Chapter no 34 – The Diamond

Hunting Adeline

“Ring around the rosies, pocket full of posies,” Sibby sings loudly, skipping around the three wriggling bodies strapped to their chairs. “Ashes, ashes, we all fall DOWN!” she screams, kicking the back of Rocco’s chair on the last word. She shouts it so loudly, even I jump.

I let out a long-suffering sigh. She’s been singing all damn day, taunting them to the point that Francesca has officially soiled herself.

I’ll admit—that was pretty fucking funny.

Zade let her have her fun and get as much information out of the three as possible—after she pinky swore and crossed her heart and hoped to die not to kill them. Unsurprisingly, Sibby has proven to be just as skilled with psychological torture as she is with physical. She made them want to die without even having to touch them.

I have a feeling it’s partly because of her atrocious singing, but I’m not about to tell her that.

For the past week, she’s been getting names of people who attend the Culling every year—whether they come as spectators or participants—the other traffickers who bought girls, and of course, any information Francesca and Xavier have on Claire.

“Rio Sanchez,” Sibby sings. “Still not going to tell me where he is?”

Francesca rolls her eyes, feigning an attitude to conceal just how frightened she is of a girl circling her like a hungry shark.

It’s not working. Sibby is scary.

“I told you this already, I don’t know where he is. He helped her escape, and then he fled. That’s all I know, and frankly, I would gladly hand him over to you because I want him dead, too!” she says, her voice ending in a frustrated screech. She’s flushed bright red and panting. Anger, pain, and frustration all etched into the harsh lines in her face. Old makeup is cracked and smudging, aging her ten years.

She is so going to die with acne all over her face and I find poetic justice in that.

I roll my lips, attempting to ignore the sharp pain stabbing in the center of my chest. Anytime I think of Rio and what will happen when Zade eventually gets his hands on him… I kind of want to cry.

My feelings towards him are complicated, and I’m not sure I’ll ever truly understand them. Even more so now that I’ve met his sister and learned that the evil bitch before me was forcing him to do a lot more for her than I initially thought.

I said I wouldn’t feel guilty when Zade got ahold of him. But then he saved me. And now, I can’t say that I’ll stop Zade… but I can’t say I’ll feel nothing either.

“Do you want him dead because he helped the diamond escape, or because he betrayed you and put a crack in that icy little heart?” I ask.

Her eyes spit fire while she glowers at me.

“He was nothing more than a good fuck,” she seethes.

I bend at the waist, thinning my eyes. “Did you have to threaten to kill his sister every time you wanted him to fuck you?”

Rocco snorts, and Francesca’s head whips to him in offense. He’s pale, sweaty, and seemingly tired, but the malice in his eyes is unmistakable. “She stopped threatening that after the first two years—and I think it’s just because he got tired of hearing it.”

“Shut the fuck up!” she screeches, her face turning a ghastly shade of purple. Doesn’t suit her complexion very well.

“No! We’re in this fucking situation because of you!” he shouts back. “Because you couldn’t keep a handle on that stupid little bitch and refused to get rid of her. And now look!”

Francesca’s bottom lip trembles. “Sydney was worth—” “She wasn’t worth shit!” he roars.

“She was!”

“Or she was keeping your secrets,” I cut in dryly. Francesca’s head snaps to me so quick, she nearly does herself a favor and breaks it.

“What did she tell you?” she demands, her voice cracking and eyes wild. I shrug nonchalantly, giving nothing away. Sydney didn’t tell me shit, but

Francesca doesn’t need to know that.

“Sydney knew?” Rocco asks with rage.

Francesca’s eyes widen, and she turns to Rocco with desperation.

“She found out… I-I don’t know how. But she threatened to tell Claire if I allowed her to be auctioned. She acted out because it was the only thing keeping her in the house and our secret safe.”

My brows knit, trying to decipher what exactly Sydney knew.

“Why didn’t you just kill her?” Rocco growls through gritted teeth.

