“Charlie, for the last time, I cannot leave with you! I have to find Liam.” I whisper yelled, glancing at the front door.
“You’re not seriously going after this guy…” Charlie said with a head tilt.
“I am, and you need to go. You’ve done enough.” I said, placing a hand on his chest and pushing him towards the door.
“What? You don’t want to finish what we started?” He asked with a grin only Charlie could get away with.
“We didn’t start anything. Liam and I started something, and you interfered!” I said. I could feel my cheeks getting red and I really didn’t want him to see me blushing.
“I’m not walking out the front door, Red.” Charlie said as he suddenly stopped walking backwards, making me run into him as I misjudged my footing.
He held me steady at my shoulders, staring down at me with that look of lust in his eyes.
“You’re not staying here.” I said firmly, avoiding his gaze as I stepped out of his reach.
“Trust me, I don’t want to sit here all night and watch this soap opera unfold, but we need to follow through with this.” He said, swiping the piece of paper out of my hand with the address on it.
“I don’t need a babysitter, Charlie. I can talk to him myself.” I argued but he shook his head.
“You’re not going without me. How does five o’clock tomorrow sound?” He asked as he walked towards the balcony.
“Do I have a choice?” I asked with an irritated tone.
“Nope.” He said as he stepped outside.
“Then it sounds perfect. Pick me up at the house.” I said, leaning against the balcony door.
“It’s a date.” He said, leaning into me as if he was going in for a kiss.
“It’s not a date.” I said firmly before I stepped back and shut the door in his face.
I watched his chest rise and fall as he sighed before he backed into the shadows and disappeared.
“Thank god.” I whispered to myself as I watched him climb down the fire escape. My heart rate started to go back to normal as he disappeared, allowing me to have a few seconds of alone time to think about what just happened before I ran after Liam. I quickly walked to the bathroom to splash some cold water on my face, helping me pull myself together and think about what I was going to say.
Did he see us?
Why did he leave?
Where did he go?
What the hell are you going to say?
It’s not what it looks like.
You’re an idiot.
Don’t say that.
But it wasn’t.
That doesn’t matter now.
Come up with an explanation, not an excuse.
“I’m actually having a conversation with myself. Great. Add that to my list.” I mumbled into a towel before I tossed it on the counter with a sigh.
“Um.” I heard a small voice squeak in the doorway, making me jump back with a yelp.
“GOD! WHY!” I yelled in surprise as I fell back against the bathroom wall, slowly opening my eyes to prove to myself that the little voice I heard wasn’t in my head.
Sure enough, there was a little boy with light brown hair standing in the doorway of the bathroom, staring at me. He had clean sneakers on and a shirt with a dinosaur on it that said “I’m Roarsome.”
“Collin?” I whispered, standing up straight. It was the boy from the diner. I quickly buttoned the long shirt I was wearing to try to look more kid appropriate. It didn’t work.
“I was going to say something sooner but, well, you had your face in the towel for a while and I found it rather odd.” Collin started to explain.
“Do you remember me?” I asked him with a small frown.
“Of course I do, you’re the lady from the diner. Katie.” He said proudly.
“Ka-…Nevermind.” I sighed, “Where is your father?”
“He should be up any minute, he was just grabbing my bag from the neighbor downstairs, she got sick and couldn’t watch me anymore.” He said as he headed to the kitchen.
“Oh. I see.” I said, following him. “Babysitter huh? What was she sick with?” I asked.
“I don’t know, she started puking a little bit ago so I’m gonna say the flu.” He said with a shrug.
“Hmm… Do you like her?” I asked with a head tilt.
“Yea, dad likes her a lot too…”
“He does? How old do you think this babysitter of yours is?” I asked curiously.
“Um, I don’t know.” He shrugged, “Probably your age.”
“Huh. Is she pretty?”
“Yea, she’s super nice too.” He said as he grabbed an apple off the island.
“That’s… Nice.” I groaned.
