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He hadn’t even gotten started. Reaching between them, he started to cup her mound when his cell phone rang. His hand froze by her lower abdomen and her entire body tensed.

He wanted to ignore it. Ignore everything and keep pleasuring Elizabeth. As he flicked his tongue over her nipple, she shuddered.

Then his phone rang again.

Beneath him Lizzy sighed and loosened her legs from around him, letting them fall completely away from his hips. “It might be one of your brothers,” she muttered, looking just as disappointed as he felt.

Clenching his jaw, he leaned over and grabbed his cell off the dresser. Sure enough, it was Grant.

The cursing next door had simmered down to mere shouting, but after these interruptions he knew the moment between him and Elizabeth was over. It was probably for the best. Unfortunately it was hard to think with all her exposed skin. When she started to button her shirt and sit up, he sighed and flipped his phone open.

“Yeah,” he practically growled.

“Have you seen the news this morning?” Grant’s voice was grim.

Porter’s heart beat a staccato rhythm. What could have happened now? “No.”

A heavy sigh. “That ‘little’ explosion made the morning news.”

“Do the detectives on the case know any details?”

His brother cursed under his breath. “They know the SUV is registered to Red Stone but other than that, they’re in the dark.”

Porter rubbed a hand over his face. “I don’t want you taking any heat for this later. Tell them I was driving it and—”

“Not yet. Right now they’re not so much concerned on who was driving it as who fired that RPG. I’ve let one of the detectives know—off the record—to look at the Seventy Ninth Street Gang as a starting point. They’re not wasting man hours and they know more than they would have without my help. I still think you two should come in. After what happened it’s understandable that you went into hiding but—”

“Forget it.”

“Why are you being such a hardass? I know you want to protect Lizzy, but—”

“It’s better you don’t know everything, Grant.” Porter wasn’t about to tell his brother about the key they’d found. Not yet. First he wanted to see what was inside the safe deposit box. Not to mention he’d stolen a car the night before. Telling his detective brother about that would put Grant in a compromising position and Porter didn’t want to put pressure on Grant. Keeping his family uninvolved in all of this was one of his main priorities. Right after keeping Lizzy—no, Elizabeth—safe. He forced himself to think of her as Elizabeth. It was the only way to keep his distance from her. Lizzy was the woman he’d dated. The woman he fantasized about. The woman who he’d just been half-naked with. “I’ll call you later.” Before his brother could protest, Porter ended the call.

When he turned toward the bathroom door he realized Elizabeth had hung his shirt on the knob. Inside the other room he could hear water running. “I’m going to grab some breakfast bars for us,” he called through the door as he slipped his shirt on.

“Okay. I’ll be out in a sec.” Her voice was slightly muffled with the barrier between them.

After checking out the window to make sure there wasn’t anyone waiting to ambush him, he opened the door and he headed down the cracked sidewalk toward the main office. He’d seen two snack machines the night before and while there wasn’t much inside either one, he knew Elizabeth would be hungry. As soon as they left the motel he planned to find an inexpensive outlet store and buy them both a change of clothes with cash. Since Orlando wasn’t as powerful as his father, Alberto, had been, Porter doubted Orlando had the ability to track their credit cards, but at this point he and Elizabeth were staying off all radars.

If they went to the bank wearing their clothes from last night they’d stand out. And Porter had no idea how many spies Orlando had around Miami. Blending in was one of the most important things they could do right now.

After purchasing four snack bars, he walked back to the room. As he strode down the sidewalk he noticed a blue, two-door muscle car cruising through the parking lot at a very slow speed. Too slow. It was about eight in the morning but there wasn’t any other movement outside the rooms or in the parking lot. When he spotted the blue and black bandanas the two men in the front seat wore around their heads, his heart rate increased. Seventy Ninth Street Gang colors.

Instead of showing a reaction, he peeled open one of the bars and started eating it like he didn’t have a care in the world. Keeping his pace normal even though every instinct in his body screamed at him to run, he remained steady until he entered the motel room. If these guys were after Elizabeth they wouldn’t want to do anything out in the open. They’d try to strike inside the motel room. Which gave Porter a few moments to get her to safety.

