“They’re just going to let her spray it everywhere?” Jordan asked as the woman started splashing it all over the boat. It wasn’t as if anyone was actually inside, but still, she hadn’t thought they’d let it go this far.
“This is incriminating evidence. They’ll stop her before she sets it on fire and if they don’t, the evidence will be even stronger. Vincent wants this woman put away for life.”
Yeah, so did Jordan. So if for some reason they couldn’t tie Olson to the car bombing or anything else, at least they’d get her on this. Trying to fight the building tension inside her, Jordan watched as a bright spotlight illuminated the woman. Even without audio, she knew what was happening when the woman put her hands up in the air.
But when she suddenly dove for the water and the boat went up in flames a second later, Jordan gasped.
“Shit, Vincent’s gone in after her,” Blue muttered.
A pure burst of panic launched inside her, making it difficult to breathe as her throat tightened. Without thinking, Jordan threw the door open. The laptop slammed to the floorboards as she jumped outside.
“Jordan!” She ignored Blue’s warning shout as she started sprinting across the parking lot. Gravel spewed up under her sandals as she ran. She could hear Blue coming up behind her but she didn’t care. Olson was in the water and Vincent was in there with her.
For all they knew she was armed. In fact, she almost definitely was. The woman was clearly unhinged and would have come prepared to hurt them in as many ways as possible. Jordan’s heart beat out of control as she reached the edge of the warehouse that stood between her and Vincent.
But Blue raced past her and turned, his hands held up, a weapon already in one hand. “Stay behind me. That’s an order.” The sharp tone made her eyes go wide.
Under normal circumstances someone ordering her around would annoy her, but he was right—and he had a gun. She couldn’t go racing into an unknown situation without help. She took a deep, steadying breath that did nothing to calm her heart and nodded. “I will.”
He gave her a nod before peering around the corner of the building. “We’re clear. Stay close.”
She did as he said, staying only a step behind him as they hurried around the building. In less than a minute they’d made it to one of the connecting docks. By now she could see the fire blazing about fifty yards away. Men were shouting and she could see a couple people emerging from their boats.
“Vincent’s got her. He’s okay.” Blue finally stepped to the side and let her walk next to him along the dock.
She couldn’t see him. Damn it, she needed to see him. “You’re sure? And we’re safe? No more threats?”
He nodded. “The threat has been contained—she’s in flex-cuffs. You’re safe.”
That was all she needed to hear. Taking off, she sprinted down the rest of the dock, her shoes slapping loudly on the planks. As she neared the scene, she saw two Red Stone men trying to contain the blaze with fire extinguishers and a man she guessed to be a resident of the marina joining in. So far it hadn’t spread to any other boats. Vincent was nowhere to be seen.
In the distance she heard wailing sirens that almost drowned out the obscenities Celia Olson was screaming.
The woman was face down on the dock with her hands secured behind her back and her feet tied as well. Someone needed to tape her mouth, Jordan thought, as she scanned for Vincent.
Where the hell was he? Despite what Blue had said, a tendril of fear trickled down her spine until she saw Vincent talking to one of the men she’d met earlier. Harrison Caldwell, if Jordan remembered correctly. They were standing off to the side along a small dock that connected two of the bigger ones that held boat slips. Her heart swelled at the sight of him.
Vincent had his shirt and boots off, both laying on the ground in a soggy heap next to him. His muscular arms were crossed over his chest as he nodded at something his friend said. Jordan didn’t care who he was talking to. She took off again, running down the dock and he immediately looked up. No wonder, because she was noisy and making a giant spectacle. And she didn’t care.
When she was near enough she launched herself at him, not caring that he was soaked or if she looked like a maniac. He let out a soft grunt as she wrapped her legs and arms around him. At the last second she realized he could be injured but as he crushed his mouth over hers in a dominating, hungry kiss she figured he probably wasn’t.
Running her hands over his back and shoulders, she told herself that he was okay and unharmed but it didn’t stop the tremor that rolled through her.
Vincent pulled back first, his breathing uneven. “It’s over.”
Even though the screaming woman jarred Jordan’s senses, she knew Vincent was right. It was finally over. “I love you, Vincent. I should have told you earlier but I was afraid. I love you so much it scares me. I don’t think I ever stopped and…I know you said no more apologies, but—”
He put a gentle finger over her lips, his pale eyes seeming to glow under the moonlight. “Then don’t. I love you too. That’s all that matters. We can finally move forward with our lives. Together. I wasn’t kidding. I’m not letting you go again.”
