I wrap my arms around her and whisper, “It will be okay,” even though I have no idea how I will make it okay. Not for her…not with this.
“You don’t understand. There was another girl here before me. They took her out, and when they brought her back, she was strung out on some kind of drug. She didn’t even remember her own name,” she tells me, and memories of what Wes told me about these guys flash through my head, making me vow that I will get us out of here before they can hurt us.
“Did you hear anything? See anything?” I ask.
“No, I was unconscious when they brought me here. When I woke up, Claire was with me. She said she was kidnapped from outside her house. Not long after I woke up, they came and got her.”
“What did they look like?”
“I don’t…I don’t know. They were big; one of them had a tattoo on his forehead of a spider,” she says, and a chill slides over me, knowing that was the same person who threatened Kayan at her apartment.
“We need to look around and see if we can find anything to use as a weapon to protect ourselves when they come back. My fiancé will be expecting me home soon, and when I don’t show, he’ll come looking for me,” I tell her, trying to comfort her and myself.
I just have no idea how long I was out, or how long it took for them to bring me here. I hate this. I can’t imagine what Wes is going to do when he realizes I’m not on my way home.
“Come on,” I whisper, and we begin crawling around on the floor, trying to be careful, because there seem to be some parts that are weak in the floor, like the structure is old. The floor is covered in a thick layer of dust, and my hand runs over a puddle of thick liquid, and when I lift my hand close to my face, my stomach turns as I see it’s actually blood. Someone was hurt here, hurt bad. It’s not a little blood; it’s a lot of it.
“Oh, God,” I whimper in fear as the weight of the situation crashes over me.
“I found something,” Ellie says from across the room, and I wipe my hand on my jeans and go towards her. When I make it to her side, I see she has a two-by-four with a thick rusty nail sticking out of one side.
“This is good,” I say, giving her a hug. At least we won’t be going down without a fight. “Let’s see if we can find anything else, and then we’ll come up with a plan.”
“Where’s July?” Mic asks, and I look from the TV to my phone and feel myself frown. I spoke with her fifteen minutes ago; she should be home by now. I put the phone to my ear and her phone rings and goes to voicemail.
“This is July. Leave a message…or not. Who leaves messages nowadays anyways?” She laughs, and a bad feeling settles in the bottom of my gut. I click off the phone then redial, and it rings then goes to voicemail again.
“What’s up?” Harlen asks as I step out onto the front porch, where he’s having a cigarette.
“Something’s off,” I tell him, waiting to see if her car comes around the corner. The store that we always go to is about ten minutes from the house, if that, and she was checking out when I hung up. “July’s not picking up her phone.”
“Maybe she can’t reach it,” he says, and I nod, but I know that’s not the case. Something’s definitely off.
“I’m giving her three more minutes, but then I’m taking off to look for her,” I tell him, putting my phone back to my ear and trying her again.
“I’ll ride with you,” he agrees, going into the house, coming back moments later with his jacket and handing me mine.
“What’s up?” Mic asks stepping out onto the front porch.”
“Gonna ride out with Wes to check on July. You stay here and have her call if she gets back,” Harlen tells him, and I pull on my jacket then try her number one more time.
“Fuck,” I clip and head towards my bike, swinging my leg over my seat, and Harlen does the same with his. The rumble of our pipes fills the air as we pull out of our driveway. I ride ahead of Harlen onto Main, heading right to the store, where I know July was last.
The moment we get there, I see her car in the parking lot off to the side of the door, where no one would see it. My stomach drops and my adrenaline kicks in as I pull into the space next to it and look inside. Her purse and the groceries she had just bought are sitting inside on the passenger seat. I open the back door, knowing not to touch the front in case someone needs to dust for prints, and reach in to grab her bag, pulling out her cell to see if she had gotten a call from anyone else, and there are no messages or anything in her call log.
When I lift my head, I see Harlen is on the phone, so I head into the store to see if anyone had seen anything, which no one has, and they don’t even have cameras, so that’s out. When I get back outside, Jax, Talon, Sage, and July’s uncle Nico are waiting near her car, with Harlen, Mic, Everett and two officers I don’t know.
“Z’s at the house with Kayan,” Mic says when he notices me looking at him.
“They got any cameras?” Nico asks, and I shake my head while walking closer to them, instead of going to the building and punching the shit out of it to relieve some of the rage I have pumping through me.
“You gonna be able to keep your head?” Nico questions, and I glare at him.
“I find who took her, they’re dead,” I say, meaning that shit to my core. Not if, but when I find them, they will pay with their lives for taking her from me.
“Do I need to take you in?” Nico asks, and I fold my arms over my chest. Uncle or not, I will lay him out if he thinks he can take me anywhere.
“You gonna stand around all day asking dumb as fuck questions while my woman is out there somewhere?”
“I’ma let that slide, ’cause I know you’re worried about my niece, but say some shit like that again and I will put you down,” Nico threatens, and my body stills and expands, ready to tackle his ass to the ground.
“Brother,” Mic says, and I turn my attention to him, “cool it.”
I run my hands down my face, attempting to get myself under control. Lashing out at everyone isn’t going to help anything right now. “What do we know?”
“Nothing.” Nico puts his hands on his hips. “She had no enemies, and the man I would have thought had something to do with this is in prison awaiting trial.”
“Fuck,” I rumble, and then think about Landon. It’s a long shot, but he may know something. “I’m going to ride to Mamma’s Country.”