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Kidnapped by the Billionaire

By:Jackie Ashenden

CHAPTER ONE

Seven years ago Elijah Hunt lost everything that gave his life meaning.

Now, he'd lost it again.

This fucking bullshit was starting to get old.

The subway car rattled through the dark tunnel as he sat there with his  fingers curled around the Colt in the pocket of his overcoat, watching  the woman who sat opposite and a couple of seats down the car from him.

She hadn't seen him, hadn't recognized him. But then he'd made damn sure she wouldn't.

She looked like she was in her own little world anyway, staring down at  the fringed leather purse she held tightly in her hands as if it  contained the secrets of the universe.

Violet Fiztgerald. Daughter of the biggest prick God had ever put on  this earth. The prick he'd spent the last seven years serving.

Not anymore. That prick was now dead and so was everything Elijah had worked toward.

He wasn't just pissed. He'd gotten beyond that. Way, way beyond it.

He was now in the cold zone, the dead place. Where only one thing had any meaning anymore: Take them down. Take them all down.

There was just one thing he needed in order to make that happen. Violet. His handy little backup plan.

She shifted in her seat, glancing distractedly at the drunk sitting a  couple of seats away, an expression of distaste flickering across small,  precise features heavily masked by the makeup she wore. Thick black  eyeliner and dark blue mascara. Full red mouth. Her long blonde hair in  its ridiculous dreadlocks was pulled back in a ponytail, and as she  changed her hold on her battered-looking purse, the many silver  bracelets she wore around her wrist made chiming sounds.

She was wrapped in a long and completely over-the-top dark blue coat of  worn velvet, belted tightly around her waist. The boots on her feet were  black and scuffed, lacing right up under the bright fall of her Indian  silk skirt. In addition to the bracelets around her wrists, she wore  heavy silver hoops in her ears and a little blue sapphire that glittered  in her nose.

Ever since he'd become Fitzgerald's right-hand man, Violet had been  dressing like she'd stumbled over a box of theater costumes and just put  them all on.

She looked ridiculous. A poor little rich kid trying rebellion on for  size. When he'd first met her, she'd just come back from college after  studying psychology against the express wishes of her parents. Then, not  a couple of months after being back, she'd left again to pursue yet  more study. She was one of those perpetual students, without a goal or  purpose, substituting academia for a proper job. He despised her.  Especially when not long after she'd come back with her master's degree,  she'd then taken off to India and Europe, claiming she needed some "me  time." And all on her father's dime.

Spoiled, that's what she was. Unfortunately for her though, the days of  swanning around doing whatever the hell she wanted were now at an end.

The lights flickered as the train went around a corner, then began to slow as it approached the station.

Keeping an eye on her and her mother had been one of his jobs, so he had  an idea where she was going. And if he was right, she'd be getting off  here.

Sure enough, as the train drew up to the platform, Violet got to her feet.

Time to go.

People were beginning to crowd around the doors, but he had no problem  making sure they moved out of the way as he came up behind her. She was a  full head shorter than he was and smelled faintly of some kind of  hippie shit perfume. Sandalwood possibly.

Filing the observation automatically away, he brought the Colt out  discreetly and bent his head so his mouth was near her ear. Then he  jammed the muzzle against her back and said coldly, "Scream and I'll  kill you."

She stiffened, jerking around to face him, shock written all over her pretty features.

He allowed her a glance, since one look into his eyes would be all she  needed to know he meant business, and gave her an icy smile. "You don't  want to die, do you, Violet?"

Eyes the color of fine turquoise widened, her pupils dilating. Her gaze  flickered all over his face, probably taking in the bruises and cuts  left by fucking Zac Rutherford's fists. He probably looked like he'd  gone ten rounds with Muhammad Ali, but that was a good thing. The more  terrified she was, the less likely she'd fight him-and he really  couldn't be bothered with yet another fight right now. He'd rather shoot  her and be done with it.

Elijah pressed the gun firmly into her back. "Eyes front. We're getting out right here."

