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Quinn Abernathy

It had been a long night, to say the least. Between the gift, becoming a family, and her own mistakes... between the two of them, they had to mend each other. It left room for little sleep, but when sleep did come, it was restful. For the first time in a long time, their personal threats were far away. And, in the morning, they met at the church.

That is when Gideon threw a curve ball, and she had not been prepared to catch it. Things would change, most certainly. He'd told of John and the shadow, willing all to look out for him. He'd announced the improvements that could be made, and how they would achieve it. It took everything to keep from paling at the prospect of being so responsible, and Quinn cannot help but wonder why he would throw this at her without talking to her beforehand.

She had brought them back here to keep them safer than they would be elsewhere, and to give them a chance at living. Taking over this place had never been a question, but instead silently inevitable. But now?

She's not ready.

And there, in the church, he tells the group of the need to travel to gather materials. Gideon would stay, so as to protect the people from the shadows that dare to threaten them, and he asks the group for a volunteer to travel with Quinn.

There had been a shuffle of feet moving to stand, a cleared throat, and an oddly familiar voice that spoke up.

"I'll go with the Messenger."

Quinn need not look at Gideon to know how he felt about this, as she could pinpoint that voice as if the memory were her own. Jack. He's displeased, and she knows it. Quinn is nervous, and he knows it. But they hold it together, and Gideon accepts the offer graciously. What else could he do?

The ride to their humble abode is wordless, and Quinn only allows for the chatter of the radio. She feels deprived of the world, and it brings her comfort as she drives with her awkward company. She did not allow him inside the cabins once they arrived, quietly requesting he remain in the vehicle instead. It takes a mere 30 minutes to gather everything she would need.

Her camera.
Her gear.
Portfolios and albums.
Mementos.
Books.

Soon, the bed of the truck is laden with it's cargo and the drive back is just as awkward. More than once, Jack tries to speak, but Quinn barely gives an answer. There is no denying what she saw as she assaulted John Abernathy at the wedding. He'd had an affair, and this man could be Gideon's father.

Finally, as they make their last turn, she decides to make an attempt.

"...Would you like to come over for dinner tonight?" Her voice is small, but earnest. There is information that could be had from him, things that could prove useful to them both, and there is no denying that it would be beneficial. Jack, however, takes no time to tell her he would love to come.

With a small smile, she nods, giving him a time as she parks. Oddly, neither immediately move to exit the car. Instead, her gaze lands at the center of the wheel, something clearly weighing down on her. Movement catches her eye, and she sees Gideon several feet away having a seeming pleasant conversation.

That man.. he is so perfect. He doesn't deserve this. He never deserved any of this. Her voice grows quiet, saddened with the weight of his pain. "How could you stand by and watch? He was suffering..."
October 12, 2017 08:41 pm

Gideon Abernathy

The idea of being separated from Quinn so early on in their marriage, especially under such strenuous circumstances… well, it doesn’t sit well with Gideon, to say the least. He has no other options; she can’t go alone, and someone has to stay behind to watch over the now-leaderless cult.

He’s clearly not ready to claim it as his own just yet.

Addressing the assembled, however, is proving to make it all the more theirs, whether they are ready for it or not. These people are looking to them for guidance; his father’s outburst and then sudden disappearance has shocked them to the core. Now, more than ever, they need someone to lead them out of their own minds and into a brighter future.

Gideon is pretty sure he’s not cut out for this job. Nor does he want it. Growing up, watching the sheep flock to their shepherd with no thought of question or sense of drive, sickened him. There is a great amount of deep-seated hatred in him, for each and every one of the people in that cult, even the ones he felt a strange fondness toward. How could they be so naive, so dismissive of their own preservation? Did they truly follow blindly, or is it out of fear? How easy it would be to capitalize on such devotion… Perhaps he’s not as unlike his father as he’d hoped.

The voice that volunteers pulls him from his own mind and back into the present predicament. No is on the tip of his tongue, threatening to out his thoughts of distaste toward the man that supposedly loved his mother. Jack is one of the last people he wants accompanying his wife into their old home that’s potentially overflowing with vampires by now. Then again, maybe she can give him the slip, allow their unwanted house guests a little fun.

He’s digressing.

“How generous of you,” he says as he plasters the smile on his face. His eyes flash dangerously, and Jack almost seems to flinch. Good, he can’t help but think.

