Page 10 of His Hostage

I know for a fact that the mayor of Chicago helped Warren get away with dirty shit all the time. He looked the other way and pretended I was some crazy woman making things up. Cooper is paying off here, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about my well-being.

The only place I ever called home helped Warren get away with the things he did. My biggest regret in all this is I might have run away but someone else could be his next target. That’s if he has stopped chasing me. Men never do well with things they want being taken away from them. My guess is he’s still looking for me and it shouldn’t make me feel relieved, but he doesn’t need to mess with another woman’s life. As much as it eats me up inside I have no idea how to fix it. If I did, I wouldn’t be in a brand new mess. Everything around me keeps stacking up higher and higher and I don’t have a band of brothers to stand by me like Cooper does. I’m all alone and it’s something I’ve grown used to.

“You need to eat more. All you had last night were crackers.” He lifts another breakfast sandwich from his bag and hands it to me.

“What now? Are we going to drive in circles again?” I try to hold back a smile when he winks at me. Damn those green eyes. “You could take me to the bus stop and I could be out of everyone’s way in no time,” I suggest, knowing what he’s going to say.

“I’m not real sure.” He lets out a long sigh and it’s then I realize he hasn’t slept. “I guess I’m taking you home.”

“Like, to your house?” I swallow because this isn’t the city. I’m guessing we aren’t going to some apartment or condo because most people live in houses around here. The farther we drive, the closer we get to the warehouse district. “Where do you live?”

“Work.” He says it with a laugh.

It’s the weekend and no one is around here today. The normally busy streets are empty.

“As in, where you work? You live there?” I take a bite of my sandwich and I feel the wave of exhaustion hit me as well. I slept some, but I could still use a nap. I spent my time last night dozing off, watching Cooper, and thinking about how I was going to get away. It made my sleep restless and everything is starting to catch up to me. The warm food in my stomach doesn’t help with keeping me alert and awake.

“Yeah, kind of own the place,” he says nonchalantly.

We pull up to a warehouse and the sign outside reads “Cooper Inking” in big letters. I’ve heard the name before and it only takes me a second to realize he’s the other ink company left standing. Only he and Monte are left to run the show. No wonder he didn’t take a cut. He doesn’t need it. He might not be some crazy millionaire, but he has to be doing well if he owns this place. Monte makes bank and his place isn’t as big as this one.

Cooper hits a button and one of the large bay doors for trucks opens. He pulls in and hits the button again so it closes behind us.

“Home sweet home,” he says, hopping out of the car before coming around to open my door for me. He holds out his hand and I take it on instinct. I should push past him but instead his hand wraps around mine in a warm hold and I follow him willingly.

I look around inside the quiet warehouse and I can imagine what it’s like when it’s filled with over a hundred people each day when it’s open. At Monte’s I never go into the warehouse and instead stay toward the front in the office.

“Do you really live here or is this where you’re going to keep me?” I raise an eyebrow at him.

Maybe he doesn’t want to take me home and for all I know that’s where he has a wife and two kids. The thought makes my stomach turn.

“Sadly, I live here. I had a place but I was never there, so I had my mom move into it.” He shrugs. “You’ll have to share a room with me, but I think we’ve established you think I’m hot, so this won’t be a hardship.” His crooked smile is so damn sexy I have to look away from it.

He pulls me with him past the rows and rows of giant metal containers that I know can mix multiple barrels of ink at a time. This place puts Monte’s to shame.

“So it’s only you and Monte now?” I ask, not watching where we’re going. I’m trying to take in everything else.