Andrew felt like a shadow of a man. A body with no spirit left. For hours he sat across the street from the asylum, staring at the force amassing against his daughter. And he felt his life crumpling away from him.
The team outside suddenly moved, rushing toward the asylum with their weapons drawn. Someone brought him word that a maid on the inside had finally been able to open the doors. It wouldn't be much longer. Andrew hated that maid.
Life was very confusing. How had it come to this? What had he done to deserve a lunatic daughter? To lose his baby girl? To be forced to hide her away to protect his family name? And now to have her taken away from him all over again? No one could ever know -- the disgrace of this night surpassed any he imagined over the last seven years. It was one more burden he would have to bear alone, in secrecy.
He tried not to think of the rescue team, shooting his daughter. Every time he did, he could only see her as a tiny four-year-old, holding out her hands to him as he put her into the arms of the asylum worker. Her face, pleading with him. That little whimper she made.
It seemed like an eternity before the rescue team started to re-emerge from the building. They carried multiple people out but no little girls. Andrew left his hideaway, his legs carrying him reluctantly but forcefully toward the miniature rescue base.
People were scrambling around, too busy for him. He tried to ask what was going on, but nobody seemed to have an answer for him. Finally someone told him that all the open floors had been searched, but neither Beastly nor the control box had been found yet.
"Don't worry, Mr. Carlysle, sir. We have it all under control." One man grinned from ear to ear and puffed his chest out. "My name is Edwards...Jim Edwards..." He shoved his hand under Andrew's nose. "Let me know if there is anything I can ever do for you, Mr. Carlysle."
Andrew ignored the man and the wheedling smile. He despised people who envied his money and position. They wouldn't be so eager if they knew the pain and emptiness that came with it. Andrew curled his lip. He was barely surviving and he was a Carlysle. Did those little Jim-Edwards-and-such think they could handle power? Ha.
But the spark of pride in his heart died out almost as soon as it was lit. Like a candle in a tornado. And he was once again staring at the looming asylum and feeling that the end of everything was at hand. And he was alone.
"Sir?" Antrin's voice sounded in his ear.
Andrew spun to face his butler. "What are you doing here?" Tears sprang unbidden to his eyes. It was a weak moment for him, and the thought that, in his loneliness, he at least had a faithful butler by his side was a sweet one. "You weren't supposed to follow me."
"I realize that, sir, and I apologize, but..." The butler picked at his coat button, and Andrew realized for the first time that Antrin's attitude was more uneasy than supportive. "But...you're wanted at home."