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PRECOGNITION (EPISODE 6)

PRECOGNITION (EPISODE 6)

PART A

“Wow! Easy!” Niles’s pulse spiked as he began to realise why Oliver had advised him to use a seatbelt. He fumbled with shaky hands and pinned the seatbelt across his chest. 

“I have to get to 16th street in less than fifteen minutes,” she said, focusing her eyes on the road as her hands gripped the wheel. It was a smooth car to drive. She enjoyed her time behind the wheel of the Benz, but this Bentley had another delightful feel.

“Are you out of your mind?” Niles was alarmed. “16th street is at least thirty minutes away.”

“I said something similar last week,” Oliver murmured behind them. He snapped his eyelids together and clenched his seat as Eden cornered on the road to join the freeway. 

She changed up and breezed between two minivans, snaking through and out. She swerved and weaved beside vehicles on the smoothly tarred freeway, slapping her hands down on the horn for tardy drivers to move it.

 “You wanna calm down? You are going 120 kilometres per hour.” Niles clutched his seatbelt as she narrowly missed grazing the side of a Lexus Jeep. “Shit! This is a Bentley, have a little respect and don’t crash it.”

“Yes. I will prefer it if you don’t do that too,” Oliver stated. “I still have nightmares about the horror you did to my Benz.”

Eden replied with a sneer.

“Why are we going to 16th street anyway?” Niles asked.

“She wants to save her friend,” answered Oliver.

Another abrupt change of track and Niles’s shoulder bang the car door panel. He clenched his teeth and massaged his shoulder. “What?”

“Her friend will die in about twenty minutes.”

“How…?” He whipped his face back to Oliver. “You touched her? You saw her future?”

“Future?” Eden snorted.

“But that can’t be changed.” Niles swung aside as Eden veered from behind a BMW and over-took it.

“We— she changed one last week. She stopped a death from happening,” Oliver clenched his teeth, “and murdered my car instead.” 

Eden folded her lips and guiltily peeped at him through the rear-view mirror. 

“Seriously?” Niles gawked at her. “You are unusual.”

She replied with a smirk. “More unusual than the person who can see when someone will die upon physical contact?” she huffed.

Niles looked back at Oliver. “She has a point.”

She saw a traffic light about to change to red and floored it. 

“Red light! Red light! Red light!” Niles tapped her frantically and gripped her arm.

Where do they get these babies? “Let go of me!” She tugged her arm away and sped across the crosswalk before the red light blinked on. 

“God!” Niles heaved, sweating. “Who do you think you are? Vin Diesel?” 

“I am more of a Transporter kind of girl,” she replied, keeping an attentive gaze on the road.

“Transporter? Jason Statham? What do you like about him?”

“What is there not to like?”

“He doesn’t have hair.”

“Neither does Vin Diesel.”

“He speaks unclearly.”

You are speaking unclearly,” she chaffed.

“Can both of you stop talking about guys that drive in movies like they have a bank vault of lives?” Oliver objected.

“Bus! Bus! Bus!” Niles slapped Eden’s shoulder with his left hand, shooting his right forefinger at a bus about to join the freeway.

“I can see it,” she slapped his hand away. “Stop the side seat driving and let me concentrate.” She threw him a glance and clicked her tongue, shifting her butt on the car seat. If her friend’s life wasn’t at stake she could sleep off behind the wheel of this beast. 

“Why aren’t you slowing down?”

“She will probably increase her speed instead,” Oliver braced himself. Like he read Eden’s mind, she slammed her foot on the accelerator. “I forgot to revise my Will,” he groaned.

“I have not written mine.”

“Don’t worry. I told you, you won’t die until you are a wrinkly old grandpa,” Oliver said.

“That will change if she keeps driving like this is GTA. Slow down!” he screamed at Eden. 

“You scream like a girl, do you know that?” Eden eyed him through the corner of her eyes. She throttled up and drove past the bus before it connected with the freeway

Niles puffed air, realising he had held his breath, then threw his face at Eden and barked, “What the hell is wrong with you? Stop driving like a psychopathic maniac!”

“She’s a sociopath,” Oliver chimed in. 

Niles faced him in shock and shifted his gaze back to Eden, hoping she would deny it. She didn’t. Instead, she curved the corner of her lips in a frightened smile which fanned Niles’s worry. “Pull over right now! I want to get out of this damned car!”

