Home > Danger Rising (Red Stone Security #20)(2)

Danger Rising (Red Stone Security #20)(2)
Author: Katie Reus

She couldn’t see anyone, but they were coming for her. She could feel it in her bones. And if they caught her…they’d kill her. Or torture her, then kill her. So, not great options.

“Come on, come on,” she growled to the engine, which was at max capacity—5.6 miles an hour.

Lana hadn’t expected them to follow in a boat, but she should have.

Always expect the unexpected. Her mother’s most often spoken words reverberated in her mind.

As the canal dead-ended into a T, she took a right into the smaller canal. Thunder boomed so loud she couldn’t hear her own engine for a moment. But as it faded, she heard the whine of the other one in the distance.

Come on, come on, come on, she chanted as she sped toward the boat launch. Waves sloshed against the two docks on either side of it.

As she jerked to a halt in front of the nearest one, she tossed the rope around one of the hitches but didn’t bother tying it.

A huge engine gunned in the distance. They’d be on her soon.

With shaking hands, she slid her backpack on and dove onto the dock. She hated leaving her handheld jet behind but it was too heavy and would slow her down. And she’d bought the thing with cash so she wasn’t worried about it being traced back to her.

At the last minute tugged her mask back over her face. She hadn’t seen any cameras around when she’d reconned this boat launch, but she believed in being careful.

Lana slipped at the end of the dock, slammed down onto one knee, but shoved up and sprinted across the gravel. As she reached her car, a sleek-looking boat crashed straight into her dinghy and the dock, sending wood flying everywhere.

Holy shit.

If she hadn’t been running for her life, she’d have stopped and stared.

Instead she dove into the front seat, started the engine and raced away just as a man jumped onto the side of the dock that hadn’t been destroyed.

Too little, too late, asshole, she thought as she sped through the exit of the marina parking lot and onto a four-lane road. Rain pounded against her windshield, the wipers working overtime as she blended in with the many vehicles out tonight.

Her heart rate was still wild, however. It finally evened out into a steady beat once she was ten solid miles away. Her pursuers didn’t have a car and had no other way to follow her. But she would definitely have to ditch this vehicle soon.

Only then would she head back to her hideout—and find out exactly what was on Cashe’s laptop. Maybe there was something worthwhile on that laptop, something she’d be able to leverage.

She just had to stay alive and hidden long enough to figure out if she had anything good on him.

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

 

Jeremy Cashe strode around his office, looking everything over carefully. He purposefully did not have a camera in here, and while he didn’t regret it, he was still pissed that someone had managed to break into his house—had known to come straight to his office.

He glared at the empty spot on his desk where his laptop should have been. Normally he locked it away but he’d been in a hurry earlier, already late for the gala. He took a deep breath, turned to face his head of security, Leon Miller.

Leon had been with him for two years and had come highly recommended. He was a lean, wiry man with bronze skin and wolflike eyes. He had military experience and still had the rigid bearing. Now Jeremy was wondering if he was worth the high salary he’d been commanding.

“What. Happened.” He glanced at the still-open safe. The very empty safe. There’d only been about fifty grand in there, but it had been part of his “run money” should he ever need it. Same with the extra passports and various paperwork. Now some unknown asshole had it. At least his laptop was encrypted, but nothing was ever truly safe from prying eyes. Tonight was a prime example. His home should have been untouchable.

“Whoever broke in was skilled. They used the thunderstorm and the fact that you’d taken a portion of your security to the gala to their advantage.”

He clenched his jaw. He’d been the one to insist the house would be fine tonight; it was why he’d taken his security with him. Leon had wanted to keep more men behind, but Jeremy had received a few threats lately and he’d wanted to be careful. He ignored Leon’s statement. “I pay for state-of-the-art security on top of my personal security. So again, what happened?”

“Whoever broke in hacked the cameras and disabled them. Then they somehow caused the security system to go into a reset mode. It looked natural, as if the storm caused a power surge and a reset.”

“What did they leave behind?” Leon had told Jeremy that he and a couple others had followed the thief to a marina, but they’d left a boat among other stuff behind.

“An underwater propulsion device. It’s normally used by divers. They escaped using it before anyone realized what was going on. It gave them a decent head start. But I took your boat and followed. I’ve had everything dusted for fingerprints, including the dinghy they abandoned at the marina. So far…there’s nothing.”

“What do you mean, nothing?”

“No prints at all. None. It was wiped before they ever used any of it. This was clearly a pro. They were no doubt hired by someone. I have a list of your enemies, but—”

“I can narrow this down to a handful of potentials.” He was involved in a number of illegal activities, though to the outside world he was a pillar of the community. Which was why he had to handle this carefully. No police could ever be involved.

Leon nodded once, then continued. “I’m going to be pulling camera feeds from all local places near the marina for the last few weeks. They left a getaway vehicle there, so they have to have done recon.”

“How did they get inside my house?” he snapped, his temper cracking. He prided himself on being able to contain his emotions, but right now fire burned under the surface.

“I believe they came in from the west side, used the trees and darkness as cover. And you saw how they escaped.”

Jeremy pushed open one of the French doors, saw the rope still dangling from the balustrade. The storm had subsided, but the stone was damp and the air had a chilly bite to it. With each gust of wind, the rope snapped against the concrete below. Mocking him. “Someone needs to cut that down.” Its mere presence pissed him off, the reminder of this violation a wound to his ego.

It made him think of all the information on that laptop.

“May I make a suggestion?” Leon asked, his tone still annoyingly neutral as Jeremy stepped back inside.

He nodded once.

“I will be searching for this person—who I believe is a woman.”

Jeremy’s eyebrows shot up at that. “No one mentioned that to me.”

“I cannot be certain, but I saw them running away at the marina. It could be a slender man, but maybe it was their gait or…my subconscious seeing what was there. Their movements felt very female. They were fast and nimble.”

He nodded once, contemplating. “That could narrow things down a bit as far as who could have been hired. So what is your suggestion?”

“As I said, I’ll be searching for the woman—and who hired her. But I know of an investigator, a very good one, who will have the resources and be able to focus all his attention on this. You still have upcoming meetings that I will need to focus on security for. Unless of course I’m fired, then this is all a moot point. And I would still recommend this person, regardless.”

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