After Nick is long gone, I walk over to my car. When I get in, I crank it up and throw it in gear. I need to be a good distance away from eyes before I check where Tessa is.
Once I’m a few blocks from the club and see I don’t have a tail, I pull over and check her messages. I see I missed a few and then they stopped. I text back immediately, not wanting her to think I was ignoring her.
Me: Hey, little fox. Sorry. I had a meeting that ran late. What are you up to?
I wait to see if she reads the text message, but it just sits there, delivered, and I think I should try again.
Me: I want to spend all day together, so send me your address. If you’d cook for me, that would be great, but I would also like to take you out as well since we have the time.
I wait a few more seconds after it’s sent before checking her tracker. But I’m losing my patience.
I grit my teeth, my jaw nearly cracking when I see Tessa’s at Coco’s. It’s the club Nick goes to a lot and where he said he met Harper a few times before. That place is crawling with trashy guys looking to get sucked off at the tables and fucked on the dance floor. I’m sure it looks nice with all the leather seats and chandeliers, but it’s as seedy as they come.
I can’t figure out what in the fuck my girl is doing there.
Me: Tessa, where are you?
Me: Are you okay?
Me: Tell me you’re alright. I’m worried.
Finally, the messages all pop up as ‘read’, and I wait while the little bubbles tell me she’s typing.
Tessa: Fuck off, asshole. She’s busy.
Me: Who is this? I want to talk to Tessa.
Tessa: Sorry, Sean. Her mouth is occupied ;)
My foot is on the gas and my tires are screeching before I’ve read the last word. I don’t know who’s got her phone or what kind of trouble she’s in, but I’m on my way to her. I don’t like that my one way to track her is in someone else’s hand. I wanted to wait and give her a chance to ask me to meet her out, or for her to tell me where she is. That had been my plan when I found out she already had stuff going on tonight. I don’t know how I’ll explain the fact that I knew exactly where she was, but I’ll figure it out. What’s most important is making sure my girl is okay. It’s all that matters at this moment. Everything else can go fuck itself.
I won’t have her separated from me like this again. The pain and panic running through my chest right now has my adrenaline pumping and my anger on edge. I’m ready to rip someone’s throat out, but I’m worried something is wrong with my girl.
The drive should take about twenty minutes, but it’s Friday night in downtown Chicago, and I’m having a hard time getting around the traffic. I’m constantly checking my phone for more texts and switching between that and her tracker to see if she’s moved.
I finally find a break in traffic and pull up outside the front of the club. The valet comes around to take my keys, but I don’t hand them over. I just give the kid a hard stare and he steps away. The head bouncer comes over as I step up on the curb, and he holds his hand up to the kid.
“Oak.” I nod to him as he lets me pass, leaving my car exactly where I parked it. He and I go way back, and if I’m pulling up outside this club, it’s for a good goddamn reason. I don’t hang at places like this unless I have to, usually if I’m working a job or con.
Just as I reach the door, it’s pulled open for me and I walk straight into the club. Oak is by my side now, and I tell him what I need.
“I’m looking for my girl. Redhead, curvy, name’s Tessa. She’s here with a regular, her name’s Harper.” He looks around for a second and then points across the dance floor. I spot her in half a second, something pulling me to her. Moving towards Tessa, I toss a thanks over my shoulder to Oak and make my way around to her table on the other side of the club.
There’s a sea of people here, and it’s loud as fuck, but I don’t take my eyes off my girl.
She’s leaning back in the booth, the small table in front of her littered with empty glasses. Her head is resting on the back of the bench, her dark auburn hair piled up, revealing her neck. Even from across the room, I can see she’s got a ton of make-up on. Jesus, has she been crying? It looks like the dark black around her eyes has run down her cheeks a little. As I get closer, I can see she’s wearing something strapless, but her lower half is covered by the table. I grit my jaw tighter when I see the amount of cleavage she’s showing. No one should get to see that but me. I’m ready to stab out every eye that so much as looks her way. That is only for me to see, and I know who came up with the outfit.
As I get even closer, I look around her table and see Nick is there. Clenching my fists, I continue to push through the crowd, trying to get to them, pushing off anyone who tries to grab for me. It looks like just the two of them are at the table, and I see him leering at her. Just as I approach, I see hands come up around his waist from under the table and realize that must be Harper under there.
I don’t want to scare Tessa, but I need her out of here, and I won’t negotiate. She turns her fuzzy eyes to mine, and I see the moment she realizes it’s me. The shock is clear on her face.
I pull off my leather jacket and lean down to help her put it on. I don’t say a word to her, and she doesn’t fight me.
I help her up out of the booth just as Harper comes up from under the table. Nick looks at me, and if I didn’t have Tessa in my arms, I’d fucking shoot him dead.