The second he shut and locked the door behind him, he tossed the food and grabbed the extra gun he’d left for Elizabeth on the nightstand.

At that moment Elizabeth walked out of the bathroom wearing her rumpled dress from the night before. She must have read the expression on his face because hers instantly tightened in alarm. “What’s going on?”

“I saw what looked like a couple of Seventy Ninth Street Gang members drive by. Could be nothing but we can’t leave out the front door.” Without waiting for a response, he motioned for her to follow as he headed into the bathroom. In seconds he managed to shove open the small window. He glanced over his shoulder. “We’ll crawl out here.”

“Okay.” With wide eyes, she nodded. After yesterday she was unfortunately aware of just how bad their situation really was, which was probably why she didn’t question him.

Chapter 8

Lizzy wiped damp palms against her ruined dress. When would this nightmare end? It was as if there was nowhere they’d be safe. Not until she and Porter figured out what that blasted key opened up.

After peering out the window, Porter grabbed her by the waist and helped hoist her up through it. Without shoes, the gravelly pavement dug into her bare feet, but it was a small price to pay.

As Porter slid through after her, she heard the distinctive sound of their front door slamming open.

Then male voices.

Her pulse skyrocketed.

“Run,” Porter said, his voice barely above a whisper.

With a racing heart, she did just that. Ignoring the biting pain in her feet, she took off with Porter next to her across the parking lot behind the motel.

There was only one car and a green Dumpster in the back and it didn’t provide them much cover. She knew Porter had a couple guns on him but without any place to hide and at least two men after them, she was still terrified.

“What are we doing?” she rasped out.

Before he answered, someone shouted loudly behind them. “Hey!”

She risked a quick glance over her shoulder to see a man looking through the window and brandishing a handgun. She almost tripped, but Porter grasped her upper arm, keeping her upright.

“Keep running.” His voice was as rock steady as his stride.

How the man could stay so calm right now was beyond her. If she stopped and thought about everything that had happened the past couple days, she was afraid she’d have a breakdown. But not Porter.

The man was like ice.

“See that fence?” He motioned toward their right.

A dilapidated metal fence with multiple wide gaps surrounded a large expanse of patchy grass and pavement. A few rusting basketball hoops and picnic benches were all that remained of what she guessed had once been a play area. “Yeah.”

“We’re going to cut through there and head to those buildings.”

Behind the rundown area stood a plethora of abandoned boarded up warehouses. Her heart jumped into her throat. Considering the less than stellar area of town they were in, she couldn’t ignore the thread of fear that slid down her spine. They might be running into something worse than what they were running from.

Before she could voice her fear, a loud engine roared behind them. As they ducked through an opening in the fence she glanced behind them again, unable to stop herself. It was as if a fire breathing monster was at her back—a monster with guns—and she needed to see how far away the danger was.

A two-door car was rumbling around the corner of the motel. She and Porter had enough distance between them that they could make it to one of the warehouses first. The car couldn’t cut through the decaying park. Instead it would have to drive all the way around and cut back to reach the warehouses. That didn’t lessen her anxiety because if those guys caught up to them…Lizzy shivered.

“Focus on getting to safety.” Porter glanced at her as they ran and the determined look on his face gave her the strength she needed.

She sprinted along the paved areas, afraid of what might be in the grass. Needles, broken glass, and only God knew what. At least now she could see what she was running over even if her feet burned with the agony of slamming against the pavement over and over.

Stay alive! The two words screamed in her head. She could deal with any pain if it meant getting away from gun-toting gang members.

When they reached the other side of the park, Porter lifted part of the fallen fence back for her to squeeze through, then followed after. This time she made herself keep her eyes straight ahead. She didn’t need to see if the car had rounded the block.

“Almost there,” Porter murmured. Grasping her upper arm, Porter guided her toward a three-story building with windows spray painted black or covered with rotting boards.

Her lungs burned but she forced herself to push on. Somewhere behind them she could hear the sound of that car engine getting closer.

The moment they stepped inside the building, Porter scooped her up in his arms.

“What are you doing?”

“Your feet are bleeding. We can’t leave a trail.” As he spoke he didn’t look at her, just glanced around the open expanse of the warehouse. Looking for a place to hide.