Theirs to Claim | 18+

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Chapter 47 : Xavier

Chapter 47 : Xavier
Monday, August 9th, 2021

The truth is out, and now I must face the consequences of my actions.

I deserve everything I’m getting, but I was well aware of the repercussions that came along with my choices.

I will never apologize for them, though.

My lies are the only reason my Madelyn is breathing right now, even if she’s using her breaths to run as far away from me as possible.

The emotion in my friends’ eyes looks as though they wish to do the same, but I know they won’t.

I hold the answers to all of this, but at the same time, I don’t know a god damned thing.

“What?” Caleb flinched, taking a step back from me.

I didn’t repeat myself because I knew he’d heard me just fine, and they were words I didn’t wish to say again.

None of us wanted to accept the fact that the man who killed my mother and threatened to take everything away from us was the same person who raised our girl, but it was the harsh reality.

Is she still ours, though?

It was a thought I couldn’t bear, so I simply refused to think about it.

I could feel my lip throb from the split cutting through the bottom, but I knew I earned it.

As I looked into the eyes of my two best friends, the second blow, this time from Caleb, displayed anger, but I knew on the inside they were mostly scared and confused.

Scared seems to be the only thing I’m capable of feeling right now, and it’s a feeling that makes it hard to breathe.

I barely even winced as Caleb’s fist connected with my stomach, but I took it.

When I forced myself to stop being a coward, I looked up to see the tears in their eyes matching mine, but we never let them fall.

For a moment, all we did was stand there, taking in the harsh truth none of us wanted to accept.

It was silent, but the words in their questioning eyes said everything.

“On the night we signed the contract with Madelyn, I got a phone call.” I started.

My heart pounded against my chest as if trying to break free— to avoid the truth that was about to come out.

But I couldn’t.

“I waited for her to fall asleep before leaving back to my room to take care of some things.” I swallowed nervously, but forced myself to continue, “About an hour later, I received a phone call from Vincent saying that he’d found Marcus’ weakness.”

It was the idea we ourselves pitched to him the same day we met Madelyn.

I didn’t have to say what that weakness was, because it was the same one all three of us now shared.

“Vincent told me that he would send some of our men out the next morning to retrieve the girl, unaware that she was already in our bed.”

I saw the confusion and pain in their eyes as I spoke, but the words spilling out of my mouth wouldn’t stop now that they’d started.

“I was given the order to have her drugged, kidnapped, and held hostage back at the base until we could—”

“A ransom.” Alec interrupted with an angry whisper, his fists clenching at his sides as the pieces began to connect with one another.

That was always my role after all.

I was the hunter, and I had been told after one of the best moments of my life that everything I loathed in this world was the father of my girlfriend.

“I did what I had to do to keep her safe... I pitched Vincent a new idea.”

I forced my need to hit something down as that familiar darkness began to bubble deep down inside of me.

“He wanted us to torture and slowly kill Madelyn over a one month period; the month we had off. Vincent told us to strip every one of her emotions bare and video tape it so we could send it to Marcus as leverage.”

Just the thought of doing that made me feel sick, and nauseous, and entirely lethal.

“He believed Marcus’ love for his daughter would be enough to trade his life for hers, with the ultimate plan to just kill them both in the end. I couldn’t let that happen, so I created a lie that would only feed into my new proposition.”

Maybe it made me a coward, but my gaze averted to the line of cars behind Caleb and Alec, not being able to look them in the eyes at my next words.

“I told him I’d make her fall in love with me.”

I felt like all of the air was punched from my lungs, despite the fact I hadn’t been hit.

“I convinced Vincent that Marcus didn’t care for his daughter and merely viewed her as a liability along with Madelyn’s mom— his ex-wife. I told him Marcus left his child with her alcoholic mother, abusive stepfather, and the deadbeat town in Detroit she grew up in. You see, Vincent believed love would drive Marcus into our hands, but I had to weave a new story.”

