Authors: Kate Allenton
Gracie patted his arm. “Thanks.”
Jamie stopped in front of her with Briggs waiting by the door. “We’ll help train. You girls will be ready in no time.”
Gracie hugged Jamie. “I appreciate that.”
Tara, Cathy, and Ethan were next to leave. They pulled her into a hug. “They came and got us. I don’t know how they found out or how much they know.” Cathy glanced up at Ethan, who had his hand placed on the small of Cathy’s back. “Ethan is going to take us back to the condo. Call me when the dust settles. We need to make a plan.”
Gracie nodded as Brody threw his arm around her shoulder. “Come on
, princess, I’m sure there’s someone you want to see.”
,” she whispered. She’d almost forgotten he was here. She’d almost forgotten he was the reason for the little stunt she’d been capable of performing. Yeah, she wanted to see him all right. She wanted to see him and beat some sense into him. She slipped from beneath Brody’s arm and stormed from the conference room with a renewed purpose. “Lead the way.”
Brody chuckled. “That’s my girl
.” He led her down the hall. “I sure have missed the feisty girl who pulls a gun on my brother for stealing a kiss. I was wondering if we’d ever see her again.”
A faint smile flicked across her face even as uncertainty impaled her thoughts
. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
She slid her card in
to the slot and pushed the door open to the room—more like jail—where they were holding Adam. He rose hesitantly to his feet as she watched the mixed emotions cross his face. Gracie turned and placed her hand on Brody’s chest. “I’d like to speak with him alone.”
Brody didn’t move. “I don’t think that’s a good idea,
princess. Ridge would kill me.”
Gracie patted his chest. “
I’ll be fine.”
Brody gave a slight nod. “I’ll be right outside.”
She smiled. “Thanks.”
She turned back to Adam
, stepped farther into the room, and glanced around. The room was set up like Jamie’s quarters had been before she moved, only missing the personal touches. A couch, two chairs, a television, and off to her right was a small kitchen. She moved to the couch and sat. “Hope you don’t mind that I’m here.”
He shook his head and sat in one of the chairs. “Gracie
, you have to know I didn’t do it to hurt you.”
Her fingers tensed in her lap
. “I know that, Adam. I just wish you would have asked first before you gave me the serum.”
He placed his elbows on his
knees; a look of tired resignation claimed his features and created a pang of guilt in her chest before his head fell forward. “I know it was wrong.” He lifted his head. “But I couldn’t take the risk you’d tell me no. Gracie these guys
leaned back into the plush couch as the knowledge twisted and turned inside her. She let out a sigh and pushed to her feet, pacing the small room. He’d taken the choice from her, but his intentions had been in the right place.
You’ve changed my life, Adam.”
He pushed from the chair and lifted his chin. “I saved it
She walked over to him and took his hands in hers. “
Yes, you did, and I wanted to thank you for that.” She squeezed his fingers. “It’s not every day your best friend comes back from the dead to turn you into a freak of nature.” As soon as the words left her lips, she regretted them. Her best friends and the man she loved all were gifted in their own right.
She let her fingers slip away. “Now what are we going to do?”
He grabbed her hands. “You have to leave! You have to run! They will see that I betrayed them and want revenge. You’ve got to get as far away from me and this place as possible.”
She stepped back
, letting her fingers slide from his, balling her fist so hard her nails dug into her palms. She felt the energy in the room and knew it was Adam. She didn’t know what gift he possessed, but it was reaching out to her, calling to her as if he was purposely pushing it her way. She mentally blocked it, thrusting the unforeseen force back at him. “I can’t leave. A lot of people, my friends and my father, could get hurt.”
He stepped forward
, eliciting her to take a step back. “Yes, you can. You have no house and no job. Now is a perfect time to disappear.”
She shook her head. “I can’t believe you’d
think I could just leave. I listened to you and ran when we were in college. I won’t do it now.”
He turned his back on her
His head fell forward as he released a sigh before turning back to her. “I know
, but I had to try.”
Walking over to the counter
, he picked up a pen and pad of paper. He spent the next ten minutes drawing her maps. One of where he’d stashed the vials he’d replicated and the other of where the head territory bosses met once a month. “You’re going to need me to do this with you. I’ve injected myself with the same serum. We’ll end this together. They’ll be too busy concentrating on me, and you can kick their asses. They won’t even see it coming.”
Gracie’s brows dipped as it dawned on her what he’d just said. “You could have escaped
. You could have used Ridge’s power and protected yourself when he came for me.”
He nodded. Unspoken words thickened the air. He reached for her hand and closed his
eyes. “This is just one of my many talents. Close your eyes and let me show you.”
