Chapter no 30 – The Diamond

Hunting Adeline

One Month Later

“Does Francesca happen to have short blonde hair?” Daya asks, storming into the living room with her laptop in hand.

“No,” I answer, sweat dripping into my eyes. Sibby drops her hand, which was curled into a fist and ready to drive right into my face.

I rub my eyes, feeling the heat pressing in now that I’m no longer distracted with the screaming banshee that likes to use me for a punching bag.

“Well, she does now.”

My eyes light up, forgetting all about how hot and exhausted I am. “You found her?”

“You’re goddamn right, I did. Fucking freak accident too. Cam from an old diner tagged her in a small town in South Carolina about eight hours ago. She was walking to the restroom and a waitress collided with her. Her sunglasses went flying, and bam—”

The second the words come out of Daya’s mouth. Sibby’s fist is flying into my stomach.

I tip over, the oxygen ripped from my lungs as pain explodes throughout my abdomen.

My eyes bug from my head, and only a wheeze escapes. “What the hell, Sibby?” Daya barks.

“We weren’t done sparring,” Sibby shrugs. “Never fool yourself into thinking you’re safe, even if you do smell like pretty flowers. Did you forget I murder people?”

I cough, hunched over as I turn my head and glower at the evil witch.

She giggles and skips away, satisfied that she taught me a valuable lesson for the day.

“I’m gonna kill her,” I wheeze, straightening and shooting another round of daggers into the corridor she disappeared through. Another cough bursts

from my throat. “After I catch my breath, though,” I rasp, dropping to the checkered tile with exhaustion.

I’ve been sparring with her and Zade every day, all day. Between the two of them, I’d be happy to take the coward’s way out and poison them in their sleep just so a girl can get some peace and quiet.

However, I can’t lie and say that I’m not slowly becoming a badass.

The past month has been full of ups and downs. Zade was forced to buy a new car since his was not only identified at Satan’s Affair when Sibby was caught but now as a getaway car for her this time.

Thankfully, Zade never puts anything under his name, so they still weren’t able to identify him. Regardless, driving it is no longer safe, and for a second there, I thought he was going to have a memorial for the damn thing.

The USBs that Sibby stole from Jimmy were useless, and due to her being caught outside of his office, his paranoia got the best of him, and he trashed everything.

Normally, it could be chalked up to happenstance that she was outside of his building, but Claire is well aware of the connection between Sibby and Zade, considering her husband was one of their victims, which means Jimmy is aware, too.

Hence, why all of his devices were wiped and discarded, including the jump drives. Zade saw it coming, though, and sent one of his mercenaries into Jimmy’s house to plant extra USBs in his home office.

It paid off.

Two weeks ago, Zade got an alert that Claire had connected one of his drives to her laptop. All of her previous employees are in the thick of their lawsuits against her, and it’s safe to say Jimmy’s hair has turned two shades whiter. There’s no expectation for them to win, but Zade has made sure to compensate them already for their time and effort. They all have stable jobs and protection from Claire now.

Since then, our time has been spent decoding her messages and pulling as much information as possible from her business dealings. We were able to pin her location on a remote island on the other side of the world. We’re going over the best way to draw her out from it, but Zade wants to get as much intel on the Society before we kill her.

It was daunting to learn that Claire’s influence runs much deeper than we’d ever imagined. She has her hands in everything. Charities, hundreds of thousands of organizations and businesses, banks, big pharmas and the medical industry, the judicial system, and of course, the entire fucking government. It will take years to undo all the damage she’s done and erase her influence.

“I’ll help you kill her,” Daya says, sitting next to me and crossing her legs. “But first, Francesca. So after she and the waitress collided, Francesca threw a huge fit and slapped the woman. Authorities were called, but Rocco strong-armed their way out of the diner and into their rusty brown Chevy Impala. They took off, and I was able to track them all the way back to the motel they’re staying in.”

“Holy shit,” I breathe, eyes wide. “You fucking found them.” She grins. “Showtime, baby.”



I’m jittery as fuck.

I wipe my clammy hands on my jeans, taking deep breaths to calm my nerves.

