Why is nothing I do not enough? Just tell me—-
And he had told her—-
He had fucking told her—-
You know why, Fawn.
YOU ALREADY KNOW.
No, God, no.
It wasn’t goddamn like that.
He bent down, his head reeling at what Meredith’s words forced him to see.
Oh God, why did Fawn have to suffer for him to realize the truth?
He had pushed her away again and again, thinking that he had been doing it for her sake, but—-
In the video, Meredith was turning to Fawn with an insanely gentle look on her face.
“Do you see you’re suffering for nothing now? So give him up.”
But Fawn refused, and the knife went straight to the middle of her forehead.
The number 5 lit up on the screen, turning blue.
“You know I’m telling you the truth. His family matters. His friends matter. But you don’t. He had fun with you, maybe he even cared for you, was fond of you, I don’t know how rich fucks like him think. But what I do know is when crunch time came, he dropped you. So I’m going to ask you one more time. Tell me where Beatrice Crichton is.”
And still Fawn whispered, “No.”
A raw sound clawed past the prince’s lips when he saw Meredith slap Fawn hard just before grabbing her by the hair, pulling her head back as she furiously carved on Fawn’s chin.
Jagged lines turned into an X.
The number six lit up on the screen, turning blue.
“I don’t know if you’re keeping tabs on your own face, bitch,” Meredith snarled, “but I just need one X or one fucking circle – it doesn’t really matter, the next one will be a fucking tic tac toe, and either way, it means I get to carve a piece of your nose and I’ll have my men fuck you while you bleed to death.”
Laughter mixed with curses and obscene catcalls greeted Meredith’s statement.
“I’m going to rip into that pussy hard.”
“Her asshole’s mine.”
“Do you hear that?” Meredith demanded. “They’re excited about fucking you while—-FUCK!”
Fawn’s cry spilled out of the speakers, a sound of agony that no one in the courtroom would ever forget.
But it was her face—-
It was her face as she peed in her fear—-
The yellowish liquid dripping down her bare legs until it formed a puddle next to her feet—-
Ah God, Fawn.
I’m so damn sorry.
The prince rose clumsily to his feet, reaching for Nick’s shoulder to let his friend know he had to leave. “I’m sorry,” he said hoarsely. “I have to go.” He swung away, not waiting for an answer, not wanting to waste another moment.
He had to go to Fawn—-
The reporters in the crowd began to stand up as well, unable to resist the opportunity to take photos of the naked expression on the prince’s face.
The judge began to pound on her gavel, demanding order.
The video continued to play.
“Oh my God,” someone from the crowd screamed.
The prince was halfway to the door when a chill swept over him, like someone walking on his grave, and he knew—-
There was something else he had to see.
He turned around slowly, and he saw Meredith kick Fawn’s shins in a fit of furious disgust.
“God, you’re so fucking gross. No one’s ever done that before.”
The video showed Fawn crashing to the floor, face down on her own pee—-
“Drink your own fucking pee, you little shit, drink that or I’ll fucking kill you right now—-”
And she had.
Oh God, no.
The prince ran towards the door.
Chaos erupted, paparazzi from the crowd of spectators running over to block his way—-
“Get the fuck out of my face,” the prince snarled.
The judge pounded her gavel hard. “Order on the court!”
A reporter shoved a wireless microphone on the prince’s face, asking, “What do you think about Fawn Cornwall drinking her pee—-”
The prince didn’t even think.
He swung his fist hard, sending the reporter crashing, and he roared, “Don’t you even fucking say her name—-”
From behind, the judge pounded her gavel again. “Reid Chalkias, you are hereby held in contempt!”
Boos and cheers rose from the crowd, the spectators divided as officers rushed in to hold him off. With a burst of strength brought by acute anguish, the prince was able to shrug them all off.
He only had one thought—-
He had to get to Fawn.
He had to get to Fawn.
He had to get to Fawn.
But more men came after him, and there was nowhere to go.
Real-time transmission on the screen showed officers shoving the prince down to his knees while another one managed to cuff his hands behind his back. Now secured, the prince was hauled up——
Fawn whispered, “I’ve seen enough.”
Beside her, Grant reached for the remote control and pressed the power button, shutting the TV off.
Her mother was crying, and Fawn thought numbly, I’m sorry, Mom. Throughout Dana’s life, her one thought was to provide for her daughter, and she had worked tirelessly and happily for it.