So, even though she’d longed for a man who wouldn’t balk at taking orders from her, she was going to have to turn him down. It was the best chance she had at rescuing Zalika and Jacek.
While she knew in her head what needed to be done, she dreaded what she had to do next.
When Cam didn’t respond right away, Marco took one of her hands and squeezed. “Camilla? What’s wrong?”
She pulled her hand away from his and cleared her throat. “I have a plan, but first I need to tell you more about Richard.”
He tried to take Cam’s hand again, but instead, she slid off his lap and walked toward the fountain.
He knew Cam was upset, but he didn’t like her pulling away from him. He only hoped it was temporary, while she focused on rescuing her friends, because if Cam thought he was going to give up after all the progress they’d made, she had another thing coming. It was more than being able to tell her everything, or that he was attracted to her—Cam’s complexity both fascinated him and forced him to actually be himself.
When she stopped in front of the fountain, Marco stood up. “So tell me about the asshole ex-boyfriend.”
She kept her back to him. “I told you how I used to cover the retreat of other teammates in the Fed League, but what I didn’t tell you was that I was usually covering one of Richard’s operations.” She leaned over and skimmed her fingers across the top of the water. “He’s very good at getting into places he shouldn’t, and then disappearing without a trace.”
So far, so good. Marco could handle that.
Cam straightened and looked over her shoulder. “He’s also very good at pinpointing weaknesses, and exploiting them. When I decided that I didn’t want to be an assassin, I ran to Richard and asked for his help in leaving the Fed League for good. But instead of helping me, he tried to use Adella again, to try and ‘convince’ me to stay, saying he couldn’t lose me like he’d lost his sister to the AMT.
Only because my Uncle Alex had people watching my cousin—people I later learned were connected to DEFEND—did Adella survive.”
Richard was a grade-A asshole. No wonder Cam didn’t trust people. He was going to have to work hard to fix that.
Marco took a chance, went up behind Cam, and wrapped his arms around her. She tensed, but then leaned back against him. He gave her a gentle squeeze before he said, “Then let’s work together to get the bastard.” He created a stream of water around them and continued. “No matter how good he may think he is, I’m probably better.”
Cam merely leaned against him and watched the water encircling them for a few seconds before she took a deep breath, straightened, and said, “Get rid of the water.” When he did, she pushed against his arms and Marco released her before she walked a few feet away and faced him. “Don’t underestimate what Richard can do. Something happened to him two years ago that made him snap. My guess is he’s more dangerous than before.”
“Get to the point, Camilla.”
There was a blue streak and then he felt Cam behind him, with her claws on his throat. She whispered, “I’m truly sorry, Marco, but I can’t risk him using you as a weakness against me.” He felt her claws prick his skin. He was about to draw on his elemental magic to shift the situation to his favor, but then his vision blurred.
He barely managed to say, “What did you do?” before the world went black.
Millie Ward waited for Larsen to leave again the next morning before she climbed out of the bathroom window and inched her way up to the roof.
Petra asking for her help yesterday had been the last thing Millie had expected. While she and Petra had occasionally been on neutral ground with respect to clients and targets, they’d certainly never trusted each other enough to work together.
Yet a part of Millie hoped Petra held up her end about the call to Jax, because Millie was curious about this “friend” Petra would risk everything to rescue.
She reached the top of the roof and peeked over to see Petra standing on the far end, alone. Millie checked to make sure her heavy can opener was accessible—even an unconventional weapon was still a weapon—and pulled herself up to the roof. “Brandt.”
Petra half-turned toward her. “So, Ward, do you have an answer?”
Millie raised an eyebrow. “I won’t say anything until I’ve rung my brother.”
Petra took out a mobile phone and offered it. “Just be quick. They’re planning to move you tonight, which means we have to leave here as soon as possible.”
Petra hadn’t slipped the information about moving her from this location on accident—it was a type of down payment of trust. Good to know.
She carefully approached Petra and took the phone before dialing the secret number Jaxton had for family emergencies. She heard the, “Your call is being forwarded,” before the phone started ringing. One ring, then two. I know it’s early, but pick up, Jax. Finally, on the fourth ring, Jaxton picked up.
“Jaxton, it’s Millie.”
“Millie, where are you? Are you okay?”