I knew it would only take some time before Grant raises his hand on me. That just made me even more anxious to get my marriage with Len over with. Grant isn’t happy with me. He’s starting to suspect that I could get out of the basement on my own.
There were rumors of someone with my hair color lurking around at the consignment store at night and I think someone might have seen me and Len when we were talking outside that bar where I asked him to leave his wife. Or maybe his wife has connections with the local mafia and told them that some blue haired slut stole her husband.
The next time I heard Grant was going on a vacation again, Len and I got married. I couldn’t believe it was that easy. He brought Ariel with him and we exchanged vows and that was it. He was my husband and I was his wife.
When we got to the house, I told him how it was important that we leave immediately before Grant comes home. I don’t want to stay here if we don’t need to especially if we have a small child with us. God knows what Grant would do to Ariel.
“We can reason with him,” Len said. “I’m sure if I explain the situation, I can convince him to let us leave in peace.”
“You don’t even know who he is! You’ve never met him before!” I said. I can’t believe he was actually telling me that he could reason with an insane person. Grant could do magic. Len would be dead and I’d be a widow even before I can consummate this marriage.
I took Ariel to a crib that I temporarily put on the second floor and let Len think about what he’s actually telling me. In my mind, we still have some time before we could leave without Grand knowing.
But I was too late. When I got downstairs, Grant was yelling at Len. “You’re taking away my source of income and you want me to be happy with it?!” Grant screamed.
But Len isn’t someone who just takes it. “You’re an evil S.O.B., you know that? She’s not a business, she’s a person! And now she’s my wife and I’m taking her with me whether you like it or not!”
“Who cares if I’m evil? If you want her then pay for her. I’ve clothed her, I’ve fed her, I’ve given her everything she needs, she’s a virgin even now, and I need to be compensated. She would fetch a high price from others, I don’t see why you shouldn’t pay the same amount that they should just because you married her behind my back.” Grant said. Jesus, he really is insane.
“Sure, I’ll pay. I’ll pay a visit to the police station and tell them all about you.” Len said, “People in Dragon Valley would still be looking for the people who murdered Piper’s parents. If they’re still alive then her parents themselves would be looking for you because you took their daughter.”
A chill went up my spine. I didn’t know that Len was considering that on his own.
This also seemed to have shaken Grant up. Maybe he didn’t expect that I would have told Len about my family. Maybe he knows something about what happened to them. Did my parents survive and they’re looking for me? Is that why he’s keeping me hidden, so that my parents can’t find him through me?
But I didn’t think that Grant would react that heavily because of Len’s threat. It was my fault. I didn’t tell Len that I’ve watched Grant work out for hours because of his job.
And when they fought each other, of course Len would lose. A nerd versus a jock. Even a high schooler would know how that would end. What’s so unfair is that not only did Grant beat him up, he also set Len on fire.
“You could be an added asset.” Grant told Len. “You both could stay in the basement and I wouldn’t consider setting you on fire every five minutes. You’re a smart guy and I’ve always wanted to start a meth lab. Your kid would fetch a good amount when I sell him.”
I felt like crying. The plan was so simple. We get married, we leave. But noooo, Len decided to “talk” to the insane sadist criminal and now we’re both stuck!
I couldn’t blame Len for reacting the way he did. As adults, we could adjust to anything that was thrown to us and we could overpower Grant easily. But Ariel was going to be sold. I don’t like children in general but he’s just a baby. I had a hard time as a teen, what could a toddler do. And this is Len’s son. His flesh and blood.
So when I saw the knife, I didn’t stop him. Grant is a weed that needs to be dug out before his poison spreads. Len’s hand shook as he watched Grant fall to the ground clutching is stomach. He pushed in the knife as far as he can, I doubt Grant can survive that, especially if we just left him there.
I am suddenly so tired. Even more tired than how I’ve ever been.
But it’s over.
It’s finally over.
We can leave and start over now.
I’ll raise Ariel for Len. I’ll help Len get over the guilt of killing Grant. He’s a good guy, he’ll feel horrible for taking someone’s life, even if it is someone who had threatened his family. He could find a new job wherever it is that we move to.
I grabbed Ariel from the crib while Len packed up what little I have and called a taxi.
I can feel a little sadness that I’m leaving. Even if I didn’t want to, this horrible dump has been my home for a while now. I didn’t make any good memories here but it’s a familiar house and familiarity puts people at ease. But we can’t stay here. People at Grant’s work will start asking where he is and I’m pretty sure they know that I was down in his basement.
We got into the taxi just as the postwoman put the mail in the mail box. I don’t even care if she saw us come out of that house. Not even when they discover Grant’s body in there. All I know is that we got out.
My skin began tingling and couldn’t help buy giggle and smile and try and hold my tears while we waited at the airport for our plane to load. Len could only look at me in amusement. I was so happy. I can’t describe just how much.
We found a small house in Midnight Hollow. It’s tiny but we can make it work. I can have a job now. I can help with extending the house. We can raise Ariel together. I can try to find out what happened to my parents. I know our relationship wouldn’t be perfect. We’d have our ups and downs but we’re free. I’m free. And as far as happily ever after goes, this is the perfect start.