You can do this, I tell myself, then immediately turn my attention to the She-Devil above.

Right, God? Tell me I’m right.

Zade and I hopped on his private jet within twenty-four hours of finding out where Francesca and Rocco had been hiding. Since he has mercenaries in every state, he had one of them get a car ready for us at the airport, and an hour later, I’m standing outside their door.

And slightly panicking.

The motel I’m standing in front of looks like it comes straight out of

Bates Motel. Run-down and owned by a serial killer.

The siblings have been staying here for the past three nights, and the vindictive part of me is overjoyed by it. My former groomer has always lived in filth but would walk around like she was dripping in money and

class. She wanted nothing more than to live lavishly but was forced to stay in a shitty house with her brother by Claire’s demand.

The house’s location was perfect for hiding girls and hosting the Culling, so Claire wouldn’t allow her to relocate somewhere nicer—something Francesca would complain about often. So instead, she sank all her money into her wardrobe to give off the illusion that she was thriving.

And this… this is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to filth. Just as the bitch deserves.

“Room service!” I call out, rapping my knuckles on the red door.

Shouting can be heard from inside, but they’re not any louder than the domestic violence case two doors down.

Nor is it any louder than the other strung-out couple three doors ahead, loud moaning and grunting coming from their room.

“Go away!” Francesca calls from the other side, followed by a fleshy slap.

“You stupid bitch, that right there is why we’re in this situation! You can’t keep your fucking hands to yourself!”

“Oh, that’s rich coming from you,” she hisses back. “What about all my girls, huh? You think they’d tell you that you kept your hands to yourself?”

“You shut the fuck up right now, or I’ll kill you.”

“Do it!” she screams. “We lost everything anyway, Rocco. We haven’t heard from Claire for damn near a month now, except to be told we can’t leave the goddamn country. We’re running out of money because we can’t fucking access our cards, I’m tired of this stupid-ass wig, and this motel has cockroaches!”

My hand is suspended in the air, ready to knock again, but I must admit, that little pity party entertained me.

“Room service!” I call again, smiling when Francesca screeches loudly in response.

Sibby would be proud.

That telltale sign of her heels stomping towards the door wipes the smile off my face. For a moment, I forget to breathe as I’m transported back into that house, dreading every step that pounded through the wooden floors.

The door is swinging open, snapping me out of my nightmares, only for them to materialize before me.

She’s seething, breathing heavily like a bull with her wide eyes locked on me.

“Hey, Francesca. Miss me?” I ask, forcing a broad smile on my face. Seeing her is affecting me far more than I anticipated, but it doesn’t minimize the murderous rage I feel toward her.

If anything, it heightens it more.

Rocco comes up behind her, his jowls wiggling as he walks. Francesca is frozen in the doorway, a stricken look on her face, while I stand equally paralyzed.

Breathe, Addie. They can’t hurt you anymore.

“You’ve got to be shitting me,” Rocco says, snapping Francesca and I both out of the stare down we found ourselves in.

She goes to slam the door shut, but I’m throwing my shoulder back into it, the wood reverberating off the door stopper.

Zade took EpiPen dispensers and filled them with small doses of anesthesia for me. Quickly, I grab one of them out of my front pocket and stab it into the side of her neck before her nails have the chance to claw at my face.

Francesca drops right as Rocco barrels into me like a linebacker, his body smashing me into the wall and knocking the breath from my lungs. My head knocks against it, learning the hard way that the walls are concrete. Stars explode in my eyes, and all I can do is blindly knock away Rocco’s hands until I shake them from my vision. I manage to land one hit to Rocco’s throat—weak as it is—and swerve under his arm. He chokes and hacks, providing me enough time to regain my bearings.

The last time he raped me was also the last time he would ever see me helpless.

Growling, he whips around, swinging out his arm as he does, aiming towards my face. I duck, and land a kick to his stomach, taking him by surprise. Before he can recover, I kick out once more. This time between his legs.

He shouts, eyes bulging and tipping over from the pain. I grab the other dispenser and jam it into his neck, his groans soon fading into silence.

