Authors: Shannon Dermott
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used factiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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Copyright 2014 Shannon Dermott
All rights reserved.
OF THIS WORK OF FICTION ARE
AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE AND KOBO
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Table of Contents
Time melted away as I projected a calm I didn’t feel. Bailey was in the hands of someone with nothing to lose. Thus far even though hours had passed, they hadn’t contacted anyone that we knew of for ransom. So this was most likely personal. The longer she was gone, the more likelihood, we wouldn’t find her safe.
Turner’s pacing came to stop. He looked up at me with fathomable eyes that clearly spoke of volumes of love for a woman I claimed as mine.
“So who’s coming again?”
I stopped myself from rolling my eyes. I’d already explained this to him, Bailey’s father and then to the council members of the community where she’d grown up. My temper flared, but I tamped it down. He held the same fear I did.
“Matt,” I gritted. I took a second to breathe before I finished. “Lizzy, Bailey’s best friend from college’s brother.”
A hand scrubbed over his face before he nodded. “Why would he fly here at a minute’s notice?”
Frustration welled up in me. I felt the Gaelic words to express myself on my tongue. I held them back even though he wouldn’t understand them. I fought the urge to push back at the guy. It was bad enough she hadn’t chosen me. But to put up with his grilling of me was starting to crack my façade. “She’s his sister’s best friend and a cop,” I repeated in so many words.
Turner wasn’t a stupid guy. He looked at me man to man, calling me on my bullshit.
“I think he may have had a thing for her,” I admitted.
He shook his head as if to say he figured as much.
“I don’t think anything ever came of it. She’s really close to their family,” I said before I wondered why I was explaining myself.
After taking a cleansing breath, I opened my eyes to find his brown eyes trained on me. “And a security team from a company you just purchased is picking this Matt up before heading here.”
“Yes,” I said, my nerves frayed.
“You bought a company in order to find her?”
It was my turn to scrub my face in hopes of wiping the grimace off it before I spoke. “No, I escalated the purchase. I’d been looking at the company for a while.” I didn’t tell him that I’d been searching to buy a security firm to bring in-house to combat hackers and help screen future and current employees. I’d completed my due diligence weeks ago but had put off the purchase until I could clear my name of possible charges against me. I didn’t care anymore. I bought it now because it was an asset I could use to find her. He was right about that.
His eyes conveyed he wasn’t convinced. “Why are you still here? Especially after—.”
He didn’t have to finish. “Because it’s my problem.”
A fire blazed in his eyes that mirrored my own. “She’s mine to worried about.”
There was a part of me that wanted to dispute his claim. “If it weren’t for my company, she wouldn’t be in this situation. Even if it was someone else, I would be involved. I’m responsible.”
It took a few moments before he nodded. “How long before he shows up?”
A quick look at my watch revealed it would be soon. “Maybe a half an hour.”
“Fine. I’m going to take a walk.”
I watched him go and breathed a sigh of relief. His tension only added to my own. I took the opportunity to answer e-mail on my tablet, after which I made a few phone calls trying not to think about what someone might be doing to my girl. A sobering huff escaped my lips. She wasn’t my girl. She hadn’t chosen me. I wasn’t even sure why I thought I had even stood a chance against a guy she’d known her entire life.
It was her eyes. The way she gazed at me, even after I showed up. They betrayed her words in every way. I’d had no reason to doubt she would be in my arms. Instead, she’d allowed him…
With irritation, I pushed back at my hair before stepping outside to find space to breathe. I would never understand women, and I would never let another woman into my heart again. Ever.
The satellite phone buzzed in my pocket. “Glenn,” I said by way of greeting.
“ETA, five minutes.”
Unceremoniously, I clicked the phone off and headed to the path she’d most likely been taken through in the stalks. I decided not to waste time to find Turner. There was nothing he could do anyway. I had to brief the team and get them started fast. Time was not in our favor. It was more like quicksand. We had to find her alive. And although the thought of seeing her unharmed elated me, what I would have to say to her gave me a choking sensation.