and only.." The senator croons trying to calm her..
She smooths a hand through his greying hair before pulling back to inspect her ruby red painted nails.. "You know we need to find out what she knows about Hunter Paxton.. Our entire operation is at risk of--"
"Our!? What the hell is going on here!?" You blurt out your question, interrupting them.. He definitely said "our" operation.. Meaning Heather is not only in on this whole sick gambit.. She's running it.
She turns to you, her expression passive, telling you nothing about how she might be feeling.. "What's going on here, is me correcting a mistake I made twenty-nine years ago.."
You feel wounded.. How could she feel such disdain for her own daughter.. How could you have so foolishly forgotten how truly awful she is.. "Just shoot the little runt and be done with it darling.." She pulls a small silver compact from her purse and apply another layer of lipstick and tousles her hair, completely indifferent, as if she hadn't just ordered the execution of her own flesh and blood...
"How could you do this?.. Why?.. I don't understand.." Everything moves in slow motion around you as she sashays towards you with the confident saunter of a runway model..
"You were the means to an end kiddo, nothing more.. Michael needed the Congressman in his debt and I made that happen.." The senator comes up behind her to rub her shoulders in an effort to subdue her clearly raging irrationality..
"And that you did so perfectly, darling!" Michael praises her and she casts a glance over to Andersons now still, crumpled form.. He doesn't move and you're almost sure he must be dead, still you can't see his face, so you can't be certain..
"Though it appears his usefulness has run its course.. Therefore, so has yours.." She turns to Ramirez, waving a hand at him like he was a waiter at a silver service restaurant.. Heather "Kill her, Carlos.."
You watch him, terrified and ready to beg for your life.. But Ramirez just arches an eyebrow, and doesn't move.. So obviously he doesn't answer her.. That is of some relief.. Because she is freaking crazy!
"Now now.. Let's not act to hasty darling.. This is Zachary's wife, he would like to see her returned in a.. More pliable condition.." The senator puts a hand on her elbow..
She scoffs in an almost tantrum like fashion.. "You can't be serious Michael! You're such a pushover when it comes to that little brat!"
He rolls his eyes and gives her a scolding tone.. "We have been over this, Heather.." His eyes darken with warning and she quickly abandons her complaining..
"Fine.. Do whatever it is you are going to do and meet me in the car.. I want to get back to the city before sunrise.." She doesn't spare you another look as she flicks her hair over her shoulder and turns on her heel, sweeping out the door, disappearing from your life once again..
You sit there, unmoving.. Completely shell shocked.. "I don't understand... I don't understand..." You mutter to yourself and begin rocking back and forth, self soothing your anxiety with the movement..
"Oh? Not so feisty anymore?" Michael laughs..
You lift your baffled gaze to meet his.. "I don't understand.." You can;t seem to say anything else, the phrase suck on repeat..
He grins.. Enjoying every second of your misery.. "It's not for you to understand my dear.. That is not your place.. And I'm going to remind you of that once and for all.." He crosses back to the guard with the blow torch and the now blazing, red hot branding iron.. He snaps his fingers and two of the guards move in on you, your dress falls to the floor as they lift you from the seat and spin you around, you pull and struggle against their vice-like holds..
They drag you to the workbench and force you to lean over it, pulling your bound arms up above you and pinning you down roughly.. You cry, tears forming puddles beneath the side of your face, that is pressed against the cold steel surface.. "First, you need to be reminded who's property you are.."