“And I loved you once, Harry.”
That’s what killed me.
The knot tightened in my chest as I walked away from her. I‘d ruined it, I’d ruined our trust. I knew that Rosalie had been through so much and I was grateful that she trusted me. But now it’s gone. I’ve lost her.
I aimlessly shuffled down the streets, hanging my head as I thought about everything. If Zoe would have just given me what I wanted then none of this would have happened. I shoved my hand in my pocket, wrapping my fist around the piece of paper she had given me. The edges of the paper cut into my skin, but I didn’t care. I pulled it out, throwing it to the floor by my feet without even looking at it. Whatever it said on there didn’t matter anymore. It wasn’t worth what I had lost tonight: the one person I really connected with, the one person I truly loved. Tears silently fell down my face as I kept my head down, the cold night breeze cutting my skin. I rubbed my upper arms, goose bumps rubbing against my palms as I shuffled down the streets, hating myself for what I did.
I finally decided I had to find somewhere to sleep tonight. I didn’t have any money on me so I thought of the only place that was like a second home to me, a place that meant so much.
*Half an hour later*
Luckily I still had the key in my back pocket. I opened the outer gate surrounding the building before stepping to the front door. I fiddled with the key, trying to push it in the lock with my shaking hands. My vision blurred with tears, my heart aching painfully in my chest. I grunted under my breath before finally turning the key. I rubbed my eyes with my forearm before pushing the door open, more darkness staring back at me. I sighed heavily, wishing that I was cuddled up in bed with Rosie, talking about anything, everything. The usual smell of sweat lingered in the air as I stepped into my boxing club.
I slowly closed the door behind me, darkness surrounding me. I finally let all the tears out, sobbing quietly in the dark. I hated this feeling: wanting someone so badly, but I couldn’t go near them; I can’t touch them because of what I did. I brought my hands up to my face, muffling my weeping. I leaned back against the door, my legs feeling weak under me. I suddenly screamed out into my hands, wishing that I could take it back, that I could have Rosie back.
I sobbed and punched the door, feeling trickles of blood drip down my hand. I sighed and rubbed my eye roughly with my clean hand before searching around in the dark for the light switch to bandage my hand up.
I breathed out slightly once the dim lights lit up the room. I held my blood hand and started shuffling over to the changing rooms to get some sleep.
That’s when a figure appeared at the changing room door. I gasped, taking a shaky step back. The lights started flickering above our heads as we stared at each other from across the room. My blood ran cold, my body shivering as I gazed into his deep, dark eyes.
“It’s Rosalie’s boyfriend, isn’t it?” His gruff voice made me want to run, to get as far away as possible. But his shadowy features, the paleness of his cheeks brought all the memories back to me in a flash. My body trembled madly as my eyes connected with his once again, stealing the breath from my lungs.
“It-it’s you,” I stuttered.
Two men emerged from either side of me, grabbing my arms tightly. I shot my head either side of me as the men wrenched my arms back, making me grunt in pain. Blood still dripped from my knuckles as my muscles felt as though they were ripping inside my arms and shoulders. I tried squirming around in their grip, struggling to shove them off, but they tightened their hold of me, digging their fingertips into my skin.
The lights above us continued to flicker, another man suddenly appearing in front of me. My lips parted at the man stood before me, unforgettable eyes staring back at me.
“Louis,” I whispered.
He grinned before pulling his muscled arm back, slamming his fist into my stomach. I screamed out in agony, laughter echoing around me as I tried bending my back over, but the men holding me forced me to stand straight. I coughed weakly, my ribs bruising inside my chest. I was surprised how much power Louis possessed, but my mind flickered back to the night at the club. I’d witnessed his brutal attacks before. I’d experienced them. He’s one of them.
Louis slowly paced around me, standing silently behind my constricted body. I suddenly felt a cold, metal material on my wrists, bounding them together. I heard two clicks before I wasn’t able to move my wrists. I squirmed around, twisting my body forcefully as the figure stood at the changing room door watched us, that smirk burning in my mind.
I was suddenly kicked in the back of my knees. I collapsed heavily onto my knees, the men letting go of my arms as I fell. My shoulders were soon gripped tightly as I hung my head, feeling bruised, overpowered, vulnerable.
I could hear footsteps walking back around me, a tall figure towering over my weak form. My chin was gripped, my head being forced up to stare at Louis. He dug his fingertips into my cheeks, a cruel smile curling up on his face. My eyes widened as his sharp teeth were exposed in his mouth, my body shaking uncontrollably as I wished for Rosie to be here, to protect me.
“You’re one of them,” I croaked. “I thought you were my friend, Louis.”
