This chapter is Rated R (Violence, and language)
Author’s note: I’m sorry it took so long to release this chapter. I’ve been sick, and just got over the flu. I’ve spent most of my time in bed watching Netflix, but I’m feeling better and ready to get back to work. This chapter is pretty lengthy, but I was hesitant to split it into two parts. I’ve left you with enough cliffhangers and didn’t want to do that to you again. 😀 This chapter is a little depressing and was hard for me to write, and I sat with it for days changing the ending multiple times and just plain struggling with it. The next chapter will be a little bit of a time jump because I feel that would be the best way to get this story heading in the direction it needs to go before this generation ends. I hope you enjoy the chapter, even if you don’t like some of the decisions I made in this chapter. Thanks as always for reading and commenting. It has ment more to me then you know!
Being knocked unconscious wasn’t like it was in the movies. Where the heroine wakes up still looking beautiful, but hasn’t a clue where she was, and how she got there. No, when I woke up, It was face down in a puddle of my own blood, feeling like my head was a gong, and some sadistic asshole delighted in ringing said gong as much as possible. I knew exactly where I was, and what had happened, the smell of mothballs burning my nostrils, making me feel like I was going to be sick.
I cracked open an eyelid. Even in the dim light it felt like the seventh circle of hell. I squeezed them shut, the pain almost overwhelming with its intensity.
Ignoring the throbbing in my head, I sat up, my hands slipping in my rapidly congealing blood, and scrambled to my grandmothers side where she lay unconscious. I lifted her head into my lap, sagging with relief when I saw the slow rise and fall of her chest, and just a slight trickle of blood that flowed from her ear.
I looked around the room, empty except for an old lamp that was left behind, the bulb casting sickly yellow shadow upon the wall. We appeared to be in an upstairs bedroom, the old wallpaper peeling gently from the walls.
“Wake up!” I whispered. “Waaaaaaaakeup.” I slapped her cheeks lightly. Her eyelids fluttered gently, causing my heart to leap with hope.
“Madeline?” She asked, her face grimacing with pain. “What’s going on?”
“What’s happening is that I’m going to get us out of here…” I muttered, gently lowering her head back down to the floor and patting my thighs desperately for my cell phone. Leggings. Shit. Why did I have to wear leggings? Would it have killed me to wear something with pockets?
I turned back to my grandmother, patting her on the cheek once again. Her lids fluttered open. “Can you stand?” I demanded.
“I believe so.” Meredith whispered, as I helped her to her feet. She swayed against me, and I held onto her thin frame with all my strength once again feeling a surge of nearly overwhelming guilt for getting us into the situation.
I sent out a silent prayer and prayed that god hadn’t given up on me. God, please get us out of this mess, I promise I will start making better choices. I begged.
“Stay behind me.” I demanded as I opened the door and peaked out into the empty dark hall.
“Madeline. Who was that man? Was that…?” Her voice trailed off as the realization dawned on her. I watched her eyes widen in shock as she put two and two together. I couldn’t blame her, everything got extremely real and horrifying so quickly that it made my own head spin. Being home again had made lax, and once again I was like a little child again, thinking that my grandmother could protect me from my problems. But it was time to grow up now, and pull up my big girl panties and get us out of this situation, once and for all.
“Afraid so.” I said simply answering her unfinished question, feeling waves of cold dread wash over me.
“Stay close.” I urged, my voice just over a whisper, but sounded so loud in the stillness of the house. Every step down the old rickety stair case was as loud as a gun shot, causing me to jump with fear with every creak and groan of the old wood that bowed beneath my feet.
“Think your going somewhere?” A deep voice said causing my heart to drop into the pit of my stomach. I sagged against my grandmother who held onto my arm tightly. I could feel her body trembling beside mine.
As my eyes adjusted to the waning light, I got my first long look at Mika’s grandfather-the man who had turned my entire life into an upheaval, the man who had caused us to run for our lives, like little children running from the schoolyard bully. Distinguished looking, with neatly combed silver hair, he looked no different from any older gentleman you would pass on the street. Not what I would expect for a drug kingpin.
His eyes. So much like Mika’s, intense, under heavy brows that stared at me with a friendly, yet frightening grin as he neatly crossed his legs like we were going to have a lovely dinner together. Mika’s eyes were never that cold when they looked into mine. I felt a chill run up my spine as I stared into their dark depths. They were like the devil’s eyes, dark and opaque, glinting in the dim light of the room.
“What do you want?” I choked out, taking a small step forward. I forced myself not to tremble.
He smiled a slow lazy smile the reminded me of the grin of the Cheshire cat. “You seem so afraid. I do hope Mika hasn’t been filling your head with horror stories, you seem like such a nice girl. It’s really a shame he got you caught up in all this.”