“How do you know my dad?” Collin asked just as Liam walked into the apartment, shirtless.
“Hey…” Liam said with a worried look on his face.
“Hey, welcome back.” I said with a smile.
“I did not want this to happen tonight but this is-” He started but I stopped him.
“We’ve met. He’s adorable.” I reassured him. I could tell he was nervous, and even though Liam is adorable when he’s worried, I didn’t have it in me to make him suffer.
“Yea dad, she’s the lady from the Diner I told you about.” Collin said with a mouthful of apple.
Liam raised his brow, “Wait. What?” He asked, looking from his son to me. His gaze fierce and serious.
“I… um.” I sighed, “Anna took me to the diner this morning, and Finn kind of… Filled me in on what happened. He didn’t want to, but I was asking questions and very very confused. He was just trying to clear the air.” I explained. Now I was the nervous one.
“You know about Abigale.” He said staring down at me. He was intimidating with a firm tone.
“I… Yes. I know about Abigale.” I said softly, reaching out for his hand but he stepped out of my reach and walked around me.
“How about a movie, bud?” Liam said to Collin, turning on the TV in the living room.
“Can we watch National Treasure?” Collin asked as he ran into living room and plopped down on the couch.
“Again?” Liam asked, turning on the movie.
“I like it.” He said as he curled up with a blanket, “Will you guys watch it with me?” He asked.
When I saw Liam about to say no, I walked into the living room and sat down on the love seat across from Collin, “Of course we will.” I said softly, not looking at Liam.
With a sigh Liam surrendered and turned off the lights before he played the movie. Grabbing a large blanket, he made his way over to the love seat and sat next to me, still shirtless, and still angry.
“Anger isn’t a good shade on you.” I whispered to him, trying to lighten his mood.
“We spent an hour alone in the car ride here and you didn’t think to mention any of this?” He whispered casually as he stretched his arm around my shoulders.
“Liam, I thought…” He was pulling me closer to him so he could whisper in my ear.
“You thought wrapping your lips around my dick was more important than telling me you knew about my son and late wife.” He growled in my ear.
“Liam!” I barked back with a whisper. “I didn’t know how to tell you! How dare you get mad at me for this!”
“You should have told me the second you saw me!” He whispered quietly. There was a look in his eyes I didn’t recognize. Like a switch had flipped and the very mention of his late wife set him off.
“Call me when you grow up, Liam.” I growled as I stood up. I glanced over at Collin who was thankfully already passed out. I sighed with relief before I grabbed my dress and stormed out of his apartment.
Holding back the tears was the hardest part of all as I got dressed in his hallway. I waited for him to come after me, to apologize and say how sorry he was for over reacting, and then I waited some more. Five minutes had passed before I finally gave up; throwing his shirt on the ground as I walked down the flight of stairs and stormed down his stoop with bare feet.
“Need a ride?” I heard a man ask, which made me angrier because I did in fact need a ride.
With a sigh I look over at the pervert hitting on me, and to my surprise, it was Charlie. He was leaning against his brand new black Corvette, arms crossed over his chest, and a wide grin spread across his face.
“Yes.” I sighed, “I need a ride.”
An hour of silence and staring out the window went by painfully slow. All I could think about was Liam’s reaction and how angry he was at me and for what I still wasn’t sure, which started to make me angry.
“When the hell are we going to get there?” I barked at Charlie, not in the mood to sit anymore.
“Were almost there, relax.” Charlie said in a slow calming tone like I was some bomb that was about to go off, which pissed me off even more.
“Here. Stop here.” I told him as I sat up straight. A tall, red neon sign flashed in our eyes that read “Maggie’s Bar”, and set back a ways was an old building with no windows and a dirt parking lot filled with cars.
He slowly pulled into the non-lit parking lot, and parked the car between a van and a pickup truck.
“Kate, what the hell are we doing here?” Charlie asked me as he stepped out of the car and threw his leather jacket in the front seat.
