Chapter 43 - Truth
Gray almost looks scared as he lowers himself into the seat I point to, his expression similar to that of a dog cowering in the corner after being kicked. I don’t let up on my glare as I wait for him to get comfortable, my current disgust for him too great to hide.
“When did you find out about the females?” I ask, cutting straight to the point.
I refuse to sit here like a fool and let him skirt around the subject any longer. A small part of me hopes he’s going to tell me the report is misprinted and that he hasn’t just been sitting on this information for decades, but a larger part of me knows that’s not going to happen.
There would be no need to hide anything from me if that was the truth, and his avoidance of the topic screams deceit.
I visibly recoil when Gray responds with the year stated on the report, the last bit of hope I was hanging onto dying. Gray winces at my body’s reaction to him, his shoulders rolling forward and chin dropping to his chest in what I assume to be a display of shame.
“Why?” I ask, unable to find the words that will accurately vocalize how great my disappointment is.
I can’t even bring myself to look him in the eye as he shifts in his seat and sighs. Instead, I stare at the pages in front of me and idly flip through them until I reach the page on extinction. Hundreds of breeds on here were estimated to be extinct in the next fifty years, and I feel an overwhelming sense of grief as I read through them knowing they’re now long gone and this could have been prevented.
My body tenses as I find Humans on this list, my kind estimated to go extinct in seventeen years. It’s a miracle we’re still around, but it’s no secret that we’re hurting. Even if we wanted to, I doubt we’ll ever be able to repair what we’ve lost. The Human gene is spread out, and unless me and all the other Human females procreate with Human males, we’ll slowly be diluted out until there’s nothing left.
“It was only supposed to be for ten years, but then we got busy and, I don’t know, we just didn’t think about it.” Gray truthfully explains, each word that slips from his lips feeling like a knife stabbing through my chest. “We never-”
I hold up my hand to stop him, unable to handle hearing another pathetic justification. There’s nothing he can say to me that will change my mind. There’s no excuse.
My bottom lip quivers as I begin to read off the list of now-extinct breeds. Gray remains quiet as I make my way through them, his hands running through his hair and messing up the neatly styled strands.
He’s visibly uncomfortable as I force him to hear the names of all of the people he’s condemned, but I don’t care. He deserves to be uncomfortable.
“What was so important that it came before the females?” I ask immediately after making my way through the exhaustive list.
Gray sucks in a sharp breath and glances to the left. I watch with a clenched jaw as he gnaws anxiously at his bottom lip. After a good minute or two of waiting, I begin to realize he doesn’t have an answer and that there wasn’t really anything distracting them from helping the females.
They just didn’t care enough to do something about it.
Unable to sit here in this room with him any longer, I push back my chair and stand to my feet. I need to get out of here.
“You’re a selfish prick.” I scoff, shaking my head in disbelief.
Gray shakes his head and stands as well, his evident desire to defend himself only worsening my current contempt for him.
“Charlie.” He pleads.
“Millions of people have died because of you!” I accuse, cutting him off as I grab the report and roughly shove the papers in his direction. “All because you didn’t find it worth your time to tell anybody that you found the cause for the extension of an entire fucking gender.” I continue, stepping back as he moves forward.
Gray comes to a halt as I scramble away from him. The absolute last thing I want right now are his hands on me.
“Ten years? Why the fuck did you decide to wait ten years in the first place?” I continue, angrily counting off the number of breeds that were estimated to die out in that time.
“To give the Wraths some time to get their numbers up before-” Gray starts.
“You’re not even a fucking Wrath!” I scream, losing the last bit of composure I had.
Reaching up, I run my hands through my hair before gripping and tugging on the strands. All this for the fucking Wraths? Is Gray that desperate for Aziel’s approval that he happily agreed to let us die out? Is he really that fucking pathetic?
“Charlie, I’m sorry!” Gray pleads, once more trying to step toward me. I hurriedly back away. “But it’s not too late to do something. We can still make it better.” He tries to reassure.
I let out a dry laugh, shaking my head. If they haven’t done anything during all this time, I doubt they’ll suddenly up and change their minds now.
“I don’t believe you.” I coldly state.
Gray recoils at my sharp tone, and turns to look at the door as Aziel and Silas come wandering in. Both men look confused as they glance between Gray and me, clearly coming to investigate what all the yelling is about.
I glare at all three of the men, my blood boiling as I stare at the reason my life is the way it is. They’re all monsters. Heartless, selfish monsters.
“Why’s the Human yelling?” Aziel questions Gray.
“Why am I yelling?” I retort, sarcasm heavy in my voice. “I’m yelling because you three are a bunch of selfish pricks.”
Aziel blinks, looking shocked at my sudden outburst. Silas mirrors that reaction, while Gray stares at me like a lost puppy. An evil, face-eating, Human murdering puppy.
“It’s your fault that I was sold.” I accuse, gesturing wildly in their direction. “It’s your fault my father’s dead and my mother’s stuck in some facility. I would have a normal fucking life if it weren’t for you three!”