An evil smirk spread across his full lips at my words, his grip on my chin tightening. “I’m going to enjoy this,” he spat, ignoring my statement completely. “Again.”
He soon let go of my chin, but suddenly punched me in the side of the face. My head shot to the side, causing the taste of blood to swirl around in my mouth, attacking my taste buds. As soon as I turned my head again I was punched once more, my jaw aching as I whimpered painfully. Tears pricked my eyes as blood ran from my nose, my head pounding harshly. My whole body grew weak, swaying back and forth as I was handcuffed and beaten. I barely reacted when my shirt was ripped open, the faint sound of buttons crashing to the floor as my jerking chest and stomach were exposed. A cold breeze hit my already scratched skin before the bloke’s foot connected with my stomach, sending shots of pain across my middle. I groaned weakly, not knowing what else to do. He kicked me again and again, harder each time. Punches started attacking my face again, every part of my upper body screaming out in pain. But he never stopped, hitting every part of my body he could. Tears silently ran out of my eyes, weak groans forced from my mouth.
“Stop!” someone finally bellowed, the noise making my blood run cold. Louis suddenly stopped attacking me and took a large step back. I kept my head down, sobbing quietly as pain engulfed me.
“Sorry, Master,” he mumbled, bowing his head. I coughed feebly, my whole body jerking as I did so. I suddenly heard loud, powerful footsteps striding towards me before a pair of expensive looking shoes stood in front of my knees.
“Hello, Harry,” he muttered deeply, the voice so familiar to me.
I slowly let my eyes wander up his tall legs, using the little strength I had to tilt my head up. Everything around me was spinning. I blinked rapidly until I could make out his face. The figure stood tall, his hands behind his back, sticking his chest out far. He wore a sharp suit, emphasising his firm body. His jet black hair was tightly pulled back as his pale face stared down at me. My eyes connected with his, making my body feel rigid, goose bumps rising on my skin.
I recognised his face, his deep eyes instantly. He was a family friend, so close to my parents before they died. I grew up loving him like a second father. Just like Rosalie. All of this time it never clicked. The man that haunted Rosalie, who made his life a living hell, was a man I knew so closely once before.
A smirk danced on the man’s lips as we stared at each other, silence growing thick in the room. All of a sudden my head began throbbing so much I couldn’t think. I gritted my teeth, hissing out painfully; the more I looked at him, the more painful it got. But I couldn’t tear my eyes from his. They were different, inviting but at the same time dark, gloomy. That’s when I could feel it. He was in my head, slowly controlling my body, reading my deepest, darkest thoughts. Horrid memories flashed back of my parent’s, their deaths, how I found them.
I was five. We were at Majorca. We’d moved there only a week ago. I didn’t know why. My parents told me it was a new adventure, that they were fed up of England. And me being a five year old child, I believed them.
I had just woken up, my clean, fresh smelling sheets covering me comfortably. I slowly turned over onto my back, staring up at the glow in the dark stickers my father had stuck on the ceiling when we got here. The sun shone brightly through my thin curtains, lighting up my whole room. I sucked on my thumb, the whole house so peaceful with the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore from outside. Suddenly my stomach started grumbling. I pulled the covers from me, a cool breeze brushing over my small body as I jumped out of bed. I ran out of the room, following the hallway to my parents’ room. My bare feet slapped against the floor as I dashed down the hallway.
I burst into my parents’ room, the smell of my mother’s perfume encircling me instantly.
“Mummy!” I called happily.
The room stayed silent. My father was such a light sleeper. He would normally wake up and roll onto his back so I could lie on his stomach in the morning.
“Daddy!” I called louder.
I stormed over to the bed angrily, my stomach grumping madly. I jumped up onto the end of the bed on all fours, making the bed shake. They didn’t react. A lump formed in my throat as I slowly crawled up the bed through the gap between my parents. Their heads were tilted away from each other, their eyes wide open as they laid still either side of me. Tears swelled in my emerald eyes as a whimper escaped my mouth. I slowly reached out, pulling my mother’s hair behind her ear.
“Mummy?” I sobbed, my tiny hand shaking. “Wake up, mummy!”
I shook her shoulder before doing the same to my father’s. Their heads wobbled lifelessly as I shook them. They were so pale. That’s when I noticed something. Bite marks were left on their necks, no blood, no injuries. Just these marks.
“It was you!” I yelled, pushing myself up onto my feet. I fought against the cuffs, stepping forward so my chest crashed against Samuel’s. He stood strong as I pressed my body against his threateningly. “You killed my parents!”
