Now the shock was wearing off, anger took its place.  Blowing out a deep breath she suddenly said, “Let me just say, I’m sorry.”

Before she could utter another word Paul immediately interrupted to ask, WWhat in god’s name for?”

“For this!” she gestured wildly toward the barn.

“It’s not your fault.  It has nothing to do with you.  You have no need to apologize for anything, Eilea.”  He would have taken her in his arms, but she pulled back.

“It is!  I brought this to your door.  It’s on me!”  Her expression went from anger to absolute devastation and back to anger.

“Wrong take, Eilea.  It’s completely on him!  He’s the only one responsible for his demented actions.”

“But . . . ”

“No buts about it, Eilea.  Just because he’s fixated on you and he’s a few bricks shy of a load doesn’t shift responsibility to you.  It’s ok, be angry, be livid, kick something if you want to.  Preferably not me,” he took a step backward.  “Seriously, the buck stops with him and him alone.  He’s taking his insanity out on anyone around you.  He’s trying to get you alone.  If he can sever every tie you have, whether it’s your kids, your job, your home, your family pet, he’ll do it as a means to his own ends.”

“Stalkers react in two ways.  They try to get close to you, be your best friend, best buddy,  and if that fails, they’ll contact family and other close friends to gain a hearing ear.”

“Should all attempts fail, they’ll destroy anything and everything around you in an attempt to drive a wedge between you and those closest to you, hoping to gain access and free reign.”  Taking her hands in his,  his voice became quieter and scarier if possible.  “If that bag of tricks doesn’t work, their ideal in your case “woman” isn’t turning to them for comfort, friendship or more, the scenario can become even more drastic. ‘If I can’t have you, no one can.'”

It was good there was a chair behind her because her legs suddenly gave out. Eilea knew he was keeping it real, but he pulled the rug out from beneath her too.  She stared numbly at him.

“He seems to have missed a few steps along the way, putting him in the crazy not stupid category.”

“What your saying is he’s not a typical stalker.”

“No.  His fantasies are further along or not even on the bar at this point.”

“I don’t know what to do.  If we go home, we’re putting everyone of the kid’s friends in danger.  I won’t isolate us, myself maybe, but how do I protect the kids?”

“You’ll stay here, with me, until we can get a handle on this.  I’m bringing in more people.  Under the guise of friends.  He won’t know their cops, they’re just friends stopping by, visiting, playing games, riding, whatever we do.  Some will be undercover, others by our side.”

“It’s reassuring but doesn’t dismiss the threat,” she sagely pointed out.

“No, but it lessens opportunities.  More eyes more chance of catching him.”

Page 68                                                                                         Page 66

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