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Every word she speaks resonates through me. I don’t want to be like her father. I don’t want to lock her in a cage, but I have to. I can’t risk her leaving or someone getting to her. She’s reached a part of me no one ever has and as terrifying as that is, I can’t let her go. I won’t. I’ll kill, destroy, and hold her against her will if need be.
She is mine until death.
“Sleep, I will keep the nightmares away,” I whisper into her hair, my lips grazing her forehead.
“Will you ever let me go?”
“Untie you from the bed, yes. Leave me? Never. If you ever get away from me, I’ll hunt you down, find you and drag you back here. The day you signed your name on that contract is the day you became mine. I will never let you escape me. Never let you go.”
Silence settles over us, and even though she doesn’t say anything, I know she’s still awake. I ignore that fact and hold her until we both fall asleep, wondering if things have to change so much, or if I can keep her like this forever.