The Murderer's Daughter

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Chapter XVIII

Sleep was not allowed once more while Lena tossed and turned and tried to shut down her thoughts. Of course such an idea as that was near impossible when there was so much to put together and sort through. How would she kill him? Would he expect her to pull a stunt that would endanger him? Would she be under surveillance? Most likely. Was Hayden going to kill her and her father? Did she care if her father died? Most of the questions went unanswered yet kept piling up, becoming jumbled. If she was thinking about one question, another one would start before sorting through the question before. It was just another step towards insanity, the effects of the meditation already wearing off while the hours passed by.

Eventually she was allowed to shut her mind down and drift into the deepest parts of her imagination, the true innocence and secret love for fantasy. Dragons, mermaids and wide open areas of forests, hidden waterfalls, every detail in full color. Never had relaxation taken such a heavy toll on her body, once morning had arrived it was like waking up with a new pair of eyes. More details registered. The crease that shouldn't be in her curtain, the foot prints in her carpet when she had been pacing. The clock by her bed read 6:50 AM so she quickly took a shower, dressed in her usual black dress, dark patterned tights and heels, pinning her hair out of her face and waiting for the notice that it was time to leave. An hour passed, going downstairs and meeting up with her father was out of the question, too much of a chance to get in an argument, something that didn't sound appealing.

Finally she heard someone walking up the stairs, the pace quick and impatient, the knock only four quick sounds that echoed in her ears. She quickly answered the door to meet the much taller stature of Martin, his similar wardrobe as each time she had seen him. "It's time to leave now." He said simply, stepping into the room as though an invitation was not necessary, the sudden entrance forcing Lena to move out of the way and holding onto the door in annoyance. He bent over only a few inches to grab the handles of her bags, taking all five but one which she was grateful he left. That one carried her computer, iPod and journals. Neither made any further eye contact and neither said a word as the last bag was grabbed in Lena's hand and the door locked behind her. Wasn't she supposed to be more upset about leaving her home to go to the place she hated most?Perhaps the reality of it had yet to sink in while they went down the stairs and the door of her father's office opened for his to take a few small steps from it and silently look at her.

She returned the blank gaze once reaching him. Not even a goodbye or a fight for her to stay? Which wouldn't work but it would give her some sort of warm feeling to hold onto while step out the front door. Maybe he would drink himself to death in order to escape the horrible turn that his life had made. If he would not put in any effort to saying good bye or even I love you, neither would she, it was not worth the time or energy and regrets would have no need to haunt her. "Let me get the door for you." He said quietly and moved ahead of Martin who froze in mid step while the door was quickly opened out of his way. "Thank you." His mumbled reply sounded and then he was out of the house, putting the bags in the trunk and waiting for her. Lena looked at her father in disgust now, he was practically shoving her out the door.

"I suppose this is goodbye then." She said, watching his hand tighten on the door handle, making his veins more noticeable. "Take care." Was his last words before she became too frustrated to say anything more and left without even another glance. His position was told, he was more afraid of Hayden then he was a father to her. There was much more she could learn from him but his true side was shown to her, granting her a new chance to clear her mind of any lose ends. She brought the bag into the car with her and Martin shut the door and trunk, moving to the driver's side without anymore conversation. How was she supposed to react to all of this? Angry? That was inevitable. Sadness? Perhaps, but she would use that as fuel to continue on with herself, there was too much baggage in her mind that would get in the way of her goals. If and when she killed Hayden, perhaps even Martin if needed, then maybe she would see the part of her father that gave her pride to be his daughter.

The drive was not as long as Lena had anticipated. She couldn't even remember if she had been at his home before, her memories of Hayden only of his shoes and his careful branding. Not to her surprise, a iron gate greeted the car and Lena couldn't resist rolling her eyes. Money clearly was his leverage, despite the hidden talents. The paved driveway was long, making the house hidden from the streets of similar looking houses. There was no noise outside, no sense of family or life which was what Lena had become so used to it hardly seemed abnormal. The house itself was remarkably similar to her own, the same door with no windows and heavy door handle, thin and narrow windows beside it and the house painted an ivory color. The only difference aside from the more sophisticated look, there was a third floor unlike her own which was the basement, ground floor, second floor and attic. Would it be so wrong if she took a liking to the place already? Her love for beautiful things was a secret of hers.

The car pulled up to the entrance and the engine shut off, even more silence now, as though the entire world had fallen asleep yet the sun kept it warm. She felt no need to wait for martin who stared back at the house for a few minutes. Her feet touched the ground and the breeze made the heat of the day bearable. Not to her surprise, the front door opened and Hayden stepped out, his attire just as always, a small detail that for some reason today irritated her. Perhaps it was to time in the sun that she had always disliked that was making her more irritable. She would need to begin her constant composure now if any of her plan was going to work. "Martin brings her bags to her new room please, I would like to give Lena the tour now." Walking down the steps towards her he gripped the strap of the bag on her left shoulder and slowly pulled it down away from her, handing it over to Martin who was standing just behind her. "Yes, sir." He said quietly, and quickly unloaded all of her bags at once and carried them into the house.

"You're room is on the second floor, that should be no different for you so it will not be too difficult of a transition. I thought I would show you the grounds later this evening and the house now if that is alright with you." They made eye contact and she nodded silently, her expression neutral. "Excellent. Shall we then?" He extended his arm out towards the door for her to go first which she did with only a moments hesitation. Her heels clicked on the concrete steps, the interior of the house reminding her of the one Disney movie she had seen, Beauty and the Beast just toned down. The wide staircase greeted her first, small tables with decorative vases at the bottom of the steps, curtains drawn back to allow sunlight in; one of the few differences she noted from the film. She laughed in her head at the childhood memory that came to her in the one place she would rather not be. Not that she couldn't enjoy this glamour while it was at her disposal.

