Author: Enchantress101
see part 1 for warnings, disclaimer

Shades of Obsession + Chapter 05
Duo.Com

Knock knock knock knock knock

"Hzaat?" I mumbled as I removed my face from my pillow the next morning. What the fuck? I grabbed my bedside clock and stared at it. 5:12 am. Who the hell thought that it was okay to disturb me at such an ungodly hour? Who the hell was awake at such an ungodly hour?

"Duo! Open up!"

It was Quatre. Okay, now his kitten slippers are toast!

I got out of the bed and yanked open the door. "What do you want?" I growled, glaring at him.

. . . and then I noticed that Detective Benito was standing behind him, and I thought about how I must look, with my hair sticking up and coming out of its braid, and how funky my breath must have been . . . ARGH! I refused to look at the hunky cop--maybe if I ignored him, he'd go away, and he wouldn't have to see me like that.

"The detective needs to speak to you," Quatre said pleasantly. "And I'll disregard the fact that you just growled at me, your best friend, okay?"

I turned to Benito. Still there. "Come back at normal business hours, kay? I'm not all that hospitable before eight am."

His face was stern, and for once, he didn't smile at me. Suddenly I had a horrible sinking feeling that something was wrong. "I'm sorry, but this can't wait. Meet us in the living room as soon as possible." He left abruptly.

Oh. Okay. I guess I was seeing his business side. Not good.

Quatre just shrugged and went after him. I quickly brushed my teeth and tamed my hair before I joined Q, Trowa, Detective Walker and Detective Benito in the living room. I perched myself on the arm of the couch that Tro and Q were sitting on. "What's this all about?"

Walker flipped open his notebook. "Did you have a date with an Adam Hurwitz last night?"

"Erm . . . yeah. Yes, I did. Why?"

Benito's face was grim as he gave me a sympathetic look. "I'm sorry. Adam Hurwitz is dead."

Quatre gasped and Trowa got tense, but I just stared dumbly and slack jawed at the detective. "What? No, that's impossible. I mean, I just saw him last night. I . . ."

"His body has been positively identified by a family member," Walker said softly.

Oh, no. No, no, no! This was so crazy. Although I'd dealt with death before, although I'd taken so many lives and seen so many lost, this hit me like a ton of bricks, I guess because it was peacetime, and we were all so young. People I knew didn't die anymore. The war was over. "What . . . A c-car crash? Is that how he died?"

Benito shook his head. "No. He was murdered."

Murdered? Murdered?

My blood ran cold as I sat there in shock. That wasn't possible. Adam was a nice, friendly guy. Why would someone . . . kill him? What had he done to deserve that?

Quatre swore. "And you think . . . you think that Duo's stalker had something to do with this?"

No. No, it had to be a coincidence, that's all. If it wasn't, and if Adam had been killed because we went out on a date, then it was my fault that he was dead. All my fault. "No . . . please tell me that there's no connection. Please," I begged, squeezing my eyes shut, although deep in my heart, I knew . . .

"It looks as if the stalker did this," Benito said, confirming my fears.

At that moment I wanted to break down and cry, scream and kick, anything. But I couldn't. I was frozen, the words "He was murdered" repeating over an over inside my head. I pinched the bridge of my nose and urged myself to concentrate. I could break down as much as I wanted later, but right now I had to get all of the information I could from the detectives. I didn't want someone else to get hurt because of me. "It looks as if? What makes you think that?"

The cops shared a glance before Benito cleared his throat. He looked uncomfortable as he said, "It is mainly because . . . of the brutal nature of his murder."

"Brutal?" whispered Quatre, his eyes wide and fearful. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Trowa wrap his arms around his boyfriend supporting. I shuddered and wrapped mine around myself.

"Ah . . ." Benito began. "Look, I'll be honest with you. The crime scene wasn't one of the . . . best I've been to. Er, the fact that Mr. Hurwitz's hands had been severed from his body, and the fact that he'd been, um . . . castrated suggests that the perpetrator may be your stalker."

"It's likely that he bled to death," Walker added.

Castrated? Hands chopped off? Bled to death? My stomach rolled. Oh, god, what a horrible way to go. Unable to do anything while your life slipped away . . . At least he'd been happy before he went. I'd probably given him one of the best nights of his life.

"Do you have any leads? Any suspects?" demanded Trowa, his voice calm and level. Good ol' Tro. You could always count on him to be the rock to hold on to when things got rough.