The hours pass with Gideon being slightly more fidgety than usual. He constantly checks his phone, seemingly waiting for the call that would send him on a rampage. Thoughts, scenarios, possibilities...they all flit through his mind in quick succession, only proving to heighten his anxiety. Try as he might, he can’t calm himself, and he knows there’s only one thing that would: having Quinn back by his side.

“Shepherd…?”

His gaze flicks to a woman that seemed relatively new to the Flock. At least, he wracks his brain and can’t seem to come up with her name. “Yes?” he finally answers, brow quirked inquisitorially.

“The M-Messenger… She gave me this book…” She holds up a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird as if he wouldn’t believe her. Something in Gideon’s mind threatens to snap; he’s not amused, though his expression would show otherwise, even though she refused to look at him. “It’s just.. I-I don’t… I d-don’t…”

“You don’t know how to read,” he finishes for her. So she isn’t new, he simply doesn’t recognize her. Not surprising, considering she barely seems able to speak. “Not to worry, Quinn will help you. What’s your name, sweetheart?”

“Lindsey…”

A warm smile splits his face, though it isn’t met in his gaze. As he continues to talk to her, coaxing her out of her timidness, Quinn finally pulls up, effectively eliminating any patience he had for the woman before him. They finish their conversation and she actually bows her way out of the situation. Dumbfounded, Gideon can only stare after her before shaking his head and moving towards the bed of the truck to gather the load.

“I...I’m sorry, Messenger...I had no way of knowing that John would react that way. I...I don’t know how…” When his eyes find Gideon, his mouth snaps shut, and he moves to exit the truck. “Maybe we should talk about this later. Thank you for the invitation, I’ll be there at seven.” With that, he ambles away, only offering a nod of his head in Gideon’s direction.

Dipping his head into the window of the passenger side, he gives Quinn an appraising look, already prepared to be annoyed. “Invitation? To what, exactly?”
October 13, 2017 07:08 pm

Quinn Abernathy

"What? Jack, I was referring to-"

'Maybe we should talk about this later.'

Quinn is annoyed. As Jack climbs out of the vehicle, she is left staring at the wheel once more as she works to calm herself down. How John would react. She hadn't been discussing the here and now. What amps her up about all of this is that after Emely died, Jack stood by and watched as Gideon suffered. The signs must have been clear. Even in the memories she has been privileged to experience, it had been obvious he was not getting what he needed.

It was in his eyes.

And now, his eyes are on her as he leans his head into the passenger side window. Near upset, she blinks back the emotion and looks at Gideon, incapable of stopping the slight smile that graces her features as she climbs across the bench seat to place a kiss on him.

Putting her hand on the door handle, she glances up at him and waits for him to back up before letting herself out. Door shut behind her, she turns to look up at him. Quinn sighs as nervous hands fidget at her sides. "We should get these things inside. I'd hate for them to get ruined."

With that, she steps up to the side of the bed, looking down into it's depths to ensure that nothing is missing. And then, a hand is placed upon the back of his shoulder, tender and loving as always before she walks wordlessly to the house.

It is only once they are inside that she momentarily busies herself pulling the albums out of the box before looking up at Gideon. She is stalling. It is so obvious in how she stands before him. "I invited him for dinner. He'll be over a seven."

As if she already knows what the reaction will be, she holds a hand up as if to beg him to hear her out. Her heart is beating so fast she can barely think straight, but this is more than a sensitive thing she has committed them to.

"Before you say anything, I thought about it the whole trip before saying anything and really thought there might be something to learn from him. He... he's seen a lot, baby. And if there is something that might help us.... Plus, John decked him. Why wouldn't we extend a gesture, after something like that?"

Quinn is ready for the onslaught. Her husband is nothing short of unpredictable, but there are only two extremes: understanding, and extremely angry. Taking a seat at the table, she folds her hands upon it's surface and fixes her gaze upon them, waiting to see which it might be.
October 13, 2017 07:34 pm

Gideon Abernathy

A smile threatens his own features as she instantly moves to kiss him. He forces it back though, watching as she does everything she can to avoid the topic of discussion. So he should be annoyed, then. Eyes narrow in her direction as she glances everything over in the back of the truck, and it’s only his immense love for her that keeps him from drawing away from her touch.

