I still can’t believe y’all kept this from me!” Martia shouted, fuming. “I mean my main b—h has some dry faced ass b—h trying to kill her all because she wants some of Liam’s D? Hell no. I do not think so. I’ll cut that b—h! I’ll fuckin…” As she prattled on in gruesome detail how she planned to kill Gretchen, Levi leaned over and whispered,
“Okay, so maybe you were right. I shouldn’t have told Martia.” I glared at him.
“Martia calm down. People are staring,” Kayleen said soothingly, glancing around Starbucks and smiling apologetically at all the eyes on us. Martia grumbled some explicit words under her breath, but seemed to have settled down. Levi looked at me and asked the big question.
“Did you tell Liam?” I nodded slowly and he let out a sigh of relief. “Thank God. I thought I was gonna have to corner him at his office and tell him. Not that I would have a problem with that.” Levi looked like he was salivating as he pictured Liam. I rolled my eyes and continued.
“He told me not to worry about anything. He said he’d handle it.”
“Did he tell you how?” Kayleen asked, cocking her head to the side. I shook my head. I suddenly remembered how Liam’s face had looked last night. So dark and intense.
“I’m not worried though,” I told them. “I have a feeling Liam’s in the process of handling it right now.”
“I never thought I’d hear that name again,” William said quietly, looking at Liam sadly. Liam had just explained the situation to his father who was shocked to put it mildly. “And you’re sure it was Ryan?” William pressed. Liam nodded. When Yvonne had described that tattoo on his hand he knew immediately who they were up against. He’d never forget Ryan Whitman. He clenched his hand into a fist and said,
“Dad, if Gretchen has anything to do with this–”
“Then necessary actions will be taken,” William interrupted his son, his mind already miles away. “But first we’ll need to prove Gretchen is the one responsible for this.” Liam nodded, his eyebrows furrowing.
“Yes I know. But that could take a while. Until then I think we should find Ryan.” His father nodded in agreement.
“Until then Gretchen should continue being your secretary. Keep an eye on her.” Liam nodded. He would find Ryan and put him and Gretchen in jail where they belonged. Although they hadn’t known each other for long, Liam had a soft spot in his heart for Yvonne. Messing with her was like messing with him. And no one messed with Liam Hawke and got away with it.
“What’s taking you so long?” Gretchen snapped at him through the other side of his phone. He could not see her, yet he could imagine how her face looked at that moment–stiff and contorted in anger.
“Killing the girl will be harder than it seems,” Ryan said calmly. Gretchen was on speakerphone and Ryan was cleaning his gun. She sighed in frustration.
“Can you please speed this up? I want her dead.” Ryan pursed his lips. He knew what he had to do but whenever he imagined her face again…
“Okay,” he agreed halfheartedly. “You’re right. I’ll end her life soon enough.”
I was walking home later that night alone. Levi had literally begged to drive me home, but I had declined. I told him the same thing I told Liam– that I couldn’t or wouldn’t live in fear. I was only about two minutes from the Hawke residence when he appeared. He literally seemed to appear out of thin air. One moment it was just me, walking alone, and the next he was there. He was leaning against the streetlight pole, dressed head to toe in black. I stopped and blinked. He wore the same expression he had worn when we met yesterday night–sadness.
“You’re that guy from last night.” Duh, my subconscious taunted me. Way to state the obvious, Yvonne. He sighed and inched closer. His movements caught my attention and I inched back in response.
“I really don’t want to do this.” His voice was sorrowful, pleading. “But I have to…” I shook my head before he’d finished.
“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do,” I said, my voice was as pleading as his had been. I was pleading for my life. “You don’t have to kill me.” He looked at me and smiled sadly.
“You’re so much like her,” he murmured, more to himself than to me.
“You don’t have to do this.” His behavior was actually quite erratic. He laughed without humor and reached into his coat pocket, pulling out a gun. He pointed it straight at me, the wistful expression never leaving his eyes.
“You’re so young,” he whispered, swallowing. “ When you were eighteen, fresh out of high school, you just so happened to be friends with Donatello Grover’s son who was more than willing to hire you to his father’s firm. And then you met Liam Hawke. One of the wealthiest men in the world.” He laughed bitterly. “You’ve had a lot of luck. She was lucky too. Luck and beauty were on her side–just like you.” He was rambling, sounding more and more insane as he spoke.
A loud click caught my attention and I returned my focus on his steady hand and the gun pointing right at me.
“I don’t want to, but I have to.” I was frozen in fear. My limbs became weak, but I couldn’t show weakness. Instead I did something that surprised me, I surged forward and closed the gap between us. He gave a surprised grunt as I knocked him down. I rolled off of him and ran. I ran much quicker than I thought I could. Suddenly I was tackled from the side. My attacker and I rolled into the bushes. I kicked and scrambled, clawing at his eyes and his cheeks as he held me down. He cursed and said,
“Yvonne it’s me.” I stopped fighting and focused on the person hovering me. His blonde hair was luminous, even in the dark. His blue eyes shone down on mine, only this time they were not mischievous –they were deadly.
“Liam,” I whispered in relief. I never thought I’d be so glad to see him in my life. He rose, pulling me up with him. He pulled me along, looking in the direction where that man had been. The street was empty except for the two of us, standing side by side. It was as if my almost assassin had never been there at all.