All I could do was sob and say nonsense as Doug pulled me towards the door. He kept just pouring emotions into me to the point of me rather wishing he’d just kill me and be done with it. I couldn’t stand another minute with this wilderness inside me.
I’d be helpless once we were out there, in his hands. No, I can get out, I thought as we got to the door. I could do this. Could I? I had to. But no, it was hopeless. By the time he let me out of this emotion trap, we’d be in some basement in Egypt and I’d be his pet for the rest of my life.
Doug lifted the key-chain and just as he pushed the button he said, “No. Wait, what is that? What–what is it?!” He stood stiffly then pushed me aside, cracking open the door. “Someone is close. Not one of the Roods. Not another Four…”
“We should stay then,” I managed to get out before I was hit with a wave of despair, so I just started crying again.
“It’s probably some local gone too far off the trails…” Doug grabbed my arm and pushed open the door. We went four steps before he began shoving me back through the doorway. I had no idea what was going on. Doug was trying to get the door shut but it was slammed open with a force I didn’t think any human had.
It’s one of the other experiments, I thought, panicking. Someone insanely strong, or telekinetic force, or it could be… it’s….
“HAL!” I screamed as he stepped in. I tried going for him but Doug was in the way and I ran into him. As soon as we made bodily contact, I was filled with emotions again, tearing me to pieces.
“Step. Away. From. Him.” Hal’s voice was deeper, darker, scarier than I ever imagined it could be. There was a glimmer of happiness before Doug squashed it.
“How did you…?” Doug gasped out. “Go away! This is my house!”
Hal’s fists raised but then he froze, looking a bit confused. Doug was staring intently at him and I had the feeling he was trying to do to Hal what he was doing to me. But his connection wasn’t very strong with anyone other than me, and Hal was stunned only momentarily.
“GET AWAY FROM HIM!” Hal roared and he sprung forward like a cat. A tiger, a powerful tiger–ready to claw Doug to shreds. My tiger.
Doug screamed and hit the floor, and Hal began throwing fists everywhere. All of Doug’s emotions drained out of me like someone pulled the plug. But he wasn’t exactly weak, and he began fighting back.
“Hal! Hal be careful!” I said, watching with fear as the two rolled back and forth. I reached down, grabbing one of the broken chair pieces, intending on hitting Doug over the head with it but before I could make my move, Hal was once more on top.
“You little bastard!” Hal growled, his hands around Doug’s throat.
Doug saw me standing there with the piece and began grasping out. I saw another piece of the broken chair not too far from where his fingers were reaching. I tried to get to it, but he grabbed it first and I screamed when he hit Hal’s head.
Hal fell back and Doug shakily rose, throwing emotions at me as I tried raising my piece of the chair up to hit him. I dropped the wooden bit and stumbled back, feeling helpless. I was pathetic. I was weak. I couldn’t even protect myself, and now–now! Hal, my darling Hal, was being attacked and I couldn’t do anything.
Hal reached up so when Doug hit him again, it smacked Hal’s arm. I winced at the sound and tried to go forward but it was too hard, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t even think anymore.
I can’t do anything, I’m not good enough, I’ve never been good enough.
Except I was good enough. Hal—this man, fighting for me. Appearing out of no where, in the middle of no where, fighting for me. I was good enough for him. He loved me. Truly loved me. This man, unconnected to me by blood like my family, and this weird connection I had with Doug.
There was no reason for him to love me.
He loved me.
I was good enough.
The splintered wood hit Doug’s back and he went crashing down to the floor. I staggered, nearly dropping the wood then looking up at Hal who was panting for air. I stared at him then dropped the wood, rushing over to my husband.
“Hal, are you ok? Sweetie? Are you okay?!” I examined his bleeding arm then my hands went to his face, kissing him passionately. “What are you doing here? How did you find me?! Oh, Hal, darling, oh Hal!”
“I’m okay, I’m okay,” he managed to get out, reaching up to touch my cheek. “Are you okay? Sebastian, oh Sebastian!”
We kissed again, and again. Then I pulled away, getting some paper towels from the kitchen to mop up his blood. It wasn’t a bad wound, thankfully. He wasn’t too hurt. “How did you find me?” I asked again, looking up in his eyes.
“Long story,” he said, stroking my cheek. “We need to get you out of here.”
We only took a few steps before Doug came to and began gasping out in pain. “Wh–what happened… I can’t… Sebastian…?”
I didn’t stop walking when I looked down and was shocked to see how much blood was on the floor. Doug was barely moving. His fingers stretched out, scratching lightly at the floor. A bit of blood was coming out of his mouth. That’s when I saw a bloodied nail sticking sharp-end out on the wood I used to hit him.
“I think he’s going to die,” I said, taken aback by this. Had I just killed someone? I was… going to kill him… I was a killer…
“Let’s go,” Hal said gently, pulling me towards the door.
