What Happened at Night Pt 4

The convention was being held on the fourth and fifth floors. Beau told me that we entered on floor five, and then after speeches were made, we would go to floor four for drinks.

The entrance was empty, which struck me as odd.

Beau led me to an elevator. Inside, he pressed the button labeled ‘5’ and the doors closed, trapping us in the box.

Five floors.


My stomach dropped as the elevator lurched upwards.


My heart felt constricted, tight in my chest.


Beau put his arm around my waist to steady me. His touch was warm, it was safe.


I realized I’m wasn’t wearing any makeup and probably looked like a wreck.


The elevator dinged to a stop and the doors slid open. I tumbled out as fast as I could, heaving as much oxygen as possible into my small lungs.

“Hey,” Beau said, grabbing my hand, “you’re okay. Okay?”

I blinked back at him.

Before us was a large room with floor-to-ceiling windows that showed us the city below a bright cerulean sky.

The room was bare.

The floor was concrete, cold and unwelcoming.

There was no convention here.

I turned to go back to the elevator, but Beau’s solid grasp on my hand stopped me.

I peered through his sunglasses, trying to see his bronze eyes. I was met by darkness.

“We must be on the wrong floor.” Beau said slowly. His tongue rolled the words around like marbles.

I inhaled sharply.

Remember to breathe.

In, out.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

Like five floors in a building.

Like five eyes staring at me.


I blinked several times to refocus my vision. Beau took his glasses off and I could see two big innocent eyes, framed by long blond lashes.

I tugged on his smooth, clean hand. I could feel the grooves along his palm.

He stayed where he was, stock still.

I frowned at him. I suddenly felt extremely awkward in the dress, my hair limp and my face pale.

Beau laughed.

His laugh was that of an angel, musical and contagious.

“Annalise Catherine Valencia.”

I froze at the sound of that name.

8, 9, 8.

25 letters.

My name.

“Or, better known by her pen name, Lisa Lavender.”

I shuddered.

“Lisa Lavender. It certainly has a nice ring to it. I must be honest, though, I prefer Annalise.”

Beau was staring right at me, drilling holes through my head with his eyes. He let go of me and ran a hand through his faux black hair.

His voice was ice cold.

“Author of thirteen New York Times bestsellers and two Newberry Medals. Along with fourteen others, if I recall correctly.”

13, 2, 14.

29 books.

“Raised in the Group Home for Troubled Youth from age eight to age twenty-one.”

My mouth dropped open and memories I didn’t need back came flooding through my body.

I felt like I’d been punched in the gut.

13 years.

13 years of my life I had locked away deep inside my mind.

Unlocked with just 15 words.

How did he know this?

“Tell me, Annalise, why was it you were there?”

I gaped at him.

“Oh, you won’t tell me. You’re mute. That’s why.”

My eyes are pricked with tears threatening to spill.

This man I brought into my home, this man who hid in one of my rooms for days, this man who appeared half naked on my doorstep.

It was all a lie.

There is no convention. There is no danger to this world.

There is only a danger to me.

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