I keep thinking that there had to be a reason. Maybe there was another man…
Reaching over, I grab the glass paperweight on my desk and throw it across the room like a baseball. I hear the noise of its collision with the wall, but I ignore it. If I truly took a good look around the room, I’m sure I’d see it’s destroyed, but better in here than the rest of the house. I left our home untouched until she returns. Because she will return. There is no other way.
Somewhere in the distance, I hear the office door open. I don’t look up to see if the investigators left, I just walk to the window and stare out at the rain. I wonder if my Molly is cold, if she’s out in this with no shelter. I wonder for the ten thousandth time if she’s safe. I think I could live with anything as long as she was safe.
“Mr. Tanner. We’ve got something.”
I spin around, seeing the youngest of the trio, Jeremy, walk in and hand his phone over to Carl. After he looks at it, he nods and then looks to me. There is hope in his eyes, but I don’t dare read too much into it. I want to hear what he has to say first.
“We’ve been watching all her known associates since you requested our services, and it looks like your friend Cindy received a call from an unknown number. Jeremy traced the call and has a recording.”
He lays the phone on my desk and hits play.
Molly’s voice fills my ears, and I fall to my knees, clutching my chest. It’s the first time in weeks that we’ve gotten a single scrap of information, and the sound of her voice is overwhelming.
I was wondering if I could come home and stay with you. Then Molly stops talking. There’s the sound of someone screaming, and then I hear the loud noise of screeching brakes. Cindy says her name in a panic, and then the line goes dead.
A deathly chill runs down my spine, and I’m on my feet in a second, ready to take action. I don’t even have to ask before Jeremy starts talking.
“I traced her call to a burner phone, but we were able to pinpoint her position to Washington Beach. It’s about five hours south—”
“I know where it is.” It’s two hours away from where they had traced her call to the police station and her lawyer. By the time we’d gotten there, she was gone.
I’m blowing past the men as I make my way through the penthouse and to the front door, grabbing my keys. I don’t know what that was on that recording, but I know that’s where Molly is and that’s where I’m going.
“Sir, wait. We’ll escort you,” Carl says as they chase after me.
“You’re welcome to follow,” is all I say as I get in the elevator and push the button for the lobby.
The three men barely slip in before the doors shut, and I feel antsy. Finally, I have a direction. I just need to make sure she’s okay, and then I need to talk to her. Find out what the fuck happened. She’s okay. She’s totally fine. She has to be.
As we exit the building I get behind the wheel of my McLaren F1 and grip the wheel. This was a rash purchase when I was in my early twenties, but now I’m glad to have it. This baby can do two hundred and forty miles an hour. I plan on getting to my Molly in just under two hours instead of five.
When I make it across the bridge and out of the city, I hit the gas. Hard. Nothing and no one is standing in my way. I don’t care what I have to do or who I have to kill. My wife is mine. And I’m bringing her home, whether she wants to come or not.
Chapter Five Phillip
I’m an hour into the drive and I don’t think my knuckles have stopped aching from how hard I’ve been gripping the wheel. I’ve kept my focus on getting to Molly, unable to think of anything else. But as the miles are eaten up under my tires, my mind starts to drift. I think about our wedding day, and then my thoughts go to our wedding night. Everyone tells you to try and remember as much as you can because over time the day will fade and all you’ll have are pictures. Bullshit. I’ll remember every second of that day for the rest of my life. And I don’t need any pictures to remind me.
I stand in a peach orchard at the end of a long row, dressed in a suit and tie. It smells like sweet fruit and springtime, but the scent does nothing to calm me. I fiddle with the cuff of my shirt, unable to keep my hands still. I’m waiting for Molly to walk down the aisle to me, and if I don’t keep my fingers locked in front of me, I may very well run down the second I see her and pull her to me. I need to try to even my breathing so that when she finally appears, I won’t scream like Braveheart and charge after her.
After what feels like an eternity, I see her at the end of the long line of peach trees. White peeks out among the leaves as she makes her way down the grove to where I’m standing. It takes all the power I have inside me not to take a single step. Instead I just watch her as she comes into full view.
She’s wearing her hair down and in soft waves past her shoulders. She has one section pulled back with a cream-colored flower, and she’s smiling at me with big excited eyes. I feel myself swallow back a moan of equal parts excitement and overwhelming love. She looks so fucking beautiful.
As my eyes travel lower, I see she’s got on a simple cream dress. It’s got small straps over her shoulders, and the rest is long and flowing. There’s a little lace at the bottom, and I see her toes peep out in the blue sandals she’s wearing underneath as she takes each step. Her father is on her arm, but she might as well be alone for all I see. The small crowd drops away, and as she reaches me, I can’t be still anymore.