Tanner got out. So did I.
Not me, obviously, but someone who looked like my twin.
I was stunned.
She was wearing the scrubs I’d been taken in. Her hair was down, swept to one side. She was hunched over, purposefully hiding her face, and goddamn, she even walked like me. The bitch had studied me somehow.
Her/my hand came up and brushed some of my hair back, like I do.
Like I did just now—I caught myself, and cursing, I tightened my hold on the binoculars again.
She tugged at the bottom of her scrub top, just like I would.
She stopped, hesitating, and her shoulders rolled back, just like I do.
There, across the lot, was Blade. He was too far away to see it wasn’t really me as he got out of the Chevy truck. I was impressed that sucker had even made it the whole way, and it told me he was doing this off the books. 411 didn’t know about it. If they had, he would’ve been in an SUV.
“What are you doing, Blade?”
He paused, holding his arm up to his forehead to shade his eyes. He saw Tanner and her/me, then went to his passenger door. Opening it, a girl got out—a girl… She looked like Brooke, but it couldn’t have been. He wouldn’t have done that. I knew Blade. No matter how much he might want me back, he wouldn’t trade in someone who was hiding for her life.
It went against his code as a 411 operative.
Kai leaned forward. I could feel the intensity rolling off of him.
It looked like Brooke.
Same dark hair, same build, same height as the girl I’d seen in Brooke’s Instagram pictures. But…no way. It couldn’t be.
“That’s not her,” Kai growled. He snapped a radio to his mouth, pressing the side button. “Abort. It’s not her.”
Tanner’s hand went to his ear, then shot out to the girl beside him. We heard a shout over the radio before both turned and ran back for their vehicle.
I jerked forward, but there was nothing I could do.
Sixteen floors separated us.
I glanced around, but Kai was already in my ear. “Don’t fucking think about it.”
He motioned, and the guard grabbed my arm and began dragging me away from the window—but not before I saw all the guards who had come with us swarm into the parking lot below.
“Grab both of them!” Kai ordered. “Take them to the warehouse.”
“No!” I kicked, trying to get free.
The guard wrapped his arms around me. He held me up and dragged me at the same time.
“NO!” I squirmed. Fighting.
I needed to get free. Blade was in trouble. Whoever was with him, she was in trouble too. I had to help, despite what I’d said to Kai.
I had to.
There was no other option.
“Enough! You promised!” Kai was in my face.
I shook my head. “No, no. Not my friend. You broke it. You broke your word. You never said you’d take my friend. You—” God. I was so stupid, but I knew what I was going to do.
I was insane.
As he moved closer to me, I closed my eyes, reared my head back—and head-butted him.
Except I hit air.
Opening my eyes, I found Kai standing to the side, his eyes wide open and shocked.
“Jesus Christ, get her in check!”
The motion had upended the guard’s hold on me, and I broke free of his hands.
I dropped, my body going limp, but as soon as I hit the floor, I rolled to the side.
This was so bad, so bad. I couldn’t get away like this, so almost in one motion, I tried pushing up to my feet and running for it.
Except Kai was there.
He wrapped an arm around my waist and tossed his radio to the guard. Yelling over my head, he lifted me like I was a child. “Go ahead of us. Bring the SUV around to the side door. I got her.”
The guard wavered. “You sure?”
I glanced at him, then looked again. The guard had blood all over his face. Did I do that? But then I was back to fighting to get free.
Kai held me in the air and wrapped one of his arms around both of mine, securing them to my sides, and he put his other arm around my legs. I could only try to get free the way I had with the guard, but Kai was ready for it. He braced himself, and as the guard held the door open for us, he ran for it, carrying me. He went sideways so I didn’t get hit, but I was still a battling mess.
I couldn’t even turn around and bite him, though my desperation levels were nearing that point. I wanted to rip a piece out of him, in a whole new way than I had ten minutes ago.