"Well," Walker said, "We've discovered that Mr. Huwitz was part of Duo's online fan club and--"

"Wait, my what?" I scratched the back of my head. Had the guy just said what I thought he did? Cuz if he did . . . wow, that's freaky.

"Fan club," Benito said, giving each of us a look. "Don't you guys know about them? You all have one, but yours, Duo, is by far the biggest. It's got message boards, chat rooms, personal backgrounds, a Gundam analysis and more. They even charge a pretty hefty membership fee."

Woah. Someone was makin' money off of my name and it wasn't me? Erk, okay, I'd have to deal with that later. Back to Adam. "So . . . so you were saying that he was a member of my fan club."

"Yes. We're short on physical evidence that could lead us to the killer, but we couldn't find any sign of a forced entry. So we suspect that Mr. Hurwitz knew his attacker, maybe someone he met online" Detective Benito said. "The fan club is just a place to start, since we really don't have any other leads. We've been checking in on it for a few hours and we've already found some real fanatics."

I just nodded dumbly. Good, at least they had a place to start, and a pretty big suspect list. I wanted this case closed so that I could live in peace and so that Adam could rest in peace. Such a horrible way to die. He deserved to have his killer brought to justice.

I was still rapped up in my thoughts as the two officers gave us some warnings and begged us to be safe before they got up to leave. They were almost out of the door when I said, "Detective Benito, what's the web address to the fan club? I want to check it out, see if I can't find something."

He stared at me for a while. "It's But keep a low profile, please. We don't want to alert anyone. We want them to feel as if they can talk freely about anything, okay?"

"Sure. Thanks." Once they were gone, I ignored Tro and Q's attempts to get me to sit down and talk about my "feelings" and went into my room. I made sure that the blinds were closed tight and I sat down at my laptop and logged onto the internet.

I opened the website, and my eyes immediately caught the membership counter. Close to a million people where full-fledged paying members, who each paid a fee each year. Hot damn, this place was a gold mine! I growled underneath my breath as I briefly considered filing a lawsuit, but then my focused returned.

Okay. So, what should I do first? I cruised around the site and then realized that I'd have to sign up to access all of the juicy stuff. Damn. I couldn't use my credit card to sign up, or else it would be traced back to me, and that sure as hell wasn't keeping a low profile. "Fuck!" I growled underneath my breath. Now what?

"Here, use this one."

I nearly fell out of my seat in surprise. I turned around and face Quatre who was standing there, holding out a credit card. "W-whose is that?"

"It's liked to an anonymous account," he said, pushing it into my hand. "Trowa and I use it when we don't want our movements to be tracked, and so far no one has linked it back to us. Go ahead and use it."

"Thanks a bunch, Q. I'll pay the fee off," I mumbled as I entered the proper information.

"Don't worry about it." He stood there for a while as I deliberated on an appropriate screen name. I ended up choosing The Original. Pretty bland, wouldn't stand out. Or spark any interest.

"Duo . . . maybe you should go to bed for a while," Quatre suggested gently. "This'll be around later."

"Yeah, well, tell that to Adam who's probably lying naked on a cold table in the city morgue," I bit out, immediately regretting my harsh tone. "Sorry, Q. It's just . . . this has gotten way more serious that it was before. It was okay that he was screwing around with me, I guess, but now he's started to hurt other people. That's just . . . not acceptable."

Quatre rubbed my back. "I know, Duo. I know. But you shouldn't blame yourself for this. You didn't ask for any of this."

"I know, but I still got it. I can't just sit back and let Adam's death go unpunished. I'm going to do my best to help the cops find this killer."

" . . . without getting in the way of the police, right?" He said, giving me a look.

I laughed. It felt good. "Of course! Now go off to bed and leave me alone. I'm on a mission."

He reluctantly left, and I was finally free to enter the website's message boards and chat rooms. I entered the forums first, and I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that there was a section called "Bash This!" where people gripped about Heero, Wufei and Relena. I entered it and read each message, grinning at the insults that were splashed across them. Nothing suspicious there, but definitely worth a good laugh, especially since I was feeling like road kill ran over ten times.

Next I went to the room called "Duo Has My Heart," which was apparently a place where people who fancied themselves to be in love with me could come in and worship me and all of my fineness. Hmm. This seemed to be one of the busiest areas on the site.

