“Yeah, well… I’m not your sex toy anymore so you’ll have to get reacquainted with your hand.”
“I’d rather get reacquainted with your pussy.”
I enjoyed the answering, lustful growl disguised as anger that passed through her lips.
Ten Years Ago
We traveled for a long time, and in that time, I got to see a world outside of the compound. I’d only ever been in the compound, and any time they took me out to train, I was blindfolded. Mario wouldn’t tell me where he was taking me or why. He would only say it was for my own good.
After a long flight, we landed and then drove for what seemed like hours. This was the first time I’d been in a car without blindfolds, yet I couldn’t find any excitement over the scenery. Mario had never done anything to hurt me, but it didn’t mean he wouldn’t. After my father made me kill the lady he said was my mother, he had left. Alone and hungry, it was days before I found the courage to leave the house. I took the gun for protection just in case they came looking for me. Two days later, Mario found me on the street digging through garbage. The number he had left me to call him was tucked in my pocket, but without a way to call him, it was useless.
We pulled into a lot surrounded by partially built buildings and lots of dirt. There was a large truck already waiting and a man standing beside it. He was tall with dark hair like mine. My nervousness picked up when the car slowed to a stop in front of the man. Mario didn’t waste time exiting the car. He motioned for me to stay put and then approached the man. I waited for the customary handshake I was used to seeing men make when they met, but there was none between Mario and the strange man.
The man wore a deep frown on his face as he listened to whatever Mario was telling him. He looked toward the car suddenly, and I met his stare. It looked as if Mario was still speaking when the man stepped away and headed for the car. Mario made no move to stop him, though he wore a frown on his face. I was too guarded to keep my hand away from the knife inside my jacket.
Wearing a jacket was also a first. It felt constricting around me, but the good thing was it kept me warm from the harsh winter air.
The man’s hand reached for the door handle, and I quickly scrambled to the other side. Mario must have come to his senses because he moved toward the car and stopped the man. I could hear them arguing outside the car while I watched on.
Was I here to kill this man? I figured this had to be a test, and suddenly, I felt unwanted fear snake its way in.
When they finally stopped arguing the man stepped back, and Mario turned to open the door. He leaned down to peer inside. When he noticed the way my hand clutched the knife inside my jacket, he chuckled.
“It’s okay. No one is going to hurt you, and this isn’t a test,” he said, reading my mind.
After a few moments spent looking between him and the stranger waiting for me to exit the car, I finally got out. He stepped forward immediately, and I showed my teeth the way I often saw the guard dogs in the compound do when they felt threatened.
“Gabriel?” His shock was obvious. “Is that you?”
I watched the shell-shocked man approach me, hesitantly this time. I had no clue who he was, and he must have mistaken me for someone else.
I gripped the knife under my jacket again, ready to defend myself if need be. He must have noticed because he stopped and looked me over carefully before looking back up at Mario.
“Be cool, little man. This is the uncle I told you about.”
The strange man glared at Mario before his eyes lowered to meet mine. His gazed softened as he said, “It’s okay, Gabriel. I’m not going to hurt you. My name is John. I’m your uncle.”
My eyes narrowed. His attempt to console me only strengthened my distrust. “Yeah, but I could hurt you,” I countered.
“My name is Keiran.”
I was only ever called two things in my life. Slave and Keiran. Gabriel was someone I never got to be—and someone I never would be.
Keiran was here to stay.
I don’t know exactly when I accepted the name Lily gifted to me, but I suspected it was the moment I freed her.
“You say you’re my uncle, but you call me the wrong name. My name isn’t Gabriel.”
He looked at Mario in confusion before turning back to me. “I’m sorry… Keiran. It’s just that your mother named you Gabriel, but if you prefer Keiran, then that’s what we’ll call you.”
“My mother? You knew her?”
Pain filled his eyes when I mentioned her. It was deep and unmistakable. I didn’t know much about her, and even for the short time that I knew her, it wasn’t until the end of her life I discovered who she was.
“Yes, I did, son. Your mother and I were very close. She would have wanted nothing more than to be here to meet you.”
Do I tell him that I’ve met her? That I was the reason she wasn’t here now? I thought about the man who said he was my father and what he made me do. I should have been able to trust him, but he was the exact opposite of what I thought he would be. All those kids who would cry for their parents night after night made me think parents were good people.
“Who is we?” I asked since my mother is dead and he stood alone.
“Yes, you have a cousin who is only a year younger than you. His name is Keenan and he’s my son.”
Instead of acknowledging his mention of more family, I looked up at Mario who watched on silently.