***POV - Melaena
The misty rain outside chills the already cold wind blowing through the broken glass of the tiny window a few more degrees. Covered in goosebumps I pull the thin blanket tighter and move closer to Luke’s small body, hoping to transfer more of my body heat over to him and vice versa. The movement wakes Kiara and her eyes flick open, catching mine over the little man’s head.
We just silently stare at each other, drained loopy eyes looking but not seeing. I know exactly what she’s thinking, that she’s uncomfortable with everything, but she keeps quiet. We’ve ployed up a plan A, and just in case it flops miserably, schemed a plan B and C as backups. Although it’s all altogether the same plan. Kiara is not happy with it, and yes I know it’s risky at best, but we both know it’s the only way.
The tiny bean in my tummy seems to tap all my energy and I swear I’m too tired to even close my eyes. I send up a mindless prayer, hoping that Damion will find us in time, and another one to protect my little blob and all of us until he does.
They came to take away my father just after cutting off his finger and by the excruciating burning screams that break the suffocating darkness every now and then, he’s having a rough night. I’m also worried about Jackson, wondering where they’re keeping him and what’s happening to him. The key turns in the lock again and Kiara’s pupils grow bigger, making her eyes seem demonly black. We don’t dare move, hopefully, the person will think we’re all asleep and leave again, but no such luck. A hand grabs my arm and jerks me up hardhandedly, waking Luke.
“Hello, darling.” I blink a few times, thinking that maybe I fell asleep and this is just a dream, but the look on Kiara’s face tells me this is the painful reality.
“Ren?” The word rolls ghostly from my lips when I eventually close my dropped jaw and manage some control over my vocal cords.
“Actually it’s Darren.” He walks over to the window and then turns back to look at me. Anger slowly starts to push the initial shock aside and bubbles up inside me.
“Fuck you, bastard!”
“Oh, you will soon. We’re just waiting for your irritating lover to arrive.” The glint shining in his eyes predicts that whatever he planned is not anything even relatedly good – no it’s bad.
“You’re sick!” The disgust on Kiara’s face is enough to send more than one demon to its death, but it’s not even a fraction of what I’m feeling toward my ex right now.
“I tried to win your heart the normal way, but you just had eyes for that piece of shit. Now he’s going to suffer for breaking the number one rule – trying to take what’s mine.”
“You can’t blame the girl, he’s hot.” A familiar woman’s voice comes through the open door and then the owner of the voice walks in with a huge smile, holding her hands behind her back. Kiara is back to being a frozen statue with a large open mouth for a few seconds and then her lips move forming the name of our friend.
“Lucinda?” This time ‘surprised’ doesn’t even begin to describe what both me and Kiara are right now. Maybe combine super-surprised, or stunningly-flabbergasted to get superstunningly-flabberprised!
“Hi, girls.” She leans her hip against an old broken dresser standing against the wall while her finger pulls a line through the layer of dust as if she’s majorly bored.
“Enjoying the accommodation? See, this was my room long ago. That was before your family fucked up our lives.”
“You can chat with your little friends later, sister, I need to get things ready.” Ren … or Darren glares at me with lustful eyes, and a smile that would freeze an active volcano instantly.
“I’ve been waiting for this a long time.” His hand cups his junk and he shakes it suggestively while the smile grows even colder. Just thinking of him penetrating me pushes up the piece of pizza and I cover my mouth with my palm and swallow hard.
‘Sniff pixie dust and soar’
The chant runs through my head - Damion’s Peter Pan shit, that for some reason, always comes to mind when I’m in some kind of trouble. The last words his sister said in this very house.
Okay, shock is over, now we need to get our plans in motion before it’s too late.
“Leave her alone!” Luke jumps up and stands on the bed like a little superhero with his arms in his sides, chest pushed out, and chin up. Ship, what does Hayley feed these Grimm boys – they sure move fast, and they seem to like staring death in the eye. But before I can even try to pull him down, Lucinda swings her arm and slabs Luke from the bed, and he lands with a THUD and a groan on the floor. Darren pulls me unwillingly towards the door, while Kiara jolts up to protect Luke with her arms from more blows. A silent conversation happens between our eyes and she whispers into Luke’s ear.
Plan A is in motion, and even though her eyes tell me she’s still not happy about it, she also knows she has to do it. The fucking Lucinda bitch laughs hard, her lips rolling over like a fucked-up horny orangutang. Sorry to all the apes for lowering them to that disgusting level and sorry for swearing like a pirate captain, but under given circumstances, I’m sure I’ll be forgiven.
Darren is holding onto my left arm, the broken or bashed-up one, and the pain only inflates the balloon of anger until it pops and all I see is red – blood red. My right arm flings out and a fist strikes Lucinda solidly with an uppercut on her jaw, throwing her off-balance and she lands against the dresser behind her. Who knew growing up with four wild brothers, learning to fight, would one day come in handy?
