“Yes,” Brody says. “He’s just like your fucking father.”
“We don’t know that,” Jax bites out.
“Fuck this bullshit,” Brody grounds out. “She helped murder our brother.” And when Brody takes a step toward me, Jax steps in front of him. In a blink, Brody is shoved against the wall next to the alcove.
“No!” I shout out, but Jax isn’t listening.
“Go now, Emma!” Jax orders. “Go!”
I inhale sharply, and I want to resist. I want to stay, but I also don’t want to make the situation worse. I think I am making it worse when I had the best of intentions. I do as Jax says, I rush through the room, past the stained-glass cross to my right and onward through the open doorway.
Once I’m in the hallway, I step to the wall and stay, listening. “If you ever touch her again,” Jax hisses at his brother, “I will make sure you feel pain in every way possible.”
“You’d do that over her?” Brody demands. “What is this? Are you using her to punish her family? Make this make sense to me.”
That question—is he using me—cuts and burns, and I hold my breath waiting for Jax’s reply, but I don’t have to wait long.
“I told you. She matters to me. Touch her again, and I’ll make you feel pain. And right now, you need to leave. You aren’t welcome here.”
“This is my family home, too.”
“I inherited it. I own the castle. You are no longer welcome here.”
I squeeze my eyes shut, hating this, hating to split Jax from his brother. They’re speaking again, but this time, their voices are so low that I can’t hear them. It worries me. It bothers me. I’m unsettled and cold inside, so very cold. I think I might be in shock. I think I’m running on adrenaline and headed for a crash I can’t have in the middle of the public castle. I push away from the wall and take off running. I turn down a hallway, following the stone path lined with artwork, certain I’m traveling the path I’d traveled earlier. Adrenaline pushes me forward, and it’s not long before I realize that the path has not ended in the place I’d expected. I’m now in a courtyard in the middle of the castle.
I’m lost in a castle that apparently wants to be the death of me.
I keep Brody against the wall, giving Emma time to put distance between herself and him. “I don’t know what the fuck has gotten into you, Brody, but wake the fuck up. She could have died.”
“Like Hunter fucking died?”
“She’s not her father,” I bite out.
“You were all about making them all pay,” he reminds me. “Now you’re fucking her and you’re not?”
Fuck, I need him to shut his damn mouth. “She’s an outsider, Brody. She didn’t even fucking inherit. She’s going to help us find out what the damn obsession her family has with this castle is.”
“You’re being played, Jax. Don’t be a fucking fool. They want the castle, and where did you take her? To the fucking castle. We had a plan.”
“To find out what they want. And Emma can help, but not if you make her the enemy she’s not. I’m telling you, man. You make her the enemy, you make me the enemy. I don’t want that.” I release him and step back. “Leave, Brody. Leave now. Out the back door.”
His eyes burn through me. “Hunter’s message was clear. He wrote it down: ‘The Knights cannot get the castle.’” Brody pushes off the wall and steps in front of me. “You’re fucking her, and she’s going to fuck us. Mark my words. I’m not letting your pussy high ruin us.” He steps around me, and I rotate to watch him leave the room. And holy fuck, at least he listens and cuts toward the rear exit, away from Emma who I hope like hell is in the main foyer waiting. I’m already walking, trying to get to her before she can get a car here and leave.
I reach the door, and Savage, who I’d left at the airport to follow us here in a private car, only to have him disappear, steps in front of me. “I got in this place through the side door by the parking area. You need men, Jax, because this place is a bad guy’s wet dream.”
“Right now, I need you to go back the way you came in and make sure my brother leaves. Silver Porsche. He just held Emma over the ledge of the landing and damn near killed her. Go now.”
He curses, and I cut left while he cuts right, the lost time for that conversation lengthening my strides. When the main foyer is in sight, and Emma is not, I step inside the office to find Jill behind her desk. “Where’s Emma?”