Amelia awoke to Ramon dumping her onto the couch. They bound her hands and feet; she had a gag in her mouth. She glared at her most trusted chef. He befriended her, worked his way into her life to become someone she would never suspect.
“Don’t look at me like that, Amelia. He offered me more money than I could refuse. This money will make me be able to disappear and never have to work again. Do you know how tempting that is? I could have servants of my own, never have to do anything for anyone anymore.” Ramon knelt at her feet taking her hands, she flinched.
“I am sorry about this, Amelia. I did like you.” Ramon shoved the cloth in her face again, knocking her out. A pinch bit into her arm, making her think Ramon drugged her with something. Amelia tried to fight the chemicals, but soon her vision went black again.
Sometime later she awoke being bounced around a van. A male and female spoke in the front. She recognized the female’s voice immediately. A shiver went down her spine. She thought she’d gotten away at eighteen.
“Why are we driving out here?” Gigi Naustin complained from the front seat. Amelia struggled against her wrist bonds. Someone had retied them while she was asleep, making them looser. She wondered if Ramon felt remorse and had helped her unintentionally. Slipping her hands out of the bonds, she made sure the unknown man and Gigi weren’t paying her any attention. She loosened the bonds around her ankles, keeping them there but able to free her feet when she got a chance. Her wolf was nowhere to be found in her mind. The prick she felt must have been wolfsbane. It kept her from calling on her wolf to help save her.
Okay, Amelia, you have no wolf, both the man and Gigi have theirs. You know you cannot outrun them. You are going to have to bide your time. Daniel knows you are missing. She gave herself a pep talk. She knew Daniel was on his way to save her. Alex wouldn’t let her out of his sight for over five minutes.
“Oh look, she is awake,” Gigi drawled, Amelia looked up and shivered. Gigi Naustin had not aged well in the past ten years. Amelia remembered her always having her hair done, her nails were always fake, and she wore thick makeup. This woman had wrinkles, gray hair, and chewed nails.
“Makes killing her all the better. No fun if she were unconscious,” the man drawled without looking back. She couldn’t get a good look at him. He had salt and pepper hair and thick hands on the steering wheel. Amelia could tell he was high society by the tone in his voice.
“Why kill me?” she asked. She had worked the gag out of her mouth.
“I need you out of the way.”
“You are keeping me from moving up in our world. You weren’t supposed to come back into my world again.”
“Lord Jeffries,” Amelia groaned. She should have known. He wouldn’t let her come back and ruin his chance at the throne.
“What do you get out of this?” she asked Gigi. Her presence confused her.
“George and I have had an arrangement for a long time. He sent me money, and I made your life miserable. When you disappeared at eighteen, I lost my money ticket. This is my way of getting all the money owed to me when you ran off.”
“You threw me out!” she argued, shocked Gigi would blame her when Gigi was the one who wanted her out of her house.
“You weren’t supposed to leave town. Everyone knows when people have no money they don’t have a way out. I made sure you had nothing, and yet you figured out how to do better. You ungrateful girl.” Gigi growled at her, reaching back to slap her face. Amelia jerked back so only Gigi’s claws scraped across her face barely.
“She is mine to dispose of. I need to make sure she is dead so my Michelle will become queen.” Amelia shuddered, she had to stall.
“Daniel doesn’t want Michelle. What makes you think he will survive missing his mate.”
“Then I’ll take the throne another way,” Lord Jeffries growled, pulling the car off the road. Amelia heard the waves when the two climbed out of the car. Gigi reached into the backseat and grabbed her by the collar of her chef’s coat. Amelia landed hard on the ground.
“Ow!” Amelia used her tied hands to rub her leg.
“Put her there,” Lord Jeffries demanded, pointing to a large tree. Amelia recognized the area, it was where her mother’s car went off the road. He was going to throw her off the cliff into the water and let her drown. Panic filled her body. She needed to figure out how to get away long enough for Daniel to find her.
“You are going to die, Amelia. It is time for me to get my throne” Lord Jeffries grabbed her, hauling her up to her feet. Amelia slipped her feet out of the ropes. Her hands were trapped between their bodies. She was able to wiggle out of the bonds around her wrists.
“No, I am not!” She growled, planting her hands on his chest as she pushed back. He wasn’t expecting her to have full range of her limbs and stumbled. He fell to the ground, pulling her with him. He hit his head on a rock, knocking himself unconscious. Amelia rolled off him. Jumping to her feet, she took off for the boulders.
“Don’t move!” Gigi yelled, shifting into her wolf. Amelia screamed as Gigi jumped at her. Another wolf came from the side, slamming into Gigi. Amelia didn’t recognize him, but she saw Daniel. A second wolf came around, planting themselves on top of Lord Jeffries. Daniel pulled her into his arms as they watched the two wolves fighting.
“Don’t worry, Alex will take Gigi,” Daniel whispered into her ear. Amelia wrapped herself around Daniel, burying her face in his shoulder. She couldn’t believe what was happening.
“Come on, I want you in my car.” Daniel scooped her up and carried her to his car. Amelia let him, Everything she’d been through made her shiver.
“You are going into shock. Let’s keep you warm.” Daniel turned on the heat in his car. He sat in the back, wrapping her in his arms. She closed her eyes and let him take care of her. She heard a commotion around her, but Amelia chose not to open her eyes.
“Lord Jeffries is in custody, Gigi Naustin did not go quietly,” Nick explained. She felt the car dip.
“Meaning?” she whispered, Amelia opened her eyes to see Nick smiling at her.
“Alex didn’t kill her, but she is going to hurt for a few days.” Amelia sighed, she didn’t want anyone to die even though they were trying to kill her.
“Did you capture Ramon?”
“Yes, he is in the van behind us with Gigi and Jeffries.”
“Where is Alex, I want to say thank you to all of you.” She smiled at her brother and her mate.
“He is in the car with the prisoners.”
“No. I want him here. He is my bodyguard,” she objected. Daniel growled, making her laugh.
“You are my mate Daniel, no one will replace you. I just need to know my people are all safe.” She stroked his cheek with one hand, catching sight of the marks from the ropes. Daniel grabbed her hand and kissed her palm. He touched her injuries.
“Why aren’t you healed?”
“They gave me a shot of my guess, wolfsbane. I haven’t felt my wolf since I woke up. I’m not sure how long I’ve been knocked out.” She saw the sun had gone down.
“You’ve been missing from the bakery for about six hours,” Daniel explained, nuzzling her neck.
“Wolfsbane usually takes twenty-four hours to leave your system. We are heading home and a doctor will check you out,” Nick added, sitting in the driver’s seat. Alex climbed into the front and Amelia relaxed. Her men were where she needed them.
“Thank you Alex for saving me.”
“I’d do anything for my future queen.” Alex’s gruff words warmed her heart. She snuggled into Daniel’s arms further and let his comfort lull her to sleep.
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