Chapter 30 - The End of Everything

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The telephone kept ringing but Georgie stayed in her chair, looking too frightened to move. Robert got up to answer it.

"Hello?"

"Robert!" It was the bark again. "You leave tomorrow morning at ten! Write down an address where you want to be dropped off. Choose a public place where you can have someone pick you up. Wear the clothes you came in. You will be searched! Don't make things difficult by trying to smuggle anything out!"

Robert asked, "What about –?" but the line was already dead. He suddenly felt sick.

He hung up the receiver and looked at Georgie who was standing in the kitchen doorway with her hand over her mouth, looking stricken.

"Ten tomorrow morning," he said. Two days had just turned into twenty-four hours.

She started sobbing and he went to her and held her tight, crying into her shoulder, overwhelmed with pain knowing how close he was to possibly losing her. They stood for several minutes until he led her to his bedroom. They laid on the bed and held onto each other, crying until the tears ran out. While they laid there quietly, Robert concentrated on her slow steady breaths, feeling her warm body nestled next to him, running his fingers through her silky hair, trying to be in the moment of each second he had left with her.

Later they moved into the sitting room and he lit a fire. He leaned against the couch and she sat between his legs but sideways, leaning against his chest with her face buried in his neck as they held each other. While he sat there, Robert kept going over every second of his time with the bastard, examining everything that'd been said and done, trying to figure out what was going to happen. He kept going back and forth, between Georgie going home with him and not.

"Robert?" Georgie said quietly, interrupting his thoughts.

"Yeah?"

"Do you remember when I told you the day my family died, I was sick and had to stay with a babysitter?"

"Yeah, I remember."

"The woman who was babysitting me, she was a really good friend of my parents. She used to be a school teacher in Chicago but she was retired by then. She was so close to our family, she was like a grandma to me and Frankie. We even called her Grandma May. After the accident – I lived with her and she helped me so much. If it wasn't for her, I don't think I would've survived losing my family. She was the reason why I was able to live again – and be happy." Robert immediately remembered the passport photos of Georgie, how truly happy she looked.

"I loved her a lot and then – and then – I had to leave her. I didn't want to leave her!" she cried out suddenly, and then burst into tears.

He held her tighter and shushed her, feeling a terrible ache in his chest, imagining how terrible it must have been for the young girl with the sweet face in the passport photos to lose yet another person she loved. Georgie struggled to stop crying, wiping her face with her fingers.

"She thought I was going to a have good life but – but –," and then she broke down crying again, unable to continue and he knew this was when she'd lost her freedom.

"I know," he said gently, as he held her. She forced herself to stop crying, taking deep breaths and wiping her eyes.

"I don't want to talk about what happened," she said with her voice breaking. "It's just too hard but –," and then she took a steadying breath and continued. "I know she doesn't know what happened to me. I know she's worried about me." Then she pulled away from him so she could look at him.

"Do you remember? You swore to me you'd go to Chicago?" There was something about the intense look in her eyes that made him feel wary.

"Yeah."

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