I liked having Aimee and Harry's secret. It made me feel included at a time when I could feel cracks forming in our group and I was worried that we might not be able to put things right. But when Aimee hugged me, her arms squeezing me so tightly I thought I wouldn't be able to breathe, it felt like there was nothing on this earth that could possibly tear us apart.
And yet Harry's face was etched with a concern that Aimee didn't seem to notice as she continued to chat to me about nothing in particular. I could tell Harry wasn't listening to anything that Aimee was saying from the blank expression on his face. I knew he was worried about the press and I also understood why. After our last trip together we all knew how tough dealing with the press could be, but Harry knew better than the rest of us what it could do when the pressure is relentless.
"Are you two alright?" Aimee asked, suddenly cottoning on that neither Harry nor I were paying any special attention to what she was saying. We looked at each other, waiting to see who would speak first.
"I'm fine," I said when it became clear that Harry wasn't going to be the first person to speak. "I just feel a little tired that's all. Something's really worrying Ian and he won't talk to me about it. He was awake all of last night, just sitting up in bed staring into the distance. It worries me that he doesn't want to talk to me about it. We tell each other everything."
"I'm sure he'll let you know when the time is right," Aimee said, placing a reassuring hand on my shoulder.
"I hope so," I said. "You know what Aimee, could you do me a favour? Run downstairs and get a coffee for me?"
"Of course," Aimee said. "White with no sugar?"
"Perfect." Both Harry and I watched Aimee go and as soon as the door closed behind her I leapt at Harry. "You're going to tell me the whole truth or I swear to God you're going to pay."
"What have I done now?" Harry asked, shocked at the sudden violence of my language.
"There has got to be more to your worries about telling others about your relationship with Aimee than a fear of the press. You're hiding something from me and Aimee and I want to know what it is."
"There isn't anything," Harry insisted. "You're seeing things that aren't there again, Flo."
"I know you too well, Harry, I know when something's up. You're scared."
"What on earth would I be scared about?"
"That you'll get hurt, just like when you dated Aimee last time."
"You're talking nonsense, Flo."
"If you say so," I said, shrugging my shoulders and leaning back into my chair. "I know I'm right even if you don't want to admit it." I jumped up from my chair and headed for the door. "Tell Aimee I'm sorry I had to go."
"What about your coffee?"
"Tell her I changed my mind. I need to go and check on Ian, I left him alone in our room."
"OK then. And remember-"
"I know. I won't tell anyone about your secret, not even Ian." I smiled and gave Harry a small wave as I left the room. I had so much love for my friends it often felt that my chest would explode and at that moment I couldn't describe how I felt about Harry and Aimee.
I was smiling to myself as I headed along the corridor and towards the elevator. The room I was sharing with Ian was on the floor above Aimee's and the walk to the elevator was quite a long one.
It wasn't until I pressed the button to call the elevator I noticed that someone had followed me down the corridor and was now standing just out of my line of sight behind my shoulder. I turned my head slightly to see if I could catch a glimpse of the figure behind me. I didn't recognise him, but his hair was a distinctive dark brown with a bright white stripe down the right hand side of his face.
There was a ping as the elevator arrived at our floor and I felt the man step into the lift behind me.
"Which floor?" He asked in a quiet but firm voice.
"Four," I said, watching him as he pressed the button for the seventh floor. "I said floor four," I said louder but he didn't respond. I went to press the button myself but his hand shot out at ninja-like speed and grabbed my wrist, stopping me from pressing the button. "Let go," I said, trying not to let the fear show in my voice.
The man's eyes turned on me, their piercing blue colour sending shivers of fear down my spine with their cold, unforgiving stare. His grip on my wrist tightened and pain shot up through my arm. I couldn't stop myself from shouting out in pain.
His face was suddenly right up against mine. "Don't make a sound," he hissed.
"What do you want with me?" I asked, desperately trying to twist my wrist out of his grip, the pain growing worse.
"I thought I told you to stay quiet," the man said. "Did you not understand?"
"I just want you to let me go." I pushed against the man's chest, fear taking over reason as I saw that we were growing closer to the seventh floor.
Without another word and before I could tell what was happening to me, my body spun so my back was pressed against my attacker and his hand was pressed firmly across my nose and mouth. I struggled as much as I could but he was too strong and within moments I descended into darkness.