The man's jolly demeanor slipped. For a minute, an awkward look passed over his face, a look that a frustrated professor might wear if his students did not answer any of his questions in class. He cleared his throat and suddenly became very still. "Who. And What."
Olivia shrugged. "I don't know." She tossed her hair flippantly. "It was a long night. I don't remember."
Olivia suddenly found the mustache in her face. "You will remember." She felt his hands gripping her arms, tightly. She knew she was going to bruise. "Tell me." Olivia struggled against his hands.
"Why? Why is it so important? It was a newsworthy story. You had to know that if you held up a restaurant it would be on the news."
"Because it was botched!" He raised his vice. "You think you both were supposed to get away? No! Timothy was supposed to give me the money! And you were not supposed to be involved."
Olivia shook her head. "So, what do you want from me? Why don't you just go ahead and finish the job you didn't have the balls to finish at the restaurant?"
The mustache palpitated. "Darling. I can't kill you. They'd trace the bullet. My fingernails are all over the place. I didn't come here planning to kill you."
Olivia raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Really. Then, why are you bruising my arms?"
Olivia was suddenly freed. "I'm sorry. I got passionate. I restrain it so much that it sometimes just bursts out…"
Who the hell is this man? Again, she was struck by how like a college professor he was. Hmmm.
He looked at her intensely. "You see Timothy, you call this number. You remember who you told about our rendezvous, you call this number. Only call it in those circumstances. This number is not traceable. Do not give it to the police. Do not tell anyone we have spoken. Otherwise, you might miss your friend Riley…"
Damnit. He knew how to hit where it hurt. She sunk down onto her couch. "Fine."
The man nodded. "Have a good night, Ms. Hale. Make sure you watch your steps in the coming days."
He turned to leave. Olivia muttered under her breath, "What did Timothy even do?"
The back of the man's head was replaced with his mustache. "Darling, you don't want to know. You think Timothy is perfect." Olivia started to protest, but the man cut her off. "No, I can see it in your eyes now, and I could see it in your eyes last night. Sweetheart, you don't want to be involved with him. Trust me."
Olivia found it ironic that the man who held her at gunpoint the night before was telling her to trust him.
He shrugged. "You've been warned. Your life, not mine." He cleared his throat. "Goodnight, Ms. Hale. Make your future decisions carefully." He shut the door forcefully.
Olivia let out a large gust of air that she had been holding in her lungs. How did she end up in this situation anyway? Because she had no date for Valentine's Day? Did the gods of love really hate her that much?
She got up and walked to her bedroom, kicking off her shoes and falling into bed, her appetite gone. She was asleep in minutes. Her takeout never came.
The alarm's booming wake-up call slammed into Olivia's dream. The dolphin and the unicorn she was seeing were replaced by her dark light fixture. She brought her hand down on the alarm, silencing it, then grudgingly stood up. At least she actually set her alarm this morning. She was starving. Ah yes. She hadn't eaten dinner the night before.
As she slathered a generous amount of onion and chive cream cheese on her everything bagel (the benefits of not having a significant other), she ruminated on the events of the previous night. What had been the man with the mustache's intention? Simply to warn her? That seemed a little outlandish. A lot of risk for something that could have been done via phone or text. Why did it matter what reporters she talked to? And would Timothy try to contact her?
Her heart skipped a beat as she thought of that. As much as she was pissed at his secretiveness and his disappearance, the thought of seeing him again excited her. She wasn't sure if it was an anticipatory excited or a dangerous excited; however, the tremor of excitement and adrenaline made it very clear that she did indeed want to see him again, regardless of the circumstances.
She took a bite of her pungent breakfast. The onions went well with the garlic of the bagel. Her breath was going to smell amazing. She flipped on the news to provide her company, glad that stories came and went quickly in the city. She did not expect to see her name on the news. However, she was not prepared for the story that she did see.
A blonde reporter looked at the camera, a serious look on her face. "Early this morning, a body was found in an alley near the intersection of 36th and Vine." Olivia shuddered. That was about two blocks over from her apartment. She took another bite. "Police have identified him as Douglas Albert, a delivery man in the west side. He had worked at Tasty Teriyaki and was making a delivery on his bike when he was ambushed, choked, and shot. Police have several leads as of now, none of which they are releasing at this point."
Olivia's jaw dropped. Again. How did she get stuck in these situations? She was reminded of something Dr. Steele said. Even a college student stuck in a boring class would hardly be able to come up with more fantastical situations.