Five years later...
I’ll never forget the night I took back my life. I had only been home with Ryder for just a little over a week. I had come home and fallen ill from the shock of my entire life. Once my soul knew I was safe for good. My body and mind shut down. After a few days of rest. Ryder brought me back to life. In all the best ways. I was sitting in the living room playing with Nicolas. When Robby came in. “Hey, you?” He said as he bent down and ruffled Nicolas’s hair. Nicolas of course hated it when Robby did that. “How are you feeling tonight?” He asked me. I had missed Robby and it killed me to know he was hurt. He seemed very okay with it and never let it bring him down. Honestly, Robby is one of my closest friends.
I had found out that while Ryder’s men were taking out the house I shared with Draco. Robbie‘s men were attacking Draco‘s warehouse. All attacks were completely successful. Ryder told me he had over a hundred men working that night. I was very impressed. “I’m actually feeling really good.”
“That’s great...” I cocked my head at Robby.
“Is everything okay?” Robby was looking around the room and I knew something must not be right. “Robby?”
“Umm, yes yes everything is good. Ryder needs to see you. I can stay here with Nicolas. If you’re okay with it.” I was still trying to read Robby. I knew something was up. I stood up.
“That’s fine, where is Ryder?”
“He is in his office.” I nodded at Robby and headed towards the office. I tapped lightly on the office door and went inside. Ryder sat behind his desk while Jason and Owen stood to his side. I knew how close Jason and Ryder are, but it seemed that Owen and Robby had become very important people to Ryder as well. All three men lived in the house with us.
“How are you feeling angel?” Ryder asked me as he came to my side and kissed my cheek.
“I feel good. Is everything okay?” I asked and looked around the room. Jason and Owen looked to the ground and that’s when I got nervous. I started to bite my lip.
“Everything is good. I need you to come with us.”
“Okay,” I said and Ryder took my hand in his. We walked back into the living room. Robby stood up and Owen took his place with Nicolas. I still thought something was wrong. We headed out the front door where a car was waiting for us. I was used to these four men only wearing three-piece suits. I looked out of place in my sweats. “Should I be dressed better?”
“No, what you have on is perfect,” Ryder said as he helped me into the car.
“Where are we going?” I asked and looked at the three of them. Both Jason and Robby looked at Ryder.
“Don’t worry about it. You’ll see when we are there.” Now I was all full of nerves. I moved closer into Ryder’s arms. We drove for a while. It was getting late. Finally, we pulled up in front of what looked like a huge old abandoned warehouse. Great, they’re going to kill me, I said to myself. Some man came out to open the car door. We got out and I didn’t leave Ryder’s side.
“Please Ryder, why are we here?” Robby and Jason walked off. Ryder turned and looked at me. He took my face in his hands.
“Do you trust me?” I nodded at him. “Then trust me now.” I took a deep breath.
“Okay.” We walked inside the place looked completely abandoned. At least ten or more men were standing around with large guns in their hands. They would nod their heads at me as we walked by. I knew none of them. Hidden in the back was a door. Two more men stood guard in front of the door. Jason said a few things to them that I couldn’t make out. They stepped aside and we all went through the door. We went down three sets of stairs. Once at the bottom we stood in front of a long hallway. It was barely lit and look like something right out of a horror movie. We moved pretty fast until we came to a huge steel door. More men with guns stood out by the door. “Why so much security?” I asked. Robby came over and stood next to Ryder and me.
“You’ll understand soon,” Robby said and he placed his hand on the small of my back while Ryder had my hand. Jason opened the door. We walked in and took a left. My mouth fell open. My heart started to beat and I tried to back up. Ryder and Robby held onto me.
“What the fuck is this?” Sitting in front of me was Draco chained to a chair. He looked dead. He was badly beaten. Blood covered his entire body. He only had one leg and not much left of the other. His head hung to the side, but you could tell he was still breathing. My sacred eyes went to Ryder. “Why did you bring me here?” I yelled out. Just then Draco lifted his head.
“Danica?” I heard Draco’s voice.
“Ryder,” I said.
“Your safe angel. He can’t hurt you anymore.” Ryder said. I kept my back to Draco. Jason walked up to us. I looked at Jason and he handed a gun over to me.
“What is this?” Ryder went on his knees in front of me and placed his arms around me.
