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But You Saved My Life
By Just 2 Dream of You


Between The Lies

Chapter Seventeen: But You Saved My Life


The officer immediately sprang into action, taking out his gun and running to the salon, Pete following.

``Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God...!'' Pete panted frantically as he ran, horrible images entering his mind as to what had happened.

When they hit the door the officer stopped him. ``You're not going in!''

``That's my best friend in there! If you wanna stop me you'll have to shoot me in the leg! And even then I'll still drag myself in there!''

The officer huffed. ``I don't have time for this!'' He entered and looked around at all the people on the floor, their hands on their heads. A male had a gun out and was pointing it at them, shouting orders for them to do as he said. The officer aimed his gun at the male and the male showed off a concealed badge.

``Lt. Tyler Hall. I was undercover here, as was Lt. Vivian Krupp. You are?''

The officer blinked and lowered his gun. ``Uh, Ken Page.''

Hall nodded. ``Call backup and an ambulance, we have wounded in the back.'' Pete immediately ran to the back of the salon, but Hall stopped him. ``Hey--what!''

``Patrick?! PATRICK?!'' He screamed.


Pete gasped and felt like his knees were gonna give out when he heard Patrick call back. Pete pushed Hall away and ran to where he heard him. He stopped at what he saw.

Some fat woman was on the ground bleeding out from her side while another woman with purple hair was checking her pulse.

His eyes moved away from that and into the small room in front of him. Patrick was somewhat sitting on the floor, holding a sobbing girl. Pete smiled.


His hands kept ringing themselves in her hair as he continued trying to calm her. ``It's over, it's okay, it's over...'' He repeated.

She held him so tight she swore she must be hurting him. ``Patrick...I...'' She couldn't get the words out as another sob racked her throat.

It all happened so fast she didn't even know until it was over.

Delilah was aiming right for Patrick and Vivian was aiming for her. It seemed like Delilah didn't even care about being caught, she just wanted to kill everyone.

Right as she was about to fire a male came from behind her and grabbed her shoulders. In that second Patrick instinctively turned around and pushed Sam to the floor, covering her with his own body.

Delilah fired her gun off twice, not hitting anything but the floor as the male officer wrestled her to the ground. She got free for a millisecond and raised her gun up to shoot someone--anyone, and Vivian shot her in self defense of everyone.

Delilah was out as soon as the shot hit her midsection and fell to the floor unconscious. Vivian looked at Hall and told him to secure the salon. He went out and told everyone to get on the floor. People were already screaming and running out of the salon, some with curlers and foil in their hair.

One woman kept shouting, ``Where's Patrick?!'' But Hall wouldn't hear her and demanded she hit the floor as well, putting her hands behind her head. That's when officer Page and Pete ran in.

It had all taken place in a matter of seconds, ten maybe at the most. But it was the longest ten seconds of anyone experiencing it.

``Patrick, is she okay?'' Pete asked as Hall got in front of him again, holding him back.

Patrick released her momentarily but held her tighter. ``Yeah...'' He answered in a shaky voice.

``Pete, is that you?'' Bree called out on the floor.

``Bree?'' He walked back out front and looked around on the floor. He saw her around the waiting area and smiled. ``Why is she under arrest?'' He asked Hall.

``We don't know who is just an innocent customer and who is in with Colby. Speaking of, how do you know what's going on here?''

Pete deadpanned. ``Uh...Well...? Heh. See, the girl in the back? We know her and we tried to find her and we did. And that girl there in the yellow shirt?'' He pointed to Bree. ``That's her sister.''

Hall looked back from Bree to Pete. ``And how did you find out that she was here?''

Pete smiled nervously, like a kid having been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. ``We...uh--kidnapped a hooker.''

Hall blinked. ``I see.''

``So that's why you were speeding so much.'' Page sounded. Hall looked at the younger officer. ``He was doing at least 75 to 80.''

Hall shook his head with a sigh. ``Vigilantism is not smiled upon.''

Pete swallowed. ``Huh? We weren't gonna kill anyone. We just wanted Sam back.''

``Sam? The girl in the back.'' Pete nodded as some EMTs burst in. They had a stretcher and one looked over at Hall for info. ``Female, early to mid 40's, GSW, midsection, possible ribcage. She's been unconscious since the hit.'' He told them and they rushed to get to Delilah.

