It was up to Violet. That was the one thing she knew, when the Council introduced her to the black mask and told her all the secrets that hid in Little Hampton Point Valley. That summer, her beauty, which had been considerable to start with, suddenly seemed to entrap every male who looked at her, she knew she had the power to free Joe.
And that night, behind the bar, with their few, brief stolen moments, her heart was breaking, even as she lay twisted in his arms in the shadows, with a brawl going on just outside.
"Joe," she said, and she knew she could do this. "I don't love you." The words were cold and strong, although she was weeping inside. She thought maybe it was the powers of the black mask that allowed her to be not quite human. She looked at his face, flushed from sex and love, and all of a sudden she wanted to bite that throbbing vein in his neck. Her cool evaporated. She leaned in to him to smell the blood pulsing through his body.
"I don't love you, Joe," the words were a vicious hiss as she tried to control the bloodlust. They had warned her, the council, but this was the first time she had felt it. "I won't ever marry you."
"What?" He said, dazed, confused. This did not make sense. What about the summer that seemed to last forever and fill with with joy? "That's not true Vi." He said. He saw her clench her hands together and grit her teeth.
"I was USING you," she spit out, "to make my father jealous. Obviously it worked. I am done with you."
"Yes, I don't ever want to see you again. No one does. Even your mother can't stand to be around you. Why do you think she drinks so much. She tells everyone at the bar what a waste you are when she's on one of her benders and you're not around." Violet had gotten control of herself finally and was spilling all that hunger and heat into her words, watching the reactions on Joe's face. The hunger was feeding off of his pain, but inside, Violet thought that she would never have happiness again. She was not good enough to be happy. She was not good enough to have Joe in her life.
"Face it," she said as she rearranged her clothes and pulled bottle caps out of her mussed hair. "There's no reason for you to even be alive." With that, she stormed off. She ran home and threw herself on the bed to cry and cry and cry.
But he didn't know that. All he knew was that he had to get out of this town. He snuck out the kitchen door (everyone was still watching Bill and Jack brawl, so there were no witnesses) and disappeared into the night. No one ever saw him again...
Until 7 years later.
And here he was, with Violet's arms wrapped around him, watching her sob. And he knew. He knew without knowing how he knew that she really did love him and always had. What he didn't know was why she had lied all those years ago and why she had chased him away.
"What are we going to do?" she asked him, their hearts beating as one as their chests pressed together. "My father has kidnapped our son."
The fury rose in him and his hands itched for his gun. That was when the door burst open.
Randy stood there, covered in blood, holding a gun.
He should have been shocked, he should have reached for that gun in his waist holster, but oddly, what came out of his mouth was, "That's my father's gun."
Randy smiled, cold and hard. "I know. I took it off your brother Clive when I shot him."
"You!" Violet gasped.
"That's right. I'm the Dwarf Catcher. You thought I was too stupid to be a danger. You thought I was so stupid you wouldn't even look at me, not the way you're looking at him," he waved the gun at Joe. "Or the way you look at that freak Swotsy. She's a lesbian, you know, Joe. She's never going give it up to you again."
"You don't know what you're getting into, Randy. Don't listen to the Monsieur. He's using you."
"Oh, no more than I'm using him," Randy said and smiled. "And I do know what I'm getting in to. You bitches on the freak side of town always thought you were better than anyone else, and now I know why. Oh yes. CJ told me all about it, thinking he was saving me. Then I shot him. One more dead dwarf to send to the Monsieur."
While Randy bragged about murder, Joe was getting into position