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Tormentor Mine(90)

By:Anna Zaires

I’m still not sure how I’m dealing with the whole thing myself.

* * *

By the end of the week, my period is over and I’m back in the swing of things, with two on-call shifts early in the week and a three-hour stretch at the clinic on Wednesday on top of my usual office hours. I’m working so much I’m barely home, but Peter doesn’t object, though I can sense he’s less than pleased with the situation. Despite my period, we’ve had sex over the last few days—he wasn’t lying about his lack of squeamishness—and each time, he’s been unusually hungry, his touch unrestrained and borderline rough.

It’s as if he’s afraid of somehow losing me, as if he hears the ticking of some clock.

On Friday, I spend most of the day in my office, seeing patients, but just as I’m about to head home, I get an urgent message that one of my patients has gone into labor. Suppressing a weary sigh, I hurry to the locker room to scrub up and run into Marsha, who’s coming off her shift.

“Hey,” she says with a sympathetic grimace. “Just getting started?”

“Looks like it,” I say, stuffing my clothes into the locker. “Are you girls going out tonight?”

“Nah. Andy can’t make it, and Tonya is busy with that cute bartender. Remember him?”

I pull my hair into a ponytail. “The one from the club we went to?” At Marsha’s confirming nod, I ask, “Yeah, why? Did they hook up?”

“You guessed it.” Marsha grins. “Anyways, I see you’re in a rush, so I’ll let you go. Call me if you want to do anything this weekend. Andy is having a barbecue tomorrow night, and I’m sure she’d love for you to come.”

“Thank you. I’ll call you if I can make it,” I say and hurry out of the locker room. I know I won’t be calling her, and this time, it’s not because I’m afraid for my friends.

As tempting as the barbecue sounds, what I’m most looking forward to this weekend is quiet time at home.

With Peter.

The man I’m finding hard to hate.

* * *

Several hours later, I trudge back into the locker room, exhausted. My patient’s uterus ruptured, and I had to perform an emergency C-section to save her and the baby. Fortunately, both made it through okay, but I have a splitting headache from hunger and extreme tiredness.

I can’t wait to get home, heat up whatever Peter might’ve prepared for dinner, and, if I’m lucky, get a massage as I’m falling asleep.

“Dr. Cobakis?”

The female voice sounds vaguely familiar, and I spin around, my pulse jumping. Sure enough, I see Karen, the FBI agent/nurse who was with Agent Ryson when I woke up after Peter’s attack. Like the last time, she’s dressed in nursing scrubs, though I know she doesn’t work in this hospital.

She must be trying to blend in.

“Karen?” I try not to betray my nervousness. “What are you doing here?”

She approaches me and stops a couple of feet away. “I wanted to talk to you someplace we wouldn’t be spotted, and this seemed as good of an opportunity as any.”

I glance around the locker room. She’s right: we’re the only ones here at this time. “Why?” I turn my attention back to her. “What’s wrong?”

“A couple of months ago, you reached out to Agent Ryson,” she says quietly. “You said you felt you were being watched. At the time, we dismissed your concerns, but we’ve since received some new information.”

My throat cinches tight. “What… what new information?”

“It has to do with Peter Sokolov, the fugitive who assaulted you in your home.”

“Oh?” My voice is an octave too high.

“He was spotted in the area, just a few blocks away from this hospital. A hidden traffic camera caught his face at an angle, and our facial recognition program flagged the photo.” She cocks her head to the side. “You wouldn’t happen to know anything about it, Dr. Cobakis, would you?”

“I…” My heartbeat is roaring in my ears, my thoughts racing in panicked circles. This is it, the opportunity to get help without Peter knowing I spoke to anyone. The FBI are already aware he’s here, and they won’t rest until they find him. I can improve the odds of their success, tell them he’s most likely at my house, and if they succeed in capturing him and his men, it’ll be truly over.

My life will be my own again.

“It’s okay, Dr. Cobakis.” Karen lays a gentle hand on my arm. “I know this is all very stressful for you, but we’ll make sure you’re safe. Just please think back to the past few weeks. Any chance someone might’ve been following you? Have you had any instances recently when you felt like you were being watched?”