Her throat tightened as morbid thoughts assailed her. If she lost him—
“He’s going to be fine.” Ana’s soft voice cut through the haze of her mind.
Jerking to look at the other woman, she frowned. “Are you a mind reader?”
She shook her head. “I don’t have to be. Your brother is in surgery. You heard what the doctor said. If he made it through in the first half hour, he’s going to come through this fine.”
Not trusting her voice, she nodded. Her mind knew that, but in her heart she was still terrified.
“December?” She looked up at the sound of Kat’s voice and stood. A tall man with jet-black hair who looked vaguely familiar hung back a few feet, as if he’d followed her friend.
Some of the aching in December’s chest loosened at the sight of her friend. For a brief moment she thought about asking who the man was, but he said something to Ana as he took a seat next to the brunette and December realized he was a shifter. Probably shadowing Kat. Not that any of that mattered right now. “What are you doing here?”
“Everyone in town heard about what happened. I knew you’d be here, so I hurried right over.” Panic laced Kat’s voice.
Having her friend here helped more than Kat probably realized. “I’m so glad you’re here.” Immediately she threw her arms around Kat’s neck, needing her friend’s support. Ana had been perfectly nice and a calming influence, but December didn’t know her well enough to let her guard down around her.
Kat tightly returned her hug. “Have you heard any news?”
She nodded stiffly as she stepped back. “He should be out of surgery soon, but I don’t know if he’ll even want to see me.” As the words escaped, she realized it was true. After that last conversation she was terrified bone deep that he wouldn’t want anything to do with her.
Kat brushed her words away with a wave of her hand. “Don’t be stupid. For all his stubbornness, your brother loves you.” She grabbed the cup from her hand and sniffed. “This is cold and gross. You want a refill?”
Nodding, she glanced at Ana, who still sat in the plastic chair. “You want some coffee or tea?”
Ana shook her head. “I’ll stick around in case the doctor comes back.” Then she nodded at the man sitting next to her.
It was a slight movement but December noticed it. On cue, the man stood, as if he was going to follow them. Her entire body tensed, but she kept her mouth shut. Arguing with this stranger was pointless and she didn’t have the energy.
But Kat did. “Sit. You’ve been shadowing me all day and we need some privacy right now. I swear, if you follow us, I’ll scream and call security on you.” From her almost haughty tone, December wasn’t sure if her friend was bluffing or not.
Ana placed a light hand on the tall shifter’s arm. He hadn’t said a word, but it was obvious he was fighting a battle. When Ana squeezed and murmured something, he slowly lowered himself back into the seat. Ana focused on both of them. “Just…don’t go anywhere else, okay?” Even though it was phrased as a question, it almost sounded like an order.
December nodded. She understood the other woman’s concern and there was no way in hell she’d be going anywhere right now anyway. Not unless someone held a gun to her head. Probably not even then.
After getting more coffee from the only food station open so late in the hospital, they headed back to the waiting room.
“So where’s Liam?” Kat asked after taking a long sip of her latte.
“I told him not to come. I…” She shrugged as she trailed off.
“No, I get it. He and Parker are like oil and water.”
If only that were the case. The two men were so much alike, but they couldn’t see it. And despite her recent argument with Parker, she knew how much he cared for her. “Not really. They’re so much alike. Parker’s just—”
Kat’s dark eyebrows rose. “Got issues?”
December snorted. “Don’t we all?”
As they headed back down the maze of hallways, their boots squeaked along the linoleum floors.
When they passed the emergency room doors, Kat stopped and patted her jacket pocket. “Crap. I forgot my phone in the car. I need it in case…” She trailed off as her cheeks reddened. “Never mind.”
In case Jayce called. Even if her friend didn’t answer the phone and even if she’d never admit it out loud, December guessed she liked that he’d been calling her so much lately. “Go get it.”
Kat shook her head. “No. It’s fine. I’m being stupid.”
December glanced around. A security guard sat behind the information desk and a couple nurses stood by the check-in area. Even though it was late, doctors and other staff milled around. She turned back to her friend. There were a ton of people around, but she’d promised Ana she wouldn’t go anywhere. Not to mention Liam would freak.
