“She’s finally coming out of the anesthetic,” the nurse said. She touched Lacey’s cheek very lightly. “Lacey? Can you open your eyes for me, honey?”
“Mmm.” She moved her head slightly and very slowly opened her eyes. “What—How—Where am I?” She slid her glance to Wolf, and her eyes filled with fear.
“It’s okay,” Natalie told her. “Sheriff Rossi assigned him to you so you’d be protected. It’s good he’s here. And you can trust him.”
Lacey closed her eyes then slowly opened them again, and this time there was a flash of recognition.
“You found me.” She swallowed. “You…got me out of the car.”
He was stunned she even remembered but pleased she did. It prevented the problem of convincing her to deal with a stranger.
“Along with Sheriff Rossi,” he told her, “and two great paramedics.”
“My purse. My…camera…”
“I’ve got them right here.” He lifted a bag the hospital had given him to hold everything. “All taken care of.”
“Thank…you.” She tried to move, pain flashed over her face, and she moaned again.
“Hurts,” she murmured.
“I bet it does. You were in a car accident, and you’ve been shot. You—”
“What? Shot? Who…shot me?” Her face grew even paler if that was possible. “Did you…get him? Did anyone…find Heather?” The fear sharpened. “Oh god. I can’t…stay here.”
“Listen to me, Lacey.” Wolf leaned over her and closed his hand over her free one. “You’re safe here, I swear to you. Sheriff Rossi made it very clear what the rules are. That’s the first thing for you to know.”
“W—What’s the second?”
“The second is, we know you’re looking for your sister, and the sheriff is on top of it even as we speak. It’s an active search. I promise.”
She blinked and finally focused her gaze on him. “He—He believes me? Really? I mean, no…one else did. I have to…get out of here. Find my sister.”
She lay back on the pillow, obviously exhausted just by that little effort of talking.
“It’s being taken care of,” Wolf assured her. “Like I said, the sheriff is all over it. So please let the nurse check your vitals and go tell the doctor you’re awake so we can get you to a room. The search for your sister is in Alex’s capable hands. But there’s another problem. Someone is obviously after you, and you need protection. Alex Rossi assigned me to take care of you, and I’m not leaving your side.”
Lacey closed her eyes again, but she appeared to relax a little. “I guess that’s good. I mean, that finally…someone…takes me seriously.”
Wolf wanted to tell her getting shot made everything serious, but he figured he’d wait until she was a little more alert. As he stood beside the bed, waiting for Natalie to get the doctor, another chink in his rusty armor fell by the wayside, and Lacey Cooper became a lot more than a protectee.
Available in Ebook:
The Hunt (Heroes Rising Book 4) by Desiree Holt
He needs to find his place in society again…
When Brantford “Wolf” Makalski and his SEAL Team’s dog are both medically discharged after a mission gone wrong, he’s not quite sure what they’ll do with themselves. Checking out an offer from former SEAL and now Sheriff Alex Rossi might provide some answers. The last thing he expects to find in Montana’s Crazy Mountains is a crashed Jeep with a woman inside bleeding from a gunshot wound.
Lacey Cooper, a wildlife photographer, is desperate to find her sister, camping in the Crazies with her fiancé. The couple has been out of touch for a week and no one seems unduly disturbed. Then Wolf and Rossi discover that in the past ten years more than a dozen campers have been reported missing and not found. They could be anywhere. The Crazies stretch more than six hundred miles.
What they find is worse than they expected…
While Wolf guards the wounded Lacey, Rossi heads a massive Search and Rescue effort. What they find is worse than they could ever have imagined.