Lena walked around the wide room, feeling as though it were a lobby then a room of a house. Her eyes looked to the ceiling, almost expecting there to be paintings of angels in the sky but instead a plain white ceiling with a chandelier. The lights bright and reflects rainbows off the jewels that hung around them. The simple beauty of it stayed in her mind even while he guided her to the left, showing a sitting room free of any windows, the light from the other part of the house slightly off putting as it illuminated the outlines of chairs and tables. "You are allowed to read or do anything you wish in here and close the doors to keep out the light, your father enlightened me of your dislike for sunlight." She nodded, and turned to see the double doors wide open against the wall. A wave of delight ran through her at a dark room that was to herself. "Are you sure?" She asked, looking at him. "Of course, despite our disagreements, you are my guest and I have every ambition to be a gracious host. I expect you to show the same respect I am granting to you, Lena." The way he spoke her name made it sound like a warning and the message was well received.

The double meaning in his words were also well received. 'Do not try anything that would anger me or the offer to be kind will be taken away.' "Yes of course." She answered calmly and he smiled, the action almost reassuring that she would be safe here. "Across the room here..." he walked over to the door hidden in the dark in the far right corner and opened it. "I am sure you were wondering at some point where I keep my own special room, would you care to see?" Lena said nothing, following his steps to avoid running into anything while her eyes still tried to adjust to the darkness. It is not as large as your father's but that was my choice after all. He worked well so I rewarded him, it is as simple as that. Later today I wish to have a discussion with you over my expectations, rules and guidelines that I expect from you. I suggest you take some notes so you do not forget anything."

"i will do that." She answered as the door was opened into even more darkness. "Good, I will need you to take my hand right now since I do not allow light until further down, you will understand why soon, but I will keep you from getting hurt." She smirked at the words. The burning tingled painfully at the memory but Lena did not hesitate to take his hand, she needed him tot rust her so for that she would have to trust him, at least pretend to. Her small cold hand held onto his, his fingers curling around hers and pulling her forward, descending down the hallway, the light completely gone as they turned in a spiral downhill. Without warning after being used to the hallway, suddenly stairs greeted her feet, bringing her almost to her knees in surprise but he held her hand tighter to keep her upright. "That happens two more times my dear, it is sort of a trap. If you were to have fallen, the floor would collapse. The more surface area covered on the stairs, the more sensitive." She said nothing, hoping he would explain more without her having to ask. "What I mean is if your knees, hands and feet were to make contact with the stairs, a sensor would drop the floor and you would be gone.

"It was my creation for anyone who happened to come across this area. Only I know how many paces are between the hallway and the stairs. There is always a pass code when we get down there, sensitive to only my voice and must be spoken in Latin back words. I am aware that the amount of precautions I make are a bit absurd but it is better to be cautious then suffering the consequences. Agreed?"

"Yes, I couldn't agree more." Lena said honestly. She knew exactly what he meant, that was what she was first taught when her father allowed her to partake in the killings. Every little detail had it's proper place and time, every item careful placed within their area but out of the victim's reach. They continued to walk, the stairs behind them now and back to the hallway. The second set of stairs were closer then before and she almost fell, again saved by Hayden. "What happens if the sensors were tripped?" She asked, the need to learn more controlling her. "It depends where they fall. the first drop would be to the cement floor far below, that may not sound too terrible but the injuries a body can receive from such a great height and impact is rather extraordinary. Although it has not happened yet so the sensors may not even be working." In Lena's head it almost sounded as though Hayden was challenging her to try to sneak down here without his permission.

She had no reason to at the time being to even consider sneaking down, the real urge she had was to see every inch of the house. even know its history. But this would have to do for now, she had one surprise that he already shared with her, how many more could she be trusted with? For some reason Lena could tell that not even Martin knew each and every secret that Hayden had. Maybe she could use martin to do her dirty work, make him jealous of what she knows and make him get angry at Hayden...the idea was possible but not planned out to perfection, some details were needed to be solved first. "The second set of sensors would drop you into a net, the net would be sprayed with a mist that burns the flesh..." his voice trailed off and Lena's eyes narrowed in the darkness. "Eventually you would bleed to death and then I hire a very trusted group of people to clean that mess if it ever should occur." And the final one just drops onto the floor, the space easy to jump out of but the individual's feet would be stuck to the floor while acid would drip down from the steps and also burn them. It's not very poetic but the designs were made when I was just starting out with my talents.

"As you will soon learn. I think you could learn much more from me then your father would be able to provide if he decided to allow the drink to leave his system." A act to defend her father stopped in her throat, she knew that Hayden was right yet again and that irritated her more, but both feelings would have to be set aside until she needed them for motivation. "The door is here, I need you to stand back just a ways." He said, letting go of her hand and walking forward, whispering a phrase she couldn't identify or even repeat if she wanted to as he spoke in a hushed tone. A door opened on slightly noisy hinges, and once that sound was gone, another took its place that made Lena scream louder then she could have ever imagined. The agony in her shoulder was repeated all over again, covering her body now with a sensation of burning that she couldn't move, gripping her hair tight in her fingers, and somehow dropping to the floor, crying out in ways she couldm't control while the fire consumed her every nerve ending. "I perhaps should have warned you about the effects of the gas you inhaled..." Hayden's voice said in an echo in her mind, the pain blocking most of it so all she heard was 'gas that she inhaled.' Her body lay crumpled on the floor at his feet, too much pain allowing her to ask him for help and not enough energy to fight off whatever was perhaps killing her.

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