Eden tilted her head aside from his piercing scream. “You like Vin Diesel, right? He doesn’t scream this way.”

“This is not a movie. Pullover!” he ordered. “I am too young to die—

“Death doesn’t take age into account,” Oliver interjected quietly.

“I am not even married! —

“You said work is all you want to focus on right now,” Oliver counted.

He slowly turned his head to Oliver. “Keep quiet, will you?” he said through gritted teeth.

Off the freeway, Eden rushed into a busier street. She narrowly avoided knocking over a courier delivery guy before finally spotting the marked subway entrance ahead. She packed in front of a restaurant without turning on her blinker, in time for Niles to open the door and stepped out on noodle legs. The fresh air made him dizzy and he fell back in the car.

“Are you okay?” Eden took a second to ask him.

Niles replied with a retching sound. She reckoned that was him emptying his stomach in the roadside drainage.

“You are okay,” she replied to herself with a smirk and hopped across the road, disappearing into the stairway entrance to the subway. She forced her way through the horde of commuters in the underground train station. She wasn’t sure exactly where Lessie would be and the bustling noise and distant train honks were drowning her thoughts. It was her first time in the station and she had no idea where to go. She checked her wristwatch. In about two minutes it would be over. She saw a security guard and ran to him. “Excuse me, sir?” 

“Yes ma’am.”

“Which train will get me closest to Havel Avenue?”

“Havel Avenue? That’d be train 2,” he spoke with a heavy British accent. 

“Train 2?” she echoed. 

“Yes. Straight down,” he gestured, “you will come upon the track. It should be here in about,” he glanced at his wristwatch, “few minutes.”

“Thank you.” She began to jog towards his description.

“Oi! You need to get your ticket first,” the guard shouted after her and she replied with a wave. 

Eden glanced at her watch for the second time as she ran. What would she give to be able to freeze time? She was finally in the waiting area. Breathing heavily, she scanned the crowd for Lessie. 

“Why did you tell him I wasn’t interested in the job?” A loud voice snagged her attention. Two men dressed in handyman’s clothes got in each other’s noses.

“I thought you weren’t?” the other guy spat back. “Get off my case” He walked past him.

The first guy pulled him back. “You did it intentionally. You wanted him to pick only you.”

The scene clicked. Oliver said Lessie was pushed while some people were fighting. She wondered if she was in the right place and if she was, where was Lessie? Despite the ruckus around her, Eden could hear the train getting closer. 

“What are you talking about?” the second guy said defensively and turned away. He was jerked back by his partner who landed a punch on his cheek. He fell to the ground, holding his cheek. 

Eden’s line of vision wandered to a man standing with other passers-by waiting for the train. He moved aside from the commotion to avoid being close to the altercation, revealing Lessie whom his frame had blocked. Lessie glanced at the two men like everybody else and looked away when she saw the train’s headlight in the distance.

“Lessie, get away from there!” Eden screamed and ran towards her. 

The guy that was punched in the face got up and shoved his partner back. “What the hell is wrong with you man?” His partner lost his footing and staggered back… to Lessie.

Eden got the picture when she saw the beaming train light shooting straight on the track. 

Lessie felt a body jostle into hers from behind. She instinctively covered her tummy with both arms. Her body stumbled forward, causing her feet to dance at the edge of the train track. The fall won’t be lethal but— “My baby,” she whimpered. She heard the blaring honk and her heart rate went off the roof as she wobbled at the edge.

Just when she was sure she would fall to her death, an arm dragged her back and turned her away from the track edge. 

Her arms still wrapped around her tummy protectively, she blinked at her saviour. “Eden?” They were both panting; Lessie, because she just narrowly escaped being squashed by a moving train and Eden because of her sprint to Lessie and fear that she wouldn’t get to her in time. 

“I told you not to come to work!” she screamed at Lessie, her forehead creased with worry. “I told you to take a cab. Why didn’t you listen?” her voice faltered. 

Lessie opened her mouth to speak but closed it when she couldn’t figure out what to say. Her fingertips were cold and her feet were shaky. “Give me a minute,” her voice wavered. She looked back to the tracks. The train had stopped and people were getting in and off. “I almost died,” she whispered, gripping Eden’s hand.

