Chapter 12.

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 I felt like a stalker. 

  Okay, strike that. I was a stalker. There was probably no excuse for what I was doing, but at this point, I was running out of options. I couldn't afford to pussyfoot around with Archer. I was down to 20 days now. Sure, that probably seemed like a lot of time to other people, but to me, that wasn't barely enough time for me to do what I needed.

 All I knew about Archer so far was that his father was in prison, his three little sister's father was dead, he had a desire to live like a hermit, and he took care of his family more than he took care of himself. 

 I couldn't even begin to understand what Archer had been through. Hell, I didn't even want to. It seemed so much more awful underneath the surface, and I wasn't so sure I could handle it. There was this large portion of my mind that was trying to convince myself that Archer's father was entirely the reason as to why he was the way he was. It would be a cop-out of the worst degree, but it seemed entirely reasonable. 

   I doubted I would have the best disposition in the world if my father had killed someone, so I couldn't exactly blame him. Even if it was going to create a tenfold of more problems, I had to know what was going on with him. How could I help him if I didn't even know what the problem was?

  No, there was definitely something else going on that he wasn't too eager to admit. I felt awful, prying into his private life, what he obviously wanted to keep a secret, but right then, I couldn't exactly find any other way around it. 

 I set my cup of chamomile tea down on my desk and dropped into my computer chair with an exasperated sigh. I felt a bad about doing this, but what can I say? I was desperate.

 I flipped open the lid of my Macbook Air (a 16th birthday present I hadn't really wanted) and waited impatiently for it to boot up. Once everything was up and running, I pulled up the internet and typed in Google. 

 After Google was loaded, I started gnawing on my lip while my fingers were poised above the keys. I wasn't so sure if I could do this. But I had to. I didn't have a choice, did I? 

  Blowing out another sigh, I quickly typed in the few words that would hopefully make this entire situation much more clearer. 

  Patrick St. Pierre, New York City 

Hundreds of results popped up instantly, and I had no idea what to start with. If I went through each and every website, I'd be stuck here for hours. So after a moment of contemplation, I decided to just go with the first suggestion - what looked to be like an article from the New York Times. 

  My heart started pounding and my palms got sweaty as the article was pulled up, flashing brightly before my eyes. It looked like a typical article from a newspaper, but there was a rather disconcerting picture included that made me stop breathing for a second. Staring back at me from the computer screen was a man who looked very, very much like Archer. Or rather, Archer looked very, very much like the man in this picture. 

  The man had dark hair and dark eyes and looked normal enough, I guess, but there was something about him that instantly gave me the urge to go run and hide in my closet with the door locked. His facial features were hard and angular, which maybe looked a little harsh, but that wasn't it. It quickly became clear a moment later why this man looked so completely frightening. The problem was his eyes. 

  His eyes were pitch black and blank, like he didn't see anything and didn't receive anything in return, either. It was like I was looking into the eyes of pure, unadulterated evil.

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