Both men turned and went to stand in front of Mina protectively but she brushed past them, her arms outstretched. “Zoe! This is such a pleasant surprise.”
And the woman meant it. The welcoming note in her voice did something to Zoe. She hadn’t cried over the entire mess with Klein, not after her attack and not after the hospital treated her like garbage, forcing her to leave a job she loved. But seeing Mina opening her arms to her, Zoe lost it.
She burst into tears, clearly taking Mina off guard. Well, she’d taken herself off guard too. God, she hated crying—because it was embarrassing and she was an ugly crier. Ugh.
Zoe was vaguely aware of Mina wrapping her in a hug and ushering her into the plush place as tears blurred her vision. She should probably be more embarrassed but Mina was her friend and she knew she could be real with her.
“He’s back,” Zoe blurted as Mina led her to one of the couches in a spacious living room that overlooked downtown Miami. The city lights below were a kaleidoscope of bright colors, all blurred by the tears in her eyes. “I parked across the street but was careful not to be followed,” she added, wiping the wetness on her cheeks away as she managed to get herself under control.
Mina just snorted softly. “This place is a fortress, don’t worry about that. So . . . you’re sure he’s back?” she asked as she sat next to her, turning her body to face Zoe’s.
She nodded. “Oh yeah, he showed up at my work.” Just thinking about that made her shiver.
When Mina let out a surprising curse, Zoe smiled, the small action loosening something inside her chest.
Her friend stood and moved to the small mini-bar by the window, grabbing two glasses and a bottle of red wine before sitting back down next to her. “Tell me everything.”
Twenty minutes later Zoe had unloaded everything that had happened, including her trip to the police station and that she’d finally told her brother about what was going on. He was in California on a job now so she felt even worse that she’d unloaded so much with him out of town. He’d been pissed that she’d withheld something so important, and in typical Vincent fashion, he’d threatened to kill Klein. She wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but that was the real reason she hadn’t told her brother before.
As a former SEAL, Vincent wouldn’t have a problem defending her against a psycho. But she didn’t want him to do something he couldn’t take back, something that could affect his career and the rest of his life. He’d worked so hard to get to where he was and she couldn’t ever be responsible for him ending up in jail.
Mina leaned back against the couch, wine glass in hand, her finger idly tracing down the stem. Zoe noticed that Mina hadn’t actually drank anything, but didn’t comment as her friend set the glass down on the table next to her. “So the restraining order bars him from coming to your work?”
Zoe nodded. “Yes. And I’ll be making copies of it for everyone at work and including his photo so they know who he is.” She just hadn’t listed her home address on the order. Considering Klein knew where she worked, which wasn’t a surprise since people she used to work with were aware of her new job, she hadn’t wanted to make it easy for him to find her house in case he didn’t know yet. Because a piece of paper wouldn’t stop him from coming after her. It would certainly get him in trouble with the law if he broke the order, but if he decided to attack her, she’d still be injured or dead, piece of paper or not.
After his attack at the hospital, he’d been smart about harassing her, making sure nothing could be traced back to him, but she knew he’d slashed her tires, stolen her mail, and sent her too many anonymous, vile texts from a burner phone to count until finally she’d changed her phone number. The police had actually believed her. But believing her was one thing. The State’s Attorney wouldn’t press charges against someone like Braddock Klein—upstanding citizen with a lot of politically powerful friends—without hard evidence. The justice system was so broken it made her want to cry. Or punch something.
Mina started to say something when a soft chime filled the room, the alert letting them know someone had entered the front door.
“Mina? Is Zoe here?” Blue called out from the front of the condo as Mina stood.
Zoe followed suit and realized she still had her jacket on—and still felt cold despite the warmth in the room. It was a bone-deep kind of chill, one that had nothing to do with the temperature.
A second later Blue and another man entered the living room, both dressed in suits. It took Zoe a moment to recognize the guy. Dark hair, piercing green eyes, about six feet of raw muscle that a suit couldn’t hide. Sawyer McCabe. Navy SEAL, or maybe former, if he was working with Blue now. The last time she’d seen him, he’d punched her brother in the face.
Zoe withheld a groan. Just freaking great. She had enough to deal with without some jackass who’d tried to hurt her little brother being present to hear all her drama.