I need you, p.1

I Need You, page 1

 

I Need You
 


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I Need You


  I Need You

  The Kihanna Saga

  Book Five

  By Mercy Amare

  Copyright 2013 Mercy Amare

  Smashwords edition

  Smashwords Edition, License Notes

  Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

  Cover designed by Mercy Amare

  Edited by Laura Heritage

  This book is for everybody who believes in true love.

  I hope you all get your very own happily ever after.

  And maybe your own Toby, Gabe, and Ty. Because everybody deserves them :)

  I Need You is book 5 in The Kihanna Saga. If you have not read the first book (The Fab Life), the second book (I Hate Goodbye), the third book (Stranded in Paradise), and the fourth book (It’s So Obvious) you probably will NOT understand what is going on. Be sure to pick up the first books before reading I Need You!

  Saturday, April 21

  10 a.m.

  I can’t breathe.

  I can’t breathe.

  I can’t breathe.

  I can’t breathe.

  The words are replaying in my head, and I wake up gasping for air. I don’t know where I am, and I don’t know how I got here. But then everything comes rushing back to me. The party. Gabe. The needle. Me getting dragged away.

  Oh my God.

  Gabriel Johnson is my stalker.

  I quickly sit up and feel the blood rush to my head. I look around the unfamiliar room, and quickly realize that I’m in a hotel. The maroon carpet has a few stains on it, and the comforter looks like something from the 1960s. I’m definitely not staying at a nice hotel. There are two full size beds, and the other looks like it hasn’t been slept on. One thing that I do notice is that I’m completely alone.

  Where’s Gabe? I wonder.

  I stand up slowly. I don’t want to move too fast again. I slowly make my way to the door just as it swings open and Gabe walks inside.

  “Oh good. You’re up,” he says cheerfully, like all is right in the world. Like he didn’t just kidnap me. Like he isn’t my stalker. He holds out a paper bag. “I got some food for you. I figured you’d be hungry when you woke up.”

  I glare at him and cross my arms over my chest. I look down to see that I’m still wearing the outfit I had on at the party. That’s a relief. I’m glad he didn’t change my clothes… not like he hasn’t seen me naked before.

  Ugh, I had sex with my stalker. How gross is that?

  “I know what you’re thinking,” he says, putting the bag down on the table. “But this isn’t what it looks like.”

  “You kidnapped me!” I scream and stomp my foot.

  He nods. “I did. But it was only for your protection.”

  “My protection? And who, may I ask, were you protecting me from? Because last I checked, you are the one I need protecting from!”

  I need answers. Gabe betrayed my trust, and I have to know why. Why would he lie to me all this time. He had me. He was the one who told me to break up with him. Gabe had no reason to do any of the stuff he did.

  “I’m not your stalker, Kihanna,” he says.

  I don’t want to believe him. I really, really don’t. But for some reason, I do. I know that Gabe is telling the truth right now.

  “Then who is?” I ask.

  He turns his head, not saying a word.

  “Please, Gabe.” My voice breaks. “I need to know.”

  “It will hurt you if you know,” he says.

  I step forward, toward the bed. I take a seat beside him. “I don’t think it’s possible to hurt me anymore than I already do.”

  “At first, I thought it was Ty,” he says, shaking his head. “God, that makes me a terrible friend, doesn’t it? I blamed my best friend. But it made sense. After what happened with his mom and your dad… I thought this was some of revenge thing for him. And Ty is the only other person I know smart enough to hide it for so long.”

  “But it’s not Ty?” I ask, hopeful. I don’t want my stalker to be Ty, even though I have considered him before.

  “It’s not,” Gabe says. “There were so many obvious signs point to him that I knew it couldn’t be. Your stalker is trying to make somebody else look guilty.”

  “Okay then… If it’s not Ty, who is it?”

  “Before I tell you, you need to promise me you won’t freak out,” he says.

  “Why would I freak out?” I ask. “I’ve been thinking over the past few weeks that it was you. And I’m relieved to know it’s not true. I don’t think I could handle knowing it was you.”

  “You remember the video feed from the night somebody broke into your room?” he says. “They wrote on your mirror in black lipstick…”

  I nod. How could I ever forget that? It was horrifying.

  “Well, I was finally able to get into the missing footage.” He reaches for his backpack sitting between the two beds and pulls out his laptop. He hits play and an image of me sleeping comes up. A few seconds later, I see a shadow and my heart pounds fast and hard against my chest as the person comes into the frame.

  It’s Brian.

  I hear my own sharp intake of breath.

  “No. It can’t be,” I say, mostly to myself.

  I keep watching the screen. Brian walks into the bathroom and comes out after only thirty seconds. He stands at the end of my bed, just watching me. I feel a shiver rush over me at the sight.

  He just keeps standing there, watching me, for about three minutes before he turns and walks out the door. The video stops, and Gabe turns to look at me.

  I put my hand against my mouth to keep from screaming. The person that I’ve invited into my house during this time… the one person I thought was trying to keep me safe… is the one who has been doing this the whole time.

