He doesn’t budge. “Who is ‘they’ and how did ‘they’ contact you?”

“I don’t know who ‘they’ are. The man in the photo. Oil people. The Underground. It could be any of them but right now I don’t even care. I just want to know what 111 tells me before they kill him.”

“How do you know they plan to kill him?”

“Meg. She showed me a note and a text message. That’s how she got me to go with her. That’s why I used the ID. There was no time to travel and I had no resources for a new one. I have to figure out what they want.”

“We need to think before we act. They’ll be watching. They could take whatever you’re after from you and kill him.”

“If they haven’t already.”

“They won’t kill him if they think he’s the way to motivate you to give them what they want. And they won’t kill you if they think you know what that is. Chad isn’t a fool. He’s knows how to spin information.”

I shove his chest. “We can’t just stand here. What I’m thinking of might not even be what they want. I have to get it. There’s no time.”

“I just told you. They aren’t going to kill him if they think you have what they want.”

“You don’t even know who ‘they’ are or what they want so you can’t be sure.”

A knock sounds on the door and Liam’s voice follows. “Amy.”

My heart lurches, and a mix of dread and absolute happiness fill me but Jared pulls me to him, keeping me grounded in the reality of my life and the hell I live in. “What ‘they’ might do is kill lover boy out there as an example and leave Chad alive. Get rid of him. Tell him you’re f**king me. Tell him that you used him for money to save your brother. Whatever you have to say, you get rid of him. And if you can’t, be worried he’s one of them. Understand?”

“Yes. Yes, you’re right.”

He studies me a moment, his stare probing, then sets me away from him, reaching for Berta. “Why do you need that?”

“Amy, damn it, open up,” Liam shouts.

Jared ignores the demand and answers me, “Making sure neither of us end up dead,” he replies, walking toward the door. There’s a grace and comfort to the way he handles the weapon that says experience. Lots of experience. He is far more than a hacker and I suddenly want to warn Liam.

I turn for my purse, intending to reach for my weapon, but I never get the chance. Jared unlocks the door and it bursts open. Tellar stalks into the room, and his empty shoulder holster is resting over his t-shirt and jeans, his gun pointed at Jared.

I blink and Tellar and Jared are split at the foot of each bed, both stiff-armed and pointing weapons at each other. Watching them, I back against the nightstand but then Liam steps into the room, and I see no one but him. In distressed jeans and a pale blue t-shirt, he oozes exactly what he did the first night I met him. Money, power, sexy, but he is so much more to me now. He is compassion, trust...love.

His eyes land on me, and I see the terror he has felt for me and the relief that washes over him that I am here and safe. He steps toward me and I start for him. That’s when Jared shouts, “Go anywhere near her and I’ll shoot your buddy here.”

Liam freezes and Tellar promise, “You’ll take a f**king bullet doing it.”

I glance between them, the long-haired renegade that is Jared and the bulkier military man with a buzz cut that is Tellar, both with jaws set, both with steady hands, and I truly believe they are each just as willing to pull the trigger of their weapons.

“Amy,” Liam says softly, easily commanding my attention, those aqua-blue eyes finding mine. A storm erupts inside me. I love him. I love him with all my heart and I cannot let him die. I won’t let him die.

“Go away, Liam,” I force myself to order. “I’m not with you anymore. I’m with Jared. I was always with Jared.”

“You don’t really expect me to believe that, do you?”

“It was about your money,” I press, but the words are lead on my tongue. “I needed it to get to my brother but it’s handled. He’s safe and you and your arrogant, bossy self can just go away.”

His gaze slips to Jared and back to me “So you’re f**king him?”

“I...yes. Yes I am.”

“While you’re pregnant with my child.”

I ignore Jared curse’s at the surprising news, and stay focused on Liam, “Why do you think I was so pissed when you didn’t use a condom?”

I hit a nerve and anger hardens his handsome face. “Whatever you’re doing, stop.” His voice is ice laced with pain and it’s just too much. This is all too much. I hurt. I do not want Liam to hurt. Regret shakes me to the core and I do not know what insanity made me listen to Jared. There is only one way to handle Liam and this isn’t it.

I grab my purse and fumble with the flap, pulling the gun from inside. Liam doesn’t move. He stands there, unmoving, unreadable. I point the gun at Tellar and Jared. “Both of you get out.”

Tellar curses and Jared flicks me a shocked look. “Amy--”

“I won’t kill either one of you but I’ll shoot you in the legs and knock some of the damn testosterone out of you. Now, get out! Fight outside. Figure it out and let us figure it out.”

“Get out, Tellar,” Liam orders softly.

Both men hesitate and seem to come to a silent understanding. They harness their weapons and head for the door. It shuts behind them, leaving Liam and me alone.

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