It’s all I can think about. It’s the only thing keeping me sane, keeping me breathing, keeping me alive.
The amount of loss my family has endured is too much. The pain destroyed us all. It turned me into a hollow shell, with nothing but a black heart left beneath my ribs. It turned my brother into a fighter intent on killing. It turned my other brother into a hardened soul who will never let anyone in. And my sister has become a woman whose only wish is for death.
I have no doubt that my actions will do little to heal any of us, but that isn’t my intention. We are all broken souls, all heartless. There is no fixing people who have been touched by the absolute worst darkness in the world.
Revenge isn’t about us; it’s about destroying those who unleashed the darkness onto the world, but who we can stop from causing further carnage.
As I take a step into blindingly white hallways filled with people rummaging about in and out of hospital rooms, I know this is the first step toward getting our revenge.
The bastard thinks I’m working for him because I’m a greedy asshole who will do anything for money. He thinks I’m broke and need to get in his good graces to rebuild my family. He doesn’t realize I’m working for him to gain the tools to destroy him.
There is a nurses’ station that I’ll have to get past before I can reach Liesel’s room. I play my options in my head. Pretend to be the father or other family member. Pretend to work here. Flirt my way through. Or use the threat of danger.
It turns out I don’t have to use any of those strategies. As I approach the nurses’ station, an alarm sounds.
“Code blue!” someone yells, and everyone scatters to the room on the far end of the hallway.
Quite convenient—unless it’s the room I’m here for.
I scan the board behind the desk and find names attached to rooms. Liesel Dunn is in room 302.
I snag one of the hospital bands for guests and slap it on my wrist. I begin to make my way toward room 302, but I immediately stop.
There is a man outside the room pacing back and forth.
No, this man is barely more than a boy. The man who raped Liesel is much older. This boy’s brow is covered in sweat, his eyebrows are raised in worry, and his entire body is tense and flustered.
He’s muttering words to himself and doesn’t notice my presence.
There’s a scream coming from the room that draws his attention to the door. He stops abruptly like his heart just stopped at the sound of the woman’s screams.
I hate to admit it, but my heart flutters too. The sound the woman is making is not that much different than Phoenix’s wail of agony the day her triplets were born lifeless.
Is the woman losing her baby?
I want to run inside to see. If she is, then my plan is ruined. But this damn man is standing in the way. I could take him. He’s nothing but a scrawny boy, and in his state, I doubt he’d put up much of a fight. But I don’t want to draw any unwanted attention.
Suddenly, a doctor and a nurse push past the boy, not giving him a second look as they enter the room. Their voices are quick as they explain what’s happening.
Perfect, it will be easier for me to take the baby if Liesel is unconscious. They will have to move the baby to the nursery. The plan continues to form in my head.
The boy’s face is white as a ghost. He’s terrified. And yet, he’s too afraid to go into the room. What he’s afraid of, I don’t know, but it’s clear he loves the girl in the room.
You shouldn’t—I’m about to destroy her world, just like she and her father destroyed mine.
Suddenly, the doors to the girl’s room are flung open, and her hospital bed is being rolled out.
The boy jumps back, turning down the hallway before she can get a glimpse of him.
She’s writhing in pain in the bed. Her large belly is shifting even though contractions are no longer needed to get the baby out. She’s gripping the railing of the bed so hard that her fingertips have turned white. She lets out a low, guttural growl as another contraction sweeps through her.
Her eyes glare at me as I realize I’m standing in the middle of the hallway in the direction the doctors are turning her bed.
I jump out of the way.
No one questions my presence here. They are too worried about getting her to surgery.
I watch as they begin to turn the corner with her, and I look back at the boy. I expect him to be staring at her, to be running after her, but he’s gone—vanished.
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