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   Chapter 17 16.

On Her Knees By Chyna McCartney Characters: 18283

Updated: 2018-02-10 17:53

Melanie came running back into the room as soon as Armand left me. Breaking the news to her was even more difficult than it was to digest.

"I don't understand, " she protests, holding onto one of my hands as she sat down beside me. " Why not auction us off from the very beginning? Why are they doing this now?"

"I don't think it was ever their intention to have an auction. If I hadn't.. misbehaved, if I had just let Amir do what he wanted, maybe things would not have happened the way they did.

Then there would never have been so many vampires after my neck and God knows what other parts of me.."

I shook my head furiously, trying to banish the guilt. Every girl was at risk here now. Armand was going to invite every vile creature with the means to finance his twisted desires, to come and sample his merchandise.

"This isn't your fault, Teryn, " Melanie cooed, giving my fingers a squeeze. "You couldn't have known what would have happened." In her grey eyes, I could see how much she truly believed that.

"But I should have. Everything comes at a cost with these monsters." Like my bruised ribs and the appointment Marcus set up for me with Amir in exchange for keeping Bailey away from that Curtis guy. I had been beaten nearly to death because I wouldn't submit to Marcus' will and still I was going to pay for my insubordination-- it just didn't seem fair.

I could feel the tears begin to sting at the corner of my eyes.

Hadn't I suffered enough? Had I not fulfilled my own agreements; my own duties? No matter how hard I tried to make things right, to keep myself and others safe-- my efforts were always thwarted. I couldn't win.

Taking my face in her tiny hands, Melanie reassured me that I wasn't as useless I thought. "We knew this was going to be hell;" she told me. "We knew that we would have to fight to survive this place. The reality of it is that you can't save everyone, honey. You can't shelter everyone from everything. And you sure as hell can't blame yourself for every evil and inhumane thing that happens to us.

You're not the monster, Teryn. They are."


After spending the rest of the afternoon, sprawled across the bed and trying but failing, to relax, when the clock on the far wall read eight o'clock, I was fully prepared to resume the normal daily routine.

Usually we left our bedrooms and went into the part of the building that was once the club to eat. There supper consisted of bland, boiled pasta or white rice and some grilled protein with ice water. Portions were small but we eventually learned that even this was better than starving.

But this evening was different. Much to my surprise, that routine was abandoned.

As I was motioning to get up from the bed, several of the vampires wheeled in trays with covered dishes. Melanie pulled me back down and we stayed seated on our beds and were served overflowing helpings of shrimp fettuccine on the most beautiful polished china plates.

I hadn't realized how famished I was until the aroma from the plate met my nostrils. Insisting that I shouldn't 'strain myself', Melanie fed me from my plate until I had about cleared half of it. By then she had finally gotten annoyed with my protesting against being treated like a baby and let me do it myself. Although, I'm sure I could have finished my meal far more quickly and without making so much of a mess about it if I have just let her continue.

My hands trembled with the strain on my muscles but my pride wouldn't let me admit my own frailty until my plate was clean. Melanie was more than delighted however, to help me with the chocolate mousse we had for desert.

Full and finally exhausted, I couldn't bring myself to walk to the bathroom and take a shower. So Melanie helped me get comfortable with lying on my stomach in bed, fluffing and re-positioning the duck feather pillow that had been yet another gift from the vampires.

"Thank you, " I told her. "But you don't have to do this."

Her answering smile was weak. "Of course, I do. Sweet dreams, " she murmured, turning to go to her own bed.

"Wait." I touched her arm. "What happened to you?"

"What do you mean?" Her dark brows furrowed together in confusion as she faced me again.

"Sometimes you look so broken, Melanie. As if you've never truly been whole for a long time."

She understood which direction this conversation was heading then, her grey eyes appearing to glaze over as she stared at something behind me. "Teryn, I don't.."

"Did something happen to you? Did someone hurt you?"

"I can't.." Her voice was barely a whisper now, pain marring her delicate features.

"You can tell me, Mel. I'm here." Whatever this was, whatever she was keeping bottled up was eating away at her psyche. If I could relief her of that weight, I wanted to.

Her eyes focused again and she climbed onto the bed and sat cross legged on the edge of the mattress. "My father calls me, Mel, " she responded, her eyes still not meeting mine. "You really wanna hear this story?"

I placed a comforting hand on her knee. "Only if you're willing to share it with me."

Her own hand came to rest atop mine. "I'm willing."

With a deep, heaving sigh, Melanie proceeded to give me a glimpse into her pain.

"My mom and dad were married for six years before they had me and even before then they both knew that they wouldn't let marriage force them to give up the things the

ner in your own home wasn't much of a solution to that problem."

"Yeah, " Melanie agreed. "She realized that and that's why she let me go.

Albania was beautiful. I mean the outside world was beautiful in general after eleven years but Albania was exceptionally gorgeous. Unfortunately, I only spent one night there. Christina went out to some nightclub with a guy she met there while I decided to stayed at the house.

I don't actually know how it happened but I remember going to sleep and then waking up again on that boat."

The tears started to fall from her eyes again and I caught them on the pad of my thumb, flicking them away. "What I wouldn't give to be back home again. I was a caged animal there but at the very least, I was safe.

I just want to feel safe again, Teryn.."

Sobs shook her tiny body. "But you're safe now, Melanie. You're safe with me."

She wrapped her arms around my shoulder, her tears falling on my neck as her face was nestled against my shoulder.

It was uncomfortable, given the pain in my back but I rocked her back and forth until she eventually fell silent, murmuring "You're safe now. Its alright, " in her ear.

I didn't know who I was trying to convince more of that-- her or myself.


Melanie was nearly weightless in my arms as I carried her over to her bed. Exhausted from her tears, she'd eventually fallen asleep. I imagine it must have taken a lot out of her to relieve herself of such a great weight. How she managed to live with something like that for more than half her lifetime was beyond me.

I placed a chaste kiss to her forehead and covered her with the brown sheets, leaving her peaceful figure to wobble over to the bathroom. The light was already on inside and I moved to stand in front of the sink.

The mirrors that been ripped away from the tiles had been replaced and for the first time in what felt like such a long time, I really looked at myself.

My posture had never been perfect but my shoulders were slumped even more than usual; as if the mental weight I felt had a physical manifestation that now bore down on my body. There was no glow to my skin, only a sickly palish tinge to my olive skin as if the light-- the life had been drained away.

Heavy bags rested beneath my eyes and a shiver ran down my spine as another gust of cool air blew across the room and caressed the exposed skin on my back. I was tired and every nerve ending in my body seemed to be on fire with the persistent, thrumming pain that radiated through me.

For the first time since I'd come to this hell hole, I felt the crippling depression that I had subconsciously anticipated. This all was too much for me.

How was I going to tell Giovanni, that I longer truly belonged to him? If I really had a slew of bloodsucking fans, would he really be able to get me back? More importantly, would he even want to?

I wanted to believe sincerely that my well being was of any importance to him but there was no way to be sure.

Yet even more concerning for me was Melanie. She had to get out-- regardless of the cost, but if she was to be sold to some other monster at the auctions, then how could I protect her?

I pressed my fingers to my temple and beat back the pain as the unanswered questions buzzed around the inside of my head like nagging insects.

Bending, I turned the faucet on and splashed some of the cool water on my face and neck.

I felt the sharp gust as movement caused a disruption in the air around me and I felt him standing behind me a heartbeat before I saw his glittering, green eyes peering at me through the clear glass.

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