She was sobbing too hard to make any intelligible words, so instead she hugged me again and gripped the letter tightly in her hand.
“Tot ziens,” Kerstan said, appearing behind us in the doorway, giving her a nod, and pulling me out of her arms.
The eldest grandmother exited the house and took Minikin by the arm and steered her toward the car. I watched her open the door for her and let her in before getting in behind her and firmly slamming the door shut.
I raised my hand and waived at Minnie as she looked out the back window, still sobbing, hands pressed firmly to her face.
“Why didn’t you go with her?” I asked Kerstan with a sniffle.
“I only go when I bring back new merchandise. She was a gift to the other house, I guess you could say,” he replied with a shrug.
Merchandise? Deep breaths, Amity. Killing him right now won’t solve anything.
“Is that all we are to you?” I asked, turning to face him.
“The others, yes. You? No.”
“I know I’m an investment,” I replied rolling my eyes and pushing past him back into the house.
Kerstan sighed unhappily as he closed and locked the doors behind us. He had to practically run to catch up to me and when he fell instep beside me he tried to take my hand. I pulled it away and crossed my arms in front of my bare chest.
“I did what you asked of me, you know. Minikin is now safe and you still behave like this,” he said, shaking his head in frustration.
“Get used to it. Think that because you shipped her off to someone else that I’m all better? Think because I know that Betje is in a ‘kinder house’ it makes all of this okay? Get with it Kerstan. Shit like this is beyond wrong and you know it,” I replied stopping and sticking my finger into his chest.
He looked down with a raised eyebrow, before turning his questioning gaze to me. Hushed voices suddenly filled the grand hallway we had been standing in having our “disagreement” and because of that, I knew this would result in some sort of punishment.
“What am I to do with you? You’re such a beautiful disaster, Lieve. I don’t know how to get you to obey me without using force,” he said softly.
“Then be forceful and be done with it,” I replied dropping my hands to my side and preparing for whatever he felt would be appropriate enough to put me in my place.
“Not today, Lieve. I have no time for this nonsense today, but I will address this tomorrow,” he said, shaking his head as he walked toward the staircase.
My body became rigid. I felt the anger boiling inside of me at being blown off and having to be made to wait, so I followed him and reached him as he got halfway near the top.
“I said do it and be done with it,” I snapped, grabbing his arm to stop him.
There was a collective gasp below us. It was obvious that the others had followed to see what I was going to do and they were probably afraid for me now.
Kerstan looked down at my hand. He didn’t speak, not right away; just stood there, half turned, staring at it.
“I lied to you,” he finally said.
“What?” I asked in confusion.
“I lied,” he repeated, prying my fingers off of his arm. “I didn’t send them to a kinder house. Betje and Minikin? They aren’t any safer where they are now than when they were here. You didn’t save them Amity; you can’t even save yourself.”
I let out a scream of anger as I lunged at him. I was so furious that my vision became blurry. I tumbled forward as I knocked him back onto the staircase and began scratching at his precious face. Don’t get me wrong; by no means did I fight like a bitch, I just knew how much a face like that would mean to a bastard as vain as Kerstan.
He was taken by surprise at my sudden bout of rage and tried as hard as he could to get a grip on my wrists. But each time he did, I found the strength to pull out of his grip and resume my assault. I was going to take one of his fucking eyes out before I was done.
Somehow, he managed to get his knee in between him and me, shoving it as hard as he could up into my stomach. I almost lost my footing and fell backward, but my anger wouldn’t let me give up so easily. I grabbed firmly onto Kerstan’s vest and used his weight to hold me in place, before I resumed my attack.
It wasn’t until Xandra and two other girls pulled me off of Kerstan did I understand the severity of my actions. There were tiny red marks on his cheeks and forehead, and as he sat up he gave me the most dangerous look I had ever seen from a human being before.
A couple of grandmothers appeared, one attempting to tend to Kerstan, while the other gripped me firmly by the arm waiting for him to tell her what to do with me.
“I’m fine,” he said gently shoving the one away from him. “Take her to my room. Now.”