The Rockers' Babies (The Rocker... Series) (22 page)

“I’m scared,” Lucy whispered, glancing behind us too.

I reached for her hand and gave it a little squeeze as the operator greeted me. “Nine one-one. What is

your emergency?”

“We’ve just been rear-ended,” I told her, unable to stop the shakiness of my voice. “But the person who

hit us is gone…”

“A hit and run, miss?”

“No…” Because I could almost feel the presence of someone else outside the SUV. “I don’t know…”

“Do you require medical treatment?” the woman asked, sounding professional and concerned. “Is

anyone hurt?”

I started to speak, to tell her no, we were fine. Lucy’s scream locked up my throat, however, and I

nearly dropped the phone. Her eyes were on whatever or whoever was behind me. I could hear the operator

speaking as if the voice was coming from a long tunnel as I slowly turned my head and found the thing of

nightmares standing at my window with a crowbar in his hands. Not just anyone’s nightmares, but my own.

I was transported back to a time when all I could see were glazed-over high eyes glaring down at me with

hate. A time when I wondered if this was it. Was I going to die this time?

I had seen that face before. Those dark eyes so identical to the little girl sitting beside me. But the rest of him was nothing like the beautiful creature I had come to love like a niece. His eyes were glazed with a look I knew well, because I had spent the first fifteen years of my life seeing it daily. He was high, raging, and mean. Just like my mother had always been.

Suddenly I was a little girl again and I knew that I was going to be hurting before this was over.

“Please,” I whispered into the phone as the crowbar hit the driver’s side window the first time, cracking it,

“please, help us.”

The next swing and the glass exploded all over me. I was torn between wanting to protect my belly and

the child growing inside, and Lucy. That fear made my mind fuzzy. When I should have just shot the SUV

into Drive and hit the gas, I panicked instead. Shaking with fear I unfastened my seatbelt as fast as possible and reached for her. “Run!” I commanded.

Lucy only paused for a moment before she unbuckled her seatbelt and opened the door. She had barely

jumped down and I was trying to jump out behind her, my phone forgotten in my fight or flight mode. For

the moment I was solely focused on flight and the need to get Lucy as far away from the kind of monster

that I’d had to live with growing up.

“No you don’t, bitch,” Vince Grady growled as he caught my foot, tripping me as I climbed across the

seats. “She’s mine.”

I kicked out at him, trying to dislodge his hold on my ankle so that I could run after Lucy. “She’s ours!”

I yelled at him. “You can’t have her. Jesse will kill you if you even try.”

“Oh, he can have her back,” he snarled, pulling me across the console and closer to him. The stench of

something smoky, stale and sour turned my stomach and I nearly gagged even as I fought him to get free.

But in his drug-induced state he was freakishly strong. When he caught my kicking foot, trapping both feet

in his hands I knew I was in serious trouble. “As soon as he pays enough.”

I turned and tried to see out the windshield, praying that Lucy was far, far away from all of this. My

heart dropped when I saw that she was only a few yards away, having realized that I wasn’t with her any

longer. Her brown eyes were wide with fear in her pale face. Tears rolling down her cheeks. “Emmie!” she

cried.

“Run!” I screamed at her. “Run, Lucy!”

Vince pulled harder and the back of my head hit the console hard, but I barely felt the pain. Adrenaline was rushing through me and I tried to sit up. Maybe if I could just hit him, or grab the crowbar I would be able to get free. Lucy needed me. I couldn’t let her down. I couldn’t let this evil monster take her.

“I’ll pay whatever you want, right now,” I told him, trying to distract him. Money was all he wanted,

just as I had first assumed when Jesse told me that this man wanted his daughter. All he wanted was

payment for his little girl, and then he would go away… Until he needed more money. I knew Jesse would

hand over every penny he had to his name for Lucy. She was his baby, his since before Layla had even said

‘I do’. “I can get you the money. As much as you want.”

“I don’t want your money. I want his,” Vince assured me.

“I have full access to Jesse’s money.” I had access to all the guys’ money. I paid their bills, invested for them, made sure that their millions were safe. And now I would fork over an ungodly amount so that Jesse

could keep his daughter.