Once everything is inside, he folds his arms over his chest and leans against the counter, noting that she’s still refusing to acknowledge his question. Impatient as ever, he lets out a low sigh, to which she finally offers the answer.

Black eyes snap up to her face, incredulous at her nerve. He opens his mouth to retort, but is stopped by a single hand. Had that hand belonged to anyone else, it surely would have been hacked off without a second thought. But Quinn would always get preferential treatment; the perks of being married to a serial killer.

Her explanation is less than satisfactory. In fact, it only proves to make him more angry, and by the time she falls silent and sinks into the chair, he’s practically vibrating with frustration.

“Did you really, Quinn? Did you really think that through, the entire fvcking way?” Turning away, he rubs at his face, the stubble of his beard adding friction to the gesture. His mind is racing, reeling with all the newfound threatening thoughts that have joined his already fragile state. There is a sense of losing control, something all too familiar, and this is the worst time for it.

In his mind, she has betrayed him. Once again, she has made waves without addressing him first. She’s invited the man who had supposedly loved his mother enough to watch her die in front of him into their home, for no other reason than to meddle. In his mind, she has had little thought to spare for how it might make him feel. And to use the excuse that his father had punched him, as if Gideon is supposed to give a damn...

“I swear, you don’t think at all.” It’s barely a hiss, tossed idly over his shoulder. “What will it take for you to understand that you can’t blindside me with this sh-t? Will it take a fvcking catastrophe? You know what…?”

Suddenly, he straightens, his demeanor changing drastically. A smile graces his features, and he turns to Quinn, his hands waving in the air in a defeated manner. “I’m not dealing with it. I won’t be coming to your fvcked up dinner party. Get whatever information you want from him, I want nothing to do with it.”

With that, he storms off into the bedroom and slams the door, attempting anything and everything in his power to quell the raging fury inside of him.
October 13, 2017 08:00 pm

Quinn Abernathy

Not once does she look up at him as he berates her. This is the side of Gideon that challenges her, the side that makes her feel inferior, and stupid. Quinn had truly thought it over, and had truly thought it to be not only a good direction, but smart. His reaction, however, leaves her feeling small.

Quinn would never see his smile, she would never his hands wave, and the change in him would never be noted outside the sound of his voice assaulting her. The moment he disappears up the stairs and slams the door, it is everything she can do to keep from losing it.

A red-rimmed gaze is lifted ever so slightly before she pushes herself up to stand and marches her way up the stairs. Quinn would stand outside the bedroom door, gaining her will, for mere seconds before opening it and making her way inside.

"No." It is resolute, and she is unwilling to let this go. They'd let their differences get between them once, and there is no way she would allow it again. Moreover, she cannot stand to feel this way.

Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't. Cry.

"Where I come from, we make things right. And that is what I intend to do. You don't think people will notice if we don't do something? I'd notice." She takes a shaky breath as a hand is lifted to press palm to abdomen. More and more, she is becoming unsure of her ability to handle any of this. The harder she tries, it seems the worse she does, and she can barely stomach it.

Do. Not. Cry.

Her hand closes into a fist, and Quinn works hard to maintain her sights upon the man. Most of all, this had been about Gideon. This is not and never was about John, or Jack, or even Emely Abernathy. They don't matter to her, and they may very well never come to. But Gideon. He matters. He is the air she breathes and, if she were to believe in God, He would be in his image.

"But most of all, I need to know how someone like him could watch you suffer at John's hands and do nothing. How he could watch the light in your eyes disappear, and just let it happen." Finally, her gaze lowers, clearly just a little haunted by the plaguing thoughts. Mind wandering, it is all she can do to keep from imagining the horrible things that have happened in this house, and outside it.

Don't.

"Knowledge is power, Gideon. But I guess I'm just to stupid to think about that."
October 13, 2017 08:34 pm

Gideon Abernathy

Where I come from…

“Yes, because this is anything like where you come from.” It’s a quick snap, and it’s the only retort he’ll make through the length of her words. Incredulity is still obvious on his face, and it’s clear he’s not backing down just yet. He doesn’t want to be reasonable, he doesn’t want to give a damn about the cult. He wants to be angry, and he is.

