“You’re covered in glass, so I just want you to sit still while I unbuckle you, all right?”

“All right,” she repeated, too shocked to argue. She swallowed hard as she willed her heart to slow down. “What happened?”

“Something hit the fucking window,” he bit out as he carefully reached around her. His hand brushed her hip. Glass tinkled as he found the seatbelt. “I have no idea what it was,” he said, craning his neck. With the side of his hand, he brushed off the glass on her thighs. “Shit. Okay. Move your leg out, but careful you don’t slide it along the seat. There’s glass everywhere. Are you sure you’re fine?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t see how. Fucking miracle,” he growled. “Get that leg up.”

Nikki lifted her leg, biting down on her lip when he curled his hand under her knee to help her. Then his other hand went under her arm. Gabe all but lifted her out of the vehicle, then planted her on her feet.

Glass fell, clinking off the asphalt. Looking down, she could see pieces stuck to the front of her shirt. She started to brush the pieces off, but Gabe caught her wrists, drawing her gaze to his. “Let me.”

There was no chance to protest, because he dropped her wrists and then his hands were moving over her stomach, the swell of her chest. Air hitched in her throat. His movements were clinical and methodical, not at all romantic, but an acute heaviness filled her chest with each quick brush.

She was totally blaming the exploding window.

“Damn it,” he gritted. “You’ve got glass everywhere—in your hair.” He looked over his shoulder. “I don’t see a damn person.”

That much was true. No one had even come out of the houses here to check on them. “The window didn’t just explode, right? Unless that’s a new feature with Porsches?”

He stopped with his hands hovering over her shoulders and looked down at her. A harsh laugh burst out of him. “No, Nic. Not that I know of.”

She turned slightly, wincing as glass crunched under her sneakers. “I need to get my purse and call the shelter.”

“Let me get it. Probably covered in glass.”

“The last time I checked, you also have skin that can be pierced by glass,” she pointed out.

“Yeah, but my skin is thicker, and before you say anything, that’s actually true. Science.” He started to touch her but stopped. “What the fuck?”

“What?” Her eyes widened, half expecting something to come winging at them.

“There’s something on the floor.” He bent over, reaching inside the car. He picked something up off the floor. It looked like a white rock. A rather small rock, one Nikki couldn’t fathom being responsible for breaking the glass. “The hell? It’s a piece of ceramic.”

Lucian let out a low whistle as he stared at the passenger side window of Gabe’s car. “Damn. Took out the entire window?”

“Yep. One tiny thing did that.”

Gabe was doing his best to keep his anger under wraps at the moment. Between the broken window and the fact Nic could’ve been hurt because of some dumbass person out there.

“Is that normal for this type of car?” Julia asked, frowning from where she stood next to Lucian. “I mean, I would think with a Porsche, they’d have better windows.”

“They have tempered glass, but it’s not infallible.” Irritated, Gabe tossed the keys onto the bench at the back of the garage. “It’ll be fixed by tomorrow. I’m just glad Nic wasn’t hurt.”

“Me too,” commented Lucian. “Shocked that she wasn’t.”

It really was a damn miracle. If she hadn’t been wearing her sunglasses, there was a good chance that those tiny pieces of glass would’ve gotten in her eyes. Shit. That wouldn’t be good.

“Kids really need better hobbies,” Julia remarked, shaking her head.

The police thought it was a kid or a group of them being little punks and while the neighborhood Nic’s parents lived in was quiet, there were kids on their street. Wasn’t out of the realm of logic that they saw a nice car and decided to be little shits about it, but Gabe just wasn’t sure.

“You’re thinking something.” Lucian was looking at him.

“Yeah.” He reached behind his head and tugged out the small leather band and then gathered his hair, securing it once more. He really needed to get this shit cut. “I don’t know. Just seems off that a kid would do that, aiming it right at the passenger window.”

“Maybe they were aiming at the windshield and missed,” Julia suggested.

That was possible, too, but it didn’t ease the agitation.

“You think someone threw the rock at that window on purpose, aiming for Nikki?” Lucian asked.

That also sounded ridiculous, because who the hell would want to possibly hurt Nic? Gabe didn’t say anything as he folded his arms.

“What were you doing at Nikki’s house anyway?” Lucian asked.

He arched a brow as he looked at his brother.

“What?” Lucian grinned. “Did you really think I wasn’t going to ask about that?”

“Lucian.” Julia elbowed him. “Don’t be nosy.”

“I cannot help but be nosy. It’s my second middle name.”

Julia pinned a look on him, but Lucian’s grin grew about five sizes bigger in response. “You haven’t met Nikki yet, but let me tell you—” He stopped, turning.

The sound of an approaching car silenced Lucian, thank fuck. Gabe spied Troy’s tinted-out, police department SUV rolling to a stop by the other end of the garage. Unfolding his arms, he walked over to where Troy was climbing out.

“Hey,” he called out as Troy came around the back of the SUV. “Get to see you twice in twenty-four hours. Feeling lucky.”

Troy snorted as he gave Lucian a chin nod and a smile for Julia. “Yeah, well, you should feel loved, because I’m off today.”

“You didn’t have to come out over a broken window,” Gabe pointed out, knowing damn well detectives didn’t handle that kind of nonsense.

“True, but I was in the area, and Officer Newman—the one who took your call—let me know what went down since he knew we were friends. He showed me what went through your window, and I figured I needed to have a one-on-one with you.”

“Over a busted window?” Lucian curled an arm around Julia’s waist as he spoke. “And some kids?”

“Well, it’s not like someone threw just a rock.” Walking to the passenger door of his SUV, he opened it and pulled out a small clear bag. Inside was what Gabe had found on the driver’s floor. “Do you know what this is?”

Gabe frowned. “Yeah, a piece of ceramic.”

“Not just any piece of ceramic. It’s part of a spark plug,” he explained, turning the bag over, and Gabe now recognized the coiled part of the plug. “They call these things ninja rocks.”

“Seriously?” Julia’s brows lifted.

Troy nodded. “Yep. You throw one of these things at a moderate speed and it’s going to shatter just about any window.”

“Damn,” Lucian muttered.

“That’s why it took out your entire window like that.” Troy lowered the bag. “And here’s the thing. Most kids don’t know about ninja rocks. That’s a good thing.”

“But then that means it might not have been a kid?” The agitation grew in Gabe.

“Just means that it was someone who knew what to use, and that’s why I figured you’d need to know that.” Troy met his gaze. “So, you could possibly start thinking about anyone who’d like to damage your property before it escalates. You feel me?”

“Yeah.” A muscle ticked along Gabe’s jaw. “I feel you.”

“Is everything okay with you and Gabriel?” her mother had asked that night at supper. “I cannot believe it happened,” she said, shaking her head. “You two could’ve been seriously injured. What if that piece of whatever it was hit you?”

“It didn’t,” Nikki reassured her. “I’m fine. Gabe is fine. It was just some bizarre incident.”

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