After going back to the carriage and starting to walk away from it so that they could stroll down the streets of the town where lanterns now lit brightly outside the houses. It was one of the towns which Penny had not found the opportunity to explore. Not that she had the freedom to walk around but even before when she was a free girl, she had never traveled too far.
Work had kept her busy. Having the need to earn money so that their house could run as her father had disappeared and her mother couldn't work as the Villagers never offered or allowed her to work. Due to this, she had to travel far from the village to another town to earn meager money. She clutched her hand tightly with her emotions that had started to spiral in her mind.
With her father who was never in the frame of her life, the only person she had been attached to for years and years that went by was her mother. The only person she believed she would ever need.
"Do you want some water?" she heard Damien ask out of the blue while walking down the wet muddy road. His hand still holding hers.
"I am fine, thank you," she responded back, "Do you think the mother you believed and trusted, who loved and took care of you would go so far as to kill her own child?" she asked without looking at him but ahead of them. The chittering of the crickets could be heard along with the frogs that were hidden in the grassy patches around them.
Damien knew what she wanted to hear to soothe her troubled mind but no matter how bizarre it appeared right now, the truth was that her mother was trying to kill her. The answer to why could be answered only by that woman.
"What Father Antonio said was true. Some of the witches are turned from white to black while some are born that way. Black witches fall slightly towards the category where corrupted vampires fall. I know you want it to be true and maybe what the witch told us might be another wrong information but can you deny the signs that you have seen when she was still alive?" he asked looking at her from the side.
That was the problem, wasn't it, asked Penny to herself. Now that she tried to understand and put some of the available pieces in the place she could see the time of how things were yet some corner of her heart denied this knowledge that she had come to perceive.
"Why didn't she kill me before then? I was right there with her. All possible hours and she decides that now is my time to die?" she asked, her words were quiet. Some of the townsfolk people were yet to settle back in their home as they walked on the road now, "I don't even know why she would do it."
Not once had they ever fought. Not once had she ever gone against her mother's words and not once had she failed in anything her mother wanted. Then why?
"It is understandable that you loved your mother dearly. We all love our mother and we forgive them no matter what they do. Sometimes turning a blind eye to what they have done and accepting it to be right," she turned to see Damien whose face had turned serious where he was looking at the tall tower bell that could be seen behind all the houses that were built in the town,
"Your mother first claimed herself to be sick. So sick that she sent you to find the doctor but she died anyway. In the eyes of the villagers as well as in her daughter's eyes. Even if there was a reason which she couldn't explain, she would have contacted you by now but she's done nothing sort of that. Reality is not harsh. It is cruel. Antonio's ritual was something that required tapping the black magic, and if a white witch is making use of it. There is a lesser probability of it turning out to be wrong," Penny's footsteps slowed down until it halted completely.
Noticing this, Damien stopped.
Her eyes were cast down, her lips parted but with no words that came to pass through them.
He took two steps forward and hugged her. Holding her in his arms to hear a small sniff. She was holding back the tears from falling down but the nose had not been spared from not letting one know that she was upset. She sniffed again without dropping a single tear from her eyes.
"I don't know what to think anymore," she whispered to him. Her voice shaking as she blurted out the words, "I don't know whom to trust. People who were supposed to be my ally, people who were supposed to care and love me, they turned their back on me..."
Damien rubbed her back without touching the wound which had been inflicted. Giving her words that were not going to hold to be true was not something he would do.
Bringing her closer to him, he said, "Maybe they never were facing you," hearing this Penny who had closed her eyes opened it, "Maybe they always had their back facing you but never let you know and never had the intention. Your relatives took you home for their own personal reasons and not because they wanted to look after you with their good heart. Your mother must have had some reason."
She shook her head, not able to think of one good reason why her mother wanted to kill her.
He continued to run his hand over her back and then up to her hair before placing it on the back of her head, "Trust is hard to be earned but if there's no one here that you can rely on where people of your own have broken your trust then I give you myself to trust wholeheartedly."
Penny pulled away from his embrace, looking up at him with tears that shone in her eyes...
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