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‘You have an appalling track record with caring for the girls you love, Leonardo.’

I gritted my teeth as I swallowed down my anger, refusing to lose control. I needed their help.

‘Michael. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t need your help.’

He studied me, his dark eyes verging on black as he glanced around his study.

‘I will consider your request. Now go.’

I stood suddenly, fire burning through my veins.

‘Michael you know as well as I do the chances of her surviving the first twenty fours hours are-’

‘Leonardo. Cal. Whoever you are. Do not stand in front of me repeating statistics from the law.’ He interrupted sharply, his dark eyes meeting my green ones angrily. I clenched my fists at my sides as he waved his hand away dismissively.

Frustrated, I turned and left, slamming the door behind me, knowing he would see it as a lack of respect. Where was fucking Verno? Why did I have to deal with this egotistical prick? I climbed into my car and slammed my hands on the wheel in frustration. She had been missing for eleven hours now, and I was beyond rationality. I had contacted everyone I knew in New York, sending them photos of her with a warning to call me if anything came up, and I knew that most of them would have their ears to the ground. Unfortunately, The Salvatore Family ruled the criminal underground, so I had finally brought myself to ask for their help. Michael had all but laughed in my face, knowing he would rather let her die than help me. The police were fucking useless, telling me that she had probably just left me, and to come back to them after twenty four hours. I didn’t have twenty four fucking hours.

I had nothing.

My phone rang and I answered it immediately, my voice gruff with hope.

‘I’m sorry man, I’m getting fuck all.’ The voice apologised as I breathed out, trying not to let my fear consume me. ‘Have you spoke with the po po?’

‘Of course I have.’ I snapped, aware I was being a prick, not caring anyway. The voice hesitated as it spoke again.

‘Are you fucking sure it’s not Michael.’

It was the obvious choice wasn’t it? I immediately thought that cunt had took her. He had shown such interest in wanting to meet her the other night, I remembered the disappointment on his face at not seeing her by my side. He fucking detested me for what happened to Lucia too, so I know if he wasn’t responsible for this, he would be damn wishing he was.

‘No. I don’t know that. But I am sat outside his house right now. I am going to watch his every fucking move.’ I growled as I stared up at the large windows, the interior of the house hidden by thick drapes. If she was in there, I would kill him with my bare hands, and fuck the consequences.

‘Ring Drake.’ He advised, before hanging up.

I groaned, leaning back in my seat. Of course. Drake. He answered on the first ring, his voice full of concern.

‘Leo? Are you ok?’

‘No. I’m not. Gretchen has been taken.’

‘Where are you?’ He demanded, his voice hoarse.

‘I’m sat outside The Salvatore house.’ I shook my head as I heard him groan.

‘Why? What the fuck have they got to do with it? You need to leave, right now. I will get someone to watch the house. Meet me at Rays in fifteen. Go, Leo.’

The phone slid from my hand as I gazed up at the house, my eyes searching every window. Had I done this to her? Had my life choices brought her here? Of course they fucking had. I reversed slightly, casting another look at the house before I left, praying for a clue of any kind.

It was not answered.

God can fuck himself.

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