His Captive Lover (The Thorpe Brothers #1) read online by Elizabeth Lennox
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His Captive Lover (The Thorpe Brothers #1)
Author: Elizabeth Lennox

Elizabeth Lennox - The Thorpe Brothers #1 - His Captive Lover

His Captive Lover (The Thorpe Brothers #1)
Elizabeth Lennox

romance

 

Chapter 1

Autumn looked at the list, her eyes casually skimming down the cases. When her eyes caught one name in particular, she looked again, shocked and not believing her eyes. When she looked one more time, she gasped, still not sure she believed that this name was on this particular list. Sure enough, the name hadn’t changed when she refocused.

Panic filled her and she looked around, wondering what she could do. This couldn’t be happening! Of all the names that might have popped up on the court’s docket roster, this one was the only one that Autumn never would have expected.

“Ash!” she whispered, suddenly knowing exactly what she needed to do.

Running down the stairs then through the long hallway, she burst into the office on the left corner. The large, intimidating man sitting behind the steel and glass desk seemed to be the day’s super hero, at least when it came to this impossible situation. “Help!” she cried out as she burst into his office, not even bothering to knock as she normally would.

Ash looked up, his black eyebrows rising above his strange, blue eyes. “What’s wrong?” he asked of the normally ultra-professional, uber-polite-except-when-a-certain-brother-was-around office manager. She rushed into his office, her eyes wide with an emotion that didn’t make sense on her beautiful features. Ash watched as she hurried around his desk, remaining calm despite Autumn’s panic.

“Please, you have to get her out of there!” she rushed over to his desk and slapped the list down in front of him then immediately turned to figure out what he might need to solve this horrible problem. She hurried behind his desk and grabbed the suit jacket that had been draped across the back of his chair, grabbing his hand and sticking it into the sleeve even while he read the paper she’d slapped in front of him seconds ago.

Ash looked down at the paper, still remaining calm even while he allowed her to help him into his jacket. “This is a list of the people being arraigned this morning.” He transferred the paper to his other hand, still reading. With practiced coordination, Autumn grabbed the other hand to stuff it into the sleeve, then pushed the jacket onto his enormous shoulders.

Autumn didn’t even bother to look at the paper again, too frantic to get the impossibly large man moving. “Correct. The person you’re going to save is the third name down on that list.” She grabbed his briefcase and haphazardly stuffed some papers into it, then looked around to see if there was anything else he might need.

Ash looked at the name. “Mia Paulson?”

“Yes! You have to go help her!” She ordered him and shoved his leather chair out of the way while she put her hands up on his shoulders, pushing his enormous body around his desk and out the door. She’d never been so bold before, but she didn’t have time to be nice. This was an emergency.

Ash stopped moving and turned around to look down into Autumn’s worried, chocolate eyes. “Looks like she’s being arraigned for first degree murder.”

Autumn looked up at the man who was the only one who could save her friend. Unfortunately, she had to take a precious moment to explain because Ash was too large and too muscular to move when he didn’t want to. “She’s my best friend and I guarantee that she’s innocent. But more importantly, she’s probably trying to do this all on her own because she naively believes in the justice system and probably thinks her claim of innocence will get her out of this mess.” Autumn was already shaking her head and waving her hands in the air. “There’s no way Mia could have killed anyone. She composts all of her plants. She scoots bugs out of her house instead of stomping on them like a normal person. When we’re walking down the sidewalk, she’ll actually stop and help earthworms get across so they don’t dehydrate in the sunshine and die. So killing a human being is completely outside the realm of possibility. Unfortunately, you’re her only hope and you’ve got to do something!” she explained, her voice rising towards the end as her patience in explaining things to Ash wore thin. There wasn’t time to talk. The court would be in session in just a few minutes so Ash had to hurry and get over to the courthouse now!

Ash couldn’t help it. The image of Autumn with her three inch heels and her pencil skirts, her long, dark hair looking so prim and proper walking with someone who helped earthworms and bugs was just amusing and he let out a deep chuckle. “So she’s a saint. But even saints have a breaking point and, when provoked, can kill someone if rage or passion takes over.”

“First of all, that wouldn’t be first degree murder, would it? Besides, you’re thinking of normal people like me when I’m talking to your obnoxious brother, Xander. Not Mia! We’ve known each other since elementary school,” she said, gathering up his planner and extra pens, stuffing everything into his case in a haphazard manner. She walked behind him again, trying to shove him out of the office which was impossible unless Ash Thorpe was willing to be pushed. He was simply too big.

Thankfully, he allowed himself to be moved along, then pushed out the door. “You have to hurry. She’s being arraigned any minute now and she’s probably terrified. She definitely doesn’t understand the process because she’s a school teacher. The woman doesn’t even have a parking ticket to her name so she has no clue how harsh the justice system can be. She needs you and you have to hurry!”

Ash grabbed another file on the way out, shaking his head at the odd situation. “If she’s being charged with murder, where was she at the time of the crime? What is the evidence the police have on her? What’s the motive?” he asked.

“I don’t know!” she snapped, pushing him from behind now, picturing her friend’s worried face as she sat in a jail cell with all the other criminals who might hurt her because Mia was such a nice, innocent woman who believed in human kindness. “Stop asking questions and move faster!” she ordered him, completely forgetting that she was the office manager while Ash Thorpe was one of the partners of the illustrious Thorpe Group legal team that consisted of four brilliant brothers who all worked in different areas of the law. Not to mention Ash Thorpe was also the best criminal attorney in the country. People hired Ash from all over the United States to get him to defend them.

“Don’t you need your coat?” he asked, looking down at her silk blouse. He rarely saw Autumn without her matching suit jacket. She might take it off in her office, but she slipped it on if she had any reason to step out of her area. They were out in the cool October morning with a definite bite to the air.

She shook her head, barely even acknowledging his question in her urgency to get him out the door. “Not now.” She led him over to her small car with a combination of forceful nudges, pulls and racing ahead of him to challenge him to keep up with her. When they finally arrived at her car, she opened the passenger seat and practically pushed him in, ignoring the humor of seeing his large, muscular frame sitting inside her tiny vehicle. At his questioning look, she said, “I’ll drive. You’ll be too slow. We might not make it in time.”

He looked at her askance even as he whipped his foot out of the way before she slammed the door on it. “I’m too slow?” he asked with astonishment, but only the dust inside her car heard him since she was almost running around to the driver’s side. He chuckled slightly as he shook his head. No one had ever accused him of being slow. He stepped out of the car and she froze, her wide, chocolate eyes begging him to get back into the car.

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