They all watched.” The words are loud and abrupt, his black orbs locked onto her face. “You want answers, you ask every single goddamn person out there why they watched and let it happen. Except I can tell you exactly why: they were terrified, and it was better me than them. You know why, Quinn? Because with me, he’d show leniency. The fvcking scar on my back was him going easy on me. With them, if they died, it was no skin off his back. But you don’t understand that because you didn’t live this life. You see, where I come from, there isn’t sunshine and rainbows, okay? There’s rarely happy endings, and sometimes, people do sh-tty things, and that’s just how it is.”

Seething, he paces the small space on his side of the bed. He tries to grasp at his own sense of humanity, but it eludes him in the face of Quinn’s quips. Remembering her last sentiment, he can’t help but laugh, a somewhat maniacal sound.

“You knew I’d be upset, and you did it anyway. Should I invite Tiber to dine with us, hmm? Would you like that? Or would you feel betrayed and disgusted with the very idea? The man watched my mother die, Quinn. He claimed to love her and watched her fvcking die and said nothing. You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t get excited by the prospect of feeding him, and I’m amazed that you’re asking me to give a damn about my father punching him in the face. Why should he get preferential treatment? Should we dine with a different member of the commune for every time my father ever wronged them? You’re setting an impossible standard for us, one that we are going to prove, very quickly, that we are incapable of keeping.

“So, tell me, where exactly did I go wrong in thinking that you don’t think things through?”
October 13, 2017 09:18 pm

Quinn Abernathy

'They all watched'

"But this is different," her tone matches his, and it does not help at all. Quinn stands, listening as he carries on with his shaming. But still, she will herself not to physically respond. That would give him satisfaction, because her Gideon is gone. Swallowing, she lets him carry on.

"You want to invite Tiber. Here. Have my phone. Do it. Do it, Gideon. He'll answer. I'm sure he will happy to come for us both." It is without any thought that she tosses her phone upon the surface of the bed, daring him to move forward with his threat. She is tired, and moreover, tired of Tiber being thrown in her face. Admittedly, she hadn't considered Gideon's half of it. She hadn't considered his mother, and how she died.

"I am not setting an impossible standard. I am setting a new example. Because punching people isn't good." It is hard to keep her voice down, and Quinn has to check herself more than once to keep it from raising. "John is out there doing who knows what, and it would be wise to know more than him if possible upon his return."

More than once, she has to remind herself that he is unstable. Gideon has warned her several times over of his temperament, but right now it is difficult to hang onto her own sanity. He is unreasonable, but so is she. Quinn wants to bolt. She wants to run, go to the truck, and go home. But home means being hunted, and the safety they are given here now feels like a prison. Her breathing picks up, quick and short, and she moves her gaze to the window to remind herself that there is a world outside of this.

"No one asked you to care, Gideon. I am asking you, yet again, to trust me. But you don't, and I can't make you. Just..." Raising her hands in surrender, she takes a step back. Opening her mouth to speak once more, she quickly shuts it to take a moment.

"From now on, I will stand back and follow your lead. I'm tired of trying." Turning on her heel, she moves to leave the room. "I'll be in the kitchen."
October 13, 2017 09:55 pm

Gideon Abernathy

The phone hits the bed, and Gideon scoffs. “I don’t want to invite Tiber here, Quinn, that’s the difference. I wouldn’t put us in that sort of danger, but not only that, I wouldn’t do that to you.”

In the back of his head, there is a resounding voice, reminding him that she didn’t do this to intentionally hurt him. God knows that, should they compare who puts who into more uncomfortable, undesirable situations, he would come out on top by a large margin. By his own words, this wasn’t the life she’d led, so expecting her to understand the dark politics of the cult is unfair, to say the least.

She takes her leave, and Gideon won’t stop her. Instead, he continues his pacing, still reeling at the prospect of dining with his mother’s lover.

While he can rationalize Quinn’s motive - truly, he can - his mind is still at high intensity. Just because she wants information doesn’t mean she had to include him. They were in the car together for hours, so he’s lost as to why she couldn’t get her information then, if she deemed it so important. If they had just talked it out…

Without realizing that he’d even descended the stairs, Gideon finds himself standing in the kitchen. His eyes find her form, her back to him, and they narrow infinitesimally. There is no denying that he is still angry, and there’s no denying that he’s already made up his mind on one aspect of this evening. But he will cede to her, if only to give her the benefit of the doubt.

