Authors: Shane Morgan
“Okay.” I nodded at her words.
The second Julian hung up, I called the
police. They said someone would be over shortly. I hauled on a t-shirt and
jeans, and then went into the living room to sit on the couch, biting my nails
and keeping my eyes glued to the door while I waited.
I’d never felt so freaked out. All of a
sudden my apartment didn’t feel so safe anymore.
A knock at the door
almost made me jump out of my skin. I calmed when I heard the deep voice call
out, “It’s the police.”
Rising from the couch, I hurried over to
the door and opened it.
“I’m here about a—” He stopped when our
eyes met. “Bristol?”
“Mason,” I breathed, a little too happy
to see him. Gliding over his fitted black police uniform, I corrected myself,
He arched his brow as he asked, “Are you
okay? You reported a break in?”
I nodded and opened the door wider.
Mason stepped inside. He looked around before he asked, “What happened?”
“My chain was down when I came out of
the bathroom, and there was a note on the coffee table.” I jutted my chin in
Mason stared at the paper. “Mind if I
take a look?”
“No.” I walked over to the couch and
picked up the note, then handed it to him. “This is one of four.”
?” he repeated, sounding
alarmed. “Do you have the others?”
“No, I threw away the first one, which I
got at work, but the others…” I went to the kitchen and lifted the lid off the
I gasped. They were gone. So were the
roses. “He must have taken them,” I whispered.
“He?” Mason asked.
I glanced at him. “Well, it must be a
guy. The things he wrote…”
Lowering his head, Mason began reading
the note. “
Please stop throwing my gifts away
It offends me
He cleared his throat and read the rest of it to himself. Afterward, he looked
at me again. Sparks tickled my stomach at the power in his stare.
“When did you start receiving these?” he
“Monday,” I replied. “He sent the first
one to my job, along with a bracelet, but the roses he left at my door.”
He cocked his head in thought, then it
seemed as if a light of realization had gone off in his head. “That’s why your
friend asked me if I was your secret admirer.”
Heat crept into my cheeks; I was
“Do you have any idea who it could be?”
I fidgeted with my fingers and shifted
on my feet. “Uh, no. Well, at first I thought it was my ex-boyfriend, only this
isn’t his thing. He never bought me flowers, much less a bracelet or—” I
stopped, not wanting to mention the lingerie. I was humiliated enough.
” Mason prodded, eyeing me
I shook my head. “Nothing.”
Sighing, he scanned the place. “All
right, mind if I take a look around the apartment?”
“No, please, go ahead,” I replied,
gesturing with my hands.
I shadowed Mason as he started in the
living room, working his way to my bedroom and then the bathroom. My skin
crawled at the thought of that pervert watching me shower.
Uncontrollably, I covered my face with
the palm of my hand. That creep had seen me naked.
He saw everything!
“Are you all right, Bristol?” Mason asked,
his voice drenched with concern.
I moved my hand away and looked at him.
He held a sympathetic expression as he inspected my features, perhaps because I
was shifting my weight from one leg to the other so nervously.
“Yeah,” I answered in a stifled whisper.
Mason observed me for a moment more,
then he motioned for us to go back down the hallway.
“Does anything look out of place?” he
asked, glancing over his shoulder at me as we made our way back to the living
I replied, “No.”
He stopped by the couch and said, “There
really isn’t anything I ca—”
Noises outside the door interrupted him.
Mason placed his hand on top of his gun as the door pushed opened.
Julian rushed inside. “Bristol, are you
okay?” She flung her arms around me, holding me tight.
“I’m okay.” I exhaled slowly.
Amber stormed in just as Julian released
me, panting and looking flabbergasted. “Oh god, Bristol. Jules told me what
happened. Are you okay?” She gave Mason a once over and then cut back to me.
“This is ironic.”
“Yeah,” Mason agreed. “Listen, Bristol,
like I was saying, there isn’t anything I can do. I mean, all you have right
now are notes and roses. I could run this for—”
“If it had stayed at notes and roses I
wouldn’t be so disturbed. He was inside my apartment,” I reiterated.
“Uninvited. He was watching me…in the shower. He knows where I work, where my
Julian rubbed my arm.
“I’m sorry about that, Bristol.” Mason
held up the note. “The only thing I
do is run this for prints. I’ll
let you know. For now, you should stay with someone and have your locks
I didn’t utter a word. Mason stuck the
note inside his pocket and treaded past us, heading for the door. Before
leaving, he looked at me sideways and said, “Maybe it is your ex. What’s his
name? I’ll question him.”