One female EMT came in and Hall pointed to her. ``We got a female in the back that probably needs to go to the hospital. Check her out.''

She nodded and ran to the back room.

``Are you sure that you're okay?'' Patrick whispered to her as he looked her over once more.

``Yeah...'' Sam shook. They looked up and saw a female ambulance person kneel down to them.

``Hey...'' She soothed. ``I'm Kelsey. I need to know if you have any injuries.''

Sam shook her head. ``N-no. I don't think so.''

``Really?'' Patrick began. ``Because I think I see bruises underneath your makeup.'' He rubbed her cheek and Sam gasped.

``Oh. Mama--whatever her name is--did hit me a few times. But it was nothing. I'm fine.''

Patrick felt rage like nothing else build up in him and for the first time in his life, he was glad someone had gotten shot and might die.

``Are you sure?'' Kelsey asked.

Sam thought for a second and gasped. ``No...'' She held out her right arm and showed the needle bruise from last night. It was green and blue.

Kelsey took her arm and gently rubbed her finger over the bruise. ``What was this caused by?''

``A needle...'' Sam said with shame.

Patrick gasped in fear. ``What? What happened?''

``They shot me with drugs...'' Sam said with tears.

Kelsey appeared sympathetic and released her arm. ``What kind? Do you know?''

Sam nodded with a silent sob. ``Heroin.''

Patrick gasped really loud this time. ``What?! Heroin?!''

``It wasn't enough to hook me, she said so herself! I'm okay! Really!'' Now SHE was the one comforting HIM.

Kelsey had a look on her face and inhaled deeply. ``We need to take you to the hospital, just to make sure you're okay. Alright?''

``'s fine. It wasn't enough. I'm fine.'' Sam looked at Patrick and he seemed to have painful realization on his face. ``What? I'm fine. The drug can't hurt me anymore.''

``That's not what I'm worried about...'' He looked down and sighed. That's when it hit her.

A needle. An unclean needle. That had probably been used by every girl in that house. Girls that had been sleeping with multiple partners every night.

Sam's eyes went as big as plates. ``Oh, my God! A needle!'' Patrick knew she had reached the same conclusion as him and grabbed her to try to calm her. ``NO! What if I get HIV? Or AIDS?! Oh, my God, Patrick! Oh, my GOD!!''

``It's gonna be okay,'' Was all he could think of to say.

``We'll run all the necessary tests, but we need to get you there as soon as possible.'' Kelsey assured.

``She's screaming!'' Bree shouted at the officer demanding that she stay down. ``That's my sister! Let me go!''

``I'm gonna say this one last time; stay down or you'll get charges that you don't want.'' The cop glared.

Pete shook his head. ``Just do it, Bree. Patrick's with her.'' Bree growled and seethed in fury as she returned to the floor. The EMTs came out with Delilah Colby on the stretcher calling out her stats as they ran to the ambulance.

``Dee!'' Wanda sobbed. ``I'm so sorry!''

A another cop walked over to her. He and some other officers had entered a few seconds earlier. He seemed like the big cahuna. ``Wanda Willow?'' He asked her. She sat up and nodded with a sob. ``You did the right thing by calling us.'' She nodded again. ``But for years you turned a blind eye to it in exchange for drugs and other things. That wasn't right.'' He smirked.

She gasped. ``But! We had a deal! I made a deal! I wasn't gonna go to jail if I turned her in!''

The bug cahuna guy snickered. ``Yeah...That deal was made with our last DA. Who was caught two months ago banging a hooker in a hotel room. One of Colby's girls. Needless to say he was forced to resign and the whole thing was handled. Now we have a new DA. And that means your deal is worthless. Take her out of here.'' More cops approached Wanda and cuffed her, walking her out of her own salon in shame.

``By the way,'' Pete looked up at Hall from the chair he had been told to sit in. ``How ARE you gonna find out who's bad and who's innocent?''

Hall chuckled softly. ``Simple. You all go downtown.''

Pete winced and chuckled nervously. ``Really?''

``Well, you WERE caught speeding...''

Kelsey came out of the back with Patrick and Sam and Pete stood up to greet them. Sam smiled at him and her eyes fell on the floor. ``Bree?''

Bree looked up and immediately jumped. ``Sammie!'' With protest from the other police officers, she ran to Sam, enveloping her in a tight hug. ``Oh, my God, baby. I'm so sorry...'' She whispered in a quiet sob.

