Defiant Queen

Defiant Queen

Page 11

“Why didn’t he ask you to wire it to an offshore account? That would’ve been smarter. He’s a dumb motherfucker, but not that stupid. A cash withdrawal leaves way too many variables that could go wrong.”

She turns to pace again, dumping the remains of the whiskey down her throat as she strides along the wood floor. “I don’t have wire transfer authority and neither does Brett. Only my father does, and there’s no way in hell I could have explained to him that I needed to wire money into an offshore account. Do you realize the questions that would’ve led to? The least of which being how the hell I even got my hands on that much money?” When she comes back toward me, the strong front she’s been holding together cracks, and so does her voice. “But he said he’d kill them all if I don’t do it, so I don’t have a choice. I’m going to the bank tomorrow morning, and then, God willing, it’ll be over.”

I lower my glass to the table and step into her path, forcing her to stop and look up at me when I wrap a hand around each of her shoulders.

“Give him that money, and he’ll keep coming back for more. That’s how this works.”

“Then what the hell do I do? I can’t let my family suffer for my bad decision.”

I tighten my grip on her to make sure I have her complete attention. When she meets my gaze, I repeat the promise I made earlier. “No one will touch them.”

“Swear it to me.”

“I already did.”

“I need to hear it again.”

I give her a squeeze. “I don’t repeat myself.”

She bites her lip, and I’d give a hell of a lot to know what she’s thinking.

“Fine. But if you don’t, all bets are off.”

“You don’t make that decision. But I will make you one more promise—Brett Hyde might be back from the dead, but it won’t be long before you’re a widow again.”






Mount leads me out of the study after prying the whiskey glass from my fingers. I still can’t believe he managed to steal a barrel of the Spirit of New Orleans from one of Seven Sinners’ rackhouses. It’s not like a serious security upgrade is part of the budget right now either. I’m too busy mulling over this problem to notice that the hallways we travel aren’t the same ones I’ve been down before.

When Mount pushes open one massive black double door, I take a step inside and stop.

“This isn’t my room. I mean, my cell.”

Where the decor I’d been surrounded by before was utterly feminine, this is the polar opposite, even though it’s the same color scheme. Mount’s masculine stamp is on every detail, from the soaring glossy black ceilings that are well over three times my height, to the matching thick black molding. An enormous black leather sectional sofa takes up the middle of the sitting room, across from a massive flat-screen TV that looks like it recesses into the wall to be hidden. The coffee table is also black lacquer with gold accents. A black-and-gold liquor cabinet holds more booze than the one in his library.

That may have been his escape, but this is Mount’s home. This is where he lives, where no one sees him. His scent pervades the room, getting stronger as I take a few more steps toward the next set of double doors. I peek inside to see a bedroom.

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