I scanned the topic titles until I came across one that said, "Address/Phone #?" Oh, boy. Someone was looking for my address and my phone number? Relax, Maxwell. I never had any personal info listed anywhere, especially not in a phone book. I opened up the topic's reply page. First there were a few comments that told the individual who'd asked to piss of and respect my privacy (a good idea, by the way), but the sixth reply actually contained accurate information! Well . . . accurate information from my previous apartment anyway. But still, if someone had gotten a hold of that, it would only be a matter of time before someone found out more current information.

I wrote down the screen name of the person who'd supplied my personal info and moved on.

Now here was something interesting. A topic with the title "Duo hates roses!"

At first I was alarmed, but then I remembered that I'd shouted that out in a crowded mall. Well it could be a place to start. I clicked on it and opened the replies.

Several members wanted to know how the topic starter knew that I hated roses, but the guy, who's screen name was a `hunkoluv' refused to divulge his source of information. That was certainly suspicious. Of course, he could've just been at the mall and heard me say it, or heard it from someone else, and was tying to sound like some big shot and get some attention. Still, I wrote his pathetic screen name down and underlined it three times. He was a terrific place to start.

As if finished making notes about the suspect, I caught sight of the time on the computer screen. I'd been sitting at that computer for two and a half hours. Uh, I could certainly feel it in my butt and my back. I was tired, physically, emotionally, and mentally. The bed looked really good right now . . .

I decided to hit the stack and start up again in the morning . . . er, later in the morning, that is. I climbed warily into bed and buried my face into my pillow.

I'm sorry, Adam. I'm so fucking sorry. I'll get this bastard for you, I promise.

And strangely enough, I could almost see him smiling at me.

+

"--should've called me or something! This is ridiculous, totally ridiculous! Now the authorities are taking this serious, but only after someone has been killed. They're fucking lucky that it wasn't Duo who'd been hurt, because then I would've-- "

"Huzzat?" I grumbled once again. Who the heck was making all of that noise? I sat up in the bed and glanced at the clock. It was a little after ten. Okay, a more reasonable hour, but there was no reasonable hour to scream your head off.

"Calm down! You'll wake Duo up!" That was Quatre, who had to shout louder than the other person to be heard.

"Yeah, well, its too damn late!" I screamed back. I threw my blankets off of me and was just about to get out of bed when Heero came barreling into the room, followed by his boyfriend, Q and Trowa.

"I cannot believe that you did not call me when you heard about that murder," Heero growled angrily.

I glared at him. I was mad that I'd been yanked out of my peaceful slumber, mad that Adam was dead for no damn reason, and angry that Heero was angry with me about something that I really had no control over. "What, am I supposed to call you when I take a dump, too? Get over it Heero, we're not together anymore. Now back the fuck off!"

Trowa stepped forward and grabbed Heero by the arm. "Go downstairs. Let Duo have some time to actually wake up before you start grilling him."

Heero looked ready to shake Trowa away, but Wufei also took Heero by the arm and led him out of the room. Q gave me an apologetic look and left.

Jerk. I didn't want to have to deal with Heero right now, but I'd have to face him sometime, so I might as well get it over with. I quickly brushed my teeth and put on some clothes before going downstairs to face crazy ass Heero Yuy.

They were all sitting in the living room, waiting expectantly. "Group meeting," I chirped with fake happiness. "Yay!" I sat on the floor as far away from Heero and Wufei as I could get without actually being in a different room.

"Two detectives came and questioned Heero today," Wufei said, starting off our meeting. "They seem to suspect him for the disappearance of some man named Peters and the murder of your date."

"Did you have a good alibi, Heero?" Quatre asked.

"I did. Wufei and I were having dinner at a restaurant at the time," said Heero, looking mad as hell. Ha. I could imagine that the grilling session with the cops hadn't been all fun and games. "Luckily I used a credit card, so there is proof that I couldn't have done anything to that man."

I gritted my teeth at that. He and Wufei had gone to a restaurant? The dumb bastard! He and I had never gone out like that. It was always microwave dinners, pizza or Chinese food. Jerk! "How convenient," I said, not too nicely. "Anyway, what are we meeting about? I've got a message board to lurk in."

Wufei gave me a look. "How can you think of a message board at a time like this?"

Okay, right then I wanted to slap him so bad that my palm itched. I rubbed the offending palm on my jeans. "How could you think of stealing my boyfriend when he was supposed to be with me?"

Before Wufei could say something back, Trowa held up his hand and shouted, "That's enough! We're not here about that, we're here about what we should be doing to keep Duo safe and to help put the murderer behind bars! To make sure that Duo is the safest that he can be we need to work together and pool all of our skills. The fighting has to stop."

