Page 8 of His Hostage

“Of course I’d get kidnapped by Prince Charming.” Her words drip with sarcasm and I keep a hold of her hand as we walk to the cabin.

“Just think of it as a mandatory vacation,” I say as I give the secret knock on the door.

“Too bad I didn’t pack a bathing suit.” She’s a smartass and I’m beginning to like it.

“Guess you’ll just have to go commando like me.” I wink at her again as the door opens and in the light I can see her cheeks flush.

“Who the hell is this?” Track is standing there, pissed and staring right at Jules.

“Track, manners. Allow the lady to get in the door before you let the accusations fly.”

“What the hell have you done?” Walsh is walking over to us as we step into the house, but I ignore him.

“Jonas and Levi, the money is in the SUV. If you guys want to get started then let’s get to work.” The two guys in the back nod as they get up from the table and walk past us out to my ride.

“Do you care to explain what the hell you are thinking by bringing her in here?” Track begins to pace and I can see his wheels are already turning.

I hold Jules’s hand and pull her closer to me. We walk into the living room. I feel Jules relax a little when the heat of the fire warms her up from the panic attack earlier and the cool night air.

I wait for Jonas and Levi to come back inside with the bags of money, and they open them and begin to divide them up.

“How are you planning to make this work?” Walsh crosses his arms over his chest as he waits expectantly for me to talk.

“She’s in trouble and I’m going to help her,” I say simply, and they all look at me like I’m crazy. “She had no idea what Monte was up to and they were just using her for the drop. You all know as well as I do that she can’t go home now and she certainly can’t go back to Monte empty-handed.”

“What makes you think she’s telling the truth?” Track takes a step toward us and I can feel Jules moving slightly behind me.

I’ve never felt so protective of anything before and it’s instinct alone that drives me to step in front of her.

“Watch yourself,” I warn, and Track looks at me in surprise. “I believe what she’s telling me is the truth, and you of all people should know that I can smell bullshit a mile away.” He thinks about it for a second before he looks around me to her and then back to me.

“Tell me you’re getting her as far away from here as possible once this is over,” he says, and the thought of never seeing Jules again causes a tightness in my chest I don’t understand.

I look back over my shoulder before facing him and nodding. “Of course,” I answer, but as soon as the words are out of my mouth I know they are a lie.

“Then let’s get this taken care of and get the hell out of here,” Walsh commands to the room and everyone gets to work.

I go into the kitchen and get Jules a soda and a pack of crackers. She needs the sugar after her crash earlier and I need to get food in her. It’s not much, but it’s something for now until I can get us out of here.

We spend the next six hours sorting the cash into bags and labeling them where they’re supposed to go.

At one point I give Jules my jacket and she sleeps on the love seat next to the fire for a while. Every now and then I look over at her and sometimes I catch her looking at me and then pretending to sleep. I wink at her and she smiles, though she tries to fight it.

“Hey, buttercup, it’s time to roll.” I look out the window and see the sun is going to be up in about an hour or so and we need to be gone before then. The coals of the fire have long gone cold and we’ve cleaned the cabin of all traces of us. It’s not likely anyone would ever find this place, but it’s better to be safe.

“How can it take so long to split all that money between you guys?” she asks as she yawns and stands up.

I laugh and shake my head. “We’re not that bad at math.” I pretend to be offended as I take her hand again and we walk outside.

My jacket is still wrapped around her as I help her into the passenger seat and turn on the heat when I get into my side.

“What took you so long then?” she persists.