I’m so goddamned sorry, Heather.
Hunter turned on London, grabbing her arms and shaking her violently.
“What the fuck did you do to her? I’ll fucking kill you for this, bitch!”
Skid, Gage, and Horse leapt into action, pulling him off and dragging him halfway across the lawn before the cop had time to do much more than blink.
“What’s going on?” I asked one of the EMTs, my stomach sinking. I’d never dreamed London could be a threat to Em—was she behind this? Fuck. What the hell had I done, bringing her here?
“Looks like a miscarriage,” the man said, catching my eyes. “You a family member?”
“I’m her dad.”
“You need to follow us to the hospital,” he said. “This is serious—she’s lost a lot of blood. I don’t know what the hell’s going on around here, but time to cut the drama because your kid needs you. Got it?”
Christ. I hated this helpless feeling. It took forever for them to load Em—looked like she was dying, and there wasn’t a fuckin’ thing I could do to help. Out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the firefighters checking out London. She didn’t look so good, either. I glanced up at the carriage house, finding the remains of the second-story window. She’d obviously smashed it out and then dropped down into the bushes. There were broken leaves and sticks everywhere.
“That woman saved your daughter’s life,” the cop said, coming to stand next to me. He obviously recognized my colors, but he didn’t seem intimidated. “She jumped out the window and called nine one one. You wanna explain to me why someone would have to break out of a second-story room to get help, instead of using the stairs?”
“No idea,” I said. They were loading Em into the ambulance. Shit. I needed to follow them.
“Take care of your kid,” the cop said. “Don’t worry about the other victim. I’ll make sure she gets to the hospital and stays safe.”
His words caught me, and I looked at him—really looked at him—for the first time. He saw right through us, I realized. He knew London was a prisoner, and he was going to get her out of here. Of course, I had thirty brothers with me, and they’d fight to hold her if I asked them to … but that was a losing battle. This guy might be the only cop, but there were at least six firefighters. We tried to pull any shit, whole fuckin’ city would come down on us. The cop smiled, because he knew he had me. Ignoring him, I strode toward the carriage house, jerking my chin for Skid to join me.
“They’re takin’ London to the hospital,” I said in a low voice. “Cop knows it’s not right, he’s gonna talk to her. I need the brothers and the evidence out of here before that happens, got me? Just in case.”
“I hear you,” he said, eyes narrowing. “Fuck. You should’ve taken care of this before you left home—shut her mouth so she’d never talk.”
“If we’d done that, Em would be dead right now,” I said coldly. “Don’t forget who called nine one one. London said she wanted to help us and she’s got good reasons to keep her word. Those cops won’t be able to get her cousin out. We’re her only hope, so let’s just wait and see what happens.”
“Reese asked me to find a box for him,” I told the cop, my words deliberate and careful. “He’s my boyfriend. We rode over from Coeur d’Alene last night to visit his daughter. I went up to the storage room and started looking around—then I accidentally bumped the door and it swung shut, locking me in. That’s when I saw Em outside in the backyard, and after nobody heard me shouting, I broke out the window and jumped down.”
“What was in the box?”
“Motorcycle parts. I never found it.”
“If he’s your boyfriend, why isn’t he here to make sure you’re okay?”
I sighed, because now he was just being stupid on purpose.
“Because his daughter was bleeding out the last time I saw her, and all I’ve got are a few scratches. I think she takes priority over me for now, don’t you?”
The cop stared at me without speaking. We’d been through this whole story three times now. Each time he made it clear he didn’t believe I was telling the truth. Each time I made it clear I didn’t care what he believed.
In some ways I had to appreciate what he was trying to do—all too many police officers turned a blind eye to abuse, which was obviously what he thought was happening here. He was trying to save my life, and if staying alive were my top priority I’d be all over that.
But rescuing Jessica was my top priority, followed closely by killing the men who’d hurt her. Survival was a distant third.
“You aren’t going to change your story, are you?” he asked, his voice tired.
“It’s not a story,” I replied softly. “It’s what happened.”
“Here’s my card,” he said. “I’m putting my personal cell number on the back. Call me if you decide to talk, or you need help. We both know something’s wrong here, and sooner or later it’ll come crashing down around you. Don’t be afraid to reach out, okay?”
“Thanks for your concern, but I’m fine.”
He shook his head and walked away, leaving me alone in the small private room they’d given us. There were lots of tissue boxes placed in strategic spots—I had a feeling this was one of those places they put families right before they told them someone had died. I hoped very much that Reese wasn’t sitting in another room just like this somewhere else in the hospital, mourning his daughter. I needed to find him, or at the very least find someone who could tell me what the hell was going on with Em.
Standing up hurt, although none of my bruises or cuts were serious. They’d given me a couple of stitches on my forehead, disinfected me, and called it good. I was supposed to keep a close eye on the puncture wound in particular, and see a doctor asap if there were any signs of infection, blah blah blah.
I grabbed the bag holding the remains of my clothing and clutched it to my chest. (Although I wasn’t sure why they’d bothered to give them back to me, because I’d never be able to wear them again. At least the scrubs they’d given me were comfortable.) I’d already been discharged from the ER, so I was able to just walk right out into the waiting room. No sign of Reese, but I spotted Painter. His expression was grim.