Chapter Twenty-Three (Part Two)
I adverted my gaze and bit my trembling lip.
Kendall continued to shriek as her nails dug into my forearm.
"Stop screeching," growled my father as he pointed a shotgun at Kendall's head. "Or I'll blow your brains out."
She instantly fell silent and her grip on my arm tightened.
"I brought you these," snapped my father as he threw a pair of crutches my way. They fell to the floor, clattering noisily as they landed.
He let out a deep chuckle. "Pick them up," he ordered Kendall. "NOW!"
With the candle in one hand, she released my arm and reached down to grab the crutches.
"Now give them to Caden and follow me," he barked.
Her hands shook as she passed me the crutches.
I winced as I eased my injured leg off the cot. The pain instantly overtook my senses and my head began to swim.
"I don't think I can do this," I whispered.
He cocked the trigger of the gun with his finger. I knew he wasn't kidding. I knew if I didn't move in the next three seconds, I'd be left scrubbing her insides off the floor, bullet hole in my leg or not.
Kendall helped ease the crutches under my arms as I bared weight on the leg without the bullet wound.
"Where are you taking us?" Kendall asked in a shaky voice.
Pops spun around on his heel and lifted his hand. "Do not speak to me unless you're spoken to. This is your only warning."
Her jaw dropped as tears streamed down her cheeks.
"Do you understand me?" snarled my father.
Pops pushed past me and grabbed Kendall by the throat. In an instant, he had her pinned up against the wall. "Answer me out loud!"
"Y- y- y- yes," she stammered as my father's hand tightened around her windpipe.
When he finally released his grip, she fell to her knees with her hands to her throat, gasping for air.
Knowing better, I kept my mouth shut and dropped my gaze to the floor. If I showed even the slightest amount of empathy, I'd be next.
"Get up," Pops demanded. "I don't have all night for this nonsense."
Kendall staggered to her feet and took a step backward. Her arm brushed against mine, sending chills down my spine. I almost forgot about the throbbing pain in my leg for a few brief moments.
Without another word, we followed my father down the hall and to the second door on the right. I pressed my lips together. I knew the room all too well...
Pops took a large key ring out of his back pocket. My mouth went dry and a wave of nausea passed through my insides as he raised the jingling keys to open the first of several locks.
"This is going to be your temporary home until you both learn how to behave," he spat. "Normally, I would have left you in the other room, but I couldn't have Caden in there with a bullet hole through the leg. That's not how a father treats his child."
Kendall gasped. "He's your dad?"
Without hesitating, Pops slapped Kendall across the face so hard she flew into the wall. I watched as she sank to the floor, holding her hands to the right side of her face.
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