Sam smiled and took in the scent of her sister she thought she'd never experience again. ``I'm sorry too...''

They weeped a little and held each other while Pete and Patrick exchanged warm glances.

Hall sighed and came towards the sisters. ``We should get you to the hospital.''

``Hmm?'' Bree let go of Sam. ``Why? What did they do to you?''

``It's okay, Bree. I'm okay.'' Sam covered, not wanting to hear Bree scream and curse if she told her what happened. ``It's just procedure.''

The older raised an eyebrow and looked at Patrick. ``Did she tell you?'' He said nothing. ``You know I'm gonna find out eventually.''

``Bree, it's okay.'' Sam assured.

``Let's go, honey.'' Kelsey comforted.

``We called another ambulance for you.'' Hall added as Sam and Kelsey began walking. ``Hold it there, buddy.'' He said grabbing Patrick's arm. ``You aren't going anywhere.''

``Excuse me? I'm the one that found her.'' He retorted.

``We were here the whole time. We would have stopped this with or without you. You being here is just coincidence.''

Sam stopped and looked at Lt. Hall. ``Can they come with me?'' She asked.


``Patrick, Bree and Pete.'' She answered pointing to all three of them.

``No,'' Hall sighed. ``They need to come down to the station for questioning.''

``What?'' Sam gasped. ``Why? Can't you do that later?''


``I've just been through the worst hell of my entire life and I thought I'd never see my sister or Patrick again! Pete went out of his way to help and you're telling me THEY CAN'T GO WITH ME?!'' She shouted with fury.

Hall blinked and swallowed. The big cahuna guy stepped up. ``Your sister can because she's family. We'll still need to question her later though.''

``What about my boyfriend?'' Sam demanded.

Cahuna rubbed his temple and looked at Patrick. ``I suppose...But HE cannot.'' He finished gesturing to Pete.

Sam looked sadly at Pete and he shrugged. ``It's okay. I'll come see you later.''

``Thank you so much for your help I dunno what you did but...thank you...'' Sam smiled and hugged him.

He patted her back and released her. ``Yeah. No problem.''

She nodded and after Patrick gave Pete a shoulder hug, all three went to the ambulance.

Pete sighed. ``Now what?''

Hall pursed his lips. ``Let's start with, where's that hooker you 'kidnapped'?''


After Sam was settled in in the hospital, the police came to question Patrick and Bree. Bree offered to go first so Sam and Patrick could have some much needed alone time.

He was holding her hand, gently rubbing her palm with his thumb.

It was achingly silent and Sam felt like if she didn't say something she was gonna burst. ``Patrick?''

He looked up at her and smiled a bit sad in her opinion. ``Yeah?''

``I'm sorry.''

He looked understandably confused. ``For what?''

She sighed. ``If I hadn't run out of my apartment like an idiot without my phone this never would have happened.''

He shook his head in disbelief. ``Are you seriously gonna blame yourself for this?'' She went to respond and he held her hand tighter. ``No. I won't let you. Bree said you told her that someone was following you. That means that this might have happened anyway, regardless of when you left your apartment.'' She swallowed and he sighed heavily. ``And also...Bree said that the reason you didn't do anything about being followed was because you thought it was a photog...because of me...''

Sam squeezed his hand back. ``Now you're gonna blame yourself? It's not your fault.''

Patrick gave a somber chuckle. ``Yeah, I know. But I still feel crappy about it.''

``I feel like an idiot...'' Sam leaned back into the bed with a loud sigh of her own. ``I couldn't even fight back and I'm afraid to even kiss you 'cause--''

``Don't think like that. It'll be okay. You're fine.'' He seemed to be telling himself as well as her and she could see that in his eyes.

The officer came in from questioning Bree and glanced at Patrick. ``You're next.'' Patrick nodded and stood up, running his hand through Sam's few bangs and kissing her on the forehead.

``Be right back.'' She smiled the best she could at him and he walked out the door with the cop, glancing at her momentarily with a smile before closing the door.

Sam wanted to cry right then but didn't have the strength. She was exhausted in a way she never knew she could be. It was only a day and a half of misery but it was enough to do some damage. She just couldn't believe that she was watching Patrick record his song and then this happens. What did she do to deserve this, and why was the guy that kidnapped her following her? Was she just a random mark or was this planned?