Ouch. Jeeze, I'd rarely heard Trowa raise his voice that loud, and I'd never really heard him say something that long. I had the decently to look sheepish as I tried to curl up and disappear into myself. "Sorry. I'm really sorry, I'm just fucking tired and scared and stuff. Sorry."

Trowa gave me a warm look. "I know." He turned back to the rest of the group. "Duo will not be returning to his apartment. He'll be staying here until this is all settled. Can we agree on that?"

Making decisions for me? Oh well. In this case, I didn't mind. Everyone nodded. Okay, one point settled.

"Trowa and I can take you to pick up the rest of your stuff, Duo," Quatre offered.

"Okay," I said.

"At work, you should be with at least one of us, preferably two of us, at all times," Wufei added. Huh. Like I wanted to spend time with him.

"Fine," I grunted. "What else?"

No one else said anything. We just looked at each other for a while. Man, if I'd asked them how to set up some explosions on an enemy base in order to ensure the most damage, I wouldn't have been able to get them to shut up! I guess this just showed that we really didn't know everything.

I stood up and rubbed my stomach, which was faintly rumbling. "Look, guys, this isn't a mission. We can't sit here and make some kind of battle strategy, all right. I think . . . I think that if we just use our heads, don't take any unnecessary risks, and let the cops do their jobs everything will be fine. Okay? Okay. Now, I'm starving, what's for breakfast?" I wandered out of the room and over to the kitchen.

Food. I needed something fattening, unhealthy, something that was sure to rot my arteries. Ohh, there were some donuts on the counter! Were they . . . ahh, yes, they were fresh! Could they be the frosted ones with the sprinkles? I peeked into the box. Oh. . . my favorite.

Someone had made bacon while I was asleep. There was a pile of it on the stove, still warm. I got three pieces of bread, a mound of bacon and three donuts, and decided that the only drink that would perfectly complement this fine meal was a 7-Up, of course!

I was just digging in when Quatre walked into the kitchen. "Oh my God, Duo, that's just . . . uhh!" Q practically shrieked in horror when he saw what I was eating.

"I know. Great, isn't it? I need some comfort food, Q. I need some real bad," I grumbled around a full mouth.

"Okay, okay. Eat what you want, you deserve it." Quatre got some tea and sat across from me, watching silently as I ate. After a while he remarked, "Well, at least you've got an appetite. That's good."

I nodded. No matter what, I would always have an appetite. I quickly finished my meal, patted Quatre on the head and retreated back to my room. I logged back on to my fan club site and sifted through the various topics, but came up with nothing that I thought was really interesting. Well, I wasn't really an expert at this, so maybe the cops had caught something that I'd missed.

I was just about to call Benito about the two fan club members that I was suspicious about when Trowa came into the room, his face looking grim.

"Duo, you've got another gift," he said.

Oh no. I rushed downstairs with him and into the living room where the guys were gathered around a giant white teddy bear with a black shoebox tied to his waist with a red ribbon. Quatre was on the phone with who I assumed was one of the detectives. I went up to the bear and circled it. The box was enticing me, just calling out to me, begging me to open it.

I should've probably waited for the cops to show up, but I couldn't. I just couldn't.

I yanked the box away from the bear, shuddering as I heard something rattling inside.

"Duo, don't!" Wufei exclaimed. "Let the police open it."

"No. It was for me, I was meant to see it, so . . ." I sat the box on the coffee table and stared. Okay. I would open it on the count of three . . . onetwothree!!

Oh god!! Oh my GOD!! The sick bastard, the fucking sick bastard!

In the box lay what I could only assume were Adam Hurwitz's genitals and his hands resting in a mound of cotton balls, still covered in blood.

My stomach heaved and rolled, and I was able to make it to the trash can in the kitchen before I chucked up my delicious breakfast. I sank to the floor, tears rolling down my face and shaking like there was no tomorrow as I heard screams similar to my own, probably from Quatre, coming from the living room.

Through my tears of fear and frustration I could see Quatre running upstairs, likely headed for a bathroom or a trash can himself. Trowa quickly followed after him, and a pale faced Wufei and Heero came into the kitchen to join me. Wufei took the trash outside and Heero sat down on the floor next to me. He awkwardly patted my back as I cried into my hands, still shaking like a leaf.

