My dad snorts, shaking his head. “Oh, stop it. And you wonder why it has taken me this long to introduce you.”

“You’ve known her for what… a month?” I laugh. “It’s more than enough time.”

I expect my dad to give me more grief, and I’m fully prepared to dish it back. Instead, he stops cold in his tracks. My blood turns to ice when I see the look on his face.

Absolute terror.

I whip my head over to see his gaze pinned to a roulette table where two dark-haired men in expensive-looking suits are playing. They both have mixed drinks on the table beside them and fat cigars in their hands.

My dad doesn’t have to say a word. I can tell by the expression on his face that these men must be from the mob family we’ve been hiding from for the last ten years.

One says something and the other laughs… just as he raises his head and makes direct eye contact with me.

He doesn’t know me, of course, so his gaze starts to slide away, but then immediately snaps to my dad.

I only have a fraction of a second to see the man frown—that look that says maybe you know someone but you’re not sure—before my father has me whipped in the opposite direction and he’s dragging me through the casino. He cuts a hard right through a line of slot machines, and we attempt to blend in with the midday crowd.

Having no clue if the men recognized my dad or if they’re in pursuit, I can’t help but continuously look over my shoulder as we make a break for it.

I can’t see anything—just people milling about—but I can’t shake the feeling we’re in mortal danger.

It seems to take forever, but we finally make it out of the casino. We speed-walk down the street. It’s half a block before we make another right and cross the street to the parking garage. Dad has an iron grip on my arm, tugging me along even though I have no problem going faster than we already are. I feel weighed down by panic, but I don’t see the men coming after us.

Doesn’t mean we haven’t been made, though.

Those men could have had other men in the casino or out on the street.

We hustle through the garage. “Give me your keys,” my dad orders.

I reach into my purse, then press them into his hand without argument. When we reach my car, we fling ourselves into it.

As Dad revs the engine and puts it in reverse, I frantically scan the area, but don’t see anything alarming. My dad doesn’t waste time. He pulls out of the spot, making sharp turns as fast as possible—without being too dangerous—to get us out of the parking garage.

“Was that—”

“Yeah,” my dad says bitterly, and it hits me… our entire world has once again been upended.

Dad pulls out onto the street. Luckily, the first light we come to is green, so we sail on through. Periodically glancing in the rearview mirror, my dad mutters, “I don’t think anyone is following us.”

“We can’t go to August’s house,” I say. “Sam’s there.”

“I know,” he replies flatly. It hits me then that we don’t have a home anymore as of this moment. “Call August. Tell him to find us somewhere safe.”

CHAPTER 25

August

“Where are they?” I ask as I burst into the front door of Jameson Force Security.

Rachel meets me, knowing full well I’m in “charge forcefully in, ask questions later” mode.

Rachel Wright is first in command at the Vegas office of Jameson, a position she ascended to when our owner, Kynan McGrath, moved the official headquarters to Pittsburgh. I’d involved her as soon as I’d gotten off the phone with Leighton.

Still not sure my pulse has returned to normal from her phone call. Fuck, from her very first words, my body had reacted because I could hear not only the fear in her voice, but also the resignation that her life was once again forced into a different direction.

“August… they’re here and they spotted us.”

I’d known exactly what she’d meant. Hadn’t needed clarification. Hadn’t questioned if she’d perhaps been mistaken. I’d taken a deep breath while willing my voice to be calm and reassuring.

“What happened?” I’d asked.

“We were just walking through the Grande Casino, and my dad spotted them. Two guys he recognized. They were playing blackjack.”

“Did they see you?”

“Yes,” she exhaled.

“Did they seem shocked?” I pressed.

“Yes,” she exclaimed. “As a matter of fact, yes… I remember one guy seemed surprised, but then Dad was dragging me off and we were running.”

“That’s good,” I reassure her. “That means this was just bad fucking luck… coincidental. Where are you now?”

“Um… we just passed the Golden Nugget. We didn’t want to go near your house, so we’re just circling around.”

“Is anyone following you?”

“I don’t think so,” she replied shakily before asking her dad, “See anything?”

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