A/N: Hey y'all, sorry it took so long, but I can assure you that this story is already finished so chapters will be coming quite soon!
Chapter 2 - The metal chains
Light made its way inside the once dark room, making the curtains and paintings glow. Sitting on the bundle of sheets on the bed, was a boy no older than nine as he scanned his surroundings. The blanket was warm unlike the one he used at the Farm. It wasn't a dream and he actually was here. Last night he had been afraid of waking up the next morning back to that place, to his father who trained Desmond until his legs gave out due to pushing his limits.
There was no clock nearby or anything that could tell the child what time it was, and he was reluctant to leave the comfortable bed. He never felt this safe in a long time and wished he could stay here forever. He glanced around the paintings. Did the man, who looked identical to Desmond, made these? If he did, he certainly was talented.
The boy did not know these people, however the intimidating stares these men emitted made him afraid. His eyes glanced to different one. It was that man. Speaking of which, he wasn't here when Desmond woke up.
He did feel bad for not knowing of his name, even when they never met before that man treated Desmond as if he cared, the kind he wished his dad showed him more often. A knock against a wooden surface made him flinched, as a woman's head popped up from the room's entrance. She wore a kind smile to Desmond.
She climbed up from the ladder and walked to him to offer her hand, which he took. The boy was led down and through the hallways and stairs. They arrived in a large room with some of the people Desmond met yesterday. No one uttered a word and that made him nervous, he was put to sit on a tall chair beside the man — he definitely should stop calling him 'the man' in his head.
The stares thrown at him wasn't helping his nervousness at all, and he squirmed in his seat at the attention. Not even at the Farm was he stared down similar to this. His dad was different, his were cold with a hint of disappointment. Theirs were calculating as if thinking on what do with Desmond now that he joined them at the table. None of them were smiling at him, but were frowning instead. Why were they looking at him with those expressions? What happened?
Yesterday they were smiling at Desmond, and now they weren't. His dad's words rang in his head, and placed his clenched fists on his lap as his eyes stung. He truly was such a disappointment. The boy jumped when a hand larger than his own rested on his head, he glanced up and was greeted with concerned eyes and a sympathetic smile. The fingers in his hair began to scratch his scalp which was surprisingly pleasant. Desmond couldn't help the blush making its way to his cheeks, and relaxed under the kind gesture.
Desmond began to calm down, as the kind man's hand shifted to push the plate of food to the boy. Feeling hungry and despite his earlier embarrassment, he took the spoon and fork in his hands and began eating. The people at the table started talking, as some thrown different looks to Desmond.
The nervousness came back. What if they were just taking pity of him because of his injuries? What if the moment he was alright they'd throw him away? He didn't know where he was, and Desmond didn't want to leave at all. He wished he could say those words, but he knew they couldn't understand him and it would just be a wasted effort.
The atmosphere began to thicken, the woman who cleaned Desmond in a bathtub yesterday gritted her teeth as the tone in her voice turned harsh, but not loud enough to consider as yelling. The coldness of her voice made him frozen in his place and widened his eyes at her, she didn't notice his fear as she continued to berate the man beside Desmond.
The boy chanced a glance at him who oddly looked calm, and wished he had that kind of confidence as his thoughts were suffocating him. He was the reason everyone was frowning. They had been kind yesterday and now they were going to kick him out, Desmond knew he didn't belong here.
Another voice rang through the air and making the room quiet. It sounded calm but strict. The noise of a chair being pushed back against the tiled floor made Desmond snapped his head up in panic, were they going to kick him out now? He didn't want to leave! He kept his mouth shut anyway as the old woman, who was sitting at the edge of the table earlier, walked to Desmond's side. A wrinkled hand took his and he was led out of the large room, away from everyone's concerned stares.
They were far away from the voices when they stopped walking. The old woman crouched down to Desmond's level, her hand was still holding his as her kind eyes studied the boy. The gaze was extremely familiar that the bottled feelings, which he never realized he had been hiding for a long time, surfaced on his face. She was looking at him the same expression his mom made whenever he got hurt or injured.
His dad wasn't here, as Desmond let the tears flow down and bit his lips to refuse in letting out a wail. He knew she was not his mom, and it pained him because he truly missed her. The old woman pulled him into hug, her kind voice beside his ear as she patted his back to calm him.