“Claire wouldn’t allow me to! She forced me to deal with it as a punishment for failing to get Sydney under control,” Francesca cries, nearly pleading with her brother.

Rocco looks away, “Is that why you stopped letting people fuck them?”

Now I really am confused. Sibby and I glance at each other, and she must note my expression because she comes around and gets in Francesca’s face.

“Tell me what you were doing,” she demands. “I don’t like being left out.”

Francesca snarls but quickly cowers when Sibby raises the pink knife to her eye and threatens, “I’ll cut it out and make you chew it.”


“We were making money under the table. People would pay us for a night with one of the girls. We were making good money, too, but then Sydney found out and used it against me.”

My brows shoot up, surprised by their gall to profit off of the girls behind Claire’s back, yet not at all because—well, it’s fucking Francesca and Rocco.

Even Xavier whistles and looks at them with a lopsided grin. He’s just as exhausted as the other two.

“Brave thing to do. Claire would’ve murdered you slowly if she found out.”

Rocco scoffs. “Should’ve just saved us all the fucking headache and let her tell,” he spits. “She was already crazy from that fucking cult. Did you think Claire was going to actually believe her?” He ends his question with a patronizing laugh. Xavier shrugs in a you got me there way while Francesca just gapes at him.

None of them notice the frozen girl standing before them, her spine ramrod straight and shock painted on her face.

“What cult?” Sibby finally cuts in.

Francesca’s mouth opens, then closes. “I don’t know,” she sneers. “All I know is some girl killed the leader, and the entire cult disbanded after that. Wandered aimlessly ‘cause they knew fuck all of what to do with themselves.”

My eyes widen gradually as she speaks. There’s no way.

“How did Sydney get to Washington?” I ask.

“How else? She was homeless and picked up off the streets from a trafficker and shipped to me to be groomed,” she answers, her tone dipped in venom. “I’m one of the best in the world, and she was a tough case. I was working on her.” She spits the last part to Rocco, flickering a scornful glare his way.

“Sibby, did you know her?”

She turns to me, a frown tugging down her lips. “What did she look like?”

“Blonde hair, brown eyes. Two front teeth were crooked. She had a beauty mark on the corner of her mouth, too.”

She works to swallow, but eventually nods her head. “Yeah, I knew her. She was my sister. I mean, all the children were my siblings. Daddy was the only one allowed to get anyone pregnant…” she trails off, seemingly dumbfounded.

That… actually makes a lot of sense—Sibby and Sydney coming from the same cult. Now that I think about it, their mannerisms are very similar. Bizarre, creepy, and their maturity stunted. They’re both murderous psychos, but at least Sibby has a heart of fucking gold, whereas Sydney’s was ashen.

Her expression drops, and she looks at me with all the seriousness in the world. “She tried to kill you? She was the one that kept hurting you?”

Thinning my lips, I nod.

“I’m sorry, Addie. It’s my fault she ever ended up there.” Frowning, I say, “Sibby, it wasn’t your fault.”

“It was,” she insists. “She had nowhere to go because I killed Daddy. All of them were left alone. She would’ve never—”

I grab her hand, squeezing it tightly. “Sibby, you couldn’t have known any of that would happen. You did everyone a favor by killing that man. He was a demon, remember?”

Her lip trembles, but she nods. “Sydney was, too, and she probably smelled like a rotten egg. I’m glad you killed her.”

I peck her cheek, hoping to rid her of any lingering guilt. “Go on upstairs. You did great, and we got everything we needed. I just have one more question to ask.”

She smiles and skips up the stairs, sadness forgotten.

I train my gaze on Francesca. “What happened to Molly?”

Her brows pinch with confusion, so I clarify, “She was a captive back in 2008. She wrote in the journal, and I found it inside the floorboards in my room. I started writing in it, too. It’s actually why Sydney was going to kill me. I was planning to escape, and she found out by reading that journal.”

Her expression sours, and I can almost see the memories flicking across her gaze.