It was what I had planned on doing anyway. Having him found, his signature put on the bottom of the

paperwork that would relinquish his rights over Lucy forever. Then paying him off and making sure he

never bothered my family again. But with the craziness of the last week I hadn’t put as much effort in

having this man found like I should have been doing.

Instead he had found me, and this was going to end in one of two ways. He would calm the fuck down

and let me get him the money, or he would hurt me—maybe even kill me—and use Lucy as ransom to get

the money he needed. No doubt so he could snort it up his nose or shoot it into his arm. I had to keep my

head, had to fight through the fear that was trying to swallow me alive so I could make sure that I didn’t

end up dead… Fuck, I had to keep calm for Lucy who could end up in a body bag if I didn’t.

“No deal, bitch.” His fist connected with my jaw and I saw stars for a moment. “I want to see his face. I

want to see that fucker’s face as he hands over the money. If he loves the girl he will bring it himself.”

“Leave her alone!” I yelled at him as I lifted. He screamed in pain as my nails raked down his face. “He

will kill you and I will help him bury the fucking body,” I growled as I caught the crowbar from his

slackened hands and swung it at his face.

It connected, but not with as much force as I would have liked. Damn, I was hoping to knock him out,

instead it just dazed him enough for me to get free. I scrambled across the seats and out the door. I saw

Lucy a ways down the street. “Keep running,” I called, running toward her.

“EMMIE!”

That was all the warning I got before I was tackled to the ground. My heart stopped, thinking about my

baby as I landed hard on my stomach…

And then I couldn’t think at all as blackness suddenly surrounded me. I felt something wet slide down

my face as he hit me again just before the world disappeared.

Chapter 19

Jesse

Layla’s private room was full of family. Drake and Lana sat at the window, one wrapped around the

other. Shane sat in the only other spare chair with Harper on his lap. All of them were laughing with Layla as she attempted to feed Luca. He was being particular though, having gotten so spoiled with me feeding

him over the last few days. He knew my scent, my touch and was looking for it.

I didn’t move from where I was standing holding Lyric, who had already had his dinner and then some.

My little warrior’s appetite had picked up today and he had sucked down his bottle and cried for more after he had been burped. The nurse had rushed to get another bottle for Luca because Lyric had inhaled half that bottle too.

Layla was doing better emotionally since she had gotten to spend a little more time with the boys earlier

in the day and now she was getting to actually feed them. She was smiling, her tears miles away. Now all

we needed was for Emmie to get Lucy here so that my family would be complete.

For what was probably the fiftieth time I glanced down at the watch on my left wrist. It was just after

five, but Emmie had assured me she would have Lucy here by four-thirty. I wasn’t happy with her going

off with Harris tonight for trick-or-treating, but Emmie had arranged for one of the security guards to

follow the kids tonight, offering me that safety net that I needed.

Emmie was rarely late, and when she was she always called me. I felt off, my heart starting to race with

anxiety. Then I brushed it off. Em and Lucy were fine. Of course they were…

I was so lost in my musings that when my phone buzzed I jerked, making Lyric protest. Pulling the cell

from my pocket I saw that it was Emmie and breathed a sigh of relief. I handed the baby over to Harper

who was the closest to me and then answered the phone. “Hey. Where you at?”

“D-da-daddy?”

My heart stopped at the sound of Lucy’s voice. In that one broken word I heard a million different

things. The fear that made her voice wobble is what broke
me,
though. “Lucy?” I breathed her name.

“Da-daddy, I’m sorry!” she cried before she was cut off.

I heard a male voice I didn’t recognize snap something I couldn’t understand and then his voice was

coming loud and clear through the phone. “Jesse Thorton?”

“Yes,” I snarled. “Who the fuck is this and what the hell are you doing with my daughter? Where is

Emmie?”

The room around me seemed to freeze and I didn’t even notice as Drake and Shane stood and flanked

me. I was too lost in rage because even though I had no clue what was going on, I knew that this man had

hurt Lucy… and probably Emmie too!

