Blake’s lips tighten. “Believe me, none of us do.”
“Which brings me to Sara’s involvement,” Chris says. “Anything new on the storage unit incident?”
Kelvin flips open the folder. “We lucked out and got our hands on some interesting footage from a camera at a nearby business.” He pulls out a photograph, setting it in the center of the table. “This guy entered the building after Sara and exited about ten minutes after she left.”
I suck in a breath. “That’s the creepy attendant I met.”
“He’s not an employee of the storage facility,” Kelvin informs me. “He’s a lowlife PI named Greg Garrison. He was hired by someone to find the journals.”
“Who?” Chris asks sharply.
“He says he doesn’t know,” Blake supplies. “Blind cash by wire and e-mailed instructions from an untraceable location.”
I hug myself and shiver. I was right. I wasn’t alone in the darkness.
Chris takes my hand and squeezes. “You okay?”
“I am,” I reply bleakly. “I’m not so sure about Rebecca, though.” My attention flicks between Kelvin and Blake. “There are no names in the journals. I’ve read them all.”
“Yet someone wants them badly enough to hire Greg,” Blake said. “That means we need to dig for why, and use their resources to look for things we might all miss.”
“Exactly,” Kelvin agrees. “And keep in mind that there could be more journals. We’d like to dig around in the storage unit.”
“We’ll give you the combination before we leave,” Chris says.
My worst fears about Rebecca are taking root. I want these men to do whatever is necessary to find her.
Kelvin slips the picture back inside the folder. “I know how Greg works. If he killed the lights, I’m guessing it was to get the opportunity to replace your lock with one that only he can open. Have you been back since?”
As I shake my head, our food arrives. Once the waitress is gone again, I ask, “What if he did?”
“If that’s the case we’ll cut it off and replace it again,” Kelvin answers, popping a fry in his mouth.
Chris ignores his food, looking as concerned as I feel. “How worried should I be about Sara’s safety?”
I’ve completely lost my appetite. There is no way I’m eating now. I didn’t really want to in the first place.
Blake sighs, and I can tell from his tense expression I am not going to like his answer. “I wouldn’t get paranoid, but on the other hand, someone is desperate enough to hire Greg to find the journals. Add that to Rebecca being MIA . . . I would be cautious.”
“Don’t ask questions about Rebecca,” Kelvin adds. “Let us do it.”
Chris cuts me a look. “You hear that? Let them do it.”
“I’m in a position to find out things they can’t,” I object, remembering my talk with Ralph. “One of the sales reps hates Rebecca.”
This leads into us discussing the entire staff as we finish our meal. By the time we leave the restaurant, I’m eager to get out of the city, where I won’t have to look over my shoulder for a few days.
Chris and I stop back at his apartment and pack a few final things, including my dress. Jacob had already returned the journals and I convinced Chris we should take them. If he reads them maybe he’ll pick up on some clue I have missed.
With both our bags, the 911 is too small, so we call for a car service. Once we’re inside it the freshness of what we’ve learned about Rebecca has me worried about Ella all over again, and I try to call her. After several fruitless attempts to reach her, I give up.
“She’s fine,” Chris assures me, squeezing my leg. “She’s on her honeymoon in Paris.”
I manage a tight smile. “I know.”
“You don’t know. I see it in your face.” He snatches his cell phone from his belt and punches a button. “Blake. Yeah man, you got an extra guy you can have check something else out for me?”
I am beyond touched by Chris doing this for me. I remember the first time, at the wine tasting, when he told me he was protecting me, and I said that I didn’t need protection. I tell myself now I don’t, but it feels good to have a protector in my life. Maybe too good considering how uncertain I feel about our relationship.
“Sara’s friend left on her honeymoon and her phone hasn’t been working,” Chris continues to Blake. “This Rebecca thing has her thinking the worst. Can you check the airlines and make sure she left and see when the ticket says she will return?” He moves the phone from his mouth. “What’s her last name and when did she leave.”
After checking the calendar on my phone, I relay the details he’s requested. He relays them and hangs up. “We’ll have good news by the time we land.”
A small bit of the tension eases from my body. “Thank you, Chris.”
He kisses me. “Anything to keep you from worrying.”
I relax into his arms, and for the short drive I allow myself to let him be my Dark Prince, without worry of what the future holds.
• • •
Almost two hours after our lunch meeting, Chris and I finally board the plane. We stop beside the first-class seats that Chris has purchased for us and I cannot help but think of all the money he’s spent on me today.
He motions for me to claim the window seat. “I’ve had more than my share of good views. You haven’t traveled much.”