Page 20

Porter tightened his grip, hating her parents just a little in that moment. “They let your uncle go?”

She let out a shuddering breath. “Yes. He was never allowed in our lives again and they were very protective of both of us after that—buying us whatever we wanted, as if that mattered—but they didn’t do anything. Benny was distraught. Our parents finally knew the truth and refused to do anything about it because they were so consumed with our family image. We were so young and had no one else to turn to. By the time I turned eighteen and wanted to tell someone, the police, I don’t know…it was too late. Our uncle was dead. Killed in a bar fight. I thought that would give Benny some closure, but it didn’t. Drugs don’t, gambling doesn’t. Nothing seems to fill that void in him.”

“Has he tried counseling?” Porter asked quietly, seeing her brother in a different light now.

“A couple times, but he never sticks with it.” Her voice broke on the last word and Porter knew he wasn’t imagining the wetness on his chest. She wasn’t making any overt movements, but he could feel her crying.

“I’m sorry, honey. We’re going to get your brother back, I promise.” Porter didn’t want to push her any further so he just held her. He knew he shouldn’t make promises he might not be able to keep, but he’d do whatever it took to get Benny back for Lizzy.

Chapter 13

Lizzy opened her eyes to a wall of muscle and a spicy scent that was all Porter. She hadn’t even realized she’d dozed off. For a brief, terrifying moment she was afraid they’d overslept and she hadn’t called Orlando in time, but then she realized the sun was still shining through the sheer curtain.

“You awake?” Porter murmured against the top of her head.

“Mm hmm.” She nodded against his chest and shifted closer, savoring the feel of her breasts rubbing against his naked body since she was half-draped over his chest.

His hand strayed down her spine and kept going until he possessively cupped her butt.

“How long was I asleep?” she asked, starting to stir.

“Ten minutes.”

She pushed out a relieved breath. They still had time to kill before she had to call Orlando. But first she needed to find out what she was even supposed to say to him. Porter had told her Grant would be coming over to hash out a plan with them. As she started to ask Porter about that, he shifted and reached down until he grabbed her hips.

Moving lightning quick, he moved her until she straddled him. Pushing up on his chest she stared down at him. “What are you doing?” Her hair slid over her chest, covering most of her breasts.

Frowning, he swept her hair to the side and cupped her breasts in a very proprietary manner. “What does it look like?”

Her inner walls clenched as he began to lightly strum her nipples with his thumbs, but when she heard a door shut downstairs she froze.

Porter didn’t even pause. He practically tossed her onto the mattress and hurried for his gun. The man didn’t even put on clothes as he grabbed it and headed for the bedroom door.

It was probably wrong, but a very small part of her practically drooled watching the way his butt muscles flexed as he moved. The second that thought hit, so did a fresh bolt of terror. Scrambling from the bed she began struggling into her jeans as Porter quietly opened the door.

“Damn it Grant,” he muttered and lowered his weapon.

Grant? Crap. Lizzy grabbed her T-shirt and tugged it on. She figured Grant had an idea that something might have been going on between her and Porter but they hadn’t actually admitted anything. And she knew Grant would tell Harrison if he saw them in this state together. Something she didn’t even want to think about dealing with right now.

“Hold on—” Porter struggled to keep the door shut, but it popped open and Grant just stood there with a half grin on his face.

“I knew you two were together. Mara denied it but she’s very good at evading questions…” He shook his head and his grin grew even bigger. “So, wedding bells in the near future for you two?”

Wedding bells? Oh, God. She and Porter had just slept together for the first time. Thinking about anything else right now just made her head hurt. Feeling incredibly awkward, Lizzy ignored him and looked down to make sure all her clothes were in place. Porter was still freaking naked but he was grabbing for his clothes and cursing under his breath at his brother.

“Get the fuck out of here, Grant. We’ll be downstairs in a sec.”

“You could say thank you for this.” He held up two bags. “More clothes for both of you. Mara picked out the stuff for you this time,” Grant said to her.

Feeling embarrassed with Porter’s state of undress and her no doubt rumpled appearance, Lizzy held her hand out to Grant. “Which one is mine?”

After he handed her one, she mumbled something about freshening up and hurried from the room. She wanted to shower, brush her teeth and God willing, put on a fresh pair of underwear. Hopefully Mara had included some freaking undergarments for her since Grant certainly hadn’t included any last time. The thought of him buying her any was weird anyway so it was just as well that he hadn’t.

