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“Thank you, okay?” she replied sarcastically.
“Olivia, please. Can we talk?” he asked, his voice soft and full of pain, his head resting on the door.
“You had your chance to come clean, Alex. You chose to put your own needs above mine. So no, we can’t talk.”
“I love you, Olivia.”
She lowered herself and sat against the wall, leaning her head on the door. “I love you, too, Alex. With all my heart, and maybe that’s exactly where I should keep you. In my heart, but out of my life.”
“You can’t mean that,” he said quietly.
“I don’t know. Maybe I do. I just…”
“I’m only trying to protect you, Olivia. Keep you safe. You have to understand where I’m coming from with all of this. I thought I lost you all those years ago, and when I found out that you were alive, I promised myself that I’d never let anything bad happen to you again. So I need to keep you in the dark. For now, though…”
His heart raced when he heard the door open. He met Olivia’s large brown eyes.
“Unless you’re ready to tell me everything you know, please go.” She turned and slammed the door in his face again.
Fighting back tears, she walked into the kitchen and put her food on a plate. After pouring a glass of wine, she sat in the bay window with her dinner and stared out at the black SUV into the eyes of the man she knew she would always love, no matter what.
WAIT FOR YOU
THE FOLLOWING MORNING, OLIVIA was woken up by a loud banging at her door. She stretched her neck, sore from having fallen asleep in the bay window. She looked outside and saw that the black SUV was empty. Groaning, she got up and walked over to the door, checking the peephole to see who was outside…even though she knew who it was. “Are you ready to tell me everything, Alexander?” she asked through the closed door.
“Olivia,” he said with a hint of urgency in his voice. “It’s Kiera. She’s awake.”
She swung the door open, her eyes wide. “Really?”
She jumped into his arms. “Take me to see her. Please,” she said, her voice soft as she nuzzled against his neck, inhaling his scent.
“Oh, Olivia. Do you have any idea how much I love you? You have to believe that I never meant…”
“I love you, too, Alexander,” she interrupted, pulling out of his embrace and hardening her stare. “I just don’t like you very much right now, and I refuse to be in a relationship with someone who keeps secrets from me. Just take me to the hospital to see my best friend.”
Alexander grabbed her hand and led her down the steps toward the waiting SUV. Within minutes, he pulled up in front of the hospital and Olivia ran out of the car toward the sliding glass doors without even saying good-bye.
“Olivia, wait!” he shouted, jumping out of the car to catch up to her.
“What is it, Alex?” she asked, spinning around, an irritated expression on her face. “I need to go see Kiera.”
“Do you want me to come with you?”
“It’s a free country.” She shrugged. “Do what you want.”
“Where does this leave us?” he asked, his eyes full of hope.
Annoyed, she crossed her arms in front of her body. “In the same place we were the last time you decided to keep secrets from me. I can’t trust you. I can’t spend the rest of my life with someone never knowing if they’re keeping me in the dark on matters that concern me, all in the guise of trying to protect me! I won’t do it!” She spun on her heels, walking through the doors of the large brick building.
Alexander chased after her, not caring that the SUV was parked in a tow-away zone, and found her at the registration desk. “Olivia, please. Tell me how I can fix this and earn back your trust. Whatever it is, I’ll do it.”
She put down the pen after signing in and turned to face him, looking at his disheveled appearance. There were circles underneath his eyes and he had facial hair coming in. His clothes were wrinkled from sitting in his car all night. He looked broken, but she refused to feel guilty. It was all his fault, no matter what his brother had tried to convince her of the day before. “All I want from you is the one thing you refuse to give me. I want to know who I am…who I was. Why are these people trying to take my friends away from me? Why did they kill Mel? What is it they think I know?”
Alexander exhaled loudly and ran his hands through his hair, contemplating what he should do. He was at a crossroads. He tried to put himself in Olivia’s position. How would he feel if he found out that his entire life had been a lie and that the people he had come to trust continued to keep secrets from him?
“You want to know who you are?” He took a step closer and looked in her eyes, their bodies almost touching. “Your name is Olivia Marilyn DeLuca. You were born on October sixteenth almost twenty-nine years ago, and you were the most adorable baby I had ever seen.” He smiled at the memory. “Granted, I was only two the first time I held you, but I knew then that I would do everything in my power to keep you safe.”
He brushed that same errant curl out of her face before continuing, “You were such a pain in the ass when you were a kid, always irritating the piss out of me. We would fight. We would argue. But then we would always apologize to each other because we both knew, deep down, that we couldn’t survive without each other.”
His voice began to tremble with emotion as he continued talking. He brought Olivia’s body flush with his and held her face in his hands. “This is what we do, Olivia. This is who we are. Not much has changed since we were kids. We fight. We piss each other off. But at the end of the day, we realize that no matter how mad and angry we are at each other, there is something much bigger at work here. You can stay angry at me all you want, love, but you know, deep down, that you cannot live without me. You love me just as much as I love you and nothing will ever come between that.” He wiped the tear that had fallen down her cheek and stared into her eyes, searching for an answer.
“I can’t do this right now,” she said quietly, turning away from him and heading down the long corridor to the ICU.
“I’ll wait for you, Olivia. I’ll always wait for you.”
She continued walking, refusing to turn around to face him, knowing that his words were true.