When Gabe finally got up to my office, he was angry as hell and asked, “What the fuck is going on? Why as soon as I said your name all of the damn security in the building surrounded me? And since when is it a problem with me coming up to see you?”

“Gabe, what do you want to talk about?” I asked before offering him a seat.

“I don’t want to sit, Abigail. What the hell is going on? Did that motherfucker put his hands on you or something?”

I frowned. “No, Gabriel.”

“Then what’s going on?” he asked with his arms across his chest in a defensive posture.

“Someone’s threatening her,” Zach said, coming from out of nowhere and startling us.

Someone from security had obviously called Zach to inform him of Gabe’s presence. And given what had happened the last time Gabe and I were alone—that near kiss—there was no way in hell Zach was going to leave me alone with Gabe so that Gabe could put his sexy hot lips on mine.

They stared at each other until I broke the dark silence in the room. “OK, you two! Both of you sit down, please.” Gabe cut his pretty blues at me, and I said, “Please. It’s very important, Gabriel. Zach will fill you in. And try to keep your voice down. I don’t want my employees overhearing what we are talking about.”

I looked at Zach, who took his phone from his pocket and called Stan, who came up right away. Stan had been putting in overtime at the office since the threats had started.

“These letters and packages were addressed to Abi. They started coming on Monday,” Zach explained to Gabe, showing him some pictures that he and Stan had taken and the threatening letters.

When Gabe saw the pictures of Gabi leaving school with Karen and Erma, he went ballistic.

“Somebody is following my fucking family?” he yelled.

“Gabe?” I cried with a tight face, knowing how angry he could become over his daughters. “Please bring it down. My employees are still here, and I don’t want them knowing what’s going on.”

“I don’t give a damn about your employees,” he hissed. “That’s my fucking family in those goddamn photos.”

Stan waited for Gabe to finish. “Mr. Goodman, sir. I understand your rant and rave, and trust me, you have all the right to do so. I want you to know that we’ve already assembled a team of security to monitor Gabrielle around the clock. There are four guards monitoring your house twenty-four-seven, as well as five at the school. These men are military trained and have worked for the secret service, guarding some of the top national and international political figures.”

“So whoever is sending Abi these threats is following my daughter?” Gabe asked.

“It appears that way,” Zach replied.

“Any idea who it might be?” Gabe asked.

“It could be a number of people, and we are checking them thoroughly,” Zach replied.

Gabe looked at Zach with anger and then cut his gaze at me. “Can I talk to you? In private.”

I turned my eyes to Zach, who already had his eyes steady on me. I nodded, and Zach frowned in response. He crossed his legs and steepled his fingers over his lips, and in response I raised my brows.

“Oh, there’s no need to silently negotiate. The request is nonnegotiable, and I need to speak with Abi, alone. Now!” Gabe demanded, looking square at Zach.

Stan was the first to leave my office, while Zach hesitantly left after kissing me long and passionately. It was his way of reiterating to Gabe that I was his and only he could kiss me. He wanted to stick it to Gabe.

“I told you to get rid of him, and now look at what you’ve gotten yourself into by being with him. You know it’s one of his exes he probably treated like trash—he leaves a trail of broken hearts everywhere he walks. And now my daughter is dragged into the middle of your drama,” Gabe scolded.

“Gabe, please. I don’t need a lecture from you right now. I’m not happy about the situation any more than you are. And if you really want to help, stay away from Taylor Sanders. I know you fucked her while we were together and within the past couple of months.” I elevated my brows knowingly. “I believe she’s the one sending the threats and following Gabi. You know she has a past with Zach, and whatever she told you was probably a lie. She came here, to this office, back in October, pretended she had a meeting planned with me, and threatened to do harm to both Gabi and me if I continued a relationship with Zach. And she vandalized the Cadillac that same day.”

Gabe looked at me inquiringly. “Does he know you think it’s her?”

I nodded. “So now that you know this, what did you come here to talk to me about?”

Looking at me hardheartedly, he placed some papers in my hands. I opened the document, and after skimming over it, I looked up at him with pure abhorrence.

“So you’re serving me fucking custody papers?” I hissed him through clenched teeth.


“This is what was so fucking important?” I asked, throwing the papers in his face.


I cut him off, rose to my feet, and with grit in my voice and tears filling up my eyes, I cried, “I’ll call it off. I’ll call off the fucking wedding if that’s what you want. OK? Just not my daughter, Gabriel. You can’t take her from me.”


“You’re trying to take my baby from me? Why, Gabe? Why? Because I finally moved on and let someone in enough to love me? Because I am in love with someone else, and not you? Let me remind you that I’ve been pretty much raising her alone since she was born. The first seven years of her life, you barely saw her, while you found plenty of time to engage with those bitches in Cambridge, cheating on me, fucking God knows who. And the cheating got worse when GSG was started.”

I snatched up the document from my desk and grabbed my handbag. Glowering at him, I hissed, “I fucking hate you.