“Are you okay? Are you hurt?” Eden inspected her. 

“My heart,” she touched her chest with a soft groan, then inspected her protruded tummy before she took a deep breath.

Niles and Oliver appeared from a corner, a few steps away from the two ladies. 

It took them a while to put together what had happened and when they did, Niles’s jaw dropped. “That is her friend? She did it?”

Oliver huffed, surprised Eden defeated fate yet again.  

“How is this possible? Is she an alien? I told you she is a ghost. Should this happen?”

Oliver shook his head, juggling his thoughts. “I don’t know, I don’t know.”

They saw Eden march to the two handymen. 

“Hey, hey, hey,” he tapped Oliver. “Where is she going?” he pointed at her.

She stepped between the two men as they were about to collide again. 

“Who are you?” one of the guys demanded.

Eden responded with a glare, arms akimbo. 

“Shouldn’t we step in?” Niles took a step forward.

“Where are you going?” Oliver hauled him back by the collar. “Does it look like she needs help?”

“You almost killed someone because of your petty argument,” Eden roared at them with blazing eyes.

“Petty?” one of them scoffed and moved closer to her. “I want to beat him up,” he thrust a finger at his partner, “but I will suspend it to deal with you.”

The second guy laughed and closed in on her from the other side.

“Ollie, that’s two men on a lady,” Niles said, worriedly.

Oliver waved his hand at him, gesturing, ‘it’s okay.’ 

Both men flanked Eden and she stood between them unfazed.

“Who do you think you are to get involved in our matter?”

“I don’t care about your matter. All I want is for you to apologise to my friend,” she thrust a finger at Lessie who was still in shock. “You pushed her. If I had not gotten to her in time, she would have fallen on the tracks and become roadkill by train!”

They chuckled. “You’ve got balls, I’ll give you that.”

They got too close to her at the same time the lid popped off her anger. She dug her elbow into the nasal bridge of the first guy and punched the throat of the second guy. The crowd murmured in surprise as both men groaned painfully. 

Eden grabbed the first guy’s hair and pulled him closer. He cried out as she hauled him by the hair to his partner and yanked a fistful of his hair too.  

“Let go!” they screamed. “My hair! Ha!” They struggled and tripped around under Eden’s grip.

“All you had to do was apologise,” she spoke to them as though they were kids. “You almost killed someone. How can you be so irresponsible?”

“You crazy lady!”

“Ahh, I am crazy? And here I was thinking you are the crazy one.” She slammed their heads together and left them writhing on the floor from the impact.

“I told you she doesn’t need help,” Oliver said proudly with a grin.

Eden ushered Lessie out of the underground station back to Oliver’s car.

“Hum, how did you…? What are you doing here?” Lessie asked Eden when they got to the car. It was her first coherent question.

“Later, we’ll talk about it –

“And you came with Oliver?”

“I met him outside… we came to pick you up,” Eden said.

“What? Me?” Eden coming to pick her up was a surprise enough, but to have Oliver there too?

“Ah! Ah! Oh my God!”

They turned to the lamenting voice and saw Oliver gaping at the side of his Bentley with a horrified look. “You- you- my- my,” he gasped and spun to Eden. Eden circled the car and understood Oliver’s reaction. A three inches deep dent that would also require a massive paint job on a glorious beast like this would do that to anyone. 

“When did that happen?” she itched her nape.

“When…?” He squeezed his eyes and ran a hand through his hair then He threw her a sharp gaze. “When?” he clenched his teeth. 

Eden lowered her eyes and said quietly, “I am sorry.” 

Even if he could, he couldn’t do anything to her while she made that face. Oliver growled and kicked a can of Pepsi on the ground. 

“I knew it,” Niles snorted. 

“Oh, I am sorry, Oliver,” Lessie said softly. “We don’t let her drive because of this.”

“I will pay for the damages,” Eden said.

“I don’t think you can pay for this also,” he said through gritted teeth.

“Why do you keep thinking I am poor?”

“Okay, you are not poor. I will send you the bill for this repair,” he thrust a finger at the Bentley, “and the bill for the Benz.”

“You said you will take care of the Benz,” she protested.

