“I’m hoping they get a hit on that woman’s fingerprints,” she continued.
Wyatt grunted. “Me too. I can’t believe Keibler’s denying involvement. Stupid fucker. He’s going down for this.”
Hell yeah, he was. Even if Iris had to do it herself. “I guess the good news is that Forest is selling to you.” Before they’d left with the police, the older man had pulled Wyatt aside and told him he’d have his lawyers draw up the paperwork. He just wanted to unload the software, the company, and be done with his games apparently. After tonight—well, last night—Iris understood why.
“Yeah, real great silver lining.” There was a touch of sarcasm in his voice.
Iris pushed back from him so she could see his face, though he didn’t loosen his grip on her shoulders. “I thought you’d be happy.”
His blue eyes darkened. “Seeing you fight that woman…” He shook his head as he trailed off. “I know you’re well trained and can take care of yourself, but nothing is worth you getting hurt. I’d sell everything I owned if you never had to go through that again.”
Her eyebrows rose at his words. She knew how much being successful mattered to him. She sometimes worried he was too consumed with the need to make money, but his drive in life was sexy as hell. “Wyatt—”
“I know it’s just words and doesn’t prove anything, but it’s how I feel. I…” Wyatt trailed off, not wanting to have this conversation now. He knew actions spoke louder than words. It was one of the reasons he’d come to Miami. To prove to Iris how much she mattered to him. He’d follow her to the ends of the earth if that’s what it took. But just saying pretty words wouldn’t mean shit to her.
Her brow furrowed when he didn’t continue. “What?”
“Why’d you marry me?” he asked abruptly, needing the answer more than his next breath.
Her gaze flicked to the side for a second, discomfort creeping into her posture. “Why’d you ask me?”
Not an answer. Damn it. He’d asked because he fucking loved her, but he couldn’t find the words. He’d never told them to anyone before. Even thinking them felt foreign. If he told her and she didn’t return his feelings, or worse, tried to let him down gently…yeah, he couldn’t deal with that shit right now. Or ever. Luckily he didn’t have to because the door opened and Harrison Caldwell strode in.
Wearing a dark, custom-made suit, Iris’s boss looked as if he’d been at work for hours when in reality he’d probably just rolled out of bed not too long ago since it was three in the morning. Iris stood, smoothing down her wrinkled, ripped dress as she did. Wyatt kept his arm around her as he followed suit. Harrison knew they were married and Wyatt didn’t give a shit what anyone thought anyway. Right now he needed to touch his wife. To reassure himself she was unharmed.
“How are you two holding up?” Harrison asked.
Iris looked at Wyatt, eyebrows raised, and he could see the silent question in her eyes. She wanted to take over the conversation and right now he didn’t give a shit as long as they got answers. And as long as she didn’t pull away from him.
“We’re good. Pissed, but unharmed. Just waiting to hear what’s going on with the female and with Keibler and Thorton,” she said.
Harrison’s expression darkened for a moment as he shoved his hands in his pants pockets. “The woman isn’t talking, but they got a hit on her prints. Her real name is Sato Tora. She’s wanted by Interpol in connection with a hit from three years ago—two people died. Maybe she was sloppier back then, but either way, they’re picking her up this afternoon.”
“Miami PD is letting her go?” Wyatt’s blood pressure rose at the news. The woman had attempted to kill him. Twice. He knew she was just doing a job she’d been paid to do and that it was business for her, but he took his life very personally.
Iris let out an annoyed curse, which made him smile despite the situation.
“They’re not letting her go. She’s going to be in prison for life, but yes, they’re giving her up to Interpol because they don’t want to deal with jurisdictional bullshit and because Interpol has a better chance of charging her with two murders than we do on attempted murder. There’s not much proof of who poisoned your drink other than Iris’s eyewitness account. Even though we know it’s true, a good defense attorney could get her off at a pre-trial.”
Unfortunately Wyatt knew that Harrison was right. She was just the hired gun anyway. He wanted to bring down the one who’d hired her.
“What about the other two?” Iris asked, her body tense.
“Still in with their lawyers. No charges have been made.” Harrison looked angry, but Wyatt wasn’t surprised.
Keibler might have brought the woman as a date or security or whatever excuse he’d given by now, but there was no proof he’d paid her to do anything. And if she was being transported out of the country, it would kill any future prosecution. Or at least make it difficult to prosecute.
