Ryder, book 1 of Ryder

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Ryder stood up and looked at me. “What does that mean?” He asked me. His voice was low and hard. I looked to the ground. I knew it was now or never. My life would be in his hands.

“I heard my parents that day you were taken out of your house.” Ryder crossed his arms and leaned back against the wall. “I heard them say things about your parents and my uncle.” Ryder’s face was hard and unreadable.

“Who’s your uncle?” I took a deep breath. I looked up right into his eyes.

“Draco.” The minute the name left my lips. Ryder’s face fell.

Ryder’s POV,

“How the fuck do you know that name?”

“I told you, Ryder, he is my uncle.” I didn’t know what to think. Was Danica the reason my parents were killed? That can’t be, she was only a child at the time. Younger than I was. Without thinking, I lost my shot and pulled my gun out. I pointed it right at her head. I thought for sure that she would beg for her life, but all she did was drop her head and I could see tears fall from her eyes.

“Why are you here? Were you sent to kill me.” I still had the gun pointed at her. All she did was shake her head.

“What part of they are after me, did you not understand? If you want to kill me before you know my story then get it over with. I’m so fucking sick of this. My life has never been my own. All because of your family. Because I overheard my parents talking about your parents. I was only five Ryder, five! I didn’t even know what any of it meant, but I was still taken from my parents and raised by that son of a bitch. Just to make sure I never talked. You have no idea what I have been through. You can kill me if you want to but I mean you no harm. You’re the only thing I have ever held onto. My memory of you being my prince and that one day you would rescue me. Is the only thing that kept me going.”

She stopped talking and still hadn’t looked up at me. It was almost like she was trained to act like this when threatened. All of a sudden she moved off the couch and went to her knees in front of me. “Please Ryder, if you don’t trust me and you are just going to send me away. Please just kill me. You are my last hope and I can’t keep running.” She looked up at me and the tears poured from her eyes. Even in her state, she was beautiful. I couldn’t believe how broken she was. I dropped my gun to my side. I knew right then and there that she would be the only way I could find the man that killed my parents. I didn’t know how to wrap my head around everything she was telling me. How do I trust her? She could be lying about everything and is here to kill me off, but somehow my head wouldn’t let me believe that. I went to my knees In front of her and pulled her into my arms.

“I’m sorry Danica.” She relaxed a little, I felt it.

“I’m not here to hurt you. I need you.” I trusted that when those words left her mouth. I kissed the top

of her head.

“Come on, let me take you back to your room.” She looked up at me.

“Don’t you want to know my story?”

“I do, but not like this. I almost killed you. I need you to relax and not make yourself sick.” I told her these things because I needed to consult with Jason. I needed to know his opinion. I’m not used to being confused. I’m not the type of man to listen to confessions. I kill and move on. No second chances are ever given. Danica had my head twisted and I didn’t understand why. I pulled out my phone and texted Jason to meet me at Danica’s room. We stood up and she didn’t argue with me. I took her to her room and once I had her in her bed. She looked up at me and gave me a small smile. I wanted to wrap her back up in my arms and let her know that I wouldn’t let anyone hurt her, but instead, I smiled back and left her room.

Jason was standing outside waiting for me. “I want two men standing at her door, and if she so much as gets up just to use the bathroom. I want to be informed immediately.” Jason nodded and made a phone call. After the men showed up and got their orders. Jason and I went back to my office. “What’s going on man?” Jason asked as soon as I closed the door. I explained what I knew to him and he took a deep breath and had a seat. “So what are you thinking? Do you think that tiny girl is here to kill you? I mean come on Ryder.” I looked at him like he was nuts.

“Do you not remember her putting your ass on the ground?”

“I do, it was hot as fuck. Okay, I understand what’s going on here, but she is not just someone off the streets. You need to hear her out. I just don’t feel like she is the threat. If you kill that girl, you will regret it.” I was so fucked up, Danica was doing my head in. Small Mistakes like allowing someone to talk. Can get you killed. Would she be my downfall? I started to pace the room. “Do you have feelings for her?” I sighed.

“I have always cared about her. She has always been my peace. The only memory that I had that was happy, and now she is here telling me she has been with the people that killed my parents. I, I don’t know what to do.”

“Yes you do, your Ryder Dankworth. The most feared man in the country. These people know who you are. They know you’re after them. I honestly do not believe Danica is their weapon to bring you down, but you need to hear her story. If you hurt her and she is innocent. That would kill you more than the feeling of revenge has ever fucked with you.” I knew Jason was right. I felt defeated, and that’s not a feeling I have ever allowed within myself. I needed to clear my head.

“I want her kept in her room. I need time.” Jason nodded at me.

“Take your time, I’ll take care of her until you’re ready.” I nodded my head at him and left the office.

Jason’s POV,

I walked up to Danica’s room. The men still stood outside. I sat in the chair across from her room. This was a mess, but I just didn’t believe she was here to get to him. Not that I couldn’t be wrong. I know him and I know Danica has been the only woman he has loved. Whether he was ready to admit it to himself or not I knew it was true. I had to protect her from him for his own good. Ryder does not think before he acts. His only downfall and his greatest action. It’s who he is and why he is so dangerous. Morning came fast and I got up and tapped on her door. I heard her say something and I walked into the room. She was sitting on the side of her bed and her eyes went big when she saw me walk in. “Calm down, I’m not here to hurt you.”

“What can I do for you? I will only talk with Ryder.” I could see some fear, but mostly I saw courage.

“That’s okay Danica, I’m not here to make you talk. I’m here with a warning. He cares about you. You’re the only person that he stopped and thought about. If he pulled a gun on you and you’re still alive. That means a great deal. You need to be completely honest with him when he is ready to hear you out. Please Danica, if you’re here to hurt him. You need to understand. I will kill you myself before I let anyone hurt him. My life belongs to him. I have never seen him care about anyone besides his parents. If you are here to harm him and he lets you in. I’ll rip you to pieces.” I could see her latched onto every word. I meant what I said. She started to shake her head.

“I would never hurt him.”

“Let’s just hope your words are true.”

“I need him. My life depends on him. I’ve been on the run for so long. I can’t do it anymore. If Ryder decides to kill me. I won’t fight him.”

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