A sudden onslaught of tears burned her eyes. A life with him was all she’d ever wanted but deep down, she’d never thought it would happen. When she’d come to see him, it had been about getting forgiveness and closure. No matter what they faced now, whether from his family or with Celia Olson, she knew they could handle anything thrown at them. Because she was never walking away from him again. “Good because I’m never leaving again.”
One week later
Over her glass of wine, Jordan watched the wives of Vincent’s friends talking and laughing across the island in his kitchen. Well, technically it was hers now, too. She’d officially moved in pretty much the moment they’d returned to Miami. He’d simply refused to let her leave. Not like she wanted to anyway. She still had a ton of stuff in storage but she would get to it eventually. That was definitely not one of her most pressing concerns at the moment.
“Can you believe the way Vincent has been acting all evening?” Charlotte asked almost conspiratorially as she glanced over her shoulder through the sliding glass door where all the men were hovering around the grill.
Curious what the other woman meant, Jordan put her glass of wine down. “Like what?”
Charlotte’s head snapped in her direction, her dark eyes widening as if she’d forgotten Jordan was there—which she might have. Jordan had been quiet, trying to get to know all the women individually. So far she’d clicked with Belle, but the other woman was now outside with her husband Grant. And since Vincent’s mother and sister were also outside, Jordan had been hiding in the kitchen.
Yes, hiding. And she wasn’t ashamed to admit it. They were intimidating.
The dark-haired beauty cleared her throat and shot Lizzy a ‘help me’ look before she glanced back at Jordan. “It’s just funny to see him so territorial over a woman. He’s practically growling at any man who talks to you, even the married ones. He’s never even brought a woman around so I hope you don’t mind me saying that it’s a little entertaining.”
Before Jordan could respond, Lizzy continued. “I’ve gotta say, I love seeing him like this. He’s so happy.”
Jordan’s cheeks heated up. She was glad they thought so because she felt the same way. It was almost too surreal to be with Vincent again. “I am too.” When her phone buzzed across the island she snatched it up. Normally she would have just left it in their room, but she was waiting on a call. When she saw Edith’s phone number on the caller ID she quietly excused herself.
For the most part everyone at the barbeque knew what had happened to her and what had gone down in Key West so she didn’t feel rude by dipping out for a few minutes.
Ten minutes later, she collapsed on Vincent’s bed and pushed out a sigh of relief as she set the phone down on the comforter. Her hand shook slightly, but from elation not fear. After the Key West police had arrived at the marina last week and arrested Olson, the Feds had swooped in only a few hours later and taken her away.
With Olsen arrested and gone they’d all been free to leave too. Jordan had felt as if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders, but there had still been a dark cloud hanging over her head as she waited to see what would happen with her crazed attacker.
Apparently California and Texas were now fighting over who got to prosecute her, but that wasn’t Jordan’s problem. Olson had confessed to being the one who helped Curtis Woods—Curtis had lied about his brother’s involvement—in his murderous rampage. She’d also confessed to killing Corey. According to Edith, Olson was so proud of every one of her kills. She’d refused legal representation and wanted the world to know how great she was. Edith had also told Jordan that the woman had a pretty terrible upbringing in the foster system. The stuff of nightmares. But Jordan didn’t care. She’d ruined so many lives, Olson wouldn’t get any pity from her.
Jordan was just glad to have her life back, that justice was being served and a complete psychopath was off the streets. She didn’t care where Olson served her time, though if Texas managed to get her, they’d be seeking the death penalty. At least that’s what Edith had told her. Olson’s fingerprints had been connected to a string of home invasions and murders over a decade ago.
Jordan wanted to tell Vincent everything she’d just learned but decided to wait until this evening. They had a houseful of people barbequing and enjoying themselves right now.
As a thank you to all the men who had helped her and Vincent in Key West they’d decided to throw a party. Of course, she knew Vincent didn’t need an excuse to throw one. She loved seeing him so relaxed and having a good time. Now it was time to put on her party face and return.
Hell, she had a lot to celebrate now. As she stood up, someone knocked on the bedroom door. “Come in,” she said automatically.