The elevator opens and I dash out of the door, through the lobby, my heart racing. I don’t know what’s in this folder. I just have this sense that Chance might chase me down for it. I’ll analyze how bad that is when I see what’s inside.
All but bursting onto the street, I cut right, and thank God, for the crowd. I weave inside it and I make it a block when suddenly a man steps in front of me: York.
York’s hands come down on my arms, and to most women, he’s Mr. Tall Dark and Good Looking, rich and powerful, a man you want to touch you. For a moment, I let him do just that. For a moment, I’m remembering my nightmare, back in that dark room, a prisoner that can’t escape but I know what comes when I try: I fall to my death. For a moment, I’m paralyzed, but that darkness washes away in a gust of ocean air, the world around me exploding with honking horns, voices, the smell of salt and city. I shove against him. “What are you doing here, York?”
“It’s a busy street, Emma. Luck just brought us back together.”
“There is no luck to you and me together.”
“We both know that’s not true. Let’s go somewhere and talk. Somewhere alone. I’ll remind you how much you like being alone with me. I promise.”
“Never again. How did you get into my apartment?”
“You gave me a key.”
“I changed the locks.”
“You’re confused and we need to talk about secrets. Mine,” he pauses for effect, his gaze raking over my body, “and yours.”
I want to tell him that outing Marion for hurting my mother would be worth anything he could say about me. I do, but it’s not that simple. The company, the families that work for the company, that depend on it, would all suffer if this goes the wrong direction. And in my core, I feel a need to hold back, to see inside that folder before I do anything else.
His lips quirk. “You sure about that?”
Before I can answer, Jax is suddenly at my side, his hand catching my hip, molding me close. “There you are.” He looks down at me. “You okay?”
Now I am. Now, I can breath again. “How are you here?”
“Lucky,” he says softly.
Yes. This time luck is luck.
“Should we let Jax in on the secret?” York asks.
My gaze jerks to York. “Go away, York.”
He gives a laugh. “I guess that’s a no. Quid pro quo. You do remember what that means to me, right?” He winks and steps away, disappearing into the crowd.
Jax turns me to face him. “Are you really okay?” he asks again, rubbing my arms. “You’re trembling.”
“Can we just get out of here? Like the entire city?”
His eyes darken. “You want to leave now?”
“Yes. Now. No stops. To the airport and we leave.”
“Now it is.” He takes my hand and we walk a block to the SUV waiting on us. Jax helps me inside and I swear when that door shuts, and the vehicle starts to move, relief washes over me. It’s almost as if I’m running for my life.
Jax pulls me close but he doesn’t ask questions. The man just seems to get me. Now is not the time for me to talk. I just want on a plane. He grabs his phone and makes a call. “Now. Yes. Now.” He hangs up. “I had my pilot on standby.”
I nod, thankful, and taken by this man in a new way. He has a private plane and yet, he doesn’t flaunt his money. He doesn’t act like he’s better than everyone else. He has power. He has money. He uses both as needed, but I’m also reminded of him telling me that he knew how to use money to hurt his enemies. What if this folder makes me or my brother an enemy? I can’t show it to him now. I can’t look at it now. I won’t. No matter how much it kills me. I won’t look at it until I’m alone.
We arrive at the airport forty-five minutes after we enter the SUV thanks to traffic. I don’t know what she found out, what she’s running from, but I know enough after my meeting with Blake Walker to take some guesses. Exactly why I don’t push her to talk. I don’t give her a reason to run from me like she ran from whatever happened in that office. But damn it, that talk with Blake burned a hole in my belly while I was standing there with York. I wanted to punch the bastard but that would’ve landed me in court, which would’ve given him control he’ll never have. He just doesn’t know it yet.
The SUV pulls onto the tarmac, next to the plane and I help Emma out of the SUV. “Oh God. What about our bags?”