Partial Claim

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I flicked off the light and did a double-take of the office over my shoulder. I closed the door and made my way down the hall. The rest of the office was quiet and dim. I moved towards Kaine’s office. He had his blinds open. I could see him sitting at his desk, his eyes glued to his computer. He ran his fingers through his hair before moving his hand to his chin to scratch his short beard.

I smiled as I watched him for a moment. He looked so serious, tense. I had a feeling that I would be going home alone tonight.

Maybe it would be good for us. Take some time to be with myself and my own thoughts.

I rounded his mother's desk before popping my head around the corner. He looked up from the screen and smiled at me. He leaned back in his chair, taking this moment as an opportunity to finally relax.

“Hey, I’m finished for the night. Are you ready?” I asked, shifting my bag on my shoulder.

He let out a long sigh before he moved back towards his desk. “No, some last-minute things came up that I need to deal with tonight.”

“Anything I can help with?”

He shook his head. “No, it’s fine I shouldn’t be too much longer. I’ll have Greg bring you to my place and Josh can meet you there to let you in.” He said. “I’ll make sure Josh stops for food so you have something to eat when you arrive.”

“Mhmm,” I thought for a moment. “Thai sounds really good. Tell him to go to the one on York St. That one’s the best.”

He smiled. “Sure, I’ll probably be another hour or two. Don’t wait up.”

I checked my watch and saw that it was already close to 8:30.

“Okay, I’ll see you whenever you get back to your place.” I gave him a quick wink before I spun off his door frame and headed to the elevator.

I got in the elevator and pressed the ground floor. I leaned against the back wall and closed my eyes as the box descended. It glided down before it slowed. I opened my eyes as the box came to a halt. I looked at the side panel and saw that it had stopped on floor four. I frowned, surprised that someone from the marketing department would be here so late.

The doors opened with a ding. I slid to the side, standing in the corner out of the way. I watched as the person looked up from the floor.

His dark hair hung down his forehead. His gray-blue eyes met mine, he gave me a wide smile before he stepped in.

“Hey, Liv. Late-night for you too huh?”

“Yeah, we’re gearing up to send another five groups out so lots of overtime these next few weeks,” I replied, hoping I sounded polite. “You helping out on some of the bigger advertisement campaigns with Kaine?” I asked, generally confused on why he would be here so late, especially on the marketing floor.

“Yeah, he asked me to oversee a few things.” He shrugged, making it seem like it wasn’t such a big deal.

I looked at him. His hair was dishevelled, his dress shirt had little wrinkles from a long day's wear. His hands were in his pants pockets. I could tell from the way his hands were resting against his legs that he had them clenched into fits.

I could smell the perspiration on his skin, he smelt of anxiety and pine. I frowned as I watched him from the corner of my eye.

Could he really be a part of all of this?

The doors slid open and I quickly slipped from the elevator. I moved towards the front door, dying to get into the car and dig into some delicious Thai food. My mind wandered as I thought about what things Kaine would have told Josh to order.

I felt pressure against my back as a hand gripped my upper arm.

“Relax,” Daniel's voice was low against my ear. “Don’t make any sudden movements or I will pull this trigger.”

I felt my heart skip a beat and panic pushed its way to the surface. I nodded my head in agreement as he pulled me alongside of him towards the side ally door.

My eyes moved around, my head turning as we moved across the lobby and towards the hall. I looked for anyone. Any late-night stragglers like myself, or the overnight security. There was no one in sight. I thought about shifting but Daniel would pull the trigger faster than my body could finish shifting. I felt hopeless, I was stuck.

Daniel pushed open the emergency exit door before he shoved me through first. I shot forward, my feet tripping as I moved out the door. I fell to the ground, my cat-like reflexes non-existent as I hit the asphalt. I let out a low hiss as pain shot up my arms and knees. I turned back and looked over at my shoulder, my eyes narrowed in a glare. I stood up, leaving my spilled bag on the ground.

“What are you doing, Daniel?”

“Shut up.” He glowered down at me, being sure to keep his gun pointed at me. “Get up, walk slowly towards the road.” He followed behind me.

I walked slowly, taking the time to take in my surroundings, hoping I could find a way out of this. I kept my breathing slow, and even as I moved. I hoped that I could trick my brain and my tiger into thinking this wasn’t a situation worth panicking over…I was failing, quite miserably.

“Don’t bother trying to contact Kaine, you’ll be long gone before he has time to react.”

Clearly, this twit has no idea how partial claims work. I thought as I inwardly rolled my eyes.

Partial claims only last for a period of time if they’re not completed. Once they fade, the partial connection between the two people fades with it. I had no way to contact Kaine, even if I wanted to. My neck was bare, no mark or hint of one lingered. Kaine’s partial claim on me was just a memory.

As we neared the mouth of the ally a black SUV rolled up. A woman jumped from the passenger seat and pulled open the back door. Daniel pushed me to move faster. As I stepped out onto the sidewalk I looked around. I caught the light reflecting off the glass door of the building as it opened. I saw Greg step out, he was looking down, unaware of my presence.

It took a split second for my mind to register what I was doing.

“Greg!” I yelled his name. I watched his head snap up at the sound of my voice.

“Stupid bitch.” I felt a crack of shooting pain on the side of my head before everything went black.

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