Then the doorbell rang, and Heero quickly got up to answer it. In rushed Detective Benito, who came straight over to me. "Duo! Duo, are you alright?"

"I-I-I," was all I could manage. I rubbed my face hard, trying to scrub away the images of the contents of the box, but they just wouldn't go away. "Oh God!" I wailed loudly and buried my face in the detective's shoulder.

"What happened?" he demanded to Heero sternly.

"Another gift came. The contents were . . . disturbing," Heero said plainly, his voice void of any emotion.

How the hell could Heero sound so uncaring at a time like this? I snapped. "Disturbing? DISTURBING?! Seeing Relena Peacecraft in her drawers is disturbing, Heero! This is just fucking SICK! Some guy sends me the missing body parts of--"

"Whoa!" Benito exclaimed, pulling him away from me slightly so that he could stare into my eyes. "You found the vic's missing parts?"

"Yes! The parts you never even told me were missing!" I exclaimed. "Go look, see for yourself. Its in the living room. I just hope you haven't eaten for a while . . ."

Benito flipped open his phone to call for backup and stalked into the living room. He came back seconds later looking just as bad as the rest of us. "Okay. Okay. We've found the missing parts, maybe we can lift some prints from the box or the parts themselves . . ."

"Why is he doing this to me?" I whispered. "Why send me that? I don't get it . . . I-I need to lay down."

Then Trowa came into the kitchen and helped me to my feet. Together we went upstairs where he helped me into bed. "Where's Q?" I asked warily.

"He's resting too. It was a shock . . . for all of us. No one expected that," Trowa said softly.

"Sorry. Shoulda listened to you guys and kept the damn lid on. Tell Q I didn't mean to upset him."

"He knows. It's all right. Just get some rest." He left quietly.

It took me a while, but eventually I did fall asleep. I hadn't really wanted to, but I guess that being unconscious was easier than dealing with the fact that the missing body parts of a guy were in the living room, and that my stalker wasn't as harmless as I thought he was, and that I was scared out of my mind.

But he'd fucked with the wrong guy. No way was I just going to sit back and let him kill other people because he had a freaky and unhealthy obsession with me! Not only did he have the cops to worry about, but now Shinigami was on the job.

No one else would be hurt on my watch.

+

The rest of the day went peacefully, although the house was understandably quieter than usual. Quatre walked around the place like a pale zombie, trying to stay positive, and Trowa had reverted back to solider mode, ensuring that the house was properly secure. I didn't know where Wufei had gone (and I really didn't care), but Trowa told me that Heero had gone to work. Work! Insert eye roll here.

The three of us decided that we would go into work the next day. Tro had done his best to try to keep me at the mansion/fortress, but I'd heard that the Preventers were holding a memorial service at work for Adam, and I knew that I just had to be there.

So early the next morning, Tro, Q and I got into the SUV and went back to my apartment to get the rest of my things. I was pleased to find that the flowers were gone, but the god awful smell and some petals still lingered. Oh well. Not like I'd be staying anyway.

While Trowa and Quatre set to work in the living room gathering my CDs and DVDs, I went into my bedroom and began rummaging though the clothes in my closet. I packed the essentials and a couple of my favorite pieces before I stumbled upon an old outfit that had gone unnoticed for years.

I remembered hiding it from myself long ago, maybe thinking that if I never looked atr it, all of the painful memories associated with it would just fade away. But, of course, they hadn't. What hadn't I tossed the thing out long ago?

"You all done?"

Ack! I whirled around and gave Trowa a small smile. He was standing in the doorway with a box in his arm, looking very concerned that I was staring into my closet.

"Er, almost! Give me a few more minutes," I said with a grin and waited for him to leave . . . but he just stood there. I rolled my eyes. "Alone? I refuse to go through my undies with you standing there."

He snickered, shook his head, and thankfully left.

I sighed warily and stared at the outfit a moment longer before tossing it into my suitcase and zipping it shut.

+

We returned to the fortress/mansion and got ready for work. After taking a long, hot shower I wrapped myself in a fuzzy white bathrobe and went into my bedroom, where I kicked open my suitcase, and there was the damn outfit, lying on top of all of the other poorly folded clothes, amazingly wrinkle and lint free, the fabric still soft after all this time.

Without another thought, I took the outfit and put it on inside the bathroom. I would wear it one more time, just one last time, and then . . .

Growth spurts aren't generally associated with L2 street kids, so the shirt was a little tight in the shoulders and the legs were a bit short, but overall it wasn't that bad. Satisfied that I didn't look too weird, I put on a pair of shoes and a black leather jacket and went downstairs where Q and Trowa were waiting for me by the door.

