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Adrienne couldn’t understand what was happening. Why was she being sent away? Why were Morton’s men taking orders from Emerson, Darien, and Austin?

Who were they really?

She had never seen armed men disarmed so quickly in all her life. And Emerson, Darien, and Austin didn’t have a hair out of place.

But, there was something about them that changed when they stepped into Desmond’s dining hall.

She somehow had the feeling it wasn’t only her battle with Desmond. There was a level of personalness and pure hatred that Emerson, Darien, and Austin emitted that made her question things.

Did they know Desmond?

Was this even about her at all?

She had to know. Breaking from the woman, who was dressed in a black suit and who had escorted her out on their instructions, she rushed back toward the hall. But what she heard next drained the blood from her body. Their words cut through like ice. Pierced her soul and left her destroyed.

How had she been so wrong about them? How could she have trusted them so blindly? Everything that had happened between them had been orchestrated for this one moment in time, planned from day one. Nothing had been a coincidence.

They had used her. And she, too stupid to know it, had done everything they had expected her to do.

Oh god, and she had done the most painful thing of it all, too.

She had fallen in love with them.

Completely. Unequivocally. Devastatingly.

Yet, all she was—all she had ever been—was a pawn in their own revenge scheme.

Tears ripped from her eyes, blinding her. She stumbled as she fled, and the female guard caught her before she tumbled to the floor.

“Please, I need to get out of her. I’ll give you anything you want,” she pleaded.

“Where do you want to go?” The tall woman asked carefully.

“Home. My home. Please.”

Maybe it was her tears or her shattering heart, but the guard took pity on her and drove her home.

What a fool she had been.

The one time when she gave her heart away was the one time it got stomped on so cruelly that she would forever carry around its broken pieces no matter where she went or what she did.

She couldn’t stay in the country anymore, though. That was certain. Once she got her passport, she wanted to board her private jet and just disappear. Forever.

Chapter Fifteen

Trembling with hurt and anger, Adrienne rummaged through her drawers for her passport and a stash of cash that she would need while she found a proper place to hide for the rest of her life.

She was just so tired. Falling in love was never something that was going to happen to her. It shouldn’t have happened, and that was why it didn’t work out. The men she fell in love with had only been using her.

There would come a time when she would call herself stupid, but right now, her hurt was so great that she thought she was going to die.


She spun around at the sound of a voice. How had they gotten here so quickly? How had they gotten into her house and into her bedroom so silently? Oh, right, they were SEALs.

“You used me,” she said softly, afraid her anger was going to cause her to be torn asunder. “I was just a pawn in your sick game to get back at your... at your father? Oh, my god. Desmond Morton is your father,” she said in utter disbelief. She still couldn’t believe everything she had overheard in the one minute of standing outside the hall at Desmond’s house.

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