Confronting Frank Howell

Warning – this contains spoilers for The Heir!

This is a scene from Keridan’s point of view of him confronting Frank Howell while he waits for Sarah.


I had already told Jillandrina that I wouldn’t be in the cafeteria for lunch that day. I wanted to make sure I beat Howell to his post. I found a suitable place to wait on the other side of the stairs from where we thought he normally waited, making sure that he wouldn’t see me until I chose to reveal myself.

It was not until just after the bell sounded for the end of the Sarah’s Trig class that I heard the sound of a passage through the undergrowth. He hadn’t been in position long when I walked out of my hiding place. I wanted to make sure that this was all over before Sarah appeared.

“Hello, Frank. Waiting for someone?”

Frank looked puzzled as he took me in. “What’s it to you?”

I came towards him. “I know why you’re here. I’m here to tell you that you’d better stop it right now.”

He laughed. “What do you know? Too much, by the sounds of it. Maybe you should learn to mind your own business.”

“Isn’t one lawsuit enough? I’m sure that Sarah would be happy to witness for your complainant. Rachel. Isn’t that her name?”

As I stated the details of his case, Frank walked towards me. “You think you’re smart, don’t you?” His voice was full of menace. “Don’t think that just because your dad is rich it’s enough to keep you safe.”

“From who? You?” I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. “I’m here to tell you to leave Sarah Fenhardt alone. If you don’t do that, not only will you be sent to jail for rape, but your father might find he is compromised in some of his business ventures.”

As soon as I mentioned his father, Frank’s eyes turned fearful, but then his overconfidence reasserted itself. “What do you know about my dad’s business?”


“If your dad thinks he’s going to be able to pull something over on my dad, or whatever he’s planning, he’d better think twice. Otherwise, he might find himself … kind of dead. So back off.”

He took another step towards me and I thought for a moment he was going to push me off the walk, but he wasn’t game enough to try it.

What a coward he was. I took another step closer, hoping that my confidence would make him realize that he needed to pay attention. “You will leave Sarah Fenhardt alone.”

He sneered at me. “Jillian not enough for you? I tell you, I’d like some of that. But I don’t think you’d fancy the trade. No, you should stick to blond bimbos like Jillian and leave whores like Sarah to me.”

My hand had tightened around his throat so quickly he barely had the chance to finish his sentence. I held him a foot of the ground, trying to stop myself from squeezing his windpipe shut permanently.

The instant I had laid hands on him, fear had reappeared on his face. He reached up, struggling to pull my hand away, choking noises coming from his throat. “My … father … he’ll kill you for this.”

To show how little I cared about that, I threw him into a tree trunk. He screamed in pain, his hand clutching his ribs, as he crumpled to the ground.

When he looked up, the fear was more prevalent in his eyes, but he still tried to be defiant. “You’re dead.”

I picked him up by the torso, enjoying it as he cried out in pain, and slammed his legs into another tree. I felt satisfied as I heart one of them snap.

“Stop! Stop, please!”

I wasn’t about to stop yet. Fierce joy had taken hold of me, and it was a wonderful thing to torture this stupid creature who would dare to say such things about my Overlord.

I slammed his face into another tree and he screamed again. I turned him back to face me.

“Please!” he begged. “Please don’t hurt me! Please!”

I glared at him, my face inches from his. “If you ever touch Sarah Fenhardt again, I swear I will take your neck in my hands and break it. Do you understand?”

He whimpered and tried to nod. Blood was streaming down his face.

“And if you tell your father about this you will regret it. We are more than capable of dealing with him.”

I held his eyes for a moment longer. I wanted to make sure that he knew I wasn’t bluffing. Then I put him down and strode off into the bushes.

What had I done?

It was inexcusable! What if it brought the wrath of Frank’s father down on us? We didn’t have time for that kind of distraction! What if someone found out what I had done? I would be expelled from the school. As if that would help us!

But I couldn’t have done anything else. Not after what he had said. I was still shaking with rage and I struggled to control myself. I had a desperate desire to go back and finish the job …

Then I remembered something.

Where was Sarah? Would she walk this way? Would she find Frank? I knew it was unlikely he’d be able to do anything to her now, but there was no way I was leaving her to face him alone.

Frank had started calling for help. I could see him on the walk, trying not to move too much. I fought back the urge to go and make him shut up.

Then I heard another sound. Someone was coming …

Sarah appeared at the top of the stairs. She looked down at Frank, shock clear on her face. “Frank?! What happened?”

“What does it look like?” Frank said. “I fell down the stairs.”

“No you didn’t,” Sarah replied immediately.

Uh, oh.

Here was great proof for Jill that Sarah’s lie detecting ability was alive and well. Now our situation was worse than it had been a minute ago. What if Frank confessed the truth to Sarah?

She didn’t say anything else to him. Instead, there was a puzzled expression on her face. I prayed that the truth wouldn’t sink in.

But as I worried about this, another emotion became the dominant feature on Sarah’s face. Her face was aghast, pity etched into her features. It looked like she cared about him!

Frank quickly became impatient. “Look, can you go and get some help or something?”

Sarah straightened up, blushing. “Oh, sure. Don’t move.” She hurried off.

I looked after her in amazement. She was helping him, after what he’d done? How could she do that? How could she not at least stand there and gloat? She hadn’t even looked smug!

I was too shocked to realize that I should follow her to make sure she was safe. By the time I remembered I needed to do that the dean had arrived, frantic at the sight of his boss’s son lying broken and bleeding.

Sarah was back again a moment later, the nurse with her. She wasn’t there for long, though. They sent her back to fetch the ambulance officers.

I had to go. I couldn’t risk being seen. Besides, Frank Howell’s blood was all over me.

I hurried to the nearest men’s room and pulled off my sweater. Luckily the blood had only soaked into the sweater itself, not the shirt underneath. I stuck the sweater in my book bag. I would destroy it later.

I washed the blood off my hands. I clenched them, making sure I got every trace out from the creases in my knuckles. I knew I needed to hurry; the period would be over soon and some natives might come in. I couldn’t risk being caught. And I had to get back and make sure Sarah was safe.

By the time every trace of Frank Howell was removed from my hands I was still puzzling over what Sarah had done. Would any other creature in this entire school behave like that? Like she cared about the man who had tormented her so viciously?

What would she think if she knew it was me?

What would Sarah say if she knew I had beaten Frank Howell to a pulp? Would she thank me? I would have thought so. I had imagined her going to sleep tonight free from the prospect of another terrifying day at school. But now I wondered.

If Sarah knew I had done it, would she fear me?

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