Breaking Love (Broken Love #4), p.20B. B. Reid
His hand rose to push back the hood, and I could see his eyebrow lifted as if asking a question. “Something tells me you needed me here.”
I fought to keep my voice neutral and guilt free. “I wouldn’t know why.”
“Dash isn’t here,” I offered lamely.
He inhaled and exhaled as if annoyed and disappeared inside the living room. I looked toward the door that was left open and thought about bolting.
Instead, hesitant feet moved against my will guiding me to the living room where Keiran sat absently scratching his chest where his bullet wound would have been if it weren’t for the tattoo of Lake’s name. She said it was a reminder. Of what I didn’t know or care.
“Come sit,” he ordered and patted the couch next to him.
I wanted him gone, but it was now or never.
“Could I get you something to drink?” At first, I thought he would refuse, but instead, he removed his hoodie and nodded.
“I would love something hot. It’s freezing out there,” he remarked.
“Maybe you wouldn’t be freezing if you’d wear a decent coat.
“Funny. Lake says the same.”
“Oh, what do us warm beings know,” I answered sarcastically to which he found no humor.
I disappeared inside the kitchen and placed a hand over my chest to calm my beating heart. It took everything to conceal my nervousness. It didn’t help that Keiran looked at me as if he saw straight through me.
It was enough for me to reconsider and come clean, but then I thought about my brother, I knew it would be a small price to pay for his life.
While the water boiled, I managed to slip to the bedroom undetected and grabbed the powder. I stuck them both in my jeans and rehearsed once again before I crept back to the kitchen.
I nearly died when I entered the kitchen to see Keiran pulling the teakettle off the burning aisle and setting it aside.
“It’s ready,” he said simply.
“Oh. I must not have heard it from the bathroom.”
He nodded and left the kitchen. Only when he was out of sight did I begin to breathe. I prepared the tea and pulled the powder from my jeans. I hesitated and thought of all the ways it could go horribly wrong before hardening my resolve and dumping the powder in the dark, steaming liquid.
“WHAT’S GOING ON, Simon? I thought I was meeting you in Seattle.” I settled into the booth and studied his solemn expression. Just as I had been ready to board, I had received a phone call from Richard Simon saying he was here in Nevada and needed to meet. I made the detour and met him at the bar where we had initially discussed the merger.
“Change of plans. I’m looking for my daughter.”
“Really? I thought you said you didn’t have kids.”
“I said I didn’t have an heir, at least to take the reins of the company. Forgive me, but I’m old fashioned though, so I guess I shouldn’t be choosey. A few years ago, I didn’t even have a daughter but even so, after meeting her, I know running the company would be the last thing she would want. She’s a wild little beast.”
“Hmm. So why do you think she would come to Nevada?”
“She came to visit her mother who lives a few towns over a week ago and never came back.”
“Maybe she extended her visit for the holiday. I’m sure she’s fine.”
“In all the years she’s popped around, she never stayed more than a day. I try not to worry since she’s young. She probably came to gamble for all I know.” He tried to laugh it off, but the worry in his eyes overshadowed it.
My heart started beating and I felt gut punched as I began to connect the familiar dots. It had to be a coincidence but even as I tried to convince myself, I found myself blurting, “What town?”
“Six Forks actually, your town. My men are trying to find an address as we speak, but I figured you could help. You must know her.”
Only too well.
“If she only stays a day, why did you wait an entire week to start worrying about her?”
“Son, I’ve worried about her since she showed up on my doorstep three years ago with a tattered suitcase, a paternity test, eighteen years old, and said I was her father, and no answers… or questions. But I always thought one day she’d get tired of running and find her way home.”
My mouth had gone completely dry, and I fought over my tongue to ask the inevitable, “What’s her name?”
“Willow. Willow Simon.”
I frowned with confusion since Willow’s last name is Waters. “Do you have a picture?”
“Uhh, yeah.” He pulled out his phone and quickly found a picture dated three months ago. It was definitely her in the picture. She was smiling and appeared all too happy and as beautiful as ever, but it wasn’t she who had my attention. It was the fucking, smiling prick with his arm around her.
“WELL DONE, LITTLE Tree.” I was standing over Keiran’s body slumped on the couch after he had finished the tea and had slowly slipped away just ten minutes before. I had been working out the next step when the door burst open and Esmerelda strutted in.
“What are you doing here?”
“I came to collect the body.”
“Body? But you said you only wanted… a piece… of him. How did you even know?” The thought of butchering a person made me want to retch all over her Jimmy Choos and ruin them permanently. Her presence so soon had thrown a wrench in my plans.
“I told you we are always watching, and I’ve changed my mind. I must admit I had my doubts if you really could do it. I was prepared to kill you both.”
“I couldn’t do it.”
“He’s not dead,” I confessed. Esmerelda wordlessly stared at me. Rather than answer, she had one of her goons check his pulse. The man looked up and shook his head.
“He looks pretty dead to me.”
“I drugged him with a drug called Death’s Kiss. It—”
“I know what it does. It’s my product. My only question is why did you drug him instead of killing him?”