Her eyes slid closed and i
mages danced before her, images from him that weren’t hers. From the awkward first time they met in front of the library at the college and the laughter they shared, what happened that fateful night on the path, when he’d spotted her at the fundraiser, and again at the compound. The next images terrified her. An image of Sinclair with a needle in his hand, sticking an innocent animal that fell over dead. Another image of Sinclair sticking a needle in a woman, who went into convulsions. It was his memories, truths she knew from seeing it though his eyes. He wasn’t lying, or trying to hide anything from her.
Gracie gasped as her eyes shot open.
“He wanted me to duplicate the serum so he could inject the rest of his army. Sinclair will stop at nothing.”
Gracie pulled her hand from his, not knowing exactly what had passed between them
, only knowing that it was important. In the images, Sinclair’s eyes were filled with hate. His eyes were the deepest brown, almost bordering on black. The color immediately reminded her of Mr. Black.
She abruptly stood
, grabbing the maps before she dashed to the door. “Stay here. I’ve got to go tell Ridge.”
He held out his arm. “No, if you get him involved, he’ll just end up dead.”
Gracie let her head drop with her hand on the door handle. “Now it’s your turn to trust me. Just stay here.”
She walked out and was met by Brody. He threw his arm around her shoulders. “Is everything
She gave him a
perfunctory smile. “Yeah, it will be.” She stepped out of his embrace and turned walking back down the hall. “I’ve got to go find Ridge. Thanks for your help.”
caught up with her, and his lips thinned into a fine line. “What did he say?”
She waved her hand. “
I’ll tell you about it later. I’ve got to talk to your brother.”
Gracie quickened her steps down the hall toward her father’s office and back out into the
intel room. She reached for his cracked door and heard her father’s harsh voice.
“What the hell do you mean you love her!”
he demanded. “Your mission was to keep her safe, infiltrate her world, and keep an eye on her. You weren’t supposed to get emotionally involved.”
“Sir, I know what you asked me to do. There was no other way. I can’t help—”
Gracie pushed the door open. A tear escaped her eye as she stepped into the room. She narrowed her watery eyes at her father. “How could you?”
She turned to Ridge and balled her fist. He jumped to his feet and reached for her, but she held up her hand. “Don’t. Touch. Me.” She stepped back toward the door and closed her eyes, trying to block out the pain coursing through her veins and her shattered heart. She felt the stir of Ridge’s energy in her fingers.
She held out her palm. She didn’t want to hear any more of his lies, any more of his excuses. “I never want to see you again.”
he turned away from him. The tears were flowing from her eyes. Several people in the intel room turned and stared with pity in their eyes. It was then that she realized they all thought of her as a fool. Who else was in on the joke?
Ridge grabbed her arm from behind and spun her around. “Gracie, you need to let me explain.”
The people in the intel room rose from their chairs, each silently watching the show. She unclenched her fist and slapped him across the face with an open palm. “Ridge, you’re a liar and a bastard.”
His cupped his
cheek, and she spun on her heels, leaving him there to stomp off toward Adam’s quarters. He was waiting in the hall and held out a hand to her. The frown on her face told her what she needed to know. “You knew?”
He nodded. “Since the first time I shook his hand.”
She grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back toward the only other exit she knew existed. “You can explain later. Let me get us out of here.”
Brody stepped in her way. “Sorry
, princess, he isn’t going anywhere.”
She sucked the energy out of the hallway and used Brody’s power against him. She lifted him off the ground
. “You were in on it?”
Brody held his arms out to his side as she held him hovering
in the air. “Gracie, put me down.”
She shook her head. “Answer my question, damn it.”
He closed his eyes and nodded. “It started out as an assignment, Gracie, but he genuinely fell in love with you.”
She shook her head and slammed
Brody against the hallway wall. “You’re lying.”
She moved pas
t him, well aware that when she was out of his view, he’d fall to the floor in a heap. She slammed the door to the utility room and clicked the lock into place. “Help me push this.”
Adam didn’t move to help her. “Step back.”
She did and watched in awe as he moved the metal shelf from against the wall. “How did you do that?”
He stepped closer to her as she
felt for just the right crack in the wall to trigger the escape door. “Brody’s on the other side of the door. I used his gift, and let me tell you, he’s concentrating real hard on that damn lock. If we’re going to get out of here, we need to do it now.”
She grabbed his hand and ran into the dark tunnel. She didn’t need a light
; she knew it like the back of her hand. Jamie had shown it to her when she was still a kid. She’d memorized it one of the times her dad had made her mad. She was going to use it to run away. Little did she know that she’d be using it for a completely different reason today.
“Where are we going?”
“It leads to the catacombs. My father has a vehicle just outside the entrance.”
Ridge hit the wall in his apartment as energy sizzled through his fingers. He’d managed to screw up big time. He grabbed the counter and let his head fall. “I should have just told her the truth.”
