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Alex had barely waited when he saw car lights. Guessing that the neighbors weren't insane enough to be driving at this hour, he went to the car. Sure enough, it was Nessa.
'What's that?' Nessa asked, indicating the case. Alex realized then how tightly he had been clutching it.
'My violin, the one Aaron took from me back in October.'
'It was still there?'
'I'm as surprised as you are. I thought that he would just chuck it. Took me forever to find though- Angelina's house is a mess.'
Nessa nodded, then told him, 'I received a phone call from Angela. We're going to pick her up.'
'How is Farrior? Is there any word?' Alex worriedly asked.
'She only said that they're operating right now and that Angelina didn't look so well.'
'Yeah.' Alex was quiet for a moment. Was it really worth all this pain and turmoil to ultimately never have to worry about Aaron again? He wasn't so sure.
'Are you okay?'
'Just worried about Farrior and Vivie, as usual. I'm more worried about Farrior than I usually am right now, so that's probably why I'm not paying attention.'
'I see. What happened?'
'I' a lot of things. More beer and Tree Frog bottles.'
'When did Luke get shot?'
'When Aaron came in.' He didn't seem to be as emotional as usual. That was odd. 'I tackled him without thinking and fought him until the police showed up. And then I tried to clean up' and I found my case in one of the rooms.' He yawned. 'I'm so exhausted.'
'Okay.' They pulled up. It wasn't long before Angela came out. She slipped in quickly next to the violin case, which Alex had reluctantly put back there. Angela noticed it and raised her eyebrows.
'He still had it? Luke and I never found it when we were there.' Her voice was uneasy as she stumbled over Luke's name.
'It wasn't in Angelina's room. I had to search all over the house for it,' Alex explained.
'-that he didn't chuck it? Me too.'
'You don't' wait, you do know my brother.' Alex winced. 'I'm sorry, I forget things.'
Vivie would never do that. She remembered things and took the time to do so, even if it didn't convenience her. She had never hurt Alex with words. The things she had said during the argument had been things that she had had the right to say. He wasn't trying to rationalize it- it was just a fact.
'I want to sleep.' Angela yawned. Personally, Alex wanted to check on Vivie. Would Aaron's capture snap her out of her condition, or would it not affect her at all?
But Alex didn't say anything. Instead, he waited until the car stopped before immediately opening the door and rushing out, not even bothering to get his violin. For now, he just wanted to get to Vivie.
Nessa threw him the keys, and he gratefully unlocked the door. Someone was getting the case, so Alex let that matter move to the back of his mind for now.
He ran to the room where Vivie laid on the couch. Alex felt her head, which was warmer than he had remembered from their last touch. He slid down to his knees and next to her head, gazing at her face. He took a cold, limp hand in one of his.
She stirred. Alex felt his body jolt when she did so.
Finally, for the first time in so long, those beautiful green eyes opened, and her lips parted. She spoke one word, one that Alex would cry for tears, pain, sorrow, relief, and joy all at once.