Shutting it off, he stood and hurried down the stairs. Greg had stopped by to talk to him about some difficulty in getting Katarina Saburova’s work schedule. Though he hadn’t wanted to see him tonight, now he was pleased for his presence.

He found Joseph and Greg downstairs in the living room talking quietly. Brianna wasn’t there, but he smelled something like spaghetti coming from the kitchen. Annoyed, he held his anger in check. The woman could bake, but she only knew how to make three meals and they all had red sauce. How hard was it to look up a recipe? He was giving her a place to live after all. Lately she was starting to grate on his nerves. He wasn’t sure what it was, but it was like a fog being lifted from his eyes.

“Hey, Edward.” Greg actually stood, but Joseph just stayed where he was lounging against the couch.

“I need you two to get to Fontana Hospital. Park near the ER and be on the lookout for either the Saburova woman or the sheriff’s sister.”

Joseph raised a mocking eyebrow. “How do you know they’ll be there?”

“Sheriff McIntyre has been shot, so I guarantee his sister will be there. If you see any opportunity, take it. If any of those animals are there, don’t do anything stupid, though. All I ask is that you look for an opening. If there isn’t one, don’t force it. Just leave.” Without waiting for a response, he hurried toward the closet in the hallway that led to the front door.

Edward pulled out a bag he’d packed a while ago. Rope, flex-cuffs, a hood, and a Taser. A small but effective kidnapping kit. As he turned, he found them both waiting. Ignoring Joseph, he handed the bag to Greg. “Don’t fuck this up. And hurry.”

As he shut the door, he heard Brianna coming toward him. When he turned to face her, his anger rose sharp and fast. She had that disapproving look on her face he was coming to hate.

It was too much like his mother.

He’d thought she was perfect, but lately everything she did had him clenching his fists and straining not to hit her. He wasn’t sure what it was, but it was almost like she’d cast some sort of spell on him and it was wearing off. The very idea was bullshit, but he felt clearheaded for the first time in a while.

“Is that really smart? Sending them out there? What if they get caught? If the sheriff was shot, then it stands to reason the place will be crawling with cops.” Her eyebrows were raised condescendingly.

Unable to restrain himself, he grabbed her by the shoulder and slammed her against the wall. She flinched and cried out, but he shoved a hand over her mouth. Whatever she had to say she could keep to herself.

“All the cops will be in the waiting room. And not that I need to explain myself, but if they sense any heat, those two idiots will leave. Don’t question me again,” he growled.

With wide eyes she nodded, so he let her go. Gasping for breath, she scurried away from him. For the first time in a while he felt in control of himself. Smiling, he clenched and unclenched his fists. Maybe tonight they’d get lucky after all.

Liam helped December take off her jacket, then hooked it on the coatrack by the door. She’d been quiet all through dinner. He knew it had something to do with the phone call she’d gotten from her brother and even though he’d wanted to eavesdrop, he’d gone downstairs and given her privacy. It went against all his instincts, but damn if he’d start their relationship that way. He might not know shit about women and relationships, but trust was a human condition.

When she was turned on, he knew what to do. Hell, when she was angry, he still knew how to act around her. This quietness was different. He didn’t like it. “You want a glass of wine or something?”

She shook her head and slightly swayed on her feet. “I think I had too much at dinner. I really just want to go to bed.”

Alone? He didn’t ask but he thought it. As if she read his thoughts, she shook her head. “You better be joining me.”

It was a subtle trickle, but the lust she emanated wrapped around him like a soft, warm embrace. Not wanting to waste time, he scooped her into his arms and headed up the stairs. She let out a tiny yelp, but as he moved, she began working her sweater off. The move surprised him.

He couldn’t help but stare at the purple bra she revealed. It was lacy, feminine, and incredibly hot. Her pink nipples were visible through the sheer material. “Did you wear that for me?”

She smiled seductively and nodded. “I’m wearing a matching thong too.”

His cock jerked at the mental image. So far she’d worn utilitarian stuff. Not that he cared. He didn’t understand why she bothered with any undergarments anyway. But this…was damn sexy.

As they reached the bed, he covered one of her breasts with his hand as he kissed her. He wanted to see what she had on underneath her jeans, but he wanted inside her more.

