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51. Nowhere To Be Found

The devil was supposed to be back in two days, or at least that’s what he had told Gage the last time they spoke. He had already postponed his return twice sounding more frustrated each time they communicated. Not that Gage cared for Theo’s levels of frustration but he had not given him any instructions on their relocation. It wasn’t that he didn’t know what to do, yet usually the devil liked to repeat the procedure adding or removing a few details according to his whims.

This time, he had been awfully quiet and somewhat indifferent about it. This was quite alarming.

He was up to something but Gage didn’t know what. He had already killed that boy, regardless if it could be proven or not. Being away during the actual accident didn’t mean a thing and for the life of him Gage could not believe that the boy’s death was coincidental only after a few days that Theo learned of his existence.

If only he could prove it somehow, but from the little research he managed to do the day he went out to see the girl, he came up empty handed. The job was expertly done. He expected nothing less with the amount of money Theo was willing to pay, yet it was unlike him to involve too many people in his business. He preferred few, whom he could control – preferably trough blackmail- like Gage.

Just the mere remembrance of his foolishness made his blood boil, so most times he pretended to forget.

Naturally, he hadn’t told the girl of his suspicions about her little boyfriend’s death. She was in no position to listen to anything like that and if the purpose behind it was to scare her (and he was sure Theo aimed exactly to that) he wasn’t willing to help in achieving it. She was close to a breaking point, if her little outburst was any indication.

The way she had fiercely punched him with her little fists would be amusing if it wasn’t so pathetic. So desperate. Like she couldn’t take anymore.

‘You were harsh on her, admit it’ that annoying voice reprimanded him, resurfacing from the depths of his mind more often than it should.

‘Well, she needed it’ he growled. He didn’t regret that. If she remained the same, her days were going to be numbered and Theo would make sure of it. As he told her straight out; she needed to grow some spine. She needed to be less of a coward.

‘Says the man who bites, instead of kissing because he’s too afraid to be rejected’ the voice taunted.

He ignored the truth in the words in his head and kept putting things in his cart. He couldn’t be gone for too long and he hated groceries anyway. Strange thing, since he liked to cook. In a few minutes, he rolled his cart to the cashier and started sorting them in bags.

The voice kept mumbling but he paid it no mind as it reminded him the feel of her body when he pressed on her against the tree and her sweet smell, although it was apparent, she hadn’t taken a shower in the last 24 hours, maybe more. As it continued to torment him by recalling her soft and delicious bottom lip, he tuned it out completely. He didn’t need this kind of distraction. Not now. Not ever. Damn it.

When he returned home from his shopping, Kendra was nowhere to be found. At first, he thought nothing of it as sometimes she preferred to stay in the bedroom or alternate between the that and the living room. He arranged the groceries in the kitchen and went to look for her.

She had vanished.

She wasn’t in the house anymore but she was there that very morning. He had made her breakfast and had left her lounging on the couch, reading yet another book. She had taken that hobby very seriously, claiming she had forgotten how fond of books she used to be.

What was odd, was that the front door was locked as he had left it, but her book was tossed on the floor in front of the couch. When he checked the bedroom she shared with Theo, he found than none of her clothes were missing and otherwise the house was as neat as always.

Had she ran away?

“No” he mumbled to himself. “No way”

For one, she didn’t have a key, as far as he knew. Secondly, it wasn’t that she was not a careless and impulsive creature but she loved Theo too much to be away from him and while Gage hated to admit it, he knew that she wouldn’t deliberately get him into trouble. She was aware of what was at stake for him and she still appeared to have some shreds of conscience left.

As more time passed, an unsettling feeling crept inside him. Something was terribly wrong, he could tell. He tried to call the girl. It wasn’t something that he normally did but to hell with it. He had to make sure she was still safe. Only problem was that she didn’t pick up. Nor did she text him immediately.

He tried to calm himself by reasoning that she must be in one of her classes. Absentmindedly, he sat on the couch and lifted the book from the floor to put it on the coffee table. A cufflink was shining beneath it and he frowned as he took it in his palm, recognizing it at once. Then, as if on cue a message arrived on his phone confirming his worst fears.

“I’m safe, Gage 🙂

She never sent smiling faces to him. She never stated her safety status, only her location if she was outside her house.

But most importantly, she never, ever called him by his name for he had forbade her from doing so, long ago.

It was at that moment that Gage knew he had once more been tricked.

It was time for him, at last, to drop his act.

To stop pretending.

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