Once the tears stopped falling, the woman placed a handkerchief under his nose which Desmond automatically blew into. He felt a lot better. She stood up and led him through the many hallways — this place was truly big, bigger than the Farm — as they reached to a familiar garden. Desmond got himself lost here yesterday. He suppressed the urge to laugh at that thought, the garden wasn't even that big. The boy looked down. He still didn't want to leave.
Desmond's hand was squeezed to gain his attention, as the woman lead him further. They turned to a corner as a new entrance came into their view, she opened the metal gate and walked inside. The sight made the child's eyes and mouth wide open. The plants were sparkling due to the sun, this new garden was absolutely beautiful. He never saw this kind of flowers before — the Farm had a garden, but it was mostly used for crops and nothing more.
He looked up at her in silent permission, the kind old woman smiled in return as he beamed then ran to inspect the different plants. He saw her picking up a bunch of flowers at the corner of his eye.
Desmond was halfway finishing exploring when she moved to his side, and placed something light on his head. He raised a hand to see what it was as soft petals brushed his fingertips. She made him a flower crown. Desmond was shocked, before grinning as he carefully plucked different flowers and went to work.
The boy worked silently, sitting on a bench with the kind woman. He grew frustrated when the flowers wouldn't stick no matter how he tied it around with plants. He sighed which caught her attention. He wanted to talk her, but she couldn't understand him. Desmond looked up to the person beside him, and raised the flowers on his palm with a hopeful expression. Fortunately, she understood what he was trying to tell her and took some of them from the boy's hands. Desmond watched with blinking eyes.
Moments later the woman left when someone called her, and a new person now stood a distance away from Desmond. She waved then he waved back. He didn't need a babysitter, but Desmond had no choice anyway. He went back to his work. Three flower crowns and five bracelets were placed by his side. He planned to give this to them, and hoped this would be enough to let them know that he wanted to stay.
Desmond was finishing his sixth flower crown, when he heard rustling in the bushes nearby, followed by a stick snapping. The woman flinched and glanced around with wide eyes, Desmond too. A gush of wind blew into the garden, making the flowers sway with the breeze. It stilled, and it was silent once more. The boy frowned. Was it an animal?
The person surveyed the area, lips drawn into a thin line as her brown eyes landed on Desmond. She walked to him when a sudden and completely different sound rang to the air, both widened their eyes as she screamed in pain and fell to the ground. Desmond stood up and paled at the arrow on the woman's shoulder.
He was frozen in fear at his spot. She looked up and her eyes widened in horror behind the boy, her face quickly paling. His blood turned cold as he gulped and slowly looked behind him. A man covered in rags to hide his face was staring down at Desmond, he had various weapons strapped around his body and a knife raised to the child's face.
The scream died in his throat. He felt arms around his torso, and he was picked up by another man and the boy began to struggle under the strong grip. A rough hand tightly sealed his mouth shut, as tears formed at the corners of his eyes. He tried to pull the hand away, clawing at it even.
Wind flew to his face as the men ran away from garden, the hand was replaced by a cloth which was tied tightly that it hurt. Ropes secured his limbs, and Desmond could no longer struggle but wiggle around the bounds. His tears didn't stop. What was happening?! Why was he taken away?!
They took him to a house with no light inside. Desmond couldn't do anything but cry in fear of what was going to happen to him. The man opened a curtain, and if he didn't light up a torch the boy wouldn't see what was inside. Eyes with fear stared back at Desmond, children in different ages had cloths tied around their faces and ropes around their limbs. Some were in metal chains.
His eyes widened further. He was thrown harshly inside with the others and the curtain was drawn back, making his vision dark once more. Desmond swallowed the saliva gathering in his mouth as he sat up straight. There were footsteps around them before the wagon began to move. Where were these men taking them?
The wagon stopped, and the curtain opened as a man with another kid in ropes went inside. They moved again.
"Panicking won't get you anywhere Desmond! Get up! Fight!"
Desmond blinked at his dad's words in his head, and with effort he forced to calm his breathing. Next he blinked the tears away, no matter how scared he was he knew his dad was right. The injury on his lips was proof of that.
Now that he felt clear headed, he wiggled around his bounds to see if he could loosen them up a bit. He was glad it was dark inside, this way the man wouldn't know what Desmond was planning. He cheered in victory in his head when the ropes did loosen, it wasn't that tight as people tend to underestimate children after all. But Desmond was different, he was trained for this.
