Chapter 44

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Wickendale was infested with guards and employees and staff. Like the bugs in the cracks of the building's walls, crawling through narrow halls and vast corridors. If Rose and I simply "made a run for it," getting caught by one of them was inevitable. Sure, there was a chance we could outrun them, but it was very slim. Two patients feverishly running for their lives would go unnoticed only by a miracle. And we didn't have a miracle to waste.

But a patient and a guard would scarcely be questioned. So that is why I had to kill James. Putting him asleep with a sedative might have worked, but I was fresh out of drug-filled needles. So Option B; kill him and increase our chances of escaping immensely. Or at least, that's the reason I gave myself for wanting him dead.

When James spun around, unable to react before I delivered that first punch, the tearing pain in my knuckles from the bones underneath his skin felt invigorating. This was because my success meant we were closer to escaping. This was because each time he staggered backward meant we were closer to leaving this place.

I kept telling this to myself. And so, what if I felt a small excitement and joy knowing I was about to kill the man in front of me? It was gratifying because I was finally getting revenge on the person who had almost single-handedly destroyed the only two people I've ever loved. He fucked with my life and now I was going to end his.

But even still, even after all of these excuses I gave myself, I knew that it wasn't all. Apart from the longing to leave and apart from the revenge, there was something else.

I looked to James as he was now, hand rubbing his jaw. His eyes were wide and confused as he saw me standing there before him.

"Wha"- he started as my fist pounded against the opposite side. And it hurt my hand like hell, but the alarming pain felt good knowing that James had it worse. His head spun back and a few drops of blood spewed from his mouth. His body staggered again but his mind thought quickly, hand moving to the small gun at his hip. I was faster, though.

My foot came up and kicked it from his wrist before he could fully raise it. The gun clattered to the floor. James grunted at the impact and held his wrist in one hand to ease the pain. But he knew better than that, quickly releasing it to defend himself with both hands. Now he was ready to fight back. He knew what I was doing and he would try to stop it. I had something he didn't, though. I had fresh adrenaline pumping through me and the urgency of escape cutting through my mind. I had anger, and I had a purpose. All the reason he had for fighting was to defend himself. And that wouldn't be enough to save him.

"Harry, stop," he demanded, his voice strong. "You don't want to do this. Let me take you back to your cell."

I couldn't help the chuckle that came from deep in my chest, a smirk curving my lips. Take me back to my cell? Was he serious?

And then I delivered another punch.

This time James didn't question it or sit in his daze of surprise. This time he acted, and it caught me off guard. The hardness of his fist came back at me, hitting the side of my face with enough force to make me stumble backward. My cheek stung. Did he just fucking hit me? The pain to my jaw confirmed that he did, provoking my anger. It started somewhere deep within me, boiling up in hot whips. A blazing fire that erupted in just seconds. After all he had taken from me, after all he had put me through, put Emily through, and put Rose through, he thinks he has the right to lay a fucking finger on me. My fists clenched and my jaw grew tight and my muscles grew taut. I turned my head to the ground and spit out the blood, quickly, though, so that I could turn back to James. Fucking James.

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