She keys in the first account, and her eyes shoot to mine. “Mr. North, as in the whiskey?” A fact she now knows because of my corporate account.

I lift a confirming hand and focus on Emma. “I need your ID.”

“Jax,” she hisses softly, only to have her phone ring. She grabs it from her purse to glance at the number. “My brother.”

She answers the call. “I didn’t think I told you I got a new phone and number.”

I frown with the same observation. How the hell does he have her new number? She listens a minute and must notice my reaction, because she whispers, “Savage left him a card. He got it from him.”

I nod and she replies to something Chance says with, “Okay. Thanks for trying.”

I’m expecting that to be bad news about Randall and after a few more exchanges with her brother, she ends the call.

I motion to Mona. “I’ll give you two a few moments,” she says, standing to exit the office, and pull the door shut behind her.

“Randall didn’t take the bait,” Emma says. “Chance thinks he’s innocent.”

An opinion I digest with a heavy dose of skepticism. “What else?”

“In other news, the deed worked. My brother wired my money, however much that is.”

“That was fast,” I say, feeling a pinch of suspicion I can’t quite douse. “Really damn fast.”

She shrugs. “He said I’d waited too long. And it’s probably not much money.”

“Why don’t you look at the document,” I suggest, “after you give me your ID.”

The stubborn woman purses her lips. “No.” She does, however, pull out the envelope, open it and scan the document. She stares at it and stares some more.

Mona knocks and re-enters. Emma quickly folds the letter and reaches into her purse, pulling out her ID. “I’ll do it,” she says. “If you go on my account, too.”

“Baby, your money is your money.”

Her jaw sets with more of that stubbornness I was just noting. “Take it or leave it, Jax.”

I laugh. “Okay. You win.” I glance at Mona and give her the go ahead. Fifteen minutes later, all the paperwork is completed.

“Write my primary account balance on a piece of paper for Emma, Mona.”

“She doesn’t know?” Mona asks, blinking at me.

“She will when you write it down on that piece of paper.

She does as I say, and I hand the paper to Emma. She gasps. “Okay. Take me off the account. Mona, take me off.”

Mona laughs right along with me. “You didn’t expect that.”

“No,” Emma exclaims. “Who expects that kind of money? That is an insane amount of money. It’s obnoxious, so it’s a good thing that you are not. Whiskey is profitable.”

“I’ve invested well.”

“Obviously.” She grabs her letter and shoves it at me. “I agreed because I thought I had something to offer. I can now buy our groceries I guess.”

I glance down at the ten-million-dollar figure and laugh. “I think you can buy more than groceries.” I kiss her temple. “Let’s go pack and go home.”

“After you take me off your account.” I stand up and catch her hand, taking her with me. “Thank you, Mona,” I say, maneuvering me and Emma out of the office.

It really is time to go home. I’m feeling the call of Maine. I just hate like hell that I’m doing it without knowing who was behind Emma’s kidnapping or who killed Hunter. There’s no doubt in my mind, though, that they are the same person.



My apartment, or rather the guts of my apartment, arrive to the beach house, by way of a moving truck a week after we arrive back in Maine. By that time, I’m talking to Chance frequently, while never speaking to my mother, and Jax and I have claimed our spots in the closet. We’ve also settled back into the routine we were in before we left. Coffee and a jog start our mornings, but now, we each have an office at the castle where we spend a few hours each day before finishing our day at the beach house.

By week two, I’m not only settled in to stay, but I’ve forgotten about clown masks and my fear of being abducted. A task made easier by the fact that on the day of our return home, Jax and Savage took me to the underground tunnel and showed me how it’s been locked down. Unfortunately, Echo is still missing, and hope fades that he will be found. Jax and I have made a habit of swinging by his place every few days because, well, we just don’t want him to be forgotten. The idea that Hunter’s memories fade into the crash of the ocean with nothing left to remember him by hits me hard and often. He was the brother I never knew. Which inspires me to hunt for a way to remember him, a gift to the castle, so to speak, of Hunter’s eternal presence. And I figure out the perfect way to surprise Jax with it soon.

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