He listened to her screaming at the nurse. She didn’t lose her temper that much but when she did you wanted to get away from her. When she tore open the door, stormed out, seething, she looked at Alex, her eyes narrowed.

“This is why I kept saying we should hire more competent nurses.”

Alex flinched at her tone. “Take it easy. It’s not going to help to get any angrier. What did she tell you?”

“Ava told her she was excused from being in here, that I gave her permission to leave the center.”

“But you didn’t,” he pointed out.

She gave him a scathing look.

“What now?” he asked, scratching the back of his neck.

“I have to find her.” Tessa shook her head. “She’s my responsibility.”

“I wonder if Ian—” Alex started, but she hushed him.

“As much as he wants to take her away from here, I don’t think he did this. Do you remember that boy who came in here a few days before Marty?”

Alex nodded. “I remember him. What’s he got to do with this?”

“Emma told me that in her session with him, he mentioned Ava. He was angry at her for something.” She pushed her hair behind her ear and sighed. “I don’t know how this got so screwed up, Alex. I wasn’t trying to keep her here.”

“Slow down,” Alex murmured. He took her out the entrance door and into the cool early morning air. “Who said that?”

“You’re not listening,” Tessa muttered. “Cole took her.”

Before he could answer, Emma came out of the doors, her face white. “The nurse told me who Ava left with.”

“How did you get her to do that?” Alex asked.

Emma smiled faintly. “I asked nicely.”

Tessa’s bad feeling from the other night didn’t go away. She gripped Alex’s hand tightly and looked at him, her blue eyes wide with fear.

What happened if they were too late?

The End

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