I laughed, not because I found this situation funny but because that is the only reaction that came out of me. The laughter escaped my lips before I could even stop it and it just kept pour out like a facet. I looked up from my hysteria and saw all the men looking at me. A couple of them with concerned looks on their faces.
I threw my hands over my mouth stifling the laughter. But once I stopped the maddening giggles the tears started. Sadness bubbled up inside me. Sadness for what my father was saying to me, the more I thought about the sadness, it started to turn into anger. I grabbed that anger and ran with it. I would rather feel anger than sadness.
Wiping away the tears I looked at my father in the eyes. I wanted him to feel and see the anger.
"How dare you think you can sell me" I spat at him poking him in the chest. Wishing I would have had the balls to punch him instead.
"How dare I? HOW DARE I?" Dad started to yell, getting right back in my face. "I have raised you, kept you safe, clothed, fed and put a roof over your head. I have kept you a secret for years. I didn't even want you. I would have rather killed you or handed you over to the government, but I had to go and promise your mother. But that has come to an end. Someone else wants my problem so I will gladly hand you over. Plus Alex made a vaid point about you just sitting here going to waist. Your mother had you. Who says you can't have a girl too. But I can have you here, I can't stand by and watch you getting breed to like some brood mare. You need to leave"
What he said was harsh. It was down right mean and hurt in more than one way. But it also made sense. He didn't want this anymore than I did and by pushing me away that was his way of dealing with it. He knew logically this day would come. That is why he always kept me at a safe distance. I thought he just despised me but now in this moment it all made sense. I wanted to hate him with all my being for what he just said to me but I couldn't, It wouldn't be far to him. He might be a cranky old man but he was right. That didn't mean I wouldn't go down without a fight.
I looked at my father, and this time really looked at him. He really did look like Brandon, and amazing for his age. He was still very well put together. The only real sign of his age on him was his greying hair and a couple frown lines. He was still a solid man. His eyes where hard, but the more I looked in them I saw then soften slightly. He was the one that broke eye contact first and cleared his throat.
"She is your" He said turning to Alex ignoring me now. "I want you all gone by morning and I never want to hear from you again"
"Like hell!" I yelled again.
"Would you just give it a rest" My father turned back to me again. He looked tired and defeated now. His eyes looked sad and his shoulders where slightly slumped forward. " How much longer do you think you can walk around here before one of the other boys tries something with you. You're the only god damn female they will ever see in their entire lives. I am actually quite damn shocked they are as respectful as they are and haven't tried anything yet. They are men after all and have needs. Hell I am waiting for your brother to snap and try something with you. These poor men will never know a women's touch. They will be virgins for the rest of their life and trust me for men that's a tragedy. Your safer away from here. Away from those two" Pointing to James and Jake "and your brother. Hell, even from me!"
He didn't even wait to hear anyone's response to his mini speech. He just threw his hands in the air and walked away. He was done. None of the other men could look at me as I looked at them as my fathers words sunk in, they all looked at the ground or past me. They knew my father's words held a lot of truth. Heck some of them might have been going through the battles of morals at the moment. I knew at times I was. I am a grown women and in a way craved their touch. It was nature taking over. Even when I fought it internally my body yearned for it.
Brandon walked to me and wrapped his arms around me. He knew I needed the comfort but my father's haunting words wouldn't leave me. Have any of the men thought about taking me in that way?
Alex cleared his throat bringing all our attention to him and his father again, who looked like he just wanted to be invisible. Now this man who I loved as a father I hated. He was a coward, he couldn't even stand up to his own son. Instead he just hid behind him. I can't believe I got the two men who raised me all wrong after all these years. The one who I thought hated me actually love me more than anything and the man who I thought loved me was just looking for personal gain. Was this his plan all along?
" I will walk you back to the house so you can pack. I want to leave tonight before the sun goes down." Alex said walking up to me.
I stop him before he can get any closer and he looks a little taken back by my boldness. "I don't want you anywhere near me" I told him. I could see his demeanor turning fast, from triumphant that he got what he came here for, to pissed at me turning him down right then. Just that quick switch of emotions scared me. He wasn't told no very often and I didn't want to see what happened when he didn't get his way. Thankfully Brandon saved me from having to see it by piping in.
" I will walk her back, it will at least give me time to say goodbye"
Alex nodded his head but I could tell he wasn't to happy about. With out saying another word he turn away from those of us remaining by the river and walked away, his father was right on his heals like a lost puppy.
Brandon with his arm still around my shoulders turned me towards the house and started walking.
"He is going to come to get you in 30 min. That gives you 15 to pack and meet me in the barn." He whispered to me, not even looking at me. I tried hard not to look at him in pure shock. What was he saying?
Just as if he could hear my thoughts he whispers
"We are running away"