Something About You Page 55

“I never saw your face,” Cameron was saying. “You don’t have to do this.”

Hearing the fear in her voice, a fury took hold of Jack. He raised his gun to take a shot through the window.

But the man must have seen the flash of movement. He looked over, saw Jack through the glass, and yanked Cameron in front of him, blowing the shot. Refusing to leave Cameron alone with the gunman one second longer, Jack reared back and fired his gun twice at the glass French doors.

He dove through.

Jack burst into the bedroom, barely aware of the glass shattering all around him. He hit the ground on one knee, slid across the floor, and hurtled himself up with his gun aimed at the masked man—

—who had his arm wrapped around Cameron’s neck. His own gun pointed at her head.

“Let her go,” Jack growled.

The masked man tightened his grip around Cameron’s neck. Using her as a shield, he backed out of the bedroom, into the hallway.

Jack followed, his gun trained on the man and ready to fire the moment he had a clean shot. “There are cops on every side of this house. You’re trapped. Put down your weapon and release her.” Without shifting his gaze, he did a quick assessment of the guy. Five feet eleven, roughly one hundred and seventy-five pounds. Cameron’s physical description had been nearly spot-on. And through the slits of the mask, Jack gained one additional piece of information: the man had brown eyes.

The masked man paused at Jack’s warning. Then he pressed the barrel of his gun harder against Cameron’s temple, digging into her skin.

Jack got the message, loud and clear.

Back off.

He kept his eyes and gun on his target. “You shoot her and you lose your shield.” He stole a glance at Cameron. Her face was white. She blinked, and tears ran down her face.

Jack forced himself not to show any emotion. But for the first time in his life, he felt real fear.

The masked man backed toward the stairs, and out of the corner of his eye, Jack saw Collin laying motionless in the hallway. The man dragged Cameron with him up the stairs, nearly choking her as he forced her to keep up with him. Jack followed, his mind running through the mental floor map he’d made of Cameron’s house during his two security checks.

“If you want out of this house, you’ll have to let her go,” Jack warned. “You can’t run with a hostage.”

The man showed no reaction. At the third floor, the stairs ended in an open-air balcony with pitched ceilings and a skylight. To Jack’s left was an office. To the right was a large, unfurnished room. Although he couldn’t see it from his position, he knew there was a door on the north wall that led out onto the rooftop deck.

Without hesitating, the masked man pulled Cameron into the room on Jack’s right. Jack followed, realizing that however long the man had been inside the house, waiting, it had been long enough to familiarize himself with the layout.

The man headed to the door that led outside. There was a moment’s pause as he shifted his position, then, reaching around Cameron’s neck, he pinned her against his body with his elbow and forearm. He pointed the gun upward, bracing the muzzle right underneath her chin. He reached his free hand behind him to unlock the door.

So precarious was Cameron’s position at that moment, Jack couldn’t contemplate taking a shot—one slip of the intruder’s arm and it would all be over.

He needed to say something, anything to reach out to her. “Cameron—look at me.”

“Jack,” she whispered, her eyes holding his and pleading.

He heard a crash downstairs, the sound of wood splintering—a breaking door—just as the masked man pushed open the door to the deck and pulled Cameron outside. With two hands on his gun, Jack followed them across the rooftop. Behind them, the pitched walls of the house and the room they had exited blocked the view of the street, which meant it was impossible for Jack to see what was happening with the police officers below.

The man moved steadily and quickly to the far wall of the rooftop. He kept Cameron in front of him at all times, never giving Jack any opening. Without saying a word, he backed against the wall that overlooked the backyard. He glanced sideways, and Jack assumed he was searching for the fire escape one story below them.

Then he turned and looked at Jack.

Everything happened in an instant—the man suddenly took his gun off Cameron, pointed it at Jack, and pulled back the trigger.

“No!” Cameron shouted. She grabbed for the gun as it fired and the bullet splintered the wood of the deck mere inches from Jack’s feet. Cameron faced the man as they struggled. Jack didn’t have a shot with her between them, so he lunged for them instead.

The gun went off again and Cameron stumbled back.

“Cameron!” Jack yelled.

He caught her as she sank to the deck. He saw blood spreading over her blazer. While he held her, the man bolted and dove over the side of the roof, onto the fire escape.

“He’s getting away,” Cameron muttered with a stunned, pale look. “Just leave me.”

Like hell he would.

Harper and Regan burst through the doorway with their guns drawn.

“He ran down the fire escape,” Jack shouted as he eased Cameron down to get a better look at the gunshot wound.

The cops moved instantly toward the fire escape, then ducked for cover as shots rang out from below. There was a pause, presumably as the killer ran, and the cops took off in pursuit.

Jack focused on Cameron. He reached into his blazer for his cell phone and called for the paramedics and backup.

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