The Final Fall(2)

By: Alexa Riley

I turn from the window and grab my pad from the bed. I need to get outside. Maybe the sunshine will do me some good. I can go lie on the dock and get some fresh air.

I head to the kitchen to grab a soda and make a snack. I can’t help but smile as I do. I have so many memories of being in here with Grandma. I’d begged my dad to come here a few times, but he always said no. I’m scared he’ll sell it, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do if my father finally shows up. But I’m not going back with him. I’ll figure it out somehow.

Maybe he’s forgotten about the place. I’d been paying to keep it maintained out of the small pay I get from the church.

I turn around to head back toward the living room and stop dead in my tracks. Standing there in the middle of the room is my mystery man. The breath catches in my throat. I know the door was locked and the alarm was on, but he got inside the house without setting it off.

He’s even more handsome than I thought he’d be. He has a hard look on his face, but I can see he’s tired. His eyes do appear black now that I can see them up close. But I want to be closer. He’s unmoving like always, and as soon as I have the thought, he cocks his head. I watch the corner of his mouth turn up, and then I do something that isn’t in my nature.

I launch myself at him.



I ROLL MY RIGHT SHOULDER, trying to get the tension out of it. I don’t know if it’s from London being missing or the beating I’d given on my last job. I’d gone after him a little harder than normal. He had a type—blonde girls. My London is blonde. When I thought about how he could beat on someone as sweet and pure as her, my anger only grew. Then it burns when I realize whoever has her could be doing the same thing to her. I slam my fist into the steering wheel, making my Dodge Charger jerk to the side before I steer it back on the road again.

I take a deep breath, trying to calm myself. That’s something I wouldn’t have ever done before. I’m not one to snap and lose control, but she’s able to do this to me. I’ve been in a state of panic since losing track of her. There’s a weird pressure on my chest, making it feel like I can’t breathe, and the longer she’s gone, the heavier it gets. If I don’t find her I hope it finishes its job and crushes me.

I knew from the moment I saw her she was the most perfect creature to walk this earth. She walked out of the hospital wearing one of those candy-striper uniforms. Her long blonde hair was tied up in a fancy-looking braid, and some tresses had come loose. They were brushing against her cheeks and it was all I could do not to walk up and touch her. She turned my way as if she could feel someone staring at her. That was when her bright green eyes hit me. They dominated everything and I was trapped by the vision. Her full lips parted and she blinked, then the moment was broken. She was a young little thing. Too young to be walking around on her own. She looked like an angel. I wanted her from that very moment.

She’s a treasure I want but can’t have. I’m not good enough for her and I know it. I found out she worked at a church and was the daughter of the preacher. Of course she is. She’s an angel. She shines, and when I watch her, it feels like she bathes me in light.

I’ve watched her every spare moment I have. I’ve even started working less. I only take jobs here and there, but I was stupid. I should’ve quit from that very first day. I knew she needed someone to watch over her.

Or maybe I brought the darkness to her. That’s what I fear most, that somehow someone saw what I coveted and they’re going to use it against me. The one thing in my life that makes me vulnerable and suddenly it’s out of my grasp.

I clench my teeth. I’m not sure who would dare, but there are always men trying to make a name for themselves. I’m not one to be fucked with, but there’s a new idiot for hire every day of the week. If even a hair on her head has been hurt, I will never forgive myself.

My phone rings and adrenaline hits my blood. Only one person has this number, so I answer quickly.


“Well, aren’t we chipper.”

“Are you sure you want to play this game with me, Saint?” I say coldly. I like Saint, but I would never let him know that. We traded a favor. I bring him the man who likes blonde girls, make him cry, and hand him over to Saint. Then Saint tells me the location of my angel.

I only left him with the rapist an hour ago, so I’m surprised to hear from him so soon. But maybe he was worried I’d come back and physically make him carry out my favor.

“All right. All right, Fixer. Let me start by telling you this. She’s safe.” I feel a drop hit my cheek, my eyes welling with relief. It’s something that hasn’t happened since I was a child and I lost my sister. “I’m going to tell you the story, but make sure you’re headed toward Cranberry, Colorado.”