“Dad visited a lot of people. They aren’t dead. Hunter killed himself. Suicide was the official cause of death. And yes, I looked into it when Jax started sniffing at your heels.”

He looked into the official cause of death. I swear a chill goes down my spine. There are so many ways that feels problematic to me that I have to set them all aside to analyze them later. And to keep from yelling at him now.

“What was dad’s interest in Hunter?” I ask, setting a trap. His answer should be: his interest was in the property, not Hunter.

It’s not. Instead, he says, “Just let this go. Please fucking let this go.”

Please and fucking in the same sentence.

I know him. That combination is a sign of stress.

Not good.

In other words, there’s something there that he doesn’t want me to find. “I love you, Chance. You are my blood and my brother, but Randall took a plane, came here, gave me seventy-two hours to come home, or he’d hurt Jax in some way. Randall is your man. He speaks for you.”

“I’ll handle Randall.”

“That’s not an answer.”

“You didn’t ask a question,” he says.

“You know what question you didn’t answer, Chance. Maybe I need to look in the journal you so desperately want for answers.” I don’t give him time to object. “Was Randall speaking for you?”

“No. I told you. I told him not to go there.”

“So, you knew he wanted to come?”

“For the second time, yes, Emma,” he snaps. “I knew. He had it in his mind that he’d go there, throw you over his goddamn shoulder, and bring you home. Then we could both stop worrying about you.”


The two of them.

“How did you know he was here?”

“Because he wouldn’t answer his phone and I called the airport. He took the private jet. Don’t you see the distress this has us under? Randall is sneaking out with the private jet, Emma.”

“Randall is threatening your sister, Chance,” I all but growl at him. “That should be your concern, not the plane.”

“Why do you think I keep telling you to come home?”

“So, I should come home, but if I could please get the castle signed over to you first, you wouldn’t turn it down, right?”

“Enough with the castle.”

“Chance,” I breathe out. “Talk to me, please. What is really going on?”

He’s silent a few beats. “Come home and we’ll talk.”

“Because you can’t talk about this on the phone?”

“Come home.”

I swallow hard. “If I’m not back in seventy-two hours, then what? Do Jax and I suddenly die in a car accident?”

“Don’t say shit like that.”

“Fine then. How about this? Don’t tell me what’s really going on. I don’t need to know. You aren’t getting the castle, but Jax isn’t coming after you or us. I promise you. He’ll promise you. Whatever Randall thinks he’s got against us, he won’t use it. He and I—Jax won’t do anything that will hurt me.”

“Until he does. A man can make a woman think a romp is love.”

“Did you really just say that to me? Who are you?”

“Your brother,” he snaps. “It’s my duty to say that to you.”

“End this, Chance,” I plead. “Whatever it is. Tell me how to help end this.”

“An end is exactly what I want,” he says. “This call isn’t getting us there. Which is why I’m hanging up. Come home. We’ll talk. Not until then.” He hangs up.

Come home.

How many times did he say that?

Why does he need me home so badly?

I push off the railing and shove my phone into my coat pocket, before walking back to the door and stepping inside the living room. Jax and Savage are at the fireplace talking. They both stop and turn to me. “How did it go?” Jax asks.

“He called to ask me if Randall was here. He said he told him not to come, but the private plane was missing.”

Savage laughs. “We’re following them both, remember? Your brother dropped Randall off at the airport himself.”

In other words, Randall didn’t threaten me and Jax. My brother did. He just used Randall as the weapon to deliver the bullet. Because that’s what this feels like: a bullet, shot by my brother, right into my heart.



I watch as Emma pales with Savage’s words, and by the time the shock has transformed into anger, flushing her cheeks and lighting her green eyes, I’m in front of her. I know where her head is. I understand. Chance lied to her, he’s shut her out, the way Hunter shut me out, and that cuts. It makes you bleed. I cup her face and tilt her eyes to mine. “Don’t write off your brother over one lie that you don’t yet understand. Because the one thing I can say for certain, that me and your brother have in common, is that we both want to protect you.”

Tags: Lisa Renee Jones Naked Trilogy Erotic
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