“Please don’t make my daughter grow up without a mother and a father,” Erica pled. “Why are you doing this? Why now?”
“Because Hudson asked you to marry him. Don’t you get it? There’s no chance of him and I getting back together. I thought… I thought if I gave him some space and worked on myself, then he’d come back to me. Even when I told him I was leaving town, I had hoped he’d beg me to stay. Now I know why he didn’t. It’s because of you!” she screamed.
“Erica has nothing to do with me and you.”
Erica and Allison jumped at the deep baritone, and their gazes whipped around to the entrance to the kitchen. Erica’s breath caught at the sight of Hudson.
Tears spilled down her cheeks as relief spread through her body. She had never been so happy to see anyone in her life.
“Let her go, Ally. I’m the one you’re angry with. Not her.” Hudson had his hands up and out to the side in a nonthreatening way. “Are you okay, Erica?” he asked, but his attention stayed on Allison.
“Y-yes,” Erica said, her voice shaking.
“Stop moving!” Allison screamed, and pointed the gun at Hudson.
He stopped. “Ally, put that down. You don’t want to do this,” he said, slowly inching forward. “How would you explain shooting me to my family? After all they’ve done for you, is that how you want to repay them?”
The gun trembled in her hands as tears traveled down her face. “You. Left. Me.” She emphasized each word by jerking it at him as she approached him. “You’re a tease. I hate you!” More frenzied than ever, Erica wrestled with the rope around her ankles. She had to get free. Allison was out of control.
Though Erica managed to finally untie her hands and ankles, she remained in the chair as if she wasn’t. Allison was more frantic.
“Allison, please don’t shoot him,” Erica begged. “I’ll walk away. You can have him.”
Allison looked at her, tears flooding her eyes. The gun was still pointed in Hudson’s direction, but at least Erica had her attention.
“You don’t want to hurt him. You love him. That’s why…”
Hudson lunged at Allison, knocking her off balance before tackling her to the floor.
Erica’s heart jolted, and she screamed when the gun went off. “Hudson!”
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