Remember Me(97)

By: Ashlee Mallory

Allie had been ill today? Again? And he hadn’t been there for her? Guilt slashed at him. He stared at the woman for a long moment. Something still didn’t feel right. Her story sounded plausible enough. But…

“Allie? It’s Sam,” he hollered out, telling himself if Allie just responded in some way he could relax and get rid of the woman.

More silence. Damn it.

“My son should be here any moment. I think I’ll step outside and wait for him. Leave you two to your privacy.” Señora Sanchez stepped around him and walked toward the back door.

Sam’s instinct told him he needed to stop her. If his suspicions were founded, this was the woman who had killed Mr. Williams and had been trying to hurt Allie.

God. She might already have done something—

To hell with being polite. He’d apologize later.

“Wait.” He reached out and gripped her arm hard, stopping her.

Her back was to him, but he could see an instant change—a straightening of her spine and shoulders, a jerk of her head. Slowly, she turned around and met his gaze. Her light brown eyes were almost gold in the waning sun light. But cold. Hard. And damn scary.

“Ah, so the lover thinks he has come to the rescue.” Her voice, smooth as silk, chilled him to the bone. “But…will he be in time?”

His heart froze in his chest. What the hell did that mean?

“Where’s Allie?” he demanded.

The old bag chuckled, her delight in his fear evident. How could he have been so oblivious to her true nature? The woman was pure evil.

“This is too perfect. The son of the whore who thought she could take what was mine is about to see what it’s like to lose someone he loves.”

Terror and anger flooded through him. He grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her. “What the hell have you done? Where is she?”

The look on her face was victorious, her smile smug.

“You’re only making this worse for yourself,” he hissed. “Give it up. I’m not letting you go, and the police are on their way.”

“Then we have a bit of a dilemma. Because as you stand here manhandling me, the woman you love is bleeding to death. I have all the time in the world to wait…but does she?” She shook her head and clucked her tongue. “The amount of blood she was losing…”

The horror of the situation swept over him. Allie could be dying right now. He pushed the crazy woman to the floor, hoping that would slow her down long enough for the police to arrive.

He sprinted to the hallway.

Oh, God. What if he was too late?

He moved to the first bedroom, but everything looked neat and tidy, as did Violet’s room next door. From outside he heard someone shout, “Stop! Police!” along with a hell of a lot of commotion. Thank God.

He lunged across the hall and swung open the bathroom door.

He halted in terror.

Blood. So damned much blood.

His heart nearly exploded in his chest and he raced over to the bathtub. The water was crimson, and Allie’s eyes were open, but she wasn’t moving.

Oh, God. He was too late.

He dropped his hand into the water and found her wrist. He waited, not breathing. There! So faint, but definitely a pulse. He was suddenly aware of sirens screeching up in front of the house.

The blood. He had to stop it.

He unplugged the water and grabbed a hand-towel from a rack. Where was she cut? Where was the blood coming from?

Hell. Her wrists were slashed.

He quickly tied a towel tightly around one wrist and then the other. Footsteps in the hallway, shouts, and the wail of sirens filled his ears.

“In here! Get an ambulance!” he yelled, holding her wrists awkwardly above her head.

There was a burst of radio static, and he heard someone shouting for the EMTs.

“Allie,” Sam pleaded, “if you can hear me, please hold on. I’m here, and I’ve got you. An ambulance is on its way. So…for the love of God, please hold on.”