EDGE - CHAPTER 1
A heavy hand slammed on the table in front of me.
My eyes slowly traveled up to the large man sitting before me. “Is that supposed to scare me?”
He huffed and leaned forward, resting his weight on his elbows. “Listen. I understand you’ve been through hell. I understand that there is no going back. But you have to tell me what the fuck happened.”
Crossing my legs, I caught Agent Cross glancing at my bare thigh, where my dress had ridden up my leg with the movement. I slowly uncrossed my legs. “Something you like, Agent?” I purred.
He rolled his eyes and sat back. “This…” he waved between us, “Isn’t you, Keely. I don’t know what kind of show you’re putting on, but I know this isn’t how you really act.”
I scoffed. “And how the hell do you know that?”
“Because I’ve seen little girls like you come in here, trying to flirt with the officers and agents, thinking if you show a little leg, your charges will be less. But you, Keely, are smarter than that.” He threw a file on the table, pointing it towards me. “Who is Parker Reed?”
My eyes burned and my stomach clenched at the mere mention of his name but I kept a straight face. I had to. For him.
“You can do this, Keely. I have faith in you.”
Parker’s words caressed my being, giving me the strength that I needed to move forward. I shrugged. “I have no idea.”
“Don’t fucking lie to me!” Agent Cross shouted.
“You have no idea if I’m lying or not, Agent. This tactic that you’re trying on me is stale,” I said, looking at my fingernails.
His jaw clenched. “I’ll give you a moment to think over how much you don’t know about him.” He rose from the metal chair and left the small room.
As soon as I was alone, I breathed out a sigh of relief. I pulled the file closer and opened it, a small sob escaping my lips. Picture after picture of Parker stared up at me. Although they were black and white images, I could almost see the green in his eyes shine through. “Oh Parker,” I whispered, caressing a finger down his face in the photo.
“I’m an assassin.”
Those three words that he had said so long ago turned my world upside down. Falling in love with the guy probably didn’t help me either.
I sighed and flipped through the file. Page after page of dirty little secrets about Parker stared up at me. Images of him and Devin. Me. Troy and Patrick. Aidan and Liz. There were even photos of Parker’s security staff, Colin Vain and Charlie Brook. They were all there. Every single one of us. Even his driver, Jones.
The door opened and in walked Agent Cross. He held two paper cups with steam coming out of them.
My mouth watered.
“Did you want this?” he asked, sitting across from me.
I crossed my arms under my chest and harrumphed. “Are you bribing me with coffee, Agent?”
“My name is Steven. Steven Cross.” He reached for the file but I slapped a hand down, stopping him.
“I don’t know what you want. I don’t know anything.”
Steven’s eyes narrowed and he yanked the file from my grip. “You do realize that you’re not leaving until you give us what we want, right?”
I scoffed and sat back. “You can’t keep me here. I know my rights. And I know that you have nothing on—”
A thick file landed on the table with my name in black bold letters across the top. “You were saying, Miss Price?”
“This doesn’t mean shit. You’re just trying to scare me. You have nothing. I haven’t done anything.” Although my words were strong and my voice never wavered, my heart was racing hard in my chest.
“You know where Parker is. You have to.”
“How the hell do you know that? You don’t. You’re just making shit up,” I cried.
Steven rose to his feet and leaned towards me, resting his weight on his knuckles on the tabletop. “I know you and Parker Reed were an item. I know he faked his own death.”
I rolled my eyes. “Why would anyone do that?”
“I don’t know, Keely. You tell me. How did you do it? Did Colin Vain help? There’s something sketchy about him. Or was it Jones who helped you?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said slowly.
“I know who your father was. The Mist.”
I glared but I didn’t respond. I wouldn’t give him that satisfaction.
Agent Cross paced back and forth across the small interview room, scratching the dark scruff on his chin. “Your father, Eric Price, aka The Mist, was a world renowned hacker. He hacked into anything and everything but no one knew until he died in that so-called car accident.”
“What do you mean, so-called car accident?” I asked, sitting forward.
“Ah. It seems like I finally got a reaction out of you.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” I reached for my file but Steve grabbed it from my hands.
