Henry groans in agony, and I step forward, but Diego holds a thick arm up, keeping me back with a stern brow. Tears build at the rims of my eyes. I feel so sorry for him. This is my fault. I only made matters worse.
“What did you do to him?” I bark, turning to face Draco.
“Her name is Silvia,” he announces, ignoring my tantrum.
I clench my fists as he maneuvers around me. “Draco, this is ridiculous. I’m the one who let him go. Why are you punishing him for it?”
“She lives here, in these fields. She loves these flowers. She can slither right through them and hardly get pricked. It’s fascinating really. We saw her one day and I was about to behead her, but the way she moved through these flowers, like the thorns were feathers or something, well, I figured I’d keep her alive. She was fearless, and, surprisingly she hasn’t left yet. She’s a gorgeous snake, too. I don’t think she’s from here, though. Might’ve escaped from the zoo that’s less than a mile away.”
“Draco,” I breathe, switching my gaze from him to Henry. “He’s dying.”
“Exactly. She’s poisonous. And she can sense a coward and a liar just as well as I can.”
Henry’s head falls, hitting the wall.
“Just kill him, then. End it. Stop torturing him!”
“Why would I do that?”
Anger blinds me. I step forward, shoving past Diego and snatching the gun out of Draco’s holder.
Guillermo immediately draws his gun on me, Diego following suit. But they are wary, because I’m not pointing at Draco. I’m pointing at Henry. His eyes are sealed. I’m sure he doesn’t even know I’m here. He can’t go out so slowly. It’s better to end it.
“Do it then,” Draco murmurs, head tilting. “Go ahead. Kill your coward friend.”
My hand trembles, finger barely squeezing the trigger. But I keep it aimed, right at his head, like Daddy taught me at the gun range when I was sixteen.
One eye open, level my hand, steady my arm.
I stare at Henry for a long time, my eyes burning with remorse. I try and level my hand but I can’t. I can’t kill anyone else. I want him to stop suffering, but not like this. Not like this.
A hand drops down on the gun and Draco lowers it, standing close, focused solely on me. “There is no need to kill him. I’m sending him to Brazil.”
“What?” I look up, eyes damp. “Brazil? Why?”
“He’ll live there. Live, Gianna.”
My eyebrows furrow. I look from Draco to Henry, hands still shaky. He takes the gun from me, placing it back inside his holder and then holding up a hand at the guards. They lower their weapons in an instant, but they keep their eyes on me.
“Why?” I ask again.
“Because it’s what you want. And if it will give you some kind of peace, fine. But he doesn’t get to go back to the United States. He’ll be in Brazil on his own and being watched after. Tabs will be taken. He won’t be completely free. I will still have eyes on him at all times, no matter what he does.”
Relief hits me, swelling in my chest like an inflated balloon.
“Draco, I—” I don’t get it. I seriously don’t.
“Silvia has been devenomized, but that doesn’t mean she won’t bite.” He smirks. He’s drugged up, but he will be fine . . . unless he does something stupid.” Draco snaps his fingers and Diego walks forward, picking up Silvia and returning her to the fields. And just like he said, she slithers away without a care in the world, practically invincible to the thorns.
I look up at him, speechless.
“You made your call, and now I’ve made mine. Together. King and queen.” He holds my face between his fingers. “Don’t say I’ve never done anything for you. This is a huge risk for me, but that’s how much I want this to work. I thought about it. About Lion. About what he promised me long ago. He wouldn’t send a threat my way. He would have told me to let Henry go, too, or made it happen himself.”
“Yeah,” I whisper. “He would have.”
“I see so much of him inside you. How the fuck am I supposed to ignore it?” He digs into his back pocket as Diego and Guillermo drag Henry out of the shed. Handing a black and white photograph to me, he says, “Your proof.”
The photograph is old. But in the picture is a man with a beige fedora. His skin is really tan, and he has a thick, black moustache. I feel like I’ve seen him before. He has a cigar pinched between his lips, and his arms wrapped around a young, familiar-looking boy. Beside the boy is Daddy. My Daddy. He has a cigar as well, but he’s holding it up in the air with a wide smile on display for the camera. He looks both relaxed and elated, like he loves them. Like he cares about them. Like he trusts them.