“I never said I didn’t trust you,” he begins, voice stiff and cool, “but I understand that it probably came off that way. And I never asked you to follow me. I asked that you bring decisions and plans of this magnitude to me first, not even for my approval, but so I can prepare myself mentally, if nothing else.” But she didn’t, and now they’d have to deal with the consequences. And there’s the underlying fact that they both know; had she brought this to him, he would’ve struck it down without question.

“If this is what you think is best, that’s fine, we’ll do it your way. I’ll be back by dinner. I need to clear my head.” With that, he’s out the door, headed to make his own preparations.

Jack Pierson would be eating his last meal with them, after all.
November 09, 2017 03:00 pm

Quinn Abernathy

The minute she got down the stairs, her palms met with the kitchen counters and she leaned forward, shoulders curved. Quinn hates when they argue. She hates feeling like she's done something wrong. Moreover, she hates how simple she feels. He had a point. They did not grow up the same way. Gideon knew a dark life, and Quinn's had been full of light and laughter. The way she had been raised has followed her through to adulthood.

When you wrong someone, you make it right. You put forth a grand gesture, something that will resolve everything and bring back the peace. Baked goods, homemade gifts, dinner. Now, Quinn cannot understand if it is Jack, or simply inviting someone to dinner, that has upset Gideon more.

But then he appears, and the minute she feels his eyes upon her, Quinn pushes herself into motion, pulling from a drawer a burlap sack of potatoes. He talks to her as she begins her work, and she only keeps her head down. Her mind is made up, anyway. Tonight is more than just dinner.

Not a word is given to Gideon before he leaves.

He would barely be home again for mere minutes before a punctual knock would come to the door. There had been no time to speak with him, or mend what they had broken earlier. Quinn takes a deep breath, glancing at her husband as she forces herself to visibly relax. Blinking back any emotion, she puts on her winning smile that has woo'd the community since her arrival and takes the few short steps to the door.

"Jack," her voice is bright and full of excitement, "Come in, please. Dinner is right on time. Make yourself comfortable." A warm hand would touch to the man's upper arm, encouraging him as he steps inside before she would shut the door behind him.

Upon entry, he would see the table has three settings. At the head, Gideon's. His own, as well as Quinn's, are at either side. Already, bread, butter, and two covered dishes sit upon the table. The center, however, is empty. "We're so glad you could join us tonight. I hope we can make things up to you, after what happened at the wedding," she chatters, grabbing towels and pulling a modestly sized chicken from the oven.

Quinn is wasting little time, and she knows Gideon would not miss that. But, with the final piece of the meal placed upon the table and the men seated, she takes to her wifely duties and begins to serve their guest. "It's probably been a while since you were last here."

Only once Jack is served would Quinn move on to serving Gideon, the only difference between the two being the adoring kiss she places upon his cheek before taking her own seat.
November 09, 2017 05:00 pm

Gideon Abernathy

The spade hits the dirt with an angry force, effectively turning up the soil so he can get under it. He grits his teeth from sheer exertion, but it’s proving helpful in burning up the fire in his veins, at least well enough to allow him a level head. The grave is dug, to be filled later that evening. It’s far enough out in the commune that no one would notice it before it’s occupied. Burial isn’t his normal preference of disposal, but it would be the easiest and quickest.

Once that’s finished, he allows himself a moment’s rest before heading back to the house to get cleaned up. His breathing is somewhat labored as he sits and hangs his legs over the side of the pit. Thoughts race through his mind, ranging from John punching Jack in the face, to finding out that his mother had an affair with the man, to the vision of watching his blood drain from his body. In Gideon’s mind, there is no forgiveness for the man who claimed to love Emely; only vengeance.

A sigh escapes him, carrying all the tension from his body. Exhaustion doesn’t begin to describe what he feels, but it’s the closest he can come. He pushes himself up and begins the trek back to the house.

He arrives a bit before their guest is due, but he doesn’t say anything to Quinn. While she busies herself with finishing their meal, he quietly slips into the bathroom to clean the sweat from his body and make himself presentable. The cool water splashes his face as he hunches over the sink, and as he looks up, he meets his own gaze in the reflection of the mirror. His eyes, dark as they are, lack emotion, yet he can see the desire to kill, plain as day.

Having finished his clean-up process, he sinks into his place at the table just as the knock permeates the silence. Elbows planted on the table, fingers intertwined, chin balanced on his clasped hands, he stares forward. He will not be a welcoming host to a man that doesn’t deserve this hospitality.