“The State’s Attorney won’t take this to trial.” Iris spoke the words he was thinking. This case might not go to trial but things between him and Keibler and possibly Thorton were far from over.
“Are we free to go?” They’d been waiting for an official release and Wyatt was sick of sitting around here when he already knew the outcome of tonight’s events.
“Yeah, but I’d like to talk to Iris in private if you don’t mind waiting outside.” Harrison wasn’t so much asking as he was ordering.
Wyatt did mind, but he was edgy and feeling irrational where Iris was concerned. He knew she’d be safe while alone with her boss, but he instinctively wanted to argue and stay close to her. Instead he looked at Iris and dropped a chaste kiss on her forehead. “I’ll be right outside.”
She gave him a grateful smile that was like a punch to his heart. The past few days her smiles had been so rare that seeing one now jolted him straight to his bones. If he had his way, he planned to make sure she was smiling a lot more from now on.
* * * * *
Sato sat in her lone holding cell, staring at the metal bars as she contemplated her next move. Her broken nose throbbed, but that was the least of her worries. She knew Interpol was coming for her when one of the detectives who’d questioned her earlier called her by her real name. When she’d flat out asked him about Interpol, he’d just smiled at her, like he couldn’t wait to be rid of her.
Time was ticking down for her and she had only a few moves left if she wanted to get out of here alive. Because once Interpol got her, it would be only a matter of time before she ended up dead.
Back when she’d just started out in this business she’d made a few mistakes. Left DNA and partial prints at a particularly messy hit. She’d killed the son of someone very important in China and the father would never let her go. She’d managed to avoid detection for almost three years but her reprieve had run out. Since that first hit she’d learned to be a ghost, to cover her tracks so that she was virtually invisible.
Well she had been smart until tonight. She snorted at her own stupidity. It was her own fault for taking the job without having done enough recon. That tall bitch with Christiansen had been fast and definitely not just arm candy. No one had been paying attention to Sato—or so she’d thought. While she’d hated putting herself in a position of having a limited escape route, it had been necessary. Her client had insisted the poisoning happen before or at this meeting.
With those rigid guidelines, she should have backed out of the job.
Except she never did that. If she had, word could have spread and she would have missed out on contracts. Something she hadn’t been willing to lose. And she still wasn’t. It was time for Plan B.
She moved away from the bed screwed into the solid stone wall and crouched so that she was looking at the underside of the simple sink. There would be no escaping from this place. Not in a typical sense anyway.
What she planned would be a risk, but it was one she had to take. Because if the Chinese got a hold of her…no, she’d kill herself before she let that happen.
She wrapped her fingers around a long, flat piece of metal that held part of the plumbing up and wrenched it out of place with a hard yank. Water dribbled onto the floor, but that didn’t concern her. Holding her new weapon in a tight grip, she strode to the front of the cell where she’d be seen by video cameras and one of the female guards at the end of the hall.
“Hey!” she shouted, drawing attention to herself.
“Keep it down,” the guard shouted back.
Instead of responding, Sato held up the metal piece and waved it at her. Drawing her weapon, the guard cursed and started stomping toward her. As the woman came closer Sato rose it high into the air and slammed it down into her thigh.
She screamed in agony at the pain that shot through her, but this was necessary for a trip to the hospital. She would definitely be under guard and secured, likely with handcuffs, but escaping from a hospital was doable. Getting out of this locked cell was damn near impossible by comparison.
Fire licked up her leg as blood pooled around her. Sato fought to stay conscious, but began to fade as she heard the guard talking into her radio, requesting backup.
Soon enough she’d be at the local hospital and…
Before she could finish that thought, blackness engulfed her.
At the rich scent of coffee Iris’s eyes flew open. Disoriented, she looked around the room—Wyatt’s room. Blue sheets were tangled around her feet and Wyatt was closing the door with his foot because he was holding a tray of…something. “What’s that…and what time is it?” She looked over her shoulder, surprised to see that it was eight o’clock. She also couldn’t believe she hadn’t heard him get out of bed.
But she’d been tired and sore. Still was. They’d only gotten back to Wyatt’s place a little over four hours ago. She’d changed into one of his T-shirts and crashed without even taking a shower. Vincent was officially in charge of the team now. Harrison had wanted to remove her as lead last night—it was why he’d wanted to talk to her in private—and she had agreed. She’d actually taken herself completely off the team. She’d thought she could be objective while leading Wyatt’s protective detail, but last night had proved her wrong. She still planned to stay here with Wyatt, but only as his wife.