The groom tried to dip the bride, they held the pose for exactly ten seconds in which I managed to get two shots, before they tripped and fell to the sand in a fit of laughter. I rolled my eyes and continued snapping images as they continued to do their own thing. It made for genuine photographs for their album, after all, that was what I was hired to do.
Mackenna fucking Kane became a photographer for hire. I pushed my long dark hair behind my ears as I bent low and tried to get an image of the couple under the blaze of the sun. The wedding was something out of a bad romance movie complete with flower archways and draped chairs.
I never understood why people chose beaches for weddings. All that sand in the eyes, food and of course, the saltwater in the hair. It seemed to escape me completely. Couples in love. They sickened me. Sure, at one stage I was in love too. In fact, I’m supposed to still be in love.
I glanced at Elisa as she ran along the water and splashed around with the children that attended the wedding. Hennessey had some church service today and I was on Elisa duty. I decided that taking her with me to the wedding would keep her occupied enough.
Things between Hennessey and me changed a lot over the last couple of years. As Elisa got older, I found that Hennessey was more invested in the child than she was in whatever we were supposed to be. The worst part was that our past seemed to come up a lot. Even though I had given everything up for her two years ago.
I sat at my computer and watched as Elias had his head bowed. There was something in his hand. I couldn’t zoom in, but it seemed like a photograph. He spent ninety percent of his time staring at it. He never engaged with the nurses that came in to hand him food or medication. He never screamed that he needed to be let out. He never moved unless it was from the bed to the bathroom or the common room.
His dark hair stood up on all ends and was much longer now that he did not bother to keep it neat. His beard looked as if he hadn’t seen civilization for years, which technically, he didn’t. the nursing staff tried to neaten him up, but where afraid to be anywhere near him with anything sharp.
“What the hell are you doing?” Hennessey snapped from behind me.
I sighed and turned around. “I was just checking in.”
“The fuck, Mackenna?” she seethed. Her green eyes were angry, and her plump lips were pulled back over her teeth. She was mad.
“What is your problem?” I shouted.
“He is!” she pointed at the screen which only showed me Elias’s back. “You have held a torch for him since the moment the two of you met!”
“Are you kidding me right now?” I seethed. “He is in a freaking nut house, what more do you want?”
“Get rid of him!” she shrieked. It was earsplitting and painfilled.
“He’s not even part of our lives, Hennessey, why are you over-fucking-reacting?”
“Because he is!” she whispered. Her eyes filled with tears and the lips that were twisted in a snarl now trembled. “Because late at night, I know you see him in your dreams. Because you spend hours in this fucking den just watching him. Because if I was not around, you’d be with him.”
I breathed in deeply and closed my eyes against her onslaught. “I am in love with you. I chose you. The person I’m having a happily-ever-after with is you.”
“So, get rid of him.”
Her pain and fear was etched in her every pore. She wanted Elias out of my life in every possible way. I walked towards her and placed a chaste kiss on her lips, before grabbing Elisa’s mini baseball bat from the corner of the room.
I looked at my computers, my programmers and my cellphones… I closed my eyes and swung until every single device was shattered into tiny pieces. I expelled Elias from my life as well as everything and everyone from New York.
Hennessey wanted someone that was one hundred percent hers, this was as far as I could go.
I blinked away the memory of that day and sighed. The couple came over to thank me and after a few pleasantries, I packed away my stuff and beckoned Elisa over. Her dark hair curled into a frizzy mess and her big blue eyes were wide with happiness. She inherited her father’s dark hair and her mother’s blue eyes. It was because of those two features that people believed she was actually my daughter. Her brows, her lips and her mannerisms were all like her father. It was the reason I hadn’t strangled her in her sleep as I wanted to many times over the last three years.
She was a reserved kid that only spoke when she was spoken to. For a three-year-old, she understood and spoked clearly. That was probably my fault considering every time she started babbling like a baby, I glared at her until she spoke articulately. Elisa was terrified of me, something Hennessey reprimanded me for on numerous occasions. Of course, I reminded her that the only reason I tolerated the child was because of her.
“Time to go,” I said.
She nodded slowly and straightened her t-shirt and shorts from their disarray. I turned on my heel and waited till she walked in front of me. I would not touch the child, but I wouldn’t have her trialing behind me for anyone to just snatch her. I didn’t want a vengeful Hennessey on my hands. That didn’t work out well for anyone involved.
The walk to the villa was a short one. In fact, everything was within walking distance from us, and if we needed anything we usually took a boat to neighboring islands. The heat was ridiculous and my head ached with a need for something strong and ice-cold to go down my throat.
The door was wide opened when we got there. I chalked it up to Hennessey feeling hot. When I got inside, the scene before me told me a different story. Elisa stepped backwards, and for the first time she stood behind me. I was too stunned to remove her hands that clutched the material of my clothes.
The villa was trashed. Vases lay shattered with water and drenched flowers on the floor. Photo frames that Hennessey hung around the place were all shattered with the photographs ripped apart. The glass coffee table was broken and drops of blood made my body suddenly cold.
“Hennessey?” I called knowing it was futile.
She was gone. No. She was taken.
I knew this because only one vase remained intact and it stood in the middle of the dinning table filled with white roses tipped with what I was sure was Hennessey’s blood. On the vase, an envelope was taped to it.
I stepped forward with Elisa trailing behind me. Her hands shook. She was scared. I couldn’t comfort her. Not when my body vibrated with rage. I plucked the envelope from its resting place. Inside were two tickets to New York and a note.
Let’s play a game, my love. Heads, I’m yours. Tails, you’re mine.
It didn’t take a genius to figure out who this was. I slid out my phone from my back pocket and dialed a number I hadn’t reached out to in two years. It rang and rang until the voicemail picked up. That was worse, if Douglas wasn’t picking up my call, something was definitely wrong.
I grabbed the tickets and looked down at Elisa.
“Go and pack a bag,” I said through clenched teeth.
“Are we going to mommy?” she asked in a small voice.
“Yeah,” I answered. “We’re going to get your mom back.”
★彡 𝐀 𝐌𝐀𝐍 𝐒𝐂𝐎𝐑𝐍𝐄𝐃彡★
𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙝𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙗𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙮.
She stood at the threshold of a house that had become her home, and before her, everything lay shattered.
She thought she was ahead of the game, I mean, the psychotic woman who would do anything for the one she loved was bound to win… right?
Who did she love?
Was it me?
Was it her?
I didn’t care any longer.
In the game of cat and mouse, Mackenna Sterling thought she had won. She thought she had defeated me in her war against all odds.
I was the type of odd she didn’t see coming.
I was the collateral damage that raged an inferno in her life, after all, I learned from the best.
The tables are about to turn, my love.
I’m coming for you.
𝘎𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘴 𝘓𝘪𝘯𝘬: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49122701-ttw-2
𝘙𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘋𝘢𝘵𝘦: 26 𝘑𝘜𝘕𝘌 2020