To Have and to Hold (The Hold Series Book 3)(119)

By: Arell Rivers

She turns her head away from me. “She has a gun!”

Cole rushes me like a linebacker, laying me flat on my back. The gun, like an unwanted rock in my sandal, digs into my flesh. I need to get my hands on it.

From above us, a high-pitched voice shrieks. “It’s in the back of her jeans!”

Panting, Cole pins both of my arms above my head by the wrists. I stare up into his gorgeous eyes. “C’mon, baby, show me your dimple.” I move my hips into him.

Without releasing me from his sexy gaze, he orders, “Get out of here, Rose.”

How dare he even think about his whore right now? Especially now that I’m under him. I lift my head and kiss his lips.

He shakes his head. “You. Are. Crazy.”

Crazy? I’m crazy? I’ll show him crazy. My hips buck upward. When he doesn’t react, I wrap my legs around his torso.

“You’re wearing too many clothes, Cole. One last round. That’s all I want. Then I’ll let you and your precious Rose be.” Be dead, that is.

“We never had a first round, Lisa.”

“Whose fault is that?” I try to move my hand, but he’s holding my wrists too tight. “I’ll be the best you’ve ever had. You’ll forget everyone else.”

“Never, Lisa. You need help.”

I’ve heard that line my whole life, and I’m good and sick of it. “Fuck this.” I head butt Cole and he rears up.

Freed, I launch upward to a standing position while simultaneously grabbing my gun. I take aim at the woman who started all this. We’re wearing the same T-shirt from my husband’s first tour. How appropriate. My lips curl in satisfaction. Hers isn’t signed.

The fire alarm sounds, diverting my attention for a split second. Cole jumps in front of her. Above the racket, I say, “How quaint. But this is my show, husband. Ladies take the stage first. Simon Says step forward, Rose.”

Neither target moves.

I shoot at the wall above their heads. “I don’t have any more patience for games. Get over here, bitch.” I stomp my foot. “Now!”

Two men appear in the doorway.

I switch my aim from Cole’s broad chest to the threshold and shoot. The first guy goes down. All my time at the shooting range was worth it.

Suddenly, I’m freefalling down onto my side. “What the—”

My head hits the floor. Hard. This is what “seeing stars” means. Star. Starr. The name my husband gave me. And now he’s getting married to someone else. I shake my head and inhale to clear the fog.

The slut screeches, “We have to get out of here.”

How can he waste time with such a whiny bitch? “Not if I have anything to stay about it,” I wheeze.

Still on the floor, I set my sights on the nearest person. Cole.

I take aim.

SMOKE IS COMING out of an upstairs window in the main house. My adrenaline spikes—we have to get to Cole and Rose.

Roberto and I rush to the nearest entry, where we find Jared sprawled by the door. Unresponsive. An icy calmness takes over my body. Starr.

Another person will not get hurt on my watch. We race into the house. The first floor’s empty. A fire alarm blares while we’re running up the stairs. A gunshot leads us outside a bedroom. Roberto beats me to its threshold by a stride and barrels in first.

Another shot rings out.

Roberto goes down at my feet.

Inhaling a roiling breath, I force myself not to look down at my friend as I sidestep his body. It’s all up to me. I won’t let them down.

Cole tackles Starr, who hits the ground hard. I search the room for Rose. She’s a couple of feet off to my right side, handcuff dangling from her arm but apparently unharmed. Cole gets up as she whispers, “We have to get out of here.”

My eyes return to the woman on the ground. She’s rousing. And pointing her gun at them.

I’m their last line of defense. This ends now.

I raise my gun and shoot to kill.

I PUT ROSE’S CAR in park and stare straight ahead. Somehow, coming back to the LA overlook seemed right tonight.


So much has changed over the past month.

My fiancée breaks the silence. “LA always looks peaceful from up here.”

Turning, I cup Rose’s beautiful face, rubbing my thumb back and forth across her lips. I close the gap between us and give her a soft kiss. I needed that.