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An ice-cold sensation washed over me, leaching all heat, warmth, and affection from my body. Leaving behind a shell.
What the hell had she done?
Spasms gripped my gut and held my breath hostage as I tried to think through any rational explanation.
But there wasn't any rational explanation.
Nyla had betrayed me. The first time I had let anyone truly get close to me in years and this was what happened. I had actually let myself care about someone, and she was still investigating us. Had she ever stopped?
In the beginning, I’d thought I was playing her. Keeping her occupied and away from what the London Lords were doing. But she was the one playing me.
I placed a frantic call to Ben as I exited the flat.
He answered in the middle of the second ring. "What's up, mate?"
"We have a fucking problem."
He could hear the tension in my voice, and his tone changed entirely. "Is someone dead?"
"Nyla didn't stop investigating us."
"What do you mean, she didn't stop?"
"You heard me. She didn't fucking stop. I'm looking at the fucking murder board of everything we've done. She knows it all. And if she doesn't know it yet, she's trying to make the connections. Someone's feeding her information. Right now, she has a list of at least ten of our Elite members, and she obviously plans to keep going."
His long drawn out, "Fuuuuck," on the other end was a reassurance that he understood the seriousness of the situation. “Come back to my house.”
"Yup. I'm on my way in. Just need to make a quick detour.”
"I'll call Bridge and Drew." He sighed. “Fuck, mate, I thought you'd handled her."
"Yeah. Motherfucker, I thought I had too."
For years, I employed limits. I had boundaries. I had lines I would not cross.
Not anymore. Those lines were specifically set for people I cared about.
That list no longer included Nyla.
Are you sure about that?
I shoved aside the worry and the voice of reason that attempted to surface. That voice wasn’t real. She wasn't real. I’d thought I was falling for her. I’d thought I was becoming less closed off than I’d always been. But I’d only been fooling myself. Any relationship with her was a pure fabrication on my part.
Yes, it was real.
The fuck it was. And since it wasn’t real, I was going to do what I should have done with her from the very beginning.
I strode out of the building, turning toward where I’d parked my car.
Charlie Cox, general manager of the Soho London Lords, wasn’t used to getting calls on a Sunday from me, but he still answered cheerily.
"Hey, Charlie. Sorry to interrupt your weekend, but I need a lockdown protocol on an Agent Nyla Kincade. I don't want her anywhere near the premises or any hotel we own anywhere. You got me?"
He didn't even hesitate. "Yes, sir. I'll make it happen straightaway."
I knew if she still had her badge it would have negated me barring her from London Lords hotels. But she didn't have a badge anymore, so she was going to be shit out of luck.
I thanked Charlie and then made a call to my assistant, Belinda. She didn't answer, but I left her a terse message. "Belinda, I have a no-access protocol on Agent Nyla Kincade. If she attempts to contact our offices in any way, shape, or form, call me immediately."
When I was done with that, I had to stop and lean against a post box. My blood was roaring, making me weak. That sinking feeling in my gut left me dizzy.
My inability to breathe felt like a goddamn elephant had parked itself on my chest.
I leaned over slightly and forced a deep breath into my lungs. Long, deep, sharp pulls. Why the fuck did I feel this way?
This was Nyla. She was always clear and direct. I knew that about her. So how had I not realized she was lying? Speaking the truth was at her very core, so what had I missed? She wouldn’t have told an outright lie, but fuck, there could have been a million little evasions. Half-truths I didn’t see.
You were the idiot who was thinking with your cock.
I forced myself to stand up straight. I wasn't going to be a pussy about this. I was going to make her pay. I was due a pound of flesh.
I forced myself to slide into the leather seat of my BMW. I cranked up Stormzy, needing some good old grime to get me through what I had to do.
Up until that point, I had treated her with kid gloves. But those kid gloves had only put everyone in danger, and I didn’t plan to make that mistake again.
On my phone, I pulled up my security folder, tapped in my code, and opened the app I’d programmed myself then engaged Bird's Eye Protocol.
Bird's Eye Protocol was my full surveillance package. Anything and everything I needed to see, I could. It wasn’t something I did lightly as it was a gross breach of privacy. I didn't have it on the lads or my sister.
I’d set the cameras when I hadn’t known her just in case of a situation like this. I’d never turned them on inside her flat though. Only the ones outside.
It was the most invasive form of surveillance. Normally, I would have cameras inside her home and at her work, but I only had the one in her laptop and in her office. I needed more cameras in her flat. The one across the road was the only security system that I tapped into.
I had at least downloaded the software onto her phone before we’d spent much time together. Before I’d started to catch a case of feelings.
I’d mostly forgotten about it afterward, but I needed it now.
Or you could just talk to her.
What the hell was that bullshit about? No. If I talked to her, she would know she’d been caught out and formulate a lie. This was all because I had to get my cock wet.
Fuck. Of all the daft things.
You can bitch, or you can fix it.
Oh, I was going to fix it, all right. And Nyla was going to regret ever crossing me.
All she did was make you love her.
And that was bad enough.
Once my Bird's Eye Protocols were engaged, screens popped up on my app about everything Nyla. Her phone gave me her location. She was headed back toward the tube.
I leaned forward into my glove compartment and pulled out several surveillance cameras. It was a matter of quick work and tricky placement. But I was back in ten minutes after bugging their whole lair, or whatever the hell she and Amelia called that place.
Checking my phone, I smiled when I saw she was headed toward London Lords. That would give me time to properly place cameras in her flat. I’d want eyes on her bedroom, loo, the living room, and her kitchen. I already had her desk at work, the main conference room at Interpol, though she wouldn’t be using those for a while. And now her makeshift lair.
You're a sick freak.
Nyla wouldn't make a single move without me knowing. No way in hell was I getting caught unaware again. We’d risked too much. Come too far. When this was over with Jameson, I'd walk away from her. But for the foreseeable future, I had to keep an eye on her, and I would.
She'd already shattered my heart. No way in hell could that happen again.