“Were having a drink.” I said simply as I shut the passenger door and adjusted my dress. You could hear the live band from the parking lot, they had a deep south sound with a twang and a heavy foot stomp.
“I don’t drink.” He said as he walked in front of the car, watching me.
“Then I’m having a drink, and you can watch.” I said before I left him standing there and made my way into the noisy bar. It was mostly men but it wasn’t intimidating like it is in the city, they were all laughing amongst themselves, most of them playing a game of cards at their beer stained tables.
“I’ll have a Jameson, neat.” I told the bartender, scanning the crowded room as I took note of where the exits were.
She set down an empty glass in front of me and started to pour that liquid gold, my mouth immediately starting to water as I watched it fall into the glass. “Make it a double.” I told her, and she did.
“Whiskey, nice choice.” Charlie said as he appeared next to me, leaning his side against the bar so he was facing me.
“An alcoholic would know…” I said with satisfaction before I let the entire glass of whiskey burn its way down my throat.
“Recovering alcoholic, jackass, and yes. I would know.” He responded with a nod. “Good. You’re finished. Let’s go.” He said, taking my arm.
“You are way too controlling, you know that?” I said as I pulled away from him. “I’m not yours, Charlie. I never was. You can’t control my every move and be bossy and protective. That’s all you are, all the time. Do you even have another setting? Besides anger? I thought I saw compassion in you that night your sister arrived and we actually started to have a decent conversation but then whatever I saw in you after that just disappeared.”
“Kate… That’s enough.”
“No, its not. Is it fear? Are you scared someone wont willingly spend time with you so you have to demand it from them?” I could hear myself pressing him but I didn’t care. “You think that Finn is your loyalist friend but in reality he doesn’t respect you. He doesn’t want another human being to be anything like you because you’re unpredictable in the worst way. We were one hundred percent sure you were going to kill Liam for being with me. Kill.”
“Did I?” Charlie finally snapped, “Did I kill him, Kate? Did I do anything? NO. So clearly I’m not as big of a monster as you thought I was, so STOP pretending like you know me. You know what I choose to show you. That’s it.” He said firmly.
“Fine.” I mumbled.
“Fine.” He repeated and ordered me another drink. “You ready to tell me what happened with Liam?” He asked.
I rolled my eyes, “That’s none of your business.”
He smirked, “You seemed pretty pissed when you walked out.”
“I’m not even the mad one! He’s the mad one!” I yelled out as I looked up at him.
“Well what does he have to be mad about? Did he see me?” He asked curiously.
“He found out I knew about his wife and kid and he got pissed.” I explained.
“He got mad that you knew?” He asked with a frown.
“He got mad because I didn’t tell him I knew. Well when the hell was I suppose to do that because I was sweating bullets trying to find the right time to bring it up!”
“He’ll get over it.”
“No, Charlie, I don’t think he will…”
“Well,” He shrugged, “If he doesn’t, he’s an idiot.”
I sighed at the thought of Liam staying mad forever and decided to change the subject before I burst into tears. “Where are you taking me, Charlie? I know were not headed back to camp.”
“Finish your drink and I’ll tell you in the car.” He said with a nod.
Eager to find out our destination I slammed my second glass of whiskey and followed Charlie out to the car. I could feel my cheeks getting red from the alcohol, it was starting to hit me now. Lips numb, body relaxed, cheeks warm. I felt good.
“Shit. Follow my lead.” I heard Charlie whisper to me before he pushed me up against the passenger door of his car and slammed his lips onto mine.
I was so relaxed I couldn’t fight it even if I wanted to, and I really didn’t want to. He didn’t wait for my approval; his tongue was sliding in my mouth faster than I could register it. I wanted to say something to him but every time I tried to speak, it came out a moan. My tongue was eagerly searching for his as soon as I tasted him. I heard someone talking as they walked past us but I didn’t care. All I could think about was the fact that Charlie had me pinned and I was ready to surrender to him.
