Chapter 60: Daddy Dearest
As always, at a few minutes to midnight, Thaddeus and Maze parted ways from me, leaving me alone in a cold empty bed. The day’s events made the bed colder and emptier somehow. I felt so alone. It was not as though my father had ever given me the slightest inclination that he loved me. He had never paid attention to me, complimented me, comforted me or shown that he was proud of me. Not a single memory of him was pleasant. I remembered his smile though directed at someone else and his laughter though! had not been privy to the joke. I had loved him from a distance as I still did now. I sighed. Sleep would not come easily tonight.
I looked at the clock. It was five minutes past midnight. Officially Day 19 of the Challenge. 11 more days. Did I still have to pick? I didn’t, did I? Even though I had never dared to dream much I had in fact always assumed my father would walk me down the aisle. If anyone had decided they wanted me that was. Dad was always quick to remind me no one would want a wolf-less she wolf in their bloodline so I shouldn’t expect many offers. He had also said being wolf-less might mean I didn’t have a mate or wouldn’t recognise the mate bond at first even if I had one. He’d been partially right about that. I certainly had mates but both Maze and Thaddeus had had to tell me they were my mates at first. I smiled. I wished they could sneak back into bed with me.
I crept downstairs to the Beta floor. I was sure Fang was sleeping soundly. He had enough on his plate without me disrupting his sleep. I went all the way down to the common area of the ground floor. There were several male voices. They were talking about mates. Timothy, Titus, Fallon and Fargo were among them. I could not tell Timothy from Titus and vice versa.
“I hope I meet my mate soon,” said either Timothy or Titus. “Yeah me too,” said Fallon. “Me three, actually,” said Fargo.
“Not me. I’m not ready to be tied down yet,” said either Titus or Timothy, whoever hadn’t spoken first.
“Your sister is hot though,” said Timothy/Titus. “Bro!! Seriously!!! Could you not?!” Exclaimed Fallon while Fargo made retching sounds.
Idescended the stone steps to the dungeons. I wondered if I had an aversion to silver now. I didn’t have an issue with it before I discovered my wolf. I eyed the sterling silver bars as they glowed in the moonlight that filtered through the small windows in the ceiling.
Touch them. You can. You’re special. You’re not like the others.
I touched the silver bars. They still did not burn even though I had a wolf now. They felt cold and smooth. I ran my fingers along them as I walked towards the last cell. I saw a tall man, face down on the floor, thinner than I remembered. A mass of dark tangled hair obscured his face. He lay motionless on the floor. The cot behind him was empty. Had he fallen out of it?
“Dad?” I whispered.
He slowly raised his head. He stared at me. I had my hands on two bars peering in. He gingerly placed a finger to a bar and I heard the hiss as the silver burnt his fingertip. He groaned snatching his finger away.
I shrugged. My cheeks were tear-streaked. “Did you mean to kill Malachi?” I asked. He sighed. “Of course I did, at the time,” he said. “And Elizabeth?” I whispered., He chuckled sadly.
“She’d seen me. If I’d shot her, and had the balls to finish Malachi off, I wouldn’t be in this mess,” muttered my father.
My cheeks were pressed against two bars. My nose and mouth were in the space between them, my hands gripping the bars as I kneeled on the floor like a child peering through the bars of her playpen.
“But Mom would be devastated. Malachi is her…”
The words died in my throat as my father’s hand shot out and grasped me by the throat. I heard hissing as he singed his arm against the silver in the process. I gripped his hand with both of mine and forced his fingers open. He was forced to relinquish me. I scrambled backwards, my neck searing with pain.
“A w***e’s concerns! You’re a w***e just like your mother!” Yelled my father, his eyes bloodshot.
I pressed myself against the far wall, spluttering and gasping for air. I coughed and massaged my throat. I panted until breathing became easier. I didn’t even have time to process what had just happened. My father had just tried to strangle me. My eyes welled up with tears.
“I should have sold you like I did with the other one,” he muttered, his eyes faraway.
Truth be told, I had come to try to release him if I worked up the nerve to do so. The punishment for something like that was also death but I would rather put my own life in Maze’s and Malachi’s hands than my father’s. I knew Maze could never sentence me to death.
