“Soritz, don’t let your fucking pride get you killed today.”
There’s no response. Not even a torrent of bullets. The instinct is to peek out, thinking maybe it’s safe, but my gut tells me it’s a trap. I follow my gut and run down the hallway. It spills into the kitchen where white-coated chefs cower in the corner. I wave at them. “Exit?”
One of them points me toward another door. I race over and find myself in a service garage. There are four vehicles including one G Wagon. That tank will see me out. I grab the keys off the wall, climb into the SUV, and press the starter button. It purrs to life. I slam on the gas and punch through the garage door. Bodyguards jump out of the way. In my rearview mirror, I see Soritz shaking his fist at me from his front porch. “Don't worry, Soritz. You’ll be dead by nightfall.”
They’re being weird. I watch Con and Sham walk past again. Are they pacing? I lean over, trying to get a better view of them. I’m not sure what's going on, but something is off.
“Hold still please,” Ms. Michaels tells me as she does something to the back of the dress. “I’ve almost got this. I knew it was going to be the one. Only needs this pulled in a bit. You’re a tiny thing.” I am, but that’s quickly changing.
I think I've put on ten pounds since I got here. The doctor that had helped with my leg had commented as much when he came back to check on it. I’m not sure he’ll be back again. Kane hadn’t been too happy about him making any comment about my body, saying he shouldn’t be looking at me. I tried to reason that the point of him being there was because of my body, but it was pointless. There’s no reasoning with Kane when it comes to me.
I smile, thinking back to that day. Kane is a very confusing man. I’m not really one to talk. When it comes to him, I’m all over the place. I’ll hate and love something at the same time that he’ll do or say.
“How does it feel?” Ms. Michaels comes around to the front to get another look. We’re in the living room. We’d been in the spare room but I wanted to see myself in a full-length mirror. There is a giant one in here on the wall. The one in Kane’s bedroom wasn’t an option. He doesn’t care for people besides us being in there, and I find I don’t either.
“It’s fine,” I mutter, watching Sham dart by again.
“Fine?” She laughs. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone call a twenty-thousand-dollar wedding dress fine.”
“What?” I gasp. “That’s the cost of a car. A few of them.” I run my fingers across the lace on the corset. It’s snug until you get to the waist that has silk tulle that’s light. It flows down in soft waves not overdone.
“I highly doubt your husband-to-be owns a car that is anywhere close to twenty thousand.”
“If you don’t like it, dear, we can try—”
“No, it’s fine. I love it.” I really do. Ms. Michaels had brought over a handful of dresses. My eyes landed on this one, and I knew it was what I wanted. It is delicate but sexy.
“Ms. Michaels.” Sham is back now in the living room. Con and a few others are with him hauling everything out of the spare room that the woman left. “It’s time for you to go.”
“Of course.” She doesn’t miss a beat, grabbing her bag on the table.
“I’ll need help out of the dress.”
“No.” Sham holds his hand out when Ms. Michaels tries to come back over to me. “Ma’am.” He motions for her to go.
“I’m sorry. Thank you.”
“It’s fine, dear.” She gives me a warm smile before departing. I keep my mouth shut until she’s gone. I’m not sure Sham or Con will answer any of my questions, but I know they definitely won’t in front of Ms. Michaels.
“What was that? Did she do something wrong?” I ask as soon as the elevator doors close.
“You’re on lockdown,” he responds.
“That’s old news, Sham. Been on lockdown since I got here, and Ms. Michaels has been allowed here the whole time. She steal something?” I tease and get almost no response, but I can tell he’s off. “Sham?”
“Everything is fine.”
“You’re lying.” I glance over to Con. “Is Kane okay?”
“He’s fine,” Con finally answers.
“But he wasn’t?” I don’t know if I want to scream or cry. The frustration of never knowing shit gets to me, but the worry is worse. My throat grows tight. “I can’t breathe.” I have to get this dress off.
“What do you mean you can’t breathe?” Con steps closer to me.
“Get it off me. I need it off me.” I yank at the dress. That sends Con back more steps than he’d taken toward me in the first place. Sham retreats with him.