Bree walked in interrupting her from her thoughts. ``Hey, baby. How ya doing?''

``Tired.'' She yawned.

``You can sleep now. You're safe.'' Bree sat where Patrick was and smiled.

Sam frowned and sniffled. ``Brianna, I'm sorry that I yelled at you. I didn't mean those things I said...''

``Eh, It's okay. I'm actually kinda glad that you stood up for yourself. It's about time.'' Bree smiled with a shrug.

Sam chuckled. ``September said something similar...But I don't think so.''

``I do. Most people wouldn't have survived what you've gone through.''

``It wasn't that bad. It wasn't like I was raped and tortured. The drug was pretty bad--horrible really, but I got through it. Now I just have to worry about the needle...''

Bree knew what she was talking about and swished her hair back behind her shoulder. ``Well, if you have something I'll be there for you. No matter what, I'll be here for you. Always.''

Sam wiped away liquid from her eyes and blinked a few times with a smile. ``You'll say that when you can't use the same bathroom as me.''

``Ugh. Just stop it.'' Bree ordered. ``I'll use the same toothbrush as you if you have something that way I'll get it and then we'll both suffer and then you'll shut up.''

Sam giggled and pushed Bree playfully. ``Promise?''

Bree shook her head. ``Sure.''

``Do you know where Starr is?'' The cop continued.

Patrick shook his head. ``She was at the apartment last I checked. Are you gonna go get her? She needs help...'' He sighed and the cop nodded.

``We'll try our best to help her.'' He took a breath. ``Your story matches up with Miss Hughes', but I still can't believe you just happened to find Starr and she told you everything that you needed to find Samantha.''

Patrick chuckled softly. ``Did Bree tell you she used to work with her at the same club?''

``Yes, we know all about that. But still...the likelihood--''

``I know, Sir, but believe me, we didn't expect to get this far. We wanted to...but I never thought that...I'd see her again...'' He cleared his throat after he trailed off and shook his head. ``Sorry.''

The cop smiled a little and put away his notes. ``We'll be in touch with all of you. Most likely, you'll all have to testify when this goes to trial. And we still need to find Malcolm. Don't leave town.'' He said with an incredulous eyebrow raised.

Patrick laughed to himself and smiled. ``No problem. I won't leave Sam.''

A few minutes went by and soon he was back in Sam's room. He walked up to the bed and Bree smiled at him.

``Shh.'' She ordered. He looked down at the bed and chuckled. ``I just got her to sleep.'' She whispered.

``She needs to.'' He whispered back.

Bree moved Sam's hair out of her face and got up, motioning Patrick to follow her. They walked to the other side of the room. ``How'd it go?'' She asked a bit louder.

``Fine, but I can't leave town.'' He half-joked.

``Me neither.'' Bree responded with a shrug.

``Oh, well. Like I'd leave Sam now.'' He said looking back at the bed.

``Don't you have music to make or whatever it is you do?''

Patrick sighed. ``I won't have to leave town for that. And if I tour ever again, I'm sure this'll be settled by then.'' He looked back at Sam's bed again and Bree smiled at him.

She sighed to herself as she watched him stare at Sam. ``You really care about her, huh?'' She smirked.

He turned back at her and rolled his eyes. ``No, I went through all this because I can't stand her.''

They giggled together and Sam moaning and turning in her sleep made them stifle. ``Let's take this outside.'' Bree said as she opened the door.

``Yeah.'' Patrick looked back one more time at Sam and then followed Bree out.

``So...'' Bree began. Patrick raised an eyebrow. ``Sam really cares about you too. And now all's gonna shake her up for a while.''

Patrick scoffed. ``If this is were you give me the 'sex with my sister' speech--''

``No!'' Bree snapped him off. ``Just...I wanna thank you for helping me. I can't ever repay you.''

Patrick crossed his arms. ``And?''

``And what happened in the car, never happened.'' She smiled cheeky.

``Ah...yeah, I won't be telling her about that...But she will ask what happened eventually...and I will tell her.''

``You'll tell her we made out hard-core in the back of a car?''

Patrick sighed. ``I won't quite put it THAT way--but yes--I'll tell her the truth. I mean, I'm not gonna LIE to her.'' Bree looked as if something he said had hit her like a ton of bricks. He paused and blinked. ``Hey...?''