“Emmie is where I left her… Or maybe not. I’m sure someone has found her by now. Don’t worry, she

was still breathing when I last saw her.” My vision actually narrowed at his words and I nearly stumbled as I reached for something to steady me. It was the end of Layla’s bed and I gripped it with my free hand so

tightly I thought I heard the thick plastic crack a little. “As for your daughter… She’s not. She’s mine. But you can have her if you want… If you’re willing to pay for her.”

“Grady.” I spit the name out, tasting bile.

“You’re a smart man, Thorton. So, do you want her back or not?” Vince Grady’s voice was hard but

full of what I thought might be boredom. What the fuck? He was asking me if I wanted my little girl back as calmly as if he was asking if I wanted extra cheese on my pizza.

“Of course I fucking want her back!” I exploded and heard the babies whimper, but my concern didn’t

even reach to caring if I scared my boys just then. I was too scared, too fucking terrified for Lucy. “How

much?”

“Two million.” I didn’t even blink at his demand. I would have handed over every damn penny I had if

it would get me Lucy back. “I want it by tomorrow at noon. I get the money, you get Lucy. A fair trade,

yeah? And if you’re smart you won’t involve the cops.”

“Don’t worry about it, fucker. There won’t be any need for the cops.” It wasn’t like I wanted the cops to witness a murder anyway. Because I was going to fucking bury that bastard as soon as I got my hands on

him. “Let’s do this tonight.”

“You can get that much money now?” He laughed like he thought I had said something incredibly

funny.

“I can’t, but Emmie could.” Emmie would call the president of the bank, get his ass in the vault and

have the money within the hour. But Emmie wasn’t here and I had no idea where she was, or how badly

she was hurt. That fucker had her phone, had sad that she was still breathing when he last saw her… How

long ago had that been? Of fuck, what about the baby? I squeezed my eyes shut. “Where is she?”

“Probably the closest hospital by now. Fine, tonight it is. You have until midnight.” He told me the

place, and I repeated it aloud, nodding.

“Let me talk to Lucy,” I demanded, when I realized that Grady was going to hang up. I needed to hear

her voice again, to know that she was alright.

“You have thirty seconds to talk to her,” he said before I heard Lucy’s whimper.

“Lucy? Are you okay, baby?” Where my voice had been full of rage just seconds before it was suddenly

choked and broken. I swallowed hard, trying to hold back the tears and the gut twisting fear. “Did he hurt

you?”

“M-my f-f-face,” she stuttered.

“I’m going to get you back, baby. I swear it. I’ll have you home soon, okay?”

“D-da-daddy… She was bleeding,” Lucy sobbed, and I knew she was talking about Emmie. “She

wasn’t moving.”

Before I could say anything the line went dead. “Lucy?” I said her name, praying that she would answer

me but knowing she wouldn’t. A roar was bubbling up inside of me and I raked my hands over my scalp.

The rage was building again and it was like nothing I had ever felt in my life. Nothing compared to how

explosive I was at that moment. That fucker had hurt Lucy, had hurt Em. He had my baby and I couldn’t

get to her. Couldn’t protect her and that was driving me crazy.

“Jesse?” Layla’s voice made me raise my head and I saw the same emotions swirling in her eyes that

were tossing me around on the inside. “What the fuck is going on?”

“Vince Grady took Lucy,” I snapped, unable to calm down even for her. “He took her and he wants two

million tonight. I have no clue where Emmie is but he hurt her, left her bleeding somewhere.” Her already

pale face turned alabaster and I saw her start to shake.

Lana rushed to take Luca from her before she accidently dropped the baby. Then she was placing the

baby in the incubator because she was shaking too. “I need Em to get the money because I don’t even

fucking know our bank account number…”

There were a million things I needed to do, but I had no idea how to get them done because the one

who was the sane one, the one who took care of me and all my problems was lost to me at that moment. I

felt impotent and useless and terrified and that only made the rage burn higher.

“…Nik.” Shane’s voice distracted me for a moment and I realized he was on the phone doing one of the

Other books

A Grave Mistake by Leighann Dobbs
The Valentine's Arrangement by Kelsie Leverich
Mermaids on the Golf Course by Patricia Highsmith
Whispers and Lies by Joy Fielding
Ophelia by Jude Ouvrard
Las haploides by Jerry Sohl
Forced Magic by Jerod Lollar