Alex’s hand trembled as he held the phone. The other line rang twice, and then it sounded as though someone had picked it up. Then, beyond the static, a voice spoke. It wasn’t one he recognized, at least not at first.

“Hello, Dr Kinsey.”

He gripped the phone harder, his eyes sliding to Emma’s, and his face drained of any color he had left.

“Are you there?”

“Yes,” Alex breathed.

“Ah, so you are.” Ian sounded pleased. “How are you feeling?”

Was he seriously trying to small talk him? Alex sat up and bit his lip before answering.

“Where is Tessa?”

There was hardness to Ian’s voice as he replied. “That’s very rude of you. I asked you a question and you changed the subject. But if you must know, your girlfriend is currently lying unconscious at my feet.”

“What did you do to her?” Alex shouted, leaning forward. “I swear if you hurt her, I’ll kill you.”

The voice on the other line barked out a laugh. “Kill me, will you, Alex? I highly doubt that. If you do, Ava will die as well.”

“Ava?” he said, his eyes widening. “What does she have to do with this?”

“I’d rather not discuss that over the phone,” Ian said, chuckling. “I think seeing your face when I tell you will be much more satisfying, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Why don’t you tell me now?” Alex asked.

“What fun would that be? I’ll meet you back at Ridgewood at midnight. The basement seems like an appropriate place to continue this conversation. Oh, and Dr. Kinsey? Next time you want to contact Tessa, make sure you don’t reek of worry. I can smell you from here.”

The line disconnected.

The End

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