Summer Kids

When Lucas Tweedle, leader of Left Hand Private Investigators, receives a box containing a film he hasn't seen in years, he is prompted on a road trip across miles and years. He has to save Eva Grey, the only girl that ever loved his teenage self.
She may be in the clutches of the Nemesis Crime Ring but the memories of the summer after college graduation haunt the both of them.

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22. QUICK STEPS

 

CHAPTER TWENTY ONE - QUICK STEPS

EVA

When Kate ran off with quick steps the wives followed after her as soon as they could. Eva had to stay back, the hand of the Priest still holding her down in place. The women left first and then the men followed, except going back to the warehouses instead of the chapel.

Eva was only held in place until Victor turned to face them and the Priest let go of her. Victor came towards her then, the bloodied blade still in his grip, the blood dripping onto the grass. Eva couldn’t look at the dead body of Amy Charlton and she just wanted the sight to be out of her brain, but she knew that that wasn’t a possibility right then and there.

“Are you pleased with Gods intentions?” Victor asked, dropping the bloodied blade onto the grass so that he could cradle his wife’s chin in his large hands.

“Yes but not in the drastic measures that He delivered.” The words stuck in her throat because they were lies, she hated that Amy had died because of something so small. “How did you find out that she hurt me?” she asked because she had to know, the curiosity would kill her otherwise.

“I have eyes and ears everywhere,” Victor chuckled and his hands were wet with Amy’s blood as he grabbed her face. Eva wanted to be sick. But she couldn’t. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

She couldn’t say that she didn’t want Amy to be hurt because then that would look like she was standing up for women and Victor would hate that. “I didn’t think it was worth telling.”

A partial truth, a partial lie. She hated her tongue for lying, and living in venomous sin.

“Everything is worth telling,” Victor cooed, “You are my wife and I need to know everything that goes on with you.”

Eva looked down, not wanting to look into the cruel man’s eyes, how could she be married to this man?

“Tell me that you’re going to tell me things from here on out,” Victor’s words weren’t a suggestion, they were an order.

“I will from here on out,” the words were whispered and forced.

Victor let go of her, leaving her cheeks blazed with red smears and she felt sickened right to her heart. “Good.”

Victor stepped back and went back to the crucifix. The Priest led her back to the chapel with quickened steps, using the edge of his sleeve to wipe the smears of blood from her cheeks. “You need to always look your best,” he quirked lifting the edge of his lips just a fraction. “Go inside, it will be better for you in there with the other wives.”

He didn’t give her any other option and he left to go back to Victor like the good lap dog that he was.

Without the blood on her cheeks now Eva went up the stairs to find Kate completely shut down on her bed, the wives crowding around her in an attempt to get her to talk.

 

KATE

The sweet aroma filled her nose and although the saltwater penetrated her nostrils she could still inhale the essence of Victor’s cooking, sizzling meat, the luxurious sensation satisfying her senses, the smell consuming her every breath as the sea rumbled around her. Victor had taken her out to the beach, a short ride in the car, and he had even offered to cook for her even though she insisted. This was their honeymoon he had said and she got the impression that the other wives didn’t have this sort of luxury. In the car he had offered her a pink bag and in it was a bottle of perfume in the shape of a black heart. Maybe the black heart represented Victor’s but he told her that it represented their love as he drove them to the beach.

She felt special.

That special feeling did not last long.

The perfume fragrance cascaded to the ground but still released the extract of the perfume.  Ignoring the scent of Victor cooking on the BBQ in the corner of the beach, she held all her adrenaline in the current as the waters around her sped in the direction she was, rushing to their full potential.

She wanted to toss herself into the waves, to let this be over with because she knew that the kind treatment wouldn’t last for long.

But she stayed where she was, the seaweed a dark green like monsters hair around her. It was a dark, dark green that was almost black and it served the sea as it passed. Out in the distance her eyes despised her as they only showed the sea, not her freedom. She dawdled with the nerves that clung to her beating heart. The sea swept forward and further and further forward before coming back again, and she only had the company of her drum like heart, her breathing heavy as it laid its final exhale for survival.

She tossed herself to the sea, letting it swarm around her. Her legs trembled vapidly as she swam.  Her skin felt as hot as her blood rushed with scorching pain. This was it, she had made her decision for freedom. She was finally getting out of Victor’s clutches, and if this could succeed then she was free. Her head punched her racking brain and it felt like she was about to pass out, giving herself to the sand bed and the seaweeds, letting it twist around her stand-still body till her remains washed in its boundaries.  This was an unconscious decision, something quick and hopeful and she hoped in that second that she would never see the light of day, just to avoid the horror of being a wife to a monster once more.

But her freedom didn’t last long. As she forced herself under the waves, holding her breath and waiting for the right time to let the water into her lungs, she could see the form of Victor coming towards her with vengeance in his eyes. There wasn’t any other emotion in his eyes these days, even when he married her she could see the altruism in the blue irises.

She had to act now, there was no other choice for it. Her mouth opened and the salt water flooded in. She would not break the force of this idea, but her attention was split on the man storming towards her.

Then as he charged towards her and she noticed his body movement as he swiftly turned into a swim and his looks that gleamed into the heavens and beyond his blond hair, which was enough to make her sick, and it weaved through the coiling waves with vast movement, his radiating electric blue eyes had the image of his frustration.