``Couldn't you just leave that detail out?'' She asked with another cheeky smile.

Patrick deadpanned. ``That's a lie of omission, Bree.''

Bree huffed and pulled back her hair. ``Whatever you wanna do. I'll just do damage control when you do. I'll tell her you suck--she doesn't have much experience and she'll believe me--''

``Shut the hell up.''

She laughed and pushed him playfully and swished her hips to the side. ``Well. My car is at Wanda's. I need to go get it, so I guess I'll call a cab to get it. If it hasn't been impounded, that is.''

At that moment Pete came walking up. ``Hey, man. They grill you too?'' Patrick asked with a smile.

Pete sighed. ``Well...they weren't happy about my speeding...but It's okay. It's all good. So...where's my car?''

``Both our cars are at her place.'' Patrick answered, pointing to Bree.

``Oh, okay.'' He briefly looked at Bree and then at the floor.

``Hey, she's gonna take a cab to get her car, so she can give you a ride to get your car.'' Patrick suggested.

``Yeah, that's okay. I'll take a cab too.'' Pate shrugged nonchalant but Patrick wasn't buying it.

``You'd rather pay instead of riding with Bree?''

Pete shot him a look that said ``shut up'' and Patrick rasied his brow at him. Pete relented. ``Fine.'' He spat out, failing at hiding his anger.

Bree scoffed and put her purse strap over her shoulder. ``Hey, if you're so desperate to pay money you can split my fare.'' She began walking away and Patrick pulled Pete off to the side before he could follow.

``What is your problem?'' He asked harshly. Pete sighed heavily and didn't answer. ``She just went through all this with us and you're acting like...she grosses you out or something...''

``She DOES gross me out. I don't like her, Patrick.''

Patrick raised his brow. This was news to him. ``Why?''

``I know her type.''

Patrick laughed slightly. ``Are you kidding? You used to DATE that type.''

Pete frowned. ``Precisely my point, Lunch-box.'' He retorted, poking Patrick's thinner stomach.

``Don't call me that.'' He demanded shoving Pete's hand away. Pete laughed and Patrick's cheeks flushed red. ``Come on.''

``Look, I just don't wanna be around her, okay? She reminds me of when I was like that. And I don't wanna go back to that or be around people like that.''

Patrick gave him a confused look. ``Why would you go back to that?'' Pete looked like he wanted to say more but shoved his hands in his pockets and remained silent. ``Pete...''

``I gotta get my car and...go home. You need to spend time with Sam. She's been through a lot and she needs you.''

``Pete...hey, man. Is everything--''

``Yeah, I gotta go before she leaves without me, or else I will be paying my own way.'' He patted Patrick on the back and walked off briskly.

Patrick sighed and shook his head. Pete always got like this when he was hiding stuff. He just hoped it wasn't bad.

He turned back and opened the door to Sam's room. She was still asleep and sat down at her bedside. She snorted in her sleep and he giggled at the sound. He sighed when his eyes made their way to the needle bruise on her arm.

Regardless of what she said it must have been hell to be in that place. And they still hadn't caught everyone. Unless Delilah woke up and spilled her guts to where the house was, all those girls would be trapped and trying to escape in the middle of nowhere while going through detox. What a horrible thought. And what about the other guys? That Malcolm person, he was still out there and probably on a plane by now.

He sighed again and held her hand as gentle as possible, as not to wake her.

It didn't work. She stirred in her sleep and opened her eyes. ``Bree?'' She called out with a hint of panic in her voice.

``Hey. Bree went to get her car. I'm here now.'' She settled and turned to face him.

``Oh. Hi.''

He smiled. ``Hi.'' It was silent as she played with his fingers.

``Patrick...thank much.''

``Hey, it was nothing. I wasn't about to sit back while you were God knows where. I couldn't stand it. When that detective told us about those people and what they felt like I was being stabbed in the chest.''

``Patrick...'' She blinked away her tears and rubbed his hand. She couldn't do this anymore. He obviously cared about her...she couldn't keep doing this, not after all that just happened. She sighed somberly and looked in his eyes. ``Patrick, I need to tell you something...something important...something that I should have told you--'' The doctor came in and interrupted her.

``Miss Hughes?''

She swallowed and sat up. ``Yes?''

