Coming for You by Deborah Rogers (#2 Amelia Kellaway)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.6 MB
A brutal crime. A traumatized mind. A victim no one believes…
Successful New York prosecutor Amelia Kellaway is hiding a secret. Still deeply traumatized by a kidnapping incident she suffered three years ago, Amelia is struggling to cope with a crippling anxiety disorder where she compulsively checks her locks and doors. She’s also experiencing frightening blackouts that strike at random. The root cause of her anxiety is her unshakable belief that her previous attacker, Rex Hawkins, is stalking her. She’s been to the authorities but they’ve dismissed her concerns as the paranoid delusions of a traumatized mind.
But are Amelia’s fears really unfounded? Could Rex Hawkins still be out there, waiting for her to drop her guard and make a mistake? Or is Amelia slipping deeper into neurosis and at risk of losing her mind?
There’s a sudden movement to the left on the ledge outside the second-story apartment. I tense. Then I see the flick of a tail. It’s only the cat, the no-name cat that nobody seems to own. I’ve seen it before, leaping from one balcony to the next or launching itself from the fire exit ladders to the floors below or above, like some kind of crazy ninja feline. One day that thing’s going to slip and tumble headfirst right onto the pavement and its acrobat days will be over.
My eyes shift to my own apartment. The living room lights are on. I look at my watch. Just before two. The lights (two twenty-dollar floor lamps I bought on sale from Home Depot) are set on an automatic timer, and go on and off in pre-scheduled two-hour increments. A ruse so anyone outside would think there was someone home.
The windows are closed and both sets of venetian blinds are the way I left them this morning, hanging down at a precise midway point in the windowpanes, the slats open on a half-inch incline so the internal lights in the apartment shine through to the outside.
I wait there for at least twenty minutes, watching for movement inside the apartment. There’s nothing. No one is in there. I am safe.
I emerge from behind the hedgerow and cross the road and head for the building, all the while fighting the urge to return to my hiding place in the playground to check on the apartment again.
It’s not the first apartment I have lived in since the incident. There were four more prior to this one. On average I have shifted every six months. To stay ahead. To stay safe. When I have exhausted all the possible combinations of routes I can use to get to an apartment, I know I’m at risk of developing patterns and routines that could be detectable, so the only solution is to move again. Constantly shifting is exhausting and totally at odds with my nature to want to stay in one place. But I do it because there is no real alternative. I’d rather be a moving target than a sitting duck.
I reach the door to my building. It’s a push code button type of lock where you key in a combination, but I’m smart enough to know that although this door is meant to be the first line of defense, it’s really no defense at all. People can easily slip in behind someone else. Tenants can (and do) give out the code to friends and relatives. So I never trust it. The only real first line of defense is my own apartment door.
Before I key in the code, I glance over my shoulder to study the street. Empty. I slip inside and push the door firmly behind me until I hear the nib click back into place.