“I see,” Christofer murmured absently as he studied the bag in his hands, wondering if it would be best to move Cloe up to Canada for a while until this blew over.
“No, you really don’t,” Kale explained coldly. “With or without that mark, the shifter that claimed her will find her. He will move heaven and hell to get to her and now that every f**king shifter, demon and vampire knows that a marked bitch was stolen, they’ll be after her as well.”
“Then I guess I should make sure that they don’t find us,” he said, having had more than enough of this bullshit.
“Are you,” Cloe cleared her throat awkwardly as she struggled to free her hands from the blankets that he’d cocooned her in, “going to put me down anytime soon?” she asked, wrapping her arms around his shoulders with the hopes that it would help stop the jostling motion that was wreaking havoc on her stomach.
“No,” Christofer said, not even bothering to spare her a glance as he jumped onto a boulder, causing her to suck in a surprised breath at the motion only to expel it with a stomach turning grunt a second later when he jumped down and continued running through the woods at a neck breaking speed.
“I’m perfectly capable of running,” she pointed out, not mentioning that she could probably handle running a half mile before she was forced to take a break or pass out.
“No,” he said firmly, forcing her to bite her tongue before she said something that she would regret later.
And right now she had plenty that she wanted to say and do, but she knew that if she opened her mouth right now that she would definitely regret it later. Maybe not in a day, a week, or month, or probably even in a year, but someday she would feel really bad about kicking the shit out of his balls.
“Can we take a break?” she asked, needing a moment to pull herself together so that she could digest what she’d learned.
“No,” he said, not even sparing her a glance as he continued to run at full speed through the densely wooded forest, leaving her to cringe into herself and pull her legs in closer to her body out of fear that they would be snapped off at any second.
“Just for a minute,” she suggested tightly between clenched teeth as her vision went red, from the breakneck speed or the fact that she’d just learned that the monster that had killed her family and attacked her, leaving her for dead, had marked her as his bitch.
Just the thought of that monster out there believing that he owned her made her sick to her stomach. It felt like she was relieving the horror of waking up in the hospital bed days later all over again when the social workers and doctors unloaded everything on her all at once. It was too much to take in and she just…..she just…
“Please put me down, Christofer,” she said softly, her head spinning right along with her stomach.
“No,” he said, somehow managing to pick up speed as he cut through a thick copse of trees.
She closed her eyes and exhaled slowly, so close to losing it, but fighting it every inch of the way with everything that she had. She’d cried enough tears because of the monster that had destroyed her life and she refused to shed one more tear because of him. She needed a minute, just one goddamn minute to pull herself together.
“Please,” she said, putting everything that she had into that one word.
“I need to get you somewhere safe,” he said harshly, but he did slow down.
“And how exactly are you planning on keeping me safe?” she asked, feeling hopeless and once again wishing that she could take her medication just so that she could stop feeling this terror and absolute dread that was slowly taking over and leaving her feeling helpless, a feeling that she hated almost as much as the knowledge that she was about to relive the worst nightmare of her life.
She was apparently being hunted down by all the monsters that humans liked to pretend were made up by some Hollywood suit looking to make a buck and she had no idea how to stop them. She didn’t know anything about this world except for the things that she’d picked up in horror movies over the years. How exactly was she supposed to fight off demons, shifters and vampires all hellbent on getting their hands on her?
It wasn’t possible.
They were going to find her and do whatever they had to in order to kidnap her and then….
Then they would hand her over to the bastard that had killed her family. The part of her that had prayed for vengeance over the years and wished that a hundred different things had gone differently that day should be ecstatic that she was finally going to get the chance to pay the bastard back for everything that he’d done to her and her family, but instead she was terrified.
She was afraid of seeing that monster again, of hearing the growls, howls, grunts and the sound of her own flesh being torn apart. She was terrified of experiencing a single second of that kind of pain and terror again, but what scared her most of all, she realized, was being forced to listen as someone else that she cared about was torn apart while she was forced to watch.
She was terrified that they would hurt Christofer.
“Just put me down, Christofer,” she whispered, and this time, he listened.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, sounding concerned as he reluctantly, and carefully, placed her down on her bare feet.
“I’m not going anywhere with you,” she said, shaking her head as if the move would give her strength as she stepped away from him.
Christofer sighed heavily as he reached for her, but she refused to let him touch her, because she knew that it would break her. She needed to do this not only for him, but for herself, because there was no doubt in her mind that watching those monsters hurt him would completely destroy her. She would rather go through that hell by herself for eternity than to see them harm one hair on his head, because….
Because she’d done the one thing that she’d promised herself that she would never do, she realized as she struggled to take her next breath.
She’d fallen in love with the bastard.
“We need to get going,” he said, fighting for patience that he didn’t have as he looked up and noted that the sun was setting.
They needed to move their asses and put as much space between them and the pissed off group that he’d left chained up as they could before morning. Sooner or later that ragtag group was going to get loose and when they did, they were going to call for reinforcement and weapons. He’d already taken them by surprise once and he doubted that he’d get a second chance.
This time when they came after them, he doubted they’d bother wasting their breath trying to convince them to agree to their bullshit plan. They’d probably just shoot them, chain them up and drag them off somewhere where they wouldn’t have a chance in hell of escaping. He couldn’t let that happen.
They had enough shit on their plates at the moment without having to worry about this group hellbent on “helping” them. He needed to get Cloe somewhere safe and fast. He needed to-
“Get out of here, Christofer,” Cloe said, folding her arms over the blanket wrapped around her chest as she backed away from him and turned her back on him.
“That’s what I’m trying to do,” he pointed out as he reached for her only to have her dart out of his reach and leave him standing there, flexing his hands with the urge to grab her and spank her beautiful ass.