Chapter Twenty-Two

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When I walked in the front door, Kaye was chopping vegetables at the kitchen island while Andy unloaded the dishwasher. "All I meant was that you should trust her to make her own decisions—" Andy was saying.

Kaye looked up at the sound of the door closing. "Miranda! You're back!" She dropped the knife on the cutting board with a clatter and ran over to me, throwing her arms around me. "Oh, your face!" she added in dismay, pulling back and peering at the ugly bruise on my jaw.

I laughed. "Thanks."

"I'm sorry—I just can't believe someone would do this to you! So it was your ex? Is that what this was all about—the way you just sort of showed up here? You were—?"

"Running away from him," I supplied. "Yeah."

Kaye sat down on the arm of the couch, her fair eyebrows furrowed with concern. "He found you, just like he said he could in that text."

"I was stupid." I sighed. "He figured it out through my phone bill. I should've thrown out my phone the second I left. I just didn't think of it."

"Your phone bill," Kaye echoed. "That is some Grade A stalking, right there."

"You have no idea," I told her, thinking of Rhys's little trip to Florida.

"I'm so sorry we weren't home. I feel terrible." She paused, tugging on a spike of white-blond hair. "I heard that Owen Larsen came over."

"Yeah." I plunked down in the chair by the couch. "My phone called him, somehow."

"Your phone called him?"

"Yeah, Rhys grabbed it from me and it fell, and it must have dialed Owen somehow. He said he could hear Rhys and me, um, arguing, so he raced over here, and he tackled Rhys. It was..." The most amazing thing anyone has ever done for me.

"Wow," Kaye said. "That is weird. My phone doesn't call people when I drop it. It just breaks. Maybe yours felt bad about leading that bastard to you," she added, with a trace of a smile.

I smiled back. "Maybe." I hadn't gotten a chance to think about the mysterious phone call much, what with everything that had happened. An uncomfortable feeling prickled at the back of neck.

"Can I help with dinner?" I asked Kaye, trying to shake it off.

"If you want to," she said. I insisted that I did, so eventually she let me help bread the chicken. I tried to act normal, but I couldn't focus on their sprawling conversation. My mind kept going back to what Kaye had said—how strange it was that my phone had dialed Owen when it had hit the floor. As if it had read my mind. Mechanically, it didn't make any sense: the phone hadn't been opened to my list of contacts or recent calls. It had been locked.

Once again, I had that squirming, unsettling feeling of being scooped up, played like a chess piece. It wasn't just the mysterious phone call to the person I wanted and needed most. There was the cut on my leg that came out of nowhere, on a day where Owen just happened to feel like walking up a path that normally he never used. Then there was the door leading into Suze's room: how could it have been locked one moment and unlocked the next? I hadn't done anything but turn the knob; it was as if someone had let me in.

And finally, there was Jenny's split lip at the party. She had said something about Suze, and Violet had snapped at her, and then her lip had just started bleeding the exact same way my leg had bled—out of nowhere.

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