"I did not say that!" Katie said into the phone three days later, laughing as she made her lunch. "Kevin, you're lying!"
"Yes, you did! You told Billy to shut up and go home! I swear!" Kevin replied.
Over the last three days, Katie had not seen or heard from A.J. any more, and she had spent a lot of her time remembering old times with Kevin. "Was I really that much of a brat?" Katie asked, taking the pot full of pasta off of the burner.
"Yes!" Kevin answered with no hesitation. "For all of your fourth year, you were like that. Then Daddy gave you that kick-ass fifth birthday party, and you turned sweet again."
Katie laughed again and poured the pasta into a bowl. "Listen, my lunch is ready, and I'm starving, so I'm gonna hang up on you now."
"No, don't go, I'm bored," Kevin whined.
"Whatever happened to your girlfriend, I believe her name is Linz?" Katie wondered.
"She's asleep again."
"You devil you," Katie remarked.
"Just stay for another minute, I want to..."
Kevin suddenly stopped talking. "Kev? You there?" she asked, thinking that the line had been disconnected.
"I thought I heard someone moving around," Kevin whispered.
"Your girlfriend probably woke up, dumbass."
"No, this is in the other direction. Shh." Kevin paused again and then came back. "Did you hear that?"
"No, I didn't."
"I think someone's in the house with me, Katie!" Kevin whispered.
"Kevin, don't panic. Just go find Linz, andó"
"Holy shit!" Kevin shouted. Katie heard a click as he dropped the phone, and then there was a gunshot, a wail of pain, and the thump of a body hitting the ground.
"Kevin!" Katie yelled. "Kevin! Are you there! Say something!"
"Hey, baby, remember me?" a voice whispered.
Chills ran through Katie's entire body, not the kind that A.J. gave her but the kind that came from fear. "Brett?!"
"You do remember! I feel so honored that Katie Richardson remembers who I am!" Brett remarked sourly.
"Brett, leave my brother alone!"
"It's not your brother I'm after, darling. It's you. But if you don't get your cute little ass over here right now, that might change."
Katie was already heading towards the front door. "I'm on my way."
"Oh, and bring something sexy to wear. Not that you'll be wearing it for long."
"Okay," Katie lied. "Just don't hurt Kevin any more!"
"No one will get hurt any more if you just cooperate, love," Brett said. Then he hung up.
Katie cursed softly as she grabbed her cell phone and ran out the front door and into her car. She stepped on the gas and picked up her phone. She instinctively dialed Brian's number. No answer. Damn it! She dialed Nick. No answer there either. Damn it again! She would not call A.J. She dialed Howie's cell phone number and breathed a sigh of relief when she heard him pick up.
"Hey, Katie," he said cheerfully.
She jumped. "How did you know it was me?"
"It's called caller ID, sweetie. Are you okay?"
"No, something's wrong. It's Brett. He shot Kevin, andó"
"Brett is at Kevin's house. I was on the phone with Kevin, and he said that he thought he heard something, and then I heard a gunshot. Then Kevin screamed and fell to the floor and Brett picked up the phone and told me to come over there if I didn't want Kevin to get hurt." Tears were rolling down Katie's cheeks by the time she finished her story.
"Okay, where are you?"
"In the car, on my way to Kevin's."
"Listen to me, Katie. Do not go into the house until you see that I'm there already, okay? Drive in circles if you have to. I'm going to come as fast as I can, all right?"
Katie nodded and then remembered that he couldn't see her. "Yeah."
"Okay, I'm leaving now. I'll be there in a few minutes."
Katie took a deep breath and disconnected as her car got stopped at a red light. She just prayed that Kevin would be all right, and that Howie would get there on time.
Howie slammed down the phone and turned to the man who had been standing beside him ever since Katie's name had been spoken. "We have to go. Kevin's in trouble."
"What?" A.J. asked.
"He's been shot...by Brett, and Katie's on her way over there right now," Howie explained, grabbing his coat.
"Brett? Katie's ex-boyfriend Brett?"
"Katie's abusive ex-boyfriend Brett," Howie
affirmed, pulling A.J. out the door with him. "Come on, we
have to help!"