Say You Won't Let Go (Page 21)
I can’t move my legs. I can’t do this. I don’t know what the hell Cooper is thinking, but Wade should be back any minute. He’ll know what to do.
Brookes looks at me as the tears fall freely. I’m not pretending anymore, I’m truly terrified and broken by the idea of walking out that door.
He sighs, drops his hand more, and before I have a chance to blink, Cooper lunges.
Time doesn’t slow when you think you’re going to die. I don’t know who the hell says they’re hyper aware because nothing is registering right now. I can’t see whose hands are where. I can’t decipher who is making what noises. All I see are limbs moving and punches landing. Brookes and Cooper battle. I stand in horror, not knowing if Cooper is hurt or where the gun is.
I hear Cooper grunt, and the sound of cracking turns my stomach. “Cooper!” Tears fill my vision as I see his head fall to the side.
“Go, Emily! Run!” he yells, but I can’t walk away from him.
“I’m not leaving you!” I cry out.
I have to help him. Brookes lands another punch, but Cooper fights back.
Where the fuck is Wade?
Then I remember my panic button.
I turn and dive for it. I press the red button, knowing the alarm will blare out to the whole security team.
Sure enough, Brookes’s radio shrieks.
“Fuck you!” Brookes says as he hits Coop again.
“I’ll fucking kill you for touchin’ her!” Cooper replies, and my eyes catch the reflection off the shiny metal barrel that was lost in the scuffle.
I move forward and grip the handle. “Stop!” I scream pointing the gun at them. “Stop moving or I’ll shoot!”
Both men go still.
Brookes looks up and fear fills his gaze. “Baby.”
“I’m not your baby. I don’t even know you, but you’ve tormented me for weeks. You’ve made my life miserable, and now you tried to kill the man I love. So don’t you dare speak to me. Get up!” I nudge the muzzle upward, indicating he needs to stand.
He obeys, and then Cooper lands a punch on his face, blood sprays, and I scream.
He hits him again and again, until Brookes’s body goes limp.
My gun is still pointed, and my hands begin to shake. I’m standing here, but emotionally, I’m gone.
Then he’s in front of me, his skin warm as his fingers gently wrap around my wrist, slowly lowering the weapon.
“Em?” His voice is soft.
My eyes meet his, but I still don’t speak.
“Darlin’, I need you to go get Wade,” Cooper instructs me. “I’ll hold him.”
I stand, looking at Cooper with blood on his shirt.
“I’m okay, Emily. It’s over now.”
Will this ever really be over?
Before I can even breathe, the door opens, and Wade is the first person through, gun raised. He grabs me, pushing me behind him. A different bodyguard lifts me and pivots to take me down the steps, but as soon as I can’t see Cooper, I snap. My arms flail as I fight against his hold. “Let me go!” I claw my way out of his arms.
I don’t trust any of these people. Strength I never knew I had flows through me, and I manage to push my way out of his grasp. “Cooper! Wade!” I scream and move toward them.
“It’s fine, let her go.” Wade holsters his weapon, and I position myself behind him. “Are you okay?” he asks.
“Yes. No. I don’t really know.”
He turns to Cooper, and his voice is hard. “What the fuck? Brookes? Are you… Un-fucking-real,” Wade says as he crouches down.
“A little help?” Cooper huffs as he shifts his weight and Brookes starts to wake.
“Man, you get all the fun.” Wade huffs and drops to his knees to secure Brookes’s wrists in a set of handcuffs.
Cooper shakes his head and laughs. “Nice of you to show up.”
“Next time, don’t start the party early. It’s not my fault I was out looking for the guy while you were supposed to be keeping her occupied.”
“I was trying until your psycho friend came in with a gun.”
Wade brushes his dark hair back and scratches his neck. “Cock blocked by your girl’s stalker. Bad timing.”
“Are you two serious?” I ask in complete shock. I can’t believe these two are joking about a party when two minutes ago Cooper was being attacked and had a gun to his head—literally.
“Get him the hell out of here and call the police to come get him,” Wade orders the guy who tried to carry me off the bus.
