I’m fucking all of the drillers. Or they’re fucking me.
“I’ll call you later,” I promised again. “Love you.”
I hung up the phone and rose to open the door.
“You okay?” he asked and I nodded, smiling warmly.
“I’m fine. It was just Alex. She was worried about me.”
“Well come back to bed,” he said, grabbing me around the waist. I saw Bash slowly opening one eye and I beamed at them.
“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be,” I promised.
* * *
I hadn’t entirely fallen asleep when the phone rang again but this time it was almost four o’clock in the morning.
Once more, I was entangled in a stock of warm bodies and I considered ignoring Alex but when she wouldn’t stop calling, I was forced to get up and answer.
“Yes?” I breathed pleasantly.
“You need to get the hell out of there. Right now!”
“Alex,” I moaned. “I told you, I’m totally—”
I hated that I’d told her the truth. She wasn’t going to relax until she had me back in the States but there was no way I was going anywhere without my boys.
“Alex,” I sighed. “I love you like a sister but—”
“They work for Mirror, Mirror.”
“Your new friends,” she hissed and I looked at the pile of sleeping men. “They’re under contract with Mirror, Mirror.”
“No way,” I breathed, retreating into the bathroom with my eyes trained on them as I moved. “They’re drillers. I’ve seen their equipment.”
“I can email you their contract,” she growled. “Seven Drawers LTD, right? That’s the name of the company?”
My heart leapt into my throat.
“Wh-what could they possibly be doing for Mirror, Mirror?” I gasped, trying to reconcile what I’d been told.
“I guess that’s something you need to ask them yourself,” Alex growled. “But I would highly recommend you get out of there, considering their employer already shot at you.”
No, none of this made any sense. Why would they lie to me? They loved me, I knew they did.
“Are you still there?”
“Yes,” I whispered.
“Please tell me you can get out of there,” Alex begged me and I knew she wasn’t blowing smoke at me. Her information was sound or she wouldn’t be telling me. No one wanted me safe more than Alex.
“I’ll figure out a way,” I murmured.
“Sasha, there is no giving the benefit of the doubt in this case. You need to go before something terrible happens.”
Why didn’t they just kill me? Was any of this real?
Humiliation and fear flooded me in a tsunami.
I’d been played by the seven men I’d trusted to protect me.
“I’m going,” I told her through clenched teeth. “I’ll call you in ten minutes when I’m out.”
I could feel a change in the atmosphere when I woke up but it took me a minute to figure out what it was that had shifted. Call it an intuition but I’d always been one of those people who knew what kind of day it was going to be, based on the way I’d wake up in the morning.
Some people might call me fatalistic but I know it’s a gift.
It was only me, Harry and Stevie in the room when I lifted my head off the pillow, really nothing out of the ordinary but as the sleepiness cleared out of my vision, I just knew…
“Where is everyone?” I yawned.
My friends eyed me with mild surprise as if they had forgotten I was there.
“Seth and Jimmy went to their rooms,” Harry replied. “Dan muttered something about food. Bash…I dunno.”
I sat up and looked around again.
“And Sasha?” I asked. “Where is she?”
The men exchanged a look as if the question hadn’t even occurred to them until that moment.
“Uh…with Bash maybe?”
A trigger of alarm sounded in my head and I rose from the bed to pad across the floor to the bathroom.
It was empty.
“Did anyone think to get her new number?” I asked aloud but again, I was met with shrugs.
“Not really,” Harry replied, slipping his t-shirt on over his ripped body. “I mean, it wasn’t really a matter of urgency when she’s going to be with one of us all the time, right?”
“Except she’s not with any of us!” I countered, anxiety mounting in me. I reached for the phone to do a room-to-room call.
“I’m sure she’s with one of the others,” Stevie told me, shooting Harry an exasperated look. “Stop having a panic attack.”
But I could feel that he was wrong. Inherently, I knew something was off.
Seth mumbled that Sasha wasn’t with him and Jimmy did the same when I dialed their rooms. I had no doubt that they both fell back asleep after I hung up.
Bash was with Dan getting breakfast at the hotel restaurant and neither had seen Sasha that morning.
“She wasn’t there when I woke up,” Bash commented and I nearly exploded with anger. By his own admission, he’d been the first one to wake.