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Page 117

Author: Kirsty Moseley

I felt the snarl try to rip itself out of my mouth. “Who the f**k is this and what are you doing with Anna’s phone?” I growled as I threw a change of clothes into a bag along with my guns, ammo, knives and my other tactical gear.

“This is Agent Richards,” the voice replied hesitantly.

“This is Agent Taylor. Why do you have Anna’s phone?” I asked, trying to control my breathing; all I wanted to do was smash everything, and that wouldn’t help at all.

“Miss Spencer didn’t take her cell phone; it’s here in the apartment.”

I closed my eyes and groaned. They couldn’t even track her through her cell signal. Why hadn’t I ever thought about getting a tracking device on her body or something? I could have suggested it to her dad, I’m sure he could have commissioned something small enough to attach to the back of an earring or necklace.

I ended the call, pressing the phone to my forehead, thinking. Officer Weston was right, they could be anywhere by now, with Carter’s money and contacts they could be on a boat, helicopter or private plane, on their way to goodness knows where. He even suggested in one of his letters that they go somewhere else for a fresh start when he got out of jail. How was I going to find her if I had no idea where to look?

I groaned and threw my bag onto the bed angrily. I felt useless; there was nothing I could do from here on my own. I would just have to fly to Arizona and wait in her apartment with the other agents; I would make her dad reinstate me as her guard so I could devote my time to finding her. I wouldn’t give up, not even if I had to look for a lifetime.

If only I could find someone who knew Carter’s whereabouts, or at the very least, someone who worked for him so that I could force them to tell me where she was. An idea suddenly hit me, I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it was sure as hell worth a try. I held my breath as I dialled the one person who I knew would have a chance at finding her. He was a lying, cheating scumbag, and I hadn’t seen him for five years. I’d met him when I was going through a bad stage in my teens and had fallen in with the wrong crowd. He was a low level criminal, but he had a lot of contacts. He used to make it his business to know everything about everyone. I’d looked up to him for a time when I was a young and impressionable seventeen year old, until I realised that wasn’t the person that I wanted to be. That was when I decided to get my life on track and make something of myself, before it was too late. He was one of the reasons that I decided to train to be a police officer. If anyone would have an idea of how to get to Carter Thomas, it would be Julian Simms.

It rang for a long time. I was just about to give up hope when he answered. “This had better be f**king important! Do you know what time it is?” he growled sleepily. Julian didn’t run the same type of schedule that normal people did; this was probably middle of the night for him.

“Julian, I’m sorry to call you so early. It’s Ashton Taylor,” I said, letting it sink in.

There was silence on the line, obviously he was trying to place the name; it had been a long time. “Ashton? Shit, man, I haven’t heard from you in years! I heard you went over to the dark side,” he joked.

I smiled weakly. “Sorry, but I haven’t got time for pleasantries. I need you to do something for me, it’s important. You owe me, remember? Well, I need to collect the favour,” I said sternly.

He coughed a barking, hacking cough that was caused by too many cigarettes and too many drugs. “Yeah, what do you need?” he asked.

I need to you help me save my girl from a sick son of a bitch. “I need you to find someone for me. Or, at the very least, someone who works for someone,” I answered, trying to keep the desperation out of my voice.


“Carter Thomas.”

He gasped. “I can’t help you, I’m sorry.” His voice was gruff, he actually sounded a little scared.

“Julian, you f**king owe me, you know you do! I saved your life. Just get me anyone, anyone that works for him so I can get the information myself if you can’t find Thomas,” I growled, the frustration leaking into my voice now. I grabbed my bag and headed out of my apartment and downstairs, immediately hailing a cab heading to the airport.

“You don’t want to find him, Ashton. Seriously, whatever you want him for, it’s not important enough to find him for it,” he replied, sounding terrified.

I snorted at that comment. “It’s important enough, trust me. Find him and call me back. I’m serious; I’m calling in my favour.” I hung up and closed my eyes as the cab sped me to the airport. I called ahead and booked the first flight they had, but I still had to wait almost two hours. At least I would be there with the other agents, so if they got any leads I would be able to go with them, if Julian came up with nothing.

I couldn’t settle down. I was pacing back and forth, trying to think of any other way I could find her before he hurt her. I’d promised her that he’d never hurt her again – but what if he already had? Had I already broken my promise to her? The pain of thinking about it was torture. My whole body was tight with stress. The helpless, useless feeling was killing me slowly. My Baby Girl was in danger and there was nothing I could do about it.

