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Gideon Abernathy

A deep breath in, and a slower breath out.

His knuckles are white against the steering wheel, and his eyes don’t leave the road. The morning had been spent arguing about whether or not Quinn would go to her scheduled doctor’s appointment. She knows how he feels about the topic, yet she still insists that, even though the baby is doing fine, they pay a large sum of money for someone to tell them what they already know. Dutifully, he had given in and driven her to the office, where she was stuck too many times - “oh, honey, you have little spider veins, they’re hiding from me!” - and they were interrogated about their plans for the birth.

“We’re having a home birth.”

“We strongly recommend against that.”

“Okay.”

And that was that. Those six words were Gideon’s contribution, and even then, he felt he said too much. It hadn’t been long after that he was pulling her from the room and leading her out the door, jaw locked and eyes flashing.

He hasn’t said anything since, and though he forcefully tries to relax, he can’t. So, with a sudden turn of the wheel and a screeching of tires on concrete, they are settled in a nearly abandoned parking lot with him fuming.

Fingers brush through his mess of hair and down the length of his face before Gideon finally locks eyes with his wife. His anger and frustration isn’t directed at her, but she still suffers the effects of it. He’s moody and distant and incredibly short. And only one thing calms him down.

With a deep sigh, he leans back into the seat and fidgets. His mind frantically and desperately toys with the idea they had already discussed, but is it worth it? More importantly, is she ready?

“Quinn,” he starts off, words getting caught up in his overthinking. Again, his blackened gaze falls to her, and he shakes his head. In her state, it could prove too dangerous. That, and in his state, he’s afraid he’ll take too many uncalculated risks. He has, after all, never had a ‘partner,’ of sorts.

But he’s so fixated on the need that he’s not sure he can push it into the back of his mind again. Once it’s unleashed, it can’t be recaged.

“I need to kill someone.” He forces the words out blandly, as if it’s as simple as going to the store. “Do you…” Trailing off, he motions very vaguely, hoping she’d fill in the blanks.
August 21, 2018 11:09 am

Quinn Abernathy

It was the fourth time Quinn had flinched before the nurse made the situation verbally clear, as if anyone in the room needed to know why she was being repeatedly stabbed with a needle. The tender flesh stings, but she stiffens her upper lip and powers through until she literally cannot stand it. "Please just use my hand. Please," the blond practically begs, her gaze set upon Gideon as she finds herself incapable of watching the carnage any longer.

After some slight work, she manages to get the nurse to agree. All have survived the first portion of today's visit, and it is with an exposed belly and a tiny humanoid on a screen that Quinn just cannot seem to take her eyes off of, that the real discussion begins.

Okay.

"We appreciate your concern, but... we've hired a midwife, and we have a doctor at home. We're covered." Quinn smiles, much more at peace than her husband. She has to tear her sights from their creation to find him, and she reaches out for his hand. "He's so perfect," she would beam at her husband.

But that doesn't end the debate, and Quinn finds herself finishing it in the only way she knows how. She gets them out, shutting down the communication completely. It is Gideon who would lead the way out of the office and the building, charging forward until they are in the car and a safe distance away.

She can tell he is upset. Quinn also understands it is her fault. This is why she is almost grateful when he veers into the parking lot suddenly, though her arm collides with the passenger door. Once parked, she looks at him, wide-eyed and rubbing her wound as if that might take the pain away. She'll be fine. She's been through far worse.

The debate he seems to be having with himself is unreal, and when he says her name, she can see his struggle. He shakes his head, and her brows pull together. "Gideon?"

'I need to kill someone. Do you...'

The hand upon her arm stills and she stares at him for just a few moments of thought. Quinn doesn't truly want this, but she understands the need. What if she can't even escape the cult once he's gone? What if she is forced to stay? What if this is her life, for the rest of her life? How would she survive? How would she keep Finn alive? But most immediately important, how could she hope to help her husband avoid these things if she cannot stomach or fathom them?

