My throat is closing up as I look up at the knob, seeing the door is unlocked. I stand up slowly, not wanting to cause too much noise.
I hold the phone back up to my ear as my feet plant firmly onto the tile.
"There's someone here," I whisper, terrified.
"What? What do you mean there?"
"In the apartment... Someone's in the apartment... I can hear- hear them outside the door. Tristan."
"Tanya! My car- NOW!" I hear him bellow loudly. I hear a commotion on his side as I stare at the knob. "Genevieve- lock the door to the bathroom. Do it now."
"They'll hear me."
"If your bath was on, they already have. Do it."
I reach forward and turn the lock, backing up as I hear the door shake. Fuck.
"I'm on my way now! Tanya is calling the cops."
The knob turns again and I back up against the sink, eyes wide. I grab my robe and pull it on, holding the phone away from my ear. Something slams against the door loudly and I resist screaming.
Tristan's voice loudens so obviously he hears it too.
"Genevieve! Answer me!"
Another slam and I see the hinges loosen on the door. In full panic mode, I drop the phone and begin sifting through the drawers for anything that can amount to a weapon. It doesn't matter if I'm loud- whoever it is knows I'm in here.
The door bursts open and I choke on my breath as a man dressed completely in black bounds over the broken door, reaching out for me. I try to run past him but he grabs my waist tightly, pulling me into him. I shriek, fighting against him, kicking my legs to try and deter him. He's large- a lot stronger than I am.
I struggle against him as he drags me into the living room. Desperate, I bend my head down and bite as hard as I can into his hand around my torso. Shouting an explicit, he lets go of me and I immediately scramble up to try and make it to the door.
But he catches me within seconds, spinning my body roughly. I feel his hard, calloused palm suddenly against my cheek and go blind. I fall to the floor, blinking as the left side of my face burns painfully.
He doesn't reach for me so despite the pain, I stand up, rushing forward until I notice someone, to my horror, blocking the door.
And she's not as I remember her. Her hair is frizzed crazily and discolored from lack of treatment. She's breaking out badly all over her face, clearly sweating. She's also dressed in black and smiling wide. It's a smile that is meant to scare the absolute shit out of me and succeeds.
Out of breath, I stand still, shocked. My cheek is on fire, forcing my eyelids to tear up.
"B-balcony," she utters, stuttering to the man. My eyes go wide as he moves toward me and I duck underneath him, running towards the bedroom.
He grabs the back of my robe and I fling back like a rag doll into his arms. She's holding the door open for him as he drags me out. I'm panting, fighting frantically as I feel the harsh breeze of our altitude.
He grabs my neck and slams me against the metal railing, pinning me against it. Half of my body is dangling over the side and I feel my feet begin to lift from the ground.
Oh my God. Oh my God.
Tears fall from my eyes as I struggle to breathe. "Pl-please, Casey. Do-don't- don't do this!"
I hear police sirens blaring below us. We all hear them. She watches as the man in the black mask turns to her, waiting for the signal. I shake my head, trying to tear his grip from my throat.
"You messed with the wrong person," she hisses, pointing at me. The man's grip loosens but not enough to release me. I stare at her, feeling rage and absolute horror.
The words tumble from my mouth before I realize it, surprisingly strong and unshaken. "He will never love you. Ever."
Her face remains unmoving but she looks to the man and nods, narrowing her eyes. His fingers tighten around my throat, causing me to choke as I grab ahold of the metal bars, resisting.
My feet are barely grazing the ground now and I begin to feel the rush of panic you feel before you trip or before you almost hit the person in your blind spot. It blocks the air to my lungs as if I were about to vomit. I'm lightheaded- floating.
"JESUS CHRIST!" My lips tremble as I hear Tristan's choked gasp come from inside the apartment. "Stop! Casey, NO!"
Tristan runs through the door, sprinting past her to grab the man. In an attempt to finish what he started, he tries to heave me over but I scream, holding onto the bars for dear life, feeling my knuckles cracking from the strain. Through my tears, I watch the man's hands leave my throat as Tristan pulls him from me.
My ankles buckle as they hit the ground once more and my knees give out. I fall to the floor, hearing the police around me.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?!" Tristan bellows to someone, I'm guessing Casey Mathews. When I hear her shaky, doped voice shout over the policeman's, my eyes close in horror.
"She- she'll never love you like I-I do! What I've had to do to get your attention! Yo-you didn't know Judge Rubin plays golf with my father- did you?"
"Go to fucking hell," Tristan hisses, bent beside me. I stare at the ground, unsure how to move my body. I feel my robe close, covering my nakedness and I know they're Tristan's hands doing it.
It's silent. I can only hear the rush of the city below us and the hoarseness of Tristan's breathing.
"J-Jesus Christ, Genevieve. Look at me." His hands rest on my jaw, pulling my head up. I stare at his eyes blankly, knowing there are tears streaming down my face from the shock of it all.
He's dressed in a suit, a charcoal colored suit- one I haven't seen before. He lifts his fingers to my face, touching the part of my cheek that's still burning. He grimaces, sucking in a breath.
"Baby, say something. Anything. Talk to me."
I want to but my mouth doesn't move. It can't. He lifts my trembling hands to his mouth, kissing them tenderly, completely out of breath.
"Okay, okay... You don't have to. Just relax. Let's stand up."
I shake my head, reaching forward as he tries to stand. On his knees, he looks down. I feel my face contort as I'm finally able to take in the fact that I'm alive. I shuffle forward and envelop myself into his arms. He rests a hand on my hair, gasping in relief.
"It's all over. Everything's over."
I close my eyes against his chest, nodding as the emotions hit me like a bulldozer and I completely break down in his arms.
YOU ARE READING
What do you do when disaster strikes? You survive. On the night before her entire life changes, Genevieve Harding was walking along the shoreline with a man she'd only just met. Tristan Maddox. A man who grazed the pages of the magazines and newspa...