Home > Hush (Black Lotus #3)(9)

Hush (Black Lotus #3)(9)
E.K. Blair

“Values can be bought for the right price, but we need more people on this,” I stress with growing intensity. “I want everything my money can buy. Private investigators, hackers, everything we can think of.”

“I know, and trust me when I tell you, I’m on it.” He takes a pause as I let go of a frustrated breath. “On another note, I got everything lined up at One Hyde Park, so the apartment will be ready by the time you arrive.”

“I’ve never been more thankful for buying that property than I am now.”

“You should have no worries with Elizabeth’s safety there,” Lachlan says about the building that I own an apartment in.

It’s one of the most secure properties in the world, if not the securest. The moment I started considering building in London, I went ahead a snagged up a dual-floor apartment in One Hyde Park. The privacy measures go above and beyond from bulletproof windows to x-rayed mail.

After being shot in Chicago, I not only transferred Brunswickhill into a private trust, but also moved the London property into one as well. No one will know where Elizabeth and I are except for the people I choose to inform.

“I need to go take care of a few things.”

“I’ll check in with you as soon as I get an update on the Archer case,” he says as I make my way to the front door.

“Don’t drag your ass on this one, Lachlan. I need this handled yesterday.”

“I’m on it.”

On my way into the main house, I peek in the library, but Elizabeth is no longer there. Just the book she was reading, facedown on the sofa.

“Elizabeth,” I call out with no answer in return.

I walk down to the atrium where I know she likes to lie on the chaise and enjoy the sun’s heat through the glass. The room is empty though. I stand for a moment, looking out the glass, and eventually movement catches my eye. I watch Elizabeth as she walks aimlessly. She loves taking long strolls outside to explore the grounds.

I make my way out to where she is. “What are you doing?”

“I never knew there was a stream over here.”

“There’s a lot you haven’t been able to see because of the snow,” I tell her, pulling her into my arms and pressing my lips to hers.

She quietly moans, slipping her hands under my coat and around my waist.

“You’re freezing.”

“I’m okay,” she responds as I bring her in even closer, strengthening my arms firmly around her body. “What are you doing out here?”

“I want to talk to you, but you weren’t inside where I left you.”

“Where you left me?” she teases, tilting her head back to look up at me. “What am I? A little trinket of yours that you can place wherever you choose?”

“Something like that.” I shoot her an amorous wink and watch her beautiful smile creep in. “Come. Sit with me.”

We walk over to a bench perched aside the stream coated in ice.

“I just spoke with Lachlan and wanted to let you know where we are in regards to finding your father.”

Blithe ease fades into yearning hope rimmed in years of pain.

“Do you want to talk about this right now?” I ask as her body language takes on a sudden shift.

“Yes.” Her voice is full of anxiety, eager for answers. “What did you find?”

“Evidence of his death.”

“But he isn’t dead.” Her voice pitches with even more anxiety.

“I know that. Lachlan is doing what he can to get a copy of the list of passengers. When we get that, we can go from there.”

“Well, how long is that going to take?”

“He’s working as fast as he can, but he doesn’t have any straight connections with the airline.”

Frustration marks her face as I watch her body tense up and fight back against the puddle of tears in her eyes. She’s unmoving, and it’s taking all her strength to not lose her composure. I wish I could give her the answers she’s so eager for. It’s a painful sight to see the one I love ache so badly.

I reach my arm around her shoulders, and coax, “It’s okay to cry. It won’t hurt as bad if you let go of some of the pain.”

“I spent my life crying for my father, and it’s never lessened the pain,” she says, refusing my words.

“Look at me,” I demand, and when she does, I continue, “This is not fine. You holding everything in is not fine.”

“Why do you want to see me break so badly?”

“You’re breaking right now,” I rebut. “You, forcing yourself not to feel the hurt. You, pushing me away. You present a stone exterior, but it’s just a façade of all your brokenness inside. You’re a fool’s paradise, but I’m no fool. I see right through you.”

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