"Okay," she swallows, though her nerves show clearly. Quinn nods. "Okay."
August 21, 2018 05:38 pm

Gideon Abernathy

The dark man manages to hold her gaze for a moment, but it’s brief. Before long, he turns away and breathes a steadying sigh. The nerves come off her in waves as she considers all the options - at least, that’s what he assumes she’s doing.

Okay... Okay.

There’s another pregnant pause between them, during which Gideon just stares for a while. Despite the tension, he can feel her resolution; it’s almost more palpable than everything else she’s putting off. But would it be enough, when the time came?

Gideon has to force down his own nerves at the prospect.

Putting the car into gear again, he drives slowly from the parking lot, settling into that very particular mode he must be in. Any sense of love is quelled, pushed deep within. This is a matter of survival, and nothing could get in the way of doing what he needs to do to protect them. There is too much at stake.

When he finally finds what he’s after, he stops the car and leans back again. When he speaks, his tone is different; lower, much more precise. “Just breathe. And follow my lead.” His instructions are simple but precise, and it’s imperative she understands their importance.

“Wait here for a second.”

Exiting the vehicle, he’s deep in an alleyway, almost entirely uninhabited, save for a few strung out homeless people. Gideon gets into the trunk of the car, glancing around discreetly before pulling a syringe filled with a questionable liquid from a bag shoved near the bottom. Normally, the mess of the trunk would bother him; in truth, it does. But this is a necessary mess, to hide something much more sinister.

He pushes the air from the syringe and shuts the trunk, eyes roving over the occupants of the alley before falling on their victim. With a slight hint of a smirk, he opens Quinn’s car door and waves her out.

With a lithe motion, he is kneeling down before one man, set apart from the rest of the druggies, and waits until the filthy being drags his gaze up to Gideon’s blackened hues. Curiously, he could swear he sees a flash of fear, but when he presents the syringe - “It’s a new strain of drug, would you like to test it?” - the man is eager enough.

At this, Gideon looks up to Quinn, waving her closer. A finger touches a spot on his neck as he instructs her. “Normally, this would be a good place. Take them by surprise, and don’t hesitate. There aren’t many you’ll be able to best. When people are presented with fight or flight, with no chance at flight, they become something like a caged animal, very aggressive and dangerous.” Even as he’s explaining this, he’s pushing the needle into the vein of the man’s heavily tracked arm, where it takes seconds to take effect.

“Open the back door,” he follows up as he grabs their victim under the armpits and drags him toward the car.
August 23, 2018 08:39 am

Quinn Abernathy

The moment he started to drive, Quinn's breathing slowed. She focused on it, taking in long, deep breaths and releasing them in just the same fashion. It is only when they stop that she ceases altogether.

Just breathe. And follow my lead.

She remains, as instructed, and is beginning to panic as she listens to him work his way through the trunk. Never had she ever imagined what might be back there. Never had she realized, when she drove alone, that she had his tools with her. What if she had been pulled over? What if something happened? What if. What if.

When he opens the car door, she's staring forward and still as ever. Finally, a breath is taken, and chocolate hues glance in his direction before she carefully climbs out of the car. Slow steps follow him, though she doesn't kneel. This is disturbing and fascinating, all at the same time. To see her husband like this, is something she'd never wanted and yet always wondered about.

Blissful ignorance, she would learn, is everything.

She barely follows, and as he speaks and instructs her on the art of drugging someone, she feels like she is listening to a stranger. This isn't her husband. This man, this human being telling her where to push a needle into a person and warning her of their capacity to best her... is not her Gideon.

Not even close.

Open the back door.

Quinn can only watch was he lifts the man up, her hands instinctively moving to her ever-growing belly to smooth over it until her arms have formed some sort of barrier between it and the world. Her heart races, the noise of it thrumming in her ears and causing her head to pound with the sheer force of it. She swears, it might just crack open, and all those terrified thoughts would spill out for him to see.

