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“Come with me,” Elizabeth asked and slid her arm into Jack’s, leading him out of the clinic with no resistance.
“Wait, come back,” Ryan called out behind them, but Elizabeth heard Diane’s heels as she put herself between Ryan and them.
“You’ll be answering to me first, Mr. Ryan.” A surge of pride in her friend twisted and blended with concern for Jack– to reveal such a thing now, of all times.
“It’s alright, Elizabeth,” Jack comforted her the moment they were outside the clinic, answering her unspoken question. “That was the only way.”
“I–” She blinked in surprise, finally giving way to a sigh and rubbing her forehead. “I want to understand. The only way to what?”
Jack took a deep breath, looking back to the clinic door. “Protecting Jasmine. Andrew has been researching me. He found out I was sold as a baby and everything after that. And he was going to kill my mother for it.”
That impenetrable calm he carried in a crisis showed itself even now– with what should have been his own family. Elizabeth reached out to his arm, squeezing gently.
And Jack smiled. “Really, it’s alright. She’s safe because he knows I’m safe. That’s all he needed to know.”
Judging from the distant shouting from within the clinic, Ryan felt differently. But Jack’s level-headedness was contagious and Elizabeth felt herself smiling.
What do you want to do, Elizabeth?
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