A visible tremble shook her, and for a minute he wondered if she'd be  stupid enough or afraid enough to ignore him and scream. Which would put  a major fucking wrench in the works.         

     



 

He cocked the gun. Kept the cold smile on his face. "Make the right decision, princess."

She paled. Her gaze flickered again, then abruptly she turned back to the doors.

Excellent. At least one thing was going right for him today.

The train stopped and the doors opened, and Violet got out with him  close behind her. "Head for the exit," he murmured as they moved through  the crowded platform. "Nod if you understand."

She didn't turn this time, but gave a jerky nod.

Keeping the gun pressed firmly into her back, he stayed close as they  made their way to the escalators, people oblivious around them, all the  while keeping an eye out for anyone tailing them. He wasn't fool enough  to believe that just because he'd lost the men Rutherford had sent out  after him, he was safe. No, not after the fight the other man had put up  back at Fitzgerald's apartment.

His shoulder ached at the memory, but Elijah ignored the pain. Focused  instead on the massive, black, volcanic rage that filled him. Rage at  seeing the man he'd been chasing for seven years die from a gunshot  wound to the head.

Everything he'd done, everything he'd worked for, gone in the blink of an eye.

Because that fucking bitch Eva King had taken his revenge from him.

He should have killed her up in that apartment, but he hadn't. He'd let  her go to catch Fitzgerald off guard, to break the impasse Rutherford  and King had gotten themselves into.

He'd expected Rutherford to go for Eva to protect her, but none of them  had done what they were supposed to do. Eva wasn't supposed to shoot  Fitzgerald in the head. She was supposed to collapse in a heap of fear  and Rutherford was supposed to protect her while Elijah took the shot at  Fitzgerald instead.

But none of it had gone to plan. Eva had taken up the gun and shot  Fitzgerald, and then Rutherford had turned on him. Then Rutherford had  shot him.

Fucking prick.

The bullet had gone through his shoulder and it hurt like a bastard, but  Elijah was used to ignoring pain. After picking up the Colt from the  dead body of the security guard on his way out of the building, he'd  found an alley to hide in, ripping his shirt apart to use as a makeshift  bandage while he put his coat on over the top. Then he'd had to think  on the fly, try to remember what his backup plan was supposed to be if  everything turned to shit.

He'd had to work fast, find Violet quickly, because once her father's  death was discovered, the police would be all over it and not only would  his element of surprise be gone, but she'd be protected. And not only  by the police.

Violet Fitzgerald's best friend was Honor St. James, a member of the  group who'd fucked up his revenge plans, and once Honor knew Fitzgerald  was dead, she'd be running to her friend to make sure she was okay.

Which wasn't going to happen. At least not now at any rate.

As they came up out of the subway station, the icy wind of a late New  York winter crawled under the overcoat he wore, sending tendrils of cold  over the bare skin of his torso. He considered the sensation, then  discarded it. He would have to get inside and out of the wind to deal  with his wound soon enough, but he could manage for now. It wasn't as if  his hostage was any danger to him.

Almost as soon as the thought crossed his mind, Violet made a sudden lunge to the left.

Stupid girl. Even with a gunshot wound his reflexes were better than most Navy SEALs.

He shot out a hand and grabbed her arm, hauling her back against him while jamming the muzzle of the Colt hard into her side.

"Bad move, princess," he hissed in her ear. "Do it again and I'll shoot you right here and now."

She was trembling, he could feel it. "W-W-Why are you doing this?" she  stammered, her voice hoarse and ragged with fear. "W-What did I do?"

"Just shut up and do as you're told and you won't get hurt." Keeping a  hold on her arm, he forced her to walk to the edge of the sidewalk near  the street. "Now, flag down a cab. We're going for a little drive."

"My father will-"

"Your father, Violet, is dead. And if you want to live, you'll do whatever the fuck I say, understand?"

She'd gone totally still at that. "No … " It was a quiet, almost inaudible whisper.

But he had no time for her grief or her shock or her pain. He knew  Fitzgerald had loved his daughter in his own twisted way and that Violet  had no idea what her father was. That this news would come as a  complete shock to her.

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