Gently, she shakes her head, her hands rising so that she can press the heels of her palms against her temples. She just wants to keep it all it, she has to hold it together. Gideon spoke of fight or flight, and right now, Quinn’s mind is trying to escape reality as the world spins and she is stuck somewhere between now and then. She can hear her father calling her name, smell the Christmas cookies, listen to him read her a bedtime story or ask about her day. She can practically see his smile, and those kind, brown eyes.

He would be so disappointed in her. There is no way he would be proud of her. Not like this. He wanted something so different.

Gideon is going to be disappointed.

“Stop,” she breathes out the word.

Reality wins. Those chocolate hues search for Gideon, tears threatening to fall as shame and guilt overcomes her, and she prepares to plead.

“Please,” she whispers.
August 26, 2018 10:11 pm

Gideon Abernathy

Gideon doesn’t have to look at Quinn to know what’s going on. He’d expected it, even if it is mildly disappointing. Knowing his instruction would go unfollowed, he balances the man in one arm while he opens the back door himself. The body is dumped, unceremoniously, and he slams the door shut. There’s no discernible read on him; he’s calculated and meticulous in this form, as it’s what’s kept him alive this long.

Stop... Please.

“No.” Cold, callous, emphatic. This is exactly what they needed to avoid. In this line of work, there is no room for second-guessing and hesitation. That’s where mistakes were made.

And he thought he’d been clear about that.

Gideon regards his wife with a stony glare, eyes a particularly bottomless abyss. Every move they make is time sensitive, and they’re already behind. The drug has been in the man’s system for minutes now, and where they should be well on their way to their next destination, they remain in the dark alley, becoming more and more conspicuous.

“Make a decision. Now.” Voice level, no inflection, it’s hard to really decipher his mood. The Gideon that Quinn is familiar with lacks the emotional capacity to really sympathize with people, but he can at least recognize when his wife needs time and comfort. This version of him, however, doesn’t have the time or patience. “Either get in the car, or go back to the market. There is no stopping.”

With that, he turns on his heel and reclaims the driver’s seat. He won’t drive home the danger she’s put him in, not to mention herself and their child, should she choose to continue on. There’s no time to argue; she simply needs to take charge and make a move.
September 02, 2018 12:16 pm

Quinn Abernathy

There are mere seconds to make a decision. Get in the car, or go back to the market. Now. No stopping. Mere seconds, to make a split decision that would define her for the rest of her life, however long it may be. And yet, there are so many little things swarming her mind.

The man getting in the car is a stranger. Gideon is not here. This person is a shell, a mere husk of her husband, and yet... he is more her husband than she's ever known. This is the side of him he never wanted her to see, and she asked for it.

Her brow knits together, and Quinn would leave Gideon no question as she turns away from the car. She cannot do this. Now more than ever she recognizes just how lost she is, and she is forced to reckon with the fact that this may just be who she really is.

She doesn't even hear the car drive away.

The walk to the market is long, Quinn's feet swollen by the time she reaches it. And with each pained step, she had the time to truly consider her life. What is it that makes her seek nurture from those whose nature it is to destroy? Even knowing this, she fights the question in her own mind. Gideon is the great love of her life, and she is nothing more than the kryptonite that would ultimately destroy him.

There is no one to call. Bound so tightly, she realizes quickly that she has no friends on the outside. Not anymore. Those that she did once have, she cannot reach for. The comfort that is Solomon is gone, and those that are still living are strictly prohibited, if only to save her husband. She is alone.

Ryan would drive her home in a deafening silence, Quinn staring straight ahead as she uses what little energy she has to keep herself together. A set of dull chocolate eyes would barely glance in his direction before she forces herself from the vehicle, objecting to any help and instead slowly making her way to the front door of the very house Gideon had built for them.

Once inside, she glances around, taking in the strange atmosphere as it all but welcomes her. One by one, Quinn begins to unravel the facts in her mind.

She loves her husband.
They live in a cult.
They run a cult.
They are expecting a son.
Sam.
Her husband is a serial killer.
She loves her husband.
She loves her husband.
She is alone.