“Tyler McKinley,” I replied in a murmur.
“Okay. I’ll let you know what I come up
with.” Mason slipped outside, closing the door behind him.
Amber towed me over to the couch to sit
down. “Okay, what happened exactly?”
Julian joined us. “Didn’t you notice
anything when you came home?”
“I didn’t. I locked the door, put the
chain up, made coffee, and showered…” My shoulders slumped as I added, “The
“Ugh.” Julian wobbled her head. “I can’t
believe some asshole was hiding out in your apartment.”
“Yeah, at least he didn’t hurt you.
That’s the good thing,” Amber said, squeezing my hands.
“But he was watching me,” I said,
enraged. “How did I not notice someone standing in the bathroom watching me
take a shower? He…saw me.”
My skin tingled in disgust. Then my body
started to shake again. “Oh my god! What if he recorded it? Oh, no. I’m going
to be on some porn site.” I buried my face in my hands.
Julian rubbed my back. “Calm down,
honey. Let’s hope he didn’t take it that far.”
Moving my hands away, I started to dab
at my eyes. Amber eased up from the couch. She released a gush of air as she
crossed her arms firmly at the waist.
“Are you sure it’s not Tyler? I wouldn’t
put anything past him.”
“It’s not.” I couldn’t believe I was
defending my cheating ex, but I knew it wasn’t him. I knew Tyler. At least, I
thought I did.
“Are you positive?” Julian pressed.
I massaged my temples as I replied with
a groggy “yes”.
“Okay, you look tired. Why don’t you go
lie down?” she suggested.
Agreeing, I stood and started for my
bedroom. Julian followed behind while Amber remained in the living room to make
a phone call.
Lying beside me on the bed, Julian
muttered, “I wonder who it is.”
“I have no idea.”
Shortly after, Amber strolled into the
room. “I was talking to Mr. Farris. I asked him if he’d seen anyone
” I urged, easing up on my
Hope seeped away when Amber frowned.
“He’s been gone all day,” she said.
“Oh.” I collapsed back on the pillow.
“Hey, you two having a slumber party
without me?” Amber moved around the bed and made herself comfortable on the
“Thanks guys,” I whispered. “I’m too
scared to be alone right now.”
Julian patted my arm. “What are friends
“Yeah,” Amber chimed in. “And when we
find out who this creep is, we’re going to whoop his ass it’ll fall off.”
We managed to giggle in spite of what
had happened. Soon my lids started to feel heavy and I closed them, finding
peace nuzzled in between my two best friends as I drifted asleep.
Warmth caressed my cheek. The sound of
voices and clanking pots woke me up. I quickly pressed my eyes shut as the
sunlight stung them. Turning my back to the window, I checked the time on the
clock next to my bed. It was after seven. I’d slept all the way ’til morning.
I climbed out of bed, stretched my hands
up over my head, and raked my fingers through my disheveled hair. Traipsing
into the living room, I saw Julian at the stove cooking and Amber at the island
“Hey,” Amber said when she glimpsed me.
I wiped my face as I replied, “Morning.
You two stayed the night?”
“We sure did.” Julian beamed at me.
“Hungry?” She turned off the stove and brought the frying pan with scrambled
eggs to the island, filling up three plates with sausages already on them.
“Starving,” I said as I continued over
and sat on a stool beside Amber.
Julian placed the pan back on the stove
and picked up the coffee pot, filling three cups. Then she sat on the other
side of the island and we started eating.
“You know, I’m not trying to make light
of the situation, but Mason looked good in his uniform.” Amber stuck her fork
into a sausage link and brought it to her lips. Before taking a bite she
stressed, “Really good.”
Julian tittered. “Yeah, he did. Maybe
Seven should join the force.”
They laughed with each other.
I shook my head and sipped my coffee.
Setting the mug down next to my plate, I began to ponder. “I wonder why now?”
Amber prodded, “What do you mean?”
Passing a gaze between them, I said,
“Why did he start doing this right after I dumped Tyler?”
“Maybe he knows about the breakup and
considered it an opportunity,” Julian said. “That would mean it’s—”
“Someone who knows me,” I finished her
thought. “He’d been watching me. But who?”
“Good question,” Amber muttered. She
swallowed what was in her mouth and continued, “It could be someone from
school. I mean, you’re nice to everybody, and you tutored a few people.”
“Yeah, but I never tutored any guys,” I