The Perfect Wife

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Chapter Five



The last thing I wanted was to scare Reyna, but when Patton called, my only concern was keeping her safe. Someone opened Pandora’s box, and now Reyna Braxton was in danger. The secret my father shared with me five years ago was secure, or so I thought. Only he, the McCalls, and a handful of men we referred to as The Society knew the truth. It took eleven years of endless searching to find her. I was beginning to think she was an absurdity, and the stories about her still being alive were just rumors, but then we got a break. After her mother’s death, Reyna somehow got lost in the system, a system that caused her to be shuffled from one foster home to the next. The Society and I never took into account that Reyna would go by her mom’s surname, Braxton, instead of her father’s. Looking back, it made sense. Rui Salko disappeared shortly before Reyna was born. There was no reason for Louise Braxton to give her daughter his name. They never married, and Reyna never knew who her father was.

The authorities ruled Louise Braxton’s death an accident, but The Society disagreed and wouldn’t give up until we found the truth. There was no way Louse Braxton lost control of her car, rolling it seven times down an embankment on Suches Loop. She wouldn’t have been there. There was no reason. The authorities found her more than an hour away from Gainesville, her hometown, and it made little sense that she would drive on that treacherous road so late at night. The information we obtained revealed her gas tank blew up once it settled between trees and brush. By the time rescue arrived, there was nothing left of the car but a shell. Her body was unrecognizable. The only way to determine it was her was through her dental records. Pretty damn convenient.

As we stepped from the elevator, my phone vibrated inside my pocket. Looking at the screen, I saw it was my top guy. “Patton, Reyna’s with me. She’s safe. We are about to enter my penthouse.”

There was a moment of silence other than the tapping of his keyboard. “We will let you know when it’s safe for transport.” Patton was always the serious one in the bunch. Always so formal. Must have to do with his military background.

“Any leads on the leak?” I had to know how he found her.

“That’s a negative. But as soon as we have any information, we will let you know. Just keep Miss McCall safe until we give you the green light, and we’ll do the rest.” I knew the guys were more than capable of doing what was necessary to ensure Reyna’s safety. There was no doubt in my mind that they could handle whatever came at them.

As I pushed open the door, already I could feel my uneasiness dissipate. I spared no expense to equip my penthouse with the best security money could buy. There was only one way to access it, and that was from the service elevator on the other side of the kitchen. Other than The Society, my GM, Samantha, and my trusty housekeeper, Eloise, no one else had access to this floor.

With my hand on Reyna’s back, I allowed her to enter first. As soon as I closed the door behind us and began setting the alarm, her annoyance ricocheted off my back. “Are you going to tell me who you were talking to?”

Hitting the last number on the security panel, I turned toward Reyna. “How about we eat first and then talk?”

“You are impossible.” Her arms flew in the air before coming down against her sides. Even exasperated, she was beautiful.

The thoughts spinning in my head at this moment were so inappropriate. My thoughts should be on her safety and not how much I wanted to strip her of her dress and everything beneath it just to feel her soft skin pressed to mine. Her beautiful brown doe eyes made my cock hard the minute she met mine with her disapproval. I didn’t plan on this, but I rather enjoyed her feistiness.

Removing my suit jacket, I placed it on the back of the barstool and walked over to the fridge to see what I could scrounge up for dinner. Typically, Eloise had my meals prepared for me, but since I had dinner plans this evening, I gave her the evening off.

When I turned to face Reyna, she hadn’t moved away from the door. Her eyes fixed on the open space of my penthouse. When I had this hotel/casino designed, my objective was to get the same reaction displayed on her gorgeous face. I had imported most of the furnishings, even the sectional couch was of fine Italian leather. The beveled glass coffee table and matching end tables came from Africa. Ornately carved ivory positioned in a triangular steeple helped to support the tempered glass. Not even the extravagant furnishings could match the view of Atlanta from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Atlanta wasn’t the biggest city in the US, but it was my city, the city where the Cross family gained power over a century ago. As Russian immigrants, changing the family name from Crostova to Cross gave us the strength we have earned today, without affecting our heritage. Even my great-grandfather would be proud if he were still alive today.

Unbuttoning my shirt cuffs, I headed to the kitchen. “Do you have a preference on what you would like to eat, princess?”

“I lost my appetite the minute you kidnapped me. And quit calling me princess.” She inaccurately spoke, disregarding the explanation I had given her earlier.

Smiling, I laughed at her spunk and said, “Chicken Alfredo it is, then.”

Making my way to the fridge, I pulled out a few needed items and placed them on the counter before opening the cupboard to grab the rest. Even though I couldn’t see her since my back was towards her, I could tell that she was fuming. Her eyes were burning my back as I began preparing our meal. She never responded on whether or not she liked what I was about to cook, but though it didn’t matter at this point, I would have much rather heard her input.

In no time, I pulled the dish from the oven, cooked to perfection. The aroma alone should make Reyna’s appetite come back. Dishing up our plates, I took them to the dining room table. Reyna remained seated at the bar with her arms crossed at her chest. I suppose that if I were in her position, I would be a little annoyed with myself as well. The way she looked at me with her gorgeous brown eyes only made me want her more, beneath me, in my bed.

Stepping over to where she was sitting, I held my hand out, hoping that she would take it. When she didn’t move, I lifted her chin with my hand until her eyes were on mine. “Reyna, let’s eat, and then we will talk.”

“I will eat only if you promise to tell me what is going on.” Her eyes said everything, and the walls she built to show her strength were starting to crumble.

“I will tell you what I can, at least enough to protect you. The last thing I want is to put you in more danger.” If she knew everything, it would surely put her in more danger. Rui Salko hadn’t made himself known, but when Patton called to inform me that Reyna’s apartment had been broken into, there could only be one man behind it. Thankfully, Patton was able to intercept the 911 call her roommate Kenzi made when she returned home after leaving with her friend Kip for dinner. Impersonating a cop by showing the correct identification wasn’t uncommon for The Society. After securing Kenzi in a hotel, Patton reviewed the footage from the cameras we placed in the apartment before Reyna moved in. Between The Society and the McCalls, we have been able to keep her safe. Tonight, that all changed. The two men inside her apartment had to be Salko’s men. It was clear they were looking for something. Whatever it was, they came up empty-handed. Before I told Reyna anything, I needed to find out how much she knew about her father.

Leading her to the table, I pulled out her chair and waited for her to take a seat. Pouring her a glass of wine, I looked over to her for approval as she took a sip. “This wine is delicious.”

“I’m glad you approve. Now eat.”

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