The wagon continued to jostle and move, unaware that one of children broke free from the ropes and was planning to do the same to the other kids. Desmond silently scooted to the one near him, and proceed to untie the ropes around his legs then the ones around his hands. He kept looking at the large shadowed figure by the entrance, but the man's posture seemed to be relaxed.
Still, Desmond continued to be cautious in case the man was just pretending and surprise them with an attack. His dad would catch him off guard all the time. Desmond was thankful the children didn't voice out their fear the moment their mouths were free, or maybe they were just too scared. He heard a familiar voice outside. It was that man!
The wagon jostled up more when it moved faster, as more voices could be heard outside. The shadowed figure hissed underneath his breath then yelled at the children, making them flinch. There was nothing he could do about the metal chains. He needed a key for that, and that man probably got it. Desmond wished he could see if he was unarmed then maybe they could restrain him with ropes.
Or he could knock the guy unconscious. Desmond was sure he couldn't manage it with his strength alone. He needed the other kids' help but could they understand him? That was the problem, everyone spoke differently here. He didn't want to risk the man knowing anyway. He tried to think through the fear, he needed something to hit the man with.
A poke at his side made him flinched, as something solid and heavy landed on his lap. It felt similar to a big chunk of wood. He turned to see who gave him this, but it was still pitch black. Grabbing it with both of his hands he slowly crawled towards the man, his heart beating loud in his chest every second he neared the large shadow.
Fortunately, the figure's head wasn't looking at Desmond's way. The boy needed to catch him off guard. It was risky but he didn't have a choice. Now a foot away from him he took a deep breath, and screamed at the top of his lungs. The man flinched and half a second later, a large piece of wood hit the side of his head, as he fell to the ground.
The children behind Desmond acted in fear and began to jump on top of the man to prevent him from getting up, as they began to tie ropes around him in the dark. Desmond feared if he killed him, but he heard a rough groan and the feeling melted away with a sigh of relief. His dad would had been proud of him. Desmond didn't want to do that ever again, or soon.
He wondered if his scream alerted the men outside, and gave them a reason to check on the children, but the wagon only continued to jostle. The boy checked the man's clothes and pockets for a key but found none, he frowned. Curiosity getting the better of him, Desmond pulled the curtain aside slightly and squinted when the warm and blinding light greeted him.
They were being chased by the kind man with some of his men on horses. They could just jump. Sure, it was scary but staying was more terrifying. The boy looked behind him to the children's fearful faces, he glanced down at the metal chains and pursed his lips. He couldn't just leave them! He didn't know why he suddenly felt responsible, maybe because he knew how frightening it was, or of the expectant expressions thrown at him.
The carriage suddenly stopped, making the children fell on the wooden floorboards with yelps. The curtains were pulled aside, and they widened their eyes when a hand roughly grabbed the nearest kid, which happened to be Desmond.
The boy screamed and struggled from the choking hold, his feet not touching the ground. Desmond noticed that he stopped a far distance away from them, and climbed down from his horse. The man holding him yelled something to the other, as a knife made its way to his neck which made the boy shut his mouth and frozen in fear.
He couldn't breathe properly. He was terrified and began to cry again. He shook him and yelled harshly to Desmond, the boy bit his lower lip and closed his eyes for his incoming death. A second passed when the voice of the kind man reached his ears, it was calm and completely different from the scared tone of the criminal. When the arms around him began to shake the boy opened his eyes. In front of the boy, he was smiling at him, eyes gentle and loving and asking a silent permission.
Desmond didn't know what it was, but he trusted him. The man raised his arm to them, posture ready to shoot. The guy yelled with a warning tone, when a sharp bang to the air made him let go of Desmond. The boy placed his hands and knees on the ground and began coughing. He glanced at the man behind him, his eyes and mouth were wide open with a hole on his forehead, and blood oozing out of it. The sight was too much, and with a painful lurch Desmond vomited.
He felt a hand on his shoulder, Desmond spitted the disgusting taste out of his mouth as he was pulled up to his feet. He saw the children jumping down from the wagon, and men were taking the metal chains off of them. The child was relieved. He crouched down to the boy's level, and Desmond wasted no time in hugging him and crying again, because that was the scariest thing that ever happened to him. He almost died and he said this in the man's chest.
He stiffened, as the boy blinked his tears and looked up at to see what was wrong. The man's eyes were wide, and Desmond felt nervous because why was he looking at the child with a shocked look? He couldn't understand him, could he?
A/N: Thanks for reading, tell me what'ya think!