Nicolas, book 2 of Ryder

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TWENTY THREE

There were no sounds, except the sound of the dust settling. If you could even hear that. It was quiet, too quiet. No screams, no guns, no cries for help. I heard nothing. My father and I made it to the Shelter in the basement. A few of our men were with us. I had no idea where Ethan or Aurora was. I only hoped they were safe. My blood was boiling beyond being pissed off. I knew there was no way they knew where my sister was hidden, but all I could think about was getting to her just to make sure.

“It’s been hours.” I looked at my father.

“We should try and get out of here.” He nodded at me. Are men started to try and get the door open. It opened without problems. We stepped into the open basement. Which looked to be untouched. With our guns drawn, we took it slowly. If Aurora and Ethan made it to the safe room. They knew to wait until someone came to them. As we made it to the main house. We started to see the damage. Most of the left side was gone. I knew the casualties were going to be big. I called in back up as soon as we were locked downstairs. They should be here any minute.

I could see cars starting to show up and my men were all over the grounds. The entrance to the safe room was blocked. I tried to get Ethan or Aurora to pick up their phones, but all they did was ring. We all had to get out of here as I didn’t want the police involved. As I hollered out for them to start moving shit so I could get to my girl and best friend. Praying they made it in safely. Cops and ambulance started to show up and I knew we were in for it. My guards started to take care of the police, but I knew I was the one to settle this. The door got unlocked and the room was dark and damaged. “Aurora?” I called out.

“Nicolas?” I heard Ethan’s voice.

“Ethan?”

“Nick?” That’s when I heard her and she came running into my arms. I picked her up and held her close to me.

“Are you hurt?”

“No, I’m good. Ethan came and got me to safety.” I looked at my best friend and nodded. We ended up giving some bullshit story to the cops. Most of them bought it. The ones on my payroll knew better. My father was already securing a new place for us. I couldn’t be too far from my sister. I also needed to check on her. “Do you want Ethan and I to go check on Anna?”

“No, we will go once this is all settled. I know she is okay.”

“Who do you think is behind this?”

“I know who is behind this, and they know we have Anna. It’s a warning.” I could see the fear on Aurora’s face. I pulled her close to me.

“Don’t worry it won’t happen again. I promise you that.” I meant what I said. There was no way that this son of a bitch would get this close to my family again. Now I knew how dirty this guy wanted to play and now I would be ready for him. I now knew I needed Anna to see our father and learn the truth about everything. She needed to know Ryder wasn’t going to hurt her and never has. I also thought it would be better if Aurora stayed with her. The only problem was getting Aurora to believe she needed to stay with Anna to protect Anna. When in fact it would be for Aurora’s own good as well. Both my girls needed to be protected and Anna’s safe house was safe. No one including my own father knew where they were.

Hours had gone by and we learned that we lost five lives. “Nicolas!” I heard Ethan yell out. I stood up and looked towards Ethan walking my way. “I need you to come with me?” I nodded and kissed Aurora on the head.

“What’s going on?” I asked as I followed him towards an ambulance.

“They found Michelle’s body.” I looked towards the ambulance. They had a body bag on a stretcher. “She was pinned under some rubble. They said she died instantly. I’m sorry man.” I took a deep breath only because I may have just lost a child. Michelle may have been a lot of things but she didn’t deserve to die. I’ll never know if the child was mine or not. I wanted to see her for myself and asked them to open the bag. They stopped and did as I asked them. Sure enough, it was her. Ethan walked me back towards Aurora. “You know you can still find out if the child was yours or not?”

“I think it’s better for my own mental health if I just leave it be.” Ethan understood and just gave me a nod. “Listen, I need to find a way to get Aurora to stay with Anna.” I heard Ethan laugh.

“Good luck with that one.” I just shook my head.

“She is safer there.”

“I agree, but Aurora won’t leave your side. Especially now that all this has gone down.”

“I have to get her to believe it’s for Anna’s own good.”

“So you are going to lie to her?”

“If it keeps her safe, then yes.”

“You are on your own on this one man.”

“Thanks.”

“Nick, are you sure this is a good idea?” Aurora said sounding sad. We stood in what was now to be our new safe house. The house was small and hidden out in the woods. It was actually closer to Anna than the last house.

“Baby, I’m not going to lie to you. I need you to watch over my sister and I need to know you will also be safe.” Aurora crossed her arms. I knew she was seeing right through me. “If I have to keep my eye on you I will be distracted. Please do this for me?” Aurora took a deep breath but in the end, she agreed. It took a lot off my shoulders and I knew both my girls would be okay. I got ahold of Anna and let her know what was going on. She was now worried and I knew she would be, but I assured her that she was still safe. I also told her that Aurora would be moving in with them and Anna was actually excited about it. Aurora would be staying on the other side of the cabin. She didn’t want to be in Anna and Sebastian’s way.

Anna met us on the porch. She was huge and getting close to her due date. She and Aurora hugged and Anna was telling her how happy she was that Aurora would be staying with her. I needed to talk with Sebastian. Ethan and I explained everything that had gone down and Sebastian confirmed that it was Canes way and we knew for sure. “Are we still safe?” Sebastian asked.

“Yes, but we need Anna to see our father soon.” Sebastian’s eyes got big.

“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea,” Sebastian said running his hand down his face.

“She has to get over this. She needs to face him and hear him out.

“She is still afraid.” I understood what Sebastian was saying, but she trusted me and I would never let anything happen to her. “Maybe you should talk with her?” I nodded at him and went inside the cabin to find my sister. It was now or never. I needed Anna and Sebastian’s help in order to take Cane and his men down. I found Anna and Aurora in the kitchen lost in conversation. Ethan and Sebastian followed me in. Both girls turned and looked at us.

“What’s going on?” Anna asked.

“We need to talk.” I knew Aurora knew what was coming. She reached out and touched Anna’s arm. Anna was looking now at Sebastian for help. I knew right there that she held Sebastian as her most safest place. “Come have a seat in the living room?” Everyone followed me and we all took a seat.

“Nick, tell me what’s going on? Do they know where I am?”

“No Anna, you are safe here. No one but us knows you are here, but I think it’s time you see dad.” Anna’s face went white. “Please Anna, he is not guilty of the things you were told and he knows I have you he just doesn’t know where you are.” Sebastian stood up and went to her side.

“Maybe we should do this after the baby is born?” He said. I just sighed.

“The more we wait the more danger we are all in. Your uncle is very skilled. I’m sure they are closing in on all of us again.” Anna was just looking to the ground. “I can’t force you sister, but we need dad on this with us. the sooner you hear him out and know he has never done anything but love you. The better we will all be.” She looked at Sebastian and then back at me.

“Bring him.”

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