Kidnapped by the Billionaire

By: Jackie Ashenden

She didn’t know what was in that locker or why he’d taken out storage in such a high-security facility—especially when all the rest of his stuff had been stored elsewhere by their mother—but she was sure only she knew about it. And some instinct had told her not to tell anyone else. So she hadn’t.

But someone had accessed that locker, and it had to be Theo. Which meant he was alive and she wasn’t going to rest until she’d found him. She just had to get away from Mr. Elijah Hunt first.

“You’ll find out,” Elijah said. “Come on. I haven’t got time to piss around arguing with you.”

Swallowing, Violet pushed down the fear and the grief, and turned around.

Ahead of her was a walled-off part of the echoing apartment with a door in the middle of it. The bathroom space clearly.

She walked over to it and pushed the door open. There was a hallway beyond, painted stark white, and then another door.

“Through there,” he ordered.

Obediently she went through the second door into a stainless-steel and white-tiled bathroom. A massive freestanding tub faced one of the huge windows, a glass walled shower area that could have fit in a whole baseball team off to the right of it.

There was a vanity unit near the door, as minimalist and bare as the rest of the space, white porcelain and stainless steel, an unframed mirror hanging above it.

Elijah went past her and reached into a cupboard under the unit, bringing out a big white plastic box. Setting it on top of the vanity, he took the top off and began to pull out what looked like some first-aid stuff, all the while keeping the gun trained on her.

Briefly she debated seeing if she could take him by surprise and try to knock him out somehow, then discarded the idea. She’d probably only get herself hurt. If she was going to get out of this, she’d have to think of another way.

“What are you doing?” Her voice echoed weirdly off the hard surfaces in the room.

He didn’t reply, shrugging out of the overcoat he still wore.

Violet swallowed again.

She’d been right about the glimpse of bare skin she’d seen earlier. He wasn’t wearing a shirt. Or at least the remains of a dark gray business shirt that had been torn up and used as a bandage were still wrapped around one massively muscled left shoulder. Blood streaked the sharply cut and defined lines of his chest and abdomen, staining the waistband of the business trousers that sat low on his lean hips. The blood also partially obscured the tattoo inked into his skin just above his heart. A rose with a thorny stem, red ink drops of blood mingling with his real blood.

It seemed a strange image for a man so cold. Did it mean anything? Was it for anyone?

What the fuck are you thinking about his tattoo for?

He was now unwinding the remains of the shirt from around his shoulder, revealing the source of the blood. Holy shit. He’d been shot.

The cold bite of fear returned as she glanced from the bloody wound to his face, suddenly becoming aware of what she’d only half taken in before. That his face was bruised. He had the beginnings of a black eye and there was a raw gash in his lip, more bruises along his jaw.

He looked like he’d been in one hell of a fight and hadn’t come out the winner.

Your father is dead.

Elijah Hunt was his bodyguard.

Oh fuck. What the hell had happened?

He looked up, his black gaze catching hers. “Come here.”

“Why?” The fear was rising in her chest, making her feel sick. “What do you want me to do?”

In one hand he held the pistol, still steadily pointed at her. “As you can see, I have a gunshot wound.” He reached for a pair of what looked like forceps with his free hand, then held them up. “And you’re going to remove the bullet.”


She felt even sicker. She’d never taken a bullet out of anyone in her entire life and she really didn’t want to start now. “But I’m not—”

“I don’t care what you’re not. Get over here and get this bullet out.”

“And if I don’t, you’ll shoot me?”

The muzzle of the gun didn’t waver and neither did the hard certainty in his eyes. “Yes.”

“But if you shoot me, you’ll have no one to get the bullet out for you.”

He lifted his uninjured shoulder. “Then I’ll get it out myself.”

“So why don’t you do that now?”

“Stop fucking arguing with me and get over here.”

Yeah. Stop fucking arguing and do what the man says. What the hell is wrong with you?

She didn’t know. She wasn’t usually this brave—or this stupid, the jury was still out on which. Yet still she held her ground. “Tell me what’s going on,” she said hoarsely. “Tell me why I’m here and what you want with me.”

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