Chapter 19

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Alice isn't happy to see me early the next morning.

"What the fuck happened to you?" she exclaims, her mouth hanging open and an expression of utter disgust making her face look pale. "Why are you covered in blood?"

I look down at myself as I step across the threshold of her front door. Huh. I hadn't noticed the color red staining my jeans and my hands until Alice waves at them. Shane comes up behind her and his eyebrows shoot up like firecrackers.

"Jess," he says unbelievingly, "I hope that's not your blood."

"It's not," I say, my voice filled with ... well, with nothing. It sounds empty. "I'm going to shower and then I'm going to bed. I'll explain later."

I ignore their questions and their hospitality in offering me some coffee. I simply slump up the stairs and into the bathroom where I turn on the shower and strip off. My reflection is clammy, my eyes bloodshot and puffy. I look a wreck. But it's nothing compared to what my heart must look like.

As I close the curtains shining morning light into the room and climb into bed, I stare at the roof and wish last night never happened. Then I won't have to face whatever master plan the Mafia has in store for me or the horrible truth that an innocent girl is dead because of me.

But at least she's now somewhere she'll be truly happy and free from pain.

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