“So, you expect me to run away scared? You expect me to live my life dictated by the crazy people who are obsessed and want to hurt me?
“You get that this guy is just the latest in a line that has gone on for a while and won’t ever stop. If I give in now, then I might as well forfeit whatever life I want outside the four walls I call home.”
Bryan’s eyes soften, and his hand twitches at his side. Is he going to touch me? Maybe offer me comfort? Maybe he will run his fingers through my hair and promise to make this go away. That would be totally hot, right?
Instead, he glances back out at the crowd, his keen eyes taking in everyone but me. “Your next group of fans is here.”
I inwardly groan but force myself to my feet with my plastered, fake smile fixed on properly.
Half an hour later, with Bryan speaking hurriedly into his phone, making me think our jig is up and Sheriff Green has found out about what we have set up, my world crumbles as I manage to glimpse Samuel Allen as he steps around a rowdy group of adults and holds a gun up, aiming it at me.
My breath catches in my throat, I manage a silent scream and, for a moment, my life flashes before my eyes. But I don’t see the life I have lived. No, I see a life I have missed out on. The chance to experience the many years I should still have left. The future projects that give me passion to keep going. Every fantasy and hope flashes through me in the blink of an eye, and I’m angry to have this taken from me. I’m furious that one sick bastard has stolen my future. The possibility of something more with Bryan ripped from me.
Then, all I feel is the world tilting as I’m roughly shoved aside. My head cracks on the icy-cold ground, and my shoulder takes most of the brunt of my bodyweight, but all pain flies out of my mind when I hear the crack of gunfire.
I sit up, my heart punching painfully in my chest, while people around us scream, run, and sob.
It’s complete chaos, but my eyes only see Bryan, on the ground, next to me, blood soaking his white shirt. All I hear is the rattling, sharp breaths he takes. All I feel is complete dread as I watch the man who I’m completely in love with bleeding out in front of me, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.