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Made of steel (made of s.., p.47
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       Made of Steel (Made of Steel Series Book 1), p.47

           Ivy Smoak
slower 1  faster

  Chapter 37


  Liza didn't answer my text. Or my phone call. Or my other text. I had too much pent-up energy and I was too scared to go back to my dorm, so I went for a run. The city was full of people. If I stayed on crowded streets, I'd be fine. It was safer than anywhere else, that's why Mr. Crawford had sent me here. Why wasn't he answering my fucking calls? I started to run faster, trying to rid myself of my anger and fear.

  It seemed like I finally had a breakthrough with Eli, and it was driving me crazy that I didn't know what it meant. I was so close. I could feel it. I needed my phone to ring. If it was Liza, hopefully I could figure out what was going on with her help. If it was Mr. Crawford, I'd hightail it out of the city.

  I picked up my pace. Every day it got easier to run faster and farther. As soon as the thought ran through my head, I got a terrible cramp. Damn it. I stopped and crouched over. I had just made a turn onto a street that was less crowded. I should have sucked it up and kept running until I hit a more popular street again, but the pain was searing. I placed my hand on my stomach and felt something hard. I looked down. There was a vial sticking into my t-shirt. What the hell? I pulled it out and felt a pinch in my skin. I teetered to the side, my shoulder slammed against the brick wall. Fuck. I heard footsteps approaching.

  No. I tried to run, but I toppled over my feet and landed hard on my shoulder. The pain in my arm was even worse than the one in my stomach. He's here. The sound that escaped from my mouth was even more horrifying than the pain. I sounded like a wounded animal. I sounded strangled. My windpipe was constricting.

  I pulled my phone out of my pocket, but it was immediately knocked out of my hand. Who was I going to call anyway? A blurry face appeared in front of mine. I recognized him. Gavin Moore. He was a friend of Don's. He used to be around the house all the time. He knew what Don had done to me. He saw the way I was treated and he stayed silent, watching me with his dead eyes. But he wasn't looking at me like that right now. He was smiling. My whole body felt cold.

  He reached out and ran his thumb along my cheek. "He wants your pretty little face back, sweetheart. And he doesn't care how he gets it."

  My face. I thought about the knife sliding under the skin on my jaw. He wants my face. I saw my phone on the ground a few feet behind Gavin. I needed to get to it. I could call the police. If Mr. Crawford couldn't help me, maybe they could. But my body refused to move.

  Gavin's hand slid down to my neck. "I've always wanted to know what it felt like to completely own your body." His fingers tightened slightly around my throat. "I know what you like." His fingers tightened even more. "Don said he didn't care whether I brought you in dead or alive. He doesn't care about you anymore, sweetheart. But maybe we can make a deal. I can keep you safe." His hand slid to my breast.

  No. Tears bit at my eyes. Everything was so blurry. I couldn't move. But it wasn't from fear this time. I felt stronger than I ever had. It was from whatever was in the vial. I was frozen. I wanted to break every finger he touched me with. I wanted to punch the smile off his face. Anger seared through me, closely followed by fear. I might as well be back with Don. He was going to take me. I couldn't be a prisoner again. I'd rather be dead.

  Gavin ripped my shirt open. "I can take care of you, sweetheart. I'll keep you safe." His fingers slid down my stomach.

  This isn't real. This can't be real. But the gunshot sounded real. It echoed in my ears. The blood splattering on my face felt real. It was hot and sticky and I could feel it sliding down my cheeks. The sickening thud of Gavin's body falling on the pavement sounded real. I could see it. He wasn't touching me anymore.

  I couldn't move. My body was paralyzed.

  "I've got you." The vigilante's voice rumbled as he lifted me into his arms.

  My blurry vision was focused on his face. His lips. His perfectly kissable lips. I was falling asleep. But I wanted my eyes to stay open. My protector had saved me. I tried to speak but nothing came out of my mouth. You saved me from reliving hell itself.

  "You're going to be okay."

  You were almost too late. I breathed in his cologne. I was okay now. The pain in my shoulder seemed less sharp when I was in his arms. I tried to blink the sleepiness away. I wanted to remember him holding me. His gloved hand brushed against my skin. Maybe I imagined it, but it felt like his fingers hesitated as he covered me back up.

  "Stay with me, Sadie."

  I could feel him walking.

  "Keep your eyes open."

  I couldn't. Maybe he was running now. My only sense was his overwhelming good smell. I sighed into his strong chest.

  "Stay with me, Summer."

  Summer? My name echoed around in my head. He does know. Did I imagine that? All I could hear was my name.

  Summer. I could hear my grandmother's voice

  Summer. I could hear my mother's voice.

  Summer. I could hear my father's voice.

  Everything was black.

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