He can hear Jack and Quinn exchange greetings and pleasantries, and he has to suppress the urge to scoff. While he doesn’t want to be outwardly rude, he still can’t stomach the idea of playing nice. Even as the man takes his seat and Quinn begins serving, Gideon won’t look at him. Not even when he offers a greeting. It’s only when he thanks him for the invitation that the psychopath would speak.

“I didn’t invite you here.”

The tension this causes finally procures a smile from the man, and he offers his gaze over to their guest. “All the same, I do appreciate you coming. Our plans for the evening would’ve been rather dull otherwise.”
November 09, 2017 05:36 pm

Quinn Abernathy

It takes quite a bit of energy for Quinn to keep from shooting Gideon a look. Jack, while blatantly uncomfortable, is attempting to make a connection. Her husband, meanwhile, is making things all the more difficult. He refuses to acknowledge Jack, or her, really. And when he finally does speak, the words cut like a knife. Instantly, Quinn glances up from her place to Jack.

"You're welcome," she speaks quietly.

'All the same, I do appreciate you coming. Our plans for the evening would've been rather dull otherwise.'

At this, she finds herself glancing in Gideon's direction. A moment is taken to calm her own nerves, and Quinn decides to teeter right off the edge of safety. "He's always scared me..." her words are quiet, brow pulled together in concentration. "John, I mean. There is such an intensity about him. I imagine it must have been hard here, all these years. Especially now."

Eyes cast upon her plate, Jack would stutter something unintelligible before finding his voice and better thoughts while she carefully cuts her meat. "I don't know how he found out, Messenger. After all this time..."

"Quinn," she corrects him. Placing her flatware down, she lifts her gaze once more. "Even though he is frightening, I do owe him thanks. If not for John, I never would have met Gideon."

She isn't eating. Instead, a sad frown finds it's place upon her lips as she looks at Gideon fully. Despite it all, this man is her everything. There is no way around it. Without Gideon, there is no air. There is not life, or want for it. It does not matter what sort of life they lead, so long as they are together. She knows something is happening, and she is sure he knows she too is planning something. Or, at the very least, up to something.

"Did you love her? Really?"
November 09, 2017 06:03 pm

Gideon Abernathy

Gideon returns to his food, stabbing and cutting a little more aggressively than usual. It doesn’t go unnoticed by Jack, who keeps casting sideways glances toward him. This might bother some, but Gideon is more than used to it; he’s grown to expect it. Maybe it’s his eyes, maybe it’s his demeanor, maybe it’s just a feeling they get, but people can’t help but be wary of him.

Quinn brings up John, and already, he feels his muscles tensing. Any time the man is brought up is cause for discomfort, but this is especially difficult. It’s her gaze that pulls him from his own mind, and he meets it for the first time that evening. A warmth spreads through his blood stream, a feeling that only she can procure. Even with the argument from the afternoon still fresh in their thoughts, he can’t help but feel a quiet contentment whenever she’s near.

Did you love her? Really?

Gideon’s silverware clatters onto the plate, forgotten. Blackened hues snap to Jack’s face, which is suddenly whiter than he’s ever seen it. Searching that face, he waits for the unsatisfactory reply that he’s sure will come. Nothing Jack can say will convince him that he doesn’t deserve to die; in fact, it would only prove to further condemn him.

“O-of course I did,” he stammers, and Gideon fights to suppress the urge to lash out. “I… She… You don’t understand what was at st--”

“Do you remember the day she died?” The question catches the man off guard, and he seems physically pained at the idea of trying to remember. Gideon continues anyway. “I do. I shouldn’t, since I was very young, but I guess it left an impression on me. Do you remember, Jack, the way the knife cut so easily? Do you remember how she looked up at my father with hate-filled eyes? Do you remember when her intestines spilled out of her abdomen and the sound they made when they hit the floor of that stage?” A tear rolls down Jack’s cheek, but he doesn’t respond. Instead, his eyes are pressed shut, as if he’s willing the memories away. ”Answer me.” It’s a low growl, but deep, and the man visibly jumps.

He opens his mouth to speak, but no words come out. After a few more tries, Jack finally croaks out a quiet response. “N-no... I don’t remember. I had my eyes closed…”

Gideon pushes forcibly from the table. On his feet, he deliberates between spilling his blood right then and there, and letting Quinn get her fill of whatever she is looking for. He knows what he wants, what he desires in the most carnal sense of the word, but he forces himself to walk away. He will only return when the meal is over, when he can exact those desires.