“When did—” His phone vibrated in his pocket. He eyed Eden before picking up his call. “Yes?” he paused to listen to his caller. “Okay, I’ll be there in thirty.” He returned the phone to his pocket and faced Eden, “We will talk about this,” he pointed at the dent, “later.” 

Eden helped Lessie inside the car after Oliver got in and opened the driver’s seat to drive them back.

Niles slammed the door shut. “Again, I have not written my Will.” He put his palm out, demanding the car key. Eden sighed and gave it to him.

****

“Thank you,” Lessie said to Oliver as Niles parked in front of the clinic. 

He replied with a wave and smile. It was the second time Eden messed with fate. He was tempted to touch Lessie throughout the ride back to the clinic. His curiosity wanted to see her new fate. He resisted because a part of him was afraid of what he would see. At least for now she was alive.

Eden ducked out of the car. “Thank you,” she said to Oliver and Niles.

“I will settle for you not driving me again,” Niles remarked. “How did you get your licence?”

“Licence?” She blew a raspberry. “I don’t have a licence,” she shrugged. 

His jaw fell.

“It got revoked years ago,” she said nonchalantly and smiled at Oliver before turning to the clinic with Lessie. Two steps away, she ran back to the car and gave Oliver her phone.

He shifted his gaze from the phone to her. “What?”

“Your number. I regretted not having it earlier,” she replied.

His lips widened in a warm smile before he took the phone from her. “Usually, I don’t give out my direct line,” he said, entering his number. “But I will make an exception for you.”

“Yeah, I am honoured,” she said flatly, rolling her eyes. He would be perfect if not for his unsubtle boastings. Well, it wasn’t exactly boasting. Everything he said about himself was true. He was just too straightforward to mince his words. 

“You should be.” He returned the phone to her and grabbed her hand as she took it from him.

Eden cocked her head and narrowed her eyes.

He gave her a roguish smile and let go of her hand. “I’ve been suffering from touch starvation for the last twenty years. Can you be a little understanding?”

She was tempted to pull him in for a hug and she could not lay hands on the exact reason why she wanted to do that. Pity? Yes, definitely pity. “Why do you think you still have a complete set of teeth?” She slapped his shoulder and walked away.

PART B

Eden spent the rest of the day guarding Lessie and she did not let her out of her sight until her husband came to pick her up after work. Eden told her about Oliver’s ability; there was no other explanation around that, she had to tell her. Besides, she was going crazy not being able to share her odd new world with anyone. She needed someone to talk to about it and Lessie was her best friend. Lessie didn’t believe her, not one hundred per cent at least. Her acceptance of the truth or otherwise did not matter to Eden. 

Done with the day’s tasks, she closed her clinic and went upstairs to her apartment. While she showered and had dinner, her mind kept drifting to Oliver. How did he get his ability? How did it feel to see the deaths of people? She sank on her couch and checked Oliver’s phone number as she thought of their conversation at Terra café. Will Lessie die the same way despite saving her? She thought of what would have happened if she had been two seconds late to the subway. Lessie and her baby would be dead. She cringed at the thought of that and shrugged off the dark what ifs

Eden’s apartment was averagely wide. Two bedrooms, a bathroom and toilet, a kitchen and a living room, all on the same floor. She lived alone— she has been since Makayla got married and she was okay with it. It never bothered her once, but tonight, the apartment felt empty. 

She found herself asking if Oliver lived alone. Even if he had an option, he would prefer to live alone because of his ability. That would make her the only eligible housemate. She could certainly understand why he was drawn to her. If they were to date, he wouldn’t have a problem touching her. 

Eden caught herself smiling at her daydream and shook her head. “What am I doing?” She shook her head again to snap out of it. Oliver was handsome, successful and kind- who else would let her get away with wrecking two cars that cost millions of dollars? And she had to admit to herself that she liked being with him. It felt… safe. It was a familiar safety. She wondered if she really had met him somewhere before as she threw on a comfy top over her camisole and trousers. She needed a drink. She grabbed her purse and picked up her phone on the kitchen slab on her way out of the apartment

****

Oliver was one of the last people to leave SH Group headquarters as usual. At almost 10 p.m., he ran into less than a handful of people, mostly security men, as he made his way to the underground parking lot. 