“Sebastian!” Doug cried out. “No, Seb… astian… stay…” I ignored him, going towards the door, leaning against Hal. “No, no, Sebastian–please… I’m… I need you!” I was at the door. “NO! Sebastian! Your mother! Your children! I know something!”
I froze. Hal kept trying to walk but was stopped since we were still clinging to each other. “No, Sebastian, he’s just trying to get you to stay!” Hal said, gripping my hand.
“No… Sebastian, stay–I’m… dying…” His voice was raspy and sounded pale. “Please stay!”
“There’s nothing here for me to stay,” I said, turning away from him. I felt a little tug at my emotions but it was barely there. Weak. Because I had severed the link or because he was dying?
“No, Seb… I know something, please stay. About the Roods. Your children. You.”
“Sebastian, he doesn’t know anything,” Hal said, sounding a bit desperate. He pulled at my hands. “What are you doing?”
I was turned back around, facing Doug. He was dying, I could tell. His eyes weren’t on me but on the ceiling, staring as if he couldn’t see anything. Blood was still trickling out of his mouth. “What about my family?” I demanded, folding my arms.
He gasped a bit and moved very slightly. “I love you, Sebastian,” he said weakly.
“I’m going, then.”
“NO!” he shrieked. “No, please no… I’ll… I’ll say…”
I stepped closer again, staying out of reach of him. Something inside of me was terrified that this was a trick. “Then tell me, Doug.”
Finally his eyes shifted and he was looking at me but everything that was once in them was gone. Oh Watcher, I had hit him that hard. “My connection with you,” he whispered, dark eyes staring into mine. “I don’t know what it is but… I love you… NO!” he cried when I shifted to leave. “I’ll say it, I’ll say it. Anything to keep you here. I don’t want to die alone. Sebastian, I can’t…”
“So you’re making up stuff to keep me,” I said, wrapping my arms around myself and feeling sick.
“No, no, I’m not lying. Please, I’ll say it…” He took in a few deep breaths then started talking again. “You felt different… in here…” He tried to raise his hand but couldn’t. “In my mind,” he finally just said. “So… so did your mother.”
“My mother?!” I demanded, feeling angry about that. “What about her?!”
“Same as you,” he whispered, scrabbling at the floor. “It wasn’t the same but there was the same, it felt the same, in my mind I sensed… the same… like you… differently… like your child…”
“My child? Which child?” I asked, ignoring Hal who was getting anxious. “If there is something about one of my kids–“
“The same!” Doug yelped. “You. Your mother. One of your kids. The same. I don’t know which child, I f-felt it when I came to get you… when I was following you. I don’t know which one…” He began coughing, blood spilling out. “And the Roods know why.”
“The Roods?” Hal asked, looking at me.
“The scientists who run this place,” I said, not taking my eyes off of Doug. “Who made him, who made him, Hal! He’s not–“
“He’s not human,” Hal said and I stared at him. “The police discovered it.”
“How do you know the Roods know anything?” I demanded, feeling even sicker.
“When they talked about you… the connection…” He coughed some more and then gave a loud gasp. “I’m dying, Sebastian… I’m going to die… I love you…”
“What about the connection?!” I demanded, about to go for him but Hal held me back.
Doug just lay there and for a second I thought he was dead, but then I noticed his chest rising and falling. Then he said, “When Professor Rood said… it had something to do with Jacob… and Doctor Rood said… no… she lied…” He dug his fingers into the floor and pulled, but they just slid through the blood leaving marks.
“She lied, she lied about it not being the reason, it’s what she believed to be true I sensed it, she knew it was something with Jacob. Don’t leave me, don’t leave me, I need you, I love you… I love you…”
Jacob Danevbie. My great-grandfather. Something to do with him. If he was the reason for the connection, then it made sense my mother also had something–but then why not my brother and sister?
“I’m dying,” Doug said flatly. “Sebastian, I… please stay… hold my hand… let me die happy… tell me you love me, even if you lie about it, tell me you love me. Please, I’m dying–a dying wish.”
I looked at Hal who looked ready to throttle Doug despite the fact he was a dying man. I held up my hand to Hal then carefully knelt down, avoiding the blood. Doug’s glazed eyes met mine and his lips twitched. “Doug,” I whispered, leaning in close.
He stared at me waiting, and then I couldn’t do it. I was going to tell him I hated him but I couldn’t do it. His gaze seemed so far off and it wasn’t going to be long. I hated him, with every fiber of my being. But I couldn’t do it. I was weak.
“I don’t love you,” I said, and then stood up as his eyes widened. Hal reached over and pulled me towards the door and I tried to hold in my tears, though it was difficult. Doug was calling out my name but I didn’t listen anymore, I just staggered to the door, covering my ears.
Everything got very blurry. Tears. Hal’s hands were guiding me but then I couldn’t take it anymore. All the emotional exhaustion got to me, and I collapsed forward against Hal, who scooped me up and carried me outside as I started slowly falling into unconsciousness.