“Nathan tried to figure out who did it, and may have met the wrong end of Liam’s guys’ boots,” Cade shrugged. “But I can neither confirm nor deny that.”

“How did you seriously manage to pull that off?” Rogan murmured.

Cade shrugged. “There isn’t a lawyer or cop alive who doesn’t know some criminals for hire, and can use those people to their advantage.” He closed the folder. “Jordan means too much to me, to all of us, and I’m not about to let her go without a fight.”

Sentiments shared. Cade had taken care of one half of the problem, and it was beyond the time to buckle down and find our girl and get her back home.

23

Harrison

Two Weeks Later

I was rushing over to Ethan’s after he had begun saying some things that were concerning and upsetting. Randomly, at about 8 o’clock the night prior, he began sending me unused profiles of nannies that we had passed on when we hired Jordan. I didn’t know if he was just trying to upset me, or if he was actually considering looking for a new nanny, but either way, he clearly required intervention.

Jordan had been gone for just shy of a month, and it was wearing on all of us. We were back to trying to juggle our jobs and manage our children’s schedules and that was nothing compared to the heartache of being apart from Jordan and not having her bright, effervescent face around to brighten all of our lives. The kids were downright depressed with her gone, and even out round robin of putting up Christmas decorations at one another’s homes had done little to lift their spirits. Our homes were dressed with Christmas trees, lights, garlands, and presents, but our gloominess doused the cheer. We missed Jordan more than any of us realized we were going to, and I still couldn’t shake the feeling that everything was my fault.

I entered Ethan’s house just after he’d gotten the twins down for bed, and he was in his den working on a glass of scotch, with a nearly empty body sitting in front of him. “Hey,” he greeted groggily, his sunken eyes and sullen expression glowing in the light of the den’s roaring fireplace. I noticed as I got further into the room, that the same profiles Ethan had been sending me, were fanned out on the table. I stormed over to them and gathered them up, and tossed them onto the flames. Ethan shrugged. “I have copies.”

“Why are you even looking at these?” I growled. “Replace Jordan? Have you lost your mind?”

“Have you lost yours?” Ethan said. “I want her back more than anything, but it’s been three weeks and she hasn’t so much as confirmed she’s alive. Fuck her. We’ll find someone else.”

“You don’t mean that,” I said to him. “I know you love Jordan, we all do. We can’t just get a new nanny. What would the kids think? What would the guys think? We can’t just forget her like she was never a part of our lives.”

“You think that’s what I want?” Ethan said, his voice rising. “I don’t want to forget her, but she’s not here, Harrison! She left. She left us, she left our kids. This is why we wanted a nanny in the first place, because we need one.”

“Put yourself in her shoes,” I retorted. “Given what she’d just learned.”

“You told us all of that shit for the first time, and we’re still here.” He stood up. “What about you? Doesn’t it hurt you that she actually believes you’re capable of something so horrible?”

The truth was, that fact hadn’t left my brain for a moment. “It does.” It haunted me to know that in the time Jordan and I had spent together, I hadn’t successfully convinced her that I was a man of honor and integrity who would never harm someone, least of all her. “But I just try and think about how I would feel to learn that someone I loved and trusted was embroiled in something so horrendous. Even if I hadn’t done it, it was still something big that I kept from her. She has every right to feel frustrated.”

“She’s doing exactly what all of our ex-wives and girlfriends did to us,” Ethan said. “Shit gets hard and she’s gone!”

I had no idea Ethan felt the way he did. Just a couple of weeks prior he was leading the search party, suddenly, he felt so jaded. Still, I knew that the situation with Jordan was different, and I could feel in my heart that we hadn’t seen the last of our blond beauty. I just had to find her. I just had to speak to her, heart-to-heart, and show her my true self and I knew she would come back home.

“We can’t just replace her, Ethan. That’s not what any of us want, you included,” I said.

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