  Gabe reaches his hand up and brushes a tear off my cheek. I didn’t even realize that I was crying. He pulls me into his arms, and I tremble against him.

  “It’s okay,” he tells me, over and over again.

  But it’s not.

  It will never be okay.

  “How can I ever trust anybody again?” I ask him. “God, I’m such an idiot. I invited him into my house! I fell in love with him… I was going to have sex with him…”

  “You didn’t have sex with him?” Gabe asks.

  I shake my head.

  “And you haven’t with anybody else? Besides me…”

  I shake my head again.

  “I know that now is probably a really inappropriate time to say this, but I’m glad you didn’t,” he says. “I haven’t either… I mean… since I’ve been with you, there hasn’t been anybody else.”

  I take a deep breath. “So, we need to turn this in. To the police.”

  Gabe nods, smiling. “Let’s go.”

  I stand up but turn to him. “Did you really have to drug me?”

  “Yes. Because you wouldn’t talk to me otherwise,” he says. “I would’ve taken this straight to the police, but I had to be the one to show you.”

  I nod, not knowing what to say. Gabe may not be my stalker, but he did drug me.

  “I know there is a lot I have to explain, but that can wait. Right now, we need to take this. I’m sure Brian is looking everywhere for you.”

  “Okay,” I agree.

  I follow Gabe out of the hotel and to his car. As I buckle my seatbelt, I can’t help but think that in a few short hours, I will be free.

  12 p.m.

  FREE.

  My hands are literally shaking as I watch Brian being hauled into th
e police station. When he sees me, standing outside on the concrete steps, he stops. His eyes meet mine for only a moment, before he is pushed forward.

  Toby puts his arm around me, and as the doors shut, I turn to him and cry on his shoulder.

  How could Brian do this to me? How could he say that he loves me while he was the one doing it to me this whole time?

  And why?

  All the questions I have unanswered. None of this makes sense at all. Brian doesn’t have money. How did he hire a hit man? Why would he kill his own sister’s boyfriend? It doesn’t add up for me.

  But still, as long as Brian is behind bars, I feel a weight being lifted off of me. My stalker is finally behind bars. And I am finally free.

  “I want to kill that guy,” Toby says, as he strokes my hair. “I can’t believe I ever, for a minute, thought it was Gabe.”

  “I know,” I say, pulling away from him. “Me too.”

  My dad wraps his arms around me, followed by Veronica. I can see worry on each of their faces, but more than that, I can see relief.

  So, why do I not feel like this is over?

  Monday, April 23

  7 a.m.

  I couldn’t sleep.

  I spent all day yesterday with family. Toby, Dad, Veronica, and I just hung out. We watched TV, played a couple games of pool, and ate a whole lot of junk food. It felt good to just hang out all day in my pajamas with my family. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that… not since my mom died. We even skipped brunch at the country club.

  But even with all the love and support that I have, I still feel a big empty hole where my heart used to be.

  We heard from the detective in charge of my case. Brian admitted to being my stalker. He admitted to killing Keith and Kasbian, but not Jacqueline. He said he never hired a hit man either. He also admitted to kidnapping Ariana. He was the one who set the fire at Ishmales, and he trapped me inside the bathroom. He was the one who cut the brakes in Gabe’s car. He even told the police that he wrote a fake journal and switched it with Lily’s real one. And he confessed that he was, in fact, stalking me.

  I thought I was going to be able to go back to school today, but the detective said he didn’t think Brian was working alone. Brian has had a steady flow of cash into his bank account over the past nine months, around the time my dad hired him. The money is from an unknown source, and Brian won’t say who. The detective says Brian is scared of whoever is paying him.

  So, I guess I’m not free after all.

  But today won’t be so bad. Dad said that Gabe and Ty could come over to hang out after school.

  Okay, okay. I know. Ty. He’s been a pain in my ass ever since we broke up in November, but I can’t help it. He will always be one of my best friends.

  I wake Toby up really early on Monday morning by jumping on his bed. He groans when he sees me.

  “Seriously, Kihanna. Why do you have to be such a morning person?” he asks.

  I pout. “I couldn’t sleep.”

  Mostly because I spent the whole night thinking about that video… Brian, standing on the edge of my bed, just watching me. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw his face, staring at me.

  Every good memory I have with him is now tainted. Our entire relationship was fake… I still can’t wrap my head around it.

  “You can sleep with me,” he says, scooting over so there is room for me.

  I smile and lie down beside him.

  Nine months ago, I never thought I’d willingly get into Toby’s bed, but I feel safe here. Toby truly is a brother to me, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  “I love you, Toby,” I tell him.

  “Yeah, yeah. Go to sleep,” he says in return.

  And so I do.

  3 p.m.

  I can be kinky.

  I fall asleep and don’t wake up again until Gabe and Ty show up in Toby’s bedroom.

  Three days ago, both of them were at the top of my suspect list. Now the two of them are in my stepbrother’s bedroom like nothing ever happened.

  Yeah, this isn’t weird at all.

  I have a lot of questions for Gabe, and I’m glad he’s here.

  I sit up in Toby’s bed, hoping that my hair isn’t a mess. Toby isn’t here, but I hear his shower running.

