Until Ashlyn Page 68

“Dillon.” Feeling a hand on my shoulder, I look up and see my brother standing over me with worry in his eyes. “Calm, man,” he says quietly, looking at Ashlyn, who has curled herself into a tight ball against me. “You need to take care of your wife and trust these men do their job.”

Fuck, he’s right. Me raging isn’t going to help Ashlyn, who is freaking the fuck out and crying so hard my shirt is now soaked through, but the panic sweeping over me is making it hard to think rationally. Swallowing, I nod once at him then look at the agents sitting in front of me.

“If I were you, I’d be reacting the same way you are right now,” Agent Kace assures, speaking for the first time then stands, and Agent Torres does the same. “Get a gun if you have to. Put in extra security if you think you need it, but trust me when I tell you that we will find this guy and bury him so deep he won’t breathe for years.” Lifting my chin at him, he pulls out a card from his pocket and hands it to me. “If you see anything out of the ordinary, get weird vibes from someone, or just have a question, call. My cell is on there.”

“Thanks.”

“Save the thanks for when I find this guy,” he mutters, walking out of the room with Nico following behind him.

“Like he said, get a gun,” Agent Torres inserts, lifting his chin before leaving the library. Meeting Cash’s gaze, I hold his stare then watch his eyes close as he tucks Lilly against his chest. Seeing the look of devastation on both their faces, my stomach tightens and anger sweeps through me once more.

“I won’t let anything happen to you,” I vow against Ashlyn’s ear, feeling her nod against my chest, making me more determined than ever to keep her safe.

Chapter 13

Ashlyn

“I really wish you guys could stay longer,” I murmur with my arms wrapped around Cara, and my face tucked into her neck.

“Me too.” She leans back smiling, and then pulls me close once more to rock me from side to side. “Christmas will be here before we know it.” She hugs me tighter, reminding me of the plans we made yesterday evening.

“I’ll be counting down the days.” I pull away from her and look at Parker as he holds his arms out to me. Walking straight to him, his arms envelop me and I tuck my face into his chest. “Thank you for everything,” I whisper as tears sting my nose, and his hold on me tightens. Without him the last few days, I have no doubt Dillon would still be in a rage. And without the distraction of Cara, him, and the boys, I don’t know what I would have done. “I love you guys,” I blubber against his shirt, then step back and wipe my face and eyes.

“Ah, shit, stop crying. I can’t handle tears. Ask my wife,” he grumbles, pulling me back against him as Cara laughs.

“It’s true. Tears are his kryptonite.” She smiles at me as he lets me go with an awkward pat on my back. “Anytime he doesn’t want to give me my way, I let a few tears fall then boom—he’s putty in my hands.”

“I’m going to ignore everything you just said.” He glares at her, and I press my lips together to keep from laughing at them. They bicker as much as my grandparents, but also love each other with the same ferocity.

“Aunt Ashlyn.” Turning, I watch the boys run toward me, followed by Dillon.

“When we come back, can we make monkey melt?” Jordan asks, wrapping his small arms around my waist, and I rest my hand on the top of his head and look down at him.

“Absolutely.”

“Can Hope come over for a sleepover when we make monkey melt?” Kenyon asks, and I laugh, pulling him against me.

“I’m sure she would love that,” I agree, and he grins.

“Give your uncle a hug, boys. We need to hit the road if we want to make our flight,” Parker urges, and both boys turn to Dillon and attack him at the same time. Watching him swing Jordan and Kenyon up into his arms, new tears fill my eyes. I’m going to miss this over the next few months. I’m going to miss the sound of kids in the house, and miss seeing Dillon looking so content from having his family around.

“We’ll see you guys soon.” He hugs them both before setting them on the ground then turns to Cara, giving her a hug that lifts her off her feet and makes her laugh. “Take care of my brother.”

“You know I will,” she says as he sets her on her feet and looks at Parker.

“If you need anything, call me and I’ll be here,” Parker assures as he and Dillon embrace, pounding each other’s backs so hard the sound bounces off the walls in the foyer.

“I’ll call,” he agrees, letting him go.

Opening the door, he takes my hand in his and leads me to the edge of the porch, tucking me under his arm as we watch the boys climb into the back seat and Parker and Cara into the front. Giving them a wave as the car starts up, I watch Cara blow me a kiss then the boys wave frantically out the back window as the car drives away.

“I’m going to miss them,” I whisper, dropping my head to Dillon’s shoulder, hearing him sigh as his arm tightens around my shoulders.

“Me too, baby.”

“Maybe we should go to Chicago for Thanksgiving,” I suggest hopefully, looking up at him.

“That’s definitely something to think about,” he agrees, kissing my forehead before leading me back into the house, which suddenly feels cold and unwelcoming without other people around to fill the massive space.

“Can we go stay at the townhouse?” I ask once we’re in the kitchen, and his eyes come to me and fill with worry. We haven’t stayed at my old place once since we’ve moved in here, and the only time we’ve talked about it is when I mentioned putting it on the market in a few months, so I know my request has caught him off guard.

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