I kept repeating it over and over in my head as I put the car in drive and pulled out of the parking lot. The whole way home, I constantly looked over my shoulder and in the mirror to make sure no one was following me. The drive was normally only fifteen minutes, but this one felt like an eternity since every set of the lights I came to turned red.
I finally pulled up behind Undisputed and parked in my usual spot. Leaving my things on the front seat, I climbed out and made my way to the back door, my legs feeling unsteady with every step I took.
I yanked the door open and relief washed over me as I stumbled inside and bumped into an extra table Jay kept in back. The whole thing rocked, and the tray of glasses on top of it slid to the floor.
“What the hell,” Kelsey said, coming through the door, stopping when she saw me standing in a sea of broken glass. “Ali? What’s—are you okay?”
The moment she said my name, everything came undone, whatever energy or adrenaline I had used to get home was no longer with me. My legs shook, and as I began to collapse, she hurried to my side and caught me. “Jay!” she shouted. “Jay, get back here, now!”
A few seconds passed before he pushed through the door. “What is it now, Kel—Ali?” he said, rushing forward and taking me into his arms. “What the hell happened?”
I buried my face against his chest and curled my hand around his shirt, the tears flowing as a small sob rocked my body. I never felt safer than I did when his arms were tightly wrapped around me. I never wanted him to let me go.
“No idea. I heard a crash, came back to see what happened, and found her. She just collapsed,” Kelsey said, taking a step back.
He smoothed his hand over my head, and when he spoke, his voice was soft. “Baby, what’s going on? What happened?”
The door swung open as Hollie and Vince entered, their eyes landing on Jay and me and then all the glass on the floor. “Lockhart, don’t cry, it’s just a little bit of glass,” Vince said with a laugh, but it quickly faded as he held his hands up. “Whoa, tough crowd.”
Hollie elbowed him in the ribs and looked at me. The worry was clear in her eyes. “Ali, what happened?”