I was quickly wrenched back, my arms gripped forcefully. I screamed out in anger. My heart slammed in my chest as I struggled in the men’s grip. Enraged tears swelled in my eyes. I strained against my bounds, but the metal cut into my wrists painfully. I thrashed about violently as two more blokes darted up to me. All four men forced me back down onto my knees. My chest heaved as anger coursed through me. I tried getting back up to my feet, but both of my shoulders were shoved downwards, keeping me from attacking Samuel.
Samuel stood silently, his grin wide on his pasty face until I had calmed down. I bowed my head, refusing to look that murderer in the eye. Tears formed in my eyes once again as I remembered finding them lying dead still on that bed.
“Nice to see you again, Harry,” he finally replied.
I could sense the crooked smile in his voice. I clenched my fists, digging my fingernails into my palms. I kept my head down, blinking the tears back. But my hair was suddenly gripped tightly, tilting my head up so I was forced to look at him. I winced, sucking in a breath through my teeth, but I didn’t fight or scream out in pain. That’s what he wanted. Pain, anger, a reaction from me. I noticed Louis was stood next to him, his head bowed as if being punished. He had his hands behind his back, his feet together as he stared down at the ground. My eyes flickered back to Samuel; I pressed my lips together, returning his stare.
“Aren’t you gonna give your Uncle Sam a hug?” He stretched his arms out, laughing loudly as his arm crashed into Louis stood next to him. He stumbled back, but kept his hands behind his back, hanging his head. My jaw grew stiff, but I stayed calm even though a pulse of anger passed through me.
“Let me go, Samuel,” I hissed.
Samuel stepped towards me, smirking madly. “I have a better idea,” he replied calmly. A jolt of dread struck through me. “Why don’t we invite your girlfriend over to say with us as well?”
“No!” I screamed, thrashing about madly. “Leave Rosalie out of this! This is between me and you.”
My shoulders were gripped tighter until I had stopped again, rage still pulsing through me. I won’t let any of these beasts touch Rosie. I promised her that she’d never lose me. But if it meant saving her then I would do it.
“I’ll sacrifice myself,” I said. “I’ll let you do whatever you want to me. Just leave Rosalie alone. Please.”
“I always remembered you being kind-hearted as a child,” he said calmly. “Just like your father.” That smirk returned, making my skin crawl, but there was something behind it. Anger.
“He was more of a man that you ever will be,” I spat back. Suddenly in a flash Samuel reached out to me, running his sharp fingernail down my temple.
“You look just like him,” he replied, tilting his head to one side. I shook him off, but his cold, dead hand soon cupped my chin. He crouched down in front of me. “He looked just like you at your age. He was always the smart one at school, always the teacher’s pet.” He laughed to himself as I felt his eyes slowly take in my bruised features. “So handsome,” he muttered, tilting my head up higher. I gritted my teeth, staring back into his eyes as he smiled.
“He was a good man,” I spat, glaring at him with pure anger. His fingertips suddenly dug into my cheeks as he gritted his teeth.
“That man was a thief,” he hissed through his teeth. “He got your mother.” I watched as anger flooded inside his eyes. “She was beautiful,” he murmured, staring at me, but I could tell he wasn’t really looking at me. He was picturing my mother.
“Why?” I suddenly asked. “Why did you kill them?”
“Love,” he replied, acknowledging me again. “I loved your mother and he took her from me.” Samuel’s fingertips dug into my skin further, making me wince. “I loved your mother, Harry.”
“And so did my father,” I retorted, my spit spraying Samuel’s face. Samuel snorted, shaking his head at me.
“It was so much more than that, Harry,” he murmured, for the first time tonight giving me a genuinely sad look. I almost felt sorry for him.
“So you loved my mother so much that you decided to kill her?” I asked, my eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Samuel suddenly let go of my chin, standing back up.
“I had to,” he mumbled under his breath.
“You bastard!” I yelled. “What possible reason could you have to killing my mother?!”
“She fell in love with him,” he shouted back. “Sh-she was mine,” he stuttered, hanging his head. Samuel slowly turned around and stepped away from us. The men holding me stayed silent, listening as much as I was. “So I gave her what she deserved.”
“She never deserved to die!” I roared.
Samuel spun back around, marching up to me again. “I wasn’t talking about killing her!” he shouted back, but suddenly clamped his mouth shut again. “Look, it’s much more complicated, Harry. You wouldn’t understand,” he eventually murmured.
“Stop saying that!” I yelled. I was getting tired of him being mysterious. “What did you do?” I asked quieter, not sure whether I wanted to know the answer. I swallowed the hard lump forming in my throat, but kept my chin up, returning his stare. I watched as his face slowly fell, his eyes filling with misery and loneliness. Samuel gradually crouched back down again, placing his hand on my cheek. His touch was warm, welcoming. He stroked my cheek with his thumb, a corner of his mouth flickering up.
“I’m your dad, Harry,” he whispered.