����������� Alex awoke Monday at 8:00am and though she still felt as if she were in the middle of a nightmare the sleep made her feel a little less exhausted. That was a good thing because she would need all the energy she could muster to get through this day. She had to go down to the police station, then the airport to pick up Brad's family, and then to the funeral home to make arrangements; God, just two days ago she and Brad were camping and discussing wedding plans, and here she was two days later having to make funeral arrangements for Brad. She didn't know how she would get through all this if it hadn't been for Marlene; she took the week off to be with Alex and help her through all of this.
����������� After a couple of cups of coffee Alex was ready to go down to the police station so they could put the tap on her cell. She hoped that it wouldn't take too long; she had to be at the airport at 11:00am. As they pulled into the parking lot of the station, Alex's phone rang. She and Marlene exchanged a knowing glance before she reluctantly answered.
����������� "Hello, this is Alex."
����������� "Hello Alexis. Why don't you use your full name, it is such a beautiful name. I see you are at the police station. You must be seeing Detective Komis, I believe he is the lead detective on the case. Although I know you are just doing what you have to I can't help but feel betrayed since you are helping the police to find me. I understand you feel like this is what you have to do but sooner or later you'll come around and you'll be glad I am still free to be with you. Because no matter how good the police are, they will never catch me."
����������� He sounded so sincere and caring when he talked about Alex and how she felt that it was hard to believe that the man with that voice killed her fianc�.
����������� "Look, I don't know who you are or why you are stalking me. I don't know where you got the idea that I would ever want to be with you. But if you are going to continue calling could I at least have your name? You not only know my name, you seem to know a great deal about me and I'd like to know who I am talking to. Besides, it's the least you can do after killing my fianc�," Alex had no desire to know his name or anything else about him. But she knew that every bit of information she could get from him put them that much closer to catching him. So she would continue to talk with him whenever he called, no matter how much she hated doing it.
����������� "Alexis I realize we have not known each other long, but do you really think me ignorant enough to give you my name? Believe me I wish we were close enough that I could trust you, but we just are not there yet; unfortunately, it seems we have a long way to go. However I do understand your desire to put a name with the voice so for now just call me Sam."
����������� "Well that's at least slightly better than 'The Stalker'. A fictitious name is better than no name at all," Alex continued to find it extremely difficult to talk with this man and not lose her cool or hang up on him every time he called. After all it had only been two days since that awful night; although sometimes it felt as if she has been living this nightmare for years.
����������� How did Sam know she would be at the police station this early or that Detective Komis was leading the investigation? He seemed to have access to all kinds of information and he seemed to be following her. No. He couldn't have followed her from Marlene's, he told her himself he did not know where she was staying. He must have found out she would be here early this morning and just waited in or around the parking lot for her to show up. If he had been waiting here for her, which seemed likely, that probably means he is still around here somewhere. But what difference does that make? She has no idea what he looks like, if he is in a vehicle or just standing around somewhere. He could be very close, watching her and smiling as he thinks about just how close he can get without raising any flags. This thought, that he can get so close, really had Alex scared; she was thankful to have a police officer watching her 24/7, but she couldn't help but wonder if it mattered, if it would do any good.
����������� "Come on. Let's get this over with, besides Steve is waiting on us," Marlene knew what Alex had to be thinking after that call and she wanted to get her inside the police station where she could feel at least a little safer.
����������� Steve was indeed waiting on them. He saw them pull in and went downstairs to meet them at the door. As he held the door open for them he could not help but notice how stunning Alex looked this morning. Nobody would be able to tell anything was wrong just by looking at her. Besides her outward appearance she also carried herself in a way that exuded confidence, independence, and inner strength. That she could seem to be so together in the middle of a nightmare of this magnitude was extremely impressive; Steve wasn't sure if he could even pull it off. �Of course he had seen her when she was scared and vulnerable so he knew she wasn't as together as she appeared. Every time he sees her he wants more and more to catch this asshole and to help Alexis get through this awful experience.
����������� Alex and Marlene waited as they put a tap on Alex's cell phone. They had finished with Steve and once her cell was done they had to head to the airport and pickup Brad's mother, his two brothers, and his baby sister. They all flew in on the same flight. Even though they don't all live in the same town they all live in an area where most people drive to Nashville and fly out from there and that made things much easier, having them all on the same flight.
����������� At the airport Alex introduced Marlene to Brad's family and there were a lot of hugs and tears. Marlene had to kind of break things up but they were going to be spending plenty of time together this week and right now they needed to get all the bags and head out to the funeral home. On the way they would stop somewhere for lunch; Marlene was starving - it was going on 2:30 - and she knew that Alex wouldn't eat if she didn't force the issue. As it turned out, nobody else had eaten either.����������� It was 8:00 pm when Alex and Marlene finally returned to Marlene's for the night. They had been to funeral home after lunch and then stopped off at Alex's so she could pickup some more clothes and a few things she needed to take over to Marlene's; Brad's family wanted to see where he was living so they came in and looked around for awhile. When they finished they showed Brad's family to the hotel, waited for them to get checked in and then went out for supper. Alex was wiped out; she hoped that she would sleep better tonight since she was exhausted. She said goodnight to Marlene, got undressed, and fell onto the bed. Just before she fell asleep it occurred to her that she had not gotten any more calls after the one this morning; she wondered if that was good or bad.