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Mo answered the door wearing a pair of cargo shorts and a t-shirt. His face paled when he saw the panicked look on Olivia’s face, her eyes red from crying. He knew that something had to be wrong and he immediately thought about Kiera. She had left the bar the previous night without saying good-bye, giving Melanie some story about how she wasn’t feeling well. He tried calling her, but she didn’t pick up. At the time, he just thought that she was sleeping off whatever sickness she had. Now that he thought about it, none of it made any sense.
“Olivia…” he said, cautiously opening the screen door. “What’s wrong?”
“Mo, it’s Kiera,” she quivered.
“No…” he cried out under his breath.
OLIVIA DROVE MO TO the hospital. He was in complete shock when she told him what had happened. She didn’t give him all the details because she was quite uncertain of them herself. She didn’t want him to worry any more than he already was so she kept the information she gave him to a minimum. She felt guilty for doing so, but she saw the fragile state that he was in and didn’t want to add to it.
She immediately began to sympathize with Alexander’s reasons for keeping her true identity a secret. He said he did it to protect her, and she started to see why. Wasn’t she doing the same thing to Mo? It still didn’t make what Alexander did to her right, but she started to understand his reasoning.
After an excruciatingly long drive, Olivia pulled up outside the emergency room, allowing Mo to run inside and find out what he could while she searched for a parking spot.
Once she finally found a spot in the garage, she ran toward the emergency room. The sliding doors opened and she was surrounded by so many familiar faces standing in the stark white waiting area. There was one face she wasn’t expecting to see.
She immediately broke down in tears when Carol pulled her into her arms. “Oh, Olivia. I’m so sorry. I know how close you are to Kiera.”
“How did you find out about what happened?” she sobbed.
“I was working when I heard the call come in. The name sounded familiar so I wanted to make sure that I was here for you. I called Tyler and he let everyone else know.”
“I’m so glad you’re here. I don’t know what to do or think. We’re all a mess right now.” She glanced over at Mo. His face was still blank, obviously unable to come to terms with what was going on. Melanie and Bridget were hugging each other and crying, Tyler trying to comfort both girls. Kiera’s parents sat in the corner of the room, sobbing uncontrollably.
“There’s something else,” Carol said gravely. “Walk with me for a minute, please.”
Concern washed over Olivia as she followed her out of the waiting room and down a long corridor. Once they found a quiet corner, Carol turned to face her. She reached into her purse and pulled out her cell phone, handing it to Olivia.
She glanced at the photo on the screen. It was of a small bag marked EVIDENCE that contained a piece of notebook paper.
“The crime scene techs found it at Kiera’s house,” Carol explained quietly, looking around to make sure no one was walking nearby. “The lead on this case is going to contact you about it eventually, but I convinced him to let me talk to you first.”
Olivia looked closer and was able to make out what was written on the piece of paper.
We know who you are. Your loved ones are no longer safe unless you give us what we want. Consider yourself warned, Olivia.
“Have you told Alexander about what’s going on?” she asked Carol with a hesitant look on her face.
“No. I haven’t. Not yet. At some point, I will have to. He may know more than what he’s letting on.” Carol looked at Olivia as she stared off into the distance, deep in thought, the sound of heart monitors echoing through the empty hallway. “What do you know, Olivia?” Carol gave her a questioning look.
“Probably no more than you do,” she sighed, handing the phone back to Carol. “I know that I was a child with Alexander and that my mother was killed in a car accident. Your father faked my and my father’s deaths.”
“Wait. What?” Carol looked at her, surprised by her revelation. “Your father is alive?”
“Yes. You didn’t know that?” she asked with her eyebrows raised. How many more secrets was Alexander keeping? And from his own sister?
“No. Alexander never told me,” she responded quietly.
It was silent while both women contemplated what it all meant.
“Do you think he’s keeping even more information from me? Do you think my dad knows something more?” Olivia asked.
Carol exhaled loudly. “It’s possible. If my dad did change both of your identities to hide you, I’m assuming your father is still under protection so I can’t officially talk to him. He needs to stay protected…and a secret. These people obviously know about you. We don’t want them to find out about your father, too. Unfortunately, that means that you need to stay as far away from him as you can until we can figure everything out and make sure it’s safe. For both of you.”
“But I just found out he was alive last night!” Olivia protested.
“Libby, it’s for your own good. And his. Look at what happened to Kiera. Beaten, assaulted, and shot. She’s barely hanging on to life. Please. Listen to whatever Alexander thinks is best for once. He’s only ever had your best interests at heart. You may disagree with how everything went down in the end, and I’m right there with you, but he’s very good at what he does. He’s the only one in the world I would trust with my life, and you should do the same.” Carol walked away, leaving her completely speechless.
Olivia sighed as she reached into her purse and grabbed her cell phone. She dialed a number that she hadn’t in weeks.
“Burnham here,” Alexander answered curtly.
She didn’t know what to say.
“Olivia, love. Is that you?” His voice softened.
She melted when she heard his term of endearment. She had heard him call her that in her dreams, but hearing it for real was so much better. Tears took over and she broke down, the weight of that morning crashing down on her.
“Olivia, is everything okay?”
After several long moments of crying and fighting to breathe, she finally spoke, “No, Alexander. Everything is not okay. I need you. Please.”