Page 5 of For the Taking

“You’re safe.”

“Doesn’t answer my question.”

“You’re going to have to accept that I won’t be answering any of your questions for a really long time, if ever.”

“Why not?” she asked.

This wasn’t what she wanted. Not even a little bit.

“Let’s see, I’m the one in charge, and I can still kill you,” he said.

There was no laughter to his voice. No jokes. This man, he sounded dead inside.

For some strange reason, this didn’t scare her. It should. Did she hit her head or something?

She laughed.

“What’s funny?” He stood by the window and now she noticed the gun, but with the laughter, it wasn’t like she had much of a choice.

“It’s nothing, really.” He gave her a look. One that terrified her and she didn’t have a choice but to tell him. “Okay, fine. You can kill me, but you would have already done that. Clearly, during my medically induced knockout, I’ve seen a doctor, been taken care of. Bandaged up, and now we’re in some motel or hotel or hideout. You’ve done a lot to take care of me to just kill me now. I bet this cost you a pretty penny.”

“You after money?”

She rolled her eyes. This guy … was going to be a pain in her ass.

“David Peace is your enemy?”

He was still silent.

“Look, you really think I’m working for him right now, don’t you? Even after everything you’ve seen. You believe this.”

“I know what David’s capable of.”

She rolled her eyes. “It doesn’t matter what he’s capable of. I’m not working for him. I don’t have a death wish here. I want him dead.” Why was she still talking?

The man in front of her laughed. “You think you can kill him?”

“No. I don’t think I can kill him. What I want to know is why a stranger I’ve never seen or heard of before would save me. Have a vendetta against one of the most feared men in the city, and still help me?”

“I didn’t help you.”

“Look at me, whoever you are. I’m alive. My face looks like it has been a punching bag, but I am alive.” She licked her lips. Why couldn’t she just stop talking? It didn’t seem to matter what advice she gave herself, but there was this need to know who this man was. To at least find out if she could help him or he help her.

He dropped the curtain and stepped away from the window.

She watched as he put the gun toward his back, and she’d noticed the silencer. All he’d have to do is put a pillow over her face, and with one bullet, finish the job that had been started on her. He probably didn’t even need the pillow.

This man, whoever he was, she needed to remember was still dangerous and could kill her without even blinking.

“Who I am, you don’t need to know.”

This wasn’t going to get them anywhere.

“You know my name. I should know yours.”

“You’re not going to be getting any details out of me. Don’t even think of trying.”

He stared at the door.

Silence filled the room.

Pulling her legs up against her chest, she stared at him, wanting more answers. Getting them out of his back would be useless.

This was all … useless. Resting her chin on her raised knees, she kept watching him, hoping something would happen.

“What did David do to you? Could you at least tell me that?”


There was a time she would have craved the peace of silence, and now, she just wanted it to be gone. How ironic.

“They were beating me up. Making me hurt so when he arrived, he could rape me,” she said. “I know you don’t trust me. I get it. I guess I wouldn’t trust a total stranger either. You have no idea what I’m capable of or who I am. Thank you.”

“Why are you thanking me? That makes no sense.”

“You saved me. You could have walked away. Left me to rot. David was coming to that warehouse to finish the job. You didn’t. You’ve given me a chance. When we leave here, and if you send me on my way, I’m going to my apartment, getting my things, and running like hell out of this city.” There were plenty of towns and cities she could go. Each one would have a David, but at least she wouldn’t be near the one that wanted to fuck her, or in this case, rape her.

The man, he stared at her.

He had pretty brown eyes. Dark, intense, scary. It was kind of exhilarating to look at them. She wasn’t afraid of him, even though he’d given her every single reason to run from him, what with all the killing.

She didn’t want to.

“Get some rest. Your hand will take time to heal.” He stood up and went to guard the window again.

“I don’t suppose when you went to question my job, they gave you my paycheck.”