1 | goodbye.

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gabriel sighed and looked in the bathroom mirror. he hated the way the scars of his abuse puffed out, pink against his warm undertoned skin. he traced his fingertips over his shirtless body. this would be the last time he looked in this mirror. this would be the last time he saw this house. he let an unruly tear fall down his cheek, despite his internal protests. he wouldn't let his father see him cry, because that would mean he had won. and gabriel would only let that man win over his own dead body.

he pulled on an old beatles shirt and some jeans that already had a belt looped through them before he stepped out of his bedroom. he knew his father had picked out a dress for him, but gabriel would never wear something so humiliating. he would just have to deal with the consequences, whatever they may be. he pulled on some tennis shoes before trudging outside, taking one last look at his room. it had been painted white over his original baby blue. all his posters had been torn from
the walls, his sheets stripped from the mattress and his dresser drawers emptied into suitcases which were now at the bottom of the stairs.

he started slowly down the staircase, hearing the playful bickering of his siblings along with other voices, unfamiliar ones which he assumed were his new owners. he nearly broke down at the thought, but he stood strong. for the sake of his dignity and for his siblings. once he reached the last staircase, he could see clearly into the kitchen. he saw the backs of two men, one ebony haired boy and another older, longer haired man. they both smelled like alphas.

gabriel stalked into view, his eyes weary. he had been trying to think up a way out of this mess for weeks, only to come up empty handed. he was 17, technically still a child, so he couldn't run away without the police on his trail. as for the police, he couldn't go to them either as chuck was a well respected man and no one would believe gabriel if he came out about the abuse, and he knew none of his family would testify against a man like chuck.

chuck looked the boy up and down, wrinkling his nose in disgust. "that's not what i told you to wear." gabriel didn't reply, just looked down at his feet and whimpered to show submissiveness. chuck sighed, running a hand through his hair. he spoke again, this time not directed at gabriel.

"i'm warning you right now, he's a problem. he's been difficult since birth, but it wasn't until he presented that it became clear why." the older man looked back at gabriel to meet his eyes.

"don't worry. we'll whip him back into shape." gabriel met his gaze and saw cold and harsh hazel eyes. he felt a tear prick in the back of his eyes and furrowed his eyebrows in anger at himself and his emotions. the man turned back to chuck and softened his features, just a bit. "we're still agreed upon with the price?" chuck gave one curt nod before the shorter man handed over a small suitcase to him. chuck took it, opened it up, and apparently was satisfied with what he saw because he closed it back with a small smirk.

"this'll put my babies through college." chuck said to nobody in particular. at the mention of his siblings, gabriel looked over to all of them, realizing they were all leaning over the back of the living room couch. he gave them a small nod goodbye. it didn't particularly hurt him to leave them now, he had already said goodbye a long time ago when he first presented and chuck told him he wouldn't be speaking to the rest of the kids ever again. it saddened him to think about it, but he was soon snapped out of his trance at the sound of handcuffs being clamped around his wrists. he looked up and met the tall man's gaze, realizing that the handcuffs weren't tight on him at all. he saw something in his eyes, something kind and sympathetic. he decided he was imagining that though when the man regained his cold harsh composure and turned back towards chuck.

"we'll be taking him now. please don't contact us again." chuck gave a nod of agreement and understanding. suddenly, gabriel was being dragged through the foyer and out the front door, the reality of what was happening hitting him at the same time as the bitter cold outside did.

he tried not to crumble, the strong hand pushing him to a sleek, black car the only thing keeping him grounded. he was pushed into the backseat rather forcefully, the big man getting into the driver's seat and the smaller one riding shotgun after he had put gabriel's luggage in the trunk. the car started and gabe watched his childhood home leave, keeping an eye on it for as long as possible before he couldn't see it anymore. he turned back towards the front, preparing for a long, silent ride before the larger man spoke up.

"okay, he can't see us anymore right?" he looked in the rearview mirror and answered his rhetorical question before tossing a key at the younger boy. "kevin, get him outta those cuffs." the younger boy, kevin gabriel learned, obliged and leaned over his seat before grabbing gabriel's wrists and unlocking them from each other. "please." the larger man added. kevin scoffed.

"you never say please anyways, what makes today different?" the man chuckled, playing along.

"i didn't want out guest to think i was rude." he replied, gabriel catching his eye in the mirror.

"but you are." kevin pointed out, earning a playful slap from the man. gabriel cleared his throat.

"i'm confused. are you gonna fill me in on why i'm not wearing handcuffs anymore, or...?" sam raised his eyebrows.

"sorry, my manners are rusty." he was making eye contact with gabriel through the rearview mirror again and gabe saw a twinkle in his eye. "my name's sam." he continued. "and kevin and i came here to rescue you from your abusive father."

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