Page 4 of His Hostage

I look at the van and then decide to make a split-second decision. “Grab the bags.”

“I don’t think I can lift them.” Her voice is shaky and it’s then I realize how small she is against me and she’s not lying.

“Take the one on the right.” I keep one hand around her waist as I grab a bag and she takes the other. I watch as she struggles to lift it, but she manages to get it out of the van and I slide the door closed. “You’re coming with me.”

“Coop, this is not part of the plan. Dump the girl,” Walsh says, and I ignore him.

“Cooper, listen to him. This isn’t part of the deal.” I can hear fear in Track’s voice, but I don’t respond.

“I’m trusting my gut right now, and it’s telling me to get her and get the fuck out of here,” I say, opening the car door and shoving the money into it and her after. “Meet at the spot in an hour.”

Those are the last words I say before I end the communication and get into the driver’s seat. I set the locks on the door just as she tries to open them, and pull out of the parking lot slowly. I don’t want to bring any attention to me or give people a reason to remember my vehicle. I know where the bank cameras are placed on the outside of the building and so far we’ve avoided all of them.

“Give me your bag.” Her purse is beside her on the seat and I need to know what’s in it.

“No.” Her voice is stronger than it was before.

I’ve still got my balaclava on and it makes it hard to see. I look into the rearview mirror and for the first time I see her face. Her blue eyes are so bright they’re almost the color of the sky. She’s so fucking beautiful I can hardly look at her and I’m so busy staring at her I nearly run off the road.

“Shit.” I reach behind me and grab her bag and pull it away from her.

“Just let me go. I swear I don’t know anything and I won’t say a word. You don’t understand, I have to get out of here. I can’t let him find me.”

“Monte doesn’t give a shit about the people who work for him, he just cares about his money.” I see the burner phone in her bag and toss it out the window along with the other cell phone I find in there.

“Hey!” she shouts as she reaches over the seat to grab her bag back from me.

When I get far enough away I turn down a back road and take a side street Track and I used to get high on when we were in school. It’s a dead end road that backs up to the old mill that shut down before we were born.

The sun has set and it’s dark when I park the car. I turn around to face the girl and she’s got nothing but terror in her eyes now.

“Please don’t hurt me.” I see tears form in her eyes and it makes my chest feel like it’s going to split in half.

“Hey, hey, hey.” I know I shouldn’t but I pull off my mask so she can see that I’m not going to do anything. “Calm down, I’m not going to hurt you. I just need you to answer some questions for me and then I’ll let you go.”

“Why should I believe you?”

She’s wary and it’s not like she doesn’t have a right to be. A masked man just stole her and millions of dollars from a parking lot. It’s not exactly first-date material. Why did I just have that thought?

I let out a breath and shake my head as I feel a smile pull at the corner of my lips. “Honestly I don’t know why, and nothing I can say will convince you otherwise. So why don’t I ask you the questions and we’ll go from there?”

She hesitates for a second before she silently nods in agreement.

“Do you have anything on you that’s recording this or that Monte can track you with?” She shakes her head and I look over at the bags. “Are those being tracked?”

“I honestly don’t know. I just saw them put the money inside. He was using my phone to track me but you threw that out a few miles back, so that’s really no good anymore. My other phone was one I paid for so I’d really appreciate that back.”

“Yeah, someone’s already run that over by now,” I say, ignoring her look of disappointment and annoyance. “What’s a pretty girl like you getting caught up with Monte for?”

Now she really looks pissed as she narrows her eyes at me. “First of all, I can’t work for him because I’m pretty? And second, I didn’t know who the hell he was. I thought he was a sweet old man who ran an ink business. Then today I found out just how dark this all was.” She waves a hand to the bags of money and then looks at me. “I honestly didn’t know anything about this and I don’t want any of it. I don’t want to get involved. I just want to get as far away from here as possible.”