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By´╝ÜCandace Blevins

Several long minutes later, my plan was formulated and I was going through some of the fine points when I heard, “Time’s up.”

“It isn’t about money or territory anymore for the Disciples,” I told him, “but about reputation. They want your territory because you’ve kicked their asses so many times. They worked a deal to bring the cartel in, giving up some income in exchange for the manpower, but then you befriended the head guy before he even moved in, worked a deal, and they still don’t get your territory. This next part is speculation, but they’re looking at a way to take you down in multiple cities at the same time, so none of the chapters can send men to help, because they’ll all be too busy at home.”

He looked at me a few seconds and said, “That was too easy. What are your terms?”

Damn, the man was smart, and way too sexy for his own good. What I wouldn’t give to climb on him and fuck him into oblivion right now. Hmmm, wonder if he’d release my feet if that were an option?

Focus, dammit. This wasn’t a lie-there-and-take-it kind of guy, anyway. I might start on top, but he’d want to end there, and that didn’t work for me.

I shook my head, brought my thoughts back where they should be, and told him, “I have ten more tidbits as good as the last. Things I either know or have deduced. You’ll get one a week until our deal is complete, and if it only takes six weeks to complete, you’ll get the final four as I’m on my way out of town.”

He considered me a moment and said, “I need proof it was the Disciples, and I have some questions I need answered, but if you give me what I need, I’ll take it to Duke.”

Fox came back into the room, sat in a chair, crossed his legs at the ankles, and stared at me as if he were trying to see inside me.

I shook my head and looked back to Wulff. “You have my laptop, that’s where my proof is.”

I spent the next fifteen minutes telling him which folders and files to look in, and kept my eyes averted from Fox. The guy was giving me the heebie-jeebies.

Wulff stood, stretched, and told Fox, “I’m gonna ride to the bottom of the mountain and call in. Watch her.”

“No!” I exclaimed before I thought about it, and when Wulff gave me a questioning look, I crossed my arms and said, “Don’t leave me here with him. Can’t he go call in?”

“No, I need to do this one. He won’t hurt you, but he’s pissed because…” He shook his head and repeated, “He won’t hurt you. Just don’t do anything to tick him off while I’m gone and you’ll be fine.”

“Why do you need to go down the mountain?”

Brain shook his head and walked out the door.

Great, he told me not to tick Fox off, but he appeared to have just royally pissed him off by reminding him why he’s mad at me, and then left me with him. Alone.

I pulled my legs closer to my chest, wrapped my arms around them, and put my forehead on my knees.

“Don’t curl up in a fucking ball,” Fox sneered. “I’m pissed at you, but he’s right — while you’re cooperatin’, I won’t hurt you.”

My hands touched the rope under the blanket, and I realized with my legs under the covers, I could work on the ropes without him realizing.

I’d watched Brain bind them, though, and I’d have to undo a large portion of the rope before I could work down far enough to get it loose around my toes. If I started and didn’t finish, it would just piss them off.

Sighing, I realized now wasn’t the time, and I brought my hands out from under the covers so I wouldn’t be tempted. I’d build up a little trust, and would make double-dog sure I could succeed next time I tried to escape.

I had a dozen things to say to Fox, but they were all smart-assed comments so I kept my forehead on my knees and didn’t say anything at all.

Chapter Four


I rode my bike partway down the mountain, parked it, and sat on a huge log on the side of the road before placing an encrypted call to Duke.

“She’s gonna take the deal.”

I told Duke what I’d gotten from her already, as well as the ‘one fact or supposition a week’ deal she was willing to make. I sighed as I added, “Bash is scaring her. I know he’s pissed because Dawg was gunned down.” If Dawg were human, he’d be dead — the Disciples had meant to kill him, and without access to our files they wouldn’t have been able to get to him the way they did. I held myself responsible, because I thought our security was good enough. It should’ve been, but Ice had found a way in, and I hadn’t even fucking known she’d been in until Duke realized there was a leak and I scoured the logs.