Gorgeous Chaos
Page 77

 T.K. Leigh

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“I remember your first day, too. I held your hand as we walked to school. You didn’t understand why you couldn’t just skip ahead to third grade to be with me. That day, during recess, I saw two boys teasing you, pulling your cute little braids. I was so mad. Nobody messed with you after that day. You had a third-grader on your side.” His eyes glistened with unshed tears at the memory. “My friends always teased me about you, but I didn’t care. You were worth it. You were always worth it.” He stared down affectionately, his chin quivering.
“The day of the accident was the day after Tyler was born. At first, I was so mad at my mom for even thinking of having a baby during the summer, taking me away from you and the beach. For the longest time, I even blamed Tyler for your death. I ignored him. I couldn’t even look at him. That’s when my parents put me in therapy, and I eventually got over it. But I never got over your death. When I found you last year, Olivia… I was so torn. I was thrilled you were still alive, but then I knew there must have been a reason for it all. I was scared for you. And for me because I really didn’t think I could survive if I lost you all over again… I barely made it out the first time. Please, love…don’t leave me here without you…”
He looked down at her stomach, gently lying his hand over it. “You’ll be an amazing mama someday. I’m so sorry, Olivia. I had no idea…” Alexander sobbed for his battered and beaten love and for the child that no longer continued to grow inside of her.
“You’ll be a great dad someday, too.”
Alexander swung his head around.
“Oh, Ma!” He buried his head in his hands, not wanting his mother to see him at his breaking point.
“Hey, hey…” Colleen said, walking toward her son, comforting him with her arms. “I came as soon as Carol called. Now stop with those tears. Olivia’s going to survive. She’s one tough cookie.”
Alexander shook his head. “She was pregnant, Ma. I had no idea…” He raised his head to look his mother in the eyes.
Alexander nodded his head slowly, looking down at Olivia’s body, placing his hand back over hers. “The doctor said she was only about six weeks along…”
Colleen stood next to Alexander, gently placing her hand on Olivia’s stomach. “You better get healthy, Libby. I want some grandchildren before I’m dead.”
Alexander smiled a bit. “Finally given up on Carol, then?”
“That ship sailed a long time ago, I’m afraid.”
Alexander turned around and saw Carol and Tyler standing in the doorway with Mo and Bridget slightly behind them.
“Hey, guys,” Alexander said, standing up to greet everyone, wiping his eyes.
“How’s she doing?” Tyler asked, his face full of concern.
“She’s stable, for now, but they’re going to keep an eye on her.” Alexander looked away, not wanting anyone to see the tears reforming in his eyes.
“Can I?” Mo asked, gesturing toward one of the chairs surrounding Olivia’s bed.
Alexander nodded. “Of course.”
Mo approached her, unsure of whether he would be prepared to see Olivia in the same place Kiera was just a few weeks earlier. “Oh, god…” he said quietly, a tear falling from his face as he looked over her frail body. “What happened to her?” It was so much worse than Kiera.
Alexander’s eyes met Mo’s, both men at their breaking point. “More than any one person should ever have to endure in their lifetime. The same fucker that did most of this to Olivia is the same person who attacked Kiera. I shot the bastard.”
Mo let out a sigh of relief. “Thank god. I left Kiera with her parents, worried that this guy would still be after her.”
“There’s a lot more to the story, but I don’t even want to think about any of that right now,” he said, returning his gaze to his Olivia. “I just want to focus on doing everything I can to make sure she gets better.”
“We’re all here for you,” Colleen said, placing her hand on Alexander’s shoulder and squeezing. “And for her. She’s family.”
“Yes, she is.”
“CAM, DON’T ANSWER IT,” a sweet voice drowsily said as the early morning Florida sun began to rise on Amelia Island.
He groaned, glancing at the beautiful brunette in bed beside him before grabbing his cell phone. It had been ringing constantly for the past five minutes. Whomever was calling wasn’t about to give up.
“I have to, Taylor. It could be an emergency.” He threw back the duvet and climbed out of bed, gazing at her tall, lean naked body, wishing he could just forget about Olivia. No matter how many women he dated, he just couldn’t forget about those beautiful brown eyes.
“Dr. Bowen,” Cam spoke into the phone.
“Dr. Bowen? My name is Detective David Wilder with the Boston Police Department. I’m sending a plane to Jacksonville Airport. We need you up in Boston.”
Cam’s heart began to race. Boston? Why Boston? It must mean… “What’s going on in Boston?”
David sighed loudly. “Technically, you’ll be heading to the Cape. Alexander Burnham has requested you be here. It’s Olivia…”
“Olivia?” he asked quickly, nerves coursing through his body. “What’s wrong with Olivia?”
“I’ll go through all the details during the flight. Mr. Burnham needs you to be there for her, if and when she wakes up.”
Cam let out a quiet sob. What happened?
TWO HOURS LATER, CAM was sitting on a luxurious Gulfstream heading north. It took him a fair bit to process the story that the man sitting across from him had relayed. It sounded like something from a horrible movie. Yet it was Olivia’s life.
“We need you to help us understand how this is going to affect her,” the man named David said.
Snapping out of his shock, Cam knew he had a job to do. Olivia needed him…more than she had ever needed him in the past. All her friends and family were desperate for an explanation.
“What everyone needs to understand is this guy’s mental state. I’ve looked at her father’s file. This is someone who went into the Marines at eighteen. He did his time and then joined the agency. Hell, he had already been working on special-ops by the time he was twenty-four. He didn’t meet Olivia’s mother until he had already been working for the agency for quite a while. I don’t want to be the one to say it but, based on everything I see in front of me here, this was someone who used his family as a cover-up for who he truly was…a person with no feelings, no emotion. He had been trained to know what people would expect and how to convince them that he was a well-adjusted member of society. That’s what he was doing all those years. He put on a show, pretending to care about his wife and his daughter, but he was just using that as a front to hide his true nature, including his criminal behavior. You know how it is. You're always less likely to expect the doting husband and loving father to be capable of committing horrendous crimes.”