“Yeah, I’m sure. Don’t know who did it though.” But he planned to find out. Vincent hurriedly gave the detective a rundown of everything he’d learned so far; from Jordan’s years in WITSEC, to the names of the man she’d put behind bars and his alleged accomplice brother—who may or may not be dead. Since she’d left the program of her own free will and the man she’d put behind bars was dead, Vincent was almost a hundred percent certain he was legally allowed to divulge this information. Especially since she’d come clean to all her friends about her real identity. Even if he hadn’t been allowed to, he would have told him because the detective might be able to help Jordan. That was all that mattered.

When Vincent was done, Hough was silent for a long moment as he digested everything. “You spoke to the Marshals?”

“Yeah. They don’t know what they missed, but her handler is scrambling to look into it. I’ll give you her information, but we’re leaving as soon as we can. I want Jordan away from here.”

That information didn’t seem to please Hough, but he nodded. “You leaving town?”

“No, I’m taking her to my place. You’ve got the address in your file. It’s more secure and until we get a handle on this situation, I don’t want to just blindly run out of town.”

“You’ll have to make an official statement about her vehicle, but I’ll take care of that. I’ll also have an officer escort you out of here. Often bombers like to stick around and look at their handy work, so we’ve got eyes on the area.”

Vincent nodded, already knowing that. Bombers, arsonists, and even serial killers loved to see law enforcement scrambling amidst the destruction and chaos they’d caused. They got a thrill from it. It was like sick-fuck 101—they all subscribed to the same messed up handbook. “Fine with me. As soon as she’s done, it’ll take me a few minutes to get my stuff together.”

The detective’s radio went off with a request for assistance. After a brief reply, the man set his half empty coffee mug in the sink. “Thanks for the coffee. I’ll leave an officer outside. When you’re ready let him know and we’ll get you guys out of here. Just…whatever you’re planning, let us handle it.”

Vincent kept his expression purposefully blank. “I’m not planning anything other than keeping Jordan safe. I don’t know who did this and I’m not going to take the law into my own hands.” Much. He wasn’t going to sit idly by and let this threat come to them. Hell no, he had resources and wasn’t afraid to use them.

Even though he nodded, Detective Hough still looked skeptical. Once the man was gone, Vincent found Jordan in her bedroom making her bed.

“I’m going to hire someone to come in and clean and do laundry once we’re gone because I’m not leaving Barbara’s place like this, but I think I’ve got everything packed up.” She nodded to the two red suitcases and matching toiletry case at the foot of the bed.

A ghost of a smile touched his lips. She was worried about cleaning when someone had just decimated her car. “Good. Give me a few minutes and we’ll clear out of here.”

* * * * *

Stupid fucking blasting caps! Unsure exactly what had gone wrong with the bomb, in the end, it didn’t really matter. The fact was, Jordan’s car had exploded way too early and without any provocation and that stupid bitch hadn’t been in it. In fact, no one had been injured if the layout of the crime scene was any indication.

Cops, firefighters and other men and women in suits who could be with any number of government agencies all milled around the bomb site, but the ambulances hadn’t left and no one was being treated. And the medical examiners had already come and gone—without any corpses.

Killing extra civilians would have been somewhat appeasing since Jordan hadn’t been injured, but even that hadn’t happened. Working without a partner was too hard. Especially when said partner had been the bomb and fire expert. Fire was so beautiful and erotic to watch, but getting it right was just too damn difficult. Maybe it was time to recruit another partner.

It would sure beat working alone.

Blending in with the crowd of tourists and locals across the street was easy enough, but it was never smart to stay for too long. The cops would be watching for anything out of the ordinary and might even take pictures of the onlookers.

And I’m not getting caught by those pigs.

Besides, tracking Jordan with her cloned phone was easy enough, so if she left the condo—and it was likely she and half the residents would be clearing out by the end of the day—she still couldn’t hide.

Nope. No matter where Jordan went, tracking her was child’s play. Soon enough, she was going to find out what real suffering was. The car bomb might have detonated early, but this wasn’t even close to over.

Chapter 9

“Your family owns this?” Jordan asked quietly as the iron gate shut behind the police officer who had driven them to his family’s home.

