status Page 5

“Redacted in all documents.”

“Well, if we can’t get it, chances are no one can. So that’s good, right?”

Felicity shrugs again. “For Grace’s sake, V, let’s hope so.”

Chapter Three


I WANT to make a drink. Hell, I want to just sit down and get drunk, if I’m really being honest. But I can’t. Grace needs me. So I sit on the couch and stare out the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the Bellagio fountain lake and wait for Conner.

I’m impatient and my leg has been bouncing since Felicity stopped talking. She’s been on the phone ever since, getting me things. Ordering room service, even though I’m not hungry. Calling Conner to coordinate the money drop to Tray, even though I should be doing that myself. And biting her nails.

It’s been almost two hours since she came in and threw my whole world out of orbit. “Is she really in danger?” I ask Felicity as she ends another call and sits down next to me. “Because if so, Conner is taking way too long.”

“Well, he got a hold of Johnny Blazen, who confirmed that the white Mercedes was a gift for his wife-to-be. The car is in her name and since they’re not married yet, he has no access to the GPS location services. He’s working his celebrity magic, Conner said, but it might take a few more hours to get that info. He’s got a team of lawyers on it, so we just have to hold tight and hope that Kristi woman knows what the hell she’s doing.”

The door chimes and I jump up and cross the room in a few paces. I open the door and Conner is staring at me with a very serious face. “I’ve got the money.”

“How much did he want?”

“Ten million.”

Huh. I wave Conner in and close the door. “It’s almost not fair, is it?”

“What’s not fair?” Conner asks.

“It’s like cheating luck.”

He just shoots me a confused look.

“I won ten million dollars last night in punto banco.”

“Well, dude,” Conner replies, “if it makes you feel any better, luck is about to kick your ass. So I wouldn’t be too guilt-ridden about your apparent win just yet. Think of it as a good omen instead.” He walks into the living room and looks over at Felicity, who says nothing to him—there is no love lost between those two—and then takes a seat on the couch.

“Vaughn.” Felicity breaks our uneasy silence and stands up to block me from taking a seat across from Conner. “Before you let him tell you anything else, you had better be sure you want to go behind her back like this. Because Grace strikes me as a grudge-holder. She didn’t want you to know about her past for a reason. You should respect that.”

“Her life is in danger, Felicity,” Conner barks at her. “This is not a time for sappy bullshit like respecting her privacy.”

Felicity throws up her hands. “I’m just telling you from a woman’s point of view. If you take this secret from her, she might not forgive you.”

I look over at Conner and he’s frowning. “I’m just gonna take your choice away, Vaughn, OK? Make it easy on you. They think—”

But I put up a hand and he stops. “No,” I say. “Felicity is right. I know enough. I know enough to realize I need to find her and keep her safe. That’s all I need right now. I want to hear the story from her, and only when she’s ready to tell it. Just tell me one thing. Is she in danger?”

“She could be, Vaughn. I don’t know for sure. But all this media attention is not good. It’s an invitation. They never caught the guy. And I’m not saying he’s still got tabs on her, but he could have.”

“OK, then let’s get this Tray stuff started and then hopefully Blazen will have the car security hand over her location. What are we even doing? What did Tray actually say?”

“That guy is a scumbag,” Felicity says.

Conner shoots her a look and she shuts up. He gets up and paces over to the window to look out. “He was collaborating with the media the entire time, Vaughn. In addition to suddenly being the only guy with info on your Grace, he also has video of Sam.” Conner gives me a sidelong glance. “Incriminating video.”

“She told me she was a virgin.”

“Not sex tapes, you idiot. That…” He looks over at Felicity and I can practically read his mind and shake my head at him. “That other stuff.”

I shake my head again. “She doesn’t do that anymore.”

“She does, V. She does. And he’s got her on tape. And as horrible as it would be for her secret to get out, who really gives a fuck? Right? The world is not going to care. But Sam won’t be able to see it that way. She will not handle this well.”

I sigh. My poor sister has been afflicted with worry since she was small. She’s fragile and vulnerable. I thought I was doing the right thing when I got her away from Tray, but maybe that was the worst possible solution? Maybe I made things worse? Made Tray more vengeful and angry? “Did you know that her disorder was manifesting before Tray did?” My words are accusatory, but I don’t care because he’s nodding his head yes. “Why the fuck didn’t you say anything to me?”

“I only suspected,” he clarifies. “I saw her do something strange last Christmas. Right after she and Tray started dating. But none of that matters. What matters is that we pay this asshole and get those videos back and figure out what he knows about Grace.”