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Author's Chapter Notes:
A huge thank you to Sapphire for pushing me to get this chapter done!
“I can’t believe that idiot!” Ryan shouted at his female companion. “He and that blonde moron have some nerve telling me that I can’t search his house or come back.”

“Have you tried reaching out to your friend?”

“Are you an idiot?” he said as he glared at the woman, who was now shrinking back into a chair, afraid of the wrath she was about to incur. “Of course I thought of that. I’m not as stupid as you are!”

The woman just sat there and let him go; she knew that if she said anything at this point, no matter how small, his fists would be flying as well as his words.

“My ‘friend’ apparently can’t help me now because his chief is breathing down his neck! He has no balls to stand up to that man and now it’s screwing up my plan.”

Ryan paced around the room like a caged animal; he was furious that he no longer had access to police assistance and how it was setting his plan back. He had hoped to gain entrance to the house and find out where his wife was hiding. The thought of nabbing her made him smile and he thought about the look that would be on everyone’s faces when they watched him drag her out by the hair. She had let this crap go on long enough and he was getting fed up.

“We need to figure something out and fast. I want her sooner rather than later!”


The next week flew by as Sam and AJ spent their time now as a couple instead of roommates. He was very careful not to push her or make her uncomfortable; it had taken him so long to get her to open up that he didn’t want to risk making an idiot move and having to start from scratch. Sam, on her part, was trying to relax more around him and see him in a different vein. She knew how much he cared for her and it meant the world to her, even if she wanted to take things slowly.

One thing that had been bothering her, and had been for a while, was the fact that she was still cooped up in the house, afraid to go outside in fear of Ryan being nearby. She knew that it was for her own protection but it was making her so stir crazy and she didn’t want that frustration to boil over and ruin her relationship with AJ. But, more than that, she wanted to live a life where she didn’t feel like she was chained to a house like a slave. This feeling had been bothering her so much that she finally made up her mind to do something about it and asked AJ to sit down and talk that afternoon.

“What’s wrong?” AJ asked with concern as he took a seat next to her on the couch. “Are you not ok with going forward with this relationship? I promised not to push you and I’ll keep my word.”

Sam turned to face him and took his hand in hers. “No, I’ve never been surer of something in my life. This doesn’t have to do with us.”

“Then why do we need to talk?”

“I need to get out.” Sam blurted out.

“Get out of where?” AJ asked, confused. “Out of the bedroom? The living room?”

“The house.” she answered quickly, afraid her frightened self would take over. “I need to get out of this house.”

“Ok.” he replied. “We can head out to the pool tonight if you want.”

“No. I want to completely leave this house, go somewhere where I can get a chance to breathe…”

“Absolutely not!” AJ yelped as he leapt up. “There is no way you are going to leave here. Ryan’s a madman and you know how close he’s come to finding you here.”

“I need to get out AJ. I feel like I’m Rapunzel, trapped in a tower by a nasty witch; a witch who happens to be my husband.” she said louder than she had planned. “I’m dying in here and I need to get out so I don’t go crazy.”

“No.” he replied firmly. “I would do anything for you but I am not willing to put your safety in jeopardy.”

“You can’t keep me here AJ! I’m not a prisoner and if I want to leave, I can. You can’t tell me what to do!”

Sam’s anger surprised him and he watched as she stood up in a huff and stomped away; he could hear her feet slamming against the staircase and the door of their bedroom slam. Shaking his head, he flopped down on the sofa and started rubbing his temples. He had just gotten her to open up to him, start to work things out and in one second, the whole thing was starting to crumble. Hearing that she felt like a prisoner truly hurt him because all he was trying to do was keep her safe. After sitting there for a few moments, he called the one person who he was sure could give him some sensible advice.

“Hey J.” Kevin answered after the third ring. “How are you?”

“I’ve been better Kev.”

“Uh oh. That doesn’t sound very promising.”

“It’s not.” he answered with a sigh. “I really need your help with something.”

“Please tell me that you and Sam aren’t falling apart already.”

AJ sighed. “We’re hitting a speed bump and I don’t know how to get over it.”

He explained what had happened and expressed all of his concerns. Kevin asked about Sam and how she responded to what AJ had said; he got quiet after that and it was a few seconds before he said anything.

“I think you have to let her leave.”