The man was Harrison.

18

Harrison

I groggily awoke from my sleep to the sound of a knocking on my door. I glanced at the clock on my bedside table, and it was well after midnight. Whomever thought it was appropriate to knock on my door at such an hour was going to get more than an earful from me. As I passed by Trey’s room, I peeked in to make sure he hadn’t been disturbed by all the ruckus, and fortunately he hadn’t, for both him and whoever was on the other side of the door.

“You had better be a cop with a permit,” I hollered. I unlocked and opened the door and all the rage in my body fled in an instant. Jordan was standing there staring back at me, with a glossy paper gripped tightly in her hand, and tears streaming down her face, complete with running mascara.

“Jordan,” I gasped. “What are you—” She whispered something below her breath that I couldn’t hear at all. “What?”

Suddenly, she was like a bull and I was a bright red muleta. She shoved me in my chest with all of the force in her body, and I stumbled backwards, only because it caught me more off guard, than it was forceful beyond what I could handle. She attempted to push me again, but I steeled myself in my position and her shove was bereft of any effect. I gripped her wrists and pulled her close enough that I could attempt to wrap my arms around her, but she failed her body and yanked herself free of me.

“How could you do this?” she screamed at me.

“What?” I replied. “What are you talking about? Just calm down.”

“Don’t tell me to calm down, you monster!” She shoved the paper in her hand into my chest, and I grabbed it. “How could you do that?”

I pulled the picture up so I could look at it and all at once I felt like a game of Jenna tumbling down after someone pulled the one piece still holding everything together. In my hands was a photo of Eva, in the position in which she’d died, with me standing, plain as day, in the picture with Eva’s blood on my hands. How had she gotten ahold of the photo? What did she know? Who had managed to find me? Why were they targeting Jordan?

“I can explain,” I started as softly as I could; I didn’t want Trey to overhear. “Please just give me a minute.”

“A minute,” Jordan exclaimed. “I’m disgusted with the time I’ve given you already. I can’t believe I was such an idiot. Is this your game? You find stupid, caring, blond-haired, blue eyed women and lure them into a false sense of security and then kill them? You were always the most quiet and observant. I thought it was because you were just the mature and relaxed one, but it’s because you didn’t want me to catch on to your plan!”

“I would never, ever hurt you,” I started, taking a step towards Jordan, but the instant I did, she pulled out a taser and set it straight for me. I held up my hands and backed a few feet away. “Jordan.”

“Stay away from me.” Jordan started to sob once again. “I can’t believe I actually started to fall in love with you.”

“Jordan please,” I begged.

I could feel frustration building in my body. My mind went careening back to when I was still in Florida. No one there believed me either. I fought for myself, I proved that Eva was depressed and wanted to end her own life. I supplied the suicide note she’d left for Trey and had it verified as her handwriting. I showed the prescription medication that she got from the doctor without my knowing, and proved using the toxic screening that it was that she had ingested en masse and overdosed. The blood on my hands was from a nosebleed that had been caused by the OD, I had solid, viable explanations for everything they threw at me. But all people saw was that I had the clout to cover up a murder, and that Eva’s brother Nathan was on a war path to have me convicted, and believed that I’d killed her. I never would have hurt her. I loved her with all my heart.

The same way I love Jordan.

“I promise you, I can explain everything. Please, you have to believe me, I never would have done—”

“Shut up!” Jordan screeched. “I don’t want to hear another word out of you, you murderer.”

All of the anger and frustration in my body boiled over. I turned and threw my fist at the wall. It pressed through the drywall, leaving a huge hole in its way, and making it look like I put more force into the punch than I really did. I whipped my head back towards Jordan, prepared to continue to defend myself, but Jordan’s face was no longer angry, but sheet white with fear. I realized in a flash how my outburst didn’t help my case, and it broke my heart to see someone I cared about so much look at me with so much terror in her eyes.

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