True Memoirs of A Liar 2: Sacrifice
Author: C Lawson

Chapter 14
Wake Up pt.2

I woke up with a dusty brown yellow shade of light streaming through my window.  I was in my bed; the covers strewn across my body.  Alex wasn’t there.  My eyebrows knitted together in anger.  I remembered everything.

            Alex had led him straight to us.  He took me to the hospital.  Why on earth would he take me to the hospital? Mr. Stone had found me.  And he knew exactly where I was.  Mr. Stone coming to me meant that his patience was running thin, and he wanted a decision.  Either way, someone wasn’t going to live another week.  And if I made the decision of staying; Alex was going to die.  I looked down at my hand.  But we were finally going to get married.  On the other hand, what good would a ring be if my husband was dead?  What about Serenity? My best friend would be dead too.  I shook my head out of frustration.  The card.

            I jumped out of bed and nearly fell over myself looking for the duffel bag that Serenity had brought me in the hospital.  I found it and threw out the items of clothing until I found the thin blue business card with Edward Stone Psychologist… blah, blah.  I saw the phone number at the bottom and gave my head a firm shake.  I hopped up, knowing I wouldn’t have much time and flew to the closet, yanking out random clothes; enough to last me for a week and a half.  My head felt like it was on fire and I was also a little weak on my feet.

            I grabbed the duffel bag and ran to the bathroom.  I swept my arm across the countertop and pushed all of my toiletries into the bag.  I took a last look around my loft and wished I could stay.  There was no time for that now.  I had to go.

            I raced for the door and when I flung it open Alex was standing there, surprised and gorgeous.  Damn it, I cursed in my mind, it’s going to be so much harder now.  I just tried to charge straight past him but his arm pushed me back.

            “Going somewhere?” Alex asked, stepping into the threshold and closing the door behind him.  I ran my fingers through my hair and adjusted the strap on the duffel bag.  He looked more deeply into my eyes and his eyes dropped. “You remember.” It was more of a statement than a question.

            “I don’t have time to stand here and have it out with you, Alex,” I informed him, trying to just leave before one of us started crying.  I would end up staying, Alex would hold me and then—no.  I wouldn’t let that happen.  I had to protect him now.

            “I think you at least owe me an explanation,” Alex said, still not believing that I was leaving.

            “I don’t owe you anything, Alex.  You lied to me.  When I was vulnerable you took advantage of me.  You made me think I was something that I’m not, Alex.  How could you do that to me?” I asked, not really caring that he lied.  I just wanted to make a point harsh enough to make him let me go.

            “I’m sorry.  But is that really a reason to leave?  We’re getting married, Camille.” I cast my gaze downward. “Or did you forget?” I didn’t answer.  Alex took my left hand in his and held it up to my face tenderly. “That’s why I had it custom designed and made in the first place.  Just in case.” I allowed a small smile to spread slowly on my lips, but then I insisted that it vanish immediately.

            “I’m going, Alex,” I said definitely, pulling my hand away from him.  Instead of letting me, he slowly reached for the duffel bag strap; making his movements exaggerated and deliberately careful so I would be able to expect his every move.  He took the duffel bag from me and dropped it on the ground. “Alex, please, let me leave.”

            “Why?” he wondered, flattening himself against the door so I wouldn’t be able to go. “Talk to me, Camille.  Why are you leaving?” I hadn’t expected him to be this calm. “The lying has nothing to do with it.  Does it?” I shook my head.

            “The lying, I could care less about.  Hell, I lived a lie for four-some years.  I can even respect it, really.  But you let him find me.  You and Serenity are going to die if I don’t go.” Alex’s expression changed.  He knew I was talking about Mr. Stone.  I picked up my duffel bag and waited for him to move.

            “So you’re just going to run off?” he asked disbelievingly and incredulously.  I blew out a sigh. “Why?”

            “He’s going to kill you,” I stated.

            “How do you know?” he wondered, concern fully filling his voice.  I couldn’t explain it.  But I was going to have to try.  As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I did owe him some sort of explanation.

            “He found me in the hospital, Alex.  He’s coming for me. That day I fainted, it was him.  At the restaurant.  He put some sort of sedative in my food.  You let him get to me, Alex.  I have to go.” I was completely and irrevocably set on this decision.  I couldn’t let him die. “I can’t stay here.”

            “Yes, you can,” Alex insisted.

            “No, I can’t,” I retaliated.  Alex took the duffel bag from me again and set it down on the floor once more.  I hated this.  It was going to get really hurtful in a very short amount of time if he didn’t just let me go.