“She escaped. The first and last girl to get away… until you,” she says, muttering the last part with indigence.

A smile curls my lips, and pride fills my veins. For Molly and for myself.

“Thank you.” Clapping my hands, causing the three of them to startle, I offer them a huge smile. “It’s time.”

Francesca’s golden-brown eyes round with confusion and fear. Not so long ago, we stood in opposite shoes. Drowning in helplessness and sorrow, wondering how this could be happening to me. There she stood, staring down at me with the same expression that I now wear.

She showed me no mercy. And I will return that favor tenfold. Maybe she did care, but not enough to save me from herself. “Time?” she echoes, her voice breaking.

My grin widens further, not bothering to hide just how vindictive I feel. “For the Culling,” I supply, my voice dipped in honey and sugar. “And

you, my dear, are the prey.”



Imposters syndrome—something many authors deal with from time to time. When we accomplish something we never thought possible, things we

only ever dreamed of, those are oftentimes the most difficult moments to grapple with.

Do I deserve this?

It’s similar to what Francesca, Xavier, and Rocco look like now—staring at the tree line before Parsons Manor, feeling like an imposter in their own life.

Instead of the inability to accept their accomplishments, they’re unable to accept their fate.

Am I really so vile—so evil—that I deserve to be hunted like a fucking animal?

I could answer that, but I’d rather show them.

Zade and Sibby stand on either side of me, a crossbow hanging loosely in their hands, the cold, gleaming metal identical to mine. The heavy weight feels familiar. I’ve been practicing for this very moment.

My heartbeat pulsates in my ears, drowning out Francesca’s incessant sniveling. We’re standing behind them, the brisk air saturated with anticipation.

“You know,” I say loudly, causing her to flinch. “You would’ve beat the shit out of me if I had cried.”

She shakes her head, refusing to answer. Her head is tipped down, a mop of stringy hair falling over her shoulders and revealing how badly she’s deteriorating. Her spine is protruding from her skin, poking through the threadbare t-shirt she wears.

Xavier and Rocco stand beside her with stone in their shoulders, holding tightly on to the façade that they’re strong and brave.

Such manly men, they are.

I’d like to see if that ideology holds firm when they’re running for their lives or if they’ll die in a puddle of piss and regret.

“You three are luckier than I was. There’s no maze or traps in here for you. Just the sharp tip of our arrows.”

“And if you can’t find us? Then we get away, and you’re fucked,” Xavier retorts pompously. He must feel so smart right now.

I smile. “You won’t get away.”

He tips up his chin, eager to prove me wrong.

“You placed several rules on me, but I’m only giving you one. You can’t escape out of the driveway. There are several armed guards stationed all the

way down. If you want out, you go all the way through and find the road.”

He stiffens, and my smile grows. Xavier thought he could cut left, run twenty feet, come out to my driveway, and escape that way. If they were going to make it hard on me, the least I can do is return the favor.

“Which one do you think is tastiest?” Sibby asks, bouncing on her toes with excitement and restlessness.

I curl my lip in disgust, wrinkling my nose. “Don’t be gross. We’re not cannibals.”

Sibby scoffs. “I would never taint my body with demon meat. We won’t be eating them, but the vultures will.”

“She’s got a way with words,” Zade says dryly, a tinge of amusement in his tone.

That she does.

“Remember, Sibby, don’t shoot to kill. Find and bring her to one of us when she’s down,” I remind.

She grumbles in response but doesn’t argue. I want to experience all of their deaths, so just like the Culling, we’ll kill them together.

“Ready?” I call out. Francesca’s shoulders shake with sobs, but I pay her no mind.

Xavier and Rocco don’t verbally answer, but their bodies tighten.

“Run,” Zade commands, laughing when Francesca takes off and then immediately stumbles over her feet, nearly face-planting the dirt ground.

Sibby giggles, her bouncing increasing. She will be hunting Francesca, Zade will be after Rocco, and Xavier… is mine.

