“I don’t know nothing, man! I never even see the guy. Their security is tight. I’m searched every time I arrive at work and so is my car.” The dark-haired Cuban tugged against the bindings, but the fishing line cut into his wrists.
“Tell me what you know, and I let you live.” He wouldn’t, but Mario might not realize that yet.
“Liar,” he spat.
Yes, he was. Sighing, he pressed the blade into Mario’s side until he nicked the skin. A small rivulet of blood trailed down his ribs, splashing softly against the concrete. “One more chance to be honest.”
The man turned his head away in defiance. He gritted his teeth, hating how tedious this business was. With the flick of his wrist, he sliced through Mario’s Chino’s, completely exposing him.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Mario’s dark eyes widened when he pressed the back of the knife to his ball sac.
“I don’t have time to play games. People talk, even security personnel. You must have heard something.”
Mario’s eyes widened in terror but his body was completely still as he tried to control his breathing. “I don’t…the woman, the security woman!” The words poured from him in desperation.
He pressed the back of the weapon harder against Mario’s skin, causing him to violently jerk. “What about her?”
“What are you doing? I’m telling you!”
“Get to the point faster.”
“She’s the rich man’s wife.”
He blinked at the statement, not sure if Mario was relaying the correct information.
“The tall, dark-haired woman is Wyatt Christiansen’s wife? The woman on his security team?” The bitch who’d seen Sato poisoning him.
“Yes! I heard two of the guards patrolling the grounds talking about how they couldn’t believe she’d married the rich man. How they couldn’t believe she’d married anybody.” Mario’s breathing was erratic now, his eyes wild as he looked down at the knife.
“When did you hear this?”
“Yes! Now move that fucking knife away from my nuts. Please!” Mario struggled violently against the restraints. “I swear on my mother’s life, I don’t know any more than that! I didn’t remember ’til just now!”
He stilled his hand and nodded once. “This is good.” Then he cut one of the wires from around Mario’s ankles, freeing his left leg.
“You’re letting me go?” Mario’s words were high pitched and uneven.
“I told you I would. Next time I come to ask you questions, don’t run.” There wouldn’t be a next time, but Mario didn’t know that.
“I won’t. I swear it!” The relief rolling off Mario was so palpable it made him smile inside.
He cut through the next foot restraint, but instead of freeing Mario’s wrists, he slammed his knife into the middle of the man’s chest. He never gave him the chance to struggle or fight. The surprise and horror on Mario’s face made something dark inside of him smile. He didn’t like the messiness of killing, but sometimes he took a little pleasure in ending a man’s life. He liked to make someone feel secure, relieved—then to snatch it from them in one final blow. Watching the awareness fade from Mario’s eyes, he could barely contain his joy at learning Wyatt Christiansen was fucking married.
It seemed too good to be true, but now he had the perfect way to get his revenge.
* * * * *
Iris stared at Wyatt’s walk-in closet and realized that if she was going to commit, she needed to do this full on. He’d left half the giant closet empty.
For her stuff.
She hadn’t even realized what he’d done until she’d brought her few belongings from the guest room into his room—their room. That was another thing she’d have to get used to. The truth was, she’d probably never get used to living in such lavish surroundings and there was no way she’d actually ever fill up this closet that was the size of her master bathroom at home. But, she could bring over some of her things. To put in the effort to actually move in with Wyatt.
It might be weird considering her coworkers were guarding him, but she wouldn’t let it get that way. In a week or so she’d go back to work and things would be normal. She wouldn’t be here during the day. Until then, she was moving in and helping Red Stone’s team research Keibler and Thorton Enterprises. She might not be guarding Wyatt directly anymore, but after what Harrison had told her about Red Stone tearing apart Thorton’s financials, she planned to read and research every scrap of information they came up with.
She’d been worried that Harrison wouldn’t let her, but he’d been surprisingly acquiescent when she’d broached the subject. Probably because he knew she’d go insane if she wasn’t being proactive. Even the thought of sitting around and doing nothing was enough to stress her out. Her phone buzzed in her pocket. Iris’s heart jumped to see a text from Lizzy Caldwell, a computer genius who worked for Red Stone.
Just sent you two emails full of data. Should take all day to read. Call if you find anything relevant. I’ll do the same.
