A Tragic Wreck
Page 16

 T.K. Leigh

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“Shit!” she exclaimed just as they reached the front doors to the hotel. “I left my clutch in there.”
“I’ll go get it,” Cam said quickly.
“No. I’ll get it. I need to use the ladies’ room anyway.”
“Are you sure you’ll be okay?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.
She smiled as she placed her hand on his chest. “I love that you worry about me,” she whispered against his neck.
Her breath smelled sweet, a combination of the alcohol and just her. She planted a quick kiss on Cam's neck before turning around to head back into the bar. “I’ll be right back. Promise.”
Cam chuckled as he watched her walk away, her hips swaying in such a way that made his entire being harden. “Okay, gorgeous. But if you’re not back in five minutes, I’ll send out a search party.”
Olivia turned her head around and winked as she walked back into the bar, searching for her clutch.
After leaving the restaurant bar and roaming around for a while, Alexander walked into the lobby bar. He was less than impressed with their scotch selection, but he desperately wanted another drink, needing to forget about seeing Olivia with another man. It drove him crazy to even think about it.
He decided that one more scotch was in order so he returned to the restaurant bar he had just left, still feeling the unbearable pain. He wanted something to numb it all. Placing his order with the bartender, he glanced over at the empty table where Olivia had been sitting. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a small purple clutch lying on the floor under the chair.
He took a deep breath before walking over there with the purpose of turning it over to the bartender so that no one stole anything out of it. After bending down to grab the small wristlet, his heart stopped as he stared into those big brown eyes again.
Olivia wavered a bit, obviously drunk from all the liquor he had watched her consume that evening. He noticed a small tear escape her eye and her chin quivered. The atmosphere immediately changed from one of hurt to one of hope. He could see it in her eyes. There was still hope for him.
He held out the clutch. “You left this. I didn’t want anyone to steal it,” he said quietly.
Olivia didn't know what to think. That morning, she had a feeling that Alexander was on the island. And now there he was, standing in front of her, handing her clutch to her. Knots began to form in the pit of her stomach. Leaving him was so easy when she didn’t have to look into those green eyes. She took the coward’s way out, writing him a letter saying good-bye. But now that she was face-to-face with him, could she really tell him that she didn’t want to be with him?
Slowly, she reached her hand out to grab the clutch, Alexander’s fingers softly brushing hers. Inhaling quickly, she dropped her eyes to his fingers delicately caressing her hand. It was such a simple gesture, but the fireworks erupting within her body sent shivers throughout.
“You still feel that?” Alexander asked sadly, noticing her reaction.
Olivia looked into his eyes again, opening her mouth, willing her brain to say something. Anything. But she couldn’t. A lump formed in her throat and she knew that she made a mistake leaving Alexander and Boston. Then his words echoed in her head. “You always try to stay strong, ignoring the past, but you can’t keep it all inside, love. It will destroy you. It will destroy me, too.”
It was selfish of her to string Alexander along, knowing full well that the baggage she carried was too much for him to deal with. That’s how this all began. Those five little words… It will destroy me, too. Olivia knew they were true. And what she did no longer seemed selfish. It was selfless. She was saving Alexander from the inevitable pain of her path of destruction.
“I…I can’t do this, Alexander. I have to go,” she cried, turning abruptly and running out of the bar, leaving him alone.
“Olivia, love,” he called after her, trying to catch up. He saw her bolt out the front door of the hotel into a silver Lexus convertible. “Damn it!” he shouted as the car drove off, but not before she turned her head around, meeting his eyes one last time.
Reaching into his pocket, he grabbed his cell phone, punching a button. “Martin,” he growled, his speech slurred. “Go over there and keep watch for me. Alert me if there’s any movement.” He hung up before retreating back to the restaurant. He downed the scotch on the bar and retired to his suite for the evening. Tomorrow was another day, and he wouldn’t start drinking at noon.
“ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE okay, Libby?” Cam asked as he drove down the tree-lined streets on the south end of the island. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost or something.” Taking in her appearance, he wondered if maybe she had gotten sick in the ladies’ room. Her eyes were red and her face was pale. The playful Olivia was nowhere to be found. He grabbed her hand after shifting into fourth. “Come on, Libby. Don’t shut me out. We were making so much progress.”
Olivia tilted her head toward him. “I’m sorry,” she replied dryly. She was desperate to get the evening out of her head. It had started out so nice. Earlier, she actually felt something she hadn’t in so very long…hope. Hope that she could survive life after Alexander, and then he had to go and show up at her little oasis.
After a silent car ride that felt as if it had lasted hours instead of mere minutes, Cam pulled up outside of Olivia’s beach cottage. She didn’t even wait for him to open the door for her. She bolted out of the car, anxious to forget the whole night.
“Libby, wait. Please,” Cam begged, catching up to her as she fumbled with her keys, frantically trying to unlock her front door with shaky hands. “Please,” he repeated, grabbing the keys out of her trembling fingers. “Let me fix this.” He trailed his hand down her arm, trying to calm her down.
Olivia turned around and met his eyes as he unlocked the door. “There. All better,” he said quietly, gently pushing the door open.
“Would you like to come in?” she asked, her voice soft. She wanted to forget about seeing Alexander, and she needed Cam to do that.
Running his hand through his hair, a look of hesitation spread across his face.
“Please, Cam. I just don’t want to be alone right now,” she begged, her eyes brimming with tears.
All of Cam's resolve to do the right thing melted at that moment. “Okay. I won’t leave you, Libby.” He followed her into the quaint house. Olivia needed him, and it felt good to be needed.