His phone rang through his car speaker less than five minutes after he drove out to the street. It was his third car in two weeks. At least, his life was getting a bit more interesting. He glanced at the unsaved number and considered not picking it. He was exhausted and wasn’t in the mood to have a conversation, especially with someone he probably didn’t know. The phone rang again and with a deep sigh he picked it up by pressing the receiver button on his steering wheel. “Hello?”

“Hi, it’s Eden.”

He melted into a broad smile, glad he picked the call. “I was wondering when you’d call. It must have been hard to resist for this long.”

“What are you talking about? I’m calling because Mr Wess asked for your number again. Should I give it to him?”

Oliver chuckled. “No need to make excuses. I wanted to talk to you too.”

“About what?”

He folded his lips, tapping his right forefinger on the steering. “Nothing in particular.” 

Eden smiled as they allowed a few seconds of silence. Jay was fading into the distance and her thoughts were slowly being replaced by Oliver. What was that saying? To get over a man fall for another man? It was a reckless statement, but at least it was working for her.

“Are you home?” she asked as she climbed the stairs to her apartment.

“I am driving home.”

“With Niles?”

“No, he left earlier.” He heard footsteps in the background. 

“Where are you?”

“Home. I went downstairs to Mr Wess’s Mart to buy drinks and a few other things.”

He heard keys jiggling and a door opening. “How is Lessie?”

“She is fine. I spoke to her when she got home—”

“Eden?” There was an eerie silence. “Eden, hello. Are you there? Eden.” The next sounds that came from the speaker were dull thuds and the shattering of glass. “Eden! Eden!” he shouted at the speaker and pressed his foot down on the accelerator. 

****

She knew someone was behind her the minute she entered her apartment. She felt the shadow before it came over her. With Oliver’s voice calling her over the phone, she froze and held the phone to her ear. From the right corner of her eye, she saw a white handkerchief aiming for her nose.

Eden dumped her phone and grocery nylon bag and shot out her arm to deflect the hand. She preferred not to inhale an unknown substance. They struggled till she flipped the man over her shoulder and slammed him through her glass centre table. She stepped back to collect herself as the intruder got up robotically, retrieved the handkerchief and stuffed it in his pocket. It was difficult to make a face through his face cap, hoodie and turtleneck- all black- pulled up to his nose. 

“Who the hell are you?” Eden demanded as the man stalked her. Her heart rate climbed and she faltered as she stepped back.

The man launched a punch at her side which she blocked. She was unlucky with the second blow and it dug into her ribs. She grunted and blocked the third strike. She staggered back and the man prowled after her to dish out a series of blows. She blocked most of them and returned some until the man pinned her neck to the wall. She fought for air as she failed to pry away the big hands wrapped around her neck. 

She had no idea who he was or why he wanted to hurt her. The time for questions would be later. Now, she must survive. Bless her daddy’s soul for teaching her self-defence. She stopped struggling to gather her strength and force down her fears, then punched the man’s throat. He dropped her, coughing and wheezing.

He came at Eden again. She held his hand and kicked his rib. The man brought out a pocket knife with a desperate and angry growl. She reversed her steps to the kitchen, not taking her eyes off the intruder and grabbed a knife from the knife block. The knife was five times the size of the pocket knife in the man’s hand. Her ribs ached and her cheeks were throbbing, but she would make him regret coming into her house, whoever he was. 

“You like knives?” She waved the knife as she broadened her stance. “So do I. My father trained me with it for months,” she said and ran towards the man. 

In one stroke, she grazed the intruder’s arm and on the second strike, she cut his left thigh. She heard his painful growl and it pleased her. “I told you I am good with knives,” she flipped the knife, admiring the bloodstain on it. 

The intruder took two steps towards Eden— 

“Eden!” Oliver burst in.

The intruder halted to look over his shoulder before he dashed to the balcony. He leapt over the railing and jumped down. Oliver rushed after him, then stopped when he heard the clattering sound of the knife hitting the floor. He glanced back and saw a bloody knife by Eden’s foot. Her muscles went lax and she dropped to the floor on her knees. 

Oliver cast another glance at the balcony and decided Eden needed him more. He ran to the kitchen and squatted beside her. “Are you okay?” He examined the pink bruises on her right cheek and forehead. Of course, she was not okay. He gave himself a mental slap for asking that question when he spotted the cut on her lower lip. “Eden.”

