Home > Dominated (The Enforcers #2)(7)

Dominated (The Enforcers #2)(7)
Maya Banks

The doorman liked Evangeline. Had always had a friendly word for her, as Evangeline had for him. There had been genuine affection between the two, but Drake had never paid it any notice because Evangeline inspired that in everyone she met.

But what if . . .

The dread was crawling more insidiously through Drake’s body as his grip tightened and then finally relaxed, freeing the man to take a few stumbling steps backward.

It had never occurred to Drake to question the man. He’d been too frantic to find Evangeline, turning the entire goddamn city over like a deranged madman. What if the answer had been here all along and Evangeline had had to be out there somewhere, alone, desperate, hungry and devastated while Drake wasted time chasing all the wrong leads?

“Do you care for her?” the doorman asked in a nearly accusatory tone.

Oh yes, this man knew something and he was mad as hell over what Drake had done to Evangeline. And now Drake had to tread very carefully because if he gave this man any reason to believe he intended to harm Evangeline, he’d never get any information from the doorman Evangeline had taken under her wing. Just as she’d done with everyone else she came into contact with.

“Very much,” Drake said in a soft, dangerous voice. “Do you know where she is?”

“I saw her that night,” the doorman said in a bitter voice.

His eyes still reflected accusation as though he found Drake solely responsible for Evangeline’s departure. Drake was. Absolutely. But how much did this man know? Did he know where Evangeline was now?

“There was a terrible misunderstanding,” Drake said, nearly strangled by baring his personal issues to a complete stranger. But for Evangeline, to have her back in his arms, he’d do anything. “None of which was Evangeline’s doing. She wasn’t supposed to be here.”

The agony couldn’t be suppressed in his voice and he could swear the doorman’s gaze softened just the slightest bit.

“She’d planned a surprise for you,” the doorman said quietly. “And after, she was devastated. I wanted to help her. I tried. But she told me that if I did, I’d be out the door just as she now was.”

Drake flinched and then the familiar ache of sorrow invaded his chest, depriving him of breath. The doorman had tried to help her and Evangeline had refused aid because she worried Drake would fire him if he found out. For just a moment he’d allowed himself hope that the doorman could provide him answers. Could tell him where to find Evangeline.

The doorman rubbed his hand through his hair, suddenly looking weary and uncertain.

“May God forgive me if I’m wrong. May she forgive me if I’m wrong.”

Drake surged to attention. “What? What do you know?” he said, switching tactics because he now knew what the man was battling. He was uncertain of Drake’s intentions toward Evangeline and so was reluctant to give Drake any information that would help him find her. Now, unless Drake could convince him that he was doing the right thing and that he wouldn’t betray Evangeline by giving Drake any information he held, Drake would never pry it from the man, even at the risk of his job.

“It is very important that I get her back,” Drake said in a quiet voice. “I’m only half a man without her. I must beg her forgiveness, but I can’t do that until I find her and bring her home where she belongs.”

Some of the doorman’s wariness faded as he studied Drake’s face pensively. “You know, Mr. Donovan, I think I believe you.”

“I just pray she does,” Drake whispered.

The doorman sighed. “I put her into a cab and sent her to a hotel in Brooklyn that my sister manages. Evangeline, Miss Hawthorn I mean.”

“It’s okay,” Drake said, momentarily halting the doorman. “I understand she is special to you, as she is to us all. You do her no disrespect in calling her Evangeline. If I had to guess, she insisted on it.”

A smile curved the older man’s lips. “That she did, Mr. Donovan. That she did.”

“Now, back to the hotel you sent her to?” Drake asked, trying to temper his eagerness.

“She had nowhere to go,” the doorman said, a frown once more in place. “No money. She had nothing with her other than a few changes of clothing. I couldn’t let her go like that, without somewhere to go where she would be safe.”

“You did the right thing, and you have my utmost gratitude for ensuring her safety. You will be rewarded.”

At that the older man’s face hardened. “My reward will be seeing her here, safe and happy again.”

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