twentieth: yours*

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A devastatingly beautiful song.

I made my way to the police station that afternoon. I stood in front of the main entrance and called Grayson, anticipation swirling in my stomach. He picked up the phone after a few rings.

My heart fluttered in anticipation, almost stopping when he spoke, "Harber?"

I stuttered. My stomach clenched uncomfortably. Lead filling my insides. I felt like him calling me by anything except my name was a stinging slap to my face.

"Gray," I began breathlessly, "where are you?"

"What's up?" he asked in a terrifying monotone.

"I think I have a major lead," I said, lowering my voice. "I'll tell you when we meet."

He was quiet for a while. "I'm out right now. Maybe you should talk to Harold."

My heart seized. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing. I'm just a little busy. I'll see you later."

He hung up the phone. I stared at the screen. Grayson had never called me by anything except my real name. The excitement I had felt mere seconds ago was dissolving. Fading into a visage.

Almost in a trance, I stepped inside and met Harold. I told him about the truckload of money I had discovered in Rosalie's godown. Money that I expected was going to be siphoned off soon.

He sighed, "It makes sense." I was barely listening as he continued, "One of our sources found out that among the money that was cashed for the charity, they only took forty per cent. Which is a lot. They returned the rest to Reznick. They have some arrangement." He shook his head. "Tender Hearts is happy to keep their mouth shut as long as they keep getting their forty."

I nodded and made some general remarks, my mind still fixed on Grayson and his sudden strange behaviour. I wondered if it was something I had done.

I remained with Rosalie the next couple of nights. Aching for Gray's touch. Deliciously dark thoughts of him tormented me. 

He was ghosting me and it was terrifying. He didn't respond to my texts or calls. I missed him so damn much that I felt like a chunk of my heart was missing. A gaping hole where I kept him.

The third day, I gave in to the craving and decided to go visit him that night.

I knew his address and expected it would be easy to find where a police officer lived. He lived in the Eastern part of the city, a quaint upper-class colony where I stood out jarringly. I reached his home, a white, posh-looking building that made me wonder if he earned more than I knew he did. 

My heart raced with irrational fear as I knocked on the door softly. After a few moments, I heard a flurry of movement and the door opened an inch.

"Xavier?" He opened the door all the way as my heart did a double-take at the sight of him. He had a half-finished cigarette held between his fingers. The dark orange embers a striking contrast to his sinfully roseate lips. 

"Hey," I spoke breathlessly.

"What...what are you doing here?" he asked with what I expected was polite curiosity. His eyes seemed to darken with longing for a mere second before he suppressed it.

I gazed at him, answering in a small voice, "Just wanted to see you." I took a deep breath. "I feel like you've been avoiding me ever since-"

Our eyes met and scintillating pleasure travelled up my spine. I knew both of us were thinking about the same thing. When he had claimed me. Made love to me like no one ever had. When I had been ravished by the revelation that I was desperately in love with him.

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