When the voices slowly disappeared I felt Charlie hesitate for a second. His mouth was on mine but he stopped kissing me. My entire body was tingling and ready for anything. I didn’t want him to stop, I didn’t want to lose this feeling. So I pulled him tighter against me by his belt and crashed my lips onto his, moaning as he responded by grabbing a handful of my hair and roughly tilting my head up more so he could kiss me harder. With his free hand I felt him reach under my dress and softly massage my clit, making my hips automatically buck against his hand. I worked at his belt as I felt my panties dampen more and more with each rub, eager to feel his throbbing cock in my hand. I felt a cool rush of air brush against my wet lips as he ripped my panties in half and dropped them at my feet. That act alone had me close to an orgasm, but I controlled myself so I could unbutton his jeans.
A deep moan vibrated in the back of his throat as I wrapped my hand around his warm thick cock. He was rock solid and pushing against my stomach, eagerly waiting to be engulfed. With a sigh of passion, Charlie easily slipped two fingers into my wet slit, warming me up for what was about to happen. I was so wrapped up in the moment I didn’t have a care in the world that anyone could walk by us at any second. Everyone in that bar could have been watching us and I didn’t care. He slowly pulled his fingers out of me and lifted me up by my ass. He carried me to the hood of the car and laid me down with ease. I looked up at the sky and was amazed that the stars were so clear and visible. There were no lights in the parking lot, just the red neon sign blinking down at us. My attention went back to Charlie when I felt his hard cock probe at my wet opening. He looked down at me as he guided himself into me, inches at a time.
“More.” I begged to him as he teased me.
“More?” He asked in a husky tone, “Oh I’ll give you more.” He whispered as he slammed his full length into me, making me gasp with pleasure.
“Yes!” I moaned as he started to slip in and out of me, moving harder and faster with each thrust.
He dug at my hips the faster he moved, only giving me more pleasure. I felt my orgasm build as he used his thumb to rub my clit.
“Charlie.” I moaned, squeezing my eyes shut, “I’m gonna cum. Don’t stop!” I begged.
My body finally succumbed to all the pleasure as his thrusts became harder, leaving me moaning and completely helpless as I came.
“Fuck!” Charlie whispered as my orgasm traveled through my body and left by pulsing around his cock, sending him over the edge himself. He became stiff as his orgasm hit him while he was still inside of me, filling me with his hot cum. I watched as he clenched his jaw to keep from screaming out in pleasure.
Grinning, I laid back and waited for his high to die down, and when it did, he looked down at me with that evil grin.
“That was…” I started.
“…Fucking amazing.” He whispered as he slowly pulled out of me and helped me to my feet. He grabbed me by the jaw and kissed me gently before backing away and walking over to his side of the car as he tucked his dick back in his jeans. “Get in.” He demanded, and I obeyed.
“So, where are we going?” I asked as I buckled myself in.
“To meet the man who knows about your father’s illness.” He said as he pulled back onto the road.
“Charlie, its late. We can’t go there right now! Besides, I have no panties and I just cleaned your car with my brand new white dress!” I laughed, the Jameson working against me now.
“I have a change of clothes for you in the back, climb back there and change.” He suggested.
“You have clothes for me? Why?”
“Because I knew you’d come and I knew you wouldn’t be properly dressed.”
“It’s weird the way your mind works.” I mumbled as I climbed in the backseat, making me a little nauseous. “You wouldn’t happen to have a cheeseburger back here, would you? I could really go for something greasy.”
Charlie chuckled a deep laugh that had me looking at him sideways from the backseat. I don’t remember the last time I heard that man laugh and mean it.
“I’ll stop and get you some food for your drunk ass.”
“I’m not drunk! Just a little…” I thought about my empty stomach with nothing but whiskey swooshing around, “…Hungry.”
“We both know what happened back there wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t under the influence.”
