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‘You stole a child from his family!’
‘Do you even understand what you did? Can you imagine the fear, of being stolen away in the night – taken away to live in a place you’ve never seen before, wondering if you’re ever going to see the light of day again? Wondering if you’re ever going to see your family again?’
His voice was shaking, and he was livid. The rumble echoed throughout the room and the man there couldn’t help but cower, searching for its owner.
‘Who are you?’
‘Somebody who doesn’t like seeing people kept in the dark.’
Out of nowhere a fist connected with a jaw, and the dark angel become one of no mercy. It was a voice in the back of his mind that stopped him, or he could have gone on beating him forever.
He stepped back, spitting at the man before softening.
‘What’s going to happen now?’
Taking the small child’s hand in his own, he slowly began walking towards the door.
‘Now… we go home.’
She blinked, locking his gaze with her own of blue, observing the only means of escape out of the corner of her eye.
‘You won’t do it. You don’t have the heart.’
‘I don’t have a heart. Period.’
Her finger rested on the trigger. She was trembling.
‘You’re beautiful when you’re angry, you know that?’
‘Shut up,’ she snapped. ‘Just shut up, or I’ll put a bullet down your throat.’
He took a step forwards.
‘Move again and I’ll shoot.’
Locked gazes, then…
Neapolitan was his favourite. Three flavours in one.
Chocolate, strawberry, vanilla.
He still remembered his first cone. The shock chill, delightful taste and then the crunch of the cone beneath a clear blue sky, walking through a garden, so long ago…
Better than Centre food. Children were playing in the park and he’d watched them as he ate.
He’d never been a child.
He had been, and in a way still was, but he’d never gotten the chance to be one of them.
Sprinkles on top and a rainbow in the sky. Chocolate smooth, strawberry sweet and vanilla pure. He’d never been one of them, but it could have been worse.
Not knowing could have been worse.
‘Don’t look at me like that.’
The boy was young, barely three years. His eyes were blue like hers and she loved him in the way only sisters could love.
Eyes of blue blinked up at her and she had a sneaking suspicion he would be responsible for melting that final layer of ice.
‘Come here, you,’ she whispered, pulling him into her lap.
Butterfly kisses, like her mother had once given. Her mother…
There was fear there, a fear of loving and losing. But, perhaps, stronger was the fear of never loving him at all…
Eyes of blue blinked up at her and despite the chill in the air, the sun was shining.
‘I love you.’