As we sat across from each other, I knew that Reyna was safely sleeping. I tried to gauge everyone’s expression, but it was my father’s that had me concerned. “I know your mind is spinning with ideas of what this letter means. Care to share?”
My father’s eyes zeroed in on mine as he brought his hand to his chin and began rubbing it back and forth. “There are a few things I found disturbing about this letter. Other than those you picked up on, not once did Louise mention that bastard’s name. She could have been referring to any man as her ‘dearest love.’”
I don’t know how I missed it, but he was right. There was no mention of Rui Salko’s name in the letter. I had only assumed that he was who Louise was referring to. I based my assumption on what Reyna said and never questioned that it could have been anyone else. We knew for a fact that Reyna was his daughter. The DNA test we had requested when the McCalls adopted her verified that. Even though it wasn’t standard protocol to have a DNA test done in an adoption procedure, we instructed Crosby and Delilah to do so. We had a sample of Salko’s blood. We hadn’t gotten it by mere luck. All it took was a rival dispute we engineered. We knew there was no way Salko would miss out on the action, even if we staged it. Our initial intention for getting a sample of his blood had nothing to do with determining paternity, but more with pinning him with the death of Gwen, my fiancée. With only a short window for the DNA test to be accurate, we had to move fast.
The day we confirmed his guilt, we also learned about Louise Braxton and the possibility that her daughter might be his. Everything was coming together, and we finally had the leverage we needed to make his empire crumble. His daughter.
There was only one problem. I never thought I would fall for her. If Reyna knew the real reason behind keeping her safe, she would hate me and inevitably run. There was no way I could let that happen. For that reason alone, we had to convince her that her mother hated Rui Salko. It was the truth. Hopefully, what we would find in Georgia would prove that he was a monster and make her hate him as well.
Invading my thoughts, I heard my father’s disapproving tone. “I think going to Georgia is nothing but a wild goose chase. I’m not sure what you hope to find.”
“I’m not sure what we will find either, but we need to at least go to Suches Loop. If Rui Salko is the man Louise referred to in the letter, then we need to find out why he wanted her to meet him there. I believe there is a connection. It was where the authorities found what remained of her body after her car went up in flames.” I hoped my father was smart enough to see my point. Every lead, no matter how insignificant, had to be investigated.
“I trust you will handle Reyna’s safety. The last thing we want is for Salko anywhere near her in the event he returns to Atlanta,” My father needed to trust me. There was no way in hell I would let that bastard anywhere near her.
“Everything has been taken care of. Marcus and Calvin will keep an on eye on Reyna, while Sean and Axe and I head to Gainesville.”
Pushing from the table, I looked down at my father. “If you will excuse me, I am going to check in on Reyna. She is scared to death of flying.”
When I entered the main cabin of the plane, Reyna was fast asleep in her chair. I knew it wouldn’t be long until the Ativan took effect. One thing I didn’t count on was her falling asleep so quickly. I guess everyone was different. Unbuckling her seatbelt, I thought she would be more comfortable sleeping on the bed than in the chair. We still had a couple of hours before we landed.
As I picked her up from the chair, her head fell to the crook of my neck. “Are we here?” Her voice was hoarse and close to a whisper, probably from the medication.
“No, we have about two more hours. I thought you would be more comfortable on the bed.”
“Will you lay with me?”
Just the thought of her wanting me near had my cock on full alert. I had no intention of taking her while she was half-comatose, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t hold her close while she slept. “Always.”
Pushing open the door to the makeshift suite, I carefully pulled off her heels and settled her on the bed. Pulling the covers over her body, I took my place behind her and pulled her close. Tucking my arm underneath her head, I felt her ass press against me. My cock had a mind of its own as I could feel it harden beneath my jeans. Maybe laying with her wasn’t such a good idea. I knew if I didn’t move, I would be finding my own relief.
Kissing Reyna on the back of the head, I slowly slid from the bed, making sure I hadn’t woken her. When I pulled open the door, Marcus was standing on the other side. His expression told me that something happened.
“It’s Mika. She’s been hurt.”
What Marcus had just told me didn’t register. “What? How?”
“My guess, it was Rui Salko’s doing. She received a call from Theo at the security gate about a delivery. It was one she was expecting, so she told him to let the driver through.”
