Agape

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This can't b-be happening

Chapter 34

Declan:

Ella.

My mom.

Ella.

My mom...

JULIAN—

Ella.

I can’t find the words to talk. Ellie’s here. My mom’s dead. Ellie’s holding me up. My mom has a bullet in her head. People are yelling. There are so many people. Voices from all directions. It’s making me dizzy. Ella’s crying, I can feel her warm salty tears drip onto my dirt-drenched, blood-skidded skin. But I can’t console her. I’m so tired. I’m so fucking tired. I can barely move, I feel so heavy. Like a barrel of boulders. Sleep, I want to sleep. My head is pounding, pulsating. And my eyes—my eyes are closing. They won’t stop closing. I can’t keep them open. I don’t want to be here anymore.

Something hurts. Everything hurts. And it won’t go away, amplifying and expanding and evolving. Like a parasite or a disease.

I just want to sleep. I try to mumble to Ellie but I can concentrate on what I’m saying. But when her voice fills my ears, I let the soft sound of her encase me. Swarm me. Ellie’s here. And that’s the last thing I hear. Because I’m an anchor and I’m sinking into a black sea where absolutely nothing but oblivion surrounds me. And it’s quiet here, cold, but quiet. It doesn’t bother me though. The quiet is nice, the quiet is dark, the quiet is freeing.

Wes:

I pull the trigger.

I have no hesitation, no second thoughts, no guilt as the tranquilizer dart slices vividly through the air and imbeds itself into Julian’s shoulder (hopefully deep too). And when Julian’s face goes slack and he collapses to the ground, my feet move into action as I drop the tranquilizer gun, pushing myself off the ground and sprinting down the hill. Around me, my dad and his undercover team do the same. The faster we handcuff and secure Julian and his guys, the faster we can get them out of here and behind bars so they can stand trial.

I force myself to stay concentrated on the task at hand and not run to Declan, Ella, and Olivia. Once Julian’s and his guys are secure, exempt from weapons, and boarded in the undercover cars, only then will I allow myself to go to them. Pushing the tension away in my chest with each stride closer, I unclasp the handcuffs from my pants loop and go to the first passed-out person in sight just as my father’s men do. It only takes a total of ten minutes to unarm them and haul them to the cars.

When Ella went to the police station with Declan’s mom demanding answers, my dad was the first to be called. Having solid evidence and a victim confirming possible suspicions is what made Ella’s assumptions a real matter and brought together a case and possible kidnapping. Of course, Ella and I already knew who had taken Declan and her mom but the police needed more than just an educated guess from a teenager who had nothing to go off of. And she refused to use her scars as evidence of her assault. That was something personal and it wasn’t something she felt the need to share and have people analyze.

So this is where the plan came together. The FBI would scope the house, pretending to sell furniture magazines while other agents closed in around it, readying to infiltrate the house when they heard the signal. My dad’s specific job was Julian. Whatever happened, Julian could not escape. So when the house was invaded and searched and Julian was nowhere in sight, my dad’s first priority became Ella, Olivia, and Declan’s mom. They were alone in an undercover car. But they weren’t left unprotected, they had microphones on which my dad had to specifically listen in to and track.

Efficiently my dad laid out orders and we surrounded them with a distance of about a half-mile away, hiding in the trees and bushes, setting our targets on the guys holding them hostage. We had to be far enough away so they couldn’t hear or see us, and if they did hear a little shuffle of leaves they’d hopefully let it go as some chipmunk or something. We couldn’t just interfere and make ourselves known when weapons were involved and in clear view of being used, it would only put Ella, Olivia, and Declan’s mom in danger. Their safety came first. So in situations like this, we had to watch and wait until a window opened up and we could take action.

Slamming the car door shut, I turn around and hurry back into the woods, passing my father’s men and Julian’s passed-out ones alike. Just before I reach the small clearing, I see my dad and two other men restraining a very awake Julian, shoving him forward. My hands unconsciously ball into fists at the sight of him, his face looking nothing short of smug. That’s when his cold calculating irises meet mine and his blood-red lips veer upward into something between a smile and a smirk. It takes everything in me to keep myself together and look unfazed. Because right now he truly looks like a psychopath.

