Ransom at the Ritz: Chapter 3

Gavin and Rowe arrived at her suite. He pushed her through the front door. She stumbled to the ground. Someone cackled.

“Gavin, don’t ruin my merchandise”, Jace chided. London was the last to enter. She went to Aspen. He was dispersing weapons. “Oisin, leave her alone” Jace warned. Rowe saw Oisin’s feet retreat to the door. She rose to her feet.

Rowe was surprised to see three additional people. Jace stood near Dahlia, London’s sister. In place of ringlets and summer dresses, a siren stood. Her provocative manner made Rowe feel uncomfortable. London joined her sister. She looked terrifying with a machete in one hand and a pistol in the other.

“Oh”, Rowe exclaimed. Gray stood near the balcony. The man she loved stared at her. Rowe ran to him. It was only her and Gray. Just as before. “Gray, I can’t believe it’s you.” She clung to his shirt. He neither smiled nor moved. His altered appearance alarmed Rowe. The rigid jaw and dark eyes did not belong. Gray was gentle and kind. This man was a farce of whom she remembered. She stroked his cheek. He jerked his face away. “Gray? It’s me,” Rowe cried.

Brawny hands grabbed her arms. Gavin pulled Rowe away. He held her tight.

Jace advanced toward Rowe. “What did you do to Gray”, Rowe interrogated. His expression was unfathomable. “All this time”, Jace wondered aloud. He shook his head. “Nothing has changed.” Jace gave a maniacal laugh. He looked at Gray. “She still loves you after all this time”, Jace accused.

Gray did not respond. A muscle twitched in his jaw.

Jace turned back to Rowe. “You still do not choose me”, Jace yelled. Flecks of spit hit her face. Rowe flinched. “No, Jace, I do love you. I was just excited to see an old friend.” Jace gave her a withering look. “That’s all”, Rowe finished in a small voice. “You are lying.” He pointed to his head. “It seems time has made you forget.” Jace wrenched Rowe out of Gavin’s hold. She crashed to the ground. Jace kicked her in the side. “You do not lie to me!”

A slight commotion occurred. Someone howled in pain.

Jace knelt over Rowe’s crumpled body. “Get up!” She laid still. “Get up Rowena”, Jace ordered. She swayed to her feet. Rowe’s side throbbed in agony. She fought the urge to scream in pain.

Out of desperation, Rowe looked at Gray. She was surprised to see him restraining Aspen. “Time changes people”, Jace commented. He gripped her chin. “Look at me.” Rowe tried to bite his hand.

Gavin and Gray roared with laughter. “Careful Jace, she’s a spitfire”, Gavin joked.

Jace looked annoyed. Rowe gave him a wry smile. He drew closer to Rowe. “You think that’s funny”, Jace threatened. “Let’s do something I enjoy. A game of intrusions.” Rowe gave a mock bow. She readied her mind.

Jace’s intrusion was nothing compared to her aching side. She was satisfied. Jace could not read her thoughts. In moments, his intrusion vanished. “You have been practicing.” He narrowed his black eyes. “You are not the pathetic girl I met ten years ago under a bridge.” Jace placed his hand on the small of her back. “You remember that night”, he purred. He held Rowe close. “You begged me to save you and your sister.”

“We all know how that ended”, London wheezed. Jeers erupted among the room.

Rowe broke free of his grasp. “Oh I meant to ask you. How is your sister”, Jace taunted.

Gavin laughed. He slapped Gray on the back, who smiled at Rowe.

“That is, your dead sister”, Dahlia clarified.

Enraged, Rowe backhanded Jace across the jaw. He staggered a few feet back. Silence fell on the room. She shouted, “What do you want Jace?” Rowe was seething. Jace gripped his face. His mild surprise turned to stone.

Gavin strode toward Rowe. “Leave her!” Jace wiped a trickle of blood from his mouth. He drew near Rowe. His hot breath grazed her face. “What do I want? I want what you owe me Rowena. I want your life.”

Copyright © 2014 SarahHardy. All Rights Reserved.

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