Plus, she was with my baby sister – my baby sister with the concealed carry permit, I should add. Kennedy was a Veterinarian, and the clinic she"d worked out back in the city was in a pretty rough and dangerous neighborhood. So, she"d started carrying for those nights she had to lock up alone. Oh, Brooke was safe with her, alright.
Darrel had never been what you might call a "nice" man, but he"d at least been normal, once. Back then, I was young, I was impressionable, and I went off and married the first man who"d said the L word.
"You know, like a complete sucker.
Hitting me had been one thing. But when he"d started threatening to smack Brooke around, I"d had enough. He"d finally signed the divorce papers six months ago, but if anything, he"d just gotten worse since then. Driving past the house late at night, or flat out just letting himself in. And the guy was a cop, which made him untouchable.
I"d had enough. And finally, we were going to get the hell out of that place and away from him for good. Where that was exactly was another question. But one thing at a time.
Thunder boomed, and I gasped, my pulse jumping as I tried to peer through the driving rain. Lightning shattered the sky again, and I swallowed, tightening my grip on the wheel as I yanked it back and forth, navigating the tiny, winding mountain road.
Just get to Brooke. Get to"
Lightning crashed again, and this time, I screamed.
The deer was twenty feet from me when it appeared, and the scream shattered through me as I yanked the wheel, hard. There was the sound of screeching tires on the road, and it was almost like everything was slow motion as I watched the deer bolt, jumping away before the car could hit it.
And that"s when the whole world went upside down.
Primal fear exploded through me as the car twisted, the whole thing flipping over on its axis as it swung wildly. There was the sound of tearing metal and shattering glass as I went crashing through the guardrail, and I know the car flipped once more before suddenly, I hit something hard, and everything went still.
Blackness faded in and out of my vision, my eyes blurring at the edges. There was this dull ringing sound in my ears, and I blinked as something wet " maybe rain, maybe blood " trickled down the side of my face.
My eyes drooped, but I forced them open, forcing myself to stay awake.
Don"t sleep. You can"t sleep right now.
Sleep meant fading out, and fading out meant maybe not getting back up, and I knew that.
Brooke needs me. Brooke needs me to stay awake. Brooke needs her mom.
My vision swam again, and I started to droop again when suddenly, the window next to me shattered.
I wanted to yank my head to the side and scream, but no sound came to my lips, and even moving was slow. But suddenly, hands were reaching through the shattered window " big, strong looking hands. Hands covered in tattoos. The hands yanked at the door handle, opening it and then wrenching the door open with this hideous metallic screech.
I turned then, and when I looked up, my heart jumped into my throat.
Holy shit, he"s got beautiful eyes.
Blue like diamonds " fierce and powerful, and blazing into mine. He reached back, yanking something out of his belt, and this time, my breath caught in a half-scream.
My whole body flinched as he jabbed it towards, me, but when the blade slit through the seatbelt, I blinked in shock. He shoved the knife away again, and this time, those big hands slid under me. This time, huge, muscled arms rippled as he yanked me out of the car and cradled me into his hard, chiseled body.
"I gotcha, angel."
The voice was deep and growly " both booming and quiet at the same time. And warm. God, his voice was like a blanket, and just as soothing as those huge arms of his pulled me close.
God he"s handsome.
"I got you now, girl," he growled fiercely, storming back up the embankment I"d crashed down and back up onto the rain-slicked road. Muscles rippled against me, and I glanced down to see that those arms were covered in tattoos.
I turned my head again, still half out of it. And this time, my eyes focused on his face.
"Can you ride""
I blinked up through the rain at this rough, dangerous-looking, gorgeous man, and I felt something flutter inside of me.
Uh, yes please"
My face flushed furiously at the filthy thought, and I swear, even given the circumstance, I could see a flicker of him knowing what I was thinking in those eyes of his. He nodded with his perfect chin, and I turned, blushing again as I saw the motorcycle sitting next to the hole my car had punched in the guardrail.