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Pacey woke with a start. His phone was across the room, vibrating. He had forgotten to take it off of silent. He looked around in a daze. What time was it? 3:15. Who the hell is calling at 3am? He tumbled out of his bed and grabbed for the phone. Seven missed calls. Shit.

Joey
Jen
Jack
Jen
Jack
Jack
Jack

Shit. He only had two messages. He clicked the first one, from Joey. His blood ran cold. It was only heavy breathing and a hang up. What the hell was that? Was she crying? He clicked the second one, from Jack.

"Pacey. It’s Jack. Listen, man, call me as soon as you get this. Joey got mugged tonight. She’s ok but she’s really freaked out. Not even Dawson can get her to really say anything or move. She only asked for you once but Jen says she thinks she’s waiting for you. I don’t know. Call me as soon as you get this. We’re here at Gram’s.”

Blind panic rushed through his body. What the fuck. His hands were shaking so he could hardly hold the phone but he clicked Jack’s name.

“Hey, man.”

“Is she ok?”

“Yeah she’s ok—“

“I’m coming now. Tell her I’m coming right now. 15 minutes.”

He hung up the phone without waiting for a response. He tried to calm himself enough to get himself together. She was safe. She was ok. What if she wasn’t ok? What if she wasn’t ok and they were just telling him that so he didn’t get in an accident or something on the way over? He frantically collected his keys and wallet and slammed out of the boat and down the docks to his car.

***

Pacey burst through the door.

“Where is she?!”

He spotted her small, scrunched up body on the couch.

“Jo.”

He rushed over to her and she stood up to meet him. He took her face in his hands, searching it.

“Are you ok? Joey, I’m so sorry I wasn’t there. I’m so sorry, I should have been there, I should have been there with you, are you hurt? I’m so sorry Joey, what did he do to you? Are you okay? I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

He was talking rapidly not knowing what he was saying and his hands were all over her body, as he patted her and looked her over, not sure what he was looking for. He just needed to make sure she was really alright, safely standing here in front of him. He realized she was standing there crying silently and he stopped, pulling her to him and covering her whole body in his in an embrace. He felt her quietly sobbing into his chest.

“I’m so sorry, Joey. I should have been there,” he whispered.

“What do you mean?” she asked quietly.

“I don’t know.” He was crying too now. “I just should have been there.”

Now that he knew she was okay the panic started to subside and a white, hot rage such that he had never felt started to slowly bubble up to replace it.

“I’m going to kill him.” He meant it.

“What?”

“I’m going to kill whoever do this to you. I will find him and I’m going to kill him.”

She let out a small, indescribable sound into his chest. She was just hugging him now, no longer buried into him. “He’s dead, Pacey.”

“What?” He looked down into her face, confused.

“He got hit by a car on his way across the street. He’s dead.”

He just nodded and hugged her back to him. He was still filled with rage but now it had nowhere to go, so he just stood there holding her for a long time.