Cooper’s eyes meet mine as he wipes the blood from his hands. I focus on the tiny speckles of dark green against the lighter shades, and my heart races. He saved our lives. In so many ways, he’s my savior. I’ve waited my entire life for someone to love me enough, and here he is.
Two hours later, after statements, police questioning, and retelling the horror story we just lived, everything is quiet. Brookes is going to jail, and thanks to the cameras Wade had installed, everything is on tape. Wade and the guys have cleaned the bus back up, but I’m not staying in it again, no matter how much anyone pays me.
Wade walks us to the hotel door, much more relaxed than I’ve ever seen him. “You guys all right?”
“We’re going to be fine now that it’s over,” Cooper says to Wade, but he watches me.
I give him a soft smile. “Thank you,” I say, touching Wade’s arm. “Thank you for everything.”
“It was my pleasure.”
As resistant as I had been to Wade, he’s become my friend as well. He’s kind, funny, bossy as all hell, but has a heart hidden under all his tough exterior.
“I’m actually going to miss you.” I laugh. “You better find a good woman who will take care of you.”
He laughs with his whole body. “Last thing I need is a woman.”
Cooper’s arm wraps around my shoulders, tucking me in to his side. “You’ll change your mind.”
Wade rolls his eyes. “Not many girls want a battered ex-Green Beret who doesn’t like insubordination.”
I move out of Cooper’s arms and pull Wade into a hug. “You’re not battered. You’re a good man, Wade Rycroft. Don’t sell yourself short.” My fingers press against his cheek, and he grins.
“You be good to him.” He lifts his chin toward Cooper.
He pulls me to his chest and kisses the top of my head. “Freaking women.”
Cooper claps his hand in Wade’s, and they give a man version of a hug. “Be careful and don’t be a stranger.”
I move back to Cooper, wrapping my arms around his middle. We watch Wade get in his pickup truck, and I wave goodbye, hoping we’ll see him soon.
We enter the room, both remaining silent for several minutes. My arms stay around him, needing him to anchor me.
This nightmare is finally over.
The shock of everything comes crashing around me as we stand here alone in the room, looking at each other. He could’ve died. I would’ve seen the only man I’ve ever loved taken from this earth. All because that psycho was living in some twisted version of reality.
“You almost…” I whisper as I shake my head, taking a step back. “You could’ve—”
He looks at me as I struggle to keep from breaking down. Instead of falling apart, I fall into Cooper’s arms, and he holds me tight. “It’s okay, Emmy. It’s okay.”
“I almost lost you.”
“You didn’t. I’m right here.”
A part of my brain won’t allow me to believe that we’re both okay. I lean back so I can touch his face, his hair, his chest, checking to make sure he’s really here and alive. My fingers trace the bruise that’s starting to form as a tear falls from my eyes. “He hurt you.”
“Not in a way that won’t heal.” Cooper wipes my cheek and cups my face. “Don’t cry, darlin’.”
“If he had killed you—”
Cooper hushes me by bringing his lips to mine. He kisses me tenderly, and my hands move up his shoulders, his neck, and to the back of his head, needing to stay like this. We kiss each other, emotions taking over.
His hands skim down my back until he’s gripping my thighs, pulling me into his arms. “I need you.”
“I need you, too,” I reply anxiously.
It isn’t wanting at this point. It’s a physical ache that only he can soothe.
“I have to love you,” he explains almost frantically.
“Please. Make love to me.”
He moves us back to the bed and places me down gently. I take in his dark brown hair, the stubble on his cheeks, and the passion in his eyes as he braces over me. I’m a lucky woman.
As we come face to face, my breath is taken away when I see a lone tear start to fall.
My fingers capture the bead and neither of us speak.
Sometimes words aren’t needed.
Sometimes silence says it all.
Our lips collide, and I lose myself in his touch. His tongue moves against mine, and I moan. Everything that’s happened the last few weeks disappears as he kisses me.
His hand moves down my chest, brushing his thumb against my nipple. He leans up, removes his shirt, and then tears mine off. The heat in his eyes burns my skin as my shorts and bra follow.