The elevator door slid open, and Kai carried me in while the guard remained on the floor. He dropped me to my feet, wrapping his arms around me and hooking one leg around mine so I felt like I was stuck between resting against him or falling on my face.
“Get it done!” he commanded as the doors shut.
The guard nodded, lifting the radio to his mouth.
“Goddamn you! Goddamn you, asshole!” I screamed.
He hit the button and a litany of curses left him. He moved before I could comprehend it and swung me up so my back hit the wall. He stepped in close, using his body to hold me up.
I felt even more helpless in this position.
His groin was right there, pressing into mine, and a whole different heat spread through me.
I clasped my eyes shut. No. NO!
I would not let my body go there.
He had Blade. He had the woman who’d helped him.
But, fuck—I felt him hardening against me, pushing against me.
“You fucking asshole,” I whispered, broken.
He sucked in some air, resting his forehead near the base of my neck, his mouth lingering over my artery. I felt his lips there, brushing over my skin, before he spoke.
“You and me both,” he whispered. “You and me both, Riley.”
Shit. I didn’t want this, but the fight still left me. I became dead weight in his arms.
He took my friend, my friend.
I couldn’t let him hurt Blade. I just couldn’t.
“Please don’t hurt Blade.”
He lifted his head, and his eyes softened as he took in my face.
“He’s my family. My only family left.”
His eyes darted from my tears, to my eyes, to my lips, and stayed.
He nodded. “I won’t hurt him.”
I strained against him, my arms still pinned. “You promise? You have to promise.”
His eyes jumped to mine, and he raised an eyebrow.
I cursed. “You never said a word about kidnapping my friends. Never. You just said not to run.”
“Which you did.”
“Because you ordered them to take my friends!”
“Friends? I thought it was only him you cared about.”
I didn’t know who the woman was. She didn’t look like Carol. She was taller, had a bigger bone structure than Carol’s.
“I don’t know who she is,” I admitted. “But if she helped Blade, she’s someone I’m indebted to. So yes, friends. Both of them.”
Kai’s eyebrows pulled together. When I licked my lips, his eyes moved there, his eyebrows lifting.
My neck felt warm. The heat was spreading, moving up my face until I knew my cheeks were red.
“I didn’t mean to do that.”
He grunted again. “Right. If you stop fighting me, I will not hurt your friends today.”
“Today?!” I nearly levitated my entire body off of the elevator wall, my groin grinding up on him as I did. His hand dropped down to catch underneath one of my legs.
I had a hand free, and I used it.
I balled it up and swung.
He dodged me, then let go of my leg as he caught my hand and slammed me back all at the same time.
He was rock solid. If our clothes were gone, he would’ve been inside of me, but as it was, he just held me—face to face, every inch of our bodies pressed against each other. He moved his legs out, positioning my legs wider so I couldn’t kick.
“Stop. Fucking. Fighting!” he yelled in my face.
“Stop. Hurting. My. Friends!” I spat back.
His eyes bulged.
Sexual desire pulsated through us. It was heavy in the elevator, and it was alarming, dangerous, but there was more. There was real anger, because if I’d had a choice between fucking him or slicing that knife in his throat, I would’ve taken the knife in a heartbeat.
But I also wanted to fuck him.
My God, I was twisted.
Tasting my own disgust once again, I turned my head away and closed my eyes. I willed that animal lust out of me, but it wasn’t going away. It was hot and heavy and pulsing, and I bit back a moan.
Just then, the elevator stopped and the doors opened. I opened my eyes.
Standing in the entryway, with four guards around him and guns pointed at him, Blade stared back at us.
“Are you fucking him?” Blade hissed.
We were sitting in the middle of the van. Guards surrounded us. The woman was in front of us, sitting with her head down and shoulders hunched forward. Her hands were in her lap as if they were tied, but I knew they weren’t. Blade’s weren’t either. That was a liberty given to them.
I refused to glance over at Kai, who sat near me, his back against the side of the van beside his men. He almost looked like one of the guards—dressed the same, the same stony expression on his face.
“No. And we can talk later.”