Demand - Lisa Renee Jones
Ella Ferguson (25)—Heroine in the series. Woke alone in Italy, saved by our hero, Kayden Wilkens. Best friend to Sara McMillan from the Inside Out series.
Kayden Wilkens (32)—Our hero in the series. Leader of the Italian branch of The Underground (a treasure-hunting operation). Saves Ella and brings her to live in his castle while she recovers.
Niccolo—Very dangerous Italian mobster. Ella has some sense of unease and knowledge of this man that she can’t quite grasp.
Matteo—Works for Kayden and The Underground as a hacker. He helps create Ella’s new identity as Rae Eleana Ward, and continues to try to find out who Ella is.
Adriel Santaro—Both lives and works for Kayden running a high-end collectibles store from the castle. Kayden fired him from The Underground after Adriel’s father was killed on a hunt.
Giada Santaro—Adriel’s sister. Also works in the collectibles store. Has a very hard time coping with her mother and father’s deaths. Blames Kayden and The Underground for her father’s untimely murder.
Marabella—Kayden’s housekeeper, lives on the premises. Very close to Kayden, Adriel, and Giada. Is considered a mother figure to them all.
Detective Gallo—Kayden’s greatest adversary. Very intent on making trouble for Kayden, and on finding out who Ella really is.
Chief Donati—The chief of police; Detective Gallo’s boss. Friendly with Kayden, yet hiding secrets of his own.
Sasha—A Hunter. Her family is made up of Hunters and Hawks that used to run the French branch of The Underground, before Kayden took over for them. She befriends Ella and has quite the personality.
Blake Walker—A transplant from both the Tall, Dark and Deadly series (you can read his and Kara’s story in Beneath the Secrets) and the Inside Out series. Chris Merit (Inside Out) hired Blake to help him and Sara find Ella after she ran off to elope with David and disappeared. At the end of the Inside Out series, Blake was still searching for her.
Enzo—One of The Underground’s newest and youngest members. Sent on a dangerous mission and goes missing, only to be brought back with life-threatening injuries.
Elizabeth—Kayden’s deceased fiancée. She was murdered in the castle five years ago.
Nathan—Physician for The Underground who helps Ella as she recovers from her severe concussion. While very charismatic, he is also incredibly tough and implacable.
David—Ella’s ex-fiancé (mentioned in the Inside Out series). He swept Ella off to Paris to elope. Very vivid and shocking memories return to Ella of her time with David. A lot of arguing and anguish. At the end of Denial Ella still cannot remember all that transpired between her and David, but she does know she didn’t love him.
Kevin—Kayden’s adoptive father. He was the original owner of the castle and previous leader of the Italian branch of The Underground. After he was murdered along with Elizabeth five years ago, Kayden took over his post in The Underground and ownership of the castle. Best friend to Kayden’s father.
Tyler—A resource of Kayden’s. Helps sketch both the necklace and David from Ella’s memory. Former FBI, whom The Underground has always had a connection to.
I sit inside the shower, the water’s spray washing blood from my jeans and T-shirt and splattering Kayden, who kneels in front of me. And while my hand trembles with the weight of the Glock I point at him, the lies I’m certain he’s told me shred my heart. “I want the truth,” I demand.
“Give me the gun, Ella,” he orders softly, his voice a tight band of control I want to break, his piercing blue eyes unreadable, the absence of a real answer painfully telling.
“Make me trust you and I will.”
“You already trust me, and with good reason. I would die for you.”
“Because I’m important to you,” I say, and I don’t even try to keep the accusation from my voice. “The question is why.”
“Ella,” he breathes out. “Don’t do this.”
“Do you know who I am? Not this ‘Rae Eleana Ward’ person you turned me into. Do you know who I was before I was attacked in that alleyway?”
“No, I do not.”
“Yet I just told you about that butterfly necklace, and you already have a photo of it in your office.”
“Put the gun down, Ella.”
“That’s not an answer. That’s a dodge and weave, and you never dodge and weave with me. And I hate what that means.”
“You’re jumping to conclusions.”
“Were you after the necklace when you found me in that alleyway? Were you always after it?”
“Damn it, Ella. Give me the gun.”
“No. I will not give you the gun. Answer the damn questions.”
His hands flatten on his jean-clad knees. “Listen to me,