Page 36 of Claimed (For Her 3)

“Thanks, I guess,” Jay says leaning into me. “But the truth is, he put himself there. Not me.”

“Wait. So are you admitting you cheated?” McCoy says, trying to spin this back in his favor.


“Sorry, buddy. You lost,” I say, feeling smug.

“Never bet against Jordan. You know that,” Paige says as Ryan carries her over his shoulder out of the building.

I don’t even want to know what him carrying her is about, and we all ignore it. It’s practically normal behavior for the two of them.

“Fine. We’re out. See you tomorrow,” Sheppard says as he and McCoy leave.

Since I’m the last one out, I lock up and then hold Jay’s hand as we walk to the train.

“Nervous?” I ask, feeling her pulse on her wrist.

“Nope. Just excited,” she replies as she tucks her phone back in her bag.

Chapter Seventeen

Jay

We take the train to Brooklyn, and Jordan leads me to a cute neighborhood with family homes on tree-lined streets. He tells me about growing up here as we walk, and I can picture it. Kids are still running the sidewalks and riding bikes.

“This is me,” he says, pointing to a little brick house with a front porch and purple flowers lining the beds.

“It’s adorable!” I exclaim, and I mean it. It’s charming and sweet, and it feels like a part of him. So, of course, I’m going to love it.

Love him.

The words play over in my head as he takes my hand and leads me inside.

“Pop, we’re here!” he shouts in way of greeting.

We walk down a short hallway, and he stops to kiss his fingers, touching them to a picture hanging on the wall. It’s of a beautiful dark-haired woman, who I know instantly is Jordan’s mom. Beautiful high cheekbones, straight nose and a small dimple.

“You look just like her,” I say, wrapping my arms around his waist.

“Wait until you see my dad.” He kisses the top of my head, and we walk through the kitchen and out onto a back patio.

“Pop!” Jordan yells as we step out.

All at once the mood changes from happy to panicked. Jordan’s father is slumped over in his seat with blood on his head. We both rush to him, and all hell breaks loose.

“Call 911,” Jordan says, and I do it without hesitation.

My hands are shaky as I hold the phone, and Jordan starts CPR on his father. The operator is in my ear, but it’s all a blur. I have to ask Jordan for the address and then shout it into the phone and tell them to hurry.

Panic is rushing through me, and my heart is breaking as I watch Jordan work on him. He’s counting out the beats, and I’m praying like I’ve never prayed before that help gets here in time.

This isn’t supposed to be happening. This can’t be real.

Before I know what’s going on, the ambulance is here and they’re telling Jordan to get out of the way. I hold on to him with all my strength so that the medics can get to his dad and help save his life. Jordan has done all he can do, and it’s in their hands now.

“We’ve got a pulse!” one of them shouts, and I thank God.

They bring in a stretcher and then carry him out in a blur. Everything is happening so fast. I hold on to Jordan’s hand as we follow them. Jordan climbs into the back of the ambulance and holds his hand out to me.

“Only one family member,” the medic says, looking at me as they load up.

“Go. I’ll lock up the house and be right behind you,” I say.

I see the torn look in his eyes, and I want to go with him, but I can’t.

“Right behind you,” I say again, and he nods.

There’s fear like I’ve never seen in his eyes, and I pray again that everything will be okay. I watch for a second as they pull away and listen to the sirens blare.

I run back into the house and make sure everything is turned off. There was a pot on the stove, so I’m glad I came back in. I straighten up the back porch in case Jordan comes back here later. I don’t want him to have to take care of it.

It’s then I realize that the chair was still sitting up when we came in. I had assumed Jordan’s father had hit his head, but how could he have done that if he was still in his chair? It all happened so fast that now I’m not able to recall the detail properly. Maybe I’m misremembering…

After I’ve double-checked everything, I lock up the house and flag down a cab. I tell the driver the name of the hospital the medic said they were going to and text Jordan that I’m on the way.

Me: In the cab. Be there soon.

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