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“I think a part of me has always been waiting for you…”
Alexander turned abruptly at the sound of the voice coming from the bed. Olivia’s eyes were open and her one good arm was reaching for him.
“Olivia?” He rushed to her side, frantically pressing the nurse’s call button.
“Alex… I’m so sorry,” she whispered, tears streaming down her face.
The door to the room swung open and Dr. Hatheway ran inside. “She’s awake? I don’t believe it.” The doctor feverishly began checking her vital signs. “My name is Dr. Hatheway. Do you know where you are?”
“In the hospital,” Olivia responded, her eyes frantically scanning the room as she tried to comprehend what was going on.
Alexander stood to the side, anxious to be able to hold Olivia but couldn’t with the medical staff checking and prodding her.
“Good. Do you know why you’re here?”
Olivia nodded slowly, biting her bottom lip, trying to stop her chin from quivering. “Yes. I was shot, kicked, and…”
“ENOUGH!” Alexander roared, the entire room becoming eerily silent.
Everyone turned to look at him.
“Please. I beg you. Do not make her relive what she’s been through. Not now…” He didn’t know if he could bear hearing those words come out of her sweet mouth.
“I apologize. I was just trying to determine whether she’s suffered any memory loss,” Dr. Hatheway said to him before turning back to Olivia. “Do you know the man standing over there?” she asked, gesturing toward Alexander.
A peaceful look crept across her face. “Yes. I’ve known him my entire life. He saved me…”
A warmth spread through Alexander’s body when he saw Olivia smile. “Actually, love, Simon saved all of us. I owe him my life right now…”
“Simon? I don’t understand…”
“Don’t worry about it now. When you’re ready, we’ll talk about it. But, for now, just relax.”
“Well, everything looks stable. How are you feeling?” Dr. Hatheway asked.
“I hurt all over. My shoulder and chest and foot and stomach…”
Alexander grabbed Olivia’s hand, looking up at the doctor. “Olivia, there’s something I need to tell you…”
She looked into Alexander’s eyes and immediately became concerned when she saw them begin to water with new tears. “What is it?” she asked nervously.
“Darling, did you know you were pregnant?”
She slowly nodded, lowering her hand to her stomach, Alexander placing his over it as well. “I just took a pregnancy test the morning of…” She trailed off, her voice shaking. “Why are you talking in the past tense, Alex?” Her eyes flew from his to the doctor's, landing back on Alexander’s, desperately wanting someone to tell her what was going on.
“I’m so sorry, Olivia. The baby didn’t make it,” Alexander said, clutching her hands.
Her entire body began to shake and tears fell down her face. “NO!” she cried out. “I never should have left the house. I should have put up more of a fight. I never did like to listen to you, did I?” she joked, smiling a little, lightening the tense atmosphere in the room.
Alexander returned her smile. “No, Olivia. You never did like to listen to me, even when we were kids.”
“Well,” Dr. Hatheway interrupted. “Everything is looking good. I’ll give you two some privacy, but I must strongly insist that Mrs. Burnham get some rest. She’s been through an awful lot and the drugs will knock her back out soon anyway.”
“Yes, doctor. Thank you,” Alexander said. “Really. Thank you.”
“My pleasure, sir.” She smiled, leaving the room.
Alexander returned his gaze to Olivia, caressing her forehead where her scar was.
“Mrs. Burnham?” She looked at him, a smirk on her face.
“It does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?”
Olivia nodded in agreement as Alexander fed her some water. “How did you know?”
“I know cryptic, love. It wasn’t too hard to figure it all out. Why didn’t you just leave a note or something at your house?”
“I overheard Grant talking about how Marshall was involved. I sent you a text, but it didn’t go through. I realized that right before I had to leave. Once the house was empty, she could have gotten in, so I needed it to look normal, as if I wasn’t sending you a message.”
“Why the beach house? That’s not where all the evidence even was.”
Olivia smiled. “I needed to lead them on a wild goose chase. I needed to be as far away from the evidence, but also close enough so you could get to me quickly if things went wrong. I thought of the first place I could. The beach house…where I fell in the rocks and got the scar. To be honest, that’s where I thought the chest was buried right up until I left my house. As I was sorting through the last box of photos, I remembered something…how my mama asked me to tell her where I buried the box and then how she sewed all those papers inside Mr. Bear. I had to lead them away from the evidence, but lead you to it. It was the only way. Never in a million years did I think I would…” Her chin quivered, the memories of everything she had endured those past several days fresh in her mind.
Alexander gently wrapped his arms around her. “Hey. None of this is your fault.”
Olivia took a few deep breaths as she tried to control her tears. “Like I said, I wasn’t sure what Simon’s game was. He said he wanted to help, but I just didn’t know. I had to make him believe that I would be taking him and Grant to where the documents were buried, but I needed you to figure out where they really were so if anything happened to me, it wouldn’t be for nothing. I just never would have thought my father…”
Alexander gently rubbed Olivia’s arms. “Let’s not talk about it anymore. You get some sleep.”
Olivia yawned, clutching Alexander’s hand in her own. “Please stay…”
Alexander pressed his mouth to hers. “I’ll stay forever.”
A smile spread across her lips as she closed her eyes. “Good, because now that you knocked me up, you need to make an honest woman out of me.”