My stomach dropped. Daniel stood in the house, a dagger pressed to Elvira’s throat. Megan screamed and tried to run in the house.

“No!” Elvira shouted, shaking. “Don’t-Don’t come in here, Megan.”

“Let Miss Elly go!” Megan cried.

“Megan, go,” Elvira said, holding her eyes. “Go, baby. I’ll be fine. He’s just-”

“Don’t lie to the girl,” Daniel snapped. “I’m going to kill her, Megan.”

“You can’t kill Miss Elly!”

“Go, Megan,” Elvira said, starting to cry. “G-Go see Mr. Bryant.”

“Don’t you dare,” Daniel snarled into Elvira’s ear. “If you send her to get Bryant then I’ll kill you right here and now.”

“Just run,” I whispered, getting on my knees to get on Megan’s level. She was sobbing. “Just go, Meggie.”


I kissed her forehead. “Let me take care of Miss Elly’s dragon,” I whispered and her eyes got large. “Go to Ivan and Candace. If you see Bryant, tell him,” I continued, pretending to hug her. “I need you to be strong for me, Meggie. Now run.”

“Yes, Tommy,” she whimpered.

She sniffled and tore down the road. I stood back up and walked forward slowly.

“Where did you send her?” Daniel demanded.

“To the blacksmith,” I lied. “She’s to tell them I’m meeting with Bryant. Look, Daniel, you don’t have to do this.”

“She’s been cheating on me, the filthy whore,” Daniel snarled. “Stop walking!”

I stopped, just outside of the door. Elvira’s eyes were shut and she whimpered when Daniel pressed the blade against her skin. I saw some blood drip down the blade and I gulped.

“It’s a shame the little girl is gone,” he said. “I was hoping she’d get to see what really happens when women disobey.”

“What’s the point?” I asked. “She can’t have children.”

“Thomas,” Elvira sobbed. “Why would you-?”

“Not now, Elvira,” I whispered and looked back at Daniel. “That’s all you care about.”

Daniel narrowed his eyes. “She’s a beautiful, rich woman,” he snapped. “What do you think?”

“You don’t need her money,” I argued, inching forward slowly so he wouldn’t notice. “You have your own.”

He hesitated. “She’s mine, Thomas.”

“Then why are you wanting to kill her?” I asked. “It seems counter-productive to me.”

He scoffed. “I’m punishing her,” he snapped. “I saw her sleep with you!”

I turned a little red but didn’t respond. Behind me, I could hear Megan’s high pitched voice.

Please, Megan. Silence that voice of yours.

“You’re not making any sense, Daniel,” I said loudly to cover Megan’s voice. “Let Elvira go.”

“Or what?” he taunted.

I shook my head. “I’m not threatening you. Kill me instead.”

“Thomas!” Elvira sobbed. “Don’t!”

“I’m the one who seduced her,” I said, ignoring her. “I’m the one who undressed her.”

“This woman is a manipulative whore,” Daniel argued. “I’m sure it was the other way around.”

“It wasn’t. Now let her go.”

“He said he was going to kill her dragon,” Megan was sobbing and I coughed loudly.

Hush Megan.

“What do you say?”

“No,” Daniel said stubbornly. “She’s mine. If I have to punish her harshly, so be it. She needs to know how to obey orders.”

I sighed and finished walking into the house, glaring at him.

“I told you to stop walking!” Daniel shouted, pressing the blade harder against Elvira’s throat. “Shut up,” he snapped when she sobbed in pain.

“This is pointless,” I snapped, reaching the end of my temper. “Let her go, Daniel March.”

“Haven’t we already been through this?” he said. “I’m going to punish her. Then I’ll kill you.”

I clenched my jaw. “Forgive me, Elvira,” I said and jumped on Daniel.

The blade ran across her throat but it was a scratch and I shoved her to the side. Daniel, taken by surprise at my sudden attack, stumbled back. I tried to grab the dagger but he held onto it tightly. We crashed to the floor and I felt the dagger plunge into my side. Elvira was screaming and footsteps came running in.

Daniel yanked the dagger out of my side, grinning viciously, then stabbed right next to it. I yelled in pain and gripped the hilt of the dagger, keeping him from pulling it out. Blood was pouring down my side as I held him down by the throat.

“Get off of him,” Bryant panted. “Come on. You’re going to kill him.”

“I don’t care!” I shouted. “He tried to kill Elvira!”

Bryant pulled on me regardless just as Mr. Pink descended on Daniel. Daniel fought for a moment until he was flipped on his stomach. Mr. Pink cuffed him and jerked him to his feet. Mr. Pink’s face was furious as he shoved Daniel out of the house.

“Elvira,” I said but the world was going black. “Where’s Elvira?”

“I’m here,” Elvira sobbed, running to my side.

Her neck was bleeding and I reached for her.

“Am I-Am I dying?”

“No,” she said quickly, taking my hand and kissing my fingers. “No, you’re not dying. We-We just need to get you to the doctor.”

“I’m sorry you got hurt,” I said weakly as someone carried me out.

She kept a firm grasp on my hand.

“No. If anyone should be sorry it’s me.”

“Don’t fall asleep,” the person carrying me, whose voice I didn’t recognize, ordered. “Stay awake, Thomas Buckley.”

“I don’t think I can,” I mumbled.

“Stay awake, sweetheart,” Elvira said, crying again.

We were in a building again.

“I can’t,” I slurred and the world went black.

The End

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