Rock ‘n’ roll plays loudly from one neighbor, and the other has the news channel blasting from the TV. Thankfully, neither of them seems inclined to check on us.

Panting, I turn to find Zade leaning in the doorframe, arms crossed and a smirk on his face. A mixture of heat and pride swirl in his yin-yang eyes, and I can’t help but feel on top of the fucking world.

“Good job, little mouse,” he praises, his voice deep and smooth as butter. “Didn’t want to join in?”

He smirks. “My girl had it handled.”

My chest swells. Having Zade’s love feels like a dream, but having his trust and confidence feels like a dream come true.

“Thanks,” I breathe, a bead of sweat dripping down my back. I plant my hands on my hips, peering down at the duo passed out on the floor.

They look heavy.

Dusting my hands off, I head towards him and pat his chest, saying, “I’ll let you carry them out,” before slipping past him.

Zade’s answering growl quickens my steps, a genuine smile blooming on my face. When I glance behind me, his head is turned over his shoulder, and he’s staring at me like he has plans for me later.

He won’t act on them, but I won’t lie and say the idea doesn’t sound a little intriguing.

After checking for passersby, Zade quickly drags Rocco into the back seat, and Francesca in the trunk.

They’ll be out for a while still, but he speeds us back to the airport anyway.

Thankfully, they don’t wake up until halfway through the flight home, and we knock them right back out again before they can give either of us a headache.

It’s after midnight by the time we pull up to the looming gothic mansion, the gargoyles stationed on either side of the roof staring down at us.

I imagine they’d approve of what we’re doing if they were alive.

This time, I help Zade. He takes Rocco and I wrangle Francesca out of the trunk. I accidentally drop her, which earns a chuckle from Zade as he heaves Rocco up the porch steps and through the front door.

Luckily, Francesca is rail thin. She was obsessed with her image and ate like a rabbit. Bending down, I lift her up by the arms and throw her over my shoulder, and then quickly make my way into the manor.

The weight I lost during my captivity has been packed back on with muscle. Not only am I back to a healthy weight, but I’m in better shape than

ever. Toned in all the right places, muscle lining my arms and legs, and even my ass has rounded.

Most days, I still struggle with looking in the mirror and seeing something beautiful like I used to. Not because of how I look, but how I feel. In my eyes, my body is stained with dirty handprints, and no amount of scrubbing will set me free of them.

I let Francesca drop to the floor, her head cracking into the checkered tile. Sweat lines my hairline, and I take a moment to catch my breath.

Francesca and Rocco will assume that Zade will quickly torture and kill them. But that’s where they’re wrong. I have far grander plans in mind. Not just for them, but for Xavier Delano, too.

He’s been hiding away on his private island with a mini army surrounding him, but Zade has gotten word that he has an L.A. trip planned at the end of the month. The island isn’t far off the West Coast, and it’ll only be a two-hour flight, but it’s still impossible to hide a big black jet from air traffic control. Not unless he wants to risk flying nose-first into another plane and come crashing right back down in several pieces.

That would be fucking embarrassing.

So, until we get our hands on Xavier, Francesca and Rocco will be hanging out with the ghosts in the basement. It was finished when I renovated Parsons Manor, but it’s still creepy as fuck down there.

When Sibby spots our new arrivals, she jumps up and down excitedly.

“They smell positively rotten,” she shouts, curling her lip in disgust. Pointing to Rocco, she says, “That one smells like rotten eggs. And the other smells like a rotten pumpkin.”

Mine and Zade’s eyes clash, a what the fuck look on both of our faces.

“Pumpkin?” he mouths silently with confusion. I shrug, too exhausted to give a shit. Most of this day has been spent traveling, and I’m ready for bed.

“Sibby, get her legs. We’ll carry her down together,” I direct.

She turns around and speaks to one of her henchmen. “You guys are bathing their stench off me later.”

“Oh my God,” I say, turning my gaze back to Zade’s. “I’m going to have to give the tub a bath tomorrow.”

He shakes his head, appearing disturbed. “Use holy water. Lots of holy water.”

You'll Also Like