Chapter 16 - Zachariah's point of view
I loaded the gun, both feet shoulder width apart as I pulled the trigger, the bullet dragging blood with it. The other two raised their machetes above their head, pretty stupid since it was only going to delay their attacking time, giving me more time to fuck them up. Oh well, if they wanted to devolve and disappoint Darwin, so be it. They charged for me, trying to severe my arms. I crossed both arms around my waist, pulling two daggers out and thrusting one in the stomach and the other into his neck. He screamed, his internal jugular vein spraying his sinful blood all over my expensive furniture. Ignorant rat. I stabbed another dagger into his heart, finishing him.
A pip squeak came out of nowhere, his body shaking, his pimples paling. He tried to turn and run, but after the many robberies and rapes him and his troop had committed, the only punishment in Dalia for those were death. I was about to throw the nearest weapon at him, but a soldier came behind him, tasering him. I stared in annoyance, watching as he convulsed and fell unconscious onto the ground.
“He was supposed to die.” I glared at my best mate.
“We can use him for intel. Besides, you can always kill him if he turns out to be useless.” I nodded, understanding him. “But I still got to him first dipshit.” His face was incredibly smug. I shook my head. Another outlaw walked in. What the fuck did they think was going on, a house party? I threw another dagger, aiming for his vile heart. His knees gave way, as he fell face forward, thrusting the dagger deeper into his body, a fountain of blood all over Mum’s beloved furniture. Oh shit.
“Chew on that shit face.” I walked past Brett, punching his shoulder before giving him a side hug. “Brett, take the pip squeak to headquarters and I want him under maximum security. We have far too much valuable information and we cannot let them mess with it. Also, I am granting you permission to use any means necessary to extract information from him. I need to get to Isabelle.”
“Man you are totally whipped, you –”
“I’m still armed,” I chanted. He groaned, cursing under his breath, calling his men in to take the former outlaws out of the house, clearing the bloody mess. “Oh yeah, someone clean the blood off and also, if the furniture is beyond repair, replace it with its carbon copy. She shouldn’t know that her favourite furniture has rogue blood over it.”
I sprinted to the panic room, seeing her knocked out on the sofa. She looked so beautiful and peaceful. I looked down at my clothing, seeing that it was bloody. I got up, sprinting to my room to shower. On my way back, I noticed that I had visible pinpricks on the back of my hand. How I had no idea. I made a mental note to check CCTV. Roughly five minutes later, I went back down to see Isabelle. She was now stirring awake, both hands on her head, groaning.
Isabelle’s point of view
The headache was painful. Even the light overhead was too strong to look at. A strange taste lingered in my mouth, and it didn’t take me long to realise that I had thrown up.
“Isabelle, are you ok?” I turned to the source of the whispering. He was sat right next to me, concern sewn into his features.
“Just feel a little strange. Can we get out of here?” Zach nodded, grabbing my hand and walked out. “Actually could we head to my room?” He nodded, his eyes slightly dilating. “What happened in there?” He looked at me as though I had grown another head.
“That’s what I was hoping you could tell me Isabelle. I looked at the CCTV footage of the panic room and saw a man leering over you. I was held up by some rogues and so that probably gave him time to escape. But are you ok? You aren’t hurt, are you?” The sincerity from his tone only confused me even more.
“Zach, I’m perfectly fine. Finally.” I turned to my room, glad that I was able to change the topic. I walked in with Zach still holding onto my hand. Discreetly, I tried to slip my hand from his, but his grip only tightened.
“Zach, I need to use the bathroom.” He nodded, letting go. I walked as quickly as I could, hoping to evade his prying eyes.
I brushed my teeth, proceeding to use mouthwash to get rid of the sour taste. Everything was normal this morning, then, out of nowhere, the mansion was attacked, and I must have puked and fainted, or fell asleep. I felt like scratching my hair out; what on earth was going on? Zach told me that I had people after me, could this be them? I shook my head, walking out.
I sat down opposite Zach, staring at his hand. Despite a bandage, there were small pinpricks of blood seeping into the cotton. Tears rebelled against their confines, as I pushed down my memories.
“Isabelle, what’s wrong?” He moved closer to me, but I edged away.
“Zach, why is your hand injured?” He looked down at his hand, then looked back at me.
“I injured myself when I was fighting the rogues off. Don’t worry. I’m fine.” He moved closer as a treacherous tear ran past my cheek, but I didn’t want to be touched. I wanted to be out of this mess. I wanted my family back, not any of this. My head started swimming again, a side effect of my medication. Unable to control my body, I fell backwards, lacking the power to answer to Zach calling me.
