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“All she knows is that we were childhood friends and that she is, in fact, the little girl who supposedly died all those years ago. And that the man she referred to as her Uncle Charles is actually my father. Other than that, I’m not sure.”
Nathan breathed a sigh of relief. “Okay. Okay. We can work with that. This isn’t as bad as I expected. Whatever you do, you cannot tell her everything. She mustn’t know.”
“What are you saying, Jack?!” Alexander exclaimed, fuming. “This is ridiculous! I just lost the best thing that’s ever happened to me because I kept her true identity a secret. Hell! She doesn’t even know her real name! She stormed out of here without me even getting a chance to explain anything to her!”
“Alex, I understand your position,” he said calmly. “But she can’t remember. The only thing keeping her alive is that she is the only one who knows where that evidence is hidden. If you tell her about her past, she may start to remember certain things. If she remembers, she’ll be able to point some very bad people in the right direction. And at that point, she’s no longer valuable.”
Alexander’s heart sank as the line went dead. Olivia’s father was right.
OLIVIA DIDN’T KNOW WHERE she could go. She needed to think. She needed time to clear her head so she did the only thing she could think of…she walked, clutching the photo of her and Alexander’s play wedding in her hand.
The sun began to set over the city, the tall buildings casting shadows on the streets as she walked down Atlantic Avenue in the direction of Columbus Park. People on the street stared at her as she wailed, tears streaming down her face. She felt as if the ground had just been ripped from beneath her. She didn’t know who to trust anymore. The one person she had learned to trust and opened her heart to had lied to her.
She needed someone to comfort her and tell her that everything was going to be okay, but the only person who ever did that was the one person she couldn’t go to. He hurt her more than any person had. How could he be so selfish as to keep her past a secret from her?
Olivia reached into her purse and grabbed her phone, wanting someone to take the pain away. She collapsed on the park bench, desperately trying to clear her mind. All of a sudden, she realized who she needed at that moment. The one person who had helped her through her darkest time in the past.
She scrolled through the contacts in her phone and pushed the call button, a voice on the other end answering almost immediately.
“Cam…” she sobbed.
“Olivia. What’s wrong? Are you okay? Has something happened?” He hadn’t expected to hear from her again.
“I don’t know who I can trust anymore. Please, Cam. I need you.”
The pain in her voice was so raw and real. He immediately knew that she shouldn’t be alone, not in her fragile state. He had seen and heard that pain on the day that she swallowed those pills, but this was far worse. “I’ll be on the next flight out. Please, just hang tight for me. Okay?”
She nodded her head, sobbing.
“Olivia. Please say you’ll be okay until I can get to you. Please,” he begged.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be okay again,” she cried, dropping her phone on the ground as tourists walked by, staring at the girl with brown eyes whose world was falling apart around her.
“WHAT IS IT?” AN irritated Donovan shouted into the phone.
“It looks like your little plan worked, Kiddish.”
Shit, he thought. It’s him. He always made Donovan nervous.
Donovan cleared his throat as he straightened in his chair. “Of course it did. I was certain it would. No woman wants to be with a man who lies to her.”
“It appears she has returned to her old house then?”
That was news to Donovan. He hadn’t done any follow up just yet. But he couldn’t know that, unless… “Yes. She has,” he responded, not wanting to sound incompetent.
“But it also appears Burnham still has eyes on her.”
“We’re working on that as we speak, sir.”
Shit. Where was Simon? He was supposed to be buddying up to Olivia now.
“Well, work faster!” The line went dead.
AFTER WALKING AIMLESSLY AROUND the city, Olivia returned to her old home on Commonwealth Avenue. It all looked just as she had left it. Everything was still there except for most of her clothes and, of course, Nepenthe.
Just as she began to search her place for any remnants of a liquor bottle, her cell phone buzzed with a text.
Cam: Libby, it’s Cam. I’m on an 8 PM flight out tonight. I’ll be landing at Logan at 10:48.
Thank God, she thought. She needed him at that moment. He had always been honest with her, and that was what she craved right now.
Olivia: What airline? I’ll come and pick you up.
Cam: Don’t worry about it. I’ll come to you. If I know you, and I do, the last thing you should be doing right now is driving. Looking forward to seeing you. Hang tight for me. Please.
For the first time all day, Olivia smiled as she texted him back with her address. Cam really did know her pretty well. She felt bad for not rushing to Kiera or Mo, but they wouldn’t understand. They would just see this as another excuse to push Alexander away, but that wasn’t the case anymore. She didn’t want to push him away. She wanted nothing more than to marry him. Deep down, she wished that she had never found out who he really was. The green-eyed boy. Her childhood friend. The boy who saved her.
It all became so clear. She couldn't believe that she didn't see it earlier. That was why he felt like he had to constantly protect her. He thought he had failed her all those years ago. But Olivia still had plenty of unanswered questions, and she knew that the only person who had all the answers was the one person she did not want to talk to…the one person she didn’t think she could ever look at again without feeling betrayed. Not wanting to think about that anymore, she grabbed the bottle of bourbon out of her cabinet, thankful that she hadn’t thrown out her liquor during the move, and poured herself a glass.
By eleven that evening, she was well on her way to being rather drunk, wanting to numb everything. All she could think about was Alexander and how he had lied to her. She couldn’t stop crying when she flashed back to the look on his face when he realized that he had been caught in the lie. It tore her apart that he had kept everything a secret from her since August. Why didn’t he just tell her when he figured it out?