Vincent waved at the guy as he left in his cruiser. “Yeah. It was in my dad’s family forever and when he died, he left it to all of us in his will. Me, my sisters and my mom. Probably so no one could ever sell it.” Something his dad had likely counted on.

Family had been everything to his father, especially after his wealthy parents basically shunned him for marrying a poor, black Jamaican, second-generation American. His mom had apparently had three strikes against her before she’d ever met her would-be in-laws. His father’s parents had ancestors that literally went back to the Mayflower. Elitist fuckers. At least the home they’d given to their son now belonged to those it should.

“This is a seriously nice location and a beautiful home.” She sounded awed as she looked around and he loved that she appreciated the area.

The foliage was thick and lush, everything an island home should be. Palm trees, bushes, bright flowers, and two giant Royal Poinciana trees surrounded their home. The whole family had pitched in to renovate the historic Caribbean style cottage. It had real wood plank floors, hand carved wooden beams and custom designed French doors. Even though the house itself was actually small, with two-bedrooms, a kitchen, living room and garage, it was on upper Duval Street. Prime property whether there was a recession or not. Every year he and his sisters grumbled about paying the property taxes, but they’d never give this place up. Not when it was one of their only links to their dad. They rented it for four months in the winter, but the rest of the year they all used it. One or more of them were always here on the weekends or whenever they could squeeze in a getaway.

“Yeah, plus the security is a lot better than that condo. The wall surrounding the place is high enough that no one sane would try to scale it, and the gate has security sensors on it. If anyone tries to come over it or through it, I’ll know. We’ve also got bullet resistant windows, including the skylights.” That had been at his insistence and he’d paid for it. The women in his family thought he was paranoid and that was fine by him. All he knew was, they were safe when they were here and that was all that mattered.

“Wow.” Fear skittered across Jordan’s face as she picked up her toiletries bag from the bricked driveway where he and the cop had deposited everything.

Vincent hefted up his bag, then extended the retractable handle on her biggest piece. “Just leave that one here. I’ll come back for it.”

Pursing her lips, she just shook her head and grabbed her other bag. “I’m not helpless, Vincent. I can carry my own stuff.”

He just grunted. That might be so, but it didn’t mean he didn’t want to take care of her. As they neared the front door, he froze. Since he’d walked to Jordan’s last night and they’d walked everywhere from that point on, they hadn’t needed his vehicle. It was still in the garage, which was shut—but he hadn’t left the drapes in the two front windows open.

And they were pulled back. Tense, he abruptly stopped and scanned the perimeter, hating that instant feeling of being exposed to an attack.

“What is it?” Jordan asked, her voice slightly unsteady.

“Maybe nothing.” Yeah right. He dropped the bag and wrapped an arm around her, gently pushing her toward the garage. “Hide behind the side of the house,” he whispered as he withdrew his SIG in a fluid, practiced movement.

Before she could comply, the front door flew open. On instinct, Vincent raised his gun but immediately lowered his arm as his sister Zoe walked out.

“It’s just me,” she said lightly. She raised her arms jokingly as she looked back and forth between him and Jordan with clear curiosity.

Vincent sheathed his weapon in the back of his pants. “What are you doing here?”

“Me? What are you doing here? I asked mom and she said you were out of town on business.”

Which is the tiny lie he’d told his mother so he wouldn’t have to answer a hundred questions about why he was suddenly dropping everything and coming to Key West. His mom had told him that the place would be free this week so he hadn’t bothered asking any of his sisters. He cleared his throat and looked at Jordan once before looking back at Zoe. Yeah, he did not want to have to explain anything right now.

“I’ve got a work emergency and need the place. I didn’t tell mom because I didn’t want her to worry. It’s…not safe for you here, Zoe.”

Ignoring, the last part, she snorted, her dark eyebrows raising. “Work related? Really?”

“Yeah.” In the Navy he’d learned that keeping his answers short and sweet couldn’t come back to bite him in the ass later. Never give up more intel than you have to. He used that practice with his family. He picked the bags back up, wanting to get Jordan inside as soon as possible. “Come on,” he murmured, for her ears only.

Zoe followed as he and Jordan strode past him. Jordan had already been through enough, he didn’t want her to have to deal with his family right now too. Zoe was great, but she could get overprotective of him since he was younger.