“I want nothing to do with you.”
“What? But honey—”
“I won’t ever forgive you. You have lost me… forever.”
She opens her curled up hand and lets her broken rose necklace drop into his lap, then turns to go.
“Delphi,” he cries out, his voice breaking. “Please… Delphi, come back here… please listen to me… sweetheart, please!”
He’s frantically fighting the binds, finally making some headway. They begin to loosen. Before he can rise up and attempt to chase after her, I cut in. I shove him back down into the chair and hold up a warning finger in his face, between his eyes.
Rage courses through me, buzzing in my ears, showing on my face as homicidal calm.
“You’ve done enough. If you ever hurt her again, I hurt you. Ikillyou,” I threaten. “I will rip you apart with my bare hands. No matter what she says. Do you understand? Stay the fuck away from her.”
“No… Delphi! DELPHI! COME BACK!”
We leave him there, tied to the chair, calling out for her.
I come out of the Adams residence to find Delphine sitting in the passenger seat of my Mustang, already waiting for me. I slide in behind the wheel and glance at her before starting the engine. My hand lands in her lap and I interlace our fingers.
Despite her sudden stoic demeanor, a wave of sadness surrounds her.
She nods. “Drive.”
I grant her wish. I shift gear into drive and take her the hell away from there. The echo of Ernest Adams’ desperate cries follow us down the rest of the street until we turn and put more distance between him and us.
Raw, anguished screams of a man who lost his wife and has now lost his daughter. He’ll have to live the rest of his life knowing his precious baby girl hates his guts.
Maybe punishment enough.
I’ve never seenDelphine in worse condition. Even after her attack, she was still the Delphine I’d spent years infatuated with. Learning the truth about her father and his web of lies leaves her a shell of her former self.
Grief that she’s not only lost her mother but her father too, and under fucked up circumstances that would mess with anyone’s perception of reality.
She stays with me at the loft. Salt and Pepa too.
Days pass. Most of them she spends in a slump, curled up in bed, or limp on the sofa. I do my best to accommodate her. Be a listening ear and offer support in whatever she needs at the time.
It’s far from easy.
Consoling people has never been my thing. I don’t have the emotional range to deal with complex issues like grieving parental relationships. Stefania died only weeks ago, and I didn’t shed a tear. Hopefully soon, I’ll exact my revenge against Lucius, and he’ll suffer so much, he’ll die. Tears won’t be shed for that either.
Except maybe happy ones.
But Delphine is human in a way I’ve never been. She has a heart that feels things deeply. She’s spent her entire life trusting her father so much that it blinded her. It prevented her from seeing him for what he really is.
None of it is her fault.
Ernest Adams manipulated and controlled his daughter on a level even I never imagined. We still don’t have the full picture—the Neptune Society is ironclad on keeping its secrets and the elusive Volchok almost seems fictional when we’re continually unable to locate him.
“Nothing?” I ask yet again.
Stitches gives a grim shake of his head. “Still nothing. I’m wondering if Volchok is some kind of cover name? Sort of like how the members of the Neptune Society hide behind the club name?”