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Chapter Twenty-Nine

Dani circled the hotel room with Lily trailing behind her. Edward and Daniel had left her there from the previous day and explained that she was on guard duty. She laughed at the time, but after feeding Lily and playing with her for a few hours, she really realized they weren't coming back just yet.

But she wasn't left up to herself.

Daniel gave her the code. One knock would indicate it was Edward, Four knocks would indicate it was him. Additionally, the two men had extra keys to enter without permission. But if it was three knocks or insistent knocking, it was trouble.

Dani wasn't fully informed of what she was doing in Italy but after the excitement in Miami, Daniel had brought her here. She put Lily to bed once more and walked into the sitting room. She pondered on the memory that happened only hours ago. After letting the DA listen to the recording, which consisted of information about Garrett Stein/Mills and his current activity.

The DA had agreed that he'd contact Interpol and have them arrest him as soon as the plan was set up. In that moment, she took Daniel's words seriously and ran from the room. It was only three doors the main hall so the exit was close. As she did so, two guards approached her with handcuffs and she dodged them. Her feet hit the pavement outside and she ran through the gates.

In two seconds, Daniel had her pinned against his chest and ran around the street. She tried to keep up with him but couldn't so she wrapped her legs around his waist instead and threw her arms around his neck. He approached the car that was parked further down and climbed into the driver seat, with her straddling him.

And that was how they escaped.

The thought made her blush.

Unfortunately, she couldn't act like a starving teen for too long.

Three knocks sounded at the door...Dani froze...

Three more knocks came again and they seemed more insistent.

Dani quietly ran back to the room and pulled out the phone Daniel gave her. With trembling hands she dialed the number and prayed he was going to answer. It rang six times and went to voicemail.

"No no no," she whimpered with fear. She dialed his number again and the call disconnected. She checked the signal on the phone and realized it dropped to one bar. She ran out of the room and to the bathroom to try again. This time it rang and Daniel picked up on the fourth ring.

"There's someone here, I-I can't--"

"Shit, Dani, calm down" His muffled voice responded.

She registered a few distant voices in the background before Daniel came again.

"How many knocks?"

"Six," she whispered. "He's practically trying to force his way in here. I don't know what to do!"

Daniel tried to calm her down again. "Relax. Don't let him inside. Stall until I get there, I don't care what you need to do"

"Fine but please get here fast," She hung up.

She went back to the room as the knocking became more frantic. Nudging Lily awake, she removed her from the bed and took her to the bathroom.

"Let's play hide and seek, okay" She encouraged.

The toddler rubbed her eyes tiredly and gave her an are you serious look. Dani smiled at her. "Come on sweetie, you can hide in the cabinet below the sink and I'll pretend to find you"

Lily finally complied and crawled into the big enough space and closed the cabinet doors. Dani went back to the sitting room and looked around to see what she block the door with, without making too much noise. She lifted the love seat and waddled to the door. Positioning the tip against the handle, she shoved it tightly in place. She also kept the phone on hand and retreated to the kitchen.

The best thing to do now was keep Lily out of harm's way. She didn't want the intruder anywhere near her.

"Is anybody inside?" Came a loud male voice. "I'm here to collect the child, my name is Garrett Stein. I work with Edward and Daniel"

Dani panicked. That man was what caused her current situation. Even worse. She dialed Daniel again and this time a female answered the phone.

"Daniel, it's Garrett! He's at the door" She explained in a whisper.

"Dani, don't worry, we're coming to get you"


"Yeah, don't worry, we're five minutes out. Hold on"

Dani gratefully starting crying and hung up again. She trusted that Daniel and Ellen would make it there in time but her luck ran out. The front door started splintering and she heard the lock being turned. The chair she jammed against the handle screeched as it was swung back. She hid behind the island counter and tried to slow her breathing.

Garrett surveyed the sitting room. He eyed the chair with distaste and walked toward the bedroom. It was empty. He also peeked into the bathroom and it was empty as well. He went back to the sitting room and headed to the kitchen. Dani covered her mouth when she heard the door swung open. His footsteps were coming around the counter and she quickly shifted around to avoid him.

She thought she was smart enough but his voice above her caught her off guard.

She pushed to her feet and backed herself around the opposite side of the dining table. He had his gun in one hand and a phone in the other, staring over at her with disgust.

"Where's the child?" He asked calmly.

Dani played dumb. "What child?"

"Very funny...I'll ask again, where is the child?"

Dani cleared her throat. "They picked her up fifteen minutes ago. She's not here"

She could see the disbelieving look on his face but he didn't press the questions anymore.

"Then you should do" He shot back with a menacing smile.

She ducked as he pointed and shot at the table top.

"Get out here!" Garrett shouted and tried to drag her to him.

Dani struggled in his hold. He wouldn't hurt Lily. He wouldn't hurt her either, not if she had any say in the matter. She kicked out at his legs and tried to scratch his face.

"Fucking hell," He cursed.

Dani slunk back under the table and turned to stand.

Then she heard a shot rang out.

She checked her body and found no damage.

Another shot was fired...and then three more...

Dani turned to see Ellen standing in the kitchen doorway with a gun in her hand. Garrett was flat across the floor with several shots to the chest. He wasn't moving either. Dani slumped against the wall and breathed sharply.

Daniel came up behind Ellen. "Where's Lily?"

"Bathroom cabinet" she managed to breathe out.

He nodded and left the two girls to smile awkwardly at each other. Ellen crossed the distance and sat down next to Dani on the floor. She holstered her gun on her thigh and sighed heavily.

"Didn't think I'd see you like this" Dani muttered.

Ellen met her eyes. "I guess I've changed"

"What's your favorite class?"

"Calculus, of course. There's no way I'd forget about Professor Brown's last session on Partial Derivative.." Ellen trailed off.

Dani rolled her eyes "Yeah, you haven't changed entirely"

The two laughed at each others antics until Daniel returned with Lily asleep on his shoulder.

"Good thinking on the bathroom," Daniel suggested.

Dani shook her head. "I got that idea from a movie"

Ellen chuckled. "The key thing here is that you're both safe. Lets get you guys back to--"

"Actually Ellen, " Daniel interjected, "Dani isn't privy to the same information as you. I'll have to get her another room instead. Garrett is dead so she should be fine for the night"

Ellen felt flustered. She finally saw her friend in a long while and had to still leave her behind.

"It's okay Elle. I'm not far away," Dani soothed. Ellen wished her a well goodbye and took Lily from Daniel. He handled Dani's situation downstairs with the Landlord who was an old friend.

Ellen conceded that she'd be fine here. Garrett was dead.

Yeah, he was dead indeed.

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