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MOMMY LEFT the room to retrieve her boyfriend from upstairs. Bella did not stop quietly crying and shaking the entire time, feeling terrified as she anticipated what would happen to her. Her trembling fingers flew up to wipe her nose and eyes as she kept her gaze locked on the ground.

"Bella," Cole said, his voice serious.

Bella continued to stare at the floor, her hair sticking to her face as tears continued sliding down her cheeks.

"If her boyfriend..." Cole trailed off. He couldn't even say it, he seemed visibly sick at the mere thought of something awful happening. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. "This is messed up; it's not your fault that her stupid dress was ruined."

In Cole's eyes, it seemed as if this situation was deeper to him than just the simple fact of not wanting anything to happen to Bella. His fear was visibly greater than his worry and exasperation, and Bella wondered why he cared so much.

She sniffled and couldn't help the hot tears welling in her eyes. Elliot was standing right next to Cole, his arms still wrapped around his legs as he stared at Bella.

"I'm dead," Bella whispered, watching the door again. "They're going to kill me, I know they will."

Elliot immediately tightened his grip around Cole's leg as he began to snivel in pure fear.

Cole swore under his breath, his accent thick with the frustration in his tone. Bella watched as he swallowed hard and leaned his head back against the wall. "If they haven't killed me yet, they're not going to kill you."

When the door suddenly flew open, Bella jumped to her feet in alarm.

Mommy sauntered eerily into the room and watched with a sick smirk on her lips as Bella's entire body trembled. Her boyfriend stood at the doorway behind her in a powerful stance, the hood of his black sweatshirt over his head, shadowing any distinct facial features.

He stepped into the room and Bella's back hit the wall.

Mommy's arms were crossed in front of her chest and her beady eyes were stalking every movement Bella made. Bella just breathed heavily, absolutely terrified of what was going to happen. Her trembling fingers flew up to wipe her nose and mouth as she attempted to avoid all eye contact with Mommy.

"Don't be scared, this is what you deserve. It'll be over before you know it," Mommy comforted in a condescending tone. She turned to her boyfriend and deadpanned, "Take the slut to the room and do whatever you want to her. I can't even look at this bitch anymore."

Her boyfriend stood there, facing Bella, his shoulders rising and falling as he began walking closer to Bella. He was large and tall, much more immense than Bella had remembered, and she felt engulfed in his shadow as he moved at a quicker pace over to her. Bella's teeth gritted together when he reached out to grab her - his fingers were large and outstretched and she was in full defense mode. She kicked him directly in his stomach and punched his shoulder as hard as she could, feeling his hard muscle against her knuckles.

"Stay away from me!" Bella cried out, and Mommy's boyfriend doubled over in momentary pain before his arm latched around Bella's small body and pulled her against him.

She knew that normally, she would have way more strength than she did at that moment, but she was starving and exhausted, and it was all happening so fast.

Her heart started pounding as she recognized that this situation could be her very last moments, and a large rock formed in her throat that she could hardly breathe around.

Bella flailed and kicked, but Mommy's boyfriend's arm was locked tight around her stomach, crushing her rib cage and restricting her lungs. She could hear, in the background of a ringing in her ears, Mommy's low and mocking laughter.

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