Elite (Empire High, #2)(3)

Honestly, I hadn’t been to the doctor in ages. My mother didn’t have insurance. I couldn’t remember when my last checkup was. Maybe in middle school. What could it hurt to let Dr. Wilson run a few tests? My mother died too young from heart disease. My uncle too young from lung cancer. Wasn’t it better if I knew I was healthy?

I looked up at the bodyguard like he could read my thoughts. But I’d only known him a few minutes longer than I’d known this doctor with a needle. It wasn’t like I had a lot of options on who to trust.

The only encouragement he gave me was a nod of his head toward the doctor.

I pressed my lips together and turned around.

The doctor smiled. “Really. It’ll only take a few minutes.”

I slowly nodded my head. “I don’t mind making an appointment and coming in at a more convenient time,” I said. I was stalling, even though I couldn’t think of a single way out of this.

“I’m a family doctor. Your father pays me good money to be on call. Trust me, I don’t mind.” He chuckled and the sound made me feel a little more at ease. “When was your last period?” he asked and looked back down at his file.

Okay, not at ease anymore. Who just randomly asked such a personal question with zero segue? I could feel my cheeks turning red and I looked over my shoulder at the bodyguard. He didn’t make eye contact, but he also didn’t move. Apparently he was going to be here for this too.

I swallowed hard. “A few weeks ago.”

“It started or ended a few weeks ago?”

“Started.” What kind of doctor’s visit was this?

“Wonderful.” He wrote it down while still balancing the needle precariously in his other hand. “Come in, come in, don’t be shy.”

My feet guided me into the room even though my head was screaming no. The sooner I did this, the sooner it would be over. I answered the rest of his invasive questions. I tried to slow my rapid heartbeat when he scolded me for my heart racing. And I grimaced when he drew blood.

“I should have your results by tomorrow morning,” he said. “I know your father wants them as quickly as possible, and I’m not one to keep him waiting.”

“Alleged father.” I was still holding out hope that I wasn’t related to this demonic family. I touched my arm where the doctor had left the cotton swab and strip of tape.

“All will be clear soon,” Dr. Wilson said. “Did you have any questions you wanted to ask me before I head out?”

How could I be related to someone so cruel? How could my mother have fallen for a monster? Would I become one too? I shook my head.

“Very well.” He finished packing up his things, gave me one last smile, and disappeared out of the bedroom.

I went to stand, but my head started to spin. I immediately sat back down on the bed.

“Whoa, take it easy,” the bodyguard said. He took a step forward like he actually cared if I fainted. “You need something to eat. What would you like?”

I just stared at him.

“I can go grab whatever you want. Just pick something.”


He nodded.

“My legal guardian makes great empanadas. Can we go there to eat? I can show you the way.”

“There’s a great Mexican place down the street. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” He turned and disappeared down the hall.

For just a second I sat there in silence. And then I heard the ding of the elevators opening and closing. He’d left me all alone in the Pruitt’s apartment. Which basically meant he’d given me my freedom. Oh thank God. I needed to get the hell out of here.

I stood up and my head spun again. How much blood did that weird doctor take? I pressed my hand against the doorjamb as I made my way out into the hall. My fingers trailed the pictureless walls while I kept myself upright.

I hit the elevator button and waited. And waited. I hit it again and realized that there was a keypad.

The little hairs on the back of my neck rose and I turned around. I could have sworn someone had been watching me. But the apartment was empty and lifeless.

I slammed my fist against the button again. How could they leave me in here without the code to get out? What if there was a fire? I swallowed hard, knowing it probably wouldn’t bother my alleged father if I died. Wouldn’t that be convenient? He wouldn’t have to tell his wife or real daughter about me. I’d just be…gone.

A chill ran down my spine and I turned around again. “Isabella?” I hated how much my voice shook.

No one responded.

There were three ways out of here. My Isabella freak out plan, cracking the elevator code, or finding a phone and calling for help. All of them involved exploring the apartment. If there was an office somewhere, I might be able to find Mrs. Pruitt’s and Isabella’s birthdays or something. One of them could be the code. There also might be a phone in there. I liked both of those options better than actually running into Isabella herself.

I made my way back down the hall and past the bedroom I’d been in earlier. There was a hallway bathroom that was bigger than my bedroom at my Uncle’s apartment. Another empty bedroom. A master bedroom that was just as unlived in as the other two rooms. I walked up to the last door and turned the knob. It was locked. I’d checked every other possible room. There had to be something in this one. Or…someone.

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