When Gideon would find her, she would be sat on the edge of their bed, staring at her phone's dark screen. There wouldn't be any tears, nor a single word. Instead, a set of tired eyes would rove over him before she bows her head.

God, she loves him.
September 10, 2018 10:33 pm

Gideon Abernathy

Dark eyes bore into the back of her head in the rear view mirror as she turns away, effectively securing his spot in her mind. Left on his own, as he always should’ve been in this state, he allows his lips to pull into an ugly snarl. This is what she wanted, and now...

The tires screech into life as he floors the pedal, a strenuous amount of aggression coursing his veins. Time is running out, and Gideon feels more on edge than ever. Not only does his own life hang in the balance, should he get caught, but, upon her insistence, she is nothing if not an accomplice, at the very least.

He should have never entertained such a ludicrous idea.

The homeless junkie earns the brunt of his anger, leaving him an unrecognizable human husk. Even then, with Gideon breathing heavily next to the desecrated corpse, covered in his blood, he feels no calmer. Constantly looking over his shoulder, paranoia abounds, rendering him panicked and fretful and certain of imminent capture. This isn’t how he can die; this isn’t how he needs to die.

Clean-up takes entirely too long, as he’s sure he wasn’t meticulous in this, or wasn’t careful enough in that. His fragile mind is breaking, and once more, he curses the woman who’d convinced him to go against his norm. No, he reminds himself, this is a mistake on your part. You should’ve never even considered it.

No, he shouldn’t have.

There is no quelling the fidgeting in his mind, nor the way he constantly snaps back to the scene of his latest crime, wondering if he’d left anything incriminating behind. The drive back to the commune is exhausting, and more than once, he considers turning around. Each time, he convinces himself that it would be more dangerous to do so, and, each time, he wonders if this will just be his last.

Gideon sits in the car, the darkness consuming him, physically and mentally. He stares ahead at the shadowed figure of their house and wonders, bitterly, if it would be better for him - for them - to sleep in the car.

The car door swings open violently, answering the question for him.

Mindful of the inhabitants of their home, his entry is calm and quiet as he makes his way through the shadows. No lights are necessary; he knows the layout perfectly.

Their bedroom door would open only enough for him to get inside before it closes again, and he remains facing it as he gathers himself. Only when he’s adequately calmed will he turn to face his wife.

“No more,” he says, voice at a dangerously low octave, “will I indulge your whims, against my better judgment. Not only did you endanger me, not only yourself, but our son hung in the balance of your indecision. I’m done.”
October 18, 2018 01:14 pm

Quinn Abernathy

"I'm sorry," Quinn's shame is heavy, and her voice does it no justice. She has disappointed her husband, endangered him, and endangered their child. Already, her mind is reeling. What would have happened if one of them were caught? Where would Finn be sent, once born, if his mother and father landed themselves behind bars? What of Gideon? Sam?

She would never see him again.

Quinn would take his wrath.

"I thought I could handle it, Gideon. I really did. I wanted to. I'm so sorry..."

Swallowing, she stands, slowly approaching the man as she tries to form her thoughts into a cohesive, sensible sentence. But nothing comes. This is it. Quinn would never be able to make this up to him, and she would never be able to make this life up to their son.

"It just... it feels like I'm losing you," her mouth is suddenly dry, and she struggles with her words. Gideon is right here. He has never left her, and he never would. Of this, she is absolutely certain. Until the very end. But this Gideon is different from the man she'd found again in Louisiana. That man had been sweet, caring, loving. A year ago, they were trying to escape.

Now, they've only expanded the mess they had landed in.

Taking a breath, she stands just within arms reach of her husband, and for the first time, she is nervous of him. Gideon had begun to instruct her, and when he did that, she met a side of him that she had never seen before. She isn't even sure she knows who he is anymore.

"I just want my Giddy back," she feels pathetic. When there is little out there in the world to make her understand that she hasn't lost her mind, that she is recognizing something wrong and different and it isn't simply herself, it is easy to fall into a dark place.

