I ducked behind a car and watched, shaking from the cold.
In spite of the open door and my nakedness, I wasn't going to look weak. I held her gaze. These people weren't going to break me after all I had already been through.
I had it down to the perfect science. My game was to play adorable and get everyone to want to protect me. I was doing well. I called for a smoke break and we all filed out. Cisco pressed his body hard against mine into a corner. What was he doing?!
I had triumphed over sadistic staff members, beaten grave illness and stood up to my father in these clothes, but as I removed them, I saw them for what they were: rags.
I was barefoot, clad only in a thin tee-shirt and torn sweatpants. I saw the thoughts flying around behind his eyes; he could see I'd been smacked around and my bluing hands and face. He didn't cuff me.
If he lied to get me this far, it couldn't be good. I started screaming and struggling against his vice-like grip as he started dragging me down the jetway. The attendants, suddenly wide eyed and alarmed, began to close in on my father and I.