Gabe (Special Forces - Operation Alpha) - Riley Edwards
This was a mistake.
I never should’ve come here. I should’ve called but there was no time and besides, I’d ditched my phone.
Someone was following me. Actually, now that I was out of California I could admit someone wasn’t just following me—someone was trying to kill me.
I still should’ve called. There were still payphones, I could’ve called collect. Kyle wouldn’t have minded the charge on the bill. He would’ve been grateful I wasn’t bringing this issue into his wife’s life.
But I needed to warn Anaya.
Besides, it was too late now—I was here.
In the lobby of Z Corps, Kyle’s place of business. He was a PI or a commando or a badass—whatever he was he’d know what to do. Anaya loved me and he loved Anaya. He’d help.
God, I hoped he’d help.
I hadn’t been clear-headed when I jumped on a plane. Okay, I didn’t jump on a plane, I slowly walked on a plane deep-breathing so I didn’t have a panic attack. Apparently, the only thing I was more afraid of than flying was dying at the hands of the person who was trying to kill me.
I hadn’t rented a car. I’d hailed a taxi, the old-school kind, the yellow kind you find lined up at the airport exit. Then I’d paid the fare in cash.
I’d never given much thought to things like using cash. Like everyone else, I used my card. And when you don’t think about things like say, having enough cash on hand to narrowly escape across the country, you run out of said cash quickly. I had three dollars in my wallet. That was it.
I really hoped Kyle would help me or I was totally up shit’s creek.
“Evette?” Kyle’s voice boomed.
I turned and I felt my neck muscles constrict.
My good friend Anaya had hit the hot guy mother lode when she’d married Kyle. Once upon a time, I’d thought he was the hottest guy I’d ever met in person. Only being topped by Tom Cruise, who I had not met in person, but Tom was Tom so he was at the top of every list.
But I’d been wrong.
Even in the throes of a panic attack to rival all panic attacks the man standing next to Kyle demanded my attention.
Suddenly my life being in peril took a back seat and my hormones picked the wrong time to go into hyperdrive.
“Are you okay?” Kyle asked.
“No. Someone’s trying to kill me.”
I watched the man standing next to Kyle turn hard before his gaze went to the windows and started scanning.
“Ivy,” Kyle barked, and the pretty brown-haired receptionist looked our way. “Upstairs. Lockdown.” The woman stood and Kyle continued issuing orders. “Gabe, take the front. I’ll call Owen. He should still be in the parking garage.”
Kyle moved forward and grabbed my hand. And as wrong as it was, I sighed. Not because my friend Anaya’s husband holding my hand made me feel inappropriate things, but because I was an independent woman who didn’t need a man to take care of her. However, I had to admit Kyle’s strong, warm hand wrapped around mine made me feel safe—something I hadn’t felt in weeks—and the relief of that swept through me reminding me how stupid I’d been.
“Not here. In California,” I told him.
The man—Gabe. His name was Gabe—slowly turned his head and when his soulful gaze came to me, suddenly the death threats, car chases, and break-ins vanished. All the reasons I’d left my home in Riverton and flown across the country went up in a poof of smoke. Yes, his warm, deep, rich chocolate brown eyes were that captivating. They made me forget.
“Let’s get you upstairs and safe, yeah?” Gabe asked.
I nodded because I couldn’t speak.
I really did need to get safe.
I also needed to tell Anaya about Kalee.
But first I needed to remember why I was in Maryland and ignore my strange reaction to the man who had spoken fewer than ten words to me. Though as I stood in the lobby with my eyes locked onto Gabe’s, I’d swear I knew him. Oh, I’d never actually met him before, but if I were one of those fanciful women who believed in love at first sight and soul mates, I’d say it felt like I’d spent a hundred lifetimes with him—that this man Gabe was born with the other half of my heart in his chest.
Yep, this was a mistake. I should’ve called.
I could do this.
The ‘maybe’ part was because I was stupefied. First Kyle had led me through a