She was covered in sweat as she replayed the event in her head with a blank stare. 

“Eden.” Oliver nudged her shoulder.

“Hum?” she blinked at him.

“Are you hurt anywhere else?” He didn’t wait for her to answer him. He lifted her to stand on her feet so he could examine her himself. “What happened? Who was that?”

Eden exhaled and kept her eyes shut for a moment. “I came in from the Mart and… someone was behind the door… we fought.”

“You fought him?” he queried with furrowed brows. “Why didn’t you run back outside?”

“I couldn’t, it was too late.” She shifted her weight from Oliver’s body and balanced herself on her feet. “He was behind me.” She hobbled to the living room, avoiding the shattered glass.

“Did he steal anything?”

“I don’t think he was a thief and if he was, he wasn’t a petty thief. There’s nothing worth stealing here,” she gestured to her disarrayed house. 

Oliver nosed around and realised she was right. The house was simple and quaint. Nothing too expensive or worth stealing. Why was she attacked then? He drove to the apartment as fast as he could, yet he was late. He should have gotten there earlier. 

Eden chuckled sheepishly. “Relax, will you? Your worry crease is more than mine and I was the one who was attacked- in my house,” her voice quavered. This was her haven. How dare he attack her and ruin it for her?

She was trying to hide how shaken up she was about the incident. Oliver noticed her shaky hands and her voice faltered as she spoke. “You don’t have to pretend to be okay. It is normal for you to be shaken up by this.” His gaze dropped to her hands.

Eden clenched her fist and looked away.

Oliver took a deep breath and invaded her personal space as much as he could. Holding her gaze, he gently wrapped his arms around her. Eden didn’t know how much she needed the hug until she was cocooned in his warmth. She gasped softly and felt at peace once again as she responded to him by snaking her arms around him.

It has been a long time since he held anybody in his arms- he couldn’t even remember when. He wanted to comfort her, but it turned out he was also comforting himself, taking solace in Eden’s embrace.

Neither of them wanted to break the hug, but Oliver took the first brave step slowly. “Let me call the cops,” he murmured in her ear.

“I’ll do it. My cousin, Rhea is a detective. I will call her.” She left his arms and found her phone on the floor. Praise Jesus! It was undamaged. She strolled to her room as she dialled Rhea’s number. 

Alone in the trashed living room, Oliver wandered to the pictures on the wall where he saw portraits of Eden and her family. He thought to himself, he thought, staring at the hefty man in a military uniform. Oliver liked her house; it was homely. Although he preferred his home spacious with lots of natural light, he could live in a crib like this. His sight went to the shards of glass on the floor. Who would attack her and why? He wondered. He heard Eden talking over the phone in her room. The bruises on her face made his blood boil. Deciding she would need something to ease the pain, he went to her fridge and found an ice pack.

“Rhea is on an assignment outside Red Hill,” Eden said, coming out of her room. “She will send my number to another detective, a friend. He will give me a call.”

He nodded and took the ice pack and a bowl. He held Eden’s arm and sat her on the kitchen stool.

“I am fine,” she said as Oliver inspected her bruises, narrowing his eyes at them in anger. He tipped her face to his and gently brushed the tendrils of her dark hair behind her ear. The action itself fired sensual sparks within Eden. She moved her head out of his touch. He merely ignored her protest and pulled her face closer to his then placed the ice on her cheek. 

“Hum,” she groaned as the cold cooled her burning cheek. Her eyelids fell under the soothing relief. She was glad Oliver chose to ignore her reluctance.

He alternated the ice pack between her cheek and forehead. She opened her eyes and met Oliver’s brown pair. They held each other’s gaze before he placed the ice pack on her cheek again.  

“Your Dad is a General?”

“Yes, five-star,” Eden replied.

“I guess he taught you how to kick-ass.”

Eden chuckled but groaned as her ribs ached. “Something must have made him train Makayla and me.”

“What do you mean?”

She looked at him before answering. “I don’t have most of my memories from when I was eight years old. Partial memory loss. I sometimes remember bits but chunks of them are missing. Something happened that I can’t remember. My earliest memory after the gap was that I woke up afraid for no reason. I was with my family and there was no reason for me to be afraid but I was. I was so scared I couldn’t talk for months. That was when my father started training my sister and me. Later, when I grew up, I realised something terrible must have happened to me and my father thought teaching me self-defence will prevent it from happening again. He stopped after I got into university. He said I can take care of myself now.”

