The ice in Ivan’s tone sent a chill down Lacey’s spine. She searched his eyes for some spark of compassion, some hint of the man she’d once fallen in love with.
That man was gone.
He spun her around and pressed the pistol between her shoulder blades. “Go.”
She stumbled to the keypad and punched in the code. Silencing the alarm might keep neighbors from investigating, but it wouldn’t stop the call to the police. Since it was the back door that had been breached, the call had already taken place. Now she just needed to hold on until help arrived.
“You don’t need to do this, Ivan.”
“Yes, I do. You’ve left me no choice.”
“Everyone has a choice.” If she could keep him talking, maybe he wouldn’t kill her. “Walk away. Forget about me. You’ll find someone who will love you the way you deserve. I’m not that person.”
He motioned toward where her purse sat on the end table. “Get your keys.”
The pistol pressed into her spine again, urging her toward the front door. When she stepped outside, her car sat alone in the driveway.
“How did you get here?”
“You have a motorcycle?” Why hadn’t Jason picked it up on his DMV search?
“I bought it from one of the clients at the law firm. I haven’t gotten around to transferring the title yet.”
“Where is it?”
“I pushed it into the woods a little way down.” He put a hand on her shoulder to turn her around. “Shut the front door, then get in the car.”
After she slid in behind the wheel, he claimed the passenger seat. The weapon was lying across his lap, fingers clenching the handle.
“Head downhill, toward Valley River Avenue.”
She cranked the car and backed out of the drive. “You won’t get away with this. They’ll know it was you.”
“I have an alibi, friends that will vouch for me.”
“The police will know they’re lying.”
“They won’t be lying. I had my next-door neighbors over for dinner tonight. They believe I headed straight to the family room to watch TV. The Nissan is still sitting in the driveway, further proof that I’m inside.”
She shifted from Reverse into Drive, casting him a sideways glance. He was wearing a smug smile.
“No one knows about the bike. I’ve been keeping it in the woods behind my house, coming and going from the road behind.”
As she stepped on the gas and began the gentle descent down Dillard, Ivan heaved a sigh. “You know, I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone. But you left me. You’ve found someone else already.”
Someone else? She hadn’t dated anyone since breaking up with Ivan. Probably wouldn’t for a long time.
Jason. Ivan had been watching and thought she and Jason were a couple. Denying it would be a waste of breath. He’d never believe her.
Sirens sounded in the distance, likely responding to her alarm notification. Ivan lifted the gun and pointed it at her. “If you even think about trying to alert anyone, you’ll get a bullet through your head.”
She eased to a stop at the bottom of the hill, then glanced left. A single pair of headlights moved toward them from a couple hundred feet away as a vehicle navigated its way around a gentle curve. That seemed to be the direction of the sirens, too. Could she stall until police arrived? Would it even do her any good?
Ivan pressed the barrel of the gun against her temple. “Take a right. Now.”
She stepped on the gas and turned the wheel. “Where are we going?”
The park? For the first time since he’d kicked in the door, hope flickered.
Konehete Park a few blocks away had always been a special place for them. They’d spent countless hours there, enjoying picnics, strolls along the river walk, lengthy talks while sitting on the swings overlooking the Valley River.
But it was also where she'd ended their relationship.
God, I need some wisdom. She'd have to direct his thoughts away from the bad and get him to focus on the good. The park was where they’d bonded and shared and fallen in love. She would remind him of that and try to convince him that she'd changed her mind.
She’d never been a good liar. She wasn’t even a good actress. In fact, she was terrible. Once, years ago, her teacher had given her a small part in the school play. Never again. Every program after that, she’d assisted backstage.
She’d always said she couldn’t act if her life depended on it.
Well, now it did.
And this was one performance she was going to nail.
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