The doctor smiled. ``All your tests came back normal.''

Sam gasped. ``What about STDs?''

``All normal. You're perfectly healthy.'' The doctor smiled again and Sam cried and jumped in Patrick's arms, which he quickly reciprocated.

``Oh, my God!'' She squeezed the life out of him and he laughed, running his fingers through her hair.

``I told you you'd be fine. I told you...'' He held her so tight and she sniffled and cuddled into him.

``You should be ready to leave, but we'll keep you here for observation--just for tonight.'' Sam nodded at the Doctor and he walked out with a nod.

Sam let go of Patrick and he rubbed her cheek with his thumb. ``You okay?''

``Yeah, I am now.'' She sniffed. He smiled and continued to rub her cheek. ``Patrick...?''

``Yeah?'' He leaned in a little.

``Never mind.'' She closed the distance between them and placed her lips on his. He kept caressing her cheek and his other hand entangled further in her hair. She parted from him and smiled. ``I'm glad I can do that now.''

``I would have anyway.'' He kissed her again and she sighed happily as she wrapped her arms around his neck.


The car ride was excruciatingly silent as they made their way to her apartment. Bree wouldn't let her eyes fall on him and he was staring out the window, obviously avoiding eye contact with her as well.

She just didn't get it. They just went through all this together and now he was acting like he had never met her before. Like he couldn't stand her. It was infuriating. What the hell did she ever do to him that was so bad?

She pulled into the parking lot next to his car and stopped the engine. ``I wanted to say thank you.''

``You already did.'' He retorted. She had when they waited for their cab at the hospital. All he said was, ``Don't mention it.''

``Oh, I guess I did. Okay, then. Later.'' She got out of her car and slammed the door, walking quickly to the building.

He shook his head and reached in his pocket to unlock his car. No keys. ``Fuck. Bree?'' She stopped and turned around, raising an eyebrow at him. ``I think I left my keys inside your place. Can I get them real quick?''

``No, I'll keep them for ransom.'' She smirked.

He smirked back. ``How much?''

``Gee, what are they worth to ya?'' She chuckled.

He went to say something in return but stopped himself with a scoff and rubbed the back of his neck. She turned around with a scowl and he sighed again. They walked in silence to her door and when they reached it she unlocked it. They stepped in together and he looked around for where he left them.

They were on the coffee table and Bree searched the place. ``Starr? Starr?'' She wasn't there and she exhaled heavily. ``She's gone.''

``Not surprised. She's probably scared of going to jail.''

Bree put her hands on her hips and looked around. ``I hope she didn't steal anything.''

``I'm shocked she didn't steal my car.'' Pete chuckled. ``Anyway, the cops'll be here probably to look for her or something so I better go. See ya.'' He went to the door and she couldn't help herself.

``Why don't you like me?'' She asked bluntly.

He stopped and turned around. ``Excuse me? Who said that?''

``You. Actions speak louder than words.'' She crossed her arms.

Pete wanted to deny it and say whatever he had to say to get out of there, and not have a fight with this woman. He opened his mouth and that isn't what happened. ``I just don't.''

She raised her brow and let down her arms. ``At least you're honest. Wanna tell me why?''

``Not really.'' He went for the door again and she approached him.

``I deserve to know why you treat me like I'm the Loch Ness monster.''

``Actually, I like Nessie. If you were her, I'd take a picture.'' He joked and she scowled at him.

``Fuck you.''

He grinned. ``THAT'S why I don't like you. You have an attitude. Like everyone HAS to like you and if they don't they're horrible people.''

``Excuse me? You liked me when we first met. What changed?''

Pete laughed. ``What changed? You followed me around like some love-sick puppy. It was annoying.''

``Are you out of your mind? I never followed you that night. You kept 'running into' me.'' She said making quotations.

``Now you're the one who's crazy. I purposely avoided you.''

``I don't get it. We got along, you liked me and then you just switched it off outta nowhere. We were having a nice conversation and you just shut down and walked away. What did I do to piss you off so much? What did I say? And oh, yeah, I purposely avoided you too because I could see that you didn't like me around.''

``I know girls like you. I don't like your type.''

``Girls like me? MY type?'' She shook her head. ``How dare you judge me! You don't even know me.''

``I know that when I stopped talking to you, you sunk your claws into Andy.''