“Take your life back.” Oh my god. He wanted me to kill Draco.
“Danica you fucking bitch. I’ll kill you when I get out of here!” Draco screamed. I turned my head to see Robby hit him.
“Danica look at me.” I turned my face back to Ryder. My body shook and I was having a hard time holding onto the gun.
“You need this more than I do,” I said to Ryder. He just smiled.
“Have you seen him? I got what I needed, but you’re wrong. You need this more than I do.” I looked away again. Ryder grabbed my face. “Trust me.” I nodded at him. Ryder stood back up and everyone around us took a step back. Ryder stayed by my side as we moved closer to Draco. I stood in front of him. Draco lifted his head up. “I’m right here beside you angel. Don’t fear him.” I took a deep breath.
“Help me out of here,” Draco said.
“I always knew you were nothing but a whore.” I could feel Ryder tense up behind me. He kept one hand on me. I was used to Draco’s words. “How’s it feel to keep my baby knowing itDoesot his child? Dose he know how you fucked me and we made this child together? I own you, you fucking bitch. I should have killed you and that fucking kid of yours.” I don’t know what happened. Something inside of me snapped and I dropped the gun. There were two men in the room with us. I could see a large knife on the belt of one of them. I ran away from Ryder’s arms, grabbed the knife from the man, and in one swift motion. I dragged the knife as hard as I could across Draco’s neck.
“You never owned me, you son of a bitch!” I spit on him as I listened to his last gurgling breaths.” I had blood all over me and I stood there in front of Draco’s face. I still had the knife in my hands. With one last ounce of power I had. I stabbed the knife into his chest and took a step back. Ryder had me in his arms. The room was quiet. Tears poured down my face as I held a smile on my lips.
“How about we don’t ever make this girl mad.” All heads turned towards Robby. Jason just shook his head. Ryder just closed his eyes. “What?” I turned and faced Ryder. He looked down at me.
“Thank you.” He smiled.
“How do you feel?” I stood there and felt amazing.
“I feel, free,” I said and just breathed.
“My angel is a badass.” Ryder winked at me and I kissed him.
“Mama!” I heard socks yell at the top of her lungs from across the house. I just shook my head as I got up and went to find her. Of course, Ryder had beaten me to her. Anna Sue Dankworth stood there in the playroom with her arms crossed and a frown on her tear strict face. Poor Nicolas hid behind the playhouse. Ryder went and picked her up in his arms.
“What happened socks?” He asked her. Ryder nicknamed Anna socks because no matter what you did. The child never kept her socks on and they were always hidden all over the house. Even as a baby she would always figure out a way to get them off. Even now in Ryder’s arms. She was barefoot.
“Nikki is being mean.” She spits out.
“I was not,” Nicolas announce from behind the playhouse but still wouldn’t come out. In all of his seven years Nicolas has always tried to protect his sister, but the older she got the more her little sassy attitude came out. Being only five she was very independent and Nicolas has always been my love bug. Anna was daddy’s little girl. I’m actually surprised she called out for me. Ryder from day one has always treated Anna like his own daughter. He loves these kids unconditionally and everyone knows it.
“Come here Nicolas,” I said and he ran into my arms.
“Tell me what happened,” I asked Nicolas. Anna stuck her tongue out at Nicolas.
“Anna!” I snapped and of course, she started crying in her daddy’s arms.
“She is a brat. All I wanted to do was color and she wouldn’t let me use the coloring crans. So I took them from her for not sharing.” I smiled at him and kissed his nose. Anna just looked at me and Nicolas. Her little face twisted.
“Is that true?” Ryder asked Anna.
“You tell your bother you’re sorry.” Anna climbed out of her daddy’s arms and walked over to her brother.
“I’m sorry Nikki.” She said and gave her brother a big hug. Ryder and I walked out of the playroom.
“She is so your daughter,” I said and Ryder started to laugh.
“I think you are mistaken. That attitude is all you.” I just frowned at him. He laughed again. “When are we going to make more.”
“Make more what?” I said looking at Ryder like he was nuts.
“Ummm no. Don’t you think the two we have are enough?”
“Not really.” I stopped walking.
“You’re serious aren’t you?” He nodded his head at me.
“I guess you’ll have to catch me first,” and I took off running.