Ransom at the Ritz: Chapter 2

Jace walked toward Rowe and Oisin. His methodical movements resembled a lion stalking its prey. Oisin swiveled at the sound of approaching footsteps. “Who is he Rowena?” His voice startled Rowe. She was surprised to see Oisin standing there. “Someone from another life” she answered with a tremble. “Rowena you are shivering.” Oisin placed his coat on her shoulders. “Thank you Oisin. That will be all.” Rowe disliked Jace towering over her friend.

“Manners, Rowena. I taught you better”, Jace scolded. “Who is this charming little man?” Oisin puffed out his chest. “Introductions will be unnecessary” Rowe countered. She placed her hand on Oisin’s shoulder. “I no longer need your assistance. Thank you.” Oisin ignored Rowe’s dismissal. He crossed his arms over his chest. Oisin stood beside Rowe as a bodyguard.

Jace gave Rowe a sardonic smile. “Rowena, I am pleased to see you again.” He scanned Rowe’s trembling frame. His prying eyes unnerved her. “What are you doing here?” Jace clucked his tongue in disapproval. “We both know why I’m here. Let’s take this somewhere private.” Jace motioned to the elevator. “Your suite will suffice.”

Rowe peered into the Lounge. The dim lighting outlined a few people sitting around. “The Lounge is a better place to talk”, Rowe offered. Jace’s nostrils flared. He hated a public scene. Unwanted attention and messy accusations is what he called them. “Stop the games Rowena” Jace threatened. He gripped her elbow. “We will go to your suite.”

“Now see here. You cannot treat Rowena like that”, Oisin reprimanded. Rowe jerked her arm free. “It’s alright Oisin. Jace and I will be in the Lounge. That will be all.” She rose to her full height. Rowe sauntered past Jace and Oisin. “Lass, I think I should stay”, he advised. Rowe shook her head. “That isn’t necessary. Jace is an old friend of mine.” Oisin glowered at Jace. He left without another word.

Rowe sat in the center of the Lounge. She beckoned Jace to an adjacent chair. He gave a curt nod. “I don’t care for your attitude”, Jace warned in a severe tone. “You mean you hate not giving the orders”, Rowe argued. He sat, tightlipped. Stoking this flame could set a blaze. A wounded Jace could be explosive. He finished his drink.

“Rowena”, he said in a thoughtful tone. “Only those who love you call you by your full name.” He turned to where Oisin stood before. “Does he love you”, Jace mocked. Rowe gave a mirthless smile. “Still suspicious; jealousy does not suit you”, Rowe nettled. “You have nothing to worry about. Oisin is a friend.” Jace looked unconvinced. “I still belong to you, Jace.”

“Is that right?” Jace snapped his fingers. The few people in the Lounge faced them. Their familiar faces revealed. Aspen and Gavin, progenies of Jace, stood beside London, a child soldier.

Rowe raised her hands to her mouth. She could not believe they were here.

Jace drew a dramatic breath. “Don’t be shocked yet, Rowena. Here is the best part. Oisin!”

Oisin entered the Lobby. He did not look at Rowe. “I’m sorry lass”, he mumbled.

Rowe felt the wind knocked out of her. Oisin aligned with her enemy numbed her. Rowe fell to her knees.

Jace whooped with delight. “The day you escaped, Gavin trailed you. Following you here, he met Oisin. I instructed Gavin with specific orders. Oisin would befriend you and earn your trust, until I came for you. He has been my spy for the last five years.”

Rowe spoke in a small voice. “If you have known all these years, why did you wait so long?”

Jace lifted Rowe to her feet. “Your reaction is what I wanted to see. Betrayal and despair over someone you trusted.” Rowe wilted. “You cannot blame him though. He lost one of my games. Oisin has a similar background to yours.”

Oisin’s face whitened.

“Today has been on my mind since you ran away. I always get what I want, Rowena. One way or another”, Jace affirmed.

“Gavin, take Rowena to her suite. Make sure no one sees you”, Jace ordered.

“He won’t be seen. On account of the storm, I sent all first floor workers home” Oisin assured in a thick voice. Silent tears fell.

“Very good Oisin”, Jace praised. “You will be rewarded.” “I only want my freedom from you”, Oisin croaked. “You would like that.” Jace flashed a sly smile.

“We will convene in Rowena’s suite. Then be on our way.” He patted Rowe’s cheek. “I am sure you miss your old life.” Rowe flicked his hand from her face. “Oisin, show the way.”

Gavin pulled Rowe from the Lounge. To her dismay, Oisin was true to his word. The front desk was empty. The dark storm poured outside. The street was empty of passersby. Her home was now akin to a prison. Hot tears fell. Rowe felt completely alone. Jace ripped away everyone she cared for.

Copyright © 2014 SarahHardy. All Rights Reserved.

 

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