Ruger’s stupid f**king club. First Em got stabbed and now we’d been kidnapped. It was like some horrible virus, creeping in and destroying everything it touched without warning.
If I got out of this alive, I was never touching Ruger again.
I couldn’t be with a Reaper, no matter how much I wanted him. I couldn’t allow this to be a part of my life. It couldn’t be part of Noah’s life, either. If Ruger wanted to see my son, he’d damned well leave the club out of it.
As for me? I was done with him. Well and truly done. I knew it in my gut and in my bones—any man whose reality included women getting kidnapped wasn’t good enough for me. He wasn’t right, no matter how he made me feel.
I closed my eyes tight as Em screamed again.
I woke with a start as the bed dipped.
Where was I?
I heard Em’s voice and it all came back.
“You okay?” she asked. I opened my eyes to find her sitting next to me. I studied her, looking for signs of abuse or crying.
She didn’t look like a rape victim, though. She looked pissed as hell. If anything, she was prettier than usual, her cheeks full of color and her hair wild and free. Early morning light filtered in through the window. Hunter stood in the door, eyeing both of us, face unreadable. I couldn’t believe I’d actually fallen asleep.
“I need the bathroom,” I said, my voice hoarse. God, I felt hungover.
“Can she go to the f**king bathroom?” Em asked Hunter, her voice cold.
“Yeah,” he said, walking toward me. She stood and moved out of his way, putting as much distance between them as possible. I tried not to flinch as he unlocked me, rolling away as quickly as I could despite my aching muscles.
“C’mon,” Hunter said. “Both of you.”
Em took my hand and we walked out of the room together, her fingers squeezing mine. I wanted to ask if she was all right, find out what had happened. No way I was going to talk in front of him, though.
We turned into the small bathroom, which didn’t have a window. Em shut the door behind us, pausing long enough in the doorway to glare at Hunter in some kind of silent battle. Then the door shut.
I rushed over to the toilet, incredibly relieved.
“Oh my God,” I whispered, looking over at her. She ran her hands through her hair, then crossed her arms and rubbed up and down. “How are you? Did he hurt you?”
“My pride? Definitely,” she said, eyes snapping. “Not physically. I can’t believe this. Seriously—I can’t believe how stupid I was. I actually invited him to come and meet me. I made it so easy. Idiot.”
I didn’t reply, washing my hands as we swapped places, then cupping them to take a drink. My mouth was all cottony.
“Do you have any idea what’s going to happen to us?” I asked. “Skid scares the crap out of me.”
“Did he hurt you?” she asked, her voice sharp.
“That’s good. This is a pretty f**ked-up situation,” she said. “Toke—he’s the one who cut me at the party—he’s gone off his rocker. This shooting thing makes no sense to me at all, but if it really happened, we’re screwed. Nobody knows where Toke is, not even Deke, and he’s Toke’s president. They’ve all been looking for him since the party. Cutting me was not okay, and Dad wants to make sure he pays for it.”
“Shit,” I muttered. “So your dad couldn’t give them this Toke guy, even if he wanted to?”
“I don’t think so,” she said slowly. “I mean, he’s really protective of me. When Toke hurt me like that, Dad lost it. If Dad could find him, he’d be found already. We’re pretty f**ked here, Sophie.”
“Do you think they’ll hurt us?”
She considered the question.
“Liam won’t,” she replied. “I mean, he won’t hurt me. I don’t think he’ll hurt you, either.”
I cocked my head at her.
“You do realize he was lying to you all along, right? Just because you liked him doesn’t mean you can trust him, Em.”
“Oh, I know that,” she said quickly, then shook her head ruefully. “Believe me, I’m well aware that I’m the f**kwit who got us into this.”
“You’re not a f**kwit,” I said forcefully. “He’s a liar and he’s good at it. Not your fault that he targeted you.”
It was the Reapers’ fault, but I figured rubbing it in wouldn’t be particularly helpful.
“Doesn’t matter,” she said. “But I’m serious—I really don’t think he’ll hurt me. I’m more worried about Skid.”
“It’s his brother they’ve got,” I told her. “His real brother. I think he wanted to hurt me.”
“You guys okay in there?” Hunter called through the door.
“We’re fine,” Em snapped, startling me. “Give us a f**king minute, ass**le!”
My eyes went wide.
“That was pretty bitchy,” I hissed. “Do you think that’s smart? Maybe I’m reading the situation wrong here, but don’t we want him in a good mood?”
She snorted sarcastically.
“Fuck that,” she replied. “I’m a Reaper and I’ll be damned if I’ll suck up to some Devil’s Jack dickwad.”
“Well I’m not a Reaper,” I said quietly. “And I’d just as soon not die here and leave Noah an orphan, so don’t piss him off.”
She looked chastened.
“Sorry. I guess I have my dad’s temper.”
“Too bad you don’t have your dad’s gun.”
“No shit, right? And I’m the good girl in the family. You should see my sister.”
“You have one minute,” Hunter called through the door. “Then I’m coming in.”
Em washed her hands and we left the bathroom. I avoided making eye contact with Hunter, who stood back and jerked his head toward “my” bedroom.
“Go in and lie down on the bed,” he said. “Both of you.”
We did what he said—although I could see it killed Em to obey—and two minutes later he had us both cuffed to the bedstead. Thankfully, he only did one wrist each, which was way more comfortable than Skid’s method.
“I’ll bring you some food,” Hunter said, tracing a finger across Em’s cheek.
She glared at him. “I’m gonna buy a bright red dress to wear to your funeral, Liam.”