Chapter 22 - "I'd like to know what I'm worth, Justin."

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Chapter 22 "I'd like to know what I'm worth, Justin."

Justin

She hates me – the thought tortured me as I listened to her footsteps fade away. Instinctively, I gathered my things and got ready to leave. She was probably telling her parents what I had done and how she never wanted to see me again; none of them would want to see me again. As I shoved my clothes back into the duffle bag, trying my best to stay numb as I did so, I heard the unmistakable sound of the front door opening and slamming shut, then it opened again and Rhylee’s mother was calling her name.

Oh no… I spun on my heel, already pulling the car keys out of my pocket, and ran out the door, down the stairs, and to the front door. Mrs. Baker was still standing in the doorway, calling after her daughter, when she turned to me. Her expression was livid, showing me she wouldn’t be letting me out of the house to follow Rhylee until I told her what happened. “What did you do to my daughter?” She demanded with her hands ready on her hips.

It seemed she hadn’t truly seen me until that moment. Taking in my broken nose and bleeding face, she gasped, her hand flying up to her mouth in shock. “What did she do to you?”

I chuckled angrily – I knew I deserved it, but my nose stung and burned in pain, warning me there would be hell to pay later.

“Trust me, she had every right to.” I muttered as I pushed past her. Thankfully my nose had distracted her long enough to let me pass, allowing me to bustle to the car and instantly take off from the sidewalk, knowing it’d be better to drive than to find Rhylee on foot.

Why does she have to keep running off like that? Images of the night at the club played through my mind; that was the last time I had left her alone for a moment, and I wasn’t about to let it happen again. Last time that happened, she got stabbed in the side; I couldn’t let her get hurt again. My mind whirred with possibilities as my eyes searched frantically for her down the neighborhood streets.

What if Robert found us? Part of me hoped he gave up, but the smarted part knew that wasn’t going to happen. He snapped he’s lost his mind; he’s not going to give up. Brent wasn’t going to give up – Rhylee was his biggest project; she had millions of dollars-worth of drugs in her system. With a gulp, I wondered what they would do when they found her. Would they kill her? I already knew they would kill me – I betrayed my coworkers, my work, and my duties.

With a snarl, I shook the thought from my head. I didn’t give a damn anymore what they would do to me, or what I left behind; none of it mattered anymore. Searching still for Rhylee’s black hair or gold eyes, I passed several houses, probably driving on the wrong side of the road. “Where is she?” I panicked.

With the same sound of nails-on-a-chalkboard I slammed on the brakes, steering to the sidewalk. The front right wheel rolled onto the curb, forcing me to literally jump down from the car as I ran towards the striding figure I had stopped at. “Rhylee, please stop!” I called after her, running towards her.

I had been expecting her to run or to turn and hit me again, but neither of those things happened. She didn’t seem to have it in her to do either. My brows raised in concern as I heard a light sniffle come from her bowed head.

“Rhylee?” I asked softly, gently holding out a hand and putting it on her shoulder. She stopped at my touch, but didn’t turn to look back at me.

“I thought I could trust you. But of course, I thought I could trust Robert, too – and guess who we’re running from. I thought you were different though…even when you were one of the doctors, you took care of me. You didn’t hold me down or insult me…you cared about me. I guess that was just because you felt guilty, though.” She sniffed again before turning to look at me. Her eyes were bloodshot – she’d obviously been crying for a while – she looked utterly hurt…it tore at my chest. “You can go back to your job now, if you like. I only ask that you all leave me alone.”

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