“Where’s my money?” Monte snaps, and I see Warren’s hands are empty. I guess he was supposed to bring it, but if it was three times what had been taken from Monte there’s no way Warren could carry that by himself.
Suddenly there are two men behind Warren but neither of them have bags. I swallow when I watch them pull out their guns.
“I paid already,” Warren says, stepping into the room.
He’s talking to Monte, but his eyes are trained on me. Warren is clean cut with short blond hair and baby blue eyes. I used to watch women throw themselves at him and I thought something was wrong with me because I was never attracted to him. I played with the idea of us being something, but it never felt right. I think on some level I always knew something was wrong with him. Monte’s talk about Warren calling me pure made me remember Warren talking about wanting a pure wife. A few more of the odd things Warren would rattle on about click into place.
“Takio, Uzziah. What are you doing here?” For the first time I hear fear in Monte’s voice.
“I invited them,” Warren says as he walks toward me. “Why are you on the floor, darling?” Warren holds his hand out to me and I want to smack it away, but I’m not going to provoke him. I reluctantly take it and he pulls me to my feet.
“You called them?” There’s a hitch in Monte’s voice. Neither of the men say anything, but one raises his gun.
Monte takes a step back and I take one, too. I hate Monte, but it doesn’t mean I want to watch him die. I don’t want to watch anyone die.
“You’ve been doing things you’re not supposed to, Monte. I think you forget who you work for,” one says.
“I called the people who are really in charge,” Warren says, wrapping his arm around me and pulling me into his body. “You’d only come back for more money and I’d forever be tangled up with you. You’re a grunt, Monte, and I know if I pay Uzziah that will be the end of it.” Warren sounds all-knowing when he speaks, but he’s probably right. Monte will always want more money. “Uzziah runs an empire like I do. We hold true to our word.” Warren’s gaze moves from Monte down to me. “Like me saying I would have you.”
There is a warning to his tone that’s telling me I better not fight him. I wasn’t going to, not yet at least. My hands are cuffed and there’s nowhere for me to go. Monte tries to protest, but no one is paying him any attention.
“Thank you for the information, Warren. It was a pleasure doing business with you.” Warren gives Uzziah a nod and the guy simply pulls the trigger.
I think there is going to be a loud bang but the shot is silent. I turn away, not wanting to see, and then I hear Monte’s body hit the floor.
Warren guides me away from the room and pulls me tighter to him.
“My plane is waiting. I’ll have you home before you know it.” He’s smiling happily when I look up at him. You would never think that he just watched someone die. “I paid a lot for you, Jules. Not that you aren’t worth it, but you better be ready to make it up to me. I think the plane will be a nice place to start.”
He digs his fingers into my arm and I yelp out in pain.
“Do you understand me, Jules?” He stops walking and turns me to face him. I nod, having no other choice. “Good, because I wouldn’t want to have to come back here for Cooper Ross.”
I can’t stop the small gasp that leaves me at the mention of Cooper’s name.
“I think I found something that will make you behave.” He reaches for the handcuffs and with a quick movement they fall off my wrists. “I’d kill him for touching what’s mine, but then I wouldn’t have something to hold over you. You’re not going to make me kill him, are you, Jules?” I shake my head, faster this time.
I can’t speak because I can barely get the air into my lungs. Black spots dance around my eyes as Cooper’s face flashes in my mind. He’s telling me to breathe and to be calm, just before the blackness takes me.
“If you can’t keep it cool, tell me now and I’ll take care of this myself.” Track looks at me with intense eyes and I know he’s not fucking around.
“I won’t leave without her.”
“That’s not what I’m asking and you know it.” He looks to the guys in the van and they nod. “We are all willing to go in there and get her out, but we can’t have you be a part of this mission as a loose cannon.”