Start of flashback
Both my parents stood behind me, their eyes glistening with unsaid emotions. I was standing on a stool, in a large, white mermaid wedding dress. The dress was fitted with an off the shoulder neckline and lace sleeves. The train was a foot long, perfectly complimenting my long veil. My make-up was minimal, boasting my radiant skin tone. The hair accessory was bunched on top of my usually messy hair, that was intricately drawn into low messy bun. I stared at my reflection, butterflies wildly swimming in my stomach.
Two men walked in, whispering into my parents’ ear and the four of them piled out, leaving me to stand in front of my mirror, in my bedroom of sixteen years. My five-year-old self looked back at me, the zeal of first moving into this mansion flooding through me. Tears brimmed at my eyes, but I didn’t release them. I wasn't in the mood to call that annoying make-up artist.
Wanting to distract myself, I looked for something to do, a light bulb moment coming to me as I looked at the eyeliner pen in front of me. Carefully, I managed to a feline style eyeliner. I pulled my arm back, satisfied with my work. I looked at my lips, seeing that another layer of coral lipstick wouldn’t do any harm. I stepped off the pedestal, placing everything back into its place. Lean arms wrapped around my waist, and I froze momentarily, a familiar face smiling back at me.
“You look ravishing,” he whispered, brushing his lips onto my bare shoulders. I squirmed, as the butterflies intensified. I turned, resting my arms on his shoulders.
“You know you’re not supposed to be here. What if someone walks in?”
“Hmm, and who would?”
“I don’t know, maybe your mother and father-in-law?” His face contorted, his body tensing, but luckily, it went as quickly as it came.
“Trust me, they won’t. Anyway, we’re going to be husband and wife in under an hour.” He moved back a little, resting his hands onto my shoulders.
“I’ll see you soon, Mrs Anderson.” He grinned, giving my shoulders a small squeeze before leaving the room. I smiled, rearranging the folds of my dress.
On cue, my father walked in.
“Shall we?” He asked, tears falling down his cheeks. I looked around, grabbing a tissue, and dabbing it at his coarse cheeks.
“Yes, we shall.” I smiled, looping my arm through his. The expression on his face slowly melted, replaced with a soft smile, one I have always loved looking at. We walked out of the house, making our way to the Maserati Quattroporte. Father picked the train up, resting it by my heels as I sat down. He sat down, sweat forming pools onto his brow. After a few minutes of this, I looked at back at him, perplexed as I studied his bizarre behaviour.
“Father, what’s wrong? You seem rather nervous.” He opened his mouth, but a threatening look from the driver stopped him in his tracks. I stayed quiet, not wanting to repair the dense tension in the car.
By the time we reached the church, he was able to compose himself, helping me out.
“This is the last time you’ll be seeing this church as a maiden, Isabelle.” He stopped talking; the tears in his eyes said enough. We both turned, not knowing what to say to comfort each other. I had mere seconds to admire the beauty of the cobbled church before Father started walking inside, with me hot at his heels.
He intricately lifted my heavily embroidered veil, covering my face. Mother walked towards me, handing me a large bouquet. The bouquet held an otherworldly beauty, with its mix of white, blush, dusty, coral pink and scarlet flowers, the rose and peony flowers proudly standing out against the evergreen, serrated leaves. I gripped onto the long stem, unaware of the extreme force I was using. My mother noticed, smiling.
“Isabelle, there is nothing to fear, you’ll be fine. You have us and James.”
“Could Amora make it?” I blurted, a guilty weight finally easing from my chest. She pressed her lips together, the battle between her mind and heart displayed though her unshed tears. Before I could react, the organs started playing, marking our entrance. Mother noticed, taking a deep breath and straightening her posture, walked in. Father hooped his arm around mine, and together, we followed.
Miraculously, I managed to evenly distribute my weight onto my four-inch heels, my emotions a tumbling mess in the pit of my stomach. I understood that brides would of course feel nervous, but this was extreme. I loved James, and couldn’t wait to marry him, but why was there a nagging feeling that I was potentially making a massive mistake? I shook my head, focusing on the man I loved at the altar.
He looked both ways before offering a cheeky wink. I felt ecstatic, his gesture igniting a wildfire, which was soon replaced by embarrassment as others laughed. The music died down, the bouquet taken out of my hands and instead replaced by James’s hands. The nausea returned, along with the other nasty feelings that were swirling at the pit of my stomach.
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