It took everything I had not to run after them. In her attempt to stop me, Neala had bolted the back door shut. She and I both knew that that would do nothing to stop me if my resolve crumbled.
"Ten minutes," I muttered to myself again, squinting at the barn. It seemed to far away. It would take me at least a few minutes to run there if I phased. Which I couldn't, because Harry here shoving his mouth full of cookies.
So five minutes of run time to get to her if something happened.
I growled under my breath. That was too long. A lot could happen in five minutes.
Neala wrapped her tiny hand around my wrist. "Paul, please si-" She was cut off by a loud banging from outside.
I lurched towards the door, preparing myself to run faster than I ever had before.
"It was only the chains." John's reassuring voice came from outside. He'd stationed himself in the back yard, in case I tried to go after his son.
But even he was looking in their direction with worry.
"If anything happens to her." My words were directed at John. He frowned at me.
"He wouldn't." I scoffed, but sat down beside Harry at the table.
"I don't get what the big deal is," Harry mumbled, crumbs flying. "Kell is fine, she's with her dad." I didn't respond.
We stared at each across the barn.
It smelled disgusting, probably of manure. It was hard to focus with my eyes watering the stench.
Timothy stood absolutely still at the other end of the vast space. I stayed by the doors, just in case.
"Well?" I asked finally. That sooner he spoke, the sooner I'd be able to leave.
He turned to face the back wall before talking.
"I did try to find you. I looked for so long. I never thought…" His voice trailed off, and he bowed his head. "I never thought that I wouldn't be able to find you. Not once." I looked down.
"So you were still looking for me then? After 20 years?" There was silence as my words hung in the air around us. I opened the door a little, hoping to air the place out a little bit.
He twitched when it creaked.
"No. I stopped. I realized that maybe it was a good thing that you weren't with me. I was dangerous." I raised an eyebrow at him.
"So you did abandon me. Eventually." I shook my head, ignoring the tears streaming down my face. It smelled so bad! "I could have died."
He turned then, striding towards me. He stopped halfway through the room.
I waited for him to continue. To explain his rationale on leaving a child out on her own. How did he intend for me to survive on my own?
"You know?" He nodded.
"But you didn't. Your grandparents told me about the Americans that found you, and I thought that you would be safer there. Happier. Away from all this shape shifting business." He narrowed his eyes at me.
"Oh no, you still haven't answered all my questions. You can't ask me any." His jaw clenched.
"I decided to look for Eva instead."
"Eva?" He stared at me, moving closer again. He reached up slowly to push my hair out of my face.
"Your mother," he whispered finally, dropping his hand. "You look so much like her. I just wish you hadn't inherited my attitude." I glared at him, taking a step back.
"Where is she?" Her name was Eva, and I looked like her. That was more information than I could have ever hoped to gain after yesterday.
Timothy took a step back too.
"I'm sorry." I didn't say anything. I'd never get to meet her. To talk to her. My eyes welled up again.
"Did you kill her?" I whispered, already feeling like I knew the answer.
He didn't look at me when he answered.
"I don't know what happened. I would have never…I loved your mother with everything I had. She was my whole world." My jaw clenched, which only made me angry, because that was probably something I'd gotten from him. "Kelly."
I shook my head, wrenching the barn doors open.
"What kind of…monster kills his wife and abandons his only child?" The tears were flowing now, my nose was getting running. I was probably bright red too.
"Kelly." He reached towards me, but I slapped his hand away, shocking both of us. His hands started to tremble.
"You don't deserve a family." His eyes flashed, the shaking got worse, so I walked out.
I couldn't see where I was going because of all the stupid tears.
It shocked me when I ran into what had to be a pole. There was nothing but grass out here on the walk over. Where had this come from?
I looked slowly. My head was pounding, my eyes were sore, and I all I wanted to do was go home. Walking into this pole was not making anything better.
Except, it wasn't a pole.
"Eva?" The man stared at me in surprise before he seemingly caught himself.
"She's dead you twat." A new voice came from behind the not a pole. The new voice appeared to be another man, who looked a lot like the first one.
"I know," the first man growled.
I backed away from them. Was my nose bleeding.
"I'm sorry," I muttered.
"Hold on love," I flinched when man #2 reached towards me. He pulled back, but still stood in my way. "It looks like you've got a bleeder."
I touched my nose, and sure enough there was blood.
"I'm sorry," I apologized again.
"Hey Tim!" Man #1 was looking over my head now, waving at who had to be Timothy. "Who's this?"
"My daughter." I whirled around to glare at him, clutching my nose.
"I am not your daughter!" I screamed as loudly as I could.
"Kelly!" I sighed in relief at the sound of Paul's voice. But the two new men tensed.
"Is that..?" Man #2's voice trailed off.
"Yeah, but he's definitely not one of ours." Man #1 smiled down at me. "Don't worry miss, we'll keep you safe."
I stared at him, confused. Safe from what?
"Kell, hey let me through." I tried to go to Paul, but man #1 grabbed my arm.
"Sorry bud, but we don't know who you are." I groaned. I did not want to see Paul fight anyone right now.
"Paul, please," I mumbled. New man #2 turned to look at me.
"You know him?" Man #2 turned back to look at Paul, and Paul punched him in the gut, kneeing his face when he keeled over.
I groaned when man #1 let go, charging at Paul, shaking from head to toe.
"Paul!" He phased, anticipating the attack.
What he probably wasn't anticipating, was the attack to come from a huge black bear.