Disclaimer: I do not own The Boy (2016) or any of it's characters.
AN: Fair warning, I'm not sure how often I'll be able to update so please bear with me. :)
Every instinct she had was screaming for her to run, to flee off into the woods and never look back. But the door was jammed, probably rusted into place after years of disuse. Spinning round, she knew that this was her chance, their attacker was distracted and there was a slight opening to his left... She could rush past them, go find somebody, get help for Malcolm...
But she couldn't.
Greta found herself frozen in place, watching transfixed as Brahms slammed Malcolm down, knocking him out cold. Time seemed to hold still as she crouched there in the tunnel. She wasn't even sure she was breathing.
X X X
For someone who had just murdered a man and then assaulted another in the span of mere minutes, Brahms seemed unnervingly calm. He let go of Malcolm, pausing to make sure his victim wouldn't get back up. The house was completely quiet except for her harsh breathing. Suddenly his head snapped up and Greta found herself staring deeply into a pair of cold, blue eyes. Neither moved for a moment, each simply observing the other. The seconds ticked away, seeming to stretch on for a lifetime.
Slowly, as if he were trying not to spook her, Brahms inched forward until his hulking frame filled the entrance to her hiding place. Even crouched down he was easily twice her size.
Ten feet was all that stood between them. Tilting his head almost curiously, he called, "Greta?"
His voice was that of a child, light and playful. But his eyes, still locked on to her's, told a different story.
Her legs were beginning to cramp up.
Glancing hesitantly down at Malcolm she shifted into a sitting position. He tracked her every movement but made no move to come closer. There was no point in trying to run now, she had nowhere to go… and she wasn't entirely sure she want to. Swallowing down her nerves she met his eyes again.
"Please don't be scared Greta," still in that childlike voice, "don't run away fro-"
"Stop it." Her voice cracked through the air like a whip.
Blinking at her in confusion, he came a little closer.
Seven feet between them now. She wrapped her arms around her knees, hugging herself tightly.
There was that damn head tilt again.
"Stop what Greta?" he asked, giggling as if she'd just told a funny joke. Perhaps to him, she had. Perhaps to him, this had all been one big joke and this, here and now, was the punchline.
"Stop talking like a child Brahms. We both know that you're not." Her tone was scathing but her eyes held a pleading look in them, almost frantic. Greta had a very delicate grip on herself in that moment, and if he kept speaking to her like that, she might just lose her mind.
It was like flipping a switch.
His eyes narrowed, suddenly twice as cold, twice as calculating.
The very air in the room seemed to shift as his entire being took on a predatory nature. She didn't flinch, but it was a near thing.
"Is this better Greta? Is this what you'd prefer?" His voice had dropped considerably, becoming rough and deep.
There he was, she thought as she stared into his dark eyes. There was Brahms.
"Good." and that was that. He made as if to move even closer to her but paused as a low groan carried from behind him.
Malcolm was waking up.
Turning, Brahms straighten to his full height, stalking back over to where he'd left the poor man. Greta lurched forward, suddenly freed from her paralysis. "Don't hurt him!" she gasped, reaching out toward them both. She stopped as Brahms turned to stare at her. Without a word he turned back, leaning down to heave Malcolm up and over his shoulder. Ignoring her shaking form, he strode off down the hall and out of sight, her only friend in tow.
Greta was alone.
X X X
For a few minutes she did nothing, couldn't even fathom doing anything more than sitting there. That had really happened. Brahms was alive. He'd murdered her ex-boyfriend and had just carried off her second chance at happiness, at a normal life. She didn't love Malcolm no, but she could have. He was so sweet to her, it would have been easy...
She was in the house with a murderer masquerading as a dead boy. It was a struggle to wrap her mind around these things, after all, only yesterday she'd been almost happy.
Banishing these thoughts from her head, Greta heaved herself to her feet. Making her way along the wall, she slowly made her way down the hall. She knew what she was going to see before she turned the corner. It was still a bit of a shock.
The blood had finally stopped flowing from Cole's face but it didn't make the sight any less gruesome. Brahms had bashed his head in. If she dared to look any harder, she could probably see chunks of brain amid the shattered skull. Shaking her head violently, she jerked away, across the room and into the bathroom.
Heaving, she threw up everything she had and then some.
Wiping her mouth on an errant towel, Greta thought about her options.
There weren't many.
She could either leave, dooming Malcolm to whatever fate Brahms had in store for him or she could stay and try to help. That was assuming Brahms hadn't killed him yet… No, if Brahms planned to kill him, he'd have done it than and there. Malcolm was alive. Somewhere in this terrible house, her friend was alive.
There was no question.
She was going to have to stay.
Although she hated to admit it, would never dare say it out loud, a small, twisted part of herself wanted to stay for Brahms. She felt connected to him, to this place. She'd felt it before she'd learned the truth, when she had told Malcolm about her past and the responsibility she felt for this family. Yeah, this wasn't exactly what she'd had in mind but it was still there, under her skin, that connection.
She was supposed to be here.
X X X
Brahms found her sitting in the kitchen not long after. He didn't say a word to her, merely moved passed to the sink so he could wash all the blood from his hands. She hated it. The easy confidence he seem to have towards her. Like he just knew she wasn't going to run, that she wasn't a threat anymore. It made her angry, but worse, it made her wonder why he was right.
She glanced at the clock. It was still early.
Greta didn't look up when he came to stand at her elbow. Nor did she fight him when he took her by the arm, pulling her from her seat and toward the parlor. His grip on her was like iron, she couldn't have pulled away if she'd tried. And she wouldn't. Not until she was sure Malcolm was beyond help. Until then, she would just go along with whatever Brahms wanted. She would stay alive.
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