Her vision was going, and she hoped for just a few more minutes, just a few more minutes of floating in the sea and in freedom.

But her wish was not granted as the arms came around her and dragged her towards the shore. Her lungs ached and the water dribbled down her chin.

The sand came up to meet them and she panicked, throwing herself out of the man’s arms. His hands pounded her back, forcing the sea water out of her lungs and onto the sand. Salt coated her tongue and tears mixed in with it.

She had failed.

Victor was talking, screaming at her relentlessly. “This is our honeymoon!”

His words splintered, the roar of the sea still in her ear and aching to be in her lungs once more.

“I have done everything for you!” Victor continued. They were both soaking wet from the sea’s rage and his rage matched the seas’. “And this is how you repay me by trying to kill yourself!”

The food he was making had burned.

He chucked it away with ferocity and bundled her up in his arms, dragging her back towards the car. The water went into every orifice possible and Victor was still screaming, always screaming, and Kate wasn’t listening, never listening.

They were in the car, Victor still screaming, water streaming onto the seats, the car heading back to the compound, the place Kate hated with a passion.

Victor was still screaming.

When they arrived back at the compound he went around the back and screamed at anyone who dared to say anything. Kate was still silent, her throat raw from the water and her brain frozen from failure.

Water dripped in their eyes but he didn’t allow her to go back to the chapel. No he took her to his room and bracketed her arms in his hands so that she couldn’t get away. He stripped her naked and laughed when her tired limbs tried to fight.

He disappeared for a moment, just a moment, and he went to search his drawers. Kate tried to escape, hurriedly trying the door but failing because it was locked. She didn’t care that she was naked and cold and she would be humiliated if she tried to run through the warehouse back to the chapel. But she didn’t care. She just had to get out of there.

The door was locked and she had failed and her cries signalled her displeasure at being stuck in this room. Her back was to Victor and it was this reason that she didn’t notice that Victor held a whip in his hands.

He unrolled it and snapped it towards her, the tail hitting her naked back. She went down, her head clunking against the door on her way down to the floor. Pain erupted onto her back, a thick line from shoulder to mid back and her cries halted.

Her brain went offline to escape everything.

“This is your Racking, for taking this marriage for granted, for taking me for granted.”

The whip came down again, in the same place. The pain came again. And again when he whipped her the other way, and again when he did it again.

The pain flared like fire, like waves coming to the shore. She begged for her life, apologising even when she didn’t mean it.

It was done and he left her alone, stepping outside to the other end of the door but the door was still locked. “Clean yourself up,” he said before he left and she could tell that he was on the other side of the door, not trusting her enough to go home.

There were antibacterial wipes in the drawers and so she was forced to wipe down her back, an area that she could barely see herself, seeing the scar that was now on her skin and wipe away the blood and the pain.

The only thing that Victor did was come in with some new clothes for her and he didn’t say anything except bid her to get dressed and get out. She did what he asked, her back hurting, her brain hurting and her heart hurting.

She went back to the Chapel with a bloodied back, salt encrusted hair and eyelashes, red eyes. She redirected the questions of the other wives and she only said a handful of words to them at all.

“He took me to the beach,” she whispered, “It was nice.”

All lies. All lies. Her tongue was hateful, her back was hurting.

She cried herself to sleep that night and she kept her sobs quiet enough not to wake the other two.

She didn’t need them asking more questions that would only lead to another punishment on the Rack.  

She came back to herself when Naomi slapped her, the force snapping her head to the side.

“What?” Kate uttered, not believing that the eldest Wife had just slapped her like her husband most often did.

“I slapped you,” Naomi said with obviousness in her voice.

“What’s going on with you?” Melanie uttered and Kate looked back to see that Eva had also joined the party, a small smear of red dribbling down onto her neck from where it ran from just below her ear.

“I need to tell you all something,” Kate said because if she didn’t get the words out then she would choke on them like they were the sea she had tried to drown herself in.

“What is it?” Eva asked, brushing her hand against her cheek to rid it of the blood. The other girl knew that it was there, she had to, because the feeling of dread never quite left you when you knew that you had something on your face.

Instead of answering Kate just turned around and shrugged out of her top.

“What are you doing, this ain’t a nudist beach!” Melanie cried and then her cry died as they saw the scars on her back. There were still a livid red, only month’s fresh, but they were still in the shape of an X, with two diagonal lines marking each arm instead of one because apparently one was not enough when she was concerned.

Victor knew that she had to be punished more than just two lines against her back. He had to mark her with four.

“Oh god,” Naomi whimpered, her hand coming to cover her mouth in shock.

“Victor did that to you?” Melanie asked because although it had an obvious answer she had to clarify it definitely.

“Who else would?” Kate answered and swallowed three times before the story came out of her like the tide coming in.

When her story was finished Eva had to go into the bathroom to be sick and the other two wives had sat down in shock. Kate remained shirtless, the X strikingly red against her pale skin, and she felt lighter than she ever had since coming to the compound.

“Seeing that woman on the crucifix just reminded me how cruel he could be, how being put on the Rack can be damaging.” She said small into the hands on her lap.

“He is not the man that I once knew,” Naomi whispered, looking straight at Kate and everyone knew that that was a bold sentence to say for the eldest wife who did everything to deny what Victor was truly doing. 

 

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