A light knock sounded on his door. “Ridge.” Lydia’s voice was barely a whisper. “Please open the door; it’s about Gracie.”
His heartbeat quickened as he reached for the
knob and pulled the door open. “What about Gracie?”
She grabbed his arm and started pulling him down the hall. “She’s going to a cabin
, and she’s in trouble.”
She stopped at the conference room where he found
Lydia’s husband, Thompson, Jamie, Briggs, and Brody around the table. Lydia quickened her pace as she entered the room. “I had another vision.”
Thompson rubbed her shoulders.
“This one hit me out of the blue.” She glanced up at her husband. “I wasn’t even asleep.”
Thompson rubbed soothing circles on her back.
The general stood, his body tightened with the tension they all felt. “And?”
“I saw Gracie and Adam at a cabin near Jamie’s house.”
Jamie and Briggs shared a knowing look and a nod.
“Sinclair and his men showed up.” She let her head drop and took a deep
breath. “He killed them both.”
Ridge turned toward the door as Lydia grabbed his arm. “Wait
,” she implored.
He snatched his arm free. “We don’t have time.”
“Yes, we do. It was dark outside in my vision.”
He turned back to her and glanced down at his watch. “We
only have about four hours before it gets dark. I need to find her.”
general leaned on the table, supported by his palms. “Connors, my daughter is in danger because of both of us. We’ll get to her in time. I can promise you that.”
,” the general bellowed.
The IT guy appeared at the door.
“Get me satellite of Jamie’s property and the surrounding area. I need it ten minutes ago.”
Jonah nodded and hurried from the door.
The General met Brigg’s stare. “How well do you know the area?”
Jamie stood. “We’ve canvased our twenty acres and
ten miles around the outside perimeter. We know every square inch of it.”
“Do you know where the cabin is?”
She nodded. “Probably the vacant one ten miles from our property line to the north. There are no other ones in that area that aren’t occupied.”
in perfect agreement with his wife.
in with the images rolled up in his arms. “Sir?”
the general snapped.
He held up the maps.
He hesitated as if measuring the General’s mood. “You don’t need these.”
General’s lips thinned with held back irritation. “What do you mean I don’t need those?”
“She took the SUV you had positioned outside the catacombs. It has GPS. I can locate her in minutes.”
“How do you know that?”
“I have a program that tells me where all of the vehicl
es equipped with trackers are, and that one started moving fifteen minutes ago. I didn’t want to interrupt your meeting so I’ve just been tracking it.”
For the first time since arriving on the base, Ridge let a smile form on his lips
. Releasing a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding, he patted Jonah on the back. “Well, don’t just stand there.”
general’s eyes met Ridge’s gaze, and Ridge felt some form of understanding taking place. Both of them would die to make sure not a hair on Gracie’s head was harmed. It was unspoken, but it was the truth. He knew it down to his core.
general unrolled the maps that Jonah left and placed an X over Jamie’s house. They huddled around the image as Jamie pointed to where the unoccupied cabin stood.
ped back in the room frowning with his brows dipped. “The vehicle isn’t traveling anymore. She must have ditched it.”
general glanced up. “Where was the last location?”
“Ten miles up Route 33.
It’s been stationary for the last five minutes.”
general nodded and glanced back down at the satellite. He drew his finger along Route 33 and where it passed Jamie’s house. A grin formed on his lips as he glanced up at Ridge. “She’s going to the vacant cabin.”
He glanced around the room. “We go in with caution. All of you know what she’s capable of. She could take your gifts and use them against you if she feels threatened.”
Brody reached up and rubbed his head. “And she will, trust me.”
Ridge lifted his chin. “I’ll go.”
Jamie straightened from the table. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. She’s pretty pissed at you.”
Brody pushed up from his seat. “She’ll fry your ass if you get within fifty feet of her.”
Ridge felt a rush of emotions overcome him. All of them centered on making things right again with Gracie. “I love her, and I have to try and explain. I created this mess, and I’ll clean it up.”
general cleared his throat and started pointing at the map. “Jamie, I want you and Briggs here. The rest of you here, here, and here.”
He glanced up at Thompson and Brody. “I want you two close by to stop her before she hurts Ridge. Thompson
, you take away her powers if you feel she’s going to use them. Brody, you restrain her if need be.”
They exchanged a look.
The general pushed his shoulders back. “That’s an order. Do you understand?”
They both nodded.
“The rest of the team and I will be watching the perimeter and waiting for Sinclair.”
general rounded the table and patted Ridge on the back. “She’s stubborn just like her mother. Good luck.”
He grabbed the
general’s arm. “Sir, I just thought it fair to tell you that I love your daughter. I’m not giving up on her even if I have to spend the rest of my life trying to win her back. She’s more than an assignment to me.”
al nodded and patted Ridge’s hand that held his arm. “I always knew she would be.”