Zade wanted to line them up and test if he could shoot an arrow through all three of their heads at once, but I wanted them to swallow the same pill they forced down my throat. I wanted them to suffer as I did. To choke on the bitterness of having your life in someone else’s hands, just to have it thrown to the ground and fucking stomped on.

Only a monster can create another monster. And that’s exactly who I’ve become.

Sibby takes off after Francesca, a nursery rhyme echoing across the forest. Zade takes a step forward, then pauses to glance back at me, only the scar slashing through his white eye and the side of his mouth visible beneath the black hood.

“You look absolutely divine dressed in wolves’ clothing, but don’t think I won’t tear them from your body the second he’s dead. Enjoy your hunt, little mouse. You won’t be the only predator on the loose.”

Warmth spreads throughout my stomach, dropping low just as his eyes do, giving me one last heated look before turning and taking off after Rocco.

I’ve told him some of the things Francesca’s lovely brother has done to me. By the time the last breath leaves his body, he won’t have a drop of blood left inside him. And for the first time, I’m not ashamed that I find pleasure out of another’s death.

Biting my lip, I head into the forest. The temperature drops as I silently make my way through, foliage crunching beneath my feet. A sharp thrill is zinging throughout my body, yet I keep my pace quick but steady.

Xavier is confident he’ll get away, but with how deep these woods are, we’re confident none of them will find their way out before we catch up to them.

The wind blowing through leaves, birds chirping, and the critters rustling in the brush fade as my focus sharpens on what I do need to hear—branches snapping, the crunch of leaves beneath footsteps, and heavy breathing.

There’s a clear impression of his boot to my left, so I turn and follow after his prints.

About fifteen tense minutes pass, and I alternate between a steady jog and walking. There are no maze walls keeping them confined in one area, so it’ll be easy for them to get lost.

Xavier believes he can find his way out, but it would take him hours, and that’s without getting turned around.

A sudden, loud screech startles me, sending birds tearing through the branches, followed by evil cackling. Sounds like Francesca’s scream, and if she’s not already hit, she came very close to it.

I exhale shakily, my heart racing and sweat gathering at the base of my spine.

Another scream from Francesca, the tail end cutting off abruptly— presumably from Sibby silencing her somehow. In that single moment, meant to be hidden beneath her scream, was a twig cracking.

My head snaps in the direction, off to my left, where I see a flash of a hand before it disappears behind a tree trunk. He’s about thirty feet ahead of


Clenching my jaw, I raise my crossbow and take aim. The second he steps out from that tree, no matter which direction he heads, I’ll have a perfect shot.

Does he feel like a fly caught in the spider’s web? Trapped where he stands while the black widow stalks from afar.

It’s exhilarating. The heady feeling pulsating between my thighs, causing my cheeks to flush and my lids to droop.

My focus sharpens until Xavier’s fear is all I can see, smell, and taste.

How helpless he must feel, knowing his end is nearing.

“How does it feel?” I ask, just loud enough for him to hear.

Far off in the distance, another shout rings out, this time from Rocco. But they’re so far away, it barely penetrates the shroud wrapped around him and me.

He doesn’t answer, possibly holding on to hope that I don’t know exactly where he is. As if every breath he takes can’t be felt through the strings of my web.

“Does it make you sick with fear?” I persist, taking another silent step. A sliver of his elbow peeks out, and I smile. “Is your heart pounding so hard, it feels like it’s going to come out of your throat?”

The wind picks up, lashing through my hair and creating crooked branches out of the cinnamon strands.

When it dies, I inhale deeply. “Smell that, Xavier?”

He shifts, his elbow disappearing and a few leaves crunching under his feet.

“Smells like death.”

A stillness settles over us. So thick, even the birds quieten. And then he’s jumping out from the tree. My finger is milliseconds from pressing the trigger when he abruptly pivots, heading the opposite direction, attempting to get me to fire the arrow prematurely.

