I don’t hesitate. We both have something to lose now and I’m done holding back. “I was in the hospital when I got a call. He, whoever he was, told me that I would die too if I didn’t leave right then and meet him in the back of the hospital.”
“So you did?”
“I was eighteen and in shock.”
“I know, baby. This isn’t me judging you. Quite the opposite. And Tellar didn’t know you were in the house when your family died when he said what he did.”
“I knew they’d been murdered.” My voice trembles. I think it’s more than my voice. I think I’m trembling all over.
“How? How did you know?”
“There were weird things going on.”
“What weird things?”
“I thought one or both of my parents were having affairs. And then my brother had hinted at some kind of trouble but he told me I couldn’t handle knowing the details.”
“When was that?”
“The week of the fire.”
He leans back on his heels. “So you met this stranger in the parking lot and then what?”
“He gave me money, passports, and written instructions. He was with me all of five minutes and then he put me in a cab by myself and I never saw him again.”
“Can you identify him?”
I shake my head. “I don’t think so. He wore a hoodie and it was dark in the cab.”
“What kind of instructions did he give you?”
“I stayed at a hotel in Austin for a few days, until I received a delivery with an airline ticket and my new identity.”
“And that identity was Amy Bensen?”
“No. Right before I met you, I’d foolishly decided I was off everyone’s radar and I could try to rebuild a happy life. I’d taken a job at a museum because...well...”
“I know why. Go on.”
I inhale and let it out. “The night I met you, I received a note that said I’d gotten myself noticed and that I had to run again.”
“How do you know it’s him who contacted you again?”
“Everything was handled exactly like the first time. And...”
I hesitate a moment, but I’m carrying his child. I’m trusting my instincts. “The man showed me a tattoo and told me any communication would also have the exact same image.”
“And the note did?”
“The one in New York that told me to go to Denver did, yes, but I had communication after that and it was missing. I was also promised money for support that never came. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. I think he’s dead, Liam. He has to be dead.”
He scrubs a hand down his face. “I need to see all of the notes.”
“They’re in my things in the motel. I normally keep them with me, but at the diner I had no place to lock things up and it made me nervous.”
He reaches in his pocket and pulls out his phone. “Yeah, Tellar? What’s the ETA on Amy’s things picked up from the motel?” He listens a moment. “I need them now. There’s some stuff inside that might hold answers.” He ends the call. “He’s on his way ”
I nod and take his hand. “There are memories coming back to me. If I go back to Texas, I’ll remember.”
“No. Absolutely not. It’s too dangerous.”
“I am tired of being the hunted, Liam. I want to be the hunter. And damn it, I want to say goodbye to my family.” I choke up. “I didn’t even get to go to the funerals.”
He cups my head. “Not now, baby. Not until it’s safe.”
“I can’t wait any longer to make this end. I can’t have a baby like this. I can’t.”
He blanches. “It’s true then? You’re pregnant?” His voice comes out all smoky and hoarse.
“I thought Dr. Murphy told you.”
“No. Tell me. I want to hear it from you.”
“Yes. I’m pregnant. We’re pregnant and that’s why I--”
He kisses me, a touch of lips to lips, his mouth lingering on mine, emotions rolling off of him, crashing into me and my fingers curl in his shirt, before, reluctantly it seems, he presses his forehead to mine. “You’re having my baby.”
My fingers curl on his cheek. “Yes. Yes. I’m having your baby.”
His hand goes to mine and he holds it a moment, and I can almost feel a shift in him, a subtle tension that crawls between us, building and building. “Liam?” I question, pushing away from him to search his face, catching the storm clouds an instant before he releases my hand and stands up.
For a moment, he towers over me, devastatingly male, even more devastatingly tormented, and I have to assume the torment is over my being pregnant.
He rubs the back of his neck and then turns away, stalking to the window, and when he gives me his back, it’s like he slams a door, shutting me out. Shell-shocked, I stand up, and I feel like the deer in headlights he once accused me of being, uncertain where to go or what to do. What to say. “You’re right,” he says, facing me.
“Right?” My question comes out cracked, as broken as I will be if he rejects the child I’d thought he’d embrace.
“You want out of New York. You got it. We’re leaving. We’re going someplace far away from here and disappearing.”
“What?” I gape. “No. Being invisible while we hunt for my hunter, that works. Disappearing isn’t a solution.”