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She thought she felt pain when she walked out on him all those months ago and fled to Florida, and then the even more intense heartache when she thought he was going to marry Chelsea. But this new hurt was even worse. She didn’t know how, or even if, she would ever survive the new wound that Alexander had caused her heart. She didn't know who she was anymore. Part of her guessed that she never really did.
Olivia was almost passed out from all the alcohol she had consumed when her doorbell rang. She immediately remembered that Cam said he was flying in to be with her. The guilt she felt for ripping him from his life washed over her as she stumbled from her couch.
She pulled back the door and couldn’t keep her emotions in when she saw Cam standing there, concern plastered on his face. He wrapped his arms around her and she cried, her entire body shaking.
“Hey. It’s going to be okay, Libby. I promise. We’ll get you through this. You’re stronger than this.”
Olivia glanced over his shoulder and sobbed even harder, eyeing the tall silhouette across the street who ruined everything. “I don’t think I’m strong enough to get through this one, Cam.”
ALEXANDER SAT IN THE SUV next to Martin all evening, keeping an eye on Olivia’s house. He messed up. He knew it. His sister had warned him that something like this would happen. If he could turn back the clock, he would, if only to tell Olivia the truth from the beginning. The moment he found out, he should have told her. It was selfish of him to keep her past from her.
“Sir, it appears that Miss Adler has a visitor. Would you like me to intercept?”
Alexander snapped out of his daydream and re-focused his eyes on Olivia’s front door. Cam. Of course, Alexander thought. She would call him.
He wanted to walk up to him and ask what the fuck he was doing there. He mustered enough courage to open the passenger side door with the intention of doing just that when he saw Olivia appear in the doorway.
He stood frozen in place when he saw how broken she looked, and he did that to her. He made her feel like that. He wanted to scream when he saw Cam drop his bags and wrap his arms around her, soothing her tears. That’s supposed to be my job.
Alexander couldn’t move, even though he knew he should. She shouldn’t see that he was out there, watching her. His brain tried to tell his legs to move and get back in the SUV, but they wouldn’t listen. He stood on the sidewalk, a deer in the headlights, when Olivia’s eyes met his.
I’m sorry, he mouthed to her.
She shook her head and began to cry even harder before Cam helped her into the house.
Alexander's mind began to race. It had only been a few hours since she ran out on him, and she was already inviting another man into her home. And not just any man. A man she had been intimate with in the past. He started to feel Olivia slowly slipping through his fingertips and all he could see was red.
“YOU’RE DRUNK, AREN’T YOU?” Cam asked after helping Olivia back inside her house.
“I couldn’t help it, Cam. I needed to dull the pain. I just didn’t want to feel anymore. I’m done feeling.”
He followed Olivia into her living room, watching as she made her way toward a large collection of liquor bottles on the kitchen island, drinking from one.
“You should probably sleep it off, Libby. We can talk tomorrow about what’s going on. Sleep is the best medicine for you right now, not that bottle.”
“I can’t sleep, Cam,” she sobbed. “All I’ll see when I close my eyes are his eyes staring back at me, betraying me, lying to me.”
Cam didn’t know what happened, but he guessed it had something to do with Alexander. “I know it hurts right now,” he said, his tone soothing as he rubbed her back. “But you need to sleep.” He looked down on her. “Where is your bedroom?”
Olivia glanced up the stairs. “Up there.” She became dizzy from the sudden movement of her head and fell to the ground.
“Whoa. Easy there, sweetheart.” He wrapped his arms around her, steadying her. “I’ll help you upstairs. You need to lie down.”
She exhaled loudly. “Fine. You’re the expert,” she slurred.
“Thank you,” Cam replied quietly. Scooping her into his arms, he carried her up the stairs and into her bedroom. He placed her feet carefully on the ground before pulling back the covers and helping her into bed. Once she looked comfortable, he sat down next to her, pushing the hair out of her eyes, trying to calm her down.
When he was sure that her tears were done, he stood up. “Get some sleep, Libby. I’ll be downstairs on the couch if you need me.”
Olivia’s hand shot out, grabbing his wrist. “Don’t go. Please, stay. With me. I don’t want to be alone when the nightmares come.” Her eyes met his and he could see the fear in them.
Reluctantly, he agreed. He knew, deep down, that it was a bad idea to get into bed beside her, but she looked so scared and he wanted to help her any way he could. He peeled out of his clothes, leaving on his t-shirt and boxers, and crawled in next to her.
“Cam?” Olivia asked several minutes later as they both lay there in the dark.
“I’m sorry I called you. I didn’t know who else to turn to.” She rolled over to face him.
Cam had been dreaming of the day that he would finally be able to fall asleep next to her again, but he didn’t expect it to be like this. She was hurting, and he refused to take advantage of her vulnerability like he felt he did before. She appeared so much worse than she did that night all those months ago. This was something so much bigger.
“Hush, Libby,” he said, reaching his hand out and caressing her arm. “I’m glad you called me. Now, get some sleep.” He planted a gentle kiss on her forehead and she closed her eyes.
“Can you hold me, please? I just need to know that I’m not alone and this is the only way I know.”
He was hesitant, but the pain in her voice was too intense for him to deny her that simple act. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into his body, savoring the smell of her hair as he listened to her gentle breathing.
“SIMON, WHAT THE FUCK happened?!” Donovan shouted, glaring at him as he sat in his office late Tuesday night. “She was supposed to feel so goddamn comfortable with you that she would run into your arms after having her world ripped apart! Instead, she called some goddamn therapist she met in Florida?! What the fuck?!” He was pissed. Simon had assured him that Olivia was past everything that had happened between them. The entire plan rested on Simon being able to get that information. And that depended on him being there when she needed him most so she felt comfortable with him.