While it didn’t work in that regard, it did throw me off my equilibrium, and it takes me a second too long to catch up before he’s darting behind another tree.

I launch the arrow just as he disappears, a startled shout piercing my ears. I don’t stop to see if I’ve hit him. Immediately, I grab an arrow from

the quiver on my back and begin to reload. Heart racing, I keep my hands steady as he takes off again.

Don’t rush, Addie. Keep steady.

The second my crossbow is reloaded, I rush after him, finding a blood trail dotted in his footprints.

Desperation clouds his judgment, and he limps out from one tree toward another with a massive trunk, his leg dragging. My arrow is jutting out from his calf, blood bubbling from the wound as he runs. Taking aim once more, I breathe in deep and then release, pressing the trigger as I do.

The arrow slices through the warm, summer air and lodges in the center of his back. A piercing yelp, and he’s falling flat on his face.

My blood heats and my heart sings from his agonized groans. Nails digging into the dirt ground, he drags himself forward, attempting to escape… to where? There’s nowhere for him to go except to Hell.

“Somebody help!” he shouts from the top of his lungs, his voice breaking at the end.

“Goddamn, that’s embarrassing,” I say, approaching him. I kick his injured leg when I near, grinning when he curses at me, blood tainting his spit.

Crouching beside him, I cock my head, taking in his pitiful state. His blond hair is soaked with sweat, the beads of perspiration trailing down his red face. And those bright baby blue eyes—the very ones that watched me cry and bleed beneath him—are so full of rage and pain, they’re nearly black.

“Silly rabbit, I told you that you couldn’t escape me.”

I hear leaves crunching in the distance along with what sounds like someone cursing and struggling, slowly getting closer as Xavier spits more curses at me that would send my mother to an early grave. The insults roll off my back, despite how hard he tries to hurt me. He’s already done his worst when I was the one helpless and powerless.

Now, he’s nothing.

A deep growl sounds from behind me, drawing my attention away. Zade approaches us, dragging a spitting mad Rocco by his collar, splattered with blood from head to toe. With his black hood drawn, chin tipped low, and his yin-yang eyes locked on me, I lose all cognitive function.

A dark god that embodies destruction and death, yet I’ve never felt more in love.

Rocco is no small man, yet Zade drags him as if he weighs absolutely nothing. He drops him on the ground, earning a few nasty words, which he dutifully ignores.

“Can he run?”

“Arrow in the spine,” he clips.

My mouth dries as he nears, incapable of doing anything else but watching him bend down, seize me by the throat and crush his mouth into mine.


That’s how insignificant of a moment it takes for me to respond. He pries my lips apart with his tongue, tasting me thoroughly and drawing an embarrassing moan from my throat.

He rips himself away, only to fist my hair and yank my head back until I have no choice but to look him in the eye.

“A good man would be sorry that he corrupted something so pure.”

“You’ve never been a good man,” I whisper, reiterating the exact words he’s told me so many times before.

“No,” he agrees. “But I have always been yours.”

Swallowing, I open my mouth to reply but Zade’s hand is releasing my neck and snapping to the side before I can blink. Gasping, I turn to find Zade holding the tip of an arrow inches from my face, blood leaking down his arm.

Xavier struggles to push the arrow further toward me to no avail. My mouth opens with shock, slow to process what the hell just happened.

While I was distracted, Xavier had ripped the arrow out of his calf and attempted to stab me with it. Zade saw it coming, despite that his gaze never left mine.

“Jesus, fuck,” I breathe. “So uncool, dude.”

If Xavier would’ve killed me before I killed him, I would gladly accept death. And if Zade tried to resuscitate me, I’d put my foot down and refuse to come back. How could I look myself in the eye after that epic of a failure?

Zade rips the arrow out of Xavier’s grasp, black fury emanating from him. His hand is going to be nothing but shredded meat and bone if this

keeps up. It’s still healing from the knife, yet he shows no indication he’s in pain.