My pulse hammered against my temple. As soon as I found Salko, he was a dead man. “How badly was she hurt?”
“Enough to warrant a ride to the hospital. Thankfully, Theo got suspicious and decided to make sure everything was okay. Things could have been much worse. He got a few punches in of his own before the guy got away.” The tone of Marcus’s voice told me what happened to Mika had affected him too. He cared for Mika as much as me. We all knew her and she considered us her family.
“I want you to use every resource available to find the guy who did this. He needs to pay.”
“There’s something else. The man who assaulted Mika was looking for information on Reyna. He beat it out of her. He knows you’re taking her to Georgia.”
All I could see was fire. So many things could go wrong. If Reyna had been at the estate, he would have gotten to her. I looked back at her small frame, thankful that my dad talked me into bringing her along. Closing the door to the suite, I pulled out my phone and called Patton. There was no way I could take her to The Regency. It would be the first place he would look. My penthouse had a top of the line security system, but there was no way I would risk Reyna being taken. Allowing her to stay with Crosby and Delilah was also too risky. There was only one other place that I knew she would be safe. When I started construction on the Regency, I wanted to make damn sure I had a safe haven in the event something came up. Until now, I never had a reason to use it. There are only two people that know about it other than myself, my father, and Patton. There was only one way to get to it, and that was from my office, located on the mezzanine. The access elevator hidden behind the bookcase was the only way to and from the 3,600 square foot living space. Just like my penthouse, I equipped it with the best security system that money could buy. I spared no expense to make sure it had every convenience possible and was stocked with supplies to last six months. The only thing missing was a cook and housekeeper. I knew how to cook, and I wasn’t a pig.
It reminded me of what happened to Mika. Before calling Patton, I needed to find out how she was.
“Hello.” Mika’s frail voice, barely auditable, came through my phone.
“Hey, sweetheart. How are you?”
“I’m good, Davi. Just a bit sore. Theo hasn’t left my side. He refuses to leave me in the house alone.”
I was glad to hear that Theo was with her. I couldn’t chance her getting assaulted again by one of Salko’s men. “Mika, do you remember anything about the man who hurt you?”
I could hear it in her voice—the memory of what happened taking hold of her emotions. “I’m sorry, Davi. I shouldn’t have told Theo to let the man through the gate. I mixed my days up. By the time I realized it, it was too late. I will never forget the man’s face or the tattoo on his neck.”
“He had a tattoo?”
“Yes. It was the most disturbing thing I had ever seen. A skull with eyeballs pinched between its teeth going up in flames. I will never forget it.”
“Do you remember what he looked like?”
“I was so engrossed by his tattoo I didn’t get a good look at him before he knocked me to the floor. I do remember he was wearing a ball cap that read ‘AJ Repair.’ I thought it was kind of funny since the delivery was supposed to be for food supplies and not repair parts.”
When I ended the call with Mika, I was glad to hear that Theo was staying near her and that she was okay. The information she shared with me at least gave me somewhere to start. Once I gave Marcus the information that Mika gave me, he was on the phone making calls to his connections in Chicago to see if they might know the guy. More than anything, I wanted this douchebag to pay for what he did to Mika.
As I looked out the small window, I could see two identical SUVs and knew it was Sean and Axe waiting for us on the tarmac. The private airstrip that Patton suggested we land at was good thinking on his part. More likely than not, Salko would have his men waiting for us at Atlanta International. When the plane came to a halt, I headed to the back of the plane to wake Reyna. The Ativan that I gave her caused her to sleep the entire duration of the flight. The required dose was two pills. On our flight back to Chicago, she would only get one.
When I pushed open the door, I could see an empty bed. The door to the bathroom swung open, and her sleepy eyes met mine. “Are we in Atlanta?”
Walking over to the other side of the bed where she was standing just outside the bathroom door, I pulled her close and breathed in the scent of her cherry blossom and vanilla shampoo. “We are. Are you ready to go?”
I could feel her nod her head against my chest before she stepped back. Lifting her head, our eyes met. “I’m sorry I wasn’t much company, but the pills you gave me really knocked me out.”
“I think next time, one will be enough.”