The door swings open to reveal an immaculate kitchen, complete with breakfast bowls on the table before me.
My elation is momentarily squashed by the sight of labels on the major appliances and signs showing how much it would be to change the color scheme of the said kitchen.
“What the fuck?” I whisper, my eyes dragging over the gleaming worktops and pristine sink.
I stagger forward, my knees screaming at me to rest.
The next room is a bathroom; then the next one is another kitchen.
Where the fuck am I?
I change direction, walking through two lounges and three more kitchens before finding myself in a long hallway that says ‘staff only.’
I’m in a show home of some kind.
Where did that crazy bitch take me?
Nausea sweeps over me, but I keep going, my fingers dragging along the walls on either side of me.
I need to get out of here.
A door appears at the end of the hallway, and I push on, the energy I didn’t know I have pushing my aching limbs forward.
My muscles strain as I move, the back of my head throbbing with the promise of a migraine.
Not much further.
I’m almost at the door when I hear it.
It sounds like a couple are arguing, but I haven’t got time for this.
Pushing the door open, I shield my eyes from the daylight, sucking in the fresh air like I’d been starved of oxygen.
I should turn back to see where the fuck I am, but I can’t.
I’m weeping while crawling forward, motivated by the thought of Fay coming back.
I take a moment to get my breath, and my vision blurs, and panic rips through my stomach.
I can’t pass out!
My heart thunders in my chest, the walls surrounding it aching with pain.
I know I can’t get much further in this state, but I have to get away from Fay.
I know she’ll be coming back soon, and if she finds me gone…
I don’t want to think of what she will do.
But I’m so tired.
Falling flat to the floor, I crawl under the van.
If I do pass out, at least I’m hidden.
I close my eyes, resting my head on the gravel for five seconds before my survival instincts kick in.
Get away from here.
From beneath the van, I see another set of tires to my right, and beyond that, nothing.
Two vehicles must mean two people, right?
Across from me is what looks like a warehouse, albeit a disused one.
Could I make it?
I’d have to run for it, and the thought makes me die a little inside.
I shuffle forward, hissing as the gravel punctures my clothes, digging into my sore skin.
It would be easier to give up and sleep under the van, but I can’t.
The warehouse must be fifty feet away.
I can run fifty feet.
The sound of tires crunching on asphalt distracts me from my plan, and I freeze.
Fear grips my throat like a vice, and I scrunch my eyes up, preventing the tears of terror from falling.
I’ve come so far.
The car rolls to a stop before me, and two black boots step out, followed by another identical set on the other side.
Fay always comes alone.
Unless she’s come to kill me.
Oh my god.
Clamping my hand to my mouth, I force my trembling body to still, waiting as the boots walk around the van.
“Is this van registered to her?”
The voice is deep and curious, and it’s male.
A female answers, stopping beside me.
“I don’t know, but isn’t that Lincoln Derby’s truck?”
I almost smash my head on the van trying to search for Lincoln’s truck, my heart in my throat.
Has Fay taken Lincoln?!
Is Lincoln here too?
Call it in?
Are these people police officers?!
Radio static fills the air as the female sighs.
“This is officer—”
“Help!” I yell, clawing at the ground.
Pushing myself forward, I twist onto my back, staring up at two police officers who are gaping at me.
“Ma’am, are you alright?” The male officer asks, clearly shocked at the state of me.
“Please,” I whisper, forcing myself into a sitting position before vomiting onto the floor.
My vision fades again, but this time I’m sure the police will help me.
As long as they’re not friends of Fay.
“Jesus, Marc, call an ambulance.” The female officer says, tugging her jacket off to wrap around my shoulders.
A door opens somewhere, and I hear a woman screeching in the distance.
I’m so tired, but something within me snaps when I hear Lincoln’s voice.
“You’re fucking crazy!”
“Lincoln!” I mutter, my teeth chattering. “Lincoln.”
The officer beside me looks up, gesturing silently to the male officer past the van.
“Lincoln Derby?” The officer moves away, and I reach out with my hand, praying he brings Lincoln to me.
The female officer is on her radio, but all I can hear is Lincoln.
I try to smile when Lincoln appears, his beautiful face paling when he stares at me on the floor.
“Fuck!” Lincoln sweeps me into his arms, and I hold him, my hand on his neck as he kisses my forehead repeatedly. “I’m so sorry. Are you alright? Alison?”
His fury fuels his roar as he screams at the police to get Fiona.
Who the fuck is Fiona?
He holds me close to his chest, and my body tenses up when I hear Fay's sickly voice.
“I’ll kill her! I’ll fucking kill—”
Lincoln clamps his hands over my ears, muffling the death threats.
If Fay’s going to kill me, at least I’ll die with the man I love.
“Put your hands in the air, or I’ll shoot!” The male officer warns, but then there’s a loud scuffle and a cry.
A gunshot rings through the air, and my eyes widen, staring into Lincoln’s as he swallows.
“It’s okay, I’m here,” he whispers, pulling me closer to him. “She won’t hurt you now.”
Sirens blare from behind us, and the male officer curses, running past us to the ambulance that’s pulling up.
“Shit! I need a paramedic over here now!”
“I’m here,” Lincoln repeats, soothing my exhausted brain. “I’m here.”
A paramedic runs past us, and another drops to her knees beside me, shining a light into my eyes.
“We need to get her to a hospital.”