Dee's Hard Limits
stepping back.
    “Yes, Dan is going to be fine now, but he’ll be one of us now. There was no way to save him otherwise.” She glanced over her shoulder. “If you’ll excuse me. I should pack a bag.”
    “There is no need for you to pack. We will provide you with what you need.” Marquis reached out and grabbed her hand.
    Looking up into his face, Dee knew they hadn’t solved anything yet between them. “Why were you mad at me earlier?” She tilted her head to the side, waiting.
    “This is not the time or place to discuss this, but...” He yanked her off balance and into his arms. “Even though I may be angry at you, I’ll always love you. Nothing will change that.” He leaned down and nipped her nose.
    “Good, then you won’t hate me when I go visit Abby.” She disappeared from his arms.
    Standing outside her mother’s house, Dee slowly made her way up the stairs. Akaos’ men all nodded to her, but she knew they were informing Talhrn she was here, even thugh she’d already done that. Dee needed to see Abby by herself.
    Every kill Koti made was like a personal attack on her. Dee knew it was wrong to think like this, but after years and years of his physical and psychological abuse, it was a habit. The door opened and Marquis stood there with his arms crossed over his chest.
    “Don’t. I need to do this by myself. I didn’t go anywhere other than a place that was already protected.” She stated and pushed past Marquis. “Go ahead and add it the other thing you are mad at me about. I’m sure you’ll punish me soon enough.”
    Neither of them said anything as she stopped in front of Abby’s door. Inside she could hear Abby crying and it tore her apart inside, but she wouldn’t be detoured. Her arm felt like it weighed a hundred pounds as she lifted it to knock on her door.
    “Abby, it’s me, Dee. Can I come in?” She took a deep breath and pushed open the door when she said yes. Looking back, Marquis nodded and closed the door behind her. He would give her the time she needed.
    Her friend was curled up on her bed, hugging a pillow. Abby’s eyes were swollen and red. “She’s all the family I had left. I feel as if there is a hole inside of me. How did you make it through Hope’s death?”
    Crawling up on the bed next to her, Dee ran her hand through her hair blond hair. “I never really did. I think when someone we love dies, a part of us dies with them, but in time that pain will lessen to a dull ache. You’ll come to realize that you carry a part of her inside you and no one can take that away.” Dee leaned her head back and smiled.
    “Do you remember last week when Agatha ran smack into that wall? I thought for sure she busted her nose, but when she fell back laughing, I thought I was going to piss myself. Your sister... no matter what the problem she always wanted to make you laugh. She enjoyed life so much and she’d hate to see you like this.”
    A small smile broke out on Abby’s face. “She did break her nose and you’re right. I’ll try. You’re leaving, aren’t you?”
    She sighed and nodded. “I need to get away. Talhrn was right. All my life, I’ve hunted him or hid from my father. As far back as I can remember there wasn’t one day that I didn’t worry he’d find me or hurt someone I love. Hell, Abby I feel dirty half the time thinking I have his blood in me.”
    Sitting up, Abby hugged her. “Is that why you let them beat you? Agatha said you were trying to exorcise your father from you.”
    “Yes. I believed if I was whipped hard enough to draw blood that it would keep me from turning into him. Koti use to tell me as a child. ‘You are of my blood and one day you will be just as me.’ It terrified me and it still does. What if he’s right, Abby?” She knew Marquis was listening to everything thing she said, but Dee didn’t care.
    “You listen to me.” Abby jerked her around and stared at her. “You will never be like your father. You have a heart as big

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