Chapter Nine

Brian sat down on the sand at the beach and looked out at the ocean. It was a quiet day and the ocean was calm. This place brought back so many memories for him. This was where he brought Elizabeth for their first date. This was where they shared their first kiss.

“Lizzie, I miss you so much,” he whispered. “Please come back to me.” He put his head in his hands and started to cry.

~*~

“Wanna stay over tonight?” Jenny asked Elizabeth. It was Friday afternoon and Alex was driving them home. Elizabeth had been in school for a week.

“I want to, but Bill won’t let me,” Elizabeth said, sadly.

“Oh, okay,” Jenny said as Alex pulled into her driveway.

“I better go before Bill gets mad.”

“Bye,” Jenny and Alex called as Elizabeth hurried to the house.

Bill grabbed her as soon as she walked through the door. He slammed her up against the wall. “Where have you been?” he shouted in her face.

“School.”

“I told you to clean this place up!” he yelled.

“I did.”

He slapped her hard in the face. “Don’t talk back to me!” She cried out loudly. “Shut up!” He threw her roughly to the floor, still hitting her.

“Help me!” she screamed, praying someone would hear her.

Alex and Jenny ran through the door. “Get off her!” Alex yelled. He grabbed Bill by the shoulders and pulled him off of Elizabeth. Bill tried to punch Alex, but Alex blocked the punch. Jenny hurried over to Elizabeth. Her face was bloody and already starting to bruise. Jenny helped her up. Alex punched Bill hard in the nose. Bill fell backwards and hit his head on the ground.

“Is he dead?” Elizabeth whispered.

“No, but he’ll be out for a while,” Alex answered. “Jenny, go upstairs and pack all of Lizzie’s things. We’re getting her out of here.” Jenny nodded and hurried up the stairs. Alex walked over to Elizabeth and hugged her. “Are you okay?”

“I think so…Thank you, Alex. If you hadn’t come, he would have killed me.”

“Shh…”

“Oh, no…I got blood on your shirt,”

“Don’t worry about it,” Alex said. Jenny hurried downstairs carrying Elizabeth’s suitcase. “Let’s go,”

They took Elizabeth next door to Jenny’s house and got her cleaned up. She laid down on Jenny’s bed and fell asleep. Jenny looked through Elizabeth’s suitcase and found Nick’s phone number and address. She quickly dialed the number.

“Hello?”

“Can I speak to Nick Carter?” Jenny asked.

“This is Nick.”

“Hi, Nick. You don’t know me. My name is Jenny Wright. I’m a friend of Elizabeth’s.”

“How is she?” Nick asked.

“Not good. The guy she had to stay with just beat her up really bad.”

“What?!” Nick screamed.

“My boyfriend stopped him, but she’s still pretty messed up. We’re gonna bring her home to you, Nick.”

“Okay. Thank you, Jenny…For everything.”

“You’re welcome. Bye, Nick. See you soon,” Jenny said.

“Bye.” Nick hung up and then quickly dialed Brian’s number.

“Hello?”

“Bri, she’s coming home. Lizzie’s coming home!”

“That’s great! When?” Brian asked.

“Couple of hours.”

“Can I come over to your house?”

“Sure…Brian?”

“Yeah?”

“Lizzie’s been hurt.”

“What?!!”

“The guy she had to stay with beat her up real bad,” Nick said.

“Is she okay?”

“I think so…Her friend said that guy hurt her pretty badly.”

“God…my poor Lizzie…I want to kill him, Nick. I really do,” Brian said.

“So do I.”

“I’ll be over in a few.”

“Okay, Bri. Bye.”

“Bye.”

~*~

Elizabeth felt awful. She looked even worse. She had a black eye and a busted lip. She didn’t really want Brian and Nick to see her like this, but she realized it didn’t really matter what she looked like.

“Which house?” Alex asked.

“The white one on the corner,” Elizabeth said from the backseat of the BMW.

The door of Nick’s house opened as soon as the car pulled into the driveway. Nick and Brian rushed out to greet them. Alex and Jenny got out of the car. Alex introduced them to Nick and Brian while Jenny helped Elizabeth out of the car.

“Lizzie!” Brian cried when he saw her. He carefully wrapped his arms around her and kissed her cheek. “Baby, are you okay?”

“Yeah…looks worse than it is.”

He hugged her again, so happy she was finally back in his arms. “My sweet Lizzie,” he whispered in her ear. “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” she whispered back. Brian finally let go of her and stepped aside. Elizabeth looked at Nick. He was staring at her. “Aren’t you gonna say hi?” she asked.

Nick grinned and scooped her up in a hug. “I missed you so much, Lizzie,” Nick told her.

“I missed you, too, Nicky.”

“Um, guys…I hate to ruin the moment, but pretty soon the social service people are gonna be looking for Lizzie,” Alex said.

“He’s right. We gotta hide her,” Brian said.

“Bri, you can take Lizzie to my island till my parents get home,” Nick said.

“Good idea, Nicky,” Lizzie said.

“We gotta go now,” Jenny said.

Elizabeth went to Jenny and hugged her. “Thank you, Jenny…for everything.” They exchanged addresses and phone numbers. Elizabeth moved onto Alex. She hugged him tightly. “Thank you, Alex…you saved my life,” she said.

“No problem, little buddy,” he said and kissed her cheek. They got in the car and pulled out of the driveway. Elizabeth watched them until they drove out of sight.