Chapter Twenty-eight

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Quentin rose early, intent on performing a mission. He left Billie asleep and slipped out of the apartment undetected. A not-so-easy feat as he discovered Billie was a light sleeper.

Quentin walked the few blocks to the garage. He'd seen Danny and frowned. He really didn't like that guy. Quentin knew it was only because of Danny's interest in Billie, but he didn't really care.

"Billie not with you?" Danny asked, hope shining in his eyes that she may somehow suddenly appear.

"No," Quentin said flatly, "is Carlos in?"

"Yeah, he's in the office," Danny said, looking disappointed, but he opened the door to let Quentin in. Since he was on duty, he couldn't stay, but Danny was definitely curious about what would bring Quentin to Carlos' doorstep again. Maybe there was trouble in paradise.

Carlos looked up, and he looked worn out.

"Is everything okay with Isabelle?"

"Is that why you're here, Suit?"

The fact that Carlos was back to calling him Suit was definitely not a good sign.

"I'm here for that and for Billie."

Carlos said nothing. He only stared at him. So, Quentin figured this was his 5 minutes to get out what he wanted to say.

"I do want to know how Isabelle is doing but I'm really here to ask that you don't keep Isabelle from seeing Billie. It would crush her not to see that little girl anymore. It wasn't her fault. Someone had trespassed on the property. There is no way Billie could have accounted for..."

Carlos held up his hand for Quentin to stop.

"The man, where is he?"

"In police custody. I dragged him back to the stables myself."

"I don't blame Billie, Suit. I blame you."

"Me?"

"My little girl's arm is broken because you were not prepared."

"But how was I to know..."

Carlos stood up and he was a rather impressive figure when he drew himself up to his complete height. He stared down at Quentin as if he wished to tear him limb from limb but was holding himself in check.

Carlos pounded his fist on the table. "You know exactly what it's like living in the limelight. You who have been plastered on countless magazines and tabloids. You who have been playing it up to press that you and Billie are an item. You've got them eating out of the palm of your hand, don't you? So, when one goes rogue to get some sneak peek of the loving couple riding. YOU should have been prepared for that.

Billie, I know isn't used to all of this. She doesn't know the dangers of being in the spotlight. Or at least that's what I've been trying to convince my wife. My daughter got off lucky, she could have brain-damaged or broken her spine and been paralyzed. Do you know how many nightmares I had last night envisioning all the things that could have gone wrong?"

Quinten couldn't imagine. He never was responsible for anyone but himself. "I'm sorry. I didn't think ... I'd never encountered that problem before and I ..." Quentin realized quickly all he was doing was spouting excuses for what he should have done and failed to do.

"You're right. I should be better prepared. I should have kept Billie and Isabelle safe. I could have had them do a sweep of the place before we set out, to be sure. I didn't think of it and I was remiss in my duties to them and to your family. I should have been the protector. It was my responsibility and I failed."

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