Quinn is the outsider. She is wrong.

Gideon is right here.

"I'm sorry. I was stupid. I'm being stupid."
October 18, 2018 09:40 pm

Gideon Abernathy

They are mere inches apart, so close that he could touch her, yet he remains a statue in the face of her emotional pleas. Behind his darkened gaze, his mind is working, pulling forth the memories of their time in New Orleans, unbid as they are. It seems like eons ago, when everything was much simpler, even despite seeming so dire.

Gideon remembers how drawn he was to her, try as he might to deter himself. His darkness was magnetized to her light, as vice verse was also true, and for a time, they complemented one another.

But his particular brand of shadow is all-consuming, and he’d watched as the light left her eyes. Only now, faced with her sorrows and fears, can he truly see how smothered it’s become. Smiles don’t come as easily, laughter is forced, and she doesn’t carry herself with the same grace and buoyancy that she once did.

And it’s entirely his doing.

A hand slowly raises to take her own, a finger tracing the edge of the ring he’d made for her as a symbol of their union. “I’ve never loved anyone like I’ve loved you.” His eyes are trained on the small token of his affection, his tone merely an echo of something far deeper in him.

It had been so easy, to love her.

And it proved impossible to ignore that love for what would’ve been better for her.

He had always told his father that he didn’t belong with the cult, but that had never been true. The parts of him that wanted to be the man that Quinn deserves don’t belong here. But Gideon is not that man, and those parts of him had long been stamped out.

His particular brand of Shadow is all-consuming.

“This is where I belong,” he finally cedes, letting her hand drop. Their eyes meet, and his are somehow darker. A man slated to die, he accepts his lot in this life with a renewed vigor. “I will always protect you, as long as you are with me.”

Quinn would always hold the parts of him that were humane, whether she wants them or not. It’s why, undoubtedly, she sees the good that no longer exists within him.

It’s why she would always be free to leave.
October 25, 2018 12:35 pm

Quinn Abernathy

He has taken her hand, and Quinn can feel the hot tears begin to well within her dulled eyes. There is a gently pressure as crudely molded metal presses against her flesh, Gideon tracing his way along the ring he'd presented to her. There had never been a word good enough to describe what that moment had meant to her. She treasures it, reliving it often as a reminder of what once was.

I've never loved anyone like I've loved you.

"Gideon, please," she would quietly plead, her voice wavering and her heart shattering into a million tiny pieces.

This is where I belong.

A deep, shuddering breath is taken and though she meets his gaze, she must look away quickly thereafter. Her hand falls limply to her side, sights on the floor, and Quinn can feel her body tremble at the prospect of what he has said.

Protection is not at all what she has ever been worried about. There is little fear held for those that surround them, but instead solely for him. There is nothing quite so terrifying as losing him completely, though in reality, she already has. One look at Gideon, and she sees the man she met. One look further, and she sees the man that has replaced him.

It takes little to realize that, if presented the choice, he would choose this place before her, and his son. Gideon would stay here, and Quinn would lose whatever is left of him. If she were smart, if she had an ounce of courage, she would leave. But she doesn't. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.

"But you can't protect me from yourself," she whispers. Quinn is tired. Mentally, emotionally, bodily exhausted. There is no one she loves more than Gideon. It is what brings her close to him, and keeps her there. And that love is what makes excuses for him. This is due to his upbringing. All of this is nurture winning out over nature, and Quinn is nothing more than that constant.

Her purpose is to love him, fiercely.

It doesn't matter the stakes.

Stepping forward, she would take his face in her hands and meet his gaze once more before letting them drop so that she made slide her arms around his shoulders. Her blond head would tuck itself beneath his chin, and her pregnant belly would serve only as a discomfort that would go ignored. "I love you, Giddy," she whispers, straight from her heart.

"I'm so sorry."

I failed you.
October 27, 2018 12:35 am
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