I simply must get her back.

This is my woman, my world. A world that will cease to exist for me if anything were to happen to her.

The rolling convoy we’re riding in is pushing it hard. Three fully armored cars. The Saudi’s are heading out of Garden city and thank fuck we are heading in the direction they are leaving.

Directly between us is a small airstrip that has enough landing strip length to accommodate a private jet. That will be Asad’s escape route.

I don’t know what the fuck to do beyond hope to hell we can gain the advantage in speed. But I doubt it. We simply can’t get there fucking fast enough due to us being so god damn heavy from the armor the vehicles carry.

“Simon, vehicle feed shows a bobtailed semi-truck ramming the lead vehicle into a building. Second vehicle had an RPG—” Marcus comes back on the line to say.

“I could have told you that, Marcus!” I shout into the phone. “If you wouldn’t have put me on fucking hold!”

“I—” he starts to say, but I quickly cut him off again.

“Get all the men you can to Landow Airstrip. It’s off of 87. I do not want you to fucking delay, get them mobile now. You won’t get there in time, but we’ll need the backup if this becomes a drawn-out firefight.”

“Simon…” he says hesitantly, “this is what negotiators are for at this point. Insurance will not cover her kidnapping if we engage with them at this point.”

“Marcus, you will be on the helicopter out there with your men or I will personally visit your grandchildren’s schools and remove them from your life. Do you understand?” I hiss out.

“Simon!” Johnathan shouts at me to get my attention. Wagging his finger, he says, “No kids. You know how Lucifer feels about that now.”

The silence on the phone gives me the bargaining chip I need though. Taking a long breath, I say into the phone, “Marcus, scratch that about your grandchildren. Just get you and your men to the landing strip now. We’ll cover any costs.”

Pushing the disconnect button on the phone, I look over to Johnathan. “Never fucking correct me again.”

“Fuck off, Spider. You know the rules of the game. I’m all for killing the fucker’s whole family, I ain’t got a qualm against it. I’ll do it because you’re a brother, but you know the kids rule. They’re sacred.”

“Brother…” I say quietly.

“Yeah, man, you’re one of us now. You got yourself hitched. Nothing left to do but drink beer and gush about soccer practice if you have daughters. Or cheer the boy on in football practice,” he says with a laugh.

Even now he considers himself a fucking family man. The fucking uncouth, disgusting bastard who’s killed almost as many men as I have killed, thinks of himself as a family man.

How interesting.

Am I one now? I’m positive with the lack of protection, Meredith has been impregnated. I felt it happen the first time we were intimate. A father. Me…

Fuck.

“I will not allow a child of mine to take part in something as lowly and dirty as football,” I say simply.

“Dude, you won’t stand a chance. Charlie is already begging me to let him play in the peewee football league. Beth is on me to let him since I got to play when I was a kid. Dirt does kids good, Simon. It helps their immune system or some shit.”

Whipping the Tahoe to the right, we speed past a minivan full of kids and one tired looking father. The convoy behind us pulls the same move as we race towards the airport.

One child, only one fucking child. There is no way I won’t eat my young if I have more than one.

Being a father… What would that entail? Love and commitment to the child, of course. A proper guidance and support system.

Do I have those qualities in me for a child of my own? I think I would. But do I want them? Do I want a lifetime of shit, drool, headaches, and other baggage?

I want Meredith and all that comes with her.

Dammit, we’re still moving too fucking slowly.

Pushing the button on my phone for Lucifer, I listen to the phone ring one time before it’s picked up.

“Simon, I’m pulling the rest of the men off their details. I have a helicopter lifting off in five minutes.”

“Good. I’ll update my men. Make sure to bring extra mags of ammunition. We’re not low, but refills are going to be needed. James is in the tailing car, but does not have a sniper rifle with him.”

“Got it, I’ll bring his baby,” Lucifer says before disconnecting.

Was it just me or did Lucifer sound almost giddy speaking about coming out to help us?

Probably is. He hasn’t been out much when it comes to these operations since Lily. Family life has slowed him. Johnathan and Andrew are the same way… They both fell into the roles Lucifer has been handing out to them.

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