Once alone in the room next to Porter’s, she sagged against the back of the door. She wasn’t sure exactly what was going on with her and Porter but she knew she didn’t want to walk away from him and what had developed between them. She’d opened up to him more than she ever had to anyone. Why had Grant had to bring up anything to do with a wedding? It had probably made Porter uncomfortable. She’d never thought much about marriage before, but the thought of Porter putting a ring on her finger made her cheeks flush and her body grow hot… She groaned. Damn Grant and his big mouth.

Sighing, she shoved a hand through her tangled hair before peering into the bag. There would be time enough to worry about their relationship later. Right now they just needed to focus on getting her brother back.

Chapter 14

Porter watched Lizzy out of the corner of his eye. They were both sitting in the backseat of an SUV owned by Red Stone Security and heading for the meeting spot with Orlando. The majority of the drive had been in tense silence, not that he blamed her. She just wanted her brother back. He knew that in roughly ten or so minutes, she was going to be very angry with him. But there wasn’t anything he could do about it.

Or he wouldn’t, even if he could.

Bringing in Grant and the Miami PD was the only option. Once Lizzy had given the notebook to Grant, he’d made a decision and brought his direct boss into the fold. Vice had wanted to bring down Alberto Salas for years, but with him dead, Orlando would be just as good for them. Drugs ran in and out of Miami on a daily basis but most of the big distributors didn’t live in the city. They wanted Orlando behind bars.

Orlando’s notebook had a lot of damning information on others in the same business. If those individuals found out about Orlando’s book someone would definitely come after him. But the info wasn’t enough to arrest him for anything because they technically couldn’t tie it to him. It wasn’t as if he’d put his name and phone number in the front advertising it belonged to him. And it hadn’t been obtained legally. With the new information they had on him, they’d be able to shake him up a bit and eventually use the book against him. But no one wanted to wait. Now that Benny was being held hostage the cops had the chance to catch Orlando in the act of committing a crime. Kidnapping was a serious offense.

Unfortunately Lizzy believed that the cops were going to let her go to the meeting place with Orlando. They needed her cooperation because they needed her to call Orlando. So they’d lied to her. And so had Porter.

He hated lying to her of all people, especially after what they’d shared only hours before, but if it meant keeping her safe and saving her brother, he’d make the same decision again.

As they neared the marina where Lizzy was going to tell Orlando to meet her—and where six members of the SWAT team were already set up—the driver slowed and pulled into the parking lot of a deserted international mini mart.

Grant turned around in the front passenger seat. “It’s time Lizzy.”

Swallowing hard, she looked at Porter with wide eyes. It was two in the morning. Enough time had passed that it was perfect to contact Orlando. The criminal had to believe that Lizzy would never endanger her brother and it wasn’t public knowledge that she and Porter had ever dated. If she played it right, she should be able to convince Orlando she’d had to wait to sneak away from Porter’s protection.

“You can do this,” Porter murmured. He reached out and took her free hand, squeezing reassuringly. While he hated that she was involved in any of this he was proud of her. After the way she’d handled herself on the phone with Orlando yesterday afternoon he had no doubt she could pull this off.

Nodding, she punched in Orlando’s number and pressed send. “I want to speak to Benny,” she said when someone answered. Moments later her voice softened as she spoke to her brother. Then suddenly she was abruptly cut off and her entire demeanor changed.

Porter knew Orlando had likely taken the phone from Benny. The bastard wouldn’t let her talk to her brother very long. Just enough to convince her that he was all right.

Expression hard, she straightened against the seat and she squeezed Porter’s hand as she spoke to Orlando. “I’m at the Dinner Key Marina on my parent’s boat. Slip 302. It’s on the east side—” There was a brief moment of silence. “Well if you know where it is you won’t have a problem meeting me there.”

Another pause then she said, “It took me a while to lose Porter Caldwell. My boss assigned him to watch me after what happened so it wasn’t easy.” A brief beat of silence. “I’m not meeting you anywhere else. Benny and I will be leaving on my parent’s boat. I’m not letting you try to screw us over.”

Porter, Grant and their driver all listened in silence as Lizzy continued convincing Orlando to meet her. When she threatened to hang up and turn the notebook over to his competitors, things wrapped up quickly.