Detained: Chapter 33


My phone buzzes, and Grayson’s message appears.


Raid by NYPD on the safe house. Eight girls are gone.

“Fuck!” I angrily toss my phone across the room, the sound of it hitting the wall echoes in the silence.

“Frankie, what the hell?” Zara emerges from the hallway, her footsteps echoing softly on the tiled floor.

“Fucking cops,” I mutter, making her frown.

“What now?” She rushes over, sitting on my lap.

“They raided our safe house with the girls. They’ve taken eight of them.”

“Assholes,” she mutters, fury in her eyes.

She pulls her phone out of her pocket. “Was this in the middle of the night?”

I nod.

She starts scrolling with a look of concentration on her pretty face as she chews on her lower lip. “It didn’t even make the news. This wasn’t a real raid, Frankie.”

Now that they’ve taken the girls back means not only are they all in danger, Romano has his line of funding back open.

Her green eyes meet mine. “What about your guy in Vegas?”

“They’ve got two of the girls back there. Enzo is going to start digging. We need to find them.”

With a quick movement, she turns and straddles me, her legs wrapping around my waist.

“I can help him. If he lets me into his systems, I’m a good detective. I’ve worked on trafficking cases before.”

I pause, considering her proposal. It does make sense.

“Plus, I feel obligated. My father helped put them in this situation. I want to fix it.” Her eyes briefly drop.

I gently lift her chin back up, acknowledging the guilt behind her unspoken request.

“Okay, baby. I’ll have Enzo come over and set you all up in my office. You sure you’re ready to start tracking down corrupt cops?”

Her face lights up and I’m rewarded with a smile, which makes my heart race.

“I worked with them long enough. I know how my dad works. I’m the best person there is to do this. They all deserve to be brought to justice.” That fire in her eyes leaves a heavy feeling in my chest. I love it when she’s like this. Her passion, her grit. It gets me every damn time.

“What about the two girls?” she asks.

“We’re going over there now. Jax is going to ask them some questions and then escort them to Vegas.”

She makes a perfect ‘o’. “We?”

“Yes, ‘we’. I need you there.”

If those girls can identify the cops, Zara can pinpoint who they are.

“Well, let me get ready, I can’t see everyone looking like this.” She looks down at her sexy lace nightgown.

I lean forward and suck on her nipple through the translucent material, rolling her piercing with my tongue.

“Frankie.” She bats at my arm, and I hold her firmly in place.

I can’t help myself. Whenever she’s around, I have this all-consuming need to have her. “Are you telling me no, angel?”

I kiss my way up to her throat and she tips her head back, giving me the access I need.

“I didn’t think so.”

Lighting my cigarette, Jax slides the door open and joins me and Grayson.

“They don’t know anything, boss. They don’t want to go back to Russia, though.” He shakes his head, making his dark curls bounce.

“When in the hell did you learn to speak Russian?” Grayson asks.

“My dad was Russian.”

“I’ve never heard of a Russian with the last name of Carter,” I say, exhaling smoke.

“Carter isn’t my real last name,” he replies, sparking up a joint he pulled from his pocket. “After dad died, my step-dad tried to get me to change it to be the same as his. Over my fucking dead body was that happening, so I changed it to my mom’s last name instead.”

“How did he die?” I ask, remembering the way Jax tenses up at any mention of his father.

He takes a long inhale. His scruffy jaw clicks as he puffs out a series of concentric smoke rings before he answers. “That’s a story for another day.”

I don’t want to press him. I need his head in the zone. He is doing well in his new role with me. He’ll tell me when he needs to.

Hearing the sweet sound of Zara laughing drags my attention away from Jax. I look inside and spot her chatting to Maddie and Sienna with a bright smile. Maddie’s blonde pony tail bobs as she talks animatedly and I dread to think what she’s saying about me. I shouldn’t worry, she’s one of the few people who sees the good in everyone, including what little there is in me.

“Has he got any updates on Romano?” Grayson asks beside me.

My patience is wearing thin, waiting for answers. “No. For now, we wait. We take care of the girls first, then we may have to work on a plan to draw him out before this escalates any further.”

“Where is Kai?” I ask. I rarely see one without the other.

Jax drops his butt on the ground and grinds it out with the toe of his heavy boot. “He has some family shit going on. He’s still on for our first run to Vegas tonight, don’t worry.”

