The shot was quieter than she would have thought. The sedative struck him in the upper left part of his chest, close to his shoulder. Her eyes flickered open then closed. She waited five seconds before shaking him.
"Asher" she yelled. "Can you hear me?"
He didn't budge. She dropped the gun onto the floor and ran for the garage.
She was nearly halfway across the cement floor before the computerized voice warned her that she had violated her authorized perimeter. The shrill siren began as she started the car engine. She started to back out before the garage doors had fully opened, and there was an ugly scraping sound, barely audible over the pulsing alarm.
Kimberly turned on the lights of the car and drove down the street. Not long now, she told herself over and over again in a litany of prayer. I will be there, daddy. Just hang on for me
Tears threatened, but she willed them away.
Kimberly drank some water from the faucet and returned to the bed. Asher would probably have recovered from the sedative, but that wasn't going to be much help to her. Sure, he could trace her to the hospital, but then what?Alex was probably going to kill after getting what he wanted from her. She accepted that. If not today, then soon. The thought of death scared her, but that really made her want to pound her hands against the walls and scream was the thought that Asher would never know she was sorry to have misjudged him. He would live the rest of her life aware that in the heat of the moment, she hadn't trusted him."I was a fool" she whispered into the silence. "I should have trusted him. I should have remembered that that Alex would do anything to lure me out. I should have known you were on my side"Worse, she should have listened to her heart. Over the past couple of days, she had been feeling things for A
"You bastard" Kimberly said. "He thought you were his friend. He trusted you. Why would you do something like this to him?"He ignored her questions. "I want you to change your clothes" he said as he walked back to the door. "You will have to eat too. No fainting. In fact, nothing out of the ordinary"She waited, knowing he was finally going to tell her what this was all about. And then, before he could speak, she understood."You need money." she breathed. "You were after the ransom money from my kidnap. Only that plan didn't work out so well for you""Smart girl" Christopher said grinning."You could have just asked for help" Kimberly said. "You didn't have to do all this""Shut up" he shouted. "I don't have to explain my actions to you. That's the thing with you and your father. Feeling and acting like gods. Now, I decided to go another way. We
She was living on borrowed time, as well but somehow that mattered less. If he killed her this second, she would have only two regrets. First, that she wouldn't be around to help those adorable kids anymore, and second, that Asher would always believe that she hadn't trusted him or cared for him at all.----------------------------Kimberly rode the elevator in silence, then stepped out in the elegant foyer and asked for Damon Forbes."I'm sorry" the lady they spoke to told her. "Mr Forbes is on vacation. Did you have an appointment?"Kimberly turned to Christopher. "Did you make an appointment?" she asked him.He nodded. "Paul Nelson is handling the transaction""Then Mr Nelson" Kimberly said."Of course. I will tell him you are here" she waited politely for their names.Christopher put his arm around Kimbe
"I will get you, you bitch!" Christopher screamed at Kimberly. His face turned red and his eyes seemed to bug out. "This is all your fault. I will get you, and when I do, I will make you wish you were dead. You hear me?"The last of her reserves faded. At that moment, Kimberly couldn't take one more thing. She felt weak. She handed the phone to Asher."Talk to my dad. Maybe you can make him understand. He's not listening to me" she said.Then she grabbed for a chair as her legs gave out and she fainted.------------------------Kimberly finished packing her clothes. She had already put her laptop in it's case and cleared out the bathroom. There wasn't all that much left to do, which meant she had no excuse to linger. But she desperately wanted to see Asher before she left.James had said something about him dropping by, but he hadn't been specific. Kimberly had a feeling that if she
"Asher, I...." she began.He pressed his fingers to her mouth. "Don't say anything, Kimberly. You don't have to""Yes, I do" Kimberly said. "You saved me... Again. Not just from Christopher. But you showed me that I was tough and capable""You always knew that. You always have been" Asher replied."Maybe, but I never had to prove it before" She shrugged. "I shot you""Good for you. You did what you had to in order to survive.. To save your father""Oh right. I ran straight to the enemy""You didn't know that. The point is you needed to escape from me and you did" he said.His casual acceptance of her actions made her heart sick. "I should have trusted you""We have been over that" he leaned close and kissed her forehead. "The reality of all this is you haven't even known me for long. In a dangerous situation, everything is heightene
He stepped back and studied her, then rubbed his thumb against her cheek. "My beautiful baby girl. What did he do to you?" he asked.She covered her hand with his. "Not so much as you would think" she replied."But what he did to you. I can't believe that he kidnapped you. Yet it's all true. He is in jail, you know. As are the people who worked for him."Kimberly led the way to the sofa and set next to her father. "It's a lot to take in" she said."Too much. He fooled us all" His mouth twisted. "I'm so sorry you tried to explain to me on the phone and I wasn't listening." He pulled her close. "I will never forgive myself for that""You can't blame yourself, dad" Kimberly said. "He was your close friend, for God knows how long. I understand if you couldn't believe it at first"Her father grimaced. "That's still not enough reason. I just hope you know just how sorry I am a
It was nearly nine when she picked up her phone to make her weekly call to James. She had gotten in the habit of calling him at night, so that when they finished she could curl up in bed and pretend that Asher had heard every word. That he cared about her and that it was killing him to be so far away from her.At what point did she let go? She wondered. Asher had been concerned that her feelings weren't real, that they were only circumstances. How could she prove otherwise to a man who refused to speak with her or see her? Was he really trying to give her space he thought she needed or did he not care about her? Was her love one sided?Six months, she told herself. She would give him the six months he had offered her. On that date, she would call for the last time. She would also tell James about the baby. She had hoped to tell Asher herself, but if he refused to talk to her, there was little she could do."But that is n
He took her hand in his and squeezed her fingers. "Kimberly, are you telling the truth? Do you really love me? Because if you don't, I can't make it. You are my world. This is killing me"She leaned forward and pulled him close. Then he was on the bed and they were kissing as if they had a lifetime to make up for."Of course I love you" she wispererd as she pressed her mouth against his lips, his cheeks, his chin. "I have been calling every week, trying to tell you""I know. James recorded the calls and forwarded them to me. I couldn't stand listening to them and I couldn't stop playing them over and over. I needed it all to me true, even as I told myself it couldn't be""Stubborn man" she said contentedly. "Do you believe me now?""I have to. I need to be with you" he touched her face. "I believe you. I love, Kimberly. I don't deserve you and you can do a hell of a lot bette