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Page 64 of A Beautiful Mess (Beautiful Mess 1)

“Libby? Dear? Are you okay?” Olivia heard a voice say. She spun around and saw Jerry sitting at the security desk, a look of concern on his face.

“Oh, yeah. Sorry,” she replied quietly. “I just spaced out for a second.” She started to walk toward the bank of elevators, turning her head every few seconds to see if the man was still there.

The elevator car dinged, announcing its arrival. “Saved by the bell,” Olivia muttered under her breath. She entered and pressed the button for her floor with shaky hands, ascending the twenty stories to the wellness center.

Jerry turned around as soon as the doors to the elevator closed and picked up the phone.

“Mr. Burnham, it’s Jerry at the front desk. I’m sorry to bother you, but you should probably know… It’s about Olivia… Yes, sir… She just went to her floor… There was a strange man outside on the street just staring at her… I’ll have the video sent to you, sir… Yes, sir… You’re welcome, sir…” Jerry hung up the phone, hating that he didn’t wait for Olivia to mention anything to Mr. Burnham, but he’d rather be safe than sorry. He had been instructed over a month ago to report any suspicious activities surrounding her and he was pretty sure that had qualified as suspicious.

Up in the penthouse suite, Alexander's heart started racing. “Martin, I need you,” he barked into his office intercom. Within a few seconds, Martin appeared in his office.

“What is it, sir?”

“Jerry from the security desk is sending up a video file. Get it to my sister and have her run facial recognition on it.” Alexander stood up to leave.

“Yes, sir. Anything we should be worried about?”

“I’m not sure yet, but we may need to add some security for Miss Adler’s safety. I have a bad feeling, especially after talking to my sister earlier today.” Alexander dismissed Martin and strode out of his office, making a beeline for the elevators.

He had made Olivia promise that she would let him know immediately if she noticed any suspicious activity. She failed to do so. He was fuming. An elevator car arrived and he punched the button for the twentieth floor repeatedly, willing the doors to close quickly.

“Mr. Burnham,” Melanie said, jumping up from the reception desk of the wellness center as Alexander walked through the front doors. “Libby is here. She just arrived a few minutes ago. I think she’s still in her office.”

“Thank you, Melanie.” He continued to walk down the hallway he had grown so accustomed to in the last few months. He usually only visited her on the days she worked, stopping by to surprise her with lunch or just to see her smiling face. But that day, he was on another mission altogether.

Olivia sat at her desk, checking her messages from Melanie, when she saw an intimidating figure appear in her doorway.

“Olivia,” Alexander said firmly.

“Alexander,” Olivia responded, smirking at him.

“What did I tell you weeks ago?” He took a few steps into her office and closed the door.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Alexander,” Olivia replied, returning her eyes to her missed messages, not really reading anything as she was too nervous with Alexander towering over her.

She knew exactly what he was so upset over. Weeks ago, Alexander had made a point of telling Olivia, rather firmly, that, if anything out of the ordinary had occurred, she was to contact him immediately. He didn’t care what time of day. He ran a security company and the least he could do was make sure some of his assets were at her disposal so she was safe, particularly after Simon’s attack and other information that had come to light Alexander was aware of.

He had been on high alert all day after receiving a phone call from his sister about Simon taking a plea deal. He didn’t know if Olivia was aware of it yet, but he was certain the D.A. had been trying to reach her to let her know the details.

“Oh, Miss Adler, I think you do.” He moved toward Olivia’s desk and stood next to her, her eyes still avoiding his. He grabbed her chair and spun it around, forcing her to face him. His eyes bore down into her, wide with fury. She looked up and shot daggers at Alexander, willing him to back down.

I’m going to kill Jerry, Olivia thought.

“So what?” Olivia finally spat out, standing up and pushing Alexander out of the way before walking over to the windows. He quickly followed, grabbing her and making her face him again. “Some guy stared at me when I entered the building earlier. No big deal.” She paused for a moment as those green eyes stared down at her. “He was probably just checking out my ass or something,” Olivia joked, hoping to lighten the mood.

“I don’t think you’re telling me the whole story, Love.”

After a brief moment, Olivia spoke again. “There’s not much to tell, and don’t go all Navy SEAL on me, Alex,” she said with a hint of sarcasm.

His gaze softened. “Darling, I just want to make sure you’re safe. And if I’m slightly overprotective, I’m sorry. But I can’t even fathom losing you.” He pulled her in close, needing to feel her body against his. He placed a gentle, affectionate kiss on Olivia’s forehead. “Now, tell me what really happened.”

“You’re damn good at what you do, you know that?” Olivia whimpered into Alexander’s chest, his warmth surrounding her and making her feel safe.

“I know.”

She pulled away and walked over to her love seat, Alexander close on her heels. She told him about her morning as he sat next to her, his hand on her leg. She relished the flesh to flesh contact.

“Well, all day I felt as if someone was following me. I just thought your paranoia was contagious or something.”

Alexander raised his eyebrows at Olivia. “You think I’m paranoid?”

“Yes. No. I don’t know,” Olivia said, irritated. “Maybe a little.”

“Well, Love, it’s my job to be paranoid where your safety is concerned. Now, tell me what else happened.”

Taking a deep breath, she continued. “So I felt like someone was following me all morning. After I got back to my house from my appointment, I made some lunch and sat at my reading nook by the bay window in the living room as I ate it. I noticed a black sedan on the other side of the street, a block or so down, and thought that was odd. The driver’s window was open and the guy was just staring at my house. A few minutes later, I got my stuff together and headed over here, and since it’s such a beautiful day, I decided it would be nice to walk.”

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