They were laughing and joking when they returned to Paul’s house and everyone headed for the media room.  Christina hurried to the computer hoping she’d received a message from Theresa and Brandon regarding the trip home along with an update.

She signed onto her account and jumped in alarm.  “Mom!  Mom!”

Eilea, Paul, and Andrew stopped turned and seeing her ashen face hurried to her side.  “What is it?”  Eilea called as she hustled toward her.

“Look!” She turned away covering her mouth.

Paul was the first to speak.  “God damn it!”

Included were pictures of their excursion to the fair, particular of Christina on the ride then eating cotton candy a happy smile on her face.  Her picture had a big X written across the front in what was meant to look like blood dripping from the corners.

Paul picked up his phone to call headquarters and upon getting the geek squad asked someone to come to his house immediately following a brief explanation.

“Paul this is ridiculous.  Why is he targeting Christina when his beef is with me?”

“I’m no psychologist but I assume it’s a back-handed slap at you.  You love her, she looks remarkably like you and he’s deriving some sort of sick pleasure out of hitting back without physically hurting you.  I imagine that’s next.”

“Paul!”

“They deserve to know the truth.  You are the object of his desire.  He has less control now and lashing out at what he perceives as a loss of your affection which is at odds with what he wants.  The more he attacks those you love, the less you’re going to want him, even though he knows the result, he can’t stop himself.   He can guarantee your undivided attention by threatening those you love most.”

“I’m surprised he didn’t do this and more to a picture of me.  I’m the one standing in his way if he looks at it honestly.  I’m taking your attention, kids love you but it’s not the same kind as he’s after.”

 

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