Wicked (Somerset University #2) - Ruby Vincent

Chapter One


“And you didn’t see their face?”

“No,” I repeated for the dozenth time to the sixth person. “I saw white hands, a green hood, and a small, white car. That’s it.” I sighed. “It wasn’t enough for the police to go on either.”

Jacob and Elliot shared a look. The three of us were in Ryder’s study going over the details of my attack once again. The boys insisted on it after weeks of investigating brought the Evergreen Police Department no closer to finding the culprit who ran me off the road. I didn’t know what they thought my memory would shake loose after all this time, but I sensed them pacing outside the door, wishing just that.

“We have more resources than the police,” said Jacob. “We also have the men and time to devote solely to the search. We’ll find the person who did this. But if there’s something else we should know, please tell us now, Miss Moon.”

“What do you mean?”

Jacob gazed at me steadily. “You told your guards not to follow you to the beach house. Why? Did you know you were in danger?”

“I didn’t know I’d be followed or someone would try to hurt me,” I said. “I went to the beach house for a break. It’s been an awful few weeks for me... which I don’t have to tell you.”

His expression didn’t change. “Of course, Miss Moon. I’d like to apologize again for betraying your confidence. All the same, I trust the matter was handled appropriately.”

I nodded. “It was.”

“This one will be as well,” Elliot spoke up. “We’re using your description of the car to match against students, classmates, and others in and around your life. In the meantime, I’m sure you agree that your guards must be with you at all times. Kennedy and Hadley will maintain a distance, and Juliet remains at your side. Their presence will ensure no one attempts to harm you again.”

“Thank you,” I replied. “I sincerely appreciate all that you have done and continue to do, but it’s hard for me to feel comfortable surrounded by people reporting my movements to Caroline.”

“Our role is not to spy on you,” said Jacob.

“I understand,” I said. “I also understand that you signed contracts and the person you work for isn’t me. I just need to know if I tell them not to follow me somewhere or to keep information to themselves, they’ll listen.”

Jacob opened his mouth to reply. I held up a hand.

“I also know this is something I have to take up with Caroline,” I added. “And I intend to. Thank you, gentlemen, let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help.”

The men knew a dismissal when they heard one. They inclined their heads and turned to go.

I sank into Ryder’s chair and dropped my head on the desk.

How can I help? I don’t have anything useful to tell them now or five weeks ago.

I genuinely did not know who tried to run me off the road. All of my known enemies were dead or in jail. The police ruled out retaliation from the gang, and the men who attacked me in the shed were in no condition physically or mentally to come for me—the boys assured me. The only place for my mind to go was the Sallys.

But it wouldn’t stay there for long. No matter how I looked at it, there was no reason for Leighton, Reagan, or Patricia to want to hurt me. I kept their secret even now. Something they knew because Leighton wasn’t dead and pictures of the wreck and the death certificate wouldn’t sway me otherwise.

“Val, what did Elliot and Jacob say?”

I raised my head as the guys filed into the room. Jaxson, Maverick, Ezra, and Ryder. The loves of my life. Each one more different than the last and it struck me whenever they were in the same room together.

Ezra in his buttoned-up shirt, black slacks, polished shoes, and slicked-back hair did not look like a man who only weeks ago lay in a hospital bed with a gunshot wound. His rehab was slow, but his return to my perfect Ezra was not.

Maverick kept it simple. Jeans and a loose t-shirt that he imagined hid his sculpted body. He was wrong, of course, but I wouldn’t tip him off lest my introverted love work harder to accomplish the task.

Ryder, on the other hand, did not try to hide anything. Tousled raven locks hung in his silver eyes, drawing everyone’s attention for the