“I-“ I started to talk but quickly shut up. Was it because of the whiskey? Was it because Charlie and I are just good together and we have that chemistry? Would it have happened if I hadn’t been drinking? I didn’t know, and I didn’t want Charlie to know I didn’t know so I stopped talking and focused on getting dressed.
“So where does this guy live?” I asked as I pulled on some black cargo pants.
“A mental institution.” Charlie said over his shoulder.
I froze. “A what?”
“Well, it used to be a mental institution back in the 1800’s. The government shut it down and turned it into a shopping mall and condo’s.” He explained.
“Who would ever live there?!” I asked as I buttoned my pants.
“I know people who have been on a three year waiting list to get into this place.”
“To get into a mental institution? That’s so backwards…”
“They put a lot of money into it, you’ll see.”
“How do you know all of this?” I asked curiously as I pulled on a black t-shirt.
“Google.” He smirked.
“Right.” I laughed, “But its still late, Charlie. We can’t show up at ten o’clock and expect him to give us answers.”
“He’s a night owl. Usually doesn’t go to sleep until four or five AM anyway.” He explained.
“You learn that from Google too?” I asked with a raised brow.
He grinned, “Not exactly.”
One delicious burger and fry later and we had arrived. The view was like a scene out of a scary movie. The asylum stretched a quarter mile long, hibernating tree’s outlined the long driveway, and the only lights that were on were from the residents on the top floor. The Victorian architecture transported me to another time and gave me chills down my spine.
“Ya know… I hate normal hospitals; I can’t imagine how much I’ll hate this one. Maybe we should go.” I suggested as my heart rate started to pick up.
“Were not leaving, Kate.” Charlie said as he parked the car.
“Maybe we can just come back when its daylight out?”
“Do you really want to delay this for one more day?” He asked me.
I sighed, “No…”
After I took a few seconds to talk myself into getting out of the car, Charlie and I walked side by side down the sidewalk, admiring the grounds. “It’s a beautiful night… too bad its about to be ruined.”
“Do you honestly think this is going to end badly?” He asked me.
“Do you honestly think this is going to end well?” I replied.
“Can I help you folks?” A security guard asked as he walked towards us with a flashlight.
“We’re here to visit a friend but we can’t seem to find where to go in.” Charlie lied with a laugh.
“Who are you here to visit? I have a list of our residents right here” He asked as he pulled out a miniature IPad.
“Um, Frank Henderson.” I said.
“Yes, Mr. Henderson is in the North wing, I can take you there if you’d like.” He said with a nod.
“That’s alright, we’ll just be in and out anyway. Plus, it looks like its about to rain any minute.” Charlie chimed in, “Thanks officer.”
“What are your names? I’ll let him know you’re coming.”
“Oh no! We’d like it to be a surprise, it’s his birthday.” I lied with a smile.
“Alright then, you two have a good night.” He said and made his way around the corner.
I sighed, “I have a bad feeling about this.” I whispered.
“So do I.” Charlie agreed, “So let’s go get this over with.” He said as he led me towards the North wing.
Once we were inside, Charlie looked at the folded up piece of paper he showed me before and guided me into the elevator. “He’s on the top floor, in the penthouse.” He explained.
“Of course he is.’ I mumbled.
“No matter what he says, do not tell him anything about yourself, you understand?” Charlie said, looking down at me.
I was pulling my hair up in a ponytail when he looked at me, a serious look on his face with a hint of worry in his eyes.
The elevator doors opened to the penthouse, and a gust of warm air and jazz music filled the elevator. Charlie lead the way into this mans home, keeping me close behind him. I found it odd that anyone could enter his private space from the elevator but if this was a hospital before it would make sense. It smelled like fresh paint and looked completely remodeled. An open floor plan with new wooden floors, a brand new kitchen with cement countertops, a stairway that lead to what looked like a loft style bedroom or office, a modern day fireplace and two small balconies to put plants on. If you hadn’t known this was an insane asylum before, you would have never figured it out.
