The Murderer's Daughter

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Chapter XVII

As soon as the car ha stopped and Martin unlocked the car to escort Lena out, she had woken to her senses. While still too weak to move or run away, the strange calm nature of Martin taking her arm brought a sort of peace she didn't understand how to process. He was neither forceful nor cruel as she was lifted again out of the car and back into his arms. The sun was high above her and without thinking Lena turned to hide her face into his jacket, groaning when the action pulled on the skin of her shoulder. He said nothing and was still gentle with every step he took, the knocking he made on the door quick and rough poundings that echoed in her ears. Not only was the branding under the sun terrible, but her phobia of the sun on her flesh starting to set in as though she could envision the rays burning her pale skin into a red and peeling mess, what would that do to the very last drops of her sanity? She didn't have to know as the door opened but she couldn't see anything with her face still hidden towards Martin's jacket. Lena wasn't ready to look at her father, she could feel his genuine concern but that meant nothing now.

"Thank you for bringing her, do you mind bringing her upstairs for me?" Martin's silence remained as he went into the house, her father's directions guided him easily through the hallway and into the room she wanted no one else to be in. This was her limit, this man took part in her punishment and now he was in her bedroom, holding her helpless and broken body. And yet as he walked over to her bed, still with her in his arms, she felt a calmness coming from him, a strange relaxing emotion radiating from his senses, somehow overriding her anger and agony. "Lena you have to let go of my jacket so I can lay you down." The voice was so soothing, not an American accent yet she could not determine where it came from. It took her a few seconds to uncurling her fingers from the dull leather, putting her full trust into this stranger while he lowered her tense form to the bed, laying on her left side and pulling the blanket over her body to her chin. Lena's eyes locked onto Martin's for a moment while nothing more was exchanged. This was the first time she could see his face, not hidden in the shadows, not under frightening circumstances. All of his suffering were so plainly painted into his eyes, what horrors he lived through staring back at her, almost giving her a new light of life. He was pale like her, now she saw just how much taller he was then her, perhaps even more then Hayden and her father.

His tangled brown hair looked slightly greasy, just like his unshaven face hide his true age, the stresses of life perhaps aging him maybe five or more years. Asking didn't seem proper, Lena would still stick to her etiquette. Without missing a beat, he walked to the door, not looking anywhere else but the exit and ignored her as he departed, closing the door gently, the steady footsteps fading until they disappeared. "Thank you." Lena whispered before letting her head fall down to the pillow letting her eyes close finally, each and every care and worry in her mind fading into the blackness she departed to. Nothing hurt her there, nothing burned and scarred her, a simple peace washed over her into a different state of mind and clarity. She was allowed to sleep.

***

The days went on with little to no conversation between Lena and her father. No clients were mentioned but she heard them arrive, chatting with her father and disappearing into the room. Somehow her love for that world was dimmed as she managed to at least walk about the house and fend for herself while the scarring process continued. The list Hayden had sent her was strict and timely. She wasn't allowed to touch it while it scabbed over and once that was done, then she was supposed to irritate the scab so the scarring would become more pronounced and visible. Lena couldn't shower for a couple of days, she feared the pain would send her completely into the insanity that lurked in the back of her mind. She couldn't even remember the last conversation she had with her father, but she was certain that he had been drinking. What was going on with her memories? Why was it so difficult to piece together what she wanted and what was expected of her? Almost ever hour of the day was spent pacing the room, building up her energy, figuring out her true mindset.

What was the moment between her and Martin about? Was there something there? That couldn't be possible, the world was too devious to allow her the true company of a man. She was better on her own, if alone was how she was meant to be then she would gladly accept that, the ties that held her from Hayden and her father were becoming too much too quickly. What happened to the young women who loved every second of causing pain? Had the taste of her own evil wiped away the desires of killing? Lena hoped not but could not yet determine if so. Lena found safety in knowing her capabilities and strengths, yet the weaknesses were breaking down her walls that she carefully built around her humanity.

While she spent the days building back her energy, she did more research, using her laptop this time and working for countless hours on studying human behavior, weaknesses in certain areas of the body, anything else related that she could write down and study later. She needed and ached to learn more, understand everything about the world around her, Hayden had the advantage of years and experience with those around him that she did not possess yet. Hayden's interests were surprising to Lena, he seemed like a man who did not want to get his hands dirty yet he was more then eager to burn away her flesh and brand with his initials. She allowed the pain in her back to fuel her anger at those who lied to her. Her father still kept his distance from her, even meals were eaten separate. Lena rarely ate anymore, she never had a craving for food until she would nearly collapse from lack of nutrients. Her father continued to eat three times a day or even more. Lena was sure that his drinking continued but that didn't matter to her now. Nothing mattered except being matched to Hayden.

His knowledge and experience with life irritated and inspired her. There was so much she did not know about him, didn't understand and could only hope to absorb. Each day came and went, eventually she did not need a bandage on her shoulder but Lena still refused to look at it. But she still had to touch it, keeping to the instructions so it would come out as a scar and leave her with a constant marking of her lowest point. The raised skin still sensitive to temperature and strain of stretched skin when she lifted her arms. Each night she lost more hours of sleep, thinking of each second of that torturous time, Hayden careful hand turning her skin into a symbol all his own. All these years she spent training her mental abilities and her personal strength just to have someone crush it within the hour, it only showed her just how unfit for this job then she realized. The only person who could teach her to improve is the man who was downstairs, drinking his guilt away, and submitting to Hayden's continuous orders.