He opened it and continued pacing. “Keely Price, daughter to Eric and Deena Price. Aged twenty-five. Born on…” he looked at me. “Happy belated birthday.”
“Dick,” I grumbled.
Cross chuckled and went back to reading. “It says here that…wait…” He smiled. “Well, what’s this?” He flipped a page. “Well, well, well. Miss Price has been a bad little girl.”
“I never got caught for shit,” I blurted out.
A wicked grin spread on his face. “I know.”
I huffed. “You guys are supposed to be the government. You’re supposed to be all helpful and shit. Well, why aren’t you out there looking for Devin Tate and the sick bastards he works with?”
“Right now, we are talking about you, Keely, and how you know Parker Reed.”
“Parker Reed is dead. Don’t you read the newspaper?” I snapped, abruptly rising from my chair and knocking it over. “I don’t know anything. I just want to go home.”
“And where’s that? Parker’s cottage?”
I stopped in my tracks and turned to him. “What do you want? You know, you act like a man of the law and shit but you remind me so much of Devin. You two would get along.”
Steven’s jaw ticked before he took a step towards me. “I am nothing like Devin.”
“Could have fooled me.” I lifted my chin defiantly. “Both brooding, dark, egotistical asses.”
“Keely, I suggest sitting down,” he growled.
“Or else what? You going to force me?”
He met my stare and waited, tapping his foot.
The sound alone was enough to drive me insane so I slumped down in the hard metal chair. And waited.
“What about Troy Danvers? And Patrick West? How do you know them?”
I sighed loudly and scrubbed a hand down my face. “You know how I know them. It’s all in my file.”
Cross paced back and forth. “Troy and his boyfriend live with you at Parker’s cottage. I know there are men watching your every move. Hiding out in the woods behind the big house. Tell me, Keely. How many men are there? Have you seen them? Who are they?”
“I want my lawyer,” I bit out.
He laughed. “You see, that’s the funny thing about this little interview.” He walked up to the large two-way mirror and tapped his knuckles against it. “There’s no one watching. You can’t lawyer up and think I’ll stop asking you questions.”
“What the hell do you want?” I shouted, shoving to my feet. “I’ll fucking sue you for harassment.”
That only made him laugh harder. “Oh, Miss Price. You aren’t going to do shit and you wanna know why?”
I drew in a breath. My blood boiled through my veins, heating my body from the inside out. “Why?”
“Because I know what Devin is holding over you. I know that Parker is alive. And I know that you helped him disappear. I also know that there’s a little biker club that’s in on this as well.”
I kept my face straight when really I was a raging bag of nerves on the inside. How the hell Agent Cross knew all of this, all of these secrets, was beyond me. Even Troy didn’t know everything and I told my best friend every single thing that had happened. I thought a moment. Not once did Cross mention Parker being with the CIA, so he must not have known everything. “How do you know all of that?”
“I have sources. Rats. Informants, if you will.”
“But you don’t have proof,” I added.
“No, but I will get it with your help.”
“Like hell you will,” I scoffed. There was no way, no way at all that I would help him. I may have been naïve at times but something was off about the agent. I didn’t trust him. At all.
“Sit down, Keely,” he demanded and pulled a phone out of his jacket pocket. Placing it on the table, he pointed at the chair. “Sit. Down.”
I was sick of being told what to do but I listened anyways. Better that than not getting the answers that I wanted. I would play into Cross’ annoying game. Maybe then I would get what I was looking for.
“Speak,” he barked.
“How the hell did you get this number?” a deep, smooth voice demanded.
My body tingled, becoming hyper aware of the voice coming from the cell. My cell. Parker. I held back all emotion and crossed my arms under my chest. But how in the hell did Cross call him? What was going on? “You have my phone. Why the hell are you using my phone, Cross?” I reached for it when the agent pulled it from my reach.
He smirked, tapping the table. “I will do anything to get the answers that I want.”
“And that means breaking the law, agent? You don’t have a fucking warrant!” I shouted.
“Who is calling me?” Parker growled.
