Mastering the Devil (Rush Series Book 4) (7 page)

BOOK: Mastering the Devil (Rush Series Book 4)
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The last scene u
nfolded at the Grand Luna Ruins. She was standing in the near darkness and saw Miguel, and his evil son, Jorge, standing with who she thought was her mother. Devon defied Miguel by calling Alex and telling him not to come to the ruins. Miguel raised his weapon and shot the woman situated between Miguel and Jorge. She’d had a sack over her head and the dark bloom of blood seeped through the cloth. She’d thought she’d signed her mother’s death warrant.

She jolted awake. Her heart was pounding and it clenched in her chest.
She struggled to breath and moaned at the agony of pain encompassing her body. Her shoulder throbbed, as did her head, reminding her of the house crashing down on her and her team… all possibly due to some game being played out by her step-father, Miguel.

She concentrated on drawing in calm, soothing breaths, and turned her head on the pillow to stare into Alex’s beautifully contoured face. His long lashes were closed, hiding his exquisite green eyes. His breathing was deep and even, indicating how far into the rem-cycle he’d fallen. She envied him that kind of sleep. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d slept that way. No… that was wasn’t true, she remembered exactly. It was during the two weeks she’d slept next to him at the beach. Alex made
her feel safe – he was the only one she trusted like that.

Carefully, she raised a hand, and gently touched his face with her fingertips. In a world that seemed out of control, he was her constant, her rock. And just when she needed him the most, he always seemed to be there. Her breath caught in her throat. And now, she was leading him straight
into the gates of hell. She swallowed hard and it seemed like sharp shards of glass were sliding down her throat.

Slowly, she pulled her hand away from his face, just as she mentally pulled herself away from him. She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t involve him in whatever Miguel was planning for her.
She was going to have to make this break so harsh, he’d be certain not to follow. Tears stung her eyes. She was going to have to leave him once again. But the difference with this time was that she knew he’d never forgive her. He would consider this the ultimate betrayal and he would well and truly be done. Even though it hurt terribly, she leaned forward and pressed lips that trembled, softly against his.

“I love you, Alex,” she whispered. “I’ll always love you.”

Moving stealthily from the bed, she snatched the notepad on the side-table sporting the hotel’s logo and a pen sporting the same logo and crept into the bathroom. Hastily, she scrawled a note to Alex, in essence telling him goodbye. She swiped at the tears which kept blinding her. Once done, she placed the note where he’d be sure to find it, then snagged a robe provided by the hotel, feeling guilty that Alex would end up paying for it, she slid on her shoes, and crept from the room.

She groaned against the pain
in her body and her spirit, and even though her head was fuzzy, and her limbs wobbly, she pressed forward. She really wanted to lose herself in a medicated fog, but just couldn’t risk it. She knew she only had a little bit of time before both Alex and Cash began trying to track her movements. The only ace she had, was that neither of knew where the map had pinpointed Miguel as being. Her immediate plan was to go to her house for clothes and provisions, then find a place to lay low for a couple days. She wasn’t stupid, she knew she was in no shape to be remotely effective in her currently shape. She needed a little time to heal.

 

Chapter 3

 

Sunlight beating against his eyelids dragged Alex from his sleep. Groggily, he rolled to the side of the bed and rubbed a hand over his face. As memories of the night before shifted through his mind, he turned his head to the other side of the bed to see if the inconsiderate sunlight had woken her. But the bed was empty.

“Devon?” he called out, even though somehow he knew she was no longer in the room.
Where could she have gone? Maybe down for coffee?
But again, somehow he knew that wasn’t the case.
Dammit
! She was going to kill herself.

As he scooted to the side of the bed, he saw the note she’d left for him.
A deep coldness spread throughout as he read the words she’d penned.

