Protecting Her Secret Son(10)

By: Regan Black



She shook her head as Daniel said, “No.”

Sliding a look at her boss, she still couldn’t figure out why Daniel hadn’t bolted. “Shouldn’t you get back to the site?”

This time, the “no” came from Grant and Daniel simultaneously.

Grant leaned forward in his chair. The sympathy in his warm, brown eyes made her want to rage and scream. Yes, she’d been an idiot to marry a madman, but she was different now, older and wiser after the harrowing experience. She didn’t want anyone to see her as helpless, no matter that it was true. She checked the urge to pound on the nearest wall. Barely.

“I may run a nightclub now, but I still have connections within the police department.” He barreled on before she could launch a protest. “I’m going to make some discreet inquiries about your ex-husband. I’ll find out if he’s been seen in the area, catch up with any gossip on the latest investigations, that sort of thing. I can couch it within the context of the business. Not everyone doing business near the river is legit.”

She turned her phone over and over in her hands, willing it to leap to life with some news of Aiden. “And what do I do? Just sit at home and wait?”

“Actually, I’d rather you didn’t sit at home,” Grant said.

Shannon raised her head in time to catch the glance Grant exchanged with Daniel.

Daniel rolled his eyes. “Fine.”

“What’s fine?” She didn’t appreciate decisions being made on her behalf, without so much as a discussion. Although the two men in this room were honorable, nothing like her ex-husband, the lack of input or control only stressed her out more. “This is my son’s life we’re talking about.”

“Yours, too,” Grant said baldly. “I’d like you to stick close to Daniel for the next few days. I know it’s inconvenient, but I see it as a necessary precaution.”

“I need to be at my place or at work.” If she didn’t stay busy somehow, she’d lose her mind in the bleak pit of worry. “Shouldn’t I be where they know to find me? In case they bring Aiden back.” It sounded like a starry-eyed fantasy as the words tumbled from her lips. She couldn’t let her trouble disrupt Daniel’s life. He had enough to juggle managing the nearly finished project and the charity house.

“Alone, you’ll be a tempting target,” Grant explained. “They could pick you up on a whim and we risk losing you both.”

Daniel lurched up and out of the chair, pacing in front of the closed door, one hand shoving at his black hair.

“Better that than a burden,” she protested, avoiding Daniel’s restless gaze. “He has a life and two jobs already. He doesn’t have time to babysit me.”

“It’s fine.” Daniel leaned back against the closed door. “I’m using personal leave from the PFD so I can oversee the charity house. I was going to assign you to that next anyway. We’ll save time and gas and all that if we’re together.”

A few hours ago, working on the charity project had been her biggest hope. Now, it felt flat and insignificant. “You’ve insisted on only the best crew over there. I can’t imagine I qualify with my mind on Aiden.” Her heart was broken. “I know keeping busy would help, but my concentration is gone.”

“I can find something for you,” Daniel promised.

Nothing short of holding her baby again would restore her. She’d seen enough documentaries to know kidnapped children were rarely returned. Children stolen to manipulate crazy ex-husbands...well, she didn’t want to contemplate the long odds there.

Grant cleared his throat, gaining her attention. “It’s imperative you have someone with you at all times. I can assign someone else, but Daniel is here and available,” Grant said. “He’s familiar with you and your son. He has reason to come and go from here as well, without raising suspicion.”

“Won’t your inquiries at the police department raise more suspicion?” she asked. By accident, she’d overheard her ex bragging to a friend about having an entire narcotic squad in his pocket. It had been a transforming revelation, one that hadn’t gone well for her when he found out. “Couldn’t it get back to Bradley or whoever has Aiden?”

Grant tipped his head to the side, wrapping one hand with the other. “It is possible Stanwood or his connections in Philly have cops on the payroll,” he admitted. “That’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to criminal syndicates. More often, lately, they think they have more pull than they really do. I can promise you I’ll be careful. Your name won’t come up until I’m sure it’s necessary.”

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