"I would've never left you alone with him if I knew that he would do that to you. When I said 'hurt' you I wasn't being literal." I hear Kenny speaking to me, faintly.

I open my eyes and he has an ice pack on my cheek.

"Does it still hurt? Ive been switching from the ice pack to the warm rag for a while. The swelling wont be a problem." He says, removing the ice pack.

"What happened?" I ask, the lights of the hotel blinding me.

"Dont make me say it. You know what happened." He says, placing the warm rag on my face. "He hit you pretty hard, good thing it was with an open hand." He says.

I look at him and push him off. "Get away from me. You left me! Did you know? Did you know that he was capable of such savagery? No one ever told me he was violent! Why didnt you tell me?!" I yell.

"Esme, I didnt have a choice. Michael fired me twenty minutes after he left for his 'interview' and he said if I didnt leave Neverland before he came home I would have been arrested. I didnt know he was gonna go home and smack you like a coward. I was hoping you would have been right behind me. Ive been working for the guy longer than anybody. If he fired me then something has to be seriously wrong with him." He says, wringing out the rag.

I glare at him and he sighs.

"I'm sorry. Considering the way he was acting, I should have never left you there alone with him." He says, handing me the ice pack.

I look down and take it, pressing it on my face.

"I know. I forgive you. Look, I dont want to talk about it right now, okay? I just want to go to sleep." I say, laying back down on the hotel bed.

"Okay. Good. You need some rest." He says, tucking me in.

I roll up in the covers and watch Kenny as he falls asleep in his chair. I climb out of bed and sneak over to his laptop and power it on. I google an address and write the directions down on a piece of paper. I grab his keys and quietly sneak out of the hotel to drive to my destination. I pull up in the driveway and get out, taking a deep breath. I hope I'm doing the right thing. I knock on the door and when the door comes open I instantly regret my decision.

"Esme! Oh you've come back!" Lacienaga says as she hugs me, excitedly.

"Nice to see you too Mom." I say.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I press ignore for the tenth time in a row on my phone and put it down.

"So why did you come here Esme?" Lacey asks me, drinking her tea she made for us

"I already told you." I say.

"Tell me again." She says.

"I wanted to see you without the paparazzi getting involved with you. That's all." I say, sipping my tea.

"Okay so where did that big swollen cheek come from?" She asks.

I look down.

"How long has he been hitting you?" She asks, putting her tea down.

"This hasn't been going on. This was the first time." I explain.

"One time too many if you ask me." She says.

"I don't need advice right now Mom I just want to relax and not have to think about it okay?" I say, tying my hair back.

"You will have to not only think about it, but deal with it once the divorce is on paper." She says, standing up.

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