Claiming Their Mate(4)

By: Vella Day

Tremors snaked through her. “H-how did you know? How did you get here?” she managed to ask. A ton of other questions tumbled around in her brain, but she couldn’t get the rest out of her mouth.

His lips froze for a second as if he was figuring out what she meant. “Kurt’s brother, Jeffrey, called us from the house and said he heard an intruder. A gunshot sounded. I’m afraid Kurt and I arrived too late to save him.” He carried her toward the front of the house.

She clamped a hand over her mouth then lowered it. “I saw Jeffrey.” Her stomach churned. “I didn’t see a gunshot wound.”

“The bullet went through his heart.”

That explained it. Jeffrey was face down. “I can’t imagine how horrifying that must have been. ” At the party, Kurt had spoken of Jeffrey with awe and respect. Now his brother was dead. As nice as it was to be in Drake’s arms, the jostling caused more discomfort. “I can walk. Really.”

“You sure?”

“Yes, just hold me up.”

He set her down and waited until she was stable before he released her. She needed something to focus on besides her near death experience. “Where’s Kurt?”

“Still inside. As you can imagine, he’s really shook up.”

As anyone would be. “The poor man.” Her heart ached for him.

“Come on. We need to get out of here in case that guy comes back.”

Her stomach tumbled at the thought, and a sharp pain stabbed her abdomen. She wrapped an arm around her belly. “Do you think he would?” A piercing ache speared her eye.

“Let’s discuss this someplace else.”

She’d go with him, especially if it meant she could crawl into her bed sooner.

He opened his car door for her. She looked back at the house. “What about Kurt?”

As if he heard her, Kurt marched from the house. Drake stiffened beside her. Kurt’s body was so rigid, she wasn’t sure he was even breathing. His disheveled brown hair, stood at odd angles as if he’d been tearing at it, and his tight blue shirt was stained with blood. Jeffrey’s blood.

When he spotted her, he trotted over and ran his concerned gaze the length of her body. Between wearing Drake’s shirt and the blood drenching her hand, she must look a total mess. Not to mention how red her throbbing face must appear. She palmed her ripped panties in one hand.

“What happened?” He glanced from her to his partner. “Was she...?”

She hiccupped. “No, thank God.” She couldn’t talk about what happened and shook her head. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

He nodded.

“Mendez shot her,” Drake said.

He knew the man?

Kurt placed a hand on Drake’s shoulder. “Take her to Deland. I’ll meet you at his office as soon as we put Jeffrey to rest.”

From the jostling, her arm began to bleed again, and she held her palm over the hole. “Don’t you have to wait for the coroner to arrive before moving the body?” Or, had she watched too many crime shows on television?

He shook his head. “We take care of our own.” He turned to Drake. “I’ve called Trax, Clay, and Dirk. Once they make sure everything is good, I’ll meet you.” He picked up the heels she’d dropped when she ran and handed them to her.

Drake wrapped an arm around her waist and squeezed his fingers. “We really need to go.”

“Aren’t you going to go after that creep? He couldn’t have gone more than a few miles.”

“We’ll get him. Don’t worry. Come on.”

Drake led her to his car and helped her in. She tossed her shoes at her feet. So she wouldn’t mess up her savior’s seats, she looked around for something to sop up her blood besides her torn panties.

Drake slipped in on the driver’s side. From behind the seat he pulled out a blue-striped towel. “Use this if you want.”

A small smile tugged on her lips. “Thanks.” She wiped off as much blood as she could, careful not to let it splatter. He pulled into the road, and as he left the neighborhood, she looked in the rearview mirror, not convinced the killer would give up so easily.

She glanced over at Drake. If he shot at the man, he must have known he was evil. “You said his name is Mendez. I’m guessing you know him?”

“I’ll answer your questions later.”

“Fine.” She probably wasn’t ready to learn the truth right now anyway. It was hard enough to deal with what had occurred. She drew in her bottom lip, leaned her head back on the headrest, and closed her eyes.

Suddenly, she sat up and studied Drake. “Are you sure we shouldn’t go the police and report the assault and murder?”

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