He doesn’t immediately reply to that. He gives it some thought, and I want to open his brain to see what’s going on inside.
“They only added that to the message to make sure you’ll come, so they can end it all easily, and not go hunting you down after they’re done with me and Anderson.”
The thought of us all dying makes my blood turn cold. But, it’s a real possibility. A tangible reality. I know why he doesn’t want me to go along. He wants me away, as safe as I can be under the circumstances. What he doesn’t realize is that without my father, without the two of them, I have nothing. I’m all alone in this world.
“Never underestimate someone who has nothing to lose,” I tell him. “I know they want me to come. And, I’ll be happy to oblige.”
Fynn sighs. “There is no talking you out of it, is there?”
“No,” I shake my head.
The breeze blows through my hair, ruffling it a little. It reminds me how cold and heartless life can get. I thought I lived through the worst tragedy of my life when I lost my mother. Now, it turns out I might have to go through all of it again, and even worse. Face being left completely alone in the world.
“This is a horrible idea,” he rolls his eyes. “Let’s just be clear on that.”
“But, if I don’t take you with me, you’ll follow me or something, and still end up there, right?”
“Right.” I can’t help but smile. “See? You know me so well.”
“I know that you really don’t like taking orders.”
“When I agree with them, sure. I’ll listen.”
“But sometimes, others know better. Why can’t you listen then?” he asks and I don’t know what to tell him.
“I need to find out what happened to my father,” I keep on telling him the only thing that matters right now. “I need to see if he’s alive or dead. Maybe… maybe that bullet didn’t hit him. Maybe he’s just wounded. Maybe he’s waiting for me, for us, to come and rescue him. I can’t leave him. Not like our mother was left.”
“Maddie…” He walks over to me. “I know you’re confused about your mother’s death. Anderson shouldn’t have been the one to tell you anything. Even though it seems that if he hadn’t, then Hugo wouldn’t have the chance up to this point. So, maybe it’s good Anderson took it upon himself. But, it’s not Hugo’s fault. Your father is a decent guy. Always has been. He just got caught up in some shady things, and unfortunately… your mother ended up paying the price for it.”
I swallow heavily. My mother is the last thing I want to talk about right now, but I can’t say anything. I’m just focusing on not crying. I want my old photo album, so I can take just one look at her smiling face. But, I can’t. I don’t even know if I’ll ever be able to return to the house I once called my home. Will I even find all my stuff there or has Sven already stormed through the place?
“Your father needs your forgiveness, more than anything,” Fynn says.
“I don’t even know if he’s alive.”
He sighs. “I don’t ever do this,” he clears his throat a little, “but, what is your heart telling you?”
I look at him, puzzled.
“Close your eyes,” he instructs me, putting his hands on my shoulder. His touch is electrifying. I notice that he’s done it much more easily this time. My body relaxes. “Picture your father with the eye of your mind. Can you see him?”
“Mhm,” I nod, my eyes still closed.
“What is he doing?”
“He is… reading in his study,” I actually smile at this mental image. “I barged into the room, but he is never upset when I do this. Not once.”
“Looking at him like that, what is your heart telling you?”
I suddenly open my eyes. I can’t believe he, of all people, is asking me that question. But, I reply.
“He’s still alive,” I whisper, my whole body trembling.
“Then, we’ll find him,” he nods. “I promise you that.”
He quickly takes his hands off of me, and I feel like he just electrocuted me. I’m still shaking, barely able to keep my balance. Fear washes over me. What if I can’t do this?