“Bitch!” She yells her eyes flickering with surprise that turns into anger. Hell, that look is worth the painful knuckles, that’s for sure.
“It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it!” I can hardly stop now, I have to keep the bravado up to give Kiara and Luke a minute to escape. I push my body into Darren to open a path to the door. Kiara grabs Luke’s hand and they sprint through the opening down the hallway before Darren or Lucinda can do anything. Lucinda turns to face me with a scolding hate-filled face. Her pathetic attempt to slap me fails horribly when I catch her wrist and turn it until I see the pain on her face.
“Don’t bark if you can’t bite, shrew.” Where is all this coming from? I’m actually scared shitless that they’ll do something to me that will hurt my baby, but I can also not allow them to hurt Luke. The plan is for Kiara to escape with Luke before they can kill him or rape her – she will then hide Luke and go get some help. Yeh, not the best plan, but it’s all we have. And why did I let her go … ’cause we hope that at least D would not do anything to me? Little did I know that D is my stupid ex-boyfriend. But still, I hope he would not harm me … at least until help arrives.
“Fuck, if this is not turning me on!” Darren growls out a deep laugh, his fingers tightening more painfully around my arm as he drags me out of the room not waiting for his angry sister to follow.
“Go get them back.” If the look on her face is any indication, Lucinda is not happy about being ordered around by her brother, but she drags her feet down the hallway.
“Where are we going?” I ask while being roughly pushed down a huge staircase, the chandelier hanging from the roof flashing a vision from my past into my mind. Flippin, what is it with me and this damn haunted house? I stop and turn to Darren.
“I saw your dad years ago, standing here.” He looks at me but I can’t see his eyes in the dark.
“I know. You were around nine and shot through the arm. I was hiding up there,” he says, pointing to the top of the staircase. “After everything happened, we’ve fixed up and stayed in a small part of the house. Your mother gave us enough money to survive for a few years, without my father needing to work and nobody seemed to come looking for us here.”
He pulls me towards a room on the right side of the entrance room and we walk past the hole Kiara fell in – it seems so much smaller than I remember or maybe it’s just because I’m bigger – who knows.
“I was on my way to come and help you, but even back then that guy ruined everything. I’ve hated him for so long.” He murmurs while dragging me along.
“You know … this is the room where everything happened … it’s as if it’s cursed. Right here,” he points to one side, is where they hanged my mom to make it look like suicide.” His voice is hard, laced with hate. Then he points to the middle of the room, “here my father was tortured, and over there … “ I look at the heap of rubble that was once part of a now broken stairway, “is where your lover’s little sister died.” I gasp and my heart aches, imagining Damion’s pain. Darren ties me up. Stuffed against a pillar in the room, the ropes so tight they’re already cutting into my skin, the pain from my broken arm causing me to bite on my teeth - literally.
“And this exact column is where they tied me up.” His hand holding the knife is slightly shaking as he cuts my shirt open, unveiling my breasts, now only covered by my violet lacy bra.
He pulls in a lustful breath and licks his lips, his face and eyes wiped from any emotion. Watching in horror as his lips move closer, panic soars through me. But instead of kissing me like expected, he janks the chain from my neck, Damion’s chain, and puts it with some curse words into his pocket.
Without thinking I spit into his face, I’m so angry at this guy. I understand that he went through a terrible ordeal, that he’s filled with hate and wants revenge, but it still doesn’t give him the right to do this to us. None of what happened to them was our fault, it was my grandfather’s and old Garcia’s … maybe my dad’s. He wipes his face with an ugly grin. As if in slow motion he pulls a gun from his side and sticks it into my mouth. I stare at him, thinking that his face is going to be the last thing I see. I swear time just froze; I see him pulling the trigger; I see the hammer slamming; I close my eyes and wait to die.
Click. Nothing happens. The gun gets pulled from my mouth. Darren laughs out loud; a sinister laugh; an ugly laugh. I’m done … broken … scared shitless. That’s one moment in my life I never want to repeat again. My body is shaking so bad I’m getting concrete burns where my skin scratches against the pillar.
Then his hand with the gun connects with my face again … and again.
I feel something wet running down my cheek and I don’t know if it’s blood or tears or both. He takes my chin in his hand, his fingers bruising my face. He loads the gun and then squeezes it against my temple.
“Never do that again. I have no problem killing you if it comes to that. If I can’t have you no one can!” He throws my face to the one side and I look away, praying like never before.
“Say cheese!” He sends the photo to somebody and slips the phone into his pocket, the look on his face must be the exact one a deer sees before it gets killed by a predator. He grabs my hair and yanks it, forcing me to face him. With his other hand, he then cuts my jeans, ripping them from my body and it falls to the floor in a mangled puddle at my feet, leaving me feeling vulnerable and exposed, standing in only my underwear. It’s chilly and my body is covered in goosebumps, shivering from both cold and fear. He runs his hand over my breast and between my legs and I bite on my tongue, forcing myself to keep calm. I’ve never been so scared in my life.