“P-please, Mess-- Q-Quinn, you have to understand.” He’s pleading with her, as if he subconsciously knows what’s in store for him. “She begged me not to interfere. The plan was for her to escape with our children. She would set out, and I would meet them the next day, so as not to raise too much alarm. But Gideon had been raised in a household with that monster, so he was already distrusting, at such a young age. I-I...I think she knew what would happen, because she begged me not to interfere if she was caught. You have to know… I wanted to kill that monster where he stood. But he was too well guarded, and even if I tried to contest her dying, it would have put Gideon and Ann in danger. John would’ve killed them if he knew they weren’t his. I was… I was just doing what I thought was best under the circumstances… Emely never would’ve forgiven me if I let anything happen to our children… You have to understand…”
November 09, 2017 06:49 pm

Quinn Abernathy

She knows better than to interfere while Gideon takes the lead. He speaks, and her gaze lowers once before her eyes slide closed. Warmth spreads through her body, pressure building behind her eyes and forcing forward fresh, hot tears as the tale of Emely's death assaults her. Quinn had never asked about this, and had never wanted to. She knew that Gideon took a great amount of responsibility for what happened, though she is sure that none would ever blame him. He was just a child...

'Answer me.'

The sharp, angry demand brings her out of herself, and her eyes snap open to look at Gideon just as Jack does. He had his eyes closed. For the first time, she feels ill, her stomach churning at the prospect of doing such a thing. If that were Gideon on that stage, she would have watched. She would have fought for him. She would do anything to see him live, or she would die by him.

As Gideon leaves, Quinn watches him.

'P-please, Mess--'

Her attention turns to Jack, hands lifting to swipe the constant tears that wet her cheeks. Content, she listens as the man before her begs. While Gideon is gone from the room, she knows he is not far; He never is. "You know, I've felt her love for Gideon. It was boundless. She was so full of the stuff. It was such an epic feeling. There are no words to really describe it. And they had to watch her die. He saw everything. He heard everything. Not a detail was missed. Ann, too. And I'm sure she begged you not to interfere..."

Jack is relaxing as she speaks, the melancholy in her voice bringing him some sort of peace. But Quinn is far from peace. She's sat back in her chair, uncomfortable as she watches him. There is a dangerous line she can feel herself treading, and her mind is slipping in the wrong direction. "If you cared, you would have done something. But you watched as Gideon suffered day after day, and Ann died, and he suffered more. You could have saved them, and you didn't. And that makes John more of a father than you ever were." The words shatter her heart to pieces, and Quinn stands, pacing her way around the table slowly.

"I love him, Jack. I would do anything for him, and be anything he needs me to be. It doesn't matter where we are, or what's happened. I will always support him, and cherish him, and worship the ground he walks on because he is my husband. And I really hope he can forgive me for this..."

There is little time to process what has been said as she reaches forward to grab the serrated blade from the table, fist wrapped around the handle as she plunges it into the man's chest. A quiet sob escapes her as she pulls her hand away, leaving the blade where it has landed on it's awkward angle. The gasp that escapes the man rattles her to her core, and she takes several steps backwards as the reality of what she has done sets in.

This is different. This is completely different.

And it scares her.

"Gid.. Gideon? Gideon?"
November 09, 2017 07:42 pm

Gideon Abernathy

She calls out to him, and in her voice, Gideon can hear the inner turmoil. Brow furrowing, his own problems pushed from his mind momentarily, he rushes out to the kitchen.

The sight before him is disconcerting, to say the least. Quinn has backed herself against the counter, her eyes trained on Jack, who is hunched over, in obvious pain. His breathing is labored, and it’s only when he looks up toward him that Gideon notices the knife protruding from his chest.

A breath escapes him at the sight. Quinn has attempted to commit a murder on his behalf, and he’s unsure how to react. “This wasn’t your score to settle,” he tosses toward her as he crosses the space between himself and Jack. The knife is wrenched easily from him, and he falls from the chair with a thud.

“Please--” But Gideon silences the pleas with a kick.

