- Text Font:
- Text Size:
- Line Height:
- Line Break Height:
“That did happen.”
“I dreamed that my dad was still alive. Do you think…?”
“Olivia, listen to me, please.” He clasped both of her hands between his. “I promised that I would keep everything quiet, but I’ve made that promise in the past, and I’ve lost you because of it.”
Olivia stared into Alexander’s eyes, searching them for the answer she yearned to hear.
“Yes. Your father is still alive.”
She gasped, fighting for air as her legs gave out from the shock of his words. Alexander reacted quickly, wrapping his arms around her to steady her.
“I just don’t understand!” she cried out. “Why didn’t anyone ever tell me?! Where is he?!”
He looked down at her, tears flowing down her cheeks as he contemplated what he should tell her. Technically, her father was still under protection so he couldn’t divulge any information to her about his whereabouts or his name, but she needed something.
“I’m right here, Livvy,” a voice said.
Alexander and Olivia both snapped their heads in the direction of the voice.
Olivia stared at the man in front of her, unable to believe her eyes. She would recognize his face anywhere, even if it had aged a bit since she had seen him last. The face belonged to her father.
“Daddy?!” Olivia cried out, pushing away from Alexander’s embrace. “Is it really you? Please tell me this isn’t just another dream and I’m about to wake up screaming.”
Jack DeLuca wrapped his arms around her, comforting her tears. “It’s really me, Livvy. I’m not going anywhere ever again, but we have to be careful. You can’t call me by my real name. You have to call me Nathan.”
“I don’t care what I have to call you. As long as you’re alive, that’s all I care about,” Olivia sobbed.
“Oh, Livvy. I made such a huge mistake letting Alex’s dad take you away from me after your mom was killed. I’ve spent every minute of my life looking for you since that awful day. I’ve been waiting for this moment for over twenty years.”
Olivia couldn’t control her tears any longer. She had experienced such extreme emotions over the past several weeks and she was tired of trying to keep it all together.
“It’s okay, baby girl. Let it all out,” he soothed, rubbing his daughter’s back.
Alexander met Jack’s eyes and he knew that Olivia was in good hands. He quietly walked away, knowing he still needed to tell her everything. However, right now, she needed her father more than him.
THE POINT OF NO RETURN
“DONOVAN, IT’S GRANT. I did what you asked me to do.”
“Proceed as planned, and let me know as soon as you make contact with the girl.”
Donovan clicked the receiver before dialing, thankful that something was finally going right. “Cheryl, it’s me. Get ready, and tell Simon to get ready, as well.”
THE FOLLOWING DAY, OLIVIA was still reeling from the revelation that her father was alive and in the same city. He drove her home the previous night and they sat on her couch talking for hours. By the time he left, promising that he would be in touch, she had all but forgotten about Cam and wanting to find him. When she finally remembered, he was long gone. Maybe it was for the best that he left without saying good-bye. That seemed to be how it was with them.
As she paced her living room, ready to burst from wanting to share her good news with someone, she glanced at the time and decided to give Kiera a call, hoping that she would be awake and feeling better than the night before.
“Libby,” Kiera croaked into the phone, picking up right before the call went to voicemail.
“Hey, Kiera. Are you okay? You don’t sound too good.”
There was a brief pause. “Sorry. I’m fine. Just feeling a little under the weather.”
“Do you want me to bring you something?”
“NO!” Kiera screeched.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked hesitantly. “You don’t sound like yourself.”
Olivia heard Kiera take a deep breath. “Yes. I’m fine. Mo and I just had a little argument. That’s all.” She let out a small cry.
“Oh. I’ll be there in an hour.”
But Olivia didn’t hear her protest. She had already hung up the phone.
Tears streamed down Kiera’s face as the large man took the phone away from her ear.
“Now, what did I tell you would happen if you did something stupid?” Grant raised his gun, pointing it at Kiera’s chest.
“Please, no. Don’t kill me,” she sobbed out.
“I love a girl who begs.” A smile crept across his face. “Well, it would be horrible to waste an hour doing nothing.” He pushed Kiera over on the couch and quickly untied her legs. “Oh, wait. A little insurance that you won’t run away.”
Grant picked up his gun and shot her in the knee.
“AAAGGGGHHHHH!” Kiera screamed out in agony.
OLIVIA EMERGED FROM HER house less than an hour later. She couldn’t wait to tell Kiera all about her father being alive, but it sounded like she was upset. She had always been a good friend to Olivia, constantly listening about her problems. It was time for her to return the favor.
As she walked onto Commonwealth Avenue and into her car, she noticed that a dark SUV was no longer parked out front. Maybe Alexander finally realized that she didn’t always need protecting. As she drove through the city streets, she was confused about her feelings. She had grown accustomed to sitting in her bay window, staring into his eyes. Would she ever see him again?
Olivia arrived at Kiera’s house in a matter of minutes. She locked the car, thinking how useful the keyless entry Alexander had installed was. Walking up the front steps, alarm bells began going off when she noticed that the front door was slightly ajar. “Kiera? Are you in here?” she called out, slowly pushing open the door. She wasn’t prepared for the scene that met her eyes.
“OH, MY GOD! KIERA!” She ran over to her friend as she lay unconscious, covered in her own blood. She checked her breathing and her pulse, thankful when she was able to find one, although it was rather weak. She took in Kiera's appearance, bile forming in her throat when she noticed that her skirt was pushed up around her waist.