Quatre's eyebrows shot way up and his mouth formed a little o of surprise. Trowa just frowned, and was about to make a comment before I said quickly, "Shall we go? I don't want to be late for the service."

Neither of them said a word as we got into the SUV, Q and Tro in the front seats and be in the back. Throughout the entire ride, they sent each other little looks when they thought I wasn't looking and glanced at me through the rear view mirror.

Their reactions were understandable, I guess.

After all, it had been a while since I'd last worn my priest suit.

+

The service was being held first thing in the morning in the office's break room, and by the time the three of us arrive, the place was packed. I wondered just how many people there actually knew Adam, and how many had just shown up because they were curious, nosey, or wanted the free donuts and juice. On our way to the front of the room, I (purposefully) bumped into some people who were laughing loudly over cups of juice, making them spill their drinks down the front of their shirts, and tripped several of my coworkers who thought they were slick enough to sneak in, steal some donuts and make a hasty exit. What the hell was wrong with people these days?

Anyway, when we got to the front, I was really surprised to find Heero and Wufei there. Maybe they'd seen how upset I'd been over Adam's death and had come to lend some support. Hmm, I'd have to thank them for that later.

The five of us sat down together, and not too long after that, the service began. Une stood next to a big photo of Adam that was sitting on a table surrounded by tall white candles. As she began to speak, I could only stare at that picture, which had captured a moment in time where Adam had been happy, smiling . . . alive.

Eep! My thought was tightening and that all too familiar burning sensation flooded my eyes. No! I didn't want to cry anymore. Crying wouldn't allow me to go back in time and decided not to go on that damn date. So I quickly focused on the black and white checkered time floor instead, and the rebel tears slowly began to retreat.

"--an asset to the Preventers organization and will be missed," Une was saying in a very business-like fashion. I guess it was hard to stand up in front of a group of people who were grieving and say things about a person you really didn't know. Wouldn't want to be in her shoes right now.

Ha. At that moment, I didn't even want to be in my own.

"But I can't speak about Mr. Hurwitz on all levels. His sister can, and I will now turn the floor over to her."

At that my head snapped up. Sister? Adam had a sister? I blinked rapidly as Une stepped aside and allowed a petite, attractive red-headed woman dressed in all black took her place. His sister began to tell a story bout Adam and his desire to live forever while frequently sneaking glances in my direction.

My chest tightened. Did she know about my connection with Adam's death? Did she know that it was my fault that he was dead? Did she blame me? Did the rest of his family blame me?

Argh! I couldn't take it anymore, I had to get out of there. Quietly muttering excuses, I got up from my seat and quickly left the room. When I got out into the hallway, I instantly felt some of the weight remove itself from my shoulders. I leaned against the wall and released a heavy breath.

The clicking of a woman's high heal grabbed my attention. There was Adam's sister, coming over to stand in front of me.

"Um, Mr. Maxwell?" she asked hesitantly.

I avoided her gaze and stared just over her shoulder. "Yeah. That's me." I was half expecting her to deck me, so you can imagine my surprise when she smiled!

"Oh! I--well, I want to thank you," she said, rubbing her slightly puffy red eyes.

"Thank me? For what?" I asked, totally shocked. Didn't she hate me? "I mean, don't you know about--"

"Yes. My family and I know all about everything. But," she said firmly, taking my hand. "I don't think you realize just how much that date meant to him. And being here, at this service today, even though you didn't know him that well . . . he would've been pleased."

I just gaped stupidly, unable to say a word.

"My family doesn't blame you at all," she continued. "Adam always idolized you. We grew up on L2 ourselves, and things were pretty difficult until our mother married a business man and we moved to Earth. He thought that you were the greatest thing since sliced bread!" She laughed. "Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that no one thinks that you're at fault here. You're a victim too."

I smiled weakly at her. "T-thanks." That was all I could say. She shook my hand before leaving, and now I was alone with my thoughts.

There was no way that Adam's sister could've known how much that talked meant to me. I mean, the guilt was eating me alive, and the thought that his family might blame me for his death had weighed heavily on my mind. I felt a lot better now, about a lot of things.

Ha. I probably shouldn't have, you know. It wasn't over, my stalker was still out there somewhere, watching, waiting for me to slip up so that he could get his hand on me . . .

Turns out he didn't have to wait that long.

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