CH. 41: Love Like The Ocean Cannot Be Contained

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"Open your mouth and say the words, you worthless cunt!"

But, even then, as her ferocity boomed throughout her home, Tracy Wyatt knew the Selfridge bitch wasn't going to say shit.

Her family was gathered around her, her husband, her sisters and their husbands, the sum total of Wyatt children and cousins, all naked as the day they were born. Yet, their ritual had been stunted by the horrific sight of Gwendolyn, Rachel and Vanessa Selfridge. They all looked to Tracy, kneeling, holding her daughter's unconscious body and staring up at the other two women. All looked to Tracy for guidance and leadership, to make sense of Gwendolyn's bandaged face and Rachel's explanation and, most of all, the presence of a Selfridge at the ritual. Tracy wanted to show composure. To lead by example. To be strong. But, her daughter's face. If it was to be said that Tracy Wyatt had a weakness, and if it was, it certainly was not done so to her face, that weakness was her love for her children.

The constant struggle to protect Charlotte from herself. To protect Gwendolyn from her innocence. To restrain Michael Jr. and Terrell from temptation. To shield Josephine from, but no, Tracy couldn't go there. Josephine was dead. Better not to think about it. Bite back your tears, she told herself. And bite back your enemies.

"Mrs. Wyatt," Rachel said, "it's like a told you-"

"I heard what you said! I want to hear her say it!"

Vanessa tried to speak, but through her purple, swollen throat, nothing came out. Probably for the best, Tracy thought with a shred of rationality, if memory serves, she's the Selfridge with spoken mind control. But, if she couldn't answer Tracy in words, she would answer in deed.

Tracy reached out and clenched outstretched fingers into a fist as if around Vanessa. As she did, she spoke in the secret language of her art that none but her understood.

"Hoquhewijp!"

The Selfridge woman's clothes constricted around her body and squeezed. Her hair wrapped itself around her bruise of a neck and pulled into a noose. Vanessa tried to scream, but even breath could not escape her. She writhed and wrestled at her shirt and hair, but as both clung ever tighter, she lost her footing and fell to the ground.

"Mrs. Wyatt, please," Rachel said, but Tracy clenched her fist to the point of it shaking. Rachel took a step toward her, but stopped at the flicker of Tracy's eyes in her direction. "We have to go! Mac went to the farm! She's going there to- She'll be killed by the Selfridges!"

"Trace..." Derek said, but he knew too well not to approach his wife.

"Tracy," Patience said, "Maybe its time we tell-"

Tracy roared. "Don't be a fool!"

"Mother...?" Michael Jr. said. "If Mac..."

"What are we supposed to do?" Stephanie said. "Storm Thrun's-?"

"Steph," her brother, Terrell said, putting a hand on her elbow.

It got quiet, save the sound of Vanessa choking to death, as no one either knew what, or had the balls, to say to Tracy. Eyes darted back and forth. David to Bobby. Derek to Astrid. Ellis to Fisher. Cousin to cousin to cousin. All dumfounded, balancing on the head of a pin.

"Mom..."

They looked at each other to see who dared, but soon all eyes found the culprit.

"Gwendolyn," Tracy said, eyes glazing over. "Don't talk... We're going to get you healed up. You'll be good as... as..."

Gwendolyn reached up to her own face and wiped away her mother's fallen tears. "We need... need... to tell... to tell them about the wand..."

Oh, Gwendolyn, Tracy thought and closed her eyes against the coming storm. What did you just do...?

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