I think of the panic in Jax when he found me just now. I think of the panic in him last night when he remembered his brother holding me over the ledge. “I told you I was going to explore,” I say, turning to him and sliding my arms under his jacket. “I didn’t mean to scare you. The doors must not have latched right. The wind must have blown them open.”
“I should have told you to stay put,” he says, stroking my hair. “At least until we know who left you that little gift this morning.”
“The envelope?” I release him, and I’m back to looking between both men, looking for answers in their faces that they aren’t offering in their words. “What was inside it that has you both this on edge?”
“What about what just happened with Echo has you this uptight?” Savage counters.
“You’re avoiding an answer,” I charge, motioning between them. “You two were freaking out before you even knew about Echo. Like I’m in danger.”
Jax pulls me close. “Echo’s a good man but loyal to the family. What did he say to you?”
Another obvious avoidance that has me demanding, “What was in the envelope, Jax?”
“Nothing,” Savage says. “Nothing was in the fucking envelope.”
I step toward Savage and poke the big brute’s chest. “I’m serious. What was in the envelope that you weren’t supposed to look inside of?”
“You’re a feisty one, aren’t you?” Savage asks, glancing at Jax over my shoulder. “Not sure I want to put a gun in her hand like you do.”
“What does that even mean?” I demand, turning to Jax again, focusing on the one answer that feels the most important. “What does that mean? Why do I need a gun that, for the record, I don’t want?”
His hands come down on my arms. “Savage and I just had a conversation about this while looking for you. I want you to learn to shoot.”
“No,” I say, without hesitation. “I don’t like guns, and fear isn’t forcing me to start liking them. What was in the envelope?”
Savage makes a frustrated sound and answers, “Nothing means nothing.”
I try to whirl on him, but Jax holds me steady. “He means that literally, baby,” Jax says.
I blink, confused. “Nothing?”
“It was empty, which means it was meant to scare you or—”
“Someone took what was inside,” Savage adds, “and we had no cameras in place to let us see who.” He steps to our profiles again, right beside us. “Now what the hell happened with Echo?”
I answer Savage, but I stay focused on Jax. “He said ‘You. I can’t believe it’s you.’ like he knew me.”
Jax’s eyes narrow, and something flickers in their depths, but it’s there and gone before I can name it. “The entire staff knows you’re here,” he says, a logical reply that somehow doesn’t match what I just saw in his eyes. “I’m sure that’s what he meant.”
I dismiss his dismissal, shaking my head, and fold my arms in front of me, angling toward both men. “No. No, it was more than that. It was as if he’d seen a ghost.”
Savage and Jax exchange a look, and Jax motions for Savage to leave. Savage grumbles something unintelligible and then says, “The electrical team will be here in half an hour.” With that, he strides away.
Jax catches my hand and steps into me. “Let’s walk and talk.”
It’s only then that I remember his meeting. “How did it go with Sawyer? Why was he here?”
“He found out you were here.”
My eyes go wide. “Then someone told him. Brody maybe. Or Jill. Or even Echo. Someone who wanted me out of here. Does everyone here hate me, Jax? Do they all believe my family did something to Hunter? Is that what this is about?”
“I don’t believe it was Jill, Brody, or Echo. But it pains me to say that it could have been a staff member he’s paying to report back on our operation.”
“And you want to do business with him?”
“Wanted Emma. Wanted. All of that is past tense. You know that.”
“Are you done with him?” I hold up a hand. “No. No, don’t answer that. I meant it when I said you need to take care of your business. I support you. I trust you.”
“I’m done with him. He doesn’t know it yet, but I’m done with him.”
“What does that mean?” I ask again.
“He wants to ruin your family, baby. I need to find out how and stop him. I need to keep him close right now. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
I’m suffocating in enemies. I’m suffocating in hate. Even Jax came to me out of hate. Everyone around me has an agenda, and as a Knight, this is nothing new. I’m my father’s daughter, and the implications of that mean more now than ever. I let myself believe he was a hero, and maybe, had I seen the truth of who and what my father was, I could have stopped Hunter from dying. God, did he do it? Did he kill him?