Nick was suddenly there, hands planted on the bar top. “I think you really need to leave.”
“I’m sorry.” Henry raised his hands, looking back and forth between us. “I’m not trying to cause any problems. I just want to talk to her. That’s all.”
Anger swelled inside me so swiftly that when I opened my mouth, I thought I’d breathe fire. “I don’t want to see your face let alone talk to you.”
“You heard the lady,” Nick said, raising his arm and pointing at the door. “Get out.”
Henry looked like he was going to argue, but then shook his head. Reaching down, he pulled a small white square out of his pocket and placed it on the bar. He looked me dead-on. “Call me. Please.”
I glanced down at what turned out to be a business card with some kind of car on it and then back at him. He’d already turned away, making his way through the crowd. Before I could stop myself, I laughed. It was kind of crazy-sounding, sort of like the noise a hyena made before it killed something.
Nick reached for the card, but for some reason unknown to me, I grabbed the card. He arched a brow, but I shook my head as I slipped the card into my pocket.
He lowered his head so he could speak into my ear. “Why?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted, pulling back and looking at him. “I don’t know.”
The rest of the shift was uneventful. Instead of seeing Reece, who I secretly kept waiting to see come through the door, all I got was Dean, Henry Williams, two drunk chicks that had puked on the floor, and a guy who offered to buy me a drink and let me give him head.
When I got home, I was too tired to worry about the weirdness that had been going on in my apartment. Placing my phone on the nightstand, I stripped down to my undies and unhooked the bra, leaving the tank top on since it could’ve doubled as a dress. Then I slinked into bed, tugging the covers up to my chin.
Today . . . today sucked.
Tomorrow had to be better.
That’s what I kept telling myself as I lay there, utterly exhausted. Tomorrow seriously had to be better. And truthfully? When everything first happened with Charlie, it had been worse than this—the helplessness, the anger, the depression. All of it had been raw and razor sharp. I’d gotten through it. I’d get through whatever crap was happening right now, because what other option did I have? Curl up and give up? That wasn’t in my nature.
I didn’t realize I’d fallen asleep, but I must’ve, because I came awake all at once. No blinking the sleep out of my eyes. I was completely alert as I stared at the window across from my bed. I’d been dreaming. I didn’t remember what the dream entailed, but someone had been calling my name.
Stretching my legs and arms, I glanced up at the nightstand. It wasn’t even five o’clock. I’d been asleep for an hour and a half tops. Fail.
I was just about to flip onto my other side when I realized the backlight of my cell phone was on, like a text or a call had come through and it hadn’t moved into sleep mode yet.
Jerking up, I snatched the cell phone, and with my heart in my throat, I hit the button. There was only one person who could’ve texted or called this late. Reece. Hope went off inside me like a cannon. Yeah, texting or calling at almost five in the morning wasn’t the greatest thing, but it was something and it was more than nothing.
The screen came to life, I slid the little bar, unlocking it, and at first I didn’t know what I was seeing. I didn’t understand it, could not wrap my head around it.
It wasn’t a text or a missed call.
My hand began to shake.
Unlocking the phone had taken me to the last program in use, which should’ve been nothing—just the home screen. Except it wasn’t on the home screen. It opened to my camera roll—my pictures.
And there was a picture on the screen.
A scream exploded in my stomach and crawled up my throat, but when I opened my mouth, there was no sound. Horror had closed my throat off. There was a picture on my phone, one I could’ve never taken, because it was of me.
A picture of me sleeping.
Fear and disbelief held me immobile as I stared at the picture of me sleeping. Somehow I registered that this picture was from tonight, because I could make out the dark blue straps and the pink strip that formed a bow on the straps of my tank top.
Oh my God.
The fear building inside me was like being doused with icy water. It sent my pulse racing and the only air I could get inside my lungs was in quick, shallow breaths as I launched off the bed. My bare feet slipped on the hardwood floors. I reached the bedroom door, throwing it open, and I raced down the short, narrow hall. I was at the front door when I realized whoever took that picture—because it had to be a person since I doubted a ghost could do that—could be outside.
Oh my God.
The person could still be inside.
Panicked, I didn’t know what to do. Never in my life had I been in a situation like this. I backed away from the door and then spun around, running for the bathroom. Once inside, I locked the door and backed up until I knocked into the toilet. I sat down on the lid, struggling to breathe around the crushing pressure of the fear. I started to call the first person who came to mind.
My finger was right over his contact when I stopped. What was the point in calling him? He wouldn’t answer. Close to tears, I started to call Jax but remembered he was out of town. Part of me recognized I wasn’t thinking right. I needed to call the police. Someone had been in my apartment while I slept. They could still be here. But my brain cells weren’t communicating with one another.
I called Nick.
He answered on the second ring. “Roxy?”
“Did I wake you?” Stupid question, but that’s what came out of my mouth.
“No. I haven’t gone to sleep yet. Are you okay?”
Staring at the bathroom door, I pulled my legs up to my chest. A buzzing picked up in my ears, like I was sitting next to a hive of bees. “I . . . I think someone is in my place.”
“What?” His voice came across as sharp as a whip.
I drew in a shuddering breath and whispered, “I woke up and there was a picture of me on my phone—a picture of me sleeping.”
“I didn’t take the picture.” I inhaled deeply, but it got stuck. “There’s been all this weird stuff happening here. My dishwasher turned on while I wasn’t home. The remote in the fridge. Toilet seat left up and other stuff. I thought my place was haunted, but this—I know someone—a living, breathing someone—had to do this.”