CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: AN HEIR OF LIES

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I didn't know what was happening

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I didn't know what was happening.

It felt as if I'd gotten swallowed up by a hurricane of black clouds and spit back into the real world, where a pair of restraining arms were trying to hold me still and a thousand questions were turning like a carousel inside my head. The yellow light from the small lamp shone a thousand times brighter, and I wanted to reach my hands up to my ears to keep them from ringing.

My efforts were futile, though. I wasn't strong enough to break loose from his grip.

"Olivia, for Christ's sake, listen to me." Hunter's voice rung through my ears, and the sound of it hurt. Hunter was there at the parking lot the day Roy attacked me. You can't trust him. "Calm down. You're okay. Whatever you saw, it wasn't real. I'm—" 

"A liar," I breathed, managing to squirm out of his arms with one last push. My hands reached for the foot of the bed as I staggered forward, and when I managed to look back, his face had been stricken with confusion. The Reaver Blade was now on the floor, Sally's heartrate monitor had skyrocketed, and the hem of his shirt was pulled up an inch or two, his hair tousled. "You lied to me."

"Liv, what are you talking about? What did you see?"

"You were there, weren't you?" I croaked. "You were at the parking lot when Sally got attacked."

I wanted him to deny it immediately, to tell me it wasn't real, that I'd imagined it all. I wanted him to step forward and wrap his arms around me again, hold me until he made sure I understood that none of what Sally had said was true. But he didn't. He looked down, combing his hair through with one hand.

"I can explain."

"Don't bother. Just stay away from me."

"Olivia—" but I couldn't hear the rest of what he said. The door slammed behind me and drowned his words; all I could think about was getting out of there.

Everything hurt—physically and mentally.

The hallway was vacant and silent now, the only sounds coming from my unsteady heartbeat and the banging of my feet against the marbled floor as I sprinted toward the elevator. The man at the desk was still submerged in his book, didn't even flinch or move when I threw myself into the elevator and pressed the button for the first floor.

Sinking into the wall, I heard the growling of metal while the numbers changed in the panel above me. I felt like an idiot. And that's exactly what I was. An idiot who had trusted someone without the slightest of trepidations. He had been a complete stranger then, and yet I didn't even think about questioning him. Not once.

And I wished I had. I wished I'd asked him as much as I could, doubted him enough to be safe from these details, because now each and every one of them was tearing at me like knives on my head. But most of all, I wished it would all go away. I didn't want to be a part of that world; I didn't want to care like I did.

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