``What?! Andy talked to ME!'' She flared.

``Whatever. It doesn't matter. I don't have to explain why I don't like you. What does it matter to you if I do or don't? You've got Andy so leave me alone.''

``I never bothered you! This is like, the third time we've talked! You've got a serious problem.''

``Bye.'' He went for the door again and she seethed.

``How fucking dare you?! I never did anything to you! It DOES matter to me because I wanna know what I did!''

``You didn't do anything, okay?!'' He snapped. ``You remind me of--'' He stopped himself and ran his hand through his hair.

``Remind you of what?''

He didn't finish and sighed softly. ``Look. Your sister is dating my best friend. So for the sake of peace, let's pretend we did and don't, okay? You leave me be and I'll leave you be. No fighting.'' He looked straight at her and she huffed.

``Get out.'' She demanded.

He scoffed. ``That's what I've been trying to do for the last ten minutes.'' He smart-mouthed and left, closing the door, leaving her alone in her empty apartment.

She breathed hard and paced a bit, finally stopping dead center of the room.

'And Andy likes you, maybe for more than you think. And you'd rather have a MARRIED FATHER that thinks you're nothing.' She frowned and closed her eyes. 'You're the slut that blew a guy to get after a married jerk THAT HATES YOUR GUTS!'

Sam's words reverberated in her head and she sighed in defeat. ``You were right, Sammie. What the hell was I thinking?'' Her phone buzzed and she looked at it to see Andy was calling. She chuckled and flipped it up.

``I'm glad it's you.'' She answered warmly.

``Hey! We...haven't talked in a everything okay?'' He asked with worry in his tone.

She smiled and sat down. ``Wait 'til I tell you...''

He slammed the car in the driveway and ran to the door. He hoped she was still there. He unlocked the front door and walked in the house. He searched every room and finally reached her in the bedroom. He stopped and gasped quietly at her packed bags.

``What are you doing?'' He asked.

``What does it look like?'' Ashlee spit back.

``You can't be serious right now.'' He somewhat scoffed.

``What did you expect from me, Pete? I can't do this dance with you anymore. It hurts too much.''

He looked down at the floor and saw a small bag of baby stuff. ``You're not taking him.'' He stated.

``Yes, I am.'' She responded calmly.

``You're not taking my son anywhere!''

She stopped packing and glared at him. ``OUR son, and yes, I am. I need to get away for awhile.''

``Where are you going?''

``Like you care!'' She snapped.

``Of course I do! How can you say that?'' He came to her and she pushed him away.

``Too little too late. You should have thought of that when I needed you. You should have thought about how I felt instead of hiding away.'' She blinked away tears.

``Where. Are. You. Going?'' He asked again.

``My Dad's, okay? I'm going to visit my dad. Dad hasn't seen Bronx in a while anyway, so it works. He doesn't know why I'm coming...but he will.''

``Are you leaving me?'' Pete asked with no emotion.

She sighed. ``I don't know.'' She responded after a few seconds.

He breathed out. ``We can fix this, Ash. We can work through this.''

``Oh, really? Were we doing that before? No. This whole week you've been acting like it didn't happen, like everything's hunky dory. Hiding away on your Facebook all day talking to strangers instead of me! I mean, I'm surprised you didn't take a picture of my miscarriage and post it on Twitter!''

Pete breathed out. ``I can't believe you said that!''

``What do you expect me to say? I needed you, I needed you...I NEEDED you, Pete, and you just wouldn''d rather talk to some girl in Toronto about her toothbrush than talk to me about our baby!''

``What did you want me to say? What could I say?'' He shouted, biting back tears.

``It's not what you could've said but what you could've DONE. I needed you to be there for me and you weren't...I could have used a hug...a kiss...something. Just a simple, 'I love you,' but no. You couldn't do that for me. So now I don't want your comfort. I just want you to leave me alone. So we talk last night for the first time and I tell you I need space, please go stay at a hotel or something, and what do you say? You say 'I can't because the public will know something's wrong!' The public? The public?! You care more about your image than you do me!''

``I'm here now!!''

