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She paused, her eyes settling on someone standing behind Melanie and holding a knife to her throat. “Lucas?” She squinted, unable to believe her eyes. It was the guy they had all met and partied with in Vegas. She had never thought anything of it when he said he was from Boston. Now Olivia was starting to think it was all a set-up.
“Here’s how this is going to work, Libby,” Lucas sneered. “You scream, I cut her throat. You yell for help, I cut her throat. You do anything to draw attention at all, I cut her throat. Understand?”
Olivia slowly nodded her head, her eyes wide as she scanned the boathouse for anything she could potentially use to disarm him.
“I thought we warned you what would happen if you didn’t come forward, Libby.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Lucas,” she said quietly as she took carefully measured steps toward Melanie.
“Yes you do, Libby.” He pushed the blade even harder against Melanie’s neck, tears streaming from her frightened blue eyes.
Olivia took a deep breath. “You’re right. I do, Lucas. Why don’t you let Melanie go and take me instead?”
“Libby, NO!” Melanie shouted.
Olivia’s eyes met hers and she gave her scared friend a reassuring look.
“It doesn’t work that way!” Lucas shouted, his voice showing his agitation. “I’m only supposed to encourage you to figure it out. That’s all. I’m not allowed to kill you. That’s someone else’s job.”
“Lucas, I’m the one you want. Not Melanie. Hurting her won’t make me figure out whatever I’m supposed to.” She took another step, closing the distance. Her heart beat frantically in her chest.
“Don’t come any closer, Libby,” Lucas demanded, digging the blade even further into Melanie’s skin, blood seeping out of her neck. He pushed her hair back and leaned down, his lips only a breath away from her neck. “Remember what I told you. You make a sound, you die.”
Melanie bit her lip, trying to hold in the scream that wanted to escape her mouth from the pain of the blade cutting into her throat.
Olivia stood only a few feet from Melanie and Lucas. She could try to grab the hand he was using to hold the knife, freeing Melanie, but that would only work if she could momentarily distract him. “Lucas, maybe if you gave me a hint about what I’m supposed to remember, then I can help you and we can put an end to all of this.”
“Do you think they’d actually tell me that?” He threw his head back, laughing, and Olivia took the opportunity to try to disarm him.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t quick enough.
ALEXANDER NERVOUSLY PACED THE lobby of the hospital as he waited for Marshall to send him the location of Olivia’s cell phone, hoping that she hadn’t left the building. After an excruciatingly long time, a text finally came through. Dashing out the doors of the hospital, he jumped into the idling SUV. “Martin! Over to the big boathouse on the Charles!” he shouted. “Step on it!”
Martin peeled out of the hospital and drove toward the river. Several minutes later, he pulled up alongside the street. Alexander leaped out of the car, running toward the boathouse, not knowing what he would find when he got there. Quietly opening the door to the huge storage yard, he heard a scuffle echoing through the football field-sized warehouse. Turning the corner, his eyes grew wide in terror. “Olivia! No!”
Everything seemed to happen in slow motion as he ran toward her. A tall man that Alexander had never seen before had her pinned to the ground as she desperately tried to wrestle a knife from his hand. Melanie lay on the ground about ten feet away, bleeding profusely from her neck. He inhaled quickly, looking over her lifeless body. There was no way she would be able to survive a wound like that. How was he going to explain that to his brother?
He turned his attention back to the one person he could save…his Olivia. His heart dropped when he saw the man press the knife against her body, far too close to her heart.
“COME ON, LIBBY. I thought you were stronger than that,” Lucas breathed in her face. She was hopelessly trying to point the knife away from her chest and toward him.
“Lucas, let go of the knife. Remember, they said you couldn’t hurt me.”
He laughed. “Actually, they said I couldn’t kill you. As long as you’re alive, it doesn’t matter what I do to you.” He pushed her arms over her head, keeping her pinned to the ground and pressing the knife against her throat.
Olivia was using all her power to try to get Lucas off her. Losing strength, the knife drew a thin line of blood. “Lucas, please. Just let me go, and I promise I’ll figure out whatever it is you guys are looking for.” She opened her eyes and saw Alexander running toward them. Hurry! she thought. “Someone’s coming, Lucas. You better get off me.”
He turned to look, releasing the pressure on the knife just as Alexander approached.
“GET THE FUCK OFF HER!!!”
Within seconds, Lucas was thrown against the hard ground. Olivia lay perfectly still, frantically trying to calm her nerves, listening to punches being thrown. After just a few seconds that seemed like an eternity, she felt Alexander put his arms around her.
“Damn it, Olivia. Why the hell did you sneak out of the hospital?” he demanded. “You had me worried sick.”
“That fucker called me! He said if I didn’t come here that he’d kill…” She trailed off, her eyes settling on Melanie.
“I’m so sorry. I should have never left you alone. Are you okay?”
“No, Alex. I most certainly am not okay.” She stood up and ran over to where Melanie lay on the ground. “NO!” she screamed upon seeing her lifeless body. She bent down, trying to find a pulse. “Come on, Mel,” she begged, cradling her friend in her arms as she sat in a pool of her blood. “Don’t you dare leave me here!” Tears fell down her face as she tried to save her friend. “Please!” Her hands were covered with Melanie’s blood as she continued looking for a pulse, refusing to acknowledge the cold, hard truth of what she had just witnessed.
Alexander looked down while Olivia tried to save her friend. He did the only thing he could think of. He called his sister. “Carol, it’s me. Have Dave get to the big boathouse on the Charles immediately. There’s been an incident. Someone attacked Olivia and her friend,” he said, his chin quivering as he turned away so Olivia couldn’t overhear his conversation. “You should probably call Tyler, too.” He took a deep breath before continuing, “Melanie’s dead. Please hurry.”