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|Uncover Me(Men of Inked #6) by Chelle Bliss|
The fear I felt wasn’t for me, but for the ones I loved—including Angel. If something happened to any one of them, it would be my fault. I’d never be able to forgive myself. The only person to blame for the entire situation was myself. I’d brought Angel back with me. I’d introduced her to my family.
Listening to their chatter, I noticed a man watching us through tinted windows in a car nearby. I studied his build, trying to figure out if I knew him. Only a select few knew we were coming here. Slowly, the car door opened and the man climbed out. My heart was racing as I waited to see who the mystery man was—until I saw his face.
“Fuck,” James yelled from the front, noticing Flash as he walked toward the Escalade.
“What?” Joe barked, looking around before homing in on Flash. “I fucking hate him.”
“Cut him some slack,” I responded as I opened the door and stepped out.
“Thomas,” Flash said, giving me a quick chin lift.
“Flash,” I replied, holding out my hand to him. No matter how the other guys felt, Flash had been there in the end and helped bring down the Sun Devils. He’d kept his mouth shut about what happened with Rebel.
“I thought you could use a little more help.” He shook my hand, looking over my shoulder and into the vehicle.
“I appreciate it.”
“I couldn’t just sit there and wait to hear what happened. I needed to help out. You got everything ready?”
“Yep,” I said as the others piled out of the SUV and James popped the back.
Without another word, everyone grabbed weapons, jamming them in the waists of their pants and filling their pockets with ammunition.
“What’s the plan of attack?” Flash asked, standing behind us as we finished grabbing everything we could possibly carry.
“First, I’m going to go ahead and check everything out while everyone waits here. I don’t want us going in totally blind. You stay with the guys and make sure there’s no one watching us.”
Before he and the others could respond, I took off in the direction of the house where she was being held. I studied my surroundings as I walked, looking for anything that was out of the ordinary, but there was nothing. If this were a professional kidnapping and extortion plot, they would have had guards outside. Plus, they probably would’ve known better than to leave her phone on during her captivity.
It took everything I had in me not to charge the door and find her. My heart was beating faster than it ever had, pounding against my ribcage. Sweat dotted my brow as one drop trickled down my face. My palms began to feel clammy as my stomach filled with butterflies—but not the good kind. Within the next ten minutes, I’d either be happy or… I couldn’t even think about it. I wouldn’t let myself.
Peeking through the windows on the side of the house, I was able to see through tiny openings in the sheer drapes. The first two bedrooms I checked were empty. The third bedroom had the drapes drawn, so I couldn’t tell who was inside. Leaning against the glass, I placed my ear on the exterior, listening for any movement…but there was nothing.
Walking on light feet, I made my way to the front of the house and the large bay window. I stood off to the side, staying out of sight, and tried to get a visual. Inside were three people, but I couldn’t tell much else. The window coverings hid their identities. Listening for a few seconds, I couldn’t make out what the muffled voices were saying. Needing to make a plan, I headed back toward the guys and prepared for battle.
As I rounded the back of the house, making my way to the car, I saw everyone coming my way.
“What the fuck, man? You can’t just go off all Rambo and bullshit,” Mike said, hitting me in the chest with his flattened palm.
I bounced off his hands and maintained my stance. “Chill the fuck out. I needed to get my eyes on the house. I wanted to see who was inside.”
“What did you see?” James asked, pushing Mike out of the way.
“Three people in the front room. I couldn’t see in all the rooms. I don’t know if she’s in there or not.” I scratched my head, wondering if we had this all wrong.
What if she wasn’t in there? Maybe she was being held in another location or the information we had was fucked up. This could turn into a crazy-ass clusterfuck in a hurry and we’d be left with nothing. I’d have no Angel and we’d be in a world of legal trouble for bursting into a house. A little breaking and entering wasn’t how I wanted to start my life as a civilian.
“She’s in there,” Flash interrupted, coming to stand next to James.
“You sure?” James asked, turning to look down at Flash.
“I have no doubt. If she isn’t, the people who took her are. Either way, it’s win-win.” Flash crossed his arms, puffing out his chest.
“It’s a win if we get her back.”
“It’s settled. Let’s get our asses in there and get her,” Joe said, ready to kick some ass. He had a gun in his hand and one tucked in his jeans.
All the important men in my life and Flash were there with me, standing by my side and willing to put their existences on the line. If I ever doubted the love we felt for one another, today answered that question.
We took a few minutes deciding who would stay in the back of the house, dividing up the exits to make sure there was no escape.
“Let’s do this shit,” Anthony said when we finished planning, shifting from foot to foot. I’d never thought of him as aggressive, but in this moment, he was ready.