“Ah, I thought I heard the elevator.” An older gentleman said, standing in the living room. He looked about sixty years old, in good shape, with a head full of white hair. “Tom told me I had company on the way up, how can I help you kids?” He asked, walking towards us.
“My name is Katherine Fox, my father was a patient of yours and I have some questions about him.” I said with a firm tone.
“Well I’m sorry Ms. Fox but its against the law to give you any information about my patients no matter what the relation.” He said, observing me from a distance.
“My father died ten years ago. He’s not your patient anymore.” I said with a raised brow.
I watched his eye line drop to the ground as his brain searched for something, “You’re James’ daughter, aren’t you?” He asked, taking a step closer to me as he looked me in the eyes.
“Yes.” I said softly, relieved he remembered him.
“Who’s your friend?” He asked, nodding his head in Charlie’s direction.
“Call me Charlie, Sir.” Charlie said with a nod.
“You remember my father?” I asked, eager to get to the point of all this.
“I remember your father very well, miss. Why don’t you have a seat while I make us some tea.” He suggested.
“Your father came to me at a very dark time in his life,” Frank started to explain as he poured three cups of tea at the coffee table. “He said that he kept having nightmares that he was murdering couples in their own homes. He said it felt like he just did a line of Cocaine. It evened him out that way, in his dreams of course. This went on for about a year. He would come in and describe his dreams to me, with vast detail mind you. I didn’t think anything of it, I mean it was nothing to report to the authorities or to the nut house. We figured it was just his medication giving him bad dreams so we switched his meds quite often.” He sighed, “I know that’s not exactly something you want to hear about your dad, that he suffered that way, but it got better when he met your mother. They did a lot of exercising together and eventually his bad dreams went away and he stopped coming to me. I was sad to hear about their deaths, what an awful way to go.”
I could tell that his last comment spiked Charlie’s interest but he just stayed silent. “So that’s it? He told you they were just bad dreams?” I asked, not believing that was all to his story.
“Why did you come here, Katherine?” Frank asked.
“I…” I felt Charlie bump his knee softly against mine, reminding me to keep all personal information to myself, “They were just bad dreams?” I asked again.
Frank looked me in the eyes and took in a deep breath, “No. They turned out to be very real. It all took place in different states; I didn’t make the connections until a few years later.” He admitted, “By that time he had already passed.”
“Jesus Christ.” Charlie whispered.
“Have you ever killed anyone, Ms. Fox?” Frank asked me.
I blinked at him in shock, “Excuse me?”
“Did you kill that boy that was found in your apartment?” He elaborated.
“No.” I said firmly, holding his gaze.
“Ah, well, there are police surrounding the building as we speak who think otherwise.” He said as he sat back in his chair.
Charlie quickly got to his feet and looked out the window, “Kate. We need to move.”
“Who are you?” I growled.
“I’m no one, darling, the police contacted me, I merely let them know you were here.” He grinned.
It took Charlie two strides to get to Frank, and one hit to knock him out. “Let’s move. Now.” He demanded, pulling me to my feet.
My heart was pounding, “What’s the plan, Charlie? Why are the cops all of a sudden after me?” I asked in a panic.
“You’re worried about the wrong thing right now, Kate. We need to get you out of here so I need you to do everything I say and do not hesitate, you understand?” He whispered to me.
“Yes.” I nodded.
“Good. Now. I’m sorry.” He frowned.
“For what?” I asked.
“This.” Charlie whispered.
I felt a sharp pinch in my neck, followed by a burning sensation and loss of mobilization. “Fuck! What was that?” I whispered to him as I watched him pull the needle out of my neck. Everything started to happen in slow motion. I was leaning into him now, my body becoming numb and my vision starting to blur; I watched helplessly as Charlie slowly laid me on the ground.
“I’ll explain everything later. You’re going to be fine.” He explained to me just seconds before the cops busted through the elevator doors. “She’s here.” He yelled to them as he looked down at me, “She’s right here.” He whispered just as everything went black.