She scoffed. ``It's too late! I needed you then and you didn't care. Instead you just hid away in denial. And you even sucked me into your denial because I haven't told my family yet. They still think I'm pregnant.'' She paused and gasped painfully. ``Everyone knows about it. That's why they keep asking about it, I was showing...We just never confirmed it. Well, now you have an answer to the PUBLIC'S question; I'm not pregnant.'' She rubbed her stomach and sobbed. ``It was here and I could feel it and now it's have no idea what it's like to feel this empty...'' She sobbed hard and he approached her to try to touch her and she backed away. ``Don't try to comfort me now! It's too late! You should've done that when it happened. Not now when I'm walking out the door.''

``Maybe I took it wrong, maybe I had a hard time with it too, okay? But I'm here now and I want to--''

``You want to now that I'm gonna leave? No, that's just forced. It didn't matter before but now that she's leaving, oh, I better say what I need to say to get her to stay?''

``You know what, you didn't take it well either. I seem to remember you staying in bed for three days. Who was taking care of our son then? Oh, that's right, he starved to death because I was on the computer all day.''

She snarled at him with her eyes and clenched her teeth. ``You might have changed his diaper and fed him some strained peas, but you really weren't there for him or for me. And how dare you try to blame this on me!''

``I wasn't! This wasn't your fault and it wasn't mine. It just happened.''

``Oh, I see. It's nature at work and we can't do anything about it so life moves on? Is that it?''

Pete huffed in frustration. ``I can't say anything right for you, can I?''

``I'm just trying to figure out why you thought it was okay to just...hide away and shut down. And where were you today? Huh? I came downstairs and you were gone! You didn't tell me where you were going--you just left! You wouldn't leave yesterday and so I thought we could talk about it today and you were gone! I'm glad the baby didn't need anything!''

``Oh, so you want me to leave and I don't you get mad and then when I do you get mad! Damned if I do and damned if I don't!''

``You still haven't told me where you were!''

Pete breathed heavily and looked down. ``Look, Patrick called--''

Ashlee laughed indignantly. ``Patrick? Patrick?! You and Patrick haven't talked in three weeks since you had that fight and now all of a sudden you spend the day with him instead of your wife and child?!''

Pete sighed again. ``You don't know what really happened--''

``I know what happened! You sat on the computer and lived in a fantasy world and chose everything else over me!''

``God, is nothing I say gonna be good enough? I'm trying and you say it's too late! It was only a week!''

Ashlee looked flabbergasted. ``It's only been a week? Did you just say that to me--''

``WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!'' He roared and grabbed a nearby lamp, smashing it against the wall and shattering it.

She stood in shock and he panted, calming down. Bronx crying made both of them look and she shook her head in disbelief and ran out of the room.

``Ashlee...'' She grabbed the baby and her bags and walked as fast as she could to the door, all the while Pete trying to stop her. ``Ashlee, please don't do this!''

``No!'' She yelled making Bronx cry louder. ``I won't raise my baby in a house where people yell and break things. I haven't and I'm not gonna start.'' She unlocked the door and started for the front stairs. She stopped and turned. ``Oh. And if your precious public asks where I am you can tell them I'm visiting family. That shouldn't hurt your image too much.'' She spat and walked to her car. She threw in the bags and started to fasten Bronx in his seat.

``Ashlee, please--'' He grabbed her arm and she shirked him away.

``Don't touch me when I'm putting in the baby!'' She fastened him in and shut the door, going to the driver's side.

``Ashlee! Ashlee!'' He grabbed her by the shoulders and she fought against him. ``Ashlee!!'' He pulled on her arm and she spun on her heels and slapped him hard in the face.

He jumped back from the hit and stared at her in shock. She stomped to the driver side and got in, starting the car.

His cheek stung and he panted as he watched her begin to pull out of the driveway. Fury like he had never felt before built up in him and he exploded. ``FINE!'' He pounded on her windshield as hard as he could. ``FUCK YOU, BITCH!!'' He ran back in the house and slammed the door.

In one fight he had done everything he had told himself he'd never do with her. He screamed, he broke something and he cursed at her. One fight and it was all gone.

One of the tables looked offensive to him and he turned it over, throwing it across the room. He heard her screech out of the driveway and then a metallic bang. He looked out the window to see that she had hit his car rather hard and watched her speed down the street, his son wailing in the backseat.

He gasped. ``Oh, shit...oh, shit...oh, shit...oh, shit...'' He slid down the wall and put his knees up to his chin. He choked a sob as he put his head in his hands. ``Oh, God...what have I done?''



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