A/N: Ready for more?
A few keystrokes and the light turns green. “I changed it; happy?” I mutter as I get into my home. With the sparse furnishing, it’s what I need, and what Esme despises. She calls it my rabbit hole, but it’s the only place where I can be myself.
“Happy?” Esme snarls in my ear. “Do you take your security lightly now too? Have you become that reckless? You’re lucky I was there to save the day today.”
Resisting an eyeroll, I plop my ass down on the futon and let out a sigh of relief. “I know, Es. That was a foolish stunt we pulled.”
She snorts as if to say ‘Ya’ think’ and then says, “She’s not safe for you.”
I feel a smile tug at the corners of my lips as I reply, “Safety is overrated. She’s exactly right for me.” Before she can launch into another whine-fest, I quickly change the subject. “So have you heard the recording in James’ phone?”
“And?” I press.
“The voice is a positive match for Philip Dywer.”
I slap a hand to my thigh. “I knew it! My hunch was correct!”
“Yeah, yeah, stop clapping yourself on the back. Do you even realize that how many powerful people are out there to get to you? You really want add to that?”
I nod. “He asked the Volturi to get rid of me. Do you think they framed me for the Simmons murder?”
Esme’s quiet for a moment. Then she asks, “If they did, what do you plan to do about it?”
“I’ll get even,” I say simply. “Before they can get rid of me, I’ll get rid of them.”
I play the voice recording of Virtuoso again and wait for him to respond. When there’s no answer to my silent question, I decide to voice it. “So what do you think of your student?”
A soft chuckle sounds before his voice comes through the speaker. “He’s got balls, that one.”
“Balls?” I repeat. “He’s way over his head, and all you’ve got to say is that he’s got balls? Mr. Biers, might I remind you that if Edward finds out about his father’s shared past with Philip Dwyer he might go rogue?”
“You mean the fact that his father, Phil, and I were friends?” he asks mildly. “You’ve spent the last few years in close contact with him, Detective, tell me do you think he’ll go rogue?”
“Shut the fuck up!” I burst out before I can control myself.
He laughs. “Still hate being reminded of your past, huh?”
“Never call me that,” I snap at him. “YOU brought him up, Biers, so you tell me.”
“Honestly? I think the boy’s crazy with a capital K,” he says. “I mean he wants to quit this job and live in a deserted island. That’s just … crazy!”
I huff, my heart aching for the boy I’ve watched grow up into a man. “Mr. Biers, he’s not the crazy one,” I say angrily. “All his life, he’s been left by those he loved. His mom, his grandmother and then you, his mentor. So you really shouldn’t fault him for wanting to get away from the hurt.”
“What’s this, Platt?” He sounds amused. “Are you going soft? Have you forgotten what his father did?”
“Edward Masen Sr., born 1963, was convicted of murder of his best friend, Charlie Swan, I know. But I don’t hold it against Virtuoso. He shouldn’t be punished for what his father did.”
In a sardonic tone, Riley Biers says, “Edward’s mom told him his dad died in a car crash. How do you think he’ll react when he finds out the truth?”
“He’ll deal with it,” I say tightly. “He’s a strong man, not the pitiful boy anymore.”
“Good,” he says before the call disconnects.
I manage to fall asleep … almost. But a sudden beep makes me aware of my surroundings again.
I see that like most days I’m lying on my couch with the Animal Planet tuned on TV. Beep
“Where’s that sound coming from?” I wonder as I sit up. That’s when I see it. The briefcase I carry to work, lying inconspicuously on the table. There’s a cell phone in there. Is that where the beeping is coming from?
Just as I open the briefcase, the sound comes again and this time I see the faint blue light of the cell phone light up the screen. It’s Anthony’s phone. I’m pretty sure no one has the number. Esme got this for appearances sake. Then who…?
My question is answered as I slide to unlock the phone. 3 messages. I scroll through them and feel a smile tug at the corners of my mouth. Silly girl.
Hey Tony. This is your number, right? I got this from your employee file. Just checking in to make sure you’re okay.
Tony, you fucking coward! How could you run away like that? Were you that scared? You could’ve told me instead of leaving me, idiot!
Are you okay? You were so scared, weren’t you? I understand, Tony. Just call me. Let me know you’re okay.
As I’m reading the messages for the second time, a fourth message pings.
I’m sorry for throwing you into that crazy-fest. God … I feel like dying.
I feel my brows pull together at the last sentence. She feels like dying? Why? What could’ve happened while I was gone?
A/N: Another piece of puzzle for you guys.
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