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She knew what she was about to do was probably one of the most idiotic things she had ever done in her twenty-eight years, but her legs were on autopilot. She followed the noise, stopping dead in her tracks when the bathroom door swung open. The large man standing in front of her looked familiar, but he lunged at her before she had time to search her brain for how she knew him.
“Must be my lucky day. Two girls in one morning.”
Olivia screamed at the top of her lungs, kicking the intruder in the balls and taking off down the hallway.
“Fuck. You’re a feisty one.” Grant was relatively unaffected by Olivia’s assault to his groin. He grabbed her by the waist and slammed her against the wall, reminding himself to not go overboard with her. His job was to scare her off so she would run.
Olivia’s head hit the wall fairly hard. It wasn’t the worst pain she had ever felt, but she knew that the monstrous man in front of her would overpower her at some point. It was fight or flight, and it was no longer the time to fight. The best thing she could do was get to her car and call for help. She gave him one more kick in the balls and made her escape out the front door.
Running frantically up to her Audi, she attempted to punch her unlock code into the car door. The large man appeared in the doorway and Olivia became anxious, unable to get the code correct. The man started down the steps toward her. “Damn it!” she cried, running away from the house.
“Finally,” Grant said under his breath when she bolted down the street.
He picked up his cell phone and punched in a number. “It’s Grant. Your turn. She’s heading north toward Columbus.”
OLIVIA FELT COMPLETELY HELPLESS as she ran up toward Columbus Street. Every few seconds, she turned around to see if she was still being followed. She didn’t see anyone chasing her, but she couldn’t risk it.
She needed to call 911, but her purse and phone were locked in her car which was still sitting in front of Kiera’s house. Then she saw someone she recognized. He appeared to be out for a morning run.
“SIMON!” she screamed.
Simon turned his head to see Olivia running toward him, obviously panicked about something. “Olivia? Are you okay? Oh, my god. What is it?”
She slammed into his arms, clutching on to him, her breathing labored and tears streaming down her cheeks. A grin crept across his face before he replaced it with the look he had spent so much time practicing.
“You’re shaking. What’s going on?”
She pulled out of his arms, looking up into his eyes. “It’s Kiera, Simon. Someone was in her house. They shot her. They attacked me, too, but I was able to get away. My phone and everything is in my car in front of her house. I need to call for help.”
He looked at Olivia with a confused look on his face. He shot her? He didn’t think anyone was going to get hurt. Not like that. They were just supposed to scare them a little.
“Here. Use mine,” he offered, snapping out of his thoughts. “Let’s go back there. You need to get your car and phone. I’ll go with you to make sure you’re okay.”
“Olivia. Listen to me. If Kiera’s hurt, she needs help, and you need to be there to answer any questions the police may have, okay? For Kiera.”
She nodded. Of course. For Kiera. He handed her his phone and walked with her while she made the call to 911. In a stupor, she followed him around the block, arriving at Kiera’s house within a few minutes.
“Wait here.” Simon protectively pushed Olivia back before walking up the steps.
“Simon, no. Don’t go in there,” she begged, grasping on to his arm.
“Olivia,” he said, turning to look into her huge, frightened eyes. He immediately felt a strange feeling for his part in all of this. It was something new… Remorse, maybe? He brushed a curl out of her face before pulling her into his body, comforting her. “I’ll take care of this. If the intruder is gone, Kiera needs help and the EMTs aren’t here yet. I can help her.”
“But if he’s still in there…” she sobbed into his chest.
He pulled back, looking down into her water-filled eyes, and dried her cheeks with his fingers. “I can handle him, Olivia.” He leaned down and placed a chaste kiss on her forehead before walking up the rest of the front steps into the house.
“Well, it’s about fucking time.”
“What the hell…?” He looked over at Kiera, a look of horror crossing his face.
“Don’t worry about her. Bitch is unconscious. Even half-dead, she was a good lay.”
“You’re an asshole.” Simon punched Grant in the face, and he deserved it. Although it was all part of the plan, the scene laid out in front of him was more than his stomach could handle. Kiera looked like she was on the cusp of death and he couldn’t believe he had a part in it. But, he knew that if he didn't follow through, he’d be as good as dead, too, so he did what he had to do. He punched Grant again. “You motherfucker! She’s a friend!” he shouted loud enough for Olivia to hear as regret overwhelmed his conscience.
Opening the basement door, Grant looked at Simon. “I can't look. Just push me. Make it quick.”
Simon grinned, driving into his body with all of his strength. A feeling of vindication washed over him as he watched Grant tumble down the stairs before getting up and winking at Simon. Closing the basement door, he ran down the hallway and out the front door, his breathing heavy.
“It’s okay, Olivia. He’s unconscious at the bottom of her basement stairs. I need to go before the police get here. I can’t get arrested again.”
Olivia immediately felt guilty for dragging him into her mess. “Okay. I get it.”
“Are you going to be alright?”
She stared blankly ahead, trying to process everything. “I don’t know how to answer that question, Simon.”
“I’ll call you later to check on you, okay?” He gently squeezed her arm.
Olivia nodded, thankful to have a friend to help her with what she was going through, even if it was Simon. “I’d like that.”
He walked away just as he heard an ambulance round the corner.
BECAUSE OF OLIVIA
AFTER TALKING WITH THE police and telling the officer what she knew, Olivia left Kiera’s house, racing toward the hospital. She grabbed her cell out of her purse and dialed Mo’s number. He didn’t answer. She tried again. Still nothing.