How the hell is he awake?

“Wesley Blake.” He draws. “Fool me once, fool me twice—but Wesley Blake don’t forget I’m the one ruling the dice.” And with his parting words, he gets shoved forward as my dad releases a few not-so-friendly words, chuckling like some kind of maniac. I brush them off not giving him the time of day, no need to waste my time on that fucking scum bucket. Continuing to walk to the circular clearing, I see Olivia with her arms crossed holding herself tightly, her dark hair all in her face, and decided to go over to her.

When I’m right behind her, I gently place my hand on her back which causes her to jump. Immediately I felt guilty for scaring her. She already looks shaken up. “Hey, it’s just me.”

She tucks a section of her long hair behind her ear. “Sorry.” She gives me a weak smile that looks more forced than not. And as I go to tell her no need, my eyes catch the bright red line across her throat, caked in dry blood. Stepping closer my hand automatically lifts to her neck and my index finger just barely traces the newly formed cut, as something inside me sparks to life. Like flint hitting just right. She sucks in a breath as her caramel eyes follow my every move.

“Who did this to you?” I don’t even recognize my voice.

She shakes her head swallowing, fear momentarily painting her features. “I don’t know his name but Julian was threatening Ella.” Without thinking I remove my hand and begin turning around ready to march over to Julian and knock him the fuck out. What in the hell is wrong with him? How could he do this to a teenage girl, especially a girl as kind and friendly as Olivia? But before I even get two steps, a hand catches my arm. “Just let it go okay, I’m fine.” She certainly wasn’t fine. So I went to pull away only to have her hold on tighter. “Please—please just stay here with me.”

My feet halt at the sound of her voice, how vulnerable it was. She was scared, and she didn’t want to be alone. Looking to the path I just came from, I turn my head and settle my eyes back on her face and release a strained breath. “Okay.” Relief flooded her face and I absolutely hated how upset she looked.

“Okay.” She said back.

And for a moment we were silent just staring at each other. Then I cleared my throat. “So umm, I’m kind of sad that I can’t do my super powerful, very damaging ninja moves but—I’m ahh really good at bear hugs and they usually help my little cousins feel better—” Before I could finish rambling her arms snaked around me and her head rested itself on my chest shocking me enough to shut up. Figuring it would be awkward to just stand still like a fucking stationary tree, I followed suit and rested my hands on her back.

“Thank you.” She whispered tilting her head to me, a small barely noticeable smile on her lips.

I raised an eyebrow. “For what?”

“For worrying about me.”

I shrugged letting a smile of my own come forth through the anger still alive but somewhat faded inside me. “You’re my friend so of course I’m going to worry about you.” And just like that, her already tiny smile dimmed.

“Yeah.” Was all she said back.

Ella:

I was holding the boy I loved in my arms for the first time in a little over a week. And I thought seeing him would mend my fractured heart, but not like this. Seeing him like this, bloody and tired and weak only chipped some more pieces off. Seeing him like this made everything inside me psychically ache, it made me furious and upset and sad. I hated it, seeing him like this, abused by a monster. It made my hatred for Julian unbearable, consuming. I want him to suffer in all the ways he’s made everyone else suffer. I want him to be hurt and in agony. I want him dead.

Prison won’t be enough. An insane asylum won’t be enough. Nothing will ever be enough for a cold-blooded murder, abuser, psychopath, and womanizer. I want him to rot and wither and decay. And I’ll do anything I have to do to make it so. Because he won’t ever lay a hand on Declan again, not if I can do anything to stop it. My ugly thoughts disintegrated when Declan began to shake out of nowhere, not like regular shaking, but uncontrollably shaking. Immediately my body goes into panic mode as I pull away slightly to see what’s going on, only to see Declan’s eyes glaze over in a way that wasn’t right and his face slack of emotion.

