I am not thrilled with this chapter whatsoever. This was more of a filler if anything. The terrifying chapters start with my next update!!
I suddenly realized the severity of my situation. Two people died because of me…two people who had a life ahead of them. Even though Parker hasn't been in my life in a few years, the pain of losing him was just as unbearable as losing Gia. Needless to say, I wasn't allowed to leave the apartment unless I had a swarm of agents surrounding me.
Brian stayed the night with me. He slept on the floor and I was pretty sure he knew I was awake the entire time, but I knew he was awake too. His night terrors seemed to get better when he was with me, but he didn't sleep a wink either. At ten o'clock, I figured it was time I at least showed my face to my family. Brian was up hours ago and I could smell breakfast. I trudged into the kitchen only to see mom and Casey at the breakfast bar and Brian at the stove. "Where is everyone?" I sat next to Casey and Brian put a plate of eggs in front of me.
"Justin went to work and dad went with him," mom replied. "Are you planning on going out today?"
"I'm not planning on going out for the rest of my life," I replied shoveling a forkful of eggs into my mouth. Casey smiled as Brian's phone rang. Brian excused himself and we all watched him walk out to the balcony.
"So are you guys getting back together?" Casey asked. I lifted my gaze from Brian to Casey and bewilderment.
"I didn't mean to offend you…it's just you go three years without talking and then you guys are attached at the hip…" I frowned and stole a quick glance at Brian who was chatting away with a serious expression on his face.
"I don't want to get him killed."
"What about Agent Hanson?" Mom asked. I sighed. Colin. I was still majorly pissed at him, but I was curious to see where this would go.
"It's complicated…" Brian walked back into the apartment and tucked his phone into his pocket.
"I need to go to NCIS…I can't really say anything, but I'll be back by dinner."
"Do you want company?" I asked hoping he would say yes. He bashfully smiled which made the butterflies in my stomach soar.
"You should stay here. It's dangerous for you out there and I don't want you to sit around and wait for me." I nodded as he walked back to the room to get changed.
"You should give him a chance, E. He's a great guy," said Casey.
"I'm just scared that once things get off the ground with us, he'll spook just like last time."
"Honey, he's a different person now. He's had three years to grow up," said mom, squeezing my arm. Well, she was right. Maybe…just maybe…Brian walked out ten minutes later in his desert cammies. He looked so handsome and I just liked…staring.
"I'll be back soon. I promise." I smiled and watched him walk out the door. Suddenly hit with a wave of inspiration, I hurried into the family room and sat down at the piano. I started throwing chords around and really getting into it. So. Late twenties with police training. Grayson certainly didn't have police training. The stalker has personally known me from 3-6 years. He'll come off as a concerned friend. Well, that just left everyone from the funeral. I noticed someone walk into the family room and I noticed it was Peter. I stopped playing and joined him on the couch.
"Hey, are you ok? I wanted to check up on you, but Brian and I wanted to look through Gia's safe…"
"I'm fine…just a little freaked out. So that was Parker's…?" I nodded solemnly. "Are you all right? I mean, you look ok…"
"I'm heartbroken. This is the second person who has died because of me. I hope you'll be careful, Pete. Because if I lose you, I don't know what I'd do…" He weakly smiled.
"We're gonna get this creep. Hopefully we all will be able to get some normalcy back in our life when he's locked up."
"I love your confidence." Pete chuckled.
"I have to get going…I just wanted to see if you're all right. Can I take you out for dinner tomorrow night?" I smiled.
"I would love that." He pecked me on the forehead and then he was gone. Shortly after Peter left, Colin, Justin and dad returned home. Colin weakly smiled and motioned to the balcony doors. I nodded and followed him outside.
"She coded everything." I frowned. It seemed every time we got somewhere, we were shoved 82 steps behind. "We're still working on a key to crack her cypher, but as of right now, we're still stuck." I sat down, frustrated and with tears in my eyes.
"Didn't she leave a riddle or something?"
"She did…NYAC560." I thought to myself.
"NY is obviously New York. AC560…A license plate maybe?" He shook his head sadly.