 

Alex, I appreciate your offer to help me find my mother, but after thinking about it long and hard, I find I don’t want your help. I know you don’t believe my mother is possibly alive and I don’t believe you will give your all to this cause, but will instead attempt to delay or dissuade me. While I’m sure you won’t understand this, I find I can’t get over the fact you were married before but failed to ever mention it to me. I feel somewhat betrayed by that fact. I’ve been waiting on you to commit for a long time, but always figured you had a problem with commitment. Now, I’ve come to realize, your problem isn’t with commitment itself, only with committing to me. Please do not contact me. I want this to end now. Devon.

 

An intense pounding on the door dragged him from the note. With a muttered curse, he snagged his pajama bottoms and slid them on as the pounding continued on his door. Distantly, from the other side, he heard Cash’s voice. “Alex, open the damned door!”

Snatching the
door open. “What?”

“Is she here?” Cash asked without preamble.

“She was earlier, but left at some point.”


Where’d she go?” Cash asked as he slumped against the doorframe?

“I don’t know. She slipped out while I was asleep.”

“I just left the hospital and she’s not there either. I’ve been calling her cellphone but she didn’t answer. Where do you think she went?” Cash asked as he fidgeted in the doorway, anxiety rolling off him in waves, the sign of a well-connected partner.

“Her house maybe? You’re her partner, you’d know better than me,” Al
ex replied somewhat defensively, as he turned to head back into the room.

Cash stared
after him for a long moment. “She’s gone after Miguel, hasn’t she?”

Alex’s lips thinned as his stomach burned with fury. “
That’d be my guess.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

Alex threw up his hands. “She is a grown woman. I’ve tried repeatedly to stop this insanity. But she can’t let it go. I’m done, Cash, just… done!”

Cash blinked at him as he strove to process the situation. “Just like that?”

Slapping his palm against his side of the doorframe, Alex bellowed, “No, dammit! Not just like that! I told her… just last night, that I’d help her if she’d wait – just one damned week! But was that good enough for her? No! Now, she’s off doing God’s knows what… off on her own… barely able to stand. So now…” he exhaled deeply and lowered his tone, “Now, I’m done.”

Cash contemplated him steadily for several long moments. “You’re a fool, Masters,” he finally said quietly.

“So be it,” Alex murmured.

“I’ll call you when I find her, okay?” he said tersely.

“Whatever.”

With a sneer, Cash replied harshly, “Whatever, you
rself, you asshole. I’ll call for Devon’s sake, not for yours. You don’t deserve her!”

Alex simply shrugged, refusing to allow Cash to see his inner turmoil. Without another word, Cash spun on his heel and
began to stalk down the hall, before stopping abruptly and scrubbing a hand across his face. Turning, he walked back to where Alex stood in the doorway.

“Alex, remember, she’s a trained agent, not some fly-by-the-seat young girl. She knows how to handle herself. She was taught by the best,” Cash boasted, with a grin.

“You say that, however, she just broke protocol by running off without her partner. So,
real
good training,” Alex snapped back, not in any mood to be trifled with or smoothed over for Devon’s sake.

Huffing out a breath, he replied,
“Yeah, I’ll be sure to bring that up when I find her. I’ll be in touch,” he said, before turning and walking away towards the elevator.

Cash had only gone a few feet when Alex called out, even though he already knew what the answer would be. “Will you call Jacob?”

Cash paused and turned his head back to Alex. Exhaling deeply, he replied, “Not yet. He gets real pissed off at her when she brings up Miguel Munoz. Plus, he’s not going to like it that she went out on her own… breaking protocol and all. I’ll wait and see if I can find her first. Then… I’ll do what I have to do.”

Alex pursed his lips, but only nodded. Cash strode purposefully towards the elevator. Alex didn’t interrupt him this time. He
stood within the still opened door for several minutes after Cash’s departure. With a mountain of frustration loaded on his shoulders, he scrubbed both hands over his hair. “Son-of-a-bitch!” he bellowed into the empty hall, the sound echoing throughout the open space.

