My heart is pounding and blood thrums loudly in my eardrums; the alcohol flowing through my system, amplifying the sound.
“Is he—” I gasp, unable to finish the sentence and gazing wide-eyed and terrified at Ryan. I can’t even look at the prone figure on the floor.
“No, ma’am. Just knocked out cold.”
Relief floods through me. Oh, thank God.
“And you?” I ask, gazing at Ryan. I realize I don’t know his first name. He’s panting as if he’s run a marathon. He wipes the corner of his mouth, removing the trace of blood, and a faint bruise is forming on his cheek.
“He put up one hell of a fight, but I’m okay, Mrs. Grey.” He smiles reassuringly. If I knew him better, I’d say he looked a little smug.
“And Gail? Mrs. Jones?” Oh no . . . is she okay? Has she been harmed?
“I’m here, Ana.” Glancing behind me, she’s in a nightdress and robe, her hair loose, her face ashen and her eyes wide—like mine, I imagine.
“Ryan woke me. Insisted I come in here.” She points behind her into Taylor’s office. “I’m fine. Are you okay?”
I nod briskly and realize she’s probably just come out of the panic room built adjoining Taylor’s office. Who knew we’d need it so soon? Christian had insisted on its installation shortly after our engagement—and I had rolled my eyes. Now, seeing Gail standing in the doorway, I’m grateful for his foresight.
A creak from the door to the foyer distracts me. It’s hanging off its hinges. What the hell happened to that?
“Was he alone?” I ask Ryan.
“Yes, ma’am. You wouldn’t be standing here if he wasn’t, I can assure you.” Ryan sounds vaguely affronted.
“How did he get in?” I ask, ignoring his tone.
“Through the service elevator. He’s got quite a pair, ma’am.”
I stare down at Jack’s slumped figure. He’s wearing a uniform of sorts—coveralls, I think.