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The fact that we had been in stand-still traffic for hours managed to cause my anxiety to surface. Of all days there could've been a massive wreck, it had to be today? When we were getting so close to finding my sister? Was I not being tortured enough?!

We had been on the road for two hours when we hit the pile-up. It had been a lot of sitting, and then police cruisers, firetrucks and ambulances arriving, and then more sitting.

And after three-and-a-half hours, we were moving again. But now we were way behind, and wouldn't be getting to our destination until about five in the afternoon.

"What do you think Paige needs to show us?" Melissa wondered.

I shrugged. "Probably more of her screwed up childhood."

Truth be told, I still couldn't see the point in what she was doing. Sure, she wanted me to feel bad or maybe somehow understand why she was doing all of this. But I just didn't.

"Do you think we're getting close to the end?"

I leaned back into the passenger seat. "Maybe."

I wasn't intentionally being short with Melissa, I just didn't have much to say right now. With my dad abandoning the search for Anna and Paige leading us to another destination, I was emotionally drained.

I could still hear the panic in Anna's fragile voice. Her frantic words echoed through my head over and over, begging me to find her. Her life was on the line and I was responsible for it. And if we didn't find her...

I shook the thought. No. We had to. I would not let Paige hurt Anna any more than she already has. Not without a fight.

"Why do you think she's doing all of this?" Melissa broke the silence again. "Why is she bringing you to all of these places?"

I stared out the window with thought.

"I don't know," I whispered.

Melissa wasn't satisfied. "Alexa, you have to have some idea."

I watched trees fly by in a green and brown blur. The reflection of my face blended in with the gray clouds swarming the sky.

"She has issues," I answered. "Like Stanley said. She's just insane."

"Maybe," Melissa agreed. "But even when crazy people do things like this, there's still an ulterior motive."

"If she does have an ulterior motive, then it doesn't make any sense."

"It doesn't have to make sense to you." She sighed. "It just has to make sense to her."

I continued to think about her mother's grave and the news-clippings she had left for me to find. Maybe she was punishing me for my past mistakes. It would make sense considering the main reason, or so it seemed, that had set all of this off was me having a hand in getting her father arrested.

"Maybe she's punishing me," I reasoned. "Maybe she wants me to suffer the same way she is. Maybe she wants me to feel lonely like she does."

It was obvious Paige wanted someone to suffer for her father being arrested and for her mother being killed. She might've snapped at the arrest of Stanley, which led to her devising this insane plan. But she needed something to explain her actions of attempting to kill me and kidnapping my sister. And using my history and involvement was the perfect justification, at least in her twisted mind.

"So, you think that she's just attached onto punishing you because of the death of her mother and your involvement in arresting Stanley?" Melissa wondered.

Seize Fire (Book #3) GirlXGirlWhere stories live. Discover now