Slamming the door and stalking into the room, he snatched
his cellphone from its charger, and scrolled to Devon’s number and punched it in. It rang several times before rolling over to her voicemail. “Call me,” he demanded into the mechanical device. He sat down heavily on the bed and tried to think rationally, but it seemed to escape him. Feelings of helplessness washed over him. Those feelings immediately spun into anger. He’d offered his help. He’d offered his help and she’d thrown it in his face. The woman could barely stand and yet she took off to face a madman.

Rising to his feet, he walked to the window and stared out into the early morning light. Why would she just take off like that? It made no sense. Her note made no sense.
He’d
wanted to build a life with her, but she’d always been determined to stay in Mexico and work for the I.D.E.A. She’d always chosen it over him, time and time again. She’d seemed genuinely grateful for his offer of help the night before. Damn her! His jaw clenched tightly as he remembered how battered and bruised she’d been. She was in no condition to be out of bed much less to go on a supposed rescue mission.

He didn’t know how long he
’d stood at the window staring out sightlessly. What was her game? That was the question that kept looping through his mind. His jaw clenched painfully as he recalled the words in her note regarding her belief that he wasn’t truly out to help her but instead to hinder her. He’d given her his word! So, she was basically calling him a liar. And why would him not telling her about Addison bother her so much? His wife had been dead long before he met Devon. Well, as he’d told Cash, he was done! Inhaling deeply, he did what he’d been doing all his life to survive life’s struggles, he closed his mind to it. With steely resolve, he straightened his shoulders with military precision and decided to follow her request. Her note had said for him not to follow her and he sure as hell wouldn’t!

After dressing and settling his bill at the hotel, Alex headed back to
Puerto Vallarta. During the long drive, he stewed over Devon’s note. That she thought he’d give less than his best continued to rankle him. He was able to maintain his nearly icy indifference until the sky began to darken, then he called Cash, but there was no update to gain. He still hadn’t found her. Later that night, Alex lay in the bed, gazing sightlessly up at the ceiling, wondering where she was and if she was lying somewhere alone and hurt. Anger once again washed over him. He’d never forgive her for putting him through this. Once this situation played itself out, as he’d told Cash, he was done... he’d think of her no more. He didn’t need this kind of complication in his life. She’d disturbed his life, and now his work, for the last time.

 

~M~

 

After leaving Alex at the hotel, Devon barely made it to what had been her parent’s home, and was now hers, before collapsing. Her body ached and her head pounded without mercy. She wished she had some of the medication she’d refused. Her stomach churned at the stabbing agony against her temples, reminding her of her mild concussion. Her body shivered and trembled as she crawled wearily between the covers.

But worse than the pain in her body, was the slashing pain in her heart… in her very soul. Alex would never forgive her for this, but she had to protect him. She’d already lost too many of the people she loved to that maniac, Miguel Munoz. How she wished she was physically able to leave right at that moment. In her mind, she’d killed her step-father in a dozen different ways… each way being slow and painful. But in the end, her father and Roman would both still be dead.

She’d purposefully left her cellphone on the kitchen table, but even from this distance she could hear the tone as it rang out continuously. She knew it would be either Cash or Alex, neither of which she intended to speak to. She had to do this and knew both of them would try to stop her.

Her exhausted body’s need for sleep finally overcame the throbbing pain and she drifted off into a troubled sleep. As always, dreams plagued her and in her weakened state, she couldn’t fight them off. Even in her sleep, tears streaked down her face. When she finally woke, she felt no more rested than when she’d first crawled into the bed. Far off, it seemed, she heard a pounding on the house’s front door, then heard Cash’s voice as he called out to her. But she stayed where she was and didn’t answer back. Eventually, he must have given up, as she heard him no more.

She looked around the room, noting the shadows from the sun against the white walls of her bedroom. She wondered what time it was… what day it was for that matter. Tentatively, she moved her head and was happy to find only a dull ache. Her shoulder hurt her more than anything. For just a second, she wondered if she could really go after Miguel like this. But she knew in her heart of hearts, she had to get her mother away from him as soon as possible.

BOOK: Mastering the Devil (Rush Series Book 4)
2.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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