She gave a quick nod. She didn’t remember the rules, but she knew not to speak, not now, not here. They knew her, knew her voice, knew their target. She wasn’t taking chances.
Jordan jerked his head to Travis. “Get out of here.”
She backed up, still staring into the malevolent gaze of the bodyguard she knew as Ritchie. He wasn’t one of her mother’s most trusted, but he was still a part of the Harrington staff and had been for years.
The other, Samuel, was also well known. He’d been hired by her father and well trusted. He’d flirted with her several times. Laughed with her mother, played poker with her uncle.
“Ritchie James and Samuel Mayes,” she murmured to Travis. “Bodyguards working for my mother and uncle. I need to see the others.”
Travis nodded, his body language showing his fury as he led her to the others and quickly stripped off their masks.
She stared at them icily.
“We have files on them,” Travis said quietly. “Enemies, Lilly. All four of these men were with a private mercenary group we went against in Berlin three years ago.”
“I know them.” She heard the complete emotionlessness of her voice, felt it inside her. “But not from Berlin. In the past six months I’ve seen them either speaking to Desmond, Isaac, or one of the other bodyguards. This was an orchestrated hit. I was set up.”
“We don’t have reports on them,” he stated quietly. “We’ve been watching the family. We’ve not seen them or we would have put a better circle of security around you.”
She shook her head. “It would have been easy for them to get past you. One at a time, coming in quietly. They met inside the house here or in England. I saw this one.” She kicked the balding blond in the shoulder. “This one was at the hospital several times when Desmond’s bodguard Isaac came in.”
Travis lifted his hand and motioned one of the others over.
“Burn the bodies,” he ordered them. “We need to interrogate the other two, but get a team in to clean this mess up. Let’s keep this quiet. I’m sure Lilly doesn’t want to deal with her mother’s concern over a hit when she returns to the house.”
Lilly turned to him in shock. “Are you crazy? Do you know what she’s planning? I’m not going back to the house. She’s having me committed, Travis, and Harrington bodyguards just tried to kill me.”
A hard, cold smile formed on his lips. “Does she know what I have planned, sweetheart?” he asked her. “Trust me, neither she nor Ridgemore will dare to defy me once I show up with you. And this time, trust me, I won’t be leaving until this is settled, baby, and you’re safe.”
Her lips curled mockingly. “Strange you say that.” She stared at him now, so damned happy to see him that she could barely stand it. So furious that she hadn’t been able to find him, that he hadn’t been there when she needed him. “You didn’t tell me you were leaving.”
His eyes narrowed on her. “I left security.”
“I didn’t need your damned security,” she hissed as she moved closer, staring up at him, her body shaking she was so damned mad at him. “I needed to know you would be gone. I needed to know to watch my own ass while you weren’t here.”
“You should know that anyway.” He reached out, grabbed her arms and jerked her closer. “I left security, Lilly. I would have never left you unguarded.”
“Then where the hell were they?” Her finger stabbed into his chest. “What am I supposed to do, damn you? Kill the whole fucking family while I’m waiting on your damned security? Or just hope for the best as the guys in white suits drag me off?”
“No one would have gotten you out of that damned house. I had men in place. If you had given them time, they would have gotten you out and gotten you to safety.”
“Well, excuse me for not twiddling my thumbs while I wait on you to take care of poor little ole me.” She tried for American Southern, it came out rather mangled. She blamed it on her anger. She was certain she had pulled it off before.
“Don’t push me right now,” he snarled back at her. “Do you have any idea the hell I’ve gone through while trying to find you? Do you have any idea how close I was to not getting here in time?”
“Do you have any idea how close I was to blowing them all to hell and back?” she snapped back. “I might not remember jack shit but don’t think I don’t know what I’m doing. And don’t think I will ever tolerate you disappearing like that again without one word of warning. Not while you’re sleeping in my fucking bed.”
“Wow. He’s sleeping in your bed. Do I get details now or later?” Raisa laughed behind her.
Lilly ignored Raisa. She glared at Travis. “Find a place to talk. Fast. We have things to clear up, love, and we’ll do it rather quickly. Or you’ll wish you’d never seen me, met me, or touched me. I promise you that.”
She turned on her heel and stalked away from him. It was all she could do to keep her hands away from her guns.
That way, she didn’t shoot him just for being a man. For leaving. For not letting her know. For making her fear he would never return.
in a perfect world, she would have known there was security in love. There was a mother’s dedication, compassion, and devotion as she had once believed. There was a family’s loyalty. In a perfect world, there was the knowledge that tomorrow would bring another day to add to the vault of memories and love.