Ryder watchedas Dante and the barbarian carried Tatum to the old barn on the back of her grandmother’s property. He knew that trying to stop them would only end up getting them both killed and there had to be a better way. He knew just who to call, but he also knew he was going to catch a lot of shit from Hart for letting Tatum end up in the hands of Dante. He shouldn’t have let his guard down as he had. He just wanted to do something nice for her and now, he stood the chance of losing her. He was an idiot and he fucked up. Now, all he needed to do was call Hart and come clean with him. He needed Hart to help him come up with a plan and it needed to be a damn good one at that.
He sighed and pulled out his cell. Hart answered on the first ring, “Ryder,” he breathed. “Tell me Dante does not have Tatum.”
“Can’t,” Ryder admitted. “He’s got her in an old barn on the outskirts of the property. You know it?” he asked.
“Fuck,” Hart shouted into the phone. “Yeah—I know it. My grandmother used to keep goats in it.”
“Wait,” Ryder said. “You knew that Dante had Tatum—how?” he asked.
“You didn’t check in yesterday, so I panicked. I might have sent in a team and they had intel that Dante was snooping around town.” Ryder was having trouble keeping up with everything Hart was telling him.
“You sent a team in? As in, you have people here?” he asked.
“I’m here,” Hart growled. “About ten minutes out. I sent a small team ahead last night. By the way—thanks for the use of your plane.”
“Tell me that Rachet was the one flying it,” he said.
“He was,” Hart said.
“Thank fuck,” Ryder said. “He’s one of the only pilots I’d trust with her,” he said.
“Yeah well, he volunteered as soon as I told Savage and the guys about Dante snooping around the cabin. He’s been there for a few days. As soon as I found that out, I had Rachet fly back to Alabama and pick me and a few more guys up. We’re on our way over there now,” Hart said. “Don’t engage them and don’t go in after her, man.”
“You expect me to just sit around and wait for them to hurt her? What if they move her?” Ryder felt panic well up inside him at the thought of them taking her from him—he wouldn’t allow that.
“Calm down, Ryder,” Hart growled. “How many guys are you seeing there?” he asked.
“Two—Dante and some big ass goon who I’m betting is her hired help,” Ryder said.
“Right—well have no issue with just two of them. I’m betting they won’t move her until they find you. Dante won’t want to leave any stones unturned. He’ll want to make sure you don’t come after them. Dante will want you dead, man. Going in there will be a huge mistake and end up possibly getting both you and Tatum killed. Stand the fuck down,” Hart ordered.
“Fine,” Ryder grumbled. “I’ll wait for you to get here but if they move her, I’m going in.”
“We’re seven minutes out now,” Hart said. “Stay out of sight.” Hart ended the call and put his cell phone back into his pocket.
“Shit,” he whispered to himself. How did they go from him leaving his very naked, sexy woman soaking in the tub to him hiding in the woods, waiting for Hart to show up to help him save her?
He had forgotten his damn wallet and had to turn around before he even got to town. He got back to the cabin in time to find Dante and his big bodyguard loading Tatum into his pick-up. He panicked but knew that going in without backup was an awful idea. He breathed a little easier when they drove around the little cabin and about a half-mile down an unmarked road to a barn he didn’t know existed. They pulled her from the back seat of the truck and carried her into the barn. The big guy came right back out but Dante didn’t and he worried about what that asshole was doing to Tatum. About ten minutes later, Dante came back out of the barn and he and his goon got back into the truck and headed back to the main cabin.
Ryder had positioned himself in the woods, hiding just out of sight, knowing that they were probably waiting for him to return. That’s when he called Hart to come up with a plan. His only peace of mind was knowing that if those two assholes were in the main cabin, Tatum was all alone and for the time being, safe.
Ryder heard two vehicles approaching and he noticed that they pulled off just down the road about a quarter-mile. Hart and five other guys got out of the first truck and three other men got out of the second pick-up. “About time,” Ryder grumbled under his breath. He hiked back through the woods and out to meet the guys. Judging from the way Hart looked at him, he was pissed that he let Tatum be taken by Dante.
“I’m sorry, man,” Ryder said. “I just went into town to pick-up dinner.”
“You left her Ryder and now, that asshole has her. That’s unforgivable,” Hart growled. He was right, it was unforgivable and he knew that he fucked up but standing in the woods arguing about the situation wasn’t going to fix things. They needed to get to her before Dante realized that he was surrounded.
“We can discuss this later,” Ryder said. “Now, we need to get Tatum back.”
“Agreed,” Hart said. “I’ll lead my team into the barn to extract my sister. Ryder, you, and the rest of the guys there go into the cabin and secure Dante and his bodyguard. Clear?” Hart asked.
“No,” Ryder said. “I want to go in after Tatum and get her out. It’s my fault she’s in there. Plus, I just got my cast off, so I’m not going to be much help in a fight.” Hart looked him up and down as if he didn’t quite believe him, his eyes resting on Ryder’s bum leg.
“Fine,” Hart agreed. “You’ll go in with those three to get Tatum. Once you have her, I want you in your SUV, taking her back to the airstrip where Rachet dropped you off. You remember the way?” Hart asked.
“Yeah,” Ryder said. “I think I can manage that.”