Katie was vaguely aware that people were watching her but didn't care as she ran out the front door of the club in tears. Her head throbbed painfully as she collapsed onto the curb a little ways down the street from the front door. All that she had really wanted when she had seen A.J. like that, wearing the things she had given him and looking at her with those pleading puppy brown eyes, was to pull him close and never, ever let go. But she couldn't as long as he was still...but what if he wasn't? a small voice inside of her head nagged. What if he was telling the truth? Katie shut her eyes tightly and clenched her teeth. He wasn't telling the truth, she told herself, anger starting to build up inside of her again.
"Excuse me, Katie Richardson?" a soft voice asked from behind her.
Katie opened her eyes and turned around to see a small ten-year-old girl behind her. "Yes?" she replied, forcing the bitterness out of her voice.
"I love your music! Could you sign this?" the girl asked, holding out an address book and a pen.
Katie smiled and took them. "Sure. What's your name, sweetie?"
"Marla," she said, smiling shyly.
Katie quickly wrote a message and signed it. "There you go, sweetie."
Marla's smile widened. "Thank you so much!"
Katie shook her head. "It's no problem," she said, wrapping her arms around her young fan.
"Marla!" a woman's voice called.
Katie and Marla both looked up to see a middle aged woman standing a few yards away. "That's my mom," Marla explained. "I have to go."
"All right. Bye," Katie said, hugging her again.
"Bye!" Marla waved excitedly before hurrying off towards her mother.
Katie felt a warmth come over her body as she watched the little girl walk away. At least she still had her music and the people that it connected her to. She sighed and looked sadly down at the curb she was sitting on. She couldn't put the song she had written for A.J. on her album now. She's probably have to write a different one. About Kevin or something. Or just change the lyrics to--
Linz's voice shouting he name frantically made Katie look up again. She frowned, not understanding. Some drunk guy with dark features was dragging Linz out of the club and down the street towards her. Linz was struggling to free herself. Katie got to her feet as Linz called her name again.
"Katie, please help me! Let go!" she shrieked in vain at her captor. "Katie!"
The man stopped walking and slowly turned his head to see who she was calling to. His eyebrows shot up when he saw Katie. He suddenly started running again, pulling Linz after him and almost making her fall to the ground.
Katie's eyes widened as she saw the man coming towards her. She turned to run, but he had caught up with her before she could even take a step, and he grabbed her wrist tightly.
"Don't worry, ladies, we don't have far to go," he hissed in their ears as he started down the sidewalk again.
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