Rose is frustrated as James and the townspeople threaten to hurt Gerard.
“What do they want, Papa?” murmured Rose, moving away from the window. “What are they doing?”
“I… I’m not sure, Rose.”
Rose yelped in surprise when a harsh bang sounded in the other room. She covered her mouth in shock; They had made it to the door.
Maurice stiffened his back and pushed Rose softly out of the way, determined to save his only kin. “Stay here, Rose.”
“Papa?” questioned Rose. “Where are you going? You can’t go out there.”
“They’re no harm. They’ve got no reason to be here.”
With one quick nod, Maurice was at the door, struggling to open it from all of the weight pushing on the other side. He held up his hands, hollering for everyone to be quiet as he made his way front and center on his porch.
“Please!” he called. “Let me speak, neighbors.”
The mob quieted down, only for a moment before James ruined Maurice’s chance to speak.
“Come with us, old man.” James snarled, pushing his way through to the front and dangling the axe between his fingers delicately; Flashing it for all weary eyes.
“What? No, you need to listen to me.”
“You’ve gone on long enough, Maurice. It’s about time we do something about it.” James whistled, waving a caged wagon forward; The Lunatic Cage. “Don’t worry, we’ll put you where you belong.”
“No! You don’t understand! I—“
“Load him up, boys!”
Rose gasped as she watched her so-called friends and neighbors attack her father. She ran out the door and onto the porch, screaming for the mindless drones to unhand her father. “Leave him be! Let him go!”
“Well, Rose. Darling.” James cooed. “What a surprise we have here.” He chuckled darkly as his eyes roamed down her neck. ”Your father told us that you’ve been captured by a vicious monster, but here you are. Unharmed.”
“Yes, the one in the castle, apparently.”
“Gerard,” Rose murmured, clasping her neck in her palm; The neck she longed for him to bite.
James scoffed, attempting to conceal his jealousy of some other mans name gracing her lips. “Gerard?” It rolled off of his tongue like poison. “You mean you’ve actually met this creature?”
“He’s no creature… He’s actually very sweet.”
“Yes, and welcoming.”
“No,” James objected, shaking his head violently. “There’s no such thing as a kind-hearted monster.”
“He’s no monster! I’ll prove it,” Rose rushed inside to her room, searching for her keepsake. She sighed, running back outside to her father and neighbors. She held his picture up high, so everyone could see. “Does this look like a monster to you?”
“It’s appalling,” James mocked. “That you would call this hideous monstrosity sweet.”
“He is, very much. And, he’s not hideous… He’s beautiful.”
“Beautiful?” James howled, laughing with his friends. He stopped short and sneered as a though struck him. “Well, Rose, judging by your opinions, one would be led to believe that you have feelings for this beast.”
“Would that be so wrong?”
James glared. “Extremely. Maybe, your mind is slipping, too, my dear. We ought to lock you up alongside your ignorant father.”
“No, please! I can promise you—“
“Empty promises, Rose.”
“He’ll stalk you in the dark.” James hollered, turning to face the mob of people. “Make off with your children in the night. Is this really something we should allow in our woods?”
An older man raised his pitchfork, saluting the air. “I say we stop him now, before he comes to town.”
”Before he kills us all!”
”Think of the children!”
Rose quickly jumped in on the conversation, begging the people to change their minds. “He’s harmless, really.”
“Harmless?” James laughed. “And, just how harmless will he be when his bloodthirsty appetite gets the best of him?”
“He wouldn’t.” Rose pleaded. “He’s not like that.”
“Well, men? Do we trust her word?”
The mob booed as Rose continued to plead. The group readied their weapons and began marching off into the woods.
Rose panicked, attempting to catch up with them. “Please stop! You’ll kill him!”
James smirked and grabbed her wrist, tossing her into the back of the wagon with her father. “Don’t worry, my dear. Soon everything will be alright.” He slammed the door shut tightly, making sure the lock latched. “Just a precaution.”
Rose watched as James ran off after the mob. She was trapped. They were going to hurt Gerard, and there was nothing she could do about it. Her Gerard. Whether he would allow it or not, she loved him, and she just had to tell him before it was too late.
A/N - Sorry about the terribly long wait! I apologize. More on the way, though!!
Thanks for reading, and don't forget to review! xoxo - Esther Rose.