Tears stream down my face as I let go of all the ones I’ve been holding back. “I love you, too,” I tell him. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to say those words to him again, and the ache in my chest tightens.
“I’m going to kill all of them,” Jordan says through clenched teeth.
I glance over at Stein, who doesn’t seem to care. He’s texting on his own phone.
“Jordan,” I sob.
“Listen to me, little bird. I’m coming for you,” he says, then the phone is yanked out of my hand.
I look up and watch as Stein hits the end button. I cry out. I need the phone back. I want Jordan so desperately it’s crashing on me like waves. He tosses the phone on the chair he was sitting on, and the front door opens. The man in the black T-shirt comes inside and looks at the two of us.
“Is it done?” he asks, and Stein nods.
“Good.” The man walks across the room behind me, and I don’t turn to watch. I want to seem as invisible as possible. “I’ve lined the house with explosives. I’m sure he traced the call. We only have a few minutes before we need to leave.”
My body goes cold at his words. I had thought that Jordan could track the call and find me, but I didn’t think that he’d set a trap for him.
I glance to Stein, who’s smiling down at me. “How dumb do you think we are?” That stupid cocky smile is still on his face. “We knew he’d track us. We also knew you were the loose ends that needed to be taken care of.”
I’m shaking. I just led the man I love to his death.
“Please don’t do this,” I beg. I don’t care that I’m begging a man I want to see dead. I’ll do anything to save Jordan.
Stein grabs my face. “Can I break her jaw now?” he asks the man.
I close my eyes, praying for this nightmare to be over.
“He opened the servers. We don’t need her anymore,” I hear him answer.
I replay Jordan’s voice telling me he loves me, over and over.
“Jordan!” My name echoes through the forest, and I dig my feet into the dirt.
“Don’t do it,” McCoy says in my ear as he practically lies on top of me to keep me from running to her. “She’s alive. Just hold on a little longer and we’ll get her back. You go in there now and she’s dead.”
I know he’s right, and I try to breathe through the panic. There are six of us out here on the ridgeline just a few yards from the cabin. McCoy, Sheppard, Grant, Ryan, Paige, and I geared up and made our way out here. Ryan put up a protest when Paige grabbed her guns, but one look from her and she was climbing into the truck.
We took a mountain trail that kept us clear of anyone who might be watching the roads. It took longer than I’d wanted, but we made it here undetected. After that, we hid the truck and came on foot to the edge of the clearing.
I take a breath and nod to McCoy that I’ve got myself under control. He and I are crouched down low, and we’re the closest to the entrance. Ryan and Paige are a few yards to our right under some coverage with a clear shot of the road.
Sheppard and Grant are to our left and making their way slowly to the rear of the cabin. I press the device on my neck that lets us communicate to one another. The com clicks, and I struggle to keep my voice low.
“That motherfucker is mine,” I say, and no one argues.
“We’ve got incoming,” Paige says, and I turn my sights to where they’re situated.
A black car with black windows pulls down the drive slowly. When it gets to the front of the house, a small man wearing jeans and a T-shirt climbs out. He doesn’t have a weapon from what I can see, and I watch as he goes into the cabin.
“That makes two,” Grant says on the com. “Nobody at the rear access point.”
“Copy that,” Ryan says.
All of the horrible scenarios that could be happening play through my head, and panic unlike anything I’ve ever felt takes over.
“She’s breathing, Chen. Stay calm,” Paige says over the com. “As long as she’s breathing, everything is going to be okay.”
Before I can let my mind go down any other path, my phone vibrates. I pull it out, knowing immediately it’s her.
“Jay.” I keep my voice low and hit the com so the others can hear what she says.
Her voice is barely a whisper, and I can hear all the pain and terror in the one word. Every cell in my body longs to go in there, to kick in that fucking door and save the day. But we have to be ready. We have to make the right move at the right time so that Stein doesn’t go off and kill her and Summer both before we can rescue them.