A moment later, he opens a door, and I mentally scramble to place us at the exit by the parking lot. Eric leans out of the door and then grabs my hand. The next thing I know, we’re outside in the cold and a black SUV halts in front of us. Eric opens the back door to the vehicle and ushers me inside before joining me. “Airport,” he orders the driver. “Now.” The vehicle starts to move.
My heart races. “Airport?” I ask urgently, grabbing Eric’s arm. “Are you leaving again?”
“We’re leaving,” he says, turning to me and cupping my face. “We need out of here. We are getting out of here. Are you okay? I need to know that you’re okay.” His voice is low, urgent, and rough with emotion.
“Yes. Are you?” I touch the cut down his cheek. “That man—”
“Was a professional. The kind you pay to do a job.” He eyes the driver. “What do we know?”
“There were three men in the warehouse with you,” the man behind the wheel answers, placing us in drive. “They left in a car with no plates.” He turns us onto the main road. “Police or no police?”
“Police limit my response,” Eric replies. “No police.” He reaches for his phone and punches in a number. Seconds pass and I can hear the line ring and ring before a muffled voicemail picks up. “Brother,” Eric bites out at the beep, “when you get this message, replay it and think about the implications of what I’m about to say. And when I say think, I mean think hard, because we know you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed. Three men attacked Harper in the warehouse tonight. You better hope I don’t find out that you sent them.” He disconnects.
I swallow hard, sickened by the implications of that message. “You think Isaac sent those men to attack me?”
“Yes,” Eric says, without even a second of hesitation. “I do.”
“As do I,” the man driving states. “And I’m Adam, Harper. At your service.”
“He’s with Walker Security and he’s a former SEAL. That means he’s bulletproof.”
There’s a sharp sensation in my chest that I’m pretty sure is panic bubbling to the surface, and a choked laugh escapes my throat. “He’s a former SEAL,” I say, “as in a Navy SEAL, who is driving us to the airport to escape after three men attacked me in a warehouse. Three men who probably wanted to kill me.”
“Easy, sweetheart,” Eric says, stroking my hair. “You’re safe and you’re going to stay that way, but yes. We have to leave. I need to get distance between you and whatever this is while we sort through what’s really going on.”
Dangerous. That word rockets my mind to a bad place, urgency bubbling inside me. Oh God. “My mother. What about my mother?”
“Adam’s men are watching her.”
Adam chimes in. “Some of our best men. She’s safe.”
“For now,” I amend, focusing on Eric. “I can’t leave her.”
His jaw sets hard, stubborn. “Whether you like it or not, Harper, she’s one of them. That means she’s safe. You’re not and I’m not leaving you here.”
“I’m not leaving her here,” I insist, my jaw setting just as stubbornly as his did.
But he pushes back, fast and hard. “We’re leaving, and I promise you, Harper, if you try to fight me on this, I’ll throw you over my shoulder and carry you onto the private jet waiting on us.”
“Eric, damn it—”
“Your mother is safe. Being one of them makes her safe. You, me, we’re not one of them. We’re not safe. In other words, we’re leaving the way we should have left earlier today. Together.”
He cups my face and kisses me, the touch of his lips to my lips, instantly bringing me down two notches. “Together,” he murmurs. “Alone on that plane where we’re going to talk. We need to talk.”
About the baby.
About the past.
About the secret I kept from him.
“I’m not sure a plane where I’m trapped is a good place to have that conversation.”
“But I am,” he says. “It’s exactly the right place to have that conversation. It’s exactly where you belong. With me. You belong with me now, Harper.”
He says that now, but what if he changes his mind when we really talk about what I left on his voicemail? What if he hates me when he hears all the details? “I can’t get on that plane with you.”
Eric and I are still huddled together, that talk we’re going to have in the air between us, when the SUV halts without warning. “What’s happening?” I ask, jerking out of Eric’s embrace, the reality of being trapped in a warehouse and on the run, now coming back to me with a jolting force.
“We’ve arrived,” Adam calls out from the front seat, placing us in park. “Private airport and private plane.”