“I told you, I couldn’t do it but he’s helpless now. You can do what you want with him.” My words rushed out while praying she didn’t put a bullet in him right then and there. “I want you to leave my family alone now.”
I didn’t miss the flash of anger and malice in her eyes and reminded myself that she still had the power to hurt them.
“You’re not in a position to make demands. As I said, I want the body.” She snapped her fingers and the two men moved forward and roughly lifted Keiran’s body onto the shoulders of the biggest.
“What are you going to do with him?”
“Oh, Little Tree, your dainty little mind wouldn’t want to be bothered by the messy details. Since you left him alive, I get to play. I’m going to make him scream, Little Tree.”
And just like that, they were gone.
* * *
I had to act fast. I had no idea where they would take him. I could only assume it would be the same warehouse where they’d taken me but I didn’t even know where that could be.
As soon as it was safe, I took the elevator, hoping to make it in time. I had only a moment to wonder how they made in and out of the building undetected when I was hit with the painful reality that they hadn’t.
Just inside the lobby door laid the door guard, face down in a puddle of his own blood. To the right, the receptionist’s lifeless eyes stared ahead from his seat as blood oozed from the single bullet wound in his head.
If they could do this to innocent people, I knew she wouldn’t hesitate to harm Keiran. I mentally pushed the dead men from my mind and burst through the garage entrance. There wasn’t time to call the police so I could only hope the silent alarm they tripped when they broke through the stairway would
For fuck sake, where was the security team? It had been at least ten minutes since Esmerelda showed up, executed two people, and kidnapped an unconscious Keiran and they have yet to surface.
I hopped in Dash’s car and managed to catch the familiar van just as it turned the corner. With no cell phone to call for help, I was Keiran’s only hope for survival.
Killing Keiran had never been a part of the plan. Esmerelda taking Keiran had definitely not been a part of the plan.
When Keiran showed up I had the chance to come clean, but I couldn’t risk telling Keiran the truth because I didn’t know if he would ever go through with it. I couldn’t trust him to agree with me, and I couldn’t trust anyone with Buddy’s life so I drugged him.
Esmerelda said she only needed a piece of him as proof.
My plan was to take only a small part of him. Something he could survive without and something he wouldn’t miss.
Like a finger…
I didn’t want to butcher him any more than I wanted to kill him, but it seemed like a small price to pay for my family. For everyone.
I was prepared to live with the consequences of knowing no one would ever forgive me for it no matter my reasons, least of all him. I hadn’t planned on sticking around long enough to face the music.
But Esmerelda showing up had thrown my plan up in flames and now it looked as if he really would die.
I had only a small window of time. I knew what she meant by making him scream. She would torture him before killing him—so I was the only thing standing between him and death.
I stayed a safe distance behind until the van and lead had eventually pulled up to what looked like an abandoned warehouse.
So I had been right.
I fell back and lurked in the shadows, watching them cart him inside and wishing I had a phone to call someone. My only comfort was knowing that as soon as Esmerelda entered the penthouse, a silent alarm had been sounded. I had no clue how and if his security team would find us in time, but I had to hope.
Keiran would be coming out of his drug inducement any moment now. I exited the car and moved closer to the warehouse, ensuring I kept a low profile. If I was caught, we were both fucked.
There were no guards posted outside so I was able to approach the building. The door hadn’t shut all the way, carrying the voices from the warehouse to my position. I found a low window and peeked through the dirty glass. They were all gathered in the large open space, smoking and laughing as if they weren’t ready to commit something heinous.
Keiran had been tied down to a table and I noticed his head move slightly, signaling he was coming out of it.
“Boss, he’s waking up,” the largest man I’d ever seen spoke.
“Oh, goody. Be a dear and fetch my knives, please.”
The men snapped to attention and Esmerelda approached the table. Her hand drew back and she slapped him with sickening force. It was enough to fully awaken him.
I expected him to scream or thrash around, but he remained perfectly still as he stared up at Esmerelda.
When he didn’t respond, she made a clucking sound and moved slowly around the table. “Don’t tell me you forgot your mother,” she purred. “It certainly seems you’ve forgotten your training.”
“You’re not my mother,” he finally spoke. “I killed my mother.” The snarl as he bragged about killing his mother sent chills up my spine, and I shook my head in amazement at how he could still invoke fear when he was the one in danger.
However, I was prepared for the crushing blow to his ribs from the large man. I heard the air leave Keiran’s lung with a whoosh.
“This is The Handler,” Esmerelda boasted. “If you talk out of turn, disrespect me in anyway, or fail to answer a question, you will be sorry. I’m sure you remember all this well, Keiran.”
“What do you want,” he groaned.
“My husband, of course .Your testimony put him away for a very long time but he never got to serve his sentence, you see, because he was killed shortly after he was incarcerated. I’m sure you had something to do with that.”
“You don’t give a shit about your husband, lady.”