  “So… you and Toby?” Ty says and then laughs.

  I roll my eyes. “Not funny, Ty. I just… couldn’t sleep in my own bed. That room gives me the creeps. Too much has happened in there.”

  “Understood.” Ty sits down on the edge of the bed.

  “How are you feeling?” Gabe asks.

  I shrug my shoulders. “Fine. Not fine. Terrible. Heartbroken. Like my whole life has fallen apart. But I’m alive, and for that I am thankful. It could always be worse.” But I couldn’t handle worse, so I’m glad it’s not.

  “You dated a psycho killer. So what. Cheer up,” Ty says. “At least you found out he was crazy before you married him or something like that.”

  “I feel so stupid,” I say, hiding my face in my hands. “There had to have been signs, right? How could I not see this coming?”

  “You’re kind of not that observant,” Ty tells me.

  I glare at him.

  “What? I’m serious. I cheated on you with numerous different girls while we dated and you never once noticed,” he says. “I’m not surprised that you didn’t notice the guy you were dating was stalking you.”

  “You cheated on me more than once?” I ask, feeling even more stupid. “Thank God I didn’t sleep with you. Maybe I’m not completely dumb. I mean, I never slept with Brian. Somewhere deep down maybe I knew he was psycho.” I look at Gabe. “You didn’t cheat on me, right?”

  Gabe shakes his head. “I never would’ve done that to you.”

  “Just because I did doesn’t lessen my feelings for you,” Ty says.

  I take my pillow and hit Ty. “Shut up.”

  “So are you two getting back together now?” Ty asks.

  I hit him again. “Oh my God, you know that my ex-boyfriend literally went to jail less than forty-eight hours ago, right?”

  “I’m just saying… You dumped me, slept with Gabe the same night, dumped Gabe, and had a new boyfriend within a day… I am seeing a pattern here. Are you already seeing somebody else?”

  “No. I’m not. A boyfriend is the absolute last thing on my mind right now. Because, technically, there is something still out there. They could be watching us right now.” I shiver at the thought.

  “Fine, whatever,” he says. “If you want to have fun with a non-boyfriend, I’m very open.”

  “I have a question,” I tell Ty, ignoring his sexual innuendo. “That day that I came over to your house, what was going on? Why were you acting so shady?”

  Ty stand up and lifts up his shirt. At first I am thinking that he’s crazy, but then I see a huge bruise covering the right side of his ribs. It’s not a fresh bruise, but it’s still pretty dark. Around the edges it’s faded to yellow and in the middle it’s still black. “My dad came home the day before and wanted to put me in my place. I always get jumpy after he hits me. Sorry if that made me seem shady.”

  “But why did somebody want me to go to your house?” I ask. “I seriously thought you had Ariana locked in your basement.”

  He laughs. “I don’t lock girls up. Unless they want to be. I can be kinky if you want.”

  I hit him with the pillow again.

  “Cut it out, Ty,” Gabe says.

  “Fine,” he says back. “Nobody lets me have any fun.”

  “I have another question,” I tell Gabe. “How come you told me you knew who the stalker was the whole time if you really didn’t?”

  His face falls slightly. “Because I thought I did, but I was so wrong.”

  “Okay,” I say. “And how come your cell phone tracked us to Ariana?”

  “Because I found her,” he says. “I knew something was up with you when we came over for the party that night. You were so insistent on Ariana and me co
ming even though you hated me… So I gave Ariana a necklace with a tracking device in it. I guess Brian figured out the necklace was somehow tracking her location so he ditched it in a dumpster nearby. I searched for her until I found her. I knew that you were tracking my phone, so I set my location to the warehouse and let you find her. What I didn’t realize was that would make me the prime suspect.”

  “How did you know we were tracking your phone?” I ask.

  He laughs. “Kihanna, I’m a computer hacker. I know everything.”

  “Okay, fair enough.”

  “I have a question for you,” Gabe says. “In Hawaii, why didn’t you tell me your stalker was making you break up with me?”

  Ugh.

  I so didn’t want him to ask this question.

  Before I can answer, the bathroom door opens into the bedroom and Toby steps in the room wearing nothing but a towel.

  Thank you, Toby, I say in my head.

  “We’ll talk later,” Gabe says to me.

  Later. Great.

  5 p.m.

  I’m still in love with you.

  There is absolutely nothing weird about me hanging out with two of my ex-boyfriends, right? Okay, maybe it’s a little weird, but I’m glad that we’re all friends. Even if Ty is a little too friendly. Plus, hanging out with them helps me get my mind off… everything.

  We are all swimming in the pool and goofing off.

  I sigh, thinking about the first time I met Brian. Right here. I am trying really hard not to think of him, but I can’t help it.

  I wonder how Olivia is doing, knowing it was her brother who killed Keith. I want to call her and see if she’s alright, but it’s probably not appropriate for me to call her. To be honest, she probably never wants to talk to me again.

  “Is this weird for you?” Toby asks me as he takes a seat beside me. “Hanging out with two of your ex-boyfriends…?”

 
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