Page 22 of His Hostage

Track, Walsh and the boys have been coming up with a plan on how to take down Monte and get this Warren guy out of the picture. The two of them are bad for this town, but the fact that Warren is after my girl makes this a whole new threat. One that I won’t sit back and wait to come to me.

We planned on meeting at first light to hit Monte where it hurts the most, but it looks like we’re moving that timeframe up now that Jules has gone missing. When I pull up at the docks I jump out and rush inside to meet everyone.

“When was the last time you saw her?” Jonas immediately hits me with questions when I walk through the door and begins to write things down on the blueprints in front of him.

I check my watch and curse. “About five hours ago.”

“Where do you think she went?” Levi moves next to Jonas and waits for me to answer.

These two are the youngest of the group, but they are the most knowledgeable when it comes to technology and breaking into security systems.

“Her apartment.” I wrack my brain to think of anywhere else she might have gone but come up with very little. “Maybe back to Monte’s, but I can’t imagine why. She must have needed something from her apartment, something sentimental. She wouldn’t have any other reason to leave me.”

“You sure about that?” Track is off to the side in the shadows with his arms crossed and I take a step towards him.

“I’m fucking sure.” I clench my fists at my side as he pushes away from the wall and walks over to the table.

“It’s not you I don’t trust, brother.”

“If you trust me, then you trust Jules.” I stare hard at him and it’s a long moment before he looks away. I glance around to the group and wait for each of them to look up. “She’s it for me, and I know she feels the same way. You guys know me better than anyone and you know I don’t make a decision to love someone on a whim.”

They all nod and I realize I’ve just said out loud what I’ve been feeling inside since the moment I met her. I didn’t want to put words to it, not yet at least, because I didn’t want to scare her. But now that she’s gone and I’m afraid I’m going to lose her, I wish desperately that I had told her those words before she left my side.

“I love her, and if anything happens to her, I want the four of you to put me in the ground with her.”

“Cooper, you can’t say that,” Walsh says as he steps forward and I hold up my hand.

“What would you do if something happened to Jane and Carly?” I wait and see the flash of pain cross his eyes before he blinks it away. “Okay then.”

It’s not that I want him to picture something bad happening to his wife and my goddaughter, but I need everyone to understand that if this goes south, I don’t want to come out on the other side of it.

“Are you really willing to die with her?” Track asks, and I answer without hesitation.

“Yes.” I put my knuckles on the table and lean over to make sure he can see my face. “I won’t survive without her. I knew that the moment I took her from the parking lot, and I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life.”

“Then it’s simple,” Jonas says, smiling at me. “We get her back.”

I nod, knowing there is only one solution to this problem and only one outcome I’m willing to entertain.

“Exactly,” I say as I flip the page on the blueprints in front of him and point to her apartment. “This is where she went, but it’s been too long so they must have gotten her.”

“And you’re sure?” Levi asks, scanning the page. “We don’t want to risk going into this blind if there’s a chance she could be somewhere else.”

“If she’s there it’s a trap,” Walsh says as he and Track come over and look at the plans.

“It doesn’t matter, I have to check.” I can hear the plea in my voice and they all look at one another before they nod.

“The best way to do this is to come from the south,” Jonas says, pointing at the map. “There’s a fire escape on the apartment next to hers, and you could probably make that jump.”

“Probably?” I raise an eyebrow at him.

“Only one way to find out.”

Chapter Twelve


By the time we get our gear and get to the apartment I feel like too much time has passed. It’s dark out and everything is quiet. I’m on edge as we park a distance away from her building, but I see a light on in her window.