“I’m so glad I found you. You have no idea what it took for me to find you, baby girl.”
His words echoed in my ears as I stood there staring. He was here. He was really here. I was frozen, unable to move. I needed to get away. Away from him. Away from here.
Red! screamed in my head but refused to come out of my mouth. It was as if I’d suddenly swallowed a mouthful of cotton. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. Fear took over. My chest tightened, making it harder to breathe.
I stumbled backward, still trying to speak, but nothing would come out. I had to get away. Stephan. I needed Stephan.
As I moved farther into the living room, he followed me. He was like a giant, filling the space. I’d always thought Stephan’s place was large, but now it felt very small as John stalked toward me. The panic continued to rise, but I fought it. Breathe. Remember to breathe. Stephan. Think about Stephan.
Oxygen tore through my lungs with every intake of air. I was breathing, but it wasn’t doing its job. It wasn’t calming me. My father had come for me.
Every step I took, he matched and then some. I couldn’t get away. He was bigger, stronger. Why? Why was he here? What did he want with me?
Turning my back on him for the first time, I ran toward the phone. I stumbled over the coffee table on my way and righted myself. I knew he was close, but I had to try. I had to try to call Stephan.
My hands trembled as I picked up the phone. I didn’t get any further than that. Before my fingers could touch the keys, he snatched the phone out of my hands, tossing it to the floor behind him.