There’s a slight squeak in my voice as I speak, but I manage to keep my eyes dry and tone level despite my heightened emotions.
Aziel rolls his eyes, his clear disrespect and disinterest in how his decisions have affected mine and millions of other females’ lives making me blind with rage. Before I can think better of it, I’m grabbing the paperweight off of Gray’s desk and chucking it at him.
He steps to the side and watches it sail past his head before looking at me with a raised eyebrow. My chest heaves in both fear and adrenaline, my body gearing up for a fight. I shouldn’t have done that.
Silas’s loud snort cuts through the room and breaks some of the tension, and I dart my eyes toward him to watch as he looks between Aziel and the paperweight that now sits on the floor.
He moves to pick it up as Gray rushes to grab me. I jump and skirt away from him, my hand darting out to shove at his chest when he gets too close. Gray frowns at my rejection, his essence slipping out in shock before he collects himself and reels it back in.
I ignore the involuntary clenching of my sex as the pheromones reach my nose, and stomp toward the door to escape the room.
“I’m disappointed in all of you.” I state. “Which should be surprising considering how low my expectations were in the first place.”
“Charlie,” Gray speaks up as I grab the doorknob.
I pretend I don’t hear him as I turn the handle and rip open the door.
“Go fuck yourself.” I snap for good measure, wanting to make sure he knows where he currently stands with me.
The room goes silent as I curse at Gray, Silas’s laughter coming to an abrupt halt and Aziel remaining as mute as ever. I want to turn and look to see their reaction, but instead I keep my chin held high and storm out of the room.
I know that eventually I’ll have to talk to them, and probably face punishment for throwing a weight at Aziel’s head, but right now I can’t bring myself to think about that.
They so casually sat by and watched as the female numbers continued to dwindle. It never once occurred to them to share the information as they saw us getting subjected to harsher and harsher treatment. The males have grown irate and feral with desperation, and they just sat back and let it happen.
I’ve come to realize during my time here that their age has made them jaded and callous on specific subjects, especially death, but what they’ve done here is beyond that. It’s nothing short of cruel and vindictive.
They are nothing short of cruel and vindictive.
Shay stands outside Aziel’s office and watches as I storm out of Gray’s, her eyes narrowed as she looks me over. I refuse to give her the satisfaction of seeing me cry, and keep my head up as I approach.
She probably heard our entire argument, and I wonder if she knew about the females or if this was news to her as well. Either way, I still don’t like her.
I can hear Gray’s footsteps as he follows, but I ignore them. Admittedly, I’m glad he’s nearby to ensure Shay doesn’t try anything, and follows me silently through the manor and up the stairs. He comes to a halt as I approach my bedroom door, and thankfully doesn’t try to enter as I step inside and slam the door shut behind me.
I didn’t think to grab anything to entertain myself with, and regret not talking the female report and translator with me.
Figuring I’ll grab those later, I throw myself onto the bed and crawl underneath the covers. My clothing feels uncomfortable and itchy, but I don’t bother removing them. Hiding beneath the sheets, I curl up in a tight ball and try to recall all of the information that Rock read to me earlier.
Even if the Demons come out and admit the truth to everybody, the damage done is irreversible. Sure, many will be able to recover fully, but the hundreds of breeds that were the most affected will never be able to carry on, Humans included.
It’s already incredibly rare to find a true Human now, and the few left are probably already owned by males of a different breed. I’m not sure what change would look like, but I’m willing to bet the already purchased females would remain that way. The government would probably put harsher restrictions on how males are allowed to treat us, and give more opportunities to the unpurchased females, but it will be years before we see any meaningful change.
My temple aches as the stress and fear get to me, and I wipe angrily at my cheeks as I focus on the sound of Gray moving around in his room. I don’t know what to do about him.
I thought I loved him, but how can I love somebody who so easily hurt so many people. It says a lot about who he is deep down inside, and that person is not one that I want to associate myself with. Behind his pleading eyes and soft gestures is a man who has no problem with mass genocide, which at the end of the day is exactly what he’s done.
After a couple hours of dwelling in self-pity, there’s a light tapping at my door, which I ignore. After a couple more, there’s a quiet squeak as the door is pushed open and something is set on my floor. I wait until the latch clicks shut before climbing out from underneath the covers and looking to see what’s been left for me.
I frown, angry at Gray’s thoughtfulness when I’m mad, and head over to the plate of food. It’s full of sugary snacks and treats, and I eagerly shove a brownie down my throat before repeating the action with a chocolate chip cookie and an oreo ball.
“Charlie?” Gray’s voice travels from the other side of the door.
“Go away.” I snap.
Has he just been standing outside waiting and listening for me to get out of bed? I’m not surprised, but am frustrated that he won’t just give me space.
“I know I fucked up. Will you please speak to me?” He begs.
I set the plate on the dresser and crawl back into bed without responding. He says my name a few more times before seemingly giving up and going away. I stare at the ceiling and count the tiles, feeling eerily similar to the way I did when I first arrived here.
demon boys = stupid boys
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