Xavier’s teeth are bared from both agony and frustration, and I can see he’s ready to pounce again.

I grab the arrow from Zade’s hold, and using the sharp pointed tip, I notch it under Xavier’s chin, forcing him to look at me.

“Look at all that blood,” I muse, echoing his own words with a sardonic smile.

Zade readjusts, crouching behind me, his knees on either side as he presses into my back. Xavier’s eyes drift over my shoulder, hatred swirling in his eyes.

My breath hitches, shivering from the feel of Zade’s hand sliding across my midriff, then lower, the tips of his fingers breaching the waistband of my leggings.

Xavier tracks the movement, his face reddening the lower Zade’s hand drifts.

“What are you doing?” I whisper, though the answer is obvious. This is so fucking wrong, yet my pussy throbs when his fingers brush over my clit.

“When you stole from her, did you know the only one she thought of was me?” he asks, ignoring my question. I bite my lip, arousal flooding between my thighs as he continues to softly play.

Xavier snarls but doesn’t deign him an answer.

“I want to show you why,” Zade whispers, his deep voice dark and sinful.

His touch becomes firmer, and a low moan slips free. I close my eyes, embarrassed by that, even though Xavier can’t see anything but the outline of Zade’s hand.

“Don’t be shy,” Zade murmurs in my ear. “Show him why he never stood a chance against me.”

I exhale a shuddering breath, unable to contain the breathless moan, my eyes opening then fluttering shut again from the pleasure taking hold of my body. He expertly rubs my clit, and soon my head is dropping back on his shoulder.

“Zade,” I moan, my thighs beginning to tremble.

“Stop it,” Xavier barks, his voice pained for more reasons than the arrow piercing his spine.

“Are you angry because she never moaned your name?” Zade challenges. He’s right—I never did, despite how hard Xavier tried.

“Did she cry out for God?” he pushes.

“Yes,” Xavier spits, and fuck, I’m falling apart. I thrust against Zade’s hand, rolling my hips mindlessly, the bliss eroding my entire being.

“Good,” he says, a grin in his voice. “That means she was crying out for


“Oh my God, Zade,” I sob, the orgasm building, forming into a sharp point right where his fingers are rubbing.

“That’s it, baby,” he purrs. “Show him who you’re really praying to.”

“Zade!” I cry out, splintering into millions of pieces while my soul breaks free, shooting far into the heavens. It’s then I realize I don’t belong there, not when my dark god is pulling me down into a world of sin and pleasure, making me come while holding an arrow to my rapist’s throat.

We’re all fucking damned anyway, forced to live outside of heaven’s gates. I find I like it better living in the darkness next to my shadow.

Zade slips his hand from my leggings, cupping my pussy over the fabric while I ride out the rolling waves of euphoria.

Slowly, I come down, my vision spotty as clarity gradually resurfaces.

Panting, I look down to find Xavier seething, his eyes glassy as he glares at me.

Why does he look so betrayed when he’s never owned anything more than my nightmares?

“You’re a whore,” he spits angrily. Zade stands, his presence looming, seconds away from taking the wheel and sending Xavier into the afterlife. I reposition the arrowhead against his neck, a droplet of blood forming beneath the tip.

“And what makes you think your opinion of me means anything at all?” I wonder.

Before he can answer, a loud screech cuts in, full of pain and frustration. “Fucking psycho bitch!”

That would be Francesca.

On shaking legs, I stand and turn to find Sibby dragging Francesca’s flailing body toward us, her red, sweaty face twisted with annoyance. Zade starts to head to her but pauses and points at Xavier.

“I hear you call her any names one more time, I’m cutting out your fucking tongue. Believe me when I say you wouldn’t be the first.”

My brows pinch. “Who was the first?”

Zade just grins, then jogs over to Sibby and takes over, relieving her of Francesca’s weight and carrying the screeching woman the rest of the way, an arrow protruding from her ass cheek.

