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"SHE IS PASSED OUT upstairs," Sir said at the doorway several hours later, as Bella sat isolated from Cole and Elliot, who were sound asleep as usual.

She lifted her head to look at the large man, her eyes widening as an intense burst of excitement sprouted from the depths of her chest. She was going to get out of there, they were finally going to be free. She could hardly contain her excitement as she jumped up to wake Cole and Elliot up.

"Only you," Sir demanded, his hood over his eyes again as his fingers locked around the door frame. "I only want you free."

Bella paused, looking over at Sir with big eyes. "W-why?" she whispered, her voice shaking. "I... I think all three of us should be free."

"The little one can be free too. The big one will stay. I do not like the big one," Sir explained, his voice stern yet quiet as he stared at Bella. "You deserve to be free. You are being sold, they are not."

Her lip quivered and her eyes began to water as she reached her hand out slowly towards Cole. "Please let me take him with me, please," she begged. "I thought you didn't want me to be hurt. I will be so hurt if you make him stay."

Sir stood there in thought for several minutes, his eyes lowering to the floor. "No. Mommy will be upset if he is gone - she likes him a lot."

Bella's eyebrows knitted together in confusion as she looked at Cole, who was slumped and asleep against the wall with Elliot resting peacefully against his thigh.

"It doesn't seem like she likes him," Bella contradicted, her voice muddled. "She beats him at any chance she gets."

"She says that the big one will replace me," Sir said, shrugging his shoulders. "She says that he is attractive. She talks about sex, and I wonder why she thinks bad things about her son. I never ask why, because she will yell at me," he explained. "I do not like to be yelled at."

Bella swallowed, knowing that it certainly wasn't safe for Cole to stay there either. "Okay, please understand me - Cole is not her son. None of us are her children! She is a scary, scary woman and Cole is not safe staying here. He's not safe, he will die. Please let him come with me, please!" Tears clouded her eyes as she pleaded.

Sir looked at the floor, his hands clasping over his head. "I am not supposed to let you out. She will hate me if he leaves. She is in love with him."

Bella gnawed on her lip, unexpected tears rushing down her face. "He's leaving with me, I'm sorry. Cole, please wake up," she whispered, shaking his shoulder and waking both Cole and Elliot up.

Cole's tired, pale eyes stared up at her in confusion. He made a noise around the gag that was stuffed in his mouth while Elliot curled up beside him with furrowed eyebrows.

"He will not leave!" Sir yelled. "I can not let him leave. Please just let me let you and the little one out."

"I'm not leaving without Cole," Bella started to cry. Sir seemed unmoved and genuinely terrified of what would happen if Cole left, so Bella felt that the entire plan was destined to fall to pieces. "She will not hurt you if we all leave," Bella explained. "I promise you I will not let her hurt you."

Cole made a noise of protest, muffled by the fabric in his mouth - it was most likely him trying to tell her to go without him. But she wouldn't do it, she refused.

What if Bella did leave on her own, and Mommy happened to wake up while she was gone? She would surely kill Cole and Elliot in a fit of anger before she could get help. Bella couldn't leave without them.

Sir stared at Bella as she cried, her palms covering her eyes. The thought of Cole staying and getting assaulted by Mommy, or the fact that she would be sold and and have to leave Elliot all by himself, made her physically nauseous. She would do absolutely anything at that moment for them to all leave.

"Fine. Hurry up," Sir said, and Bella almost screamed with elation.

She turned to Cole and knelt down, grabbing his tied arm and Elliot's small hand as she helped them stand to their feet. "We're getting out of here," she explained, a huge grin on her tear-stained lips as she continued to cry with happiness. "We're getting out!"

In a quick movement, she slipped Cole's gag down his mouth and left it hanging around his neck, before she moved to untie his bloody wrists. The rope fell to the ground and Cole was free, the flesh on his wrists dripping with crimson as he took a breath of relief.

Both Cole and Elliot seemed disoriented and confused as Bella grabbed both of their hands and walked past Sir in the doorway, who watched the three of them as they started towards the staircase.

"I don't trust this," Cole mumbled to Bella, his words quiet and rough as she moved in front of him.

Bella ignored him as they gently stepped up the stairs, very carefully, with Bella in the lead as she tapped the basement door open. She expected to first see Mommy slumped with her head in her arms at the table, but she did not see anybody. The front door was right in front of her eyes, creaked open with a slim line of light leaking into the filthy house, teasing the three of them.

When the three of them stepped fully into the house, Bella turned to find Mommy standing at the counter with the large knife clutched in her fist and a bottle of liqueur in her other hand. Her eyes were several shades darker, if that was even plausible, glittering off the flickering lights above them as she narrowed them towards the three terrified victims.

Bella's heart pounded - it was all she could hear as she watched Mommy dart after her with the knife.

Everything moved in slow motion - Cole fingers gripping Bella's thin arms and shoving her away from Mommy's path, Elliot's cry and the blurry figure of Sir grabbing Mommy from behind and shoving her into the wall.

"Go! Go! Leave!" Sir cried out, his words muffled beyond the intense ringing and pounding in Bella's ears. Bella watched as Mommy thrust the knife in Sir's direction, blood slinging wildly at the wall, all while she was being pulled in the direction of the front door.

"No!" Bella cried out to Sir, "No, please!"

"You will regret leaving me!" Mommy screamed as loudly as she could, her voice straining and echoing throughout the tiny living room as Sir kept his arms locked around her through the pain. "You will regret it! I will find you guys, I promise I will find you!"

The second Bella's foot landed outside, the sun blared in her eyes and she forced her eyelids shut to block the intense rays. With each turn of her head, the world followed in a glitched, sluggish motion, as they ran across the uncut lawn to the only house in sight beyond miles of woods and land.

They were free.

They were free...

_
THIS IS NOT THE END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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