“He is right,” he smiled at her. There was another short silence. “You didn’t ask your parents or sister what happened?”

“I was afraid to ask. I was worried about what their answer would be, so I never asked.”

“What about now? Are you still afraid to ask?”

She twitched her lips thoughtfully. “No, but since I am okay now, I don’t see any reason to dig up old memories.”

Eden’s phone rang. The caller introduced himself as Detective Danny Kress. Oliver kept the ice pack on her forehead as she spoke with the detective. 

“He said I should preserve the scene as much as I can till tomorrow morning,” Eden said after the call. “And that I should find someplace else to spend the night. He followed a lead on a case he is investigating to Peck Heights. He will be back tomorrow morning with the forensic team.” 

“Where will you sleep?”

Eden took the pack from him and stood from the stool. “I am not going anywhere. I will sleep in my room. The crime scene is my living room, not my room.”

Oliver narrowed his eyes. Was she brave or stupid? “How can you spend the night here after what happened? What if he comes back?”

“You are overreacting. He’s not coming back.”

“I am overreacting?” he scoffed. “Are you really going to spend the night in a house you were attacked less than fifteen minutes ago?” He threw his face aside and muttered, “Are you fearless or stupid?”

Eden imagined staying alone in her apartment that night and chills ran down her spine. What if the intruder came back while she was sleeping and stabbed her to death? “I don’t have a place to stay,” she admitted. She shrugged and went to her room, “I will sleep in the clinic downstairs.”

“What is the difference? The detective told you to go someplace else. Do you think it is only to preserve the crime scene?” He folded his arms and rested his shoulder on the door frame of Eden’s room. “What about your sister’s place?”

“She is out of town. She went to Meadowville with Thea,” she said as she packed her bag. 

“Meadowville?”

“She took Thea to see her grandparents. Makayla is a single mother. She is smart and always makes the right choice. The only wrong decision she made in her life was getting married to her ex-husband,” she said as she got her toothbrush and paste from the bathroom. “They divorced a year after Thea was born and she has full custody. Her ex is a total asshole but his family is good. Makayla agreed to let Thea visit them once every three months until she remarries. They will be back tomorrow morning.”

“What about Lessie?”

“This will only worry her. Besides, it’s late and she lives far away. I will be fine in the clinic.”

Ruminatively, Oliver swayed his head and pressed his lips together. Should he tell her to come and stay with him?

In mere minutes, Eden had packed all the essentials she would need for the night and tomorrow morning. Oliver helped with the bag and they left the apartment. He contemplated asking her to come to his place for the night all through their walk to the clinic downstairs but didn’t say anything to her. 

“Thank you for coming for me,” Eden said when they got to the front of the clinic.

He gave her the bags.

She turned to the clinic and stared into the darkness through the glass door. Her heart pounded like she was before the intruder again. She glanced at Oliver who stood watch behind her, hands in his pockets. She forced a half-smile and brought out her key. 

Darkness never scared her; it did that night. She fumbled to insert the key in the keyhole, recounting her night. She lost her grip and the key fell out of her hand. 

Oliver picked it up and grabbed her wrist. “Do you have something against asking for help or saying you are scared?”

They locked stares and Eden saw concern. He was concerned about her.

He took the bags from her and led her to a car parked across the street. “Whose car?” she asked.

“Mine.” He walked her to the front passenger seat. 

Again, money? It’s a good thing to have. Oliver seemed determined to outdo his previous cars whenever he got a new one. He opened the back door of the silver Ferrari Portofino to dump Eden’s bag before ushering her in. She prayed she didn’t have a cause to destroy this dazzling beauty as her butt sank into its luxurious seat. 

“Where…? Wai… where are we going?”

He shut the door and circled to the driver’s seat. Only when he had sat and the engine purred when he pressed the ignition button did he answer, “My house.”

Hello guys. Thank you for sticking with me thus far. Let’s find out who attacked Eden and why next Saturday. See you!

S.A. Trinity

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2 Responses

    1. I agreed with you Debbie, things are really getting more interesting 🙅‍♀️🙅‍♀️🙅‍♀️

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