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She finished the song and Alexander leaned over, placing a gentle kiss on her lips. “That was fantastic, Olivia. Did you study music in college?” He knew the answer, but she didn’t know that.

“No, actually.”

He looked at her, feigning surprise.

“I know. Everyone thought I would. I mean, I was constantly involved in music groups all through middle school and high school. Everyone thought it was what I would study. But I actually have a degree in exercise physiology.”

“Ah,” Alexander said. “Hence the health club.”

She smiled. “Yeah. I don’t know why I chose that. I mean, I was worried if I studied music, I’d start to hate it. And I didn’t want to hate music. Anyway, music isn’t something you study. It’s something you feel.”

Alexander flashed back. He remembered Olivia’s mother saying those exact words to him as he learned to play guitar and piano all those years ago. And those words had stayed with him ever since.

~~~~~~~~~~

That night, Alexander had trouble sleeping, thinking of the beautiful woman next to him and the letter from his dad. He knew the longer he waited, the worse it would be when he told her the truth.

He quietly got out of bed and walked downstairs to his office. He punched the code into the door, unlocking it, before he turned to close it, making sure it was secure. He hated keeping secrets from Olivia, but it was necessary at the moment.

He sat at his desk and looked down at one of the photos in front of him. It was of him and a beautiful six-year old Olivia. His parents stood behind them next to Olivia’s mom and dad. God, she looks just like her mother. He sighed, still torn about what to do.

He recalled that he had a message from his sister to phone her immediately. Even though it was after three in the morning, he picked up the phone and dialed her cell.

“Alex,” Carol answered, sounding wide awake.

“God, sis. Do you ever sleep?”

“Yeah. Sorry. I’m working the night shift tonight.”

“They work you too hard. You know you’d make more money if you came to work for me full-time.”

“Alex, I already make money off the company. And I just don’t feel like taking orders from my baby brother round-the-clock.” She laughed. “Plus, if I didn’t work here, I’d never see David.”

“So, what’s up?”

“Well, I’ve been running the photos you took last week of the guys at the bar who you think were following Olivia.”

“Oh yeah? Get any hits?”

“Well, at first I just thought you were being paranoid. But I got a hit. The taller one matched with a Mark Kiddish. And here’s the weird thing. I’ve been looking into Simon a bit. Apparently, there was a wire transfer our guys had missed of $100,000 into Simon’s bank account about two months ago from an off-shore untraceable account. According to Olivia’s timeline, it was right around the same time Simon showed up to work the construction job on her gym.

“Now, this Mark Kiddish is the son of Jacob Kiddish.” She paused for a minute. Alexander knew that name. Jacob Kiddish was a professional “fixer” or “cleaner” working mostly for politicians and other government officials. He had been suspected of a variety of crimes over the years, but he was so good at what he did that nothing ever led back to him or the people that hired him.

Alexander remained speechless as his heart raced, wishing his sister had said any name other than Mark or Jacob Kiddish.

“Apparently, Mark had taken over the family business after his dad disappeared all those years ago,” Carol explained. “Just like his dad, they’ve never been able to link him to any crimes. Well, I cross-referenced who posted Simon’s bail and the photo on the ID used matched Kiddish. But now he’s going by a Donovan O’Laughlin.”

“Sis, that’s what Kiera said his name was.”

“Well, we still can’t connect him with any crime. But the money transfer worries me. Look, I don’t want to go on about this, but you may want to think about reading that letter finally. Obviously, Dad was protecting Olivia and her identity. Maybe this has something to do with that. Maybe someone has realized it’s her. If you were able to figure it out, I’m sure other people have, too.”

Alexander sighed heavily. He knew his sister was right. “I know, sis. I’ll tell her soon. I promise.”

“Okay. Love you baby brother.”

“I’m not the baby anymore.”

“You’ll always be the baby to me.”

~~~~~~~~~~

It was the same dream again. The car crash. Her parents dying. The boy saving her. This time, when the boy was hit with the gun handle, Olivia saw him stare back at her and he morphed into Alexander.

“AAAAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!!”

Alexander sat in his office, contemplating the letter, when he heard a scream. Shit. “Olivia!” He ran out of his study. After the conversation he just had with his sister, he was on edge. He leapt up the stairs, taking them two at a time, before sprinting down the hallway and crashing through the bedroom door. Turning on the lights, he saw a shaking Olivia, sitting up and clutching a pillow to her chest as if her life depended on it. Tears streamed down her face.

He ran to her, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close. “Olivia, Love. What’s wrong? Was it the dream again?” He caressed her back, trying to soothe the sobs that rolled through her body.

Olivia looked up at him. At those green eyes she had just seen in her dream.

“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked softly.

“I don’t think I can.”

“Come on, Love. It’ll make you feel better.” He placed a gentle kiss on her head, savoring the vanilla scent of her hair.

Olivia took a deep breath, finally getting her crying under control. Something about being in Alexander’s arms had an amazing effect on her. It made everything seem okay. “Well, the dream was like normal. But when the guy smashed the boy’s head with the gun and he stared back at me in the car, the boy turned into you.” She looked at Alexander and saw the look of horror on his face. “What is it, Alexander?”

He quickly snapped out of it and pulled her body down so that she lay next to him, her head leaning on his shoulder. “It’s nothing, Love. It’s just a dream.”

Olivia relaxed into him but couldn’t help thinking that he was keeping something from her.

Something important.

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

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