"We've tried that. We're going to have to go through all of your records from when you lived in New York…I know you probably don't want me rummaging through your life, but I need to catch this guy." I considered this for a moment. It was worth Colin knowing my dirty secrets if that meant this guy would be caught.
"Do what you have to do. Nobody else can die because of me…" We sat in awkward silence as we took in the new information.
"I just wanted to apologize for yesterday…"
"It's not me you have to apologize to."
"I know. But I crossed a line, and it hurt you, too."
"You have to understand something, Colin. Brian is more to me than an ex-boyfriend. He's family and so was Gia. Brian feels awful about what he did to me, but you had no right to make him believe that he condemned Gia and me! I would do anything for the both of them and I know they would do the same for me. Now that Gia is gone, I am the only family Brian has left."
Colin nodded in understanding. If Colin wanted to be a part of my life, he had to know Brian and I tick. I may not know our relationship or what it is, but he's been there for me through everything. "I have to get back to work. I'll let you know as soon as I can if I can crack it." I nodded and stood up to walk him out.
Casey and mom were just putting the finishing touches on dinner. Brian still wasn't home and I started to worry. I knew it was NCIS and he had something important to do, but if Brian said he'd be home by dinner, then that's what I would believe. Casey started bring serving dishes of food to the table and I sat down anxiously. Finally, my phone started ringing, but it was a number I didn't recognize.
"Hi, my name is Holly Tyson, I'm a nurse at Jefferson Memorial Hospital…" I stomach sank. I stood up and grabbed a jacket and my purse, but Justin blocked the door. "Sergeant Brian Harker has you listed as his emergency contact…he was just admitted to the ER and we'll need you to come by."
"I'll be there in ten minutes." Justin pressed all of his body weight onto the door. "Brian's in the hospital…are you coming?" Justin nodded and grabbed the keys to his car. Agent Gates came with us and left Agent Tilson with our family. Justin peeled out of the parking garage and onto I-395. Sweat was pouring out of me in worry. The nurse didn't go into detail, but I could only imagine the worst. It's funny though, as soon as I start spewing off how much Brian means to me, he gets admitted into the ER.
Before I knew it, we were in the parking lot. I launched myself out of the car and ran full speed into the ER entrance. "Hi, I'm Elena James…I just got a call that Sergeant Brian Harker was admitted…I'm his emergency contact."
"We'll need a photo ID and I'll need you to step in front of the camera, please," said the security officer at the welcome desk. I fished my wallet out of the dark abyss that is my purse and handed him my ID. I stood in front of the camera and was blinded by the flash. He handed me back my ID which I shoved back into my wallet and a sticker with my face on it. "He is on the second floor in room 236." I hurried to the elevator and pressed the number "2" and waited rather impatiently for it to open its doors once more.
I realized that I left Agent Gates and Brian in the dust, but I didn't care. The elevator finally opened up and I walked briskly to room 236. I was met by a doctor reading his chart. "You must be Ms. James." I nodded.
"Is he ok?"
"He has a concussion. We'll need to keep him overnight for observation, but as of right now, he's just a little banged up."
"Can I see him?" He nodded and opened the door. Brian was sitting up in the bed watching the TV angrily. He turned his gaze to me and his face instantly lit up. Relief washed over me. "God I thought you were in critical condition or something!" I rushed over and wrapped my arms around him. "What happened?" I perched myself on the foot of his bed and folded my legs underneath me.
"I stopped at a CVS on the way back here to get a few things and some jackass came behind me and tried to hit me over the head with a pipe."
"There's no way you can just have a concussion if you got hit in the head with a pipe…" he smirked.
"I said tried to hit me in the back of the head with a pipe. He tripped while approaching me and dropped it. Before I reacted before he could reach down to get it, but he was quick. He kicked my feet out from under me and I smacked my head on the sidewalk. He had a knife, so he slashed me a few times, but that's just flesh wounds…he didn't get deep enough." I frowned.
"Do you think this has anything to do with the stalker?" He shook his head and took his hand in mine.
"This was too unorganized. And if it was, it wasn't the stalker. He probably hired some guy to kill me so he wouldn't get his hands dirty. That's what I think happened with Parker, too."
"Can I stay here tonight?" He nodded. "I would love for you to." I was right. He was doing everything he could to wipe out competition. We must not lose.