Tormented

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Your Best Shot

Leo

Where is she?” I demand, shoving Ezra into the wall. Who does he think he is to walk back into this house after what I saw?

I don’t know what Salem was doing here, but I know when I got back from my run, I saw Ezra shoving her limp body into his back seat and speeding off with her.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing? Do you think this is a game?! Salem isn’t a mess I’m going to clean up for you! If you hurt her, I swear to Bastianna I’ll kill you myself!”

He holds his hands up, palms out, surrendering. “We need to talk.”

“Talk then,” I spit at him. “Tell me what you were doing with her.”

“I’m working with Vincent St. Clair. A big key to his plan is having Salem on his side.”

“So you just what? You kidnapped her? What are you thinking, Ezra?” I pace the room, exhausted by his antics. “Tell me where she is, man. Before you get in more trouble.”

“What do you mean by ‘more trouble’ Leo? What did you do?” He asks, his eyes narrowed at me.

“Nothing,” I assure him. “Yet. Not if you tell me where she is.”

He sighs and collapses on the couch. “I came here to talk to you about all of this anyway.”

“You did?” I ask suspiciously.

“She’s at home,” he sighs. “Safe. I never wanted you to get hurt. I don’t care about much, but I don’t screw family over. But there’s some things you need to know about what they’re doing with her.”

I stare at him, unamused. “I don’t trust you. If you’re fucking around with me, if she gets hurt…” My heard is racing thinking of Salem getting hurt.

“I’m not fucking around! But you’ve got to listen to me. When I tell you what they’re doing, you’re going to want to confront them, and you can’t. That’s not the smart move. We’re going to have to really think about the best option here.”

My hands clench into fists. “Tell me.”

“Promise me that you won’t do anything first. Vincent St. Clair isn’t a man you can just go confront and escape with your life.”

“I swear!” I shout. “Just fucking tell me what they did to her!”

He takes a deep breath. “Old Vinny is losing his magic. Don’t misunderstand me, he’s still powerful as fuck. But he’s freaking out, right? So he needs Salem to back him up. She only massacred that town because he tracked her down and pushed her. So now that he knows her strength he’s got her on his side. Nathan and me basically brainwashed her. But see, something happened that made her need to see you, and she came over here. But I had no idea that what happened was going to happen. I swear.”

“What are you talking about?” I ask, confused. “I have no idea what you’re saying.”

“Nathan basically… forced himself on her. She freaked out and came here. I answered the door and I didn’t know what had happened so I turned her in to her father. She’s back to not remembering who you are now.”

“I’m going to kill him!” I say, seething. I’m filled with so much rage that he touched her, that he hurt her, that she came to me and I wasn’t here, that I can barely catch my breath. I head for the door but Ezra jumps in my way.

“You can’t! You’re not thinking clearly!”

“I’m thinking just fine!” I yell. “He raped her, and now he’s going to die.”

“Eh,” he mumbles. “It’s kind of a gray area. She did kind of think they were together. Semantics, really.”

“Semantics my ass! He knows that she wouldn’t have had sex with him without his magical help! He didn’t have any real consent.”

Ezra shrugs. “And if it were anyone else I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. But I know you care about her, and what they’re doing now… it just felt like they were taking it too far. What we need is a plan to get her away from Nathan.”

“What I need is to get her away from both of them!”

“Hey,” he says harshly. “I’ll help you get her away from Nathan. You can have the girl, but we won’t get her away from Vincent, and I’m not going to lie and pretend I want to. Putting supernaturals at the top of the food chain is what we’ve always needed.”

“You’re just as insane as he is,” I spit back at him.

“Maybe so,” he shrugs. “But if you want her, I’m your best shot at achieving it.”

“What do we do?” I sigh, defeated.

I’m not sure how I feel right now. I don’t like the idea of her working with her father, but if I can get her to remember me, if we can find some kind of leverage, maybe I can at least protect her until she and I can find a way out of this mess.

“For starters she needs to remember you, which may be hard because Nathan will probably be on high alert since he got pissed on after this screwup. Then maybe she can convince her dad that she’ll work for him if he agrees to her terms, one of which would be you.”

It’s not exactly what I want, but if it gets her back to me, then it’s enough for now.

“How do I get her away from Nathan?” I ask.

“We have a meeting with Vinny every Wednesday, and she was allowed to do whatever she wanted but now she’ll probably be on house arrest. Maybe you can come up with a reason for her to get out of the house. There’s got to be something you can do to help her remember you—some sort of spell, true love’s kiss, some shit like that.”

I rack my brain trying to think of some sort of spell. As cliché as it may be, a kiss could work, but she’s a lot more powerful than I am—I don’t know if I could get close enough to try.

“Do you think you could get out of your meeting early?” I ask him. “Without raising suspicion?”

“Yeah, probably. They don’t have very high expectations. What are you thinking?”

“I’m thinking about recreating the night at the pizza place. I just have to find a way to get her there.”

“It could work. But if I get caught out with the two of you, I’ll have to turn on you. You understand, I’m sure.”

“Of course,” I answer sarcastically. “You have to save your own ass.”
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