Immediately I gently pushed him down onto the ground, angling him on his side while screaming for help, almost completely positive he was having a seizure. Inside I felt like my bones were being crushed by so much pressure they might cave in, as my hand gently but frantically combed Declan’s dirty, chocolatey hair out of his battered worn face. “You’re going to be okay, alright?” I murmured softly, hearing my voice break, more for my own comfort than his. “I love you and *hiccup* and I won’t let anything happen to you.” And I kept screaming, demanding for someone to call 911.

Hurried footsteps came running our way as I squeezed Declan’s cold clammy hands, whispering to him. “What’s going on—shit—SOMEBODY GET THE EMERGENCY KIT!” Wes roared, kneeling down beside me with blue eyes wide as saucers, Olivia just a step behind him.

I was crying, not sobbing, just crying. Tears trampled down my swollen cheeks as I continued to mumble to him, choking on the words as I did, needing him to know I was here and I wasn’t leaving. But then a white foamy substance began to leak out of his mouth and I lost it. “W-Wes what’s happening? That’s n-not normal...that isn’t n-normal.” I stuttered, rambling like a lunatic. “What’s h-happening to h-him—this can’t b-be happening.” I couldn’t stop myself, I

was panicking, feeling utterly helpless, desperate. And all those things combined were excruciating to feel, a nightmare really.

Wes’s mouth opened and then shut, he didn’t know what to say to me and that scared me more. But it didn’t matter because nothing he could’ve said would have calmed me down anyway. Just then three people I didn’t know in those uniforms I didn’t recognize surrounded us, but soon realized it must have been Wes’s dad’s crew since Wes was wearing the same thing. “He’s having a seizure.” A blonde-haired woman about the same age as my mom said. “We’re going to have to ask you guys to back up.”

Gently both Wes and Olivia grabbed my arm, silently telling me to move back and give them their space. It took every ounce of strength I had left to let go of Declan’s hand and step back, momentarily leaving him in the care of strangers I didn’t even know. But I know he needed help and I couldn’t help him but they could. Immediately the women leaned down beside him and began giving orders to the other two men. “Jake, I need the benzodiazepines. Tyler, hold him still.”

My hand covered my mouth automatically as I turned away, unconsciously turning into Wes’s chest. He seemed a bit shocked, but pulled me in any way, telling me that they knew what they were doing and an ambulance was on its way. He smelled like woods and damp leaves, almost like he had been lying on the ground or something, nothing at all like Declan. I simply watched as the man who I presumed was Jake gave the woman a long needle-like thing with a cap. The women wasted no time popping the cap off and pressing one hand down on Declan’s shaking leg. While the other swiftly pressed the needle into his thigh injecting him with some kind of medication.

I cringed, nose scrunching, despising every second of it. I wanted to reach out and yank the needle away from the lady but shook the thought away. She was trying to help him, but it didn’t make me feel any better that Declan had to be poked. The seconds that passed after felt like decades, but soon after the needle was injected the shaking and uncontrollable jerking slowly came to a stop. He looked limp save for the fact that his chest calmly moved up and down, almost like he was sleeping. Except I knew he wasn’t sleeping, he was passed out.

“Ella!” Thomas’s very real voice had me snapping my head away from Declan and pulling out of Wes’s arms. When I spotted him walking towards me, my eyes darted from him to Declan. I didn’t want to leave Declan, not in this state or at all.

“I’ll stay with him,” Wes said behind me, reading my mind.

With that, I ran to Thomas letting him engulf me in his arms. And then I sobbed.

*

I just wanted to say sorry for not updating regularly. I haven’t really been in the mood to write with everything going on at my house. Buttttt I wanted to tell you guys that I’m thinking there’s going to be anywhere from 3-5 chapters left of this story. Roughly that’s what I’m thinking, maybe more. I would like to finish this story before I leave for college so I’m hoping to get it done before August 25th...no promises though! Also, I was thinking about possibly (not official) doing a book three where they go off to college and blah blah blah. I would write the whole story first and then publish it, unlike this book. Tell me your thoughts and what you think! I hope you enjoy this chapter, any questions you have (about the outcome of characters in this book) will be answered in the next chapters just in case you’re wondering. P.s sorry for any mistakes! feel free to point them out!

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