Shattered Hearts(8)By: Marissa Farrar
“Mr. Vale.” The pilot, Javier, nodded at me as I boarded. “Good to have you on board.”
My driver, Henry, followed me up the steps, carrying the rest of my bags. He’d be traveling with us. I didn’t have quite as much use for him at home as I did here, but he made himself useful around the property, and it meant he was always on hand when I did need him. He’d sit up front with the pilot, however, giving me my privacy.
I had my name ‘Hayden Vale’ etched onto the backs of the wide leather seats of the aircraft. Vale Enterprises was synonymous for quality, and I was happy to be considered somewhat of a recluse. People put it down to my tragic childhood, and maybe it was in part due to that, but it was also because I was putting everything in place to do the one thing I’d planned for my whole life.
The money, the properties, the private planes—they all meant one thing. That I was able to do what I was doing now, and no one was going to question me.
My private jet. My private island. My private life.
See what I did there?
Everything about me was private, and I’d worked my ass off for the last ten years to make sure that was the case.
I carried the girl to the back of the plane and dumped her down in the rear seats. Once we were in the air, I’d look at undoing the bag, but until then, she could stay as she was.
“Ten minutes until takeoff,” Javier said, closing the door.
I took my seat. There were eight seats in total, each one made of the most expensive leather, with no concern for leg room or being forced to sit too close to a fellow passenger. Of course, the only fellow passenger I had was currently unconscious on the chair behind me, so I didn’t need to worry about making small talk.
The plane’s engine roared around me, and I buckled myself in.
There would be at least a couple of hours until we reached our destination, and I wondered if the girl would wake before we got there.
A part of me hoped she did.
My head throbbed as I hovered somewhere between sleep and waking.
Pain pulsed in a steady rhythm behind my eyeballs. What had happened? I remembered being at the bar to watch Hannah’s band play, but after that...? I couldn’t put the pieces together. It felt as though I was trying to remember a dream that I should be able to recall, and yet the more I tried, the more it slipped away.
Had I gotten drunk at the bar? Was that why I couldn’t remember? I wasn’t a big drinker, but was happy to have a couple. I’d bought a beer but didn’t remember having any more. Could someone have slipped something in my drink?
The idea made my stomach lurch, something about the possibility resonating with me.
The air around me was hot and stuffy, and I suddenly became aware of something over my mouth. Automatically, I tried to yank whatever it was off, but my arms wouldn’t move. Alarm spiked through me, and I shot from sleepy semi-consciousness to wide awake.
Darkness surrounded me. I thrashed and wriggled, but it did no good. There was tape across my mouth, and my hands were tied behind my back. It all came back to me in a rush, and I recalled seeing the man outside the back of the club, and Hannah sprawled against the wall. And I remembered a flash of lying in a car trunk with the same man standing over me, looking down at me with something unreadable in his green eyes.
Oh, God. I’d been kidnapped, and I had no idea why.
My breathing grew frantic, taking little snatches in through my nose, and my entire body shook in terror. I needed to get a hold on my panic to try and think clearly, but it was easier said than done. Was I still in the trunk of the car? An engine hummed around me, but it sounded too loud for a car. What else could it be?
I didn’t even want to think about the possibility I’d been put on a plane. But the longer I lay there, trying not to freak out, even though internally I was more than freaking the fuck out, I couldn’t help but acknowledge that was exactly what it sounded like. The ride was too smooth for a car—no swerves or bumps in the road—and it didn’t have the lift and fall of being on a boat. Not only that, I had pain in my ears from the change in pressure.
Tears slid down my cheeks, and I gave in to them, curling over and sobbing best I could with the tape still over my mouth. Snot ran from my nose, making it hard to breathe, and I didn’t even care. Whatever the man had used to drug me had left me nauseated, but I couldn’t succumb to the sickness. Doing so could end up with me choking to death on my own vomit, and I didn’t even want to think about what a horrible death that would be.