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I haven’t been home all night, and I’m taxed. What’s left of my down time will be over in fifteen minutes. My next shift starts with a briefing. My last fifteen minutes, I use to call in my team, but hesitate briefly when it comes time to call Shy. Remembering our last conversation, I take a deep breath, then dial. After she left my office, I called in a favor to a contact I have in Germany. I told him about Griffin, and his expertise in the American basketball recruiting industry. I asked him to make a few calls to find Griffin somewhere else to be. This way neither Shy nor I will have to do anything to get rid of him. His career would do it for us.

Her phone rings and rings. One ring . . . two . . . three, and she isn’t answering. Furious, I hang up the phone, pressing the button I’ve refrained from hitting since Shy’s been allowed to live on her own. The button that will allow me access to her apartment. I scan the front rooms first, followed by the veranda. I’ve made myself perfectly clear what will happen if she doesn’t answer her phone. She can’t be so stupid as to let her anger cloud her better judgment, could she? I find nothing in the front room. Moving on to the one place I really don’t want to go, I click the camera for her bedroom. Of course, that’s where I find her, and she isn’t alone. Rage floods me as I watch her with Griffin. The image of her on top of him sears into my brain. I pick up the phone, dialing her again while I watch. Damn it. She knows the rules. She isn’t dead, and she damn sure isn’t hurt. There’s no reason why she shouldn’t be answering her phone. The only reason is she’s angry and doesn’t give a fuck. She’s being a child and she will pay for it. My blood is boiling as I watch her ignore the ringing of her phone on the bedside table. What I see next has me jumping up, grabbing my coat and storming out the door. Delaney sees me in my haste to get out of the Collective, and stops me.

“What’s up man, where’s the fire?” he asks, grabbing me by the arm.

I’m seeing red. “Shy, she not answering her phone,” I bite out.

“Okay, do you want backup?”

That question has my thought process changing. “Yes, grab your gear and meet me at Vehicle Access.”

I have my backup Browning .9mm stored under the passenger seat of my Aston for such occasions. Delaney makes it to the car and we speed off toward Shy’s apartment.

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