Decree of Hope

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I wanted to collapse right there in the hallway and cry, but I wouldn’t let him know the impact he’d made on me. I refused. I choked back the tears, painted a smile on my face, and walked back into the auditorium. Dad and Jackson were probably already gone. I drove myself because the rehearsal was half an hour earlier than the graduation. There was no reason for them to wait around. But it looked like Abe was heading outside, and I needed distance between us.

As I suspected, my dad and Jackson were gone. I could go to Project Graduation tonight, but there was no point in trying to be friendly with people I’d spent four years ignoring now. Farrah was having an alcohol bash, but after my fall from grace I sincerely doubted I was invited.

So I was going home. Alone. I was totally okay with that. I could have a nice night with Daddy’s liquor cabinet again. It wasn’t like it would be the first time. Tears stung my eyes. I needed something to take my mind off Abe. At least I made it to my car before the tears poured out. I cried onto my steering wheel for a few minutes, wiped my eyes, and drove away.

From the street, the house was dark. I didn’t relish the idea of going into a dark empty house tonight, but after a few margaritas I wouldn’t even remember my broken heart. As I pulled into the drive, I noticed a car parked in front of mine. Jackson drove a truck, and my dad drove an SUV.

I clasped my hand around the pepper spray on my keychain. I had no idea who was here, but if it was someone who shouldn’t be, I’d spray the mace and make a mad dash for my car. I looked to both sides as I approached the porch again from the steps. I didn’t see anyone. My chest tightened. If they weren’t outside, they had to be inside. I wasn’t hiding outside my own house though. I put the key in the door and someone grabbed my wrist. I threw up my free hand and screamed.

“Kailee Hill,” a man said, and I looked up at my assailant. Officer Mohammed.

“What the hell?” I asked. But his older friend jumped from the other side of my door. They’d been waiting for me. They blended in with the dark. McGarrett grabbed my free arm and slapped a cuff over my wrist.

Mohammed shoved the wrist in his hand toward McGarrett who cuffed it as he continued, “You are under arrest.”

“For what?”

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