I’m still a little hung up on the tongue thing, but I decide that I don’t really want to know anyway. Ignorance is bliss and shit.

“Where are your henchmen?” I call out, raising my voice above Francesca’s screaming. From the sour look on Sibby’s face, I’m assuming she wasn’t imagining one of them as the one dragging Francesca.

“I told them to stay behind. They’ve been arguing with each other all day, and it’s driving me nuts. I needed a break from those morons.”

Zade drops Francesca next to Rocco, her scream heightening when she lands on the arrow. The stem breaks, though the arrowhead is still lodged deeply in muscle and bone.

Then, Zade approaches Xavier, the injured man’s eyes widening with fear.

“Don’t be shy, come lay with your friends,” Zade says, grabbing Xavier by the front of his shirt and dragging him to lay on the other side of Rocco.

Their agonized moans, curses, and insults blend together, and Jesus Christ, is that annoying.

I approach them, staring down at the pathetic trio of rapists. A part of me wishes Rio were here so he could watch Francesca die alongside me. Who knows how deeply he’s suffered at her hands? Like Sydney, his pain doesn’t justify the pain he’s inflicted on others, but I do know that it wasn’t any less significant than mine.

“Embarrassing,” I spit, revulsion thickening in the pit of my stomach. “How many girls were in your place now while you celebrated and got off on their torment?”

“Fuck you!” Francesca screams, spittle flying from her mouth. “You think you’re better than us? I’ll see you in fucking Hell, and when I do—”

“You’ll what?” I cut in, laughing when she glares at me. I crouch down, putting my face in hers. “Torture me there, too? You will never be stronger than me, Francesca, and you want to know why? I survived you, but you won’t fucking survive me.”

I pull a special gift I had burning in the back of my pocket and present it to her. A heel I broke off from one of her shoes.

“Fucking choke on it, bitch.”

She opens her mouth to curse, scream—do whatever—and I take advantage, shoving the heel down her throat, smiling when her eyes pop out of her head. She convulses, choking on it, but I’m already standing and moving onto Xavier.

“Have fun, Sibby.”

Sibby grins while lowering onto her knees, and then crawls on Francesca’s body. Raising her pink knife above her head, she plunges it down into the slowly dying woman’s chest.

“No, no, no, wait, wait, it was all her—” Rocco begins, then abruptly ends when Zade plunges his knife directly through the side of his mouth. In through one cheek and out the other, the blade caught between his teeth.

Rocco screams, blood quickly pouring from his open mouth. I smile and turn my attention to Xavier. He looks on the verge of passing out, though I can’t tell if it’s from his injuries or because he’s a pussy facing the consequences of his own actions.

Probably the latter.

“Just… kill me already,” he whines. “I will beg you if I must.”

“You want me to grant you mercy? Was that what that was, every time you sliced me open? Did you have mercy on me when you raped me? Paid money and tried to buy me like I’m a fucking object so you could torment me for the rest of my miserable fucking life?”

He stutters, sweat pouring down his face, growing more desperate and panicked. Especially as Sibby begins to remove limbs, and Zade starts to pluck out Rocco’s eyes.

“I-I’m so sorr—”

“I don’t want your apologies, Xavier. I want your suffering.”

Before he can open his mouth and spew more useless pleas, I grab two extra blades from my thigh strap, and one at a time, force each hand flat and plunge a knife completely through, pinning them into the dirt.

Eyes wide, his screams mix with Rocco’s, and now that… that’s a beautiful sound.

I don’t bother removing his pants. I just raise my knife and stab it into his pelvis, crimson instantly staining his soiled khakis. I keep stabbing until

his entire groin area is ravaged, and I’m panting.

Now, he really is seconds away from blacking out, so I grab him by the hair, force his eyes onto mine, and shove my blade straight through his throat.

His eyes widen in disbelief as he begins to choke, crimson pouring from the wound and down the front of his shirt.

I lean in, as close to his face as possible, ensuring I’m the last fucking thing he sees.

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