Page 124 of The Dancer

He went after Morrison and I ran down the hallway for my phone in the kitchen. My fingers shook hard as I tried to hit redial and I made my way back down the hallway as I heard a body slam into the wall.

“Max?” I didn’t realize I was screaming, tears running down my face.

“Baby? What is it, what’s the matter?”

“Help.” It was all I could get past my lips. I heard him scream something before I dropped the phone.

Now I had a new fear. The fear that my little brother was going to kill this fool and end up in jail. “Stop Travis, he’s bleeding.” Not only that, he wasn’t moving.

I finally succeeded in pulling him away from the now comatose man who was laid out on the floor. “Let me see your face.” He held me away from him and studied my face before turning back to Morrison.

“No, let’s call the cops, Max is…Max.” I picked up the phone and he was still there. I could hear traffic in the background as he barked orders at someone. “Max.” He came back on the line.

“I’m here baby, I’m coming to you. Tony should be there any second, he was just around the corner when you called.” As soon as the words left his mouth Tony came busting through the door.

He took one look at Morrison and pulled out his phone. I thought he was calling an ambulance but it sounded like he was talking to the cops. “We have to get him out of here before Max gets here. Fuck!”

He ran his hand over his head and face as my brother stood with his arm wrapped around me. Morrison started making waking sounds and we all turned to him just as I heard feet approaching the door. It was the cops.

Both Tony and I released our breath as they came in. Were they hanging out downstairs? They took our statements after calling an ambulance for the man who was now very loud with his threats.

It was then I saw the damage Travis had done to him. His eye was swollen, his lip split and one of his arms seemed to be hanging rather awkwardly at his side.

His slurred words made no sense, but I got the idea that he was once again blaming me for his plight. I almost felt bad when they put the cuffs on him and led him out, but I was grateful they did it before Max showed up.

One of them took pictures of my scratches and the red mark on my face from where he’d struck me. We were told we had to come down to the station in a day or two and the detective gave me his card and some kind of leaflet.

When I saw Tony having a quiet word with the detective I understood why everything had been handled with such haste. They knew each other.

Max showed up not five minutes after they left. I’d been holding up fine until I saw him, and then the

shakes begun. The whole thing must’ve lasted all of half an hour but felt like a lifetime.

Chapter 32

Terror, that’s what I felt when I heard the fear in her voice on the phone. As long as I live I never want to feel anything like I did in that moment. The one word she’d been able to get out had been enough to spring me into action.

Even now I don’t know how I remained so calm with everything going on inside me. I’d brought up the house security on the computer, grabbed the office phone and called Tony, all in a matter of seconds.

The only thing that kept me from climbing out of my skin was the sight of Travis plowing his fists into that asshole, at least then I knew she was safe. I don’t remember the car ride with another member of my security team.

Neither did I realize that I’d been holding my breath until she rushed into my arms when I walked through the door. Her body was shaking uncontrollably when I pulled her head into my chest and wrapped my arms around her.

“It’s okay baby, I’ve got you you’re safe.” I said those same words over and over softly in her ear as I ran a hand soothingly up and down her back. Her tears soaked through my shirt and when the shakes refused to stop I pulled the sides of my jacket around her, trying to give her as much of my warmth as possible.

“Come sit baby.” She wouldn’t let go of me. Tony, Travis and Marcus, the guy who drove me, were busy cleaning up the flowers and broken vase. I was surprised that nothing else had been broken, not that I cared. It was just something to think about, I guess.