Home > Garnet (Gems of Wolfe Island #3)

Garnet (Gems of Wolfe Island #3)
Author: Helen Hardt

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

 

ASPEN

 

 

In volleyball, the middle blocker controls the net.

It’s a common misconception that you must be tall to play middle, though at six feet, I’m definitely tall for a woman. I was always tall for my age, which was a real pain in the ass until all the guys shot up during puberty.

I started playing volleyball when I was four years old. Because I was always the tallest, middle became my position, but I kept it not because of my height, but because I could jump.

I’m a damned good jumper.

You have to be able to jump to stop the opposing team’s attacks. Then, on offense, jumping is essential for spiking and scoring.

I was good.

I was damned good. The best, even.

I lost count, during all my years of play, how many times I got hoisted on my teammates’ shoulders for scoring the winning point in a match.

It never got old.

Jumping. Blocking. Spiking. Staying in the ultimate physical condition because I spent the most time in the air.

Those were my jobs. I never set the ball. Other team members set it to me. As middle, I relied on my team members more than any other position.

On the island, though, I was on my own.

No team members to set me up.

I had to play offense, defense, and everything in between.

And my height wasn’t a barrier to those men, as it was to many before. No. Those men loved my height, my athleticism.

I was a favorite to hunt. I made them feel like big bad dudes. What a blast to their ego when they took down Garnet, the star athlete.

I’ve got the scars to prove it.

No teammates to set me up.

I was on my own, so eventually I learned to go to that place in my head. The place where I was being hoisted up for winning the match for my team.

I loved being the best.

My team depended on me, and I never let them down.

Maybe I got a little full of myself.

Sometimes I almost have to laugh at the irony of it all.

After a couple of weeks on that island? I was no longer full of myself.

No.

I would’ve given up all my athletic ability, all my wins, all those times being hoisted up on others’ shoulders…

Just to go home again.

The nightmares still come, although not as frequently. I live in Manhattan now, in the building the Wolfe family set up for all their father’s victims. There are three other women here—Katelyn, Lily, and Kelly.

I don’t know Lily and Kelly very well, but I had coffee with Katelyn. She’s nice, although we don’t have a lot in common. She and I had very different experiences on the island. She was humiliated more than brutalized.

Not to say what happened to her wasn’t horrific. It was. And she was hunted. One time I remember—she came back used and beaten, and Diamond took care of her for weeks. Katelyn was different after that. Tougher. More rigid.

Me? I had to be tough the whole time. Offense and defense with no team to set me up.

And it still wasn’t enough.

 

 

1

 

 

BUCK

 

 

“Moreno,” I say into the phone.

I already know who it is. Reid Wolfe. Calling from Manhattan. I’m in LA, having just helped take down Kingsford Winston, one of the most dangerous drug lords in the city.

This was personal.

I was looking for his right-hand man, Lucifer Raven. The man who abused my sister.

I found him—or the man who used to be him, anyway.

Lucifer Ashton the third, or Luke as he likes to be called now. I never thought a man like him could change, but I saw it. Saw it with my own eyes.

Part of me still wants to sink a knife into his heart, but I’m done killing.

I did enough of that when I was on tour.

“It’s me,” Reid says. “We’ve got a problem.”

“Another one?” I say with a touch of sarcasm.

“I’m serious. Where the fuck are you?”

I don’t like his tone. I work for the Wolfe family, but I’m a contractor, not an employee. I don’t have to report to him or anyone.

“I’m in LA. Who’s asking?”

“I am. One of our girls, Aspen, is missing.”

“What about Katelyn?” I ask, already knowing the answer.

“She’s in LA. With her parents.”

“And with Luke. Also known as Lucifer Charles Ashton the third. Street name Lucifer Raven.”

Silence for a moment.

Then, “What the hell are you talking about?”

“She’s safe. This man she was dating… Luke Johnson, the waiter? Surely you know who he really is.”

“I do now. Are you telling me two of our women are missing?”

“No. She’s safe. In love, apparently.”

“For God’s sake.”

I’m not sure what to say. Katelyn Brooks fell in love with the man who abused my sister. Except he’s changed. So he says. So Katelyn says.

“You sure she’s safe?”

Am I sure? Hell, no. I don’t trust Raven or Lucifer or Luke or whoever the hell he is this week, but Katelyn does. Katelyn is sure.

“For now,” I say simply.

“All right,” Reid says. “In the meantime, we do have a missing woman. Aspen Davis. Garnet from the island. I need you on it.”

Good. A job will help.

“What do you need?”

“I need you to find her. She’s gone, Buck. Zee is beside herself. We told these women we’d protect them. Keep them safe. And Aspen just… She just disappeared into thin air.”

“I’m on it.”

“You’ll be paid handsomely. Your usual rate. Find her. Please, Buck.”

“What resources do I have?”

“Anything you need. Anything. Anything you fucking need.”

“You got it. I’ve got some buddies who might be able to help as well.”

“Absolutely. And once you find her, you give her whatever she wants. Make her happy. Whatever she needs.”

“Got it. I’m on.”

My next phone call is to Phoenix. Leif Ramsey, who also works for the Wolfes. We served together, and we’ve always had each other’s backs. In fact, we’re the only two survivors from our last tour.

“Hey, Buck,” Ramsey says.

“Phoenix, I’m going to need you. The Wolfes have a missing woman.”

“Man, that family can’t catch a break.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Any luck on the Raven?”

I don’t answer right away.

“Buck?”

“The Raven no longer exists. He’s Luke now. Luke Johnson.”

“You found him then?”

“I did. And…”

It’s not easy for me to say. I don’t forgive him. I’ll never forgive him. Never did I think he could change. A leopard doesn’t change its spots, right?

“What?”

“He’s alive. And with full immunity.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

“I’m not. I’ll explain it all to you when I see you. Get to Manhattan as soon as you can. We’ve got a woman to find.”

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Sweet Temptation
» Den of Vipers
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» Angry God (All Saints High #3)
» Serpent & Dove(Serpent & Dove #1)
» ENEMIES
» House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2)
» Credence
» Archangel's War