“Yes, I am,” he said, dropping his hands to her bare legs where the blanket bunched and running his hands up her smooth legs, forcing the blanket up even higher until he came in contact with her cotton panties.

She ended the kiss with a sigh as she sat back on his thighs, putting some space between them, which was probably for the best given the situation. “We should get going.”

“Yes, we should,” he said, sighing heavily because he knew that she was right.

They should be moving their asses, finding a car and getting as far away from here as possible, but the problem was, he had no idea where they should go. For the first time in his life he had the freedom to go and do whatever he wanted, but all he wanted to do was to find someplace to keep Cloe safe and he had no clue where that was.

“Do you think they’ve gotten loose yet?” she asked quietly, dropping her arms from his shoulders so that she could toy with his shirt.

He focused on the forest around them, listening for any signs that they were being hunted, but after a minute he shook his head and murmured, “No.”

“They’re probably going to be pissed when they get free,” she said, all of her attention zeroed in on her fingers as they toyed with the hem of the tee shirt that someone had dressed him in when he’d been knocked out.

“Probably,” he agreed, thinking about everything that they’d told him and now that they’d escaped, a sense of unease settled over him, making him wonder if he’d f**ked up by taking Cloe away.

“Do you think it’s true?”

“What’s true?” he asked, reaching up and pushing a strand of her tangled hair behind her ear.

“About what they said about a shifter marking me,” she said, swallowing nervously as she shifted her gaze up to meet his.

He bit back a sigh as he reluctantly nodded and moved his hands to her shoulders, moving them down her back as far as the blanket would allow, needing to offer her some comfort for the pain she’d gone through. He didn’t think they were lying. He wasn’t foolish enough to think that their group was above bullshitting them to get what they wanted, but because of what Seth had explained to him. Seth, shit! He hadn’t thought of the vampire since this whole thing started. He owed it to the vampire after all these years of helping him keep his sanity to make sure that he was okay.

Just as soon as they were settled, he would……..

“What the hell?” he muttered as his hands moved over smooth skin. Heart pounding in his chest, he leaned forward, jerked the blanket away from her and turned her just enough so that he could get a good look at her back. What he saw there had him swallowing back a curse as he traced her back with trembling fingers.

“What?” Cloe asked, shifting anxiously on his lap. “What the hell is going on?”

“Your back,” he choked out.

“What about it?”

“The scars…..,” he said, shaking his head in an attempt to make sense of what he was seeing. “They’re gone.”

“Gone?” she asked, her tone disbelieving as she reached back and ran her fingers over her back, looking for scars that were no longer there.

“Oh, my God,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion. “How did they do that?” she asked, wrapping her arms around her bare br**sts as she sat back down on his thighs, but she wouldn’t look at him, probably afraid that he’d see her eyes tearing up.

When he hesitated, she looked up at him through watery eyes. “How?” she demanded through clenched teeth.

“They had to burn them off,” he said, forcing himself to look at her when all he wanted to do was to drive his fist through something at the idea of someone hurting her, no matter the reason.

She stilled even as her beautiful grey eyes shifted to a glimmering red, her fangs dropped and her eyes narrowed on him. “That bastard set me on fire?”

Shit, he thought, trying not to wince when he realized that she’d still been passed out when Kale made that revelation. “It was the only way to remove the mark,” he said, praying like hell that was true otherwise the woman leaning forward as she released one of the sexiest growls that he’d ever heard was going to rip his balls off.

“Then why are we running?” she demanded, eyeing him suspiciously.

“Because,” he said, sighing as he leaned forward so that he could brush his lips quickly over hers in a way of apology for not taking better care of her, before he sat back, “there are other ways of finding you.”

She scrunched up her face adorably in thought as she thought it over before she slumped in defeat with a pout. “My identification and bank cards,” she said with a slight whine that he would find annoying in any other woman, but when she did it he couldn’t help but smile.

“Yes,” he said, nodding in agreement as he reached over and entwined their hands together. “If they’re looking for you now, there’s a good chance that they’re watching your bank activities,” he explained, wondering if whoever was looking for her had tracked her to his house.

“Do you think they know that we’re together?” she asked quietly, sounding worried.

He shook his head as he leaned in for another kiss. “It doesn’t matter.”

“And why doesn’t it matter?” she asked, sounding a little distracted as she wrapped her arms around him and followed him as he leaned back, nibbling on his bottom lip as though she couldn’t quite help herself.

“Because,” he said, releasing her hands so that he could wrap his arms around her, “I’m not going anywhere.”

He moved to deepen the kiss only to find Cloe pushing away from him and once again sitting back on his thighs, averting her gaze. “Don’t make promises that you can’t keep.”

“I’m not going anywhere, Cloe,” he said firmly, in no mood to argue with this woman over something that should be painfully obvious by now.

“You don’t know that, Christofer,” she said, looking up to meet his gaze. “Things happen, people change.”

“That’s true, Cloe,” he agreed as he looked into her beautiful grey eyes that were so full of pain that his heart actually ached for her. “But, nothing’s going to change the way that I feel about you.”

She shook her head. “You don’t know that, Christofer. It might not happen in a day or even a week, but at some point you’re going to get bored, or get sick of me and you’re going to move on,” she explained before adding with a shrug, “It happens.”

He wasn’t going anywhere, ever, but in that moment he realized something very important. Words didn’t mean shit to Cloe. A lot of people probably made her promises, promises that they’d probably had every intention of keeping, but hadn’t. Cloe obviously learned that a person’s actions meant more than their words, so instead of arguing with her or making her promises that would only push her away, he was going to show her. He would show her how much he loved her, how much he cared about her and wanted her so that she would never have reason to doubt him again.

He would show her just how much he loved her.

“Then let’s just focus on today,” he said as he cupped her beautiful dirt smudged face in one hand, his thumb gently caressing her cheek.