“Leave us alone.” I spat, knowing it wouldn’t do any good, but at this point, I was out of options.
“Where is the fun in that?” He smiled, his dark eyes narrowing as they stared coldly into mine.
I sat down the copy of Madeline’s book ‘Flowers in the attic’ down on the nightstand and sighed, rubbing my tired eyes. I shook my head and let out a little laugh. I hadn’t read in years, and here I had spent more than a few hours totally engrossed in a novel aimed for the female demographic.
I scratched my head absently, my face creased in a puzzled frown. The house was silent. Too silent. I admit I had been wrapped up in the book, but I wasn’t so engrossed in it, that it would have caused me to not hear Madeline when she came home with her grandmother.
I stared out the window. It was later than I thought. The sun just beginning to dip below the horizon, the sky a brilliant blazing shade of red. “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s take warning,” I muttered, remembering the old saying my dad used to say when I was a kid. Memories of a happier time flared in my gut causing my eyes to moisten.
The view from the window was beautiful, but it left me feeling….off. Something was wrong. I had a feeling. And I had long since learned to trust my instincts, no matter how irrational they seemed at times. I wouldn’t have lasted long in this world had I had not relied on my gut instinct.
“Madeline?” I called out as I stood in the empty living room. Silence echoed around me, the silence was deafening. “Meredith? Anyone home?”
I stood, listening to the clock on the wall tick, the sound of the second-hand bringing me back to reality. This wasn’t right…
The air was thick and humid from the earlier storm, and the slight breeze that came off the ocean felt amazing on my skin as I stepped out onto the porch. I leaned against the railing and gazed up and down the street. Meredith’s car, and my own piece of junk was still in the driveway, but where we’re Madeline and Meredith?
A light turning on in the house across the street caught my eye, causing me to look up and focus on the house, as it suddenly dawned on me. Wasn’t that where Meredith and Madeline went? To greet the new neighbors?
There was something off about that house across the street, and the fact that I heard Meredith mention that old house had been vacant for years. Suddenly it was snapped off the market? I just didn’t believe in coincidences…
No, this reeked of my grandfather, but even he couldn’t he couldn’t have moved that fast could he? We had only been here a few days? How could he have known where Madeline and I would end up?
The gun tucked into the waistband of my jeans felt hot against my skin, like I had been branded as I set off across the street. My heart was hammering so loudly in my chest I could hear it echo in my ears. I swear, if he hurts a hair on Madeline’s head….I thought, clenching my fists so tightly my knuckles were bone white. I will make him pay…
I prayed I was wrong, that it was just the nerves causing me to assume the worst case scenario, instead of the situation I had feared my entire life…
My eyes widened in shock as I gazed into the living room. My grandfather was aiming a gun at Madeline and her grandmother, and the look of pure terror on their faces was enough to haunt my dreams for the rest of my dying days. Deep down I knew he would find us. I had been a fool for believing Madeline and I would be able to run, that we would be able to escape and live our lives without fear. How could I had been so stupid? And ultimately, it would be Madeline that would pay for my stupidity!
The blood froze in my veins as Mika’s grandfather raised his gun and pointed it in our direction. I stared into the bullet chamber, unable to look away. This couldn’t be how my life would end? I was only 19 years old! I felt a tear slide down my cheek, and felt my grandmother’s warm hand slip into my own, her fingers entwining with mine.
“Sorry ladies, but my grandson needs to be taught a lesson, what a disappointment he has turned out to be. I always knew he was a coward, just like his father.” Mika’s grandfather laughed, his features twisting cruelly.
“Mika is ten times the man you’ll ever be.” I spat, taking a step forward, forcing myself not to tremble before him.
“Mika’s weak. Instead of facing me like a man, he runs and hides? You really could do much better.” He laughed, the sound raised goosebumps up and down my arms.
My grandmother stepped forward, her arms raised slightly as if surrendering. “What are you doing?” I hissed.
“Just remember I love you Madeline. I may not have given birth to you, but I always thought of you as my daughter. Always remember that.” She turned to face me, her eyes full of tears.
I felt my eyes fill with tears and spill out over my cheeks. It sounded like goodbye.
“If blood is what you’re looking for. Take me. Let my baby go. She’s innocent in this, and the only thing she is guilty of is loving your grandson. Take me.” Meredith repeated, taking one step closer towards him.
The gun trembled in his hands as I sagged to my knees, the weight of grief too much to bare. I could never live with myself if something happened to her. I couldn’t imagine my life without her.
He laughed, his dark eyes narrowing. “I’m touched. Really. But my grandson needs to be taught a lesson and-“
“Well here I am grandfather.” Mika stepped into the room. “It’s me you want. Let them go.” He demanded his dark eyes were cold and hard.
