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Page 33 of A Beautiful Mess (Beautiful Mess 1)

“Care Bear, they’re creepy looking, not to mention probably about twenty years older than you.” Olivia was more than a little drunk, having consumed about five martinis. “Take those fucking beer goggles off already.” Olivia laughed. “Plus, I thought you wanted to bang Mo.”

“Number one, they’re martini goggles. Number two, I do. And I’m still working on that. And you already have Mr. Hottie. I need one, too. I’m going over there.” She got off her barstool, almost toppling over.

“You’re drunk,” Olivia said, poking her arm.

“So are you,” she replied, poking her back and heading across the bar. Olivia kept her eyes on Kiera, making sure she didn’t slip off into a dark corner with either one, or, God forbid, both.

Olivia decided to take that moment to check her cell phone, noticing a few missed text messages from Alexander. Instead of texting him back, she decided to call him, wanting so desperately to hear his voice.

“Olivia,” he answered, his voice sending shivers throughout her body the way he caressed her name. “Are you okay?”

“Of course I’m okay. Why wouldn’t I be?” she slurred into the phone, giggling.

“Well, it’s past midnight,” he responded. In all actuality, that had nothing to do with it. He had texted her several times that evening and never heard back from her. He became rather concerned for her safety. When his phone rang seconds beforehand and he saw Olivia’s name pop up, he finally breathed a sigh of relief for the first time all evening.

“Fuck! Is it really? Whoops.”

“Olivia, are you drunk?”

She giggled again. Then hiccupped.

“Well, I think I have my answer.”

“Oh, you think you have all the answers, don’t you Alexander. And why Alexander? Why not Alex?” The booze had made her rather bold.

“We’ll save that for when you’re screaming my name. I guarantee you won’t be able to pronounce my entire name when I’m making you come, Olivia.”

She was silent for a minute, having no idea how to respond to his words.

“Are you still there, Olivia?”

She found her voice and squeaked, “Yes. I’m here.”

“Who are you out with? Do I have competition for my affections, Love?”

There it was again. That word. Love. So full of hope.

“No. I’m with my friend, Kiera. She’s over talking to two creepy guys sitting at the other end of the bar.”

“Oh really? What makes you think they’re creepy?” She could hear the humor in his voice.

“Well, they’re wearing all black, which I mean, who does that? Are they in some sort of goth phase? Please! That was so ten years ago! Plus, they got to the bar almost immediately after I did and sat across the way from us. They’ve been staring at me this whole time. Kiera’s over there talking to them and they’re still looking at me. So, yeah. Creepy.”

Alexander’s heart dropped. After his discussion with his sister earlier that morning, he knew there was something going on. He didn’t have all the answers, but he did know that the woman he was falling in love with was the girl he failed early on in life. And that his father had lied to him about her death for some reason. He just didn’t know what that reason was yet. Until he figured out what was going on, he wasn’t going to take any chances.

“Olivia, I need you to do something for me.” She could hear the panic in his voice. “I need you to collect your things and very casually walk into the ladies room.”

“Why?” Alexander was starting to scare her. She guessed that he saw everyone as a potential bad guy after all his years in the security business.

“Please, don’t argue with me right now, Love.”

Ah, that word again. All he needed to do was say that and Olivia was putty in his hands. Or his mouth.

“Can you do that for me? I am five minutes away. I will call you when I’m there.” Alexander sounded serious. He was worried. But what could he possibly be worried about?

She got off the phone with Alexander and stood up from her barstool, casually walking to the ladies’ room as if nothing was wrong. She wondered how Alexander even knew what bar she was at. Of course. He could probably track her cell phone.

A few seconds later, Kiera came barreling through the bathroom door.

“Libby! There you are!” She dragged one of the creepy guys in with her. “This is Donovan. He really wanted to get to know you.” She winked at her friend.

Olivia looked at Donovan. It was the guy with the shaved head. He appeared rather intimidating. He was tall and muscular with a mean expression on his face. She glared at Kiera with a shocked look on her face. “Kiera! This is the ladies’ room! Get him out of here!”

Kiera looked around, finally realizing that she dragged a man into the ladies’ room, and giggled, saying, “Whoops! What was I thinking?” She turned to Donovan and, placing both hands on his chest, started to push him out the door. “Out you!”

And then he spoke, making Olivia’s skin crawl. “Okay. But we’ll be waiting.” He glared at Olivia and left. Her cell phone began to ring and she quickly answered it, seeing that it was Alexander.

“Olivia, are you safe?” Her hands were shaking.

“Yes, I’m safe. I’m in the ladies’ room like you asked.” She looked at Kiera who mouthed “What is going on?” Olivia held up one finger, signaling that she would tell her in a minute.

“There are two men dressed in black standing in the corridor. I have taken care of your bar tab. I will be in the hallway in one minute. Count to sixty and come out. Do you follow, Love?”

“Yes.” She hung up before turning to Kiera and, whispering, told her that Alexander was there because he was worried for Olivia’s safety.

Kiera squealed. “Oh! That’s so sweet. You’re like a damsel in distress!”

“No.” Olivia smacked her friend. “I just think he sees trouble in everything. It’s almost like he has this hero complex.” Would he still want to be with Olivia if he no longer thought she needed to be saved? The thought consumed her.

When enough time had elapsed, she told Kiera they were leaving and Alexander would meet them in the hallway to help them make their escape.

“Should I start humming the James Bond theme? Because I totally will!” Kiera laughed.

“Shut up, Kiera,” Olivia responded as she pushed open the door to the ladies room.

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