The Quiet

I followed her gaze to the other side of the room, where there were two windows. One was closed tightly. But the other was opening slowly. I could see some kind of shadow come over the bottom.

Someone was coming inside.

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27. Truth

“Have you ever felt pain by losing someone you love?”

He had come from the shadows. He looked like he was deep in thought, which was not expected. He sat down on the armrest of the couch and looked at us.

Lena had her hand around my wrist so tightly I thought she was going to crack the bone. She looked completely terrified, I saw, as I glanced over at her.

I looked at the man and said, “Yes.”

Then he smiled, and it wasn’t cruel or heartless. It was almost sad, sympathetic.

“Who was it?” he asked softly.

I stepped forward, breaking from Lena’s grip, and I heard her gasp. I’m standing a few inches away from the man, and if he wanted he could reach out and easily snap my neck.

Instead, he continued to stare at me. Then, he said, “You didn’t care that your sister died.”

Behind me, Lena took a sharp breath.

“Yes, I did.” I whispered, my vision blurring slightly. I gripped onto the wall beside me for support. My heart thundered in my chest. “She was my family.”

He chuckled. “You could have cared less that your perfect sister bit the dust. Your mother’s death is the only thing that really left you broken.”

“Stop it,” I hissed, my hands shaking. I glared at him. “Who the fuck are you?”

“I lost someone too!” he shouted suddenly outraged. He stood and grabbed the lamp from the side table and turned around to face Clay. Then he raised his arm.

“No!” Lena shouted, her voice caught in a sob. “Don’t kill him, please.”

The man stopped, turned his head, and smirked. “He needs to stay alive. I have plans for him.” He put the lamp down and took a small bottle of water from his pocket, that he dripped on Clay’s face.

His blue eyes shot open and he coughed, sat up, and looked around. When his eyes landed on the man, he screamed, “Get away from them!”

“Not so fast, boy.” He looked at me. “It seems your girlfriend here wants to know exactly who I am.”

Clay didn’t move a goddamned muscle.

“Your father was my attorney,” the stranger said. “I was accused of a crime I didn’t commit and when they found the person responsible, they let him walk. Not enough evidence, they said. But Peter knew the truth. He tried his hardest to put the bastard in jail, but it never happened, and I never forgave him for that. I swore when I got back to Delve, that I would ruin his life, just as he ruined mine.”

His eyes gleamed, and the raging lunatic he once was came to light again. Then he continued his story, with all of us waiting.

“A man was murdered,” he said. “The police thought I killed him, but I would never do that. I loved him.”

My mind was working as he was talking, and I stepped away from him. “You want to kill me because of something my dad couldn’t control?”

“It’s only fair that the people you love die,” he murmured. He whipped his head around. “Mr. Davenport, if you would be so kind as to get the fuck up and grab that knife off the coffee table, then we can get started.”

“Get started?” I muttered.

Lena grabbed my hand.

“You’re still curious about my name, aren’t you?” He smiled unkindly. “It’s Maddox, and the man who was killed was my boyfriend.” He glanced behind him. “Will you do something for me?”

Clay, though terrified, nodded. He held the knife with a shaky hand.

Maddox gripped his wrist and put him in front of him, so that he faced us. Clay’s blue eyes were filled with tears, but he didn’t wipe them away. It’s like he knew what was going to happen.

“Kill Lena,” Maddox whispered.

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