“You’re speaking with Agent Steven Cross. I have a Miss Keely Price here with me,” Cross said, staring intently into my eyes, ignoring my outcry. He was testing me. Challenging me to see if he could get a response or a reaction from me.
I almost laughed. I was trained by the best. There would be no way in hell I would give him what he was looking for. I crossed my arms under my chest, my body shaking. How dare he?
“Ah. Miss Price. I seem to recall hiring a Miss Price several months ago,” Parker said, nonchalantly. His demeanor had changed in a matter of seconds. He was playing into Cross’ game. For the moment.
“What did you hire her for?” Cross asked, sitting in the chair opposite me.
“To be my assistant, of course. Don’t you read the papers?”
Cross tapped the table with his knuckles before continuing his path back and forth in front of me. “I think you hired her to do the hacking that she is known for.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Where do you get your information, Cross? Do you make this shit up as you go?”
Cross sneered and rubbed his chin. “Hmm…testy when it comes to any mention of your hacking abilities.”
“Why did you call me, Agent?” Parker barked.
“Tell him, Keely.”
I frowned. “Tell him what exactly? You keep asking me who Parker is. If he’s still alive and so and on and so on. But you knew all along that he’s alive. You have him on the damn phone. My phone!”
“Do you miss him?” Cross asked, ignoring my questions. “Do you still love him?”
A lump formed in my throat but I swallowed past it. There would be no way that I was giving in to his incessant badgering. “You know what my reply is to that?” I asked, sitting forward.
His eyes narrowed as he leaned over the table.
I licked my lips. “Fuck. You.”
A deep chuckle sounded from the phone. “Sounds like you got a feisty one. Reminds me of a kitten.”
My stomach clenched at one of the nicknames he had given me. If only I could see him. Touch him. Smell his skin. God, I missed Parker Reed so damn much but I would do anything to protect him.
“Who the fuck is Devin?” Agent Cross asked slowly through clenched teeth.
“You already know who he is. I’m not playing into your games. I was married to the best at mind-fucks. You don’t have shit. You seem to know everything anyway.” I feigned a yawn and sat back. “I guess I can’t help you.”
“Shit. Keely. Tell me what I want to know. Now!” he shouted.
“Agent Cross,” Parker said, his voice firm. “I would be very careful who I use that tone of voice with.”
“And why would I need to do that, Reed? You trying to tell me something?” Cross slumped in the chair.
Silence came through the phone and as the vein in the agent’s head protruded and throbbed, I had to bite back a laugh. He wouldn’t get what he was looking for. Not until we were good and ready to give it to him. I still didn’t know every answer to all of the questions that raced through my mind but I trusted Parker to tell me when he was ready. He gave me an in and that’s all I could ask for.
I knew that I would be seeing Agent Cross again. It was only a matter of time before he cracked the “case” and found out everything that he wanted to know. After coming to the conclusion that Parker and I weren’t breaking under the pressure, he let me go. For now, he told me.
It had been months since I saw Parker. Only hearing his voice every so often. The calls were few and far between and although I hated it, I was getting used to it. But my love for him never diminished. I could still feel him. In my soul. My bones. Deep in the recesses of my very being. He brought out this darkness in me while I brought out the light in him. Together we created a shadow of a monster that would destroy Devin Tate and who he had become. The power-hungry bastard was nothing less than evil. He was the epitome of hate, torture. Pure and utter terror. He made the Devil himself look innocent.
I turned to Jones, Parker’s driver and smiled at him. “I’m walking.”
I gave him a curt nod and made my way down the street. I wouldn’t walk all of the way to Parker’s cottage, which was now my home, but I needed to walk at least for a little bit. To feel the cool afternoon air against my skin. The bite of the wind whipped around me sending a shiver down my spine.
Jones hated when I walked but I was never alone anymore so he had nothing to worry about.
Memories of that day drove through my skull. Devin capturing me. Binding and gagging me. Touching me. Kissing me. Hurting me. Only to find out that my love was in on it as well. Guilt still tore at my being over thinking that I had lost him to the clutches of the man I once loved. My ex-husband. But they were all secrets. Lies. Choices. Parker chose to bring Devin down and I chose to help Parker.