By the time all my nails are polished and painted, I feel like a new woman.

Or at least, the woman I was before…

After paying and leaving a generous tip, I step out into the street and turn my face up to the sun. I enjoy the spring rays warming my cheeks for a few seconds before the three beefy guys surround me, shrouding me in shadow.

“Ma’am, it’s best not to linger,” the head of my detail, Logan, says, reminding me of the danger I’m still in.

I let out a long sigh and nod my head. I’m getting sick and tired of constantly looking over my shoulder and having my freedom restricted because I’m in danger.

But Asad is still out there, somewhere… And even though Simon hasn’t seen a blimp on the radar or heard a peep of him being in Garden City, it’s best not to take any chances.

The security guys usher me quickly to a black SUV parked between two other SUVs directly in front of the spa. They form a wall of muscle, blocking me from the street as I slide into the back.

Before I even have a chance to get my seatbelt on, they shut my door, climb into the car, and we start rolling.

One guy sits in the back beside me, directly behind the driver’s seat, while the other two climbed in the front.

Leaning against the seats and consoles are what I’m assuming are automatic rifles of some type, but I’m not familiar with guns so I can’t be entirely sure.

“Precious cargo is secured. We’re on the move,” Logan says. He’s sitting in the passenger seat beside the driver.

I can’t help but smirk at that term. Precious cargo? Me? I wonder who came up with that one…

The car I’m riding in is in the middle, wedged between the other two cars.

Honestly, three cars might be a little overkill. But given how overprotective Simon is, I should probably be glad there aren’t more.

The drive through Garden City is beyond boring. Without a phone, or anything to read, and with the guys acting all tight-lipped and professional, I’m left with nothing to do but to stare out the window.

Or pick at my freshly painted nails.

I’m really going to need to talk Simon into giving me a device of sort. I need something, anything, to connect me to the outside world.

Tall, looming buildings give way to thick, plush greenery. We’re halfway home… Shit, when did I start thinking of Simon’s house as home?

Logan suddenly speaks rapidly and my ears perk up. “What’s that, sir? Please repeat and confirm?”

The air inside the car grows tense. The guy sitting beside me grabs his gun and starts checking it.

Logan barks out, “Shit! Got it, sir!” He glances toward the driver and orders, “Route A is compromised. I repeat, Route A is compromised. Proceed immediately to Route B.”

The car comes to a screeching halt and I’m jerked forward, the seatbelt digging painfully into my chest and stomach. Only to be thrown to the side when we make a sudden and complete u-turn.

“What the fuck is going on?!” I screech as the driver slams on the gas, nearly rear-ending the car in front of us.

Pushing away from the door, I look first to the guy sitting beside me. He completely ignores me, engrossed in the workings of his gun.

Shaking my head, I turn my ire on Logan through the rear-view mirror. “Logan?!”

Grabbing his own rifle, Logan spares me only a flick of his eyes as he goes through the process of checking it. “There’s a blockade along our previous route.” The car fills with the sounds of clicks and clacks. “We’re re-routing and rendezvousing at a safe location.”

I gape at him, only understanding half of what he said. “What does that mean?”

“It means you have nothing to worry about. Everything is under—”

“We’ve got company up ahead!” the driver calls out.

“Don’t stop! Don’t fucking stop! That’s an order!” Logan roars. “Drive right through the bastards.”

I lean to the side and peer through the windshield. I can’t see anything over the big SUV in front of us though.

“Ma’am, you need to get down,” the guy beside me says, finally noticing me.

“How do you want me to get down?” I ask.

Do they want me on the floor? That seems a little dangerous.

He opens his mouth to reply but all I hear is a thunderous crack followed by a high, ear-splitting screech of metal.

My head jerks to the front but our car swerves sharply to the left.

“Get down!” the guy beside me yells and grabs me.

Yanking me out of the corner that gravity pushed me into, he rips my shoulder-belt to the side and shoves me down until I’m bent in half.

“Alpha car has been hit! Beta car is taking fire!” I hear Logan yell.

My nose is jammed so hard into my knees I try to sit up, but a big, heavy hand immediately shoves me back down.

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