The drive home was long, silent, and uncomfortable.
Cya kept stealing glances over at the boy in the passenger’s seat. He wasn’t fighting. She had plans in place for fighting. He wasn’t scared. She knew what to do when they were scared. He wasn’t crying, he wasn’t yelling, he wasn’t asking questions.
If she went through her normal script, he might find a way to kill himself and convince himself it had been her plan. This was very irregular.
Finally, she had to ask. “You really thought I was a serial killer?”
He glanced over at her. He wasn’t exactly moping, but he was making the face her boys did, and now her grandkids, too, when they didn’t get what they wanted. “They said it was like that novel, that you took one student every year as some sort of tribute.”
“…And the school just let me waltz in and kidnap someone?”
“Well, they do, don’t they?”
“All right, they do. But that’s because they know what I do with them.” That didn’t sound right. This boy was throwing her off her game.
“They said the school was afraid of you. So they let you take the leftovers.” He looked down at his feet. “I sent the other guy home.”
“Someone else was waiting? To be killed?” Cya had never planned to be mistaken for a serial killer.
“He didn’t need it. I need it. I…”
“I’m not going to kill you.”
“I lost everything! And he made me promise not to end myself. You were my only hope!”
“I’m not going to kill you.” She was beginning to get a little exasperated. “And you are not allowed to accidentally kill yourself, or go looking for ways to make me want to kill you.”
“No. Finally, something she had in her script. “You are not allowed to hurt or damage anything that belongs to me.”
It took him a minute to get it, to remember that he’d agreed to Belong to her.
She really didn’t know what to do about this.
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