I nod, taking another drag. We are sending over the two girls we still have, so Mikhail can protect them.

“Jax, go in there and help the girls figure out the paperwork. Then you can head home.”

He grins and turns to his reflection in the window, where he adjusts his curly hair, giving it a tousled look.

“Don’t forget we have training in two hours, Jax!” Grayson calls out.

“I know, I know!” He waves him off, sliding the door shut behind him.

“You think he’s going to win?” I turn to Grayson.

“It’s not so much the winning, it will be stopping him from killing his opponent we have to watch out for.” Grayson rubs the back of his neck.

“That temper needs fixing.”

“I’d say so. Kai is the only one who can get through to him. I’m working on it. I think him working with the Russians will help keep him busy and out of trouble.”

“We shall see.” I stub out my cigarette. I can sense Grayson wants to say something else but is hesitating.

“Spit it out, G.”

He crosses his arms and leans against the wall, tilting his nose down to look at me over his sunglasses. “So, Zara?”

“What about her?”

“She’s sticking around? The girls seem to get along well with her.” He nods towards the glass door where I spot them sitting in there laughing together.

Another icy layer of my heart melts.

I want her to be part of this dysfunctional family we have. “She is.”

Grayson grunts. “Did you kidnap her, too? She’s not anything like I expected you’d go for.”

A smile dances over my lips. “I didn’t. She’s here of her own choice. What did you think would be more fitting?” I can’t wait to hear his reply.

“I don’t know, not a cop? One that would cause less of a headache?”

I let out a laugh. “I can’t say I saw this coming.”

Now she’s here, I need to make sure she doesn’t go anywhere. She was made for me, that I am sure of.

Zara looks up, and waves at me and I shove my hands in my pockets giving her a grin, my heart racing.

I approach her with a determined stride, and she instinctively stands up as soon as I arrive at the table.

“You ready to go, gorgeous?” I whisper in her ear, wrapping my arms around her.

“Awww, look at you two, all in love,” Maddie says.

We both stiffen.

“Maddie,” Grayson says in a warning tone, before lifting her out of her seat.

“What?” she squeals, already distracted by her husband.

“Yep, home sounds good.” Zara rushes out her words.

I can’t seem to respond, so instead I lace my fingers through hers and lead her out of the safe house. I know I loved Leila, but it didn’t feel anything like this. There wasn’t this fire. We grew up together; we fell in love over time.

This is the opposite. Zara threw herself into my life and consumed me entirely.

It’s as if without her, I can’t fucking breathe.

I’ve never felt this. I never want to with anybody else.

This need to own her, for her to be mine. For her to stand by my side and be my queen.


It’s quite plausible this is even more than love. She is my life.

We drive home in complete silence, both of us having the same dilemma in our heads. When she isn’t talking, I know it isn’t good.

I’m not going to deny my feelings for this woman. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her by my side.

It isn’t until we’re home and I’m pouring us a drink that she breaks her fretting silence. “Why did you kill your brother?”

Her new line of question brings a knowing smirk to my lips. “Because he deserved it.”

Her red lips pucker as she mulls over my answer. “He’s your blood, your family?”

“Blood and family are not the same thing, angel.”

My family is this dysfunctional one we’ve created. Men who would lay down their lives for me, that I trust. This woman is also part of that.

“I’m starting to realize that,” she whispers and bows her head.

I admire her strength, but sometimes seeing this other side of her means she is letting me in.

Stepping around the counter, my hand slips around her waist. “We make our own family of the ones we choose.”

I gently tilt her chin upwards, pressing my lips against hers.

“And those are the ones you never let go of,” I whisper against her mouth, hoping she understands my meaning behind them.

“The ones you fight for,” she says, and kisses me.

“Exactly that, dolcezza.”

“Now, what do you say I make us dinner and then have you for dessert?” My hands grip her perfect ass tightly before lifting her onto her stool.

She purses her lips together, as if she has to even think about that. It has become our routine since she moved in. We cook together, we clean and then we fuck. Pushing each other’s boundaries. Every day that passes, she is starting to understand. Yet, she still won’t let up on that last little shred of control she has in the bedroom.

That urge to fight me. To talk back.

“Can we have steak? I’ve been dreaming about that all week.”

“Whatever you want, baby. Now let’s go. The quicker we eat, the quicker we get to the good stuff,” I say, biting on her bottom lip.


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