Being in the cabin with her father, after experiencing what she had felt like being locked in a room with a murderer. There was no proof and she wanted to believe the best in her father. She watched him as he watched TV, his face blank of any emotions.
Then again, what had he ever done to recommend him? He'd never really cared about her had he? Sure, he'd done his duty and taken care of her until she was old enough to work, and he still allowed her to live with him. In fact, he'd put up a fit the last time she'd tried to move out. Lily had taken it as love but was it really? Was there some other reason for keeping her with him? She shook her head and made her way up the stairs to her room, sitting on her bed in silence and listening hard for his footsteps.
He didn't follow her up. Why would he? Unless he'd really shot that little girl like Damien and Klaus said. And if he had, what if he discovered she knew about it and had helped her survive? What wrath would he unleash on Lily's head?
"Lily." She jumped like a startled cat and just barely kept from shrieking. Standing by her window was Damien. She held up her finger to stall him and listen for any sign that her father had heard her have a small heart attack. Nothing.
"Are you nuts? What is it with you and sneaking?" He raised a brow.
"I came through your wide open window and said your name twice. Hardly sneaking." She straightened and laughed nervously.
"I had some things on my mind. It's not every day your own father is accused of a heinous crime," she murmured, still feeling defensive despite her own doubts about Abel.
"I know you owe me nothing, yet I have come to ask for your aid." The words sounded so formal in Damien's deep rumbling voice.
"What do you need?" she asked. His eyes glinted at her in the dimly lit room and he walked forward and handed her a shell casing. She looked down at it. "Was this.."
"We found it in the underbrush near wear the little one was wounded. You have access to his home and his weapons. I ask that you verify whether this bullet is one of your father's. If it is, I must ask you to bring me the gun so that it may be tested." Her eyes widened.
"That's a big ask Damien. Do you have any idea what he'll do if one of his guns goes missing? He'll blame me and..." She sighed when she saw his expression harden. "Fine, I'll do it." After all, he was her father, right? He would never hurt her. Not really.
"You have our thanks. Call Klaus when you have an answer and we will protect you." She nodded and watched as he climbed out her window and made the action look graceful. She shook her head, unable to explain why she believed him.
It was going to have to happen while her father slept. There was no other way.
Lily stood next to her door and listened so carefully. Once she heard her father snoring away she dared to open her door. Every step, every creak of the wooden flooring as she put her weight on it threatened to wake her Father.
She felt like the quieter she tried to be, the louder her breathing and heartbeat got. Surely he could hear it and surely he would wake. Only he didn't so much as twitch just continued to snore.
She studied his worn face carefully. Was it the face of a killer? She shivered and crept past him and to the gun cabinet. It wasn't locked and in the bottom was a box of bullets. She looked behind her at her father again to make sure he was still sleeping and he was.
Lily opened the box to compare the shell casings and her heart sank. They were a match as far as she could tell, which made her mission and her doom to follow a certainty. She put the bullets back carefully.
The rifle they matched was hanging right there, hers for the taking. She glanced back and found Abel still sound asleep his snores so much white noise. She took a deep breath and grabbed the Rifle from its hook. She looked it over to make sure the safety was on.
That was when she realized the snoring had stopped. She took a deep breath and turned around. Her father stood in the door frame glowering down at her. He'd never seemed so large to her before.
"What are you doing Lil?" His voice was calm, almost genial. That terrified her. She'd been ready for yelling. Why was he being nice?
"I... I wanted to try learning to shoot." She lied at once, some instinct telling her the truth was out of the question.
"At this time of night?" he questioned.
"I figured you'd never allow it, so I planned to practice while you were sleeping and replace the bullets on the next town run," she murmured apologetically.
"Guns are not for little girls. Hand it over," he said, an edge of nastiness cresting over the fake pleasant tone he'd been using. She gulped and handed it over. She'd have to steal it some other time. All of a sudden the butt of the rifle came flying at her and slammed her in the face.
She'd had no time to brace, nor any experience with being hit in the face. She collapsed and began to cry immediately. What was happening? He'd never once hit her before. He'd always been mean, but never violent. "What do you know?" he roared, yanking her up, and slamming her into the wall, stealing the breath from her.
"I don't know what you're talking about!" she yelled.
"Lying slut! You've been mating with them, haven't you? That filth out in the woods?" He slammed her into the wall again, this time her head connected with the rough wood, and she saw stars dance in her vision.
"Stop lying!" he roared, nearly apoplectic with rage. It burned fanatically in his eyes and she thought at that moment before he hit her so hard she lost consciousness, that she was going to die.
He'd overdone it. He looked at her lying on the couch where he'd put her. Her face was swollen and bruised, scraped up beneath the bandages he'd applied. He'd broken a few of her ribs too. A flicker of guilt whispered through him, but it vanished quickly behind self-righteous assurance.
He'd had to be sure she wasn't mated to one of those monsters. If she was it was his duty to finish her off. He knew how those bonds worked. If she'd connected to them they would have known of her distress and come to aid her. Instead, she was at his mercy. So she'd been a good and loyal daughter after all. It was time to come clean with her.
He sat in his chair and waited for her to wake up.
She woke slowly, like coming out of a fog and into the light. Her memory of what happened gaining frightening clarity by the second. She blinked and sat up, regretting it right away when her ribs shot pain through her. Some of them must be broken. She let out a little moan of pain.
"I apologize I had to be hard on you," Abel said.
"Hard on me..." she whispered, horrified. "You call this hard on me? You beat me up!" she gasped.
"I had to be sure you weren't with them."
"Them who?" she questioned.
"Lily, I don't work for a lumber company. I'm a hunter. What I hunt, are werewolves." She blinked a few times trying to let that sink in. Then she thought of Damon and a few things clicked into place. That odd charisma, the whole submit thing. He was an Alpha. Still, her woman beater of a father didn't need to know it.
"What? You've gone insane!"
He shook his head.
"No. I haven't. I hunt werewolves, and if you've met anyone living in these woods, they are werewolves and they must be exterminated." Then he launched into a tale so terrifying and yet rang so strongly of truth she couldn't help but listen.
He worked for a company of men whose sole purpose was to wipe out werewolves. She was supposedly some kind of half breed and he'd nearly killed her in her crib but had convinced his buddies to spare her so she could serve as werewolf bait or something. The whole thing was convoluted and so far out of left field. He gave her a moment to absorb what he'd said and then he uttered the one sentence that made her blood run cold.
"Now, it's time for you to serve your purpose." Then he aimed his rifle at her.