I went to breathe before I spoke again, but Caleb, for the first time in minutes, cut in.

“Madelyn was abused?” My friend’s voice cracked as he said those three words, my own confirming what we all feared since we first met her.

While Caleb could have more than easily pulled up Madelyn’s hospital records, he was better than to ever invade her privacy like that.

“Her records are filled with monthly hospital visits and the odd call from schools, but nothing ever came from it. Not in a shitty place like that.”

There was a lot of information Vincent shared with me that night that led to me trashing everything in sight, but the news of her stepfather pained and angered me more than I’ve ever felt.

I promised myself that night that no matter where our relationship went, Madelyn’s stepfather would die by my hands and I would spend weeks dragging him to death’s doorstep just to yank him back and do it all over again.

“What caused Vincent to change his plans?” Alec asked, not commenting on this new information.

I knew this wouldn’t be the last of this discussion, but there were so many conversations to be had and such little time to have them.

“Once he agreed the love that wasn’t there wouldn’t be enough to lure Marcus out of hiding, I convinced him that while Marcus did not care for his daughter, he did for his image.”

I had no doubt Marcus cared for his daughter with everything he had; sometimes it was the villains of the story who loved the deepest.

However, I still used what was most believable to my advantage. Given my father’s bone deep hatred for Marcus, it wasn’t hard for me to paint the picture of a man who’d abandon his child, only keeping in contact with her because she was his only heir.

I told Alec and Caleb just this.

“You intentionally had our picture taken with her?”

Alec was picking up quickly, putting together this puzzle out loud.

“I knew Madelyn barely ever looked at the news or tabloids, but yes, I made it very clear to the world who she was with in hopes of it spreading to Marcus.”

I have countless people hired to steer the paparazzi far far away from anywhere we ever went, so I simply extended that to Madelyn too.

“I took a selfie of me kissing her on the cheek about a week ago and leaked it on social media. I’m sure you’ve seen the countless articles and interview requests popping up about us.”

The slight nod of their heads confirmed they saw, but only now understood.

“I knew I had to make news of our relationship spread quick, and relied on the fact that once word got to Marcus and his people that his daughter was dating the very man they stood against, his entire operation would crumble from the inside unless—”

“Unless Marcus came for Madelyn himself and convinced her to join him.” Caleb finished the words I was just about to say.

“None of his followers would have faith in a leader whose own daughter chose to be with their enemies over him.” Alec said, mumbling a curse afterwards.

That was it. That was the truth to the lie I can’t seem to find a way out of.

“It’s only supposed to be a temporary plan until I can figure out a permanent way to keep Madelyn out of harm’s way, but it worked.”

Vincent agreed that was the perfect plan to take Marcus down, and for the first time in my life, he said he was proud of me.

I didn’t tell Alec or Caleb about how I destroyed my room after I hung up, or how Madelyn was the only thing that kept me from teetering over a very dangerous edge that night.

All I could do was hold my breath as all of our words hung in the air, as well as the fact that we were missing the fourth person that made us feel complete.

God, just thinking about Madelyn hurts.

I don’t know how we’re going to get her back or repair every bit of trust that was broken at my hands, but I would give everything I had to do it.

She was it for me.

“Fuck, Xavier.” Caleb said, running his fingers tensely through his hair before grabbing it in frustration.

I know.

When he took a step to me, I prepared myself for another hit, but all I received was his arms wrapping around me tightly.

While I would have let both him and Alec beat me until I grew unconscious, he hugged me instead, Alec doing the same.

“We’re in so much shit.” He murmured, and I couldn’t help but agree.

“I don’t know what to do.” I say, pulling back and looking at the vacant spot of the car Madelyn took.

I turned my head back to my friends, both shooting me a tired, yet relentless expression that said all I needed to know.

“I’ll grab the keys.”

We were going to get our girl back.

- End of Chapter 47 -

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