            “You can’t just take that job.  If you can even call it that.  Camille, stay with me.” His intense eyes were pleading.  I shook my head.  I took off the ring and silently placed it in the palm of his hand.  My heart was ripping.  My world was crashing down in front of me.  I didn’t cry.

            “No, Alex,” I said in a flat, mean tone.  I snatched the duffel bag and tried to push him out of the way.  Tears were welling up in my eyes.  Damn those tears.  Alex swept me into his arms and held me in a crushing hug.  I could barely breathe.  I stood stiff as a statue and then told him to get off of me.  Alex stepped back and away from the door.  He was going to let me leave.  I should have been relieved to have gotten off so easily, but I wasn’t.  I wanted to drop the duffel bag and run into Alex’s arms.

            “You’re not protecting me, Bright Eyes,” he said in a warning tone when I took my first step towards the door.  My back was to him.  As long as I didn’t have to see those eyes.  His smell was already on me.

            “You don’t know anything,” I spat, trying to make myself angry with him.

            “He’ll just use me as bait when you refuse to meet his commands.”

            I whirled around quickly and glared at him.  In his eyes were a hidden triumph and he knew his words had had the desired effect. “Don’t say that,” I nearly screamed, my voice raw with emotion.  He just shrugged. “I have to try, Alex.  You know what happened last time.  We tried to stick it out together, and you nearly died.”

            “Do you think I care?” Alex asked, raising his voice as well.

            “You should!  It’s your life!” I exclaimed.  He took an angry step towards me but his eyes softened.

            “You are my life, Camille.” A tear fell down my cheek as I stared into his eyes.  There was a controlled madness swirling in his eyes and I turned away from him.  I started for the door again, Alex pushed the ring back onto my finger, catching my hand and sending chills up and down my spine.  I bit my lip.

            “I can’t take this,” I stated, my heart turning to stone as the words tumbled out of my mouth.  I knew that I would have to hurt him to get him to let me leave.  Be it physically or emotionally, he was going to get hurt and I was going to leave that loft.  And no power on hell or earth could stop me.

            “Yes you can.  I bought it for you,” Alex reasoned, still holding my hand.  I pulled it harshly away from him and turned to face him.  I twisted the ring off of my finger and threw it on the ground.

            “I don’t care.  I don’t want it.  And I don’t want you,” I said as convincingly as I could.  Alex didn’t look convinced though.

            “Camille—” he said patiently.  I didn’t have time for patience.

            “Don’t say my name.  It sounds dirty coming from you.  I tried to let you down easy, Alex.  But you never do let go, do you?  I’ve been cheating on you!  Every time I left to go somewhere or on a business lunch I was with someone else.  I was trying to be nice about this.  But my patience has run out.  I can’t stand you anymore, Alex.  Your face makes me sick.” Alex reached for me, his confidence wavering.

            “I don’t believe you,” Alex stated, his voice getting lower and smaller.  I was making him believe me.  It was killing me to do this to him.  But I had to go.  Alex shook his head and caught my arm.

            I yanked it back violently and gave him a look of disgust. “Don’t touch me,” I warned, giving him a nasty once-over.  He looked confused and hurt.  By the expression on his face, anyone would have thought that I had stabbed him. “I was already planning on leaving you.  I was going to do it on the day I had the business lunch, but you know, things happened.”

            “But—” The little boy from the orphanage that I had known was showing his vulnerability in Alex’s eyes.  I steeled myself inside for what was coming.  I was going to push the knife in further.

            “No.  I’m leaving.  That’s it.  There’s nothing else.” I turned to the door; letting my tears fall now.  My hair shaded my face and I touched the doorknob. “I won’t bother you again,” I promised, using the same last words that Alex had used when he’d saved my life two years ago.  I knew that would hurt.  It had hurt me when he’d left.

            “I love you,” he whispered.  I heard him walk up behind me and stand very close and still behind my back.  I kept my breathing even and quiet.  Alex wrapped his arms around my chest and laid his lips against my ear. “Don’t leave.” I pulled myself out of his embrace.

            “You taught me how,” I stated coldly, hearing him take in his breath quickly before I turned the doorknob and left.  I shut the door behind me and leaned against the door, crying and sobbing loudly.  I had to leave, I told myself over and over again.  I dropped my duffel bag and tore the door open, my heart throbbing, aching, and pounding out a furious rhythm.

            Alex was still standing in front of the door, supposedly staring after me, or maybe waiting for me to come back.  I fell into his arms and kissed him, crazily and hungrily, knowing that this would be the last time I would see him.  Alex held me to him, supporting my back and bending me backwards slightly.  After the kiss, I buried my face in his chest.

            I extricated myself from his arms and walked quickly out of the door.  I wasn’t looking forward to a life without his kisses.

 

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