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Alexander grabbed her hand again and looked at her, letting her know with his eyes that she could stop talking whenever she wanted to. But Alexander hoped she wouldn’t. There were more pieces falling into place. Or maybe he just wanted them to fall into place.

“The day of my college graduation, I got a phone call telling me that my uncle had passed away. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was shot by a stray bullet, according to the person on the other end of the phone.” Olivia closed her eyes, remembering how she felt when she received that phone call.

Alexander did the math in his head. When Olivia opened her eyes, his eyes were closed and he was rubbing his temples with his free hand. She continued. “The only family I had left was gone.”

Alexander looked at her and squeezed her hand. He was suddenly hopeful. But if it was her, then where had she been all these years? He immediately feared for her safety. He hoped with everything that he was wrong and it was just a matter of coincidence. A whole lot of coincidence. If it was her, his father had obviously tried to protect her identity, telling Alexander that she died in that accident. Now that his father was dead, who was protecting her?

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have told you that whole sob story. We barely know each other and I’m like a freaking Lifetime Movie over here.” Olivia tried to lighten the atmosphere.

Her trick worked. He smiled slightly. “Lifetime Movie?”

“Yeah,” she replied, laughing. “You know. Poor pathetic broken girl with a troubled past that she just can’t get over, so she refuses to form relationships with anyone so that she won’t get hurt anymore. It’s such a tragic cliché, but I can’t control what happens to be my life.”

“You have nothing to be ashamed of, Olivia. Your past made you the woman you are today. If one thing was different about your life, you may be on an entirely different trajectory.” He looked in her eyes, bringing her hand to his mouth. Kissing it ever so gently, he murmured, “And then we never would have met, and that is a mother fucking tragedy.” The twinkle in his green eyes sent Olivia’s heart soaring.

Alexander didn’t care if she was the girl from all those years ago; the one who stole his heart when he was a little boy and he never really got it all back. Because the girl sitting in front of him now was filling the pieces of his torn heart. And she was worth getting to know.

~~~~~~~~~~

Across town, a middle aged man sat in a stark room with all metal furniture.

“Simon MacKenzie. My name is Paul Flinnigan. I’ve been hired by Donovan to represent you.” The tall, lanky man motioned to Donovan who was sitting next to him at the cold metal table in a private room at the local jail.

“Alright, listen up, Fucker,” Donovan said, leaning into Simon. “I’m doing this to help you out. But here are the rules. This does not go to trial. You do not mention my name at all. My real name is dead to you. You will take a plea deal. Flinnigan will do what he can, but I don’t give a shit that you may be facing possible prison time.”

The towering, muscular man sitting across from Simon was very intimidating. He had only spoken to Donovan on the phone. Simon made a mental note to never cross him again. He got drunk and stupid. He should have been more patient, but he was so eager to get his hands on the rest of the pay-out money he was promised.

“Mark, I mean Donovan,” Flinnigan said, winking at Donovan. “Don’t worry. I can most likely get a plea with little prison time. Simon has no priors so his chances are extremely good. He’s never even received so much as a parking ticket. I’ve talked to the D.A. and it’s looking like it will be just an assault and attempted murder charge he’ll be arraigned on. I’ve gotten guys to walk on worse than that.” Flinnigan continued pouring over the case file as Simon sat silently across the table.

“There may be a slight hiccup that you should probably be aware of.” Simon looked up, noticing that Flinnigan was speaking to Donovan and not to him. “The arresting officer. It was Wilder.”

“What the fuck, Simon??” Donovan shouted. He immediately stood up and paced the short length of the room. “Unbelievable.” He ran his hand through where his hair once was before he shaved it off.

“What’s the big deal?” Simon had no idea why that was so important. He never told Donovan that he had been subdued by a crazy man after he failed to get the information he needed from Olivia. Simon was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just his luck lately.

“Yes. And the swearing witness, Donovan. None other than Alexander Burnham. Apparently, he was walking down the street and saw your boy wonder chasing one Sarah Olivia Adler as he was waving a knife after last call on fucking State Street.” Flinnigan emphasized Olivia’s name, giving Donovan a questioning look. “He was able to subdue and restrain Mr. MacKenzie here before calling in his sister to make the proper arrest.” Simon wondered why they made a big deal out of the bitch that arrested him and the dude that knocked him out.

“Okay. Okay. We’ll deal with it.” Donovan paced back and forth. Then he stopped abruptly, clearly remembering something. “Actually, this could work. Are we done here?”

“Yes,” Flinnigan responded as he gathered his belongings. “Simon, I will see you tomorrow.” Flinnigan and Donovan turned to walk out of the jail together, leaving Simon behind.

When they were out of earshot and walking down the hallway to the jailhouse exit, Flinnigan finally spoke. “Mark, are you still on that Olivia DeLuca thing? I thought that was dead and buried, no pun intended?”

“It was. Until I got a phone call a few years ago. The guy that hired my Dad to fix this whole mess over twenty years ago found out she was still alive and being protected by Burnham, Senior. We tried to get her location, but nothing worked. We ended up killing the old man, hoping it would bring her out, but apparently she fled the city.”

“So, it’s really her? Does she know where the infamous box is?”

“It’s hard to say. But if anyone would, she would.”

“What’s the plan?”

“We bail Simon out. Tomorrow. Let him stew for another day. He owes us big, so we let him do our dirty work. Then we bide our time. We don’t rush into this. If what Simon said is true and she has no memory of her past, we need someone to help her remember. And once she remembers something about her past, she will lead us right to it. I’m sure of it. From what I know of this girl, she is so desperate for memories of her parents. So once she has that memory, she will lead us where we want.” He winked and left Flinnigan speechless. He thought back to his law school days, wishing he had chosen a different path and hadn’t been mesmerized by money.

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