“Mr. Creamer!” Lovey gasped. “What in the world…”
“So, you’re the one I’ve been after all this time.” Rouen narrowed those deep make you melt chocolate eyes on the man with the weapon.
“Where is it?”
“Where’s what?” Rouen demanded. Lovey wondered how he could stay so calm while staring down the business end of the gun. She gulped and tried to still her trembling knees.
Mr. Creamer moved forward, the gun held in his firm grip. “The code. I know Ryan had it.”
Lovey pushed the silver watch, a gift from Ryan a week before he disappeared, around her wrist. A nervous habit she’d picked up whenever she thought about Ryan.
Then she noticed the more masculine version of her watch encircling Rouen’s tanned wrist.
Rouen lifted a brow. “A code? Ryan never said anything about a code.”
Panic flickered in the older man’s gaze as he turned his flat green eyes on Lovey. “Then he told you, didn’t he?”
She swallowed hard. “N-no.” She shot a quick glance at Rouen. “Apparently Ryan neglected to tell me quite a few things.”
A low, frustrated growl came from Mr. Creamer causing Lovey to jump and sidle closer to the man who’d placed himself in front of her. Her heart gave a little tremble at the memory and realized Rouen had just told her he was willing to take a bullet for her.
Even though fear nearly knocked her knees out from under her, she determined to hold her own in this crazy dangerous situation. From the corner of her eye, she saw Athena palming her cell phone. Could the woman get a message for help out to the authorities before Mr. Creamer did something dreadful?
The man stepped closer, his white hot glare making her cringe—then straighten her spine and glare right back. His gaze landed on the antique desk. Then his eyes widened as he hurried over to it. “The map,” he breathed.
Rouen started forward as though to make a grab for the gun, but the older man was too quick. He pointed the gun straight at Rouen’s heart and said through gritted teeth. “Stand back.”
Rouen paused, then stepped back. “What are you going to do, Creamer? Kill us all?”
Amusement glittered at that. “You don’t think I’m doing this all alone, do you?”
Lovey watched Rouen clamp his jaw so tight she was surprised his teeth didn’t shatter. “Who are you working with?”
A snort. “Like I’d tell you. Now move back so I can keep an eye on you. I need to look at something.”
Rouen conceded and moved back next to Lovey. He placed a reassuring arm around her shoulders. Lovey felt Athena slip behind her and Rouen.
Creamer’s attention was on the map as he muttered to himself. “It’s here. It’s got to be.”
Lovey lifted Rouen’s wrist to get a closer look at the watch. “It’s just like mine,” she whispered.
“What?” he leaned his head close to hers and once again, she got a whiff of his cologne.
“Your watch. Ryan gave it to you, didn’t he?”
Startled, he met her gaze. “How did you know?”
“What does this mean!” Mr. Creamer suddenly yelled. “There should be a compass here. Not a picture of a stupid watch!”
Lovey gasped and glanced at her wrist then Rouen’s. Did the watches have something to do with the code Mr. Creamer seemed so desperate to find?
And if so, what?
And what did it have to do with an old map?
Cupid put in a sudden appearance to the left of Mr. Creamer. A determined expression crossed the man’s face as he grabbed the animal by the scruff of the neck. Placing the gun against the yowling animal’s head, he ordered, “Help me find the code or the cat,” he grinned a feral grin, “gets creamed.”