Lena still loved the killing, she knew that instantly as she left her room to answer the knock at the door. Her hands, neck and face the only part of her body exposed as the black robe and floor length nightgown. Normally she would not allow anyone to view her in this state but the knocking was sounding annoyed now, just like how she was feeling. Opening it her annoyance turned to disgust as Hayden stood in the door, Martin by the car, staring back at her. "Good afternoon, Lena. I see you are recovering well. I need to speak with your father, I am aware that he has a meeting at the moment but I find this to be the perfect time for me to speak with him." Not yet had he come in, nor did she invite him. The fact that it was his money that paid for this house and everything in it was just another thorn in her side.

"I suppose so, please...come in." She stepped aside so Hayden could step inside, his black suit looking brand new. And they same exact shoes she had licked were on his feet, just another detail to annoy her and force her to clench her fists as she closed the door while Martin remained outside. Hayden handed his jacket over to her to hang up and going into the office without a word or even longer glance at her then necessary. His coat was placed on one of the hangers and left in the darkness, retreating finally back upstairs, knowing that if she were to change when he came to wish her goodbye he would assume she wanted to get on his good side. She didn't want wrong impressions to be made. Not at this point in their 'relationship'. And what about Martin? That false moment between was just a distraction, something she didn't want or need in order to fully be committed to her goals to keep out and away from Hayden's affairs while still staying to her skills and loves.

Instead she sat at her desk, running her nails along the wood and focusing on the sound to calm her nerves until there was a sudden knocking now at her bedroom, forcing her eyes open and her body to turn in the chair and slowly walk over to it. No one was allowed to be even outside of her space. She only opened it a few inches to see her father's hunched figure in the shadows of the hallway looking back at her. "You've been requested, Lena. More of we both have. I am so sorry." His speak slurred as she struggled to pronounce each word. Lena looked at him in disgust. This was the man she had marveled at? In a few days now she was withering before her, from poorly put together wardrobe to unpleasant smells from his lack of showering and continuous drinking. "What are you sorry about? You were the one who filled the glass." She said coldly and pushed passed him, locking her room and descending the stairs into the parlor where Hayden waited patiently, looking at the mantel of the fireplace.

"You requested a meeting?" She asked, controlling the urge to rip his throat out with anything close or even shoving a candlestick down his throat. Something of meaning. He turned, a smug look to him, his hand holding to an untouched glass filled with what looked like scotch. Why was he always trying to put on a show? The anger couldn't help but seep from her pores and force her nails into her hands while her father stood beside her. "Yes, please have a seat, both of you." He didn't wait for them to sit down before continuing, pacing the room while tapping the glass with his finger, clearly taunting her father. "It is seemly that you, Henry have been failing to keep a level head in all that has been going on. Yes you are human and we all unfortunately make mistakes but that is unacceptable in this business. I will not have someone so taken with a drink that he cannot handle his duties. Do you understand?" Hayden faced them now and Lena looked at her father out the corner of her eye at his slumped shoulders and shaking hands. It was astounding how fast it took for the alcohol to overcome him.

"And you, Lena. You are turning into a very unpredictable individual. I see in your face and eyes that my punishment on you has done very little to teach you the lesson of doing what you are told. That concerns me. So I have decided a plan that I expect to be followed through. Lena will be staying with me. Henry, you will be revoked of your jobs until further notice while I teach Lena the skills she needs to increase her craft while still being monitored of anything that may come as a problem to me or my business. There will be no objections, no further details until I am ready to share my plans."

Her jaw dropped slightly, she had not expected nor could she not imagine a more horrid moment. She truly would have no breaks away from this man. But what if this could play in her favor? Hayden had said all humans make mistakes, perhaps this could be his. Lena kept the shock on her face, keeping her emotions completely to what he wants to see as her father looked at them both. "Please, Mr. Miller...she was already taken from me once, not again..." The desperation in his voice almost got to her, but in order to ready be on her own without eyes on every action she made. Hayden was unresponsive as he walked over to a window, opened it and spilled the drink into the grass below until each drop gone and the window locked shut again. "Lena, I will have Martin here in the morning to retrieve you and your things. The length of time you will be gone is not decided but I would plan for a fair amount of time away. goodbye for now. Henry I will call you soon as to what I expect from you. Please get me my jacket, Lena."

Without a word she brought it over to him while he winked when putting it on and left without another word nor glance. Emotion after emotion piled one after the other in Lena's mind, making her dizzy and hold onto the wall for support. Not yet had her father moved from the chair but soon he would more then likely turn back to a drink to wash his sorrows and pathetic hatred for himself. There was nothing to do now but to pack, she would need to follow Hayden's rules for a little while, giving his a chance to relax to her being there and granting her more freedom perhaps. The dark and coldness of her room beckoned for her for the remainder of the day to sort the things she wished to part with and things that needed to be in her possession. Her journal, laptop, some of her outfits packed and waited at the foot of her bed for the morning, the last few hours of that day meant for a meditation to clear every little uncontrollable feeling and discard it, leaving her a shell of the confused and hurt girl she had been.

Focus and planning needed to be her motive, every detail and movement so precise that Hayden's death would seen like a suicide. could she make him crazy? Was such an idea possible? It depended on her, putting all of her knowledge and studying in line and simply hoping for the best for her own outcome.


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