He walks away to a table in the room and pours himself something that looks like scotch before he falls casually into a chair, taking a sip from his glass. I struggle against the ropes but they just cut deeper and deeper into my arms. It feels as if I’m going to faint, my head is dizzy and my body seems numb, probably from the cold.
“Now we’re just waiting for your boyfriend.” Looks like we’re going to kill some time until Damion gets here. My heart flutters just thinking about the man, but now is not the moment to get all smoochy about my baby-daddy.
“Why did my mom give you money?” I use my draining energy to stand up straight, trying to relieve the pain in my arm. He turns the glass around in his hand, the golden liquid catching the light, twinkling like a star.
“Your mom knew the truth, she’s the one that helped us escape, that treated our wounds.” Okay, now I feel like the guy that got on a plane to sunny Hawaii and ended up in snowy Russia.
He gets up and walks back to me.
“Years later, Alexander, found out about it and had your mom raped and murdered. You’re cowardly father disappeared. My dad was upset about her death and planted the bomb that killed George and your grandfather. It was then that we started planning to take over, and get revenge all in one.” He holds up his glass and stares at the liquid shining in the light.
“Because of your mother, my father will not hurt your other brothers … unless they do something stupid. As for Jackson, the fucking asshole will get what’s coming to him … but he won’t die. And you are going to come rule with me.” In your dreams buddy, I think, but don’t dare to say it out loud. I have a special something inside me I need to protect my body for.
“What did Jackson do wrong?” Might as well get answers while we wait. I watch his eyes change into hate. Then he puts the glass down and takes off his shirt. For a moment I’m thinking the worst, and I shoot up another prayer.
Then he turns around and I see the scars on his back. Old scars, but still visible. No wonder I’ve never seen Ren without his shirt the whole time we were dating. I always thought he was shy.
“Your psychotic brother did this,” he says.
“He was freaking something like 12!” I don’t believe that a young boy could hurt someone that badly.
“So was I. He still whipped me a good 20 times. He also helped to cut up my dad.”
Movement at the door interrupts him and the guy that brought us the pizza drags in my father’s body … or by the looks of it maybe his corps – it’s a naked bloody raw mess of a human being. He throws it down against the pillar next to me and the old man groans painfully. Okay, so he’s still alive for now.
“Sniff pixie dust and soar,” I softly whisper at my father … hoping he would hear me, even though he doesn’t respond. He groans again. Maybe he heard me.
The man then whispers something to Darren.
“Fuck!” my ex shouts out and kicks the chair over. Something definitely pissed him off. He walks to me and sticks the gun into my stomach. I stop breathing. Please don’t shoot my baby, I pray silently, my eyes focused on the gun. I watch Ren moving his finger on the trigger and I wait for the pain. But again it doesn’t come. Darren chuckles as if it’s a big joke. I don’t see anything funny though. I’m scared to death and I think I’m going slightly insane right now.
“Are they dead?” he turns around to look at the pig that’s standing behind him.
“No, just unconscious and badly beaten,” the man answers, “but don’t worry, he won’t go far as long as we have his sister.” Are they talking about Jackson? Or maybe one of my other brothers?
“You know, that guy is a freaking lunatic … he took out two of the guards while still tied up. And he keeps on smiling like a fucking devil, even if we torture him … fucking crazy.” His words send chilling jolts down my spine. It can only be Jackson … I start pulling at the ropes again, fighting the pain and exhaustion. Did Jackson escape? Does he know I’m here?
“Did you find the boy?” Darren looks at the man that’s openly staring at me as if he’s going to eat me for lunch.
“Nope, just the girl … but we are still looking. We’ll find both of them,” the other guy says without taking his eyes off me, and I’m sure some spit is running from the corner of his mouth, while his hand fiddles with his crotch. I realize they captured Kiara, but it seems that she at least hid Luke somewhere.
“If that man gives you any trouble just shoot him in the head.” The man nods and walks away. Darren picks up his glass and goes back to his chair again. I look down at my father.
“Dad, dad are you okay?” I whisper softly, not wanting Darren to hear us. He opens his eyes slightly, but I can see that he’s hurt pretty badly.
“Mel, forgive me, girl. I just … “ he struggles to breathe, “wanted what’s best …” Deep inside my gut tells me that this might be our last conversation ever.
“Dad, I forgive you.” I’m not sure if I truly mean it, but I know it’s what he needs to hear right now. His eyes light up a little and he gives me a small smile. Then I lean over, as close as my tied-up body allows, and talk to him with a huffed voice, “Dad, I’m pregnant. You’re gonna be a grandfather soon. Hang on, okay?”
This time he manages a big smile on his bloody face and tears form in his eyes.
“I love you, Mel,” he says and starts coughing, a thin trickle of blood now running from the corner of his mouth. Then he closes his eyes, his breathing an unnatural gurgling sound.