“If you’re aiming for the heart, especially with such a small kitchen knife, you have to go through the ribs. It takes too much strength and resolve to push it through the chest.” His voice gives nothing away of what he’s feeling, as he instructs her in this manner. Even he isn’t sure why he’s doing it, but if she wants to take these steps to commit murder, she’s going to learn how to do it properly. While he’s speaking, he demonstrates the movements and exactly where to plunge the knife in such a scenario. However, he won’t push it all the way through to the man’s frantically beating heart; he wants Jack to suffer.

“If you want someone to suffer, stay near the surface of the skin and twist.” Still putting on a show for her, he wonders at his own antics. Truth be told, he’s angry that she would take this away from him. It was his mother, his childhood, that the man stole, and for that mark to be wiped clean in his mind, it should have been him. He’s also angry that she would stoop to such levels. Even then, he can’t blame her; he pushed her to this simply by forcing her into his lifestyle. Honestly, she should’ve learned these skills long ago, if only in order to protect herself.

The blood from the wounds Gideon is inflicting all over the man’s body is starting to pool, and it’s time to end the demonstration. “But, if you want to kill someone quickly, your best bet is the jugular. Start from the opposite side of the hand you’re using,” he explains, the knife easily breaking the skin of Jack’s neck, “make sure you go pretty deep, like so, and drag it across, holding it steady, so you don’t miss.” Blood pour from the slit, causing the dying man to choke and sputter helplessly.

Black orbs don’t leave Jack’s face until all life has drained from him. It’s only then that he tosses the knife into the sink and sets about preparing the man to be carried to his resting place. Once he’s wrapped in a blanket and hoisted up to be dragged along, he nods to Quinn. “Come on, we’ve gotta bury him now.” Normally, he would do this himself, take care of all the blood and death and aftercare. But this was her doing, and she has to know what it takes to kill someone.
November 09, 2017 08:24 pm

Quinn Abernathy

There is no breath filling her lungs.

Quinn has exhaled, and forgotten to breathe in again. Gideon comes, he speaks, and all she can do in this precise moment is watch. Reality is setting in, and she is fast realizing that she has crossed a line she never thought possible. Quinn has attempted murder. She has taken the knife in her hand, and out of upset and a deep love for a man, attempted to kill another. This is not defensive, and it is shades different from attempting to poison a man who threatens them.

Hot tears reappear, blurring her vision as she struggles quietly to find the breath she has realized that she is without. There is nothing to prepare a person for what she has just experienced. While things are easy for Gideon, that had been frighteningly easy for her. There hadn't been a second thought until after she'd already made her attempt, and that worries her.

The internal crisis has already begun, and she is almost sure that this place is turning her into a monster.

When she had called for his help, knowing she'd done things wrong from the get, she had wanted this to be over quickly. Instead, Gideon drags it out and performs, sharing dark wisdoms like an expert instructing their protégé. These sights, this knowledge, would never leave her. Ingrained in her mind forever, she would dream of it night after night.

As Jack's corpse is jostled and wrapped up, Quinn finally finds her voice only to be silenced before a word can be uttered.

'Come on, we've gotta bury him now.'

A nod is given, small and upset. Swallowing, she does not dare meet his gaze. Instead, she takes a single step forward before stuttering in her movements. For the first time, her gaze has lifted from Jack's form to Gideon's face, and everything truly hits her. Brow pulling together, she shakes her head before turning away and doubling over, placing her hands just above her knees. Stomach churning angrily, it is all she can do to keep from retching.

It is not lost on her that Gideon has not comforted her in this. Truth be told, she isn't sure if she could accept that comfort yet. She feels dirty, but there is a large amount of clarity that comes with what she has just done. A self-soothing hand raises to press against her stomach as she stands upright once more. In this state, Gideon would never allow her more than mere seconds to collect herself.

She understands that she is being punished, and she would accept it.

Turning once more, she fails to meet his eyes, "Let's go..." the words are mumbled.

Quinn follows him out of the home, and away from the community. For a brief moment, she wonders where he will take them. It due time, she finds out as they come to an unmarked grave of freshly turned earth. Her mouth opens and closes, what she is seeing before her registering in her mind before the wrong realization crosses her mind.

"You... knew...?" The question is quiet and choked, telling tale of Quinn's true nature despite her most recent actions. She can never seem to assume the worst of those she loves. It does not strike her that her sweet husband had planned to murder the dead man, and gone so far as to dig his grave. Instead, she assumes the very best.
November 10, 2017 07:01 am
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