Her indecision must have shown on her face because Kat half smiled. “Just wait here and I’ll go grab it. I got a spot right in the main parking lot, so it’ll only take me a minute. You can see my car from the door.”
“I’ll go with you.”
Kat shook her head. “Uh-uh. I’m not getting you in trouble with Ana or Liam.”
“Fine. I’ll wait by the doors.” December walked with her to the exit doors and waited for the security guy to buzz them out.
She stood next to the doors and peered through the glass pane. An ambulance with flashing red lights tore into the parking lot. The siren was silent and as soon as they pulled to a stop, the EMTs jumped out and began removing a stretcher with practiced precision.
December stared at the scene and swallowed hard. That had been Parker a few hours ago. Wiping away a few hot tears that sprang up, she averted her gaze and glanced back at Kat as she strode up from the parking lot. Her hand was clutched around something, no doubt her phone, as she jogged toward the ER entrance.
The doors swung open as the EMTs rolled in the stretcher, so December stood back. As she did, she noticed a white van with tinted windows roll up behind the ambulance. She froze for a split second as a man in a ski mask jumped out.
Her heart seized as she realized what was happening. As if in slow motion, she watched the man withdraw something. He aimed it at Kat’s back.
December screamed so loud it hurt her own ears. She could feel people staring at her, but she pointed as she screamed. Kat turned around, then started to run, but he jolted her with a Taser. December started for her when the security guard grabbed her arm.
She struggled against him, trying to tear her arm out of his grip. When he wouldn’t let her go, she pointed. “They’re taking my friend!”
He followed her gaze and immediately jumped into action. “Shit.” He withdrew his gun and sprinted toward the already moving van. December followed not far behind. Her leg muscles strained as she tried to will herself to move faster. It seemed longer but everything had happened in the span of seconds.
She was too far away to reach Kat. In horror, she watched as the man threw Kat’s limp body into the open side door and jumped in after her. She kept running after the vehicle until the security guy grabbed her around the waist and yanked her to a stop.
“I’ve called in backup and I got the license plate number. We’re going to get your friend back.” He continued talking into his radio, but she tuned him out and pulled her cell out of her jacket pocket.
“Please answer,” she murmured as she dialed Liam’s number.
He picked up on the first ring. “December.”
“They took Kat,” she croaked.
“At the hospital. She just went to get her cell from her car. A white van pulled up. They Tased her or something. I tried to get to her, but they were too fast.” Her breaths were coming out shallow and disjointed as she struggled to get the words out. “I—”
“Where are you right now?”
“By the ER entrance. I—”
He cursed low, then said, “I’ll be there in sixty seconds. Stay put and stay inside.”
He disconnected before she could respond. She wasn’t sure how he could get there so fast, but she didn’t much care. All that was important was finding her friend.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Liam muttered loud enough for everyone around them to hear.
“Cool it.” Connor pointed toward the next hallway. “Left here.”
But Liam couldn’t. He should have trusted his gut. He shouldn’t have let December out of his sight. They’d followed Ana and December, but it had taken a while to find parking. Finally they’d gotten a spot on the top floor of the garage.
As they rounded the last corner, he spotted December talking to a security guard and two police officers. When she saw him, she darted away from the men and rushed toward him and Connor.
“The cops have the license plate number, but they’re so slow,” she growled out under her breath. “It was a white van. The man who grabbed her had on a mask, but there’s obviously a second person because someone had to be driving.”
“Where’d they take her from?” Connor asked.
“Right outside the ER.” She pointed over her shoulder. Her blue eyes were wide and frightened.
“Show us exactly where.” Liam knew what his brother intended to do.
December gave a quick excuse to the police officer—obviously someone she knew—and darted outside with them. She kept going until they were near the edge of the stone overhang that covered the ER entrance. “Right here. They briefly parked behind an ambulance.”
Liam deeply inhaled and knew his brother was doing the same. They hadn’t left long ago, so chances were their scents were the strongest. Kat’s scent intertwined with someone else’s. A male. He looked at his brother. “You got it?”
Grim faced, Connor nodded. “Let’s go.”
***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com