Well, mother, what the war did to my legs and to my tongue You should’ve raised a baby girl I should’ve been a better son If you could coddle the infection They can amputate it once You should’ve been I could have been a better son
Since even before the curse was broken, you had been caring for Grace and the two of you had grown close over the time and she saw you as a big sister most of the time. But when the curse was lifted, you knew you had to help her find her father and she helped you find your own family.
One day you’d just finished asking around Granny’s Diner for any sign of your brother, and were stepping outside when you felt someone grab you and pull you into the alley between two buildings.
You gasped and was bout to scream when the stranger covered your mouth with a glove hand and growled, “Don’t make a sound and listen to what I tell you, OK?”
At your nod, he removed his hand and shot you a wicked smile- he was rather attractive, with tousled dark brown hair, a firm stature and a handsome face; except his eyes shifted in a maddened way that made your skin crawl.
“My name is Jefferson-”
“You’re Grace’s father!” you exclaimed, before you were shut up again with the covering of your lips.
He raised his eyebrows in such a way that said ‘I told you to do something and I meant it’.
“I am,” he confirmed, still keeping his hand over your mouth and at this point you realised how close you were to him- his warm, muscular body was pressed flush against yours. “I’ve seen you with her. You’ve looked after her all this time and she loves you but now you’re looking for your own family and you’re going to leave her-”
You tried to shake your head no, both because a) you loved Grace just as much as she did you and wouldn’t leave her even if you did find your brother, and b) because this guy was creepy and had you against a wall and you were gonna do anything you could to get into his good books.
Ignoring you, he pushed you slightly harder into the wall with his arm and hips to still you, and continued, “And that’s not gonna happen. You’re going to stay with her and you’re never going to leave her, alright? When I come to find her later you will pretend this never happened. Best not to worry Gracie, right?”
Giving a small nod when he let you, he smirked and stepped back slightly.
“Good,” he smiled, giving you a quick look up and down. “Guess we’ll be seeing each other soon, then?” and with that, the aptly-named Mad Hatter sidled off and disappeared into the street.
Breathing deeply and shakily, you voiced the only word that would surpass your lips,