Harris (Alpha One Security #1)

By: Jasinda Wilder



I shot him a two-finger salute. “Yes sir!”

He tossed back the rest of his still-scalding coffee. “I’ve got to throw on some clothes so I can brief Puck.”

“When are we going?”

Nick closed his eyes, visibly counting down from ten. “Layla. You’re staying here. End of discussion.”

“End of discussion for you, maybe.”

He was in front of me, suddenly. He had my chin in his fingers, and his eyes were blazing. Not with sex, this time, but with irritation. “Do not test me, babe. I will tie you to the bed, I swear to god.”

I brightened at this suggestion. “Really? I’ve always wanted to try a little light bondage.”

“Let me clarify: I will tie you to the bed and then I’ll leave. And you’ll be stuck there until I send someone to let you out.”

I knew he wasn’t joking. But then, I don’t listen.

And Nick tying me up sounded like fun. He may leave me there, but not before he had his way with me first.

Or better yet…I knew he was heading to the LA office, since Jon and Callie lived in Malibu. I could let him think I was going to actually listen to him, and then surprise him in LA…

Now my wheels were spinning, I went upstairs to shower while Nick briefed Puck and sent him ahead to LA to work the scene. I’d have to plan this carefully, as it wasn’t easy to surprise Nick—as I’d just learned. He didn’t miss much.





2

TROUBLEMAKER





Layla was planning something. I knew it. She had that look in her eye that she only gets when she’s scheming. It was the same look she’d had whenever she used to casually refer to the location of the bunker—I knew all along she was driving herself crazy trying to find it and it was kinda funny when she actually managed it. Of course, I wasn’t about to tell her that.

Which means she’ll be trying to find a way to get in on this Lonigan op, and that I’m going to have to figure something out because I really don’t want her in L.A.. She does a great job on the information analytics side of things and, while she knows a lot, I don’t tell her everything about my work, especially when I’m personally called in. When it gets to that point, things have gotten gnarly and I just don’t want her in harms way.

In this case, Jon and Callie had been swimming in their pool when they heard a scream, and a gunshot. In the space of a few short minutes their nanny had been shot and critically injured and their daughter had been kidnapped. The kidnappers had left a ransom note. No cops, obviously. Fifty million dollars within a week, or they’d get Cleo back in pieces. The note wasn’t handwritten. It had been sent digitally, encrypted, the signal bounced all over the place, and it had included a photograph of a masked and hooded man holding the point of a knife to Cleo’s throat.

Cleo was three.

Who the fuck kidnaps a three-year old?

Sick fucks, that’s who.

By the time Jon and Callie had made it out of the pool and into the house, their nanny was near death in a pool of her own blood, and Cleo was gone. The ransom note had appeared as an email in both Jon and Callie’s inboxes before they’d had a chance to make the first phone call. They hadn’t called the cops. Instead they called a friend of theirs to get my number, and then they had called me. I’d done security for this friend of Jon’s, and he had said I was the only one to call. He also stated flat-out that it would cost them a tidy sum. They called me five minutes later asking if I would be willing to go after their daughter.

Willing? Try to stop me.

I’d take the fee, of course, but the kind of scum who would kidnap and threaten to kill an innocent three-year old girl? They’re dead men, they just don’t know it yet. That’s the thing about my guys: you won’t see us coming, and when you do, it’s too late.

I watched Puck straddle his Harley and fasten his Kaiser-style helmet onto his head. I hit a speed dial on my phone and it rang three times, and then a quiet, accented voice answered. “Ja. I have heard of the kidnapping. I am on route to the compound for briefing.”

“Actually, Anselm, I have a different assignment for you.”

“Which is what?” His accent rendered this vich isss vat?

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