What He Seeks

By: Hannah Ford

(What He Wants, Book Twenty)





NOAH



I’d never felt such rage as I did when I heard his voice.

He’d tried to hurt her, tried to kill her. Just the thought of it made me want to wrap my hands around his throat and squeeze until he couldn’t breathe, until his lips turned blue and his body went limp.

I had never understood how someone could be capable of killing another human being.

But the thought of his hands on her body, the thought of him even looking at her made me murderous.

“Well, well, well,” Colin Worthington said, chuckling through the phone. “If it isn’t Noah Cutler, lawyer extraordinaire.”

“You piece of shit,” I growled. “Where are you?”

I was up and out of my chair, closing the blinds in the conference room one by one. I wouldn’t have put it past this fucked up prick to be outside somewhere, watching her.

“Never ask a question you don’t know the answer to,” Worthington said. “Tsk, tsk, Noah. That’s the first rule of being a good lawyer. I expected you to know better than that.”

“Charlotte, call the police,” I said to her calmly.

“It won’t do any good,” Worthington said, sighing. “The police are idiots. You should understand that better than anyone, Noah, after how they thought you were the one who’d killed those women.” He sighed. “I should have killed Charlotte when I had the chance, but she’s… God, she’s special. I cannot wait to see her again.” His voice sounded gleeful, and I felt the blistering rage blow through my veins like the heat from a furnace.

“You son of a bitch,” I said. “If you come near her, I will kill you. I will pull you limb from limb and I will make it hurt. I will enjoy it.”

“We’ll see.”

“How’s your eye?” I asked. “Healing up nicely, is it?”

“Yeah, well, you know what they say about eyes.”

“You can’t get far with only one?”

“An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.” He began to laugh then, a crazy, high pitched giggle, and then the line went dead.

The sick reality of the situation hit me, making the anger inside of me intensify, which I hadn’t thought was possible.

A madman was on the loose.

And he was after the only woman I’d ever truly loved.



* * *



CHARLOTTE



Noah hung up the phone and looked at me, his dark eyes smoldering with rage. But I could see something else there, too. He was rattled. Just a little, but he was rattled.

Even when he’d been accused of murder, even when it seemed as if he might go to jail for it, nothing had been able to penetrate his stoicism. Until now.

“What did he say?” I asked. “How did he...”

But he was already back on the phone, dialing the police, asking for Detective Rake. He’d told me to call them, but I’d frozen.

While he waited for an answer, he reached into the drawer of the conference table and pulled out a remote, pointed it at the flat screen TV that was mounted on the wall and tuned it to New York One.

I was dimly aware that Noah had begun talking to Detective Rake as a picture of Professor Worthington’s face filled the screen, along with pictures of two women, both of them wearing prison guard uniforms, with the caption “TWO FEMALE GUARDS PRESUMED DEAD IN PRISON BREAK.”

I swallowed the panic that was rising in my throat.

Professor Worthington had killed two guards.

“What we know at this hour is that two female prison guards are dead, and an accused killer is on the loose. One of the guards, twenty-seven-year-old Rayanne Mancuso, is accused of aiding the prisoner, Colin Worthington, in his escape. The two apparently struck up an inappropriate relationship while Worthington awaited trial for the murder of three young women. Authorities are urging anyone with information on the whereabouts of this escaped killer to call the number at the bottom of your screen. Schools in the area are on lockdown, and local residents are urged to stay in their homes…”

“The police are on it, obviously,” Noah said, hanging up the phone. He rolled his eyes. “They’ll attempt to trace the call.”

“Ha,” Clementine said sarcastically from the other side of the table.

Her voice startled me. I’d almost forgotten she was there, that we’d been in the middle of a meeting about the Lilah Parks case.

“You don’t think they’ll be able to?” I asked.

“No,” she said. “The professor’s too smart for that.” She didn’t elaborate, evidently deciding that whatever knowledge she had about what the professor might have done to keep himself from getting the call traced was above my level of intelligence. Instead, she turned back to Noah. “What can I do?”

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