Her fingers tunneled through his hair, pulling him close. They fell onto the bed, shoes and all. Liam started to push the lace cup down when the familiar sound of her ringtone filled the air. She stiffened. He lifted his head back and stared down at her. Her breathing was erratic and her heart pounded out of control, but he could see the indecision in her eyes. She wanted to finish what they’d started, but she also wanted to answer her phone.

Groaning, he pushed off her and found her purse on the ground.

“I’m really sorry—”

He shook his head. “You don’t need to apologize.”

A few seconds after she answered, her face had turned ghostly pale. She asked short questions and grunted responses until finally she hung up the phone.

“Is everything okay?” He wanted to reach out for her, but it was like she’d erected an invisible wall between them. Shutting him out. It drove him crazy.

She shook her head and blindly stared at him. Her normally bright eyes were dull. “My brother’s been shot. He’s in the hospital….” She slid off the bed and tugged her sweater on. “I have to go.”

Shit. “I’ll drive you.”

“No. I need to do this by myself.”


“This isn’t a personal affront. I don’t have any details and you’re the last person he’ll want to see.”

Ouch. He understood but it still hurt. “Fine, I get it, but you’re not driving alone. You’ve had too much to drink and there are still people out there who want to hurt you.” When she started to argue again, he held up a hand. He considered telling her Connor would take her, but knew that would earn him another argument. “Ana will drive you.”

For a moment it appeared as if she might argue, but she nodded. “Okay.”

Liam mentally projected to his brother what was going on and that he needed help taking December to the hospital. He was going to head over there after her, though he wouldn’t tell her that. She’d only protest and he didn’t want her wasting the energy.

She was silent as they left the house and trekked across the ranch toward the main house. Connor and Ana stood on the porch. His dark-haired sister-in-law had dealt with so much death recently, he knew she’d understand more than most what December was going through. Not that December’s brother had died or would die, but Ana was strong and for that he was grateful.

Liam had his arm slung over December’s shoulders as they approached. Before she joined Ana, he pulled her into his arms and kissed the top of her head. Every instinct inside him wanted to take over the situation and just drive her there, but he couldn’t put that divide between them. If he tried to steamroller her, he’d just push her further away.

She swallowed hard and looked up at him. “I’ll call you, okay?”

Clenching his jaw, he nodded. Seeing tears shine in her eyes was too much. He could handle a lot of shit, but seeing her like this and knowing he couldn’t do a damn thing was torture.

Immediately Ana linked her arm through December’s. It was out of character for her to be so open with a human, and Liam was grateful she was being so kind to December. “Come on. We’ll take my truck.”

“Thanks for going with me,” December murmured, and let Ana guide her.

Once they were out of earshot, Connor looked at him questioningly. “You want to drive?”

It was rare for his older brother to let him drive, but Liam knew what he was doing. Trying to give him some sort of control in a situation where he had absolutely none. He shook his head. “No, I’ll probably crash.”

“All right. We wait sixty seconds, then follow.” It was a statement, not a question.

Even though the thought of letting December out of his sight for even seconds tore through him like shards of glass, he knew Ana would telepathically communicate with Connor if anything was wrong. Not to mention Ana was pretty tough herself.

Sighing, he fell in line with Connor and headed to his parked Bronco. He hoped December’s brother was okay and he really hoped his getting hurt had nothing to do with shifters. Knowing what he did now about December’s past, he couldn’t bear the thought of her losing another family member.

December sipped a crappy cup of coffee as she sat in the waiting room with Ana. They hadn’t been there long and the doctors had assured her that Parker was going to be fine. The bullet had missed any major arteries, but he was in surgery.


Anything could go wrong. And after the last conversation she’d had with him, she couldn’t help but worry the universe was seriously messing with her. If he died after the things she’d said to him, she’d never forgive herself. The thought of life without Parker was unimaginable. He might be overbearing, but from the time she was eight, he’d taken over the parenting role for both her and Brandon.

When their parents had died, they’d gone to live with an uncle, and while he hadn’t been physically abusive, he’d simply been nonexistent in their lives. He’d been the town drunk and always on a bender. At least he hadn’t been violent. Just a jackass unfit to care for three kids. Or himself really. He’d certainly taken advantage of their inheritance, though. Barely eleven, Parker had stepped up and taken on a role no one so young should ever have to worry about.


***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com