He’d die first, said my she-wolf without a second thought. Malachi wouldn’t hurt us either. He wished he had fathered us. “What?!” I said. “Sold me? What other one?” He was muttering things to himself.
“What other one?!” I screeched, more tears streaming down my cheeks. He cackled softly.
“Your mother wanted a girl. We had three boys already. I didn’t want any girls. I knew they’d be whores like their mother. She was so happy when she found out it was a girl. She wanted to name her Flora or Florence. She kept asking me to pick between the two. We were penny pinching. Another mouth to feed would have ruined us,” he snarled.
“Bullshit!” I growled, my eyes black. He actually flinched. “You had enough! You just wanted to spend it all on getting wasted!” I whispered fiercely.
“I knew your mother had a mate. I’m not stupid. I didn’t know who he was! Just that he existed. How could I be sure it was mine? I remember when it was born,” my father said, as if narrating a twisted
“She!” I screamed. “She was born!” –
“IT!” He bellowed and I was surprised no one had come down to the dungeons yet with all our yelling
“Your mother was totally out of it. I was drunk admittedly. I considered killing it. But I was merciful. What if it was mine? I sold it,” he said. “Made a fortune! Drank most of it away but still. Told your stupid months. She only let up moping wnen we conceived you.
I was silent.
“Who did you sell her to?” I whispered through tears, too stunned to scream and rage anymore.
Farris laughed. I would not be calling him father anymore. Biologically we were related but that no longer meant anything to me.
“Who?” I breathed. “To the highest bidder!” Farris said, laughing. “Tell me, father,” I spat the last word. “You’re on your death bed. Time to confess everything!” He seemed amused at my venomous words. He continued with his tale.
“There’s a convent up on a hill just outside of Berryndale in vampire territory. The nuns there were trained in combat as vampire and werewolf slayers. The convent was attacked by vampires who overpowered and bit the nuns. Some nuns killed themselves rather than become what they were trained to hate and kill. But others welcomed the change and became formidable vampire warriors. Ezekiel Victor Van Der Windt, the Vampire King, had led the attack on the convent. He was obsessed with making super vampires and super werewolves. He’d been exposing vampire children to increasing intensities of light. He even experimented on his own children. Ezra, the Vampire Prince, can easily walk in the daylight. Most born vampires are strong enough to do this for a few minutes but not comfortably
and for hours like Ezra. Victor wanted to do the same type of experiments with werewolf children but they much harder for a vampire like him to get his claws on,” said Farris.
“And you sold her to him. Raelynn. You sold her to Victor,” I breathed. It was not a question.
“Oh I don’t know what she’s called now. But yes, I sold her. Volunteered her for the experiment. I sold you too, you know,” said Farris.
“What?” I spluttered. “He needed two children, one to inject with wolfsbane and the other with silver,” said Farris softly.
Igasped, recoiling further from the bars that didn’t burn me. I shut my eyes tightly so I couldn’t see him.
“I injected you periodically with the silver myself when you were little. I thought I’d made you wolf-less. That the experiment was a failure. I’d been told the girl being injected with wolfsbane was also wolf-less, another failure. I thought they’d kill her. But the Vamp Prince took a liking to her it seems. You and your sister have always been so lucky that you’re pretty little whores like your mother. It makes up for you being useless!” Sneered Farris.
My eyes turned black. My wolf took over, speaking with my voice and hers, two voices melting together, “We came here to free you but now we’d rather watch you die!”
My wolf relinquished her hold on me.
“Suit yourself,” said Farris, grinning spitefully.
I scrambled to my feet and scurried out of the dungeons, hastily ascending the stone steps back to the ground floor. My heart was racing. My breathing came in shallow gasps. I tried to steady myself. Raelynn was my sister. My father had sold her to be used in ax experiment by vampires. Had injecting her with wolfsbane made her wolf-less or just temporarily suppressed her powers and gave her an immunity like me? Our father had used us like guinea pigs, all because he wasn’t sure if we’d been his or not.
I shuddered at the realisation of how callous my father really was. Sure, Malachi was a snob but he did not enjoy cruelty and he truly loved Maze. He had respect for Elizabeth and love and respect for my Mom. I felt nauseated as I dragged myself up the stairs. I crawled back into bed. I wasn’t sure when sleep arrived to