My eyes flew open and I sagged with relief into my grandmothers arms, tears streaming down my face.
The gun remained fixed in our direction, and Mika’s grandfather didn’t move a muscle, the gun still aimed directly at my forehead. “Let them go.” Mika demanded once again. “I’m not fucking around. I will shoot you, and not feel one ounce of guilt over it!”
“Do you really think you will really be able to take me down before I manage to fire off a shot? You know I’m an expert shot Mika. Who will I shoot first before you manage to take me down? The nosey old bitch, or your cock piece?” He laughed, his finger tightening on the trigger. “Besides, you don’t have it in you, you pathetic piece of shit.”
“You’d be surprised at what I was capable of grandfather.” Mika said narrowing his eyes, the gun didn’t waver in his hand.
“So what? You plan to shoot me, and then what Mika? You think you and your little blonde bitch can run off into the sunset together and live happily ever after?” He laughed as if he had just heard the funniest joke in the world. “My people wont ever stop hunting for you and you will never be safe. Is that the kind of life you want, huh? I have a proposal for you. One where we all get what we want. Let’s have a chat shall we?”
“I’m not into making deals.” Mika said his jaw clenched, I watched a muscle spasm in his cheek. His eyes met mine from across the room.
“Then say goodbye.” His grandfather said aiming the gun straight at my head once again. My eyes zeroed in on the bullet chamber like a deer caught in the headlights. I felt my grandmother stiffen beside me, as a small gasp escaped her lips. What would it be like to die?
“What’s the deal?” Mika said quickly, lowering the gun to his side and stepping forward in surrender.
His grandfather smiled, a leer of pure self-satisfaction. “I figured you would see it my way. It’s easy. You walk away with me. Tonight. Right now, and these two lovelies get to live. It’s that simple. Because if my men don’t hear from me by midnight tonight, then it’s game on, and they will hunt them down, and they will never be safe. They will spend the rest of their days running for their lives. Is that the life you want for them?”
I watched Mika’s jaw twitch. “Do you swear you’ll let them go.”
Mika’s grandfather smiled once again, in that moment, knowing he had won. “You know my word is my honor, and I give you my word.”
“Mika no!” I cried out, falling to my knees. His eyes met mine from across the room, shiny and wet with unshed tears.
“I love you.” Mika said simply. He swallowed thickly then looked away giving his grandfather a quick nod in agreement, but not before I could see a tear make its way down his cheek. “You have a deal.” He bowed his head in defeat.
“I figured you would see it my way. Maybe you aren’t as weak as your father after all.” His grandfather smiled once again, lowering the gun and smiling in satisfaction.
Mika lowered his gun, and I stood, running across the room and flung myself into his arms. Mika held me tightly, his body trembling against mine, as I sobbed into his shirt.
“Shhhh…” Mika murmured, his lips pressing against my forehead. “Everything will be ok. Take care of our baby. Tell him or her that I love them every day. This is the only way I can guarantee your safety. I could never live with myself if something happened to you.” He whispered against my neck, kissing the sensitive skin there softly. He pulled back and stared into my eyes like he was memorizing my face.
“You don’t have to do this.” I sobbed tears drenching my face. I clung to him for dear life, never wanting to let him go, knowing deep down this was goodbye, but refusing to admit it.
“Yes, I do Madeline. You know I have too. I would do anything to keep you safe.” He smiled, and kissed me gently. Our last kiss. How could it be the end?
“It’s time to go son.” Mika’s grandfather stepped forward, and pulled Mika back.
“You bastard.” I spat lunging at him, my eyes flashing. I didn’t care if he had a gun, all I could see was red, and all I wanted to do was claw his eyes out and make him pay.
“Mika, do something about your crazy woman before she hurts herself.” Mika’s grandfather laughed, as my grandmother pulled me back. I sobbed against her as she held me, my knees giving way, and I slid to the floor in a heap.
“It’s time to go. You’ll only make it harder for her if you linger.” Mika’s grandfather said gruffly. I lay on my back my hands over my eyes as tears burned down my cheeks. My grandmother kneeled beside me, her hand resting heavily on my shoulder.
I heard the front door open, and the footsteps come to a pause as if Mika was looking back once more. I couldn’t bare to watch him walk away, but I knew deep down I had to let him go. If Mika’s grandfather was telling the truth, and I had no doubt that he was, then my grandmother and I would never be safe, nor would the baby I carried. I couldn’t live with myself if I allowed something to happen to them because I was too selfish to let him go.
As much as it killed me, I had to let him go…and pray that he would come back to me….Some day….