Just as I was about to board my plane, my phone rang. It was Julian. “Tell me good news, man,” I begged as I answered it.

“Ashton, are you sure you want to do this?” he checked.

“Just give me the f**king information, I’m about to board a plane,” I snapped angrily.

He sighed. “Okay, well, I couldn’t find out much about his whereabouts, but a friend of a friend has just been hired by him. He was bragging in a bar the other day that he’d been hired by Carter Thomas to retrieve something important. Apparently they’ve been hauled up in Arizona for the last few weeks, looking for something, but they couldn’t find it. Apparently they were stationed in some abandoned factory on Western Ambrose,” he said.

Arizona. Looking for something. Holy shit, this is it! Western Ambrose, I repeated it over and over in my head, committing it to memory. “Okay, what’s the guy’s name?” I asked curiously. I needed to find this guy, talk to him, find out anything and see if this ‘thing’ they were looking for was Anna. If it was, then maybe I could find out where they were planning on taking her. I just prayed that he would still be at this factory. I just needed to find the guy, get the information, and then I could pass it on to the relevant people.

“Justin Morrison. Asshole apparently, real nasty piece of work. He told the whole bar about him and Carter Thomas being like best pals apparently. Maybe you could get Carter’s location from him,” Julian suggested hesitantly.

“Thanks. I gotta go get my plane. If I need anything else I’ll call you, okay,” I muttered, disconnecting the call, not giving him the chance to say no.

I didn’t call the White House; they wouldn’t exactly approve of the way I was going to get Carter Thomas’s whereabouts out of this guy who worked for him, breach of human rights and all that shit. Once I had more information, I would call them so we could move on Carter and get my girl back.

I called my new captain and told him I wasn’t coming in for the next few days, and that I had an emergency I needed to get sorted out. As I expected, he was less than happy about it, but there wasn’t much else I could do, and I didn’t care anyway. Nothing else was important apart from Anna.

By the time the plane landed, I felt sick. It was almost three in the afternoon, so she’d been missing for hours now. He could have done anything to her. I got the first cab I could to Western Ambrose and had the cabbie drive me the length of the street.

“Do you know of an old abandoned factory along this road?” I asked the driver, holding him out an extra twenty.

He pocketed it and smiled gratefully. “Well, there are two; one’s an office building really, the other one used to be a sewing factory years ago,” he replied, raising his eyebrows curiously. I made him drive back down the road and point them out to me before I got out and headed across the street to get a better vantage point. I needed to make the sweep as quick as possible.

I quickly called Julian again. “Hey, man, did you say it was definitely an abandoned factory and not an abandoned office building?” I asked curiously. I didn’t want to go into the wrong building and scare off this Justin Morrison guy. I needed him alive so I could beat the information out of him as to where Anna might be.

“Yeah, that’s what my friend said,” he confirmed. “Ashton, do you need some help?” he asked, sounding like he was hoping I would say no. I didn’t think he would want to go against Carter Thomas at all, but I knew he would if I asked him to. A favour was classed as a debt to people like Julian; he would repay it to the best of his ability. I’d saved his life once when we were younger; he still owed me for that.

“Not at the moment, but thanks. I gotta go.” I disconnected the call and pushed my cell back into my pocket before checking my ankle holster and pushing my other gun down the back of my jeans, covering it with my T-shirt. Next, I slipped my knife into my belt and pushed four extra clips into my pocket before casually walking over to the building, pretending to walk past.

I stopped to tie my shoe outside the door, sitting on the steps and looked around; no one was there so I slipped in. The fact that the door was unlocked made my heart leap, I was sure I was in the right place. This guy Morrison had to be here somewhere, I just prayed he knew where she was.

As soon as I was off the street, I pulled my gun from the waistband of my jeans and slipped an extra clip there instead in case I needed to reload quickly. I made my way through the building, keeping my back to the wall, checking each room for signs of him.

Suddenly, I heard the sound of a walkie-talkie up ahead, so I froze. My eyes narrowed. Why the hell would someone have a walkie-talkie? Without hesitation, I slipped round the corner and put my gun to the back of the guy’s head.

“What’s your name?” I asked angrily.

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