Breathless (Merciless 3) - Page 13

Grinding my teeth together, I keep my back to Daniel as he answers me.

“Addison was ready to run; I could see it.” He looks full of guilt and remorse as he stares out of the window, watching the car lights die in the thick of the forest as they move farther along the road.

Taking them away from us.

Taking her away from me.

Even glancing at the lights, so small and faint in the distance, shoves the knife deeper into my chest.

“So, I called him and asked if he would mind.” He shrugs, attempting to refute the devastation of what’s happened. It’s clearly written in his expression, but he continues, “He’s never used it and it’s close, it’s contained, and easily defended.”

“Do they really think we’d let them go?” I ask him, feeling a surge of control again. She’s never leaving me. Never.

“I’m sure Addison knows better.” The urgency in Daniel’s voice compels me to look back at him. He’s leaning against the window now, facing the door to my office and staring at it aimlessly. “She’ll try to leave, so we need to watch for that too.”

“Always watching…” I mutter and then add, “For enemies coming and for our women leaving.”

“Look at you, even now you care about her,” he points out and Daniel’s remark catches me off guard. “More than you admit to her.”

“I just don’t want them to have her.”

A withering, sad smirk tugs at Daniel’s lips, making him look even more miserable. “Our women.” He repeats my words and the tension tightens around my chest. “Is there a difference with what’s between Addison and me, and Aria and you?” he asks me in a voice laced with accusations.

“I love Addison,” he tells me before I can answer, his breathing quickening as he struggles to hide the pain of watching her leave him.

He looks at the floor for only a moment, shoving his hands into his pockets before looking up at me and asking me outright, “Do you still love her?”

A beat passes, but only one. A single beat inside my chest and I know the answer. I breathe the word at the same time as the door opens and one of my men enters.

“Boss,” Jett calls out my title while knocking on the open door.

“Do you have an update?” I ask him with an eyebrow cocked, looking at his knuckles on the door and wondering why he fucking bothered to knock.

Nodding his head and straightening his shoulders, Jett answers me without hesitation. Daniel’s restless, leaning against the window then kicking off of it as he listens to the soldier. Jett’s one of Eli’s men. Eli’s a lieutenant, the rank given to the men we trust implicitly to lead other men in our crime family. And Jett’s the soldier he left behind to see that everything fell into place with him gone.

The four of us, my brothers and I, we each have two lieutenants and the area we claim is split four ways. It keeps things clean and organized. All of the men who work for us call me boss though. I’m the one and only boss.

Yet this motherfucker listened to Jase. Jase gave an order that directly countered mine, which should have been absolute, and this asshole listened to him.

A tic in my jaw starts to spasm as I remember, feeling the heat and anger of what happened only hours ago stir hate into my blood once again.

I can see the moment Jett realizes I’m not over that little stunt. His pupils dilate, and he stutters over a word before talking faster. That’s what happens when you’re fucking scared.

I have to remind myself that they didn’t know. Jase is the one and the only person responsible.

“Eli and Cason are in the first car, and there are three decoy cars even though there’s no trace of anyone watching or following.” He swallows, and I can hear the dry gulp of his throat as I imagine tearing it out.

Jase defied me.

They followed his orders and didn’t know of mine.

I remind myself of that fact, bending down to snatch another book off the floor and rein in the rage. Someone needs to have the piss beat out of them for what happened.

Slamming the book on the shelf, I see Jase’s face. He let them go. Everyone will know that she put a gun to my head because of him.

“Would you like me to help— “

“No,” I cut him off in a single, low breath, devoid of any emotion.

“Does ‘anyone’ include Romano’s men?” Daniel questions and I watch for Jett’s reaction, setting another book on the shelf. “Or better yet, who knows where Aria and Addison are going and that they’ve left the premises? Name every single man.”

“Eli and Cason’s men, the ten of us,” Jett’s quick to answer him and then stands silently at attention again. His gaze darts between the two of us, waiting for any other question or orders. The way he stands is firm and upright, same as Eli. But there’s a nervousness about him that I don’t like.

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