A Tragic Wreck
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Olivia snapped out of her memory when she heard Cam's voice. She looked up to see him standing in front of her.
“There’s my girl,” he said, grabbing her hand and pulling her up. “Listen, I need to get back home. Can I call you later?”
Olivia looked down at her feet.
He noticed her apprehension. “What is it?”
“You’re going to laugh,” she said, meeting his eyes.
Olivia shrugged. “I don’t have a phone. I left Boston and didn’t want anyone to be able to find me so my phone is still sitting in the kitchen of my old house, along with the rest of my possessions.”
Cam stared, curious as to what happened in Boston to make her want to leave everything behind. “Okay. Well…can I see you later? We’ll go up to the Ritz. They have a great bar. We can talk or just do absolutely nothing.”
She thought about it. Over the last several minutes as they sat on the steps to her deck, she hadn’t thought about Alexander as much as she expected she would. Maybe Cam was just what she needed to forget about him. Turning and kissing him gently on the lips, she smiled. “I’d like that.”
He beamed at her as he picked her up, playfully swinging her around. “Good because I’d be in a terrible mood if you turned me down.” He kissed her neck and placed her feet back on the sandy road. “Even after a long run, you still smell divine.” He jumped into his Jeep and started the engine, rolling down the window. “I’ll see you later, gorgeous.” He blew her a kiss and drove away, leaving Olivia feeling surprisingly content. For the first time in over a month, she felt okay. Not happy, but okay. And, for now, that was, well…okay.
But she still wondered why she felt that Alexander was on the island.
ALEXANDER DECIDED THAT THE best thing to do was to spend some time exploring the island and try to get a feel for the place Olivia now called home. At least until he knew where she lived.
After breakfast, he grabbed a rented Mercedes convertible and drove out of the hotel complex, passing by a golf course on his way toward the western part of the small island. He soon found himself driving in the downtown Fernandina Beach district. Large Victorian homes dotted the area, giving way to a marina that housed several shrimping boats.
He parked under an old moss tree and decided to get out to do a bit of exploring. As he strolled down the tree-lined street, he knew why Olivia came there to escape. It really was cute and quaint. The downtown district was just six short blocks. It almost reminded him of his boyhood home in Mystic.
And Olivia’s childhood home.
In the back of his mind, he wondered whether that had something to do with her decision to come there.
There were tourist shops lining the boulevard, as well as some beach boutique stores. And, of course, the one building that had a line out the door – an ice cream parlor. After walking around for a few hours, he made his way down one of the side streets and found a Mexican restaurant, thinking that maybe a few shots of tequila, some beer, and a little food would help him with the next step of his mission…finding Olivia.
Martin had a bunch of feelers out around the island, asking about a girl who had arrived in mid-October. On an island this small, he was confident someone knew her. It would only be a matter of time before Alexander found her. When he did, he was unsure of what to do, especially after seeing her running on the beach that morning. His face flashed red with anger when he remembered seeing some guy kiss her gently on the forehead. It made him raging mad to think that someone else was near her, touching her, enjoying her essence.
But, then again, he hadn’t remained faithful, either. Did he really expect that she wouldn’t meet someone else, as well? Maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much if he knew she hadn’t moved on. That was what hurt the most.
After ordering a shot of tequila and a beer, his cell phone rang. “Martin. What is it?”
“Are you ready for this?” Martin asked.
Alexander exhaled. “Shoot. I can handle it.”
“Okay, sir,” he said, then paused. “I have an address.”
Alexander’s heart began to race, knowing that he possibly could be seeing Olivia that day.
“It’s a cottage in Fernandina Beach on Ocean Avenue on the north end of the island. She’s been renting it for the past few weeks. Paid for six months up front. Owner is a Terry Robinson. Lives a mile or so inland from where the beach cottage is. He took cash in exchange for no paperwork being filed regarding the rental. You’re right that she had no intention of being found, sir.”
Alexander signaled the bartender for another shot after downing the one in front of him. “How did you find this out?” He was floored at Martin’s efficiency. He made a mental note to give him a raise and a bonus.
“When the search through property records turned up nothing, I started contacting beach rentals, mostly ones that were booked solid. I found one online that was booked through April with no availability whatsoever. Not even one day. So I made a phone call. Mr. Robinson was rather helpful. But I’m not sure you’re ready for that conversation yet, sir. With all due respect,” he said, not wanting to get into Mr. Robinson’s description of the empty woman who rolled up out of nowhere to rent his beach cottage.
Alexander downed his second shot of tequila. “You’re probably right about that. I’m having trouble processing the fact that we’ve actually found her. And I don’t need you to remind me that if we can find her, so can anyone else.”
“Yes, sir,” Martin replied. “So, how would you like me to proceed?”
Alexander thought for a moment. He wasn’t sure. He desperately wanted to see Olivia. To hold her in his arms. To convince her that she didn’t need to run, that he would never leave her. But then he recalled his sister’s words from the night before. What if she got scared and ran again? No. He needed to have a plan. He couldn’t risk her fleeing. Not when he was so close.
“Give me some time to process this. I’ll go over there soon.” He hung up and signaled the bartender to pour him another shot.
“EVENING, BEAUTIFUL,” CAM SAID sweetly as Olivia opened the door. He nearly took her breath away with his smile and overall good looks. Stepping toward her, he kissed her softly on the cheek, lingering just a few seconds longer, shifting the kiss from friendly to affectionate.