“Oh, on the contrary, I did. He provided me a very rich lifestyle and now, because of you, I’m a fugitive on the run and making money by supplying petty college dealers in this godforsaken country.”
“Is that why you took my niece and had my father and uncle killed?”
She smiled and looked impressed. “Sorry, slave. Wasn’t me. But I wish I had because then you would be suffering much more than physical pain before you died.” She started pacing again. “Of course… there is something else.”
“You have my daughter.”
He laughed. “I don’t have anyone and she’s not your daughter. She doesn’t even know you.”
“Where is Diana?” The patience in Esmerelda’s voice was waning quickly.
“Like I would tell you.”
Without warning, The Handler slammed his meaty fist into Keiran’s face this time. His head snapped to the side and I could swear I’d heard the sound of bones cracking. I wondered why Keiran would risk his life to protect a girl he never seemed to like. Maybe it was just a natural act of defiance. Whatever it was, it had surely just gotten him killed. Esmerelda no longer looked interested in playing.
“Check his restraints and make sure they are tight. I want to ride his lovely cock before I torture and kill him.”
Keiran didn’t move an inch, and for a moment, I thought he was out cold from the brutal hit he’d just taken, but when his fists tightened, I was able to feel relief for only a moment.
Right there for all to see, she lifted her skintight dress, exposing her bare ass. I couldn’t take it anymore. If he had to die, then I deserved to die with him. I did the unthinkable burst through the warehouse door before I could change my mind.
“Don’t touch him!” I screamed. Keiran’s head snapped and followed the sound of my outburst as well as everyone else in the warehouse. Horror flashed over his features as he gritted his teeth and attempted to sit up in vain.
“Willow?” he barely whispered.
The men quickly descended upon me, grabbing me, and forcing me closer.
I fought against my own restraints, unable to hide my disgust. This was all my fault, and now Keiran would pay the ultimate price. I could only pray they would kill me after because there would be no way I could face Dash or Lake after what I’d done.
“What a surprise, Little Tree. I have to say I’m surprised given how you betrayed your friend and all, but don’t worry… after I fuck and kill him, every man in this room will have their turn ripping you apart.” The ominous threat was followed by her soft, trickling laughter, making me sick to my stomach.
“I would advise against that.”
“Five minutes ago, I notified the police of the location of a certain fugitive. They should be along any moment now so if you’re going to kill us, you’d better get to it.” It was all a lie, but it was the only shot I had.
“And why should I believe you?”
“Why shouldn’t you? Do you really think I’d be stupid enough to come here empty handed?”
She seemed to consider my claim while I fought to keep a straight face. “Very well. If you’re in a hurry to die, I’ll be happy to oblige you. But this one,” she looked at Keiran as spoke, “comes with us.”
“Titan and Locas, untie him and put him in the van. Handler,” she called while staring at me, “you stay behind for me and take care of the little bitch. I want you to kill her slowly, but if you hear sirens, cut her throat.” With that, she rushed from the warehouse.
The two guards tasked with taking Keiran holstered their guns and untied Keiran. The Handler’s footsteps thudded across the cemented floor as he headed for me wearing a re
I took one last look at Keiran who remained perfectly still, letting the men drag his body before I was lifted from the ground and carried over his shoulder to a back room.
As soon as we were out of sight, he threw me to the ground and began unbuttoning his belt. My bones felt like they would shatter after the impact, but I managed to crawl backward across the dirty floor, scraping my hands along the way. “I don’t suppose I can reason with you, can I?” I attempted to remain calm despite my impending rape and death, but the threat was too much. I was hyperventilating by the time he dropped to his knees.
At one last attempt to fight, I kicked out and hit him in the gut. When he barely reacted, I knew I was in trouble. He dragged me to him with rough hands and pinned me to the floor.
I could no longer hold it in. My scream ripped through the air at the same time I heard commotion on the other side of the wall. Male voices screamed and then two shots rang.
I couldn’t mourn the possible death of Keiran with my own impending. I only hoped he didn’t suffer as I was about to.
The Handler disregarded it all and tore at my jeans. “No!” I screamed again when he managed to get them to my knees. A harsh backhand sent me backward. I hit the floor way too hard and couldn’t bring myself to move.
This was it.
I was giving up.
I deserved everything that would be done to me.
My only wish was that I would see Dash’s face one last time so I could tell him what I had been so scared to admit since he came into my life.
I stared up at The Handler rather than look away. It was my one last atonement for what I’d done. I sent a prayer up, hoping Keiran wouldn’t suffer too much even though I knew he would.
I barely registered my legs being forced apart and his hulking body settling between them.
I barely registered what sounded like the creak of a door opening.
But when I saw two hands grab The Handler’s neck and his eyes widen with surprise and fear, feeling in my body and soul came rushing back at once.
The sickening crunch of The Handler’s neck as it was savagely snapped filled the warehouse. I braced for him to fall forward, but he was dragged away and I was left with the vision of Keiran standing over me. His expression was fierce and his eyes, dark with rage.
Breaking Love (Broken Love #4) by B. B. Reid / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes