The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(12) by Lynsay Sands
Flushing bright red, she shifted uncomfortably in her seat and then turned to peer steadfastly out the window as she tried to banish the images and her body’s reaction to them.
Jeez, she’d never experienced anything like that before. She just wasn’t the sort to have sexual fantasies about a virtual stranger. Heck, she’d never even had such powerful imaginings about anyone she ever dated. Truth be told, she hadn’t known it was possible to turn yourself on with just a thought. And having them now, in the backseat of an SUV, with Stephanie, Justin, and Basil there . . . well. it was just embarrassing as all hell. It made her glad Stephanie couldn’t read her thoughts. She hoped Basil and Justin couldn’t either.
Sherry didn’t get to worry over that long. Her eye was caught by a mane of dirty blond hair amid the pedestrians they were passing. Focusing, she recognized the man Stephanie had called Leonius. Surrounded by his boys, he was moving through a crowd just starting to cross the street, walking in the same direction they were driving. Even as she recognized him and thought his name, the man turned his head in their direction as if she’d called out to him. His eye caught Sherry’s, and her heart stopped as recognition flared in his expression. Then the SUV turned right, away from him, and he was out of her line of vision.
Her breath suddenly caught in her chest, Sherry craned around in her seat as much as her seat belt allowed and sought out the man again, this time through the back window of the SUV. She immediately wished she hadn’t when she saw him move to the first car stopped at the light behind them. Pulling the front door open, he dragged the driver out. His men were right there with him, opening the other doors and pulling out the passengers, in order to get in themselves. All but one passenger, she saw, as a woman tried to follow the others out of the vehicle’s backseat but was forced back inside by the man with the ponytail, who slid in beside her. Then another of the men got in on the other side, trapping the woman.
“We have company,” Basil said quietly beside her.
“I see him,” Justin responded grimly, his eyes on the rearview mirror.
“That poor woman,” Stephanie said unhappily, and Sherry glanced around to see that, like her, the girl was also staring out the back window of the SUV.
“Nicholas is behind them,” Justin said as a dark SUV like the one they were in turned onto their street from the road they had come from. She guessed Nicholas had been watching and following for just this reason.
“Will he be able to save the woman in the car?” Sherry asked with concern even as she noted that there were two people in the SUV. The person in the passenger seat of Nicholas’s SUV was a woman who appeared to have a phone in her hand. Justin’s phone began to chime as Sherry saw the woman raise the phone to her ear.
“Jo?” Justin said, and Sherry glanced over her shoulder as he added, “Hang on. You’re on speaker. Let me turn that off.”
He picked up his phone, which he’d apparently set on the console between the front seats, hit a button, and then placed the phone to his ear. “Go ahead.”
Sherry’s mouth tightened. She wasn’t stupid, and doubted it was Stephanie or Basil he was concerned about overhearing both sides of the conversation. She was the reason he was taking the call off speakerphone. That could only mean he didn’t think she’d like what was said.
“Yeah. I see them,” Justin said. “No. I know we can’t lead them back to the house.”
Sherry turned again, to peer back at the vehicles behind them as she listened to the one-sided conversation. But she returned her gaze to Justin when he said with interest, “A trap? Yeah, that could work. Call Mortimer and have any of our people in the area head this way. He—Shit.”
Sherry turned back to the road behind them in time to see the car Leo had hijacked suddenly veer off down a side street. The second SUV, with Nicholas driving, immediately followed, as their own SUV slowed. For a moment Sherry thought Justin was going to turn around and follow the hijacked car too, but then he grunted something into the phone and picked up speed again, the SUV continuing in the direction they’d been headed.
“They’re going to follow him and see if they can corner the bastard,” Justin announced, tossing the phone onto the console again.
No one commented, and Sherry settled back in her seat and simply glanced from person to person in the SUV. They were all silent, seeming lost in their thoughts. They were also all grim-faced, and Sherry suspected she was as well. This Leonius person was a scary dude. She was glad he’d turned off, away from them, but was now worried about the poor unknown woman who had been trapped in the other car. She hoped Nicholas and Jo could help her.
Sherry glanced curiously to Stephanie at those muttered words. They had driven through gates with armed guards just moments ago, wended their way up a long snaking driveway, and were now pulling up in front of a large house. Sherry had been gaping over the size of the building, but now noted Stephanie’s pained expression and followed her gaze to the front door and the man who had just stepped outside. He was blond like Basil, but his hair was more platinum than golden. He was also tall, and well built in the tight jeans and T-shirt he wore. His features were similar to Basil’s, and like him, he was attractive, or could have been if his expression hadn’t been so grim. He looked mean.
“Who’s that?” she asked curiously.
“My brother, Lucian,” Basil said quietly.
“Oh,” Sherry murmured, understanding Stephanie’s reaction to seeing the man. She’d said Lucian would rake her over the coals once Drina and Katricia got done giving her hell, and she supposed this meant Lucian’s raking her over the coals would come first. But it made her wonder what his relationship was to Stephanie. Victor was her adopted father, but she hadn’t stated who Lucian was.
Sherry was still trying to work out the relationship when Justin drew to a halt and they all unbuckled to get out. Stephanie dragged her feet somewhat, obviously not eager to face the man. Sherry was following Basil out of the back before the girl even managed to open her door. The same protective instinct that had claimed her back at her store made Sherry move up beside the teenager now as she got out, offering her silent support.
Stephanie gave her a weak smile of gratitude and then faced Lucian and blurted, “I know. I messed up. But I just nipped out to the car to grab my phone while Drina and Katricia were in the changing room. And I had no idea Leo was in town. I thought he was down south and it would be okay. If I’d known, I never would have left the shop, even for a minute. I swear. I don’t want to land in Leo’s clutches again. Ever.”
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