Lizzy had texted Iris earlier to let her know that she was portioning out pieces of information to five other individuals within the company so Lizzy and Iris made a total of seven researchers. Hopefully with this many people they’d be able to find a lead. If anything, they’d be knocking out a week’s worth of research in a day or two with this many people on it. It was a start.
Though she wanted to whip out her laptop right then, she had one thing to do first. Wyatt had moved to freaking Miami for her. Yeah, he had the money, but she also knew it wasn’t just for show. If she asked him to, he’d move here permanently, but she wasn’t sure she wanted that. She knew how much he enjoyed living out west and she didn’t want to take that away from him. That was a decision for another day, but right now she could at least show him she was serious too. He’d been right earlier; actions spoke louder than words.
Iris shot off a quick text to Lizzy telling her that she’d start reading everything within an hour, then she headed out of the room. Her boots were silent along the marble stairs. The house was tomblike quiet today, probably because Wyatt was taking meetings in the back west side of the house. He’d been on conference calls all morning. As she reached the bottom, she turned ready to go in search of Jay when she found him in the nook where the staircase looped around. The Baby Grand piano gleamed beautifully under the sparkling chandelier.
Iris blinked at the sight of Jay pressing Ellie up against the wall in a very sexual manner. Both his arms caged the petite blonde woman in against the wall, his tattoos flexing as his muscles tensed. Ellie had her hand pressed against his chest and was murmuring something Iris couldn’t hear. Didn’t want to hear. They were almost perfectly hidden and clearly wanted privacy. Feeling bad about almost disturbing them, she started to back up but her shoe made a soft squeaking sound. The second it did, Jay turned and immediately blocked Ellie’s body.
When he saw Iris, however, he relaxed. “Everything okay?”
“Yeah…I just, never mind.” Iris decided to grab someone else to come with her.
“I’m on break right now.” Ellie slid out from Jay’s embrace and put some distance between them as she hurried toward Iris, her four-inch Dior’s clicking loudly. “This isn’t what it looks like. We were just talking and it’s Jay’s day off anyway.” Pink-faced, the woman spoke in a hurried rush.
Iris frowned. “O…kay.” She didn’t give a crap what they did in their spare time. She already knew Jay was off. It was why she’d been searching him out.
“Iris doesn’t give a shit what we’re doing, Ellie,” Jay muttered as he came up to stand behind her.
He reached out to touch her shoulder but Ellie just danced away from him and skirted past Iris, heading toward one of the west wing hallways. “My lunch break’s about over so I’ll speak to you later about that…issue, Mr. Wentworth.” Then she was gone, her heels making a huge racket as she practically sprinted down the closest hallway. Four-inch heels or not, the woman could move.
Iris couldn’t contain her laughter. “Mr. Wentworth?”
Jay rubbed a hand over his face. “You’re Wyatt’s wife so I think she’s worried you’d think she was slacking off on the job or something…fuck, I don’t know what’s going on in Ellie’s head. I never do. She’s driving me insane, Iris. I don’t know what to do with her.” He said the last part as if he thought Iris had some magical answer.
She snorted softly. “If you’re looking for relationship advice, I’m definitely the wrong person to come to.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
“Hey!” It might be true but she hadn’t expected him to agree.
Jay smiled then, his grin so boyish that it transformed his face. “I’m just messing with you. What’s up? Were you looking for me?”
“Actually, yes. I knew it was your day off so I thought I’d maybe beg for a little moving help.”
His eyebrows raised a fraction. “Moving?”
“Well, just bringing my clothes over here. As in my whole closet. And a few other necessities.” She could do it all by herself but it would be a hassle and she wasn’t above asking for help if she could get it all done in one trip. “I need to do a lot of research this afternoon so I wanted to get everything in one trip if possible. We could load up two SUVs and—”
He held up a hand. “If it gets you living permanently under the same roof as Wyatt, I’ll do any damn thing you want.”
Surprised by his statement, she just said, “Thanks. I’m ready now if you are.” She tilted her head toward the front door and he nodded. There should be two guards standing directly outside. If they weren’t stationed there, there would be hell to pay. She breathed a sigh of relief as they stepped outside to find two men she’d worked with on multiple occasions standing guard. They nodded at her, but neither moved from their post.