“Okay, now close your eyes.”
I sigh and roll my eyes at Lana.
“C’mon,” she eggs me on from next to me.
I do what she says, and she wraps a red ribbon around my eyes. “Just to be sure.”
“What is this all about?” I ask as the car door next to me opens.
“You’ll see,” Kai responds, holding out his hand.
I take his hand, and he hoists me out of the car while Lana scoots out behind me.
Milo closes the door. “Lead the way.”
“Am I the only one blindfolded?” I ask.
“Shhhh, don’t ask so many questions,” Milo responds. “You’ll ruin the secret.”
“What secret?” I ask, nearly tripping over a ledge.
“Whoa, be careful,” Lana mutters.
“I’ve got him,” Kai says.
They guide me in somewhere. I can hear a door creaking, and when my feet land on wood, I tap the floor a few times.
“Okay, can we cut the crap now,” I growl, getting impatient.
Rory’s voice makes me rip the blindfold off immediately.
She’s standing in the middle of a furnished living room, in a place I don’t recognize, with a flower in her hands.
I run to her and go to my knees to hug her tight. “I missed you.”
“I plucked this for you,” she says, holding out the flower to me.
“For me?” I smile, and she nods. “You’re too sweet, Ro.”
She giggles as I hug her again, then I turn my gaze toward Kai, Milo, and Lana, who stare at me with mischievous looks. “What is this place?”
“Yours,” Kai says.
I frown as I get up, confused by what he means.
“Well, hers too, technically,” Milo muses, raising his brow.
“What do you mean yours?”
Lana dangles a key in her hands. “This house belongs to you and Ro now.”
My eyes widen as they home in on the key, my whole body feeling numb to the core.
She steps forward and grabs my hand, tucking the key inside.
“But … how?” I mutter in disbelief.
“Let’s just say we all saved up some cash,” Kai answers, winking.
“We thought you and your sister deserved a safe spot after everything you’ve been through,” Milo adds, smiling gently.
“Are you all for real?” I mutter.
Lana laughs. “As real as can be.”
I’m overwhelmed by pure gratitude, and I jump into Lana’s arms, hugging her so tightly she can barely breathe. “Come here, all of you,” I tell the boys, and they come to hug us too, my arms wrapping around all three of them.
Ro’s little hands curl around my thighs as she mutters, “Me too.”
“Aw,” Lana murmurs.
“Thank you,” I mutter, blinking away the tears. “Thank you all so much.”
“We just want the best for you,” Kai says.
“Is this our home now?” Ro asks, and I let go of everyone else to answer her.
But Lana already beats me to it. “Yep. And your room is upstairs to the left, so go check it out.”
She squeals and jumps up and down before she runs up the steps.
“Don’t fall!” I yell.
Someone knocks on the front door, distracting me from Ro, and I go to open it.
A lady with a hat stands on the doorstep, a big smile adorning her face.
“Who are you?” I mutter in confusion.
“Ro’s nanny!” Milo muses, welcoming the woman inside. “Come in, come in.”
“Nanny?” I parrot.
“Who else will take care of her while you’re studying?” Lana winks.
Kai throws his arm around my shoulders. “You didn’t think we’d let you out of the Phantom Society, did you? Once a Phantom, always a Phantom.”
“Where is the little girl?” the nanny asks. “I’ve been told we’re all going to go out for—”
“Ice cream!” Milo interjects.
“What?” I’m too flabbergasted to speak.
He pats me on the back and says, “It’s what you promised her, remember?”
A devious grin spreads on my lips, and I grab his face and kiss him on the lips. “Perfect.”
I march to Lana and Kai and grab their faces, kissing them too. I don’t care that the nanny is watching us and practically fainting at the sight. “Good heavens.”
“Thank you both,” I tell them.
Lana chuckles. “Don’t scare the nanny on her first day.”
“EEEK! There’s a unicorn!” Ro screams from the top of the stairs.
I narrow my eyes at Milo. “Don’t look at me. Kai’s the one who dragged it all the way here.”
“You shouldn’t have,” I say.
“No, I shouldn’t. But I did.” Kai winks. “Now go get Ro.”
“Ro! Come downstairs!”
“But I wanna play here!” she squeals back.
I put on my tempting voice. “How about some ice cream?”
Her curious face peeks around the corner. “Can I have strawberry?”
I nod. “As many scoops as you can count.”
The biggest smile forms on her lips before she rushes down the stairs. “Yippee!”
I run through Priory Forest, the wind chasing after me as I bolt from tree to tree, firmly clutching the knife. Snowflakes fall all around me, but the cold only spurs me to run faster. The woman running away from me loses one of her shoes halfway across the small stream in the middle of the clearing, but she keeps going, and it fires up the adrenaline coursing through my veins.
A knife flies right past my ears, brushing along my skin before it lodges into the tree right next to me.
I look behind me to see a masked guy licking his lips. “Not this time, Lana!”
Those blond hairs waving in the wind give him away, and I wink through my kitty mask before I continue my hunt.
The woman screams as I catch up with her.
Nathan’s on my heels, but before he can get close, I’ve jabbed my knife straight into her heart.
“Please …” she murmurs.
“That’s what your victims said too when they begged you not to sell them to the Bones Brotherhood. Too fucking late.”
I twist the knife around, blood spurting out all over me.
“Bad kitty,” Nathan groans as he comes up behind me. “Killing our prey already?”
“I told you I’d win,” I muse, ripping the knife out of her body before I adjust the red ribbon in my hair.
He tilts his head. “And I think we told you what would happen if you attempted to steal this one too.” He licks his lips, and I can feel the terror sink into my heart.
The kind of terror that makes my pussy throb and my brain spring to life.
More rustling up ahead makes me turn my head. A redheaded masked guy appears from behind a tree, flicking his nunchucks around like a toy. “You messed with our kill again … tsk. I guess you’ll never learn.”
“Then we’ll have to teach her.” A low, smoky voice from atop the hill makes me spin on my heels. My heart beats in my throat when Kai runs his fingers through his dark hair and puts on his mask again. “The hard way.”
A devilish smile meets mine, my whole body zinging at the thought of another chase.
But instead of the predator, I now become the prey.
“If I catch your ribbon, your body will be mine.”
Kai lifts his fingers, sporting a rope in his other hand. And I’m already excited at the thought of them tying me to a tree and having their way with me.
But first …
One finger goes down.
I brace myself against the soil.
His voice sets me free.