Reaper's Stand

Author: P Hana

Page 81

   

Then we were through it and out in the night air.

Reese tossed me into the back of a van and jumped on top of me, knocking the breath right out of my body. Horse and Jessica followed, and the vehicle took off, cargo doors swinging wide as we tore down the street. From my crumpled position on the floor, I saw a pillar of flame burst through the top of the warehouse roof. Then Horse caught hold of a tie-down mounted on the van’s wall and leaned out, grabbing the doors and slamming them shut.

There was a giant, roaring whoosh as something blew up, and the entire van rocked violently.

“People have got to stop blowing up buildings at me,” I muttered, trying not to giggle. Something was wrong here … Why wouldn’t my brain work? Felt like I was looking at everything through a film of honey. I tried to push Reese off, but my arm still wouldn’t work.

“I’ll look into it,” Reese muttered back at me.

“You do that.”

He pulled me close and squeezed me, which should’ve made me feel all warm and safe. Instead I didn’t feel anything at all. I knew I should be checking on Jessica, there was something important … but I was just so incredibly tired and weak.

I don’t remember anything after that.

The garbled noises that woke me sounded like someone speaking underwater.

This made sense, because I seemed to be floating. I just wasn’t quite sure how I was floating—or why—but I definitely wasn’t on solid ground.

Lovely …

“London?”

I tried to say “go away,” but it came out more like “gwo cay.”

Huh.

“London, can you hear me? Try and wake up, sweetheart.”

I shook my head, feeling a sharp twinge of pain. It cut through the floating sensation in a way I simply couldn’t approve of. I opened my eyes to try to find whoever was making my head hurt. Maybe if I bit them hard enough, they’d stop? But identifying the culprit wouldn’t be easy—apparently he’d filled my eyelids with sand, because they were all scratchy and dry.

“I’ve got news about Jess,” the voice said, catching my attention. Jessica. Memories started to come back. Oh, sheesh. We’d gone to California and I’d killed a man. But I’d found Jess—that part was important. Jessica was alive. Then another building had exploded. I blinked, trying to focus on the face above mine.

Reese.

“Hey,” I managed to croak out. “What happened?”

“You got shot in the arm and passed out,” he told me. I frowned. I didn’t remember getting shot. Shouldn’t I have noticed?

“How?”

“I’m assuming with a bullet,” he said, voice dry. I considered hitting him, but that would’ve involved raising my hand, which didn’t seem to be a realistic option at the moment.

“Why do I feel so weird?”

“Doc shot you up with painkillers. Probably a little more hard-core than you needed, but I didn’t want you hurting.”

Guess that explained the fog. I blinked some more, trying to clear it.

“What about Jess?” I finally managed to ask.

“She’s doin’ great,” Reese said. “They’ve done a CAT scan and the shunt is fine. Aside from the finger, the only other thing wrong with her is a little dehydration and some bruises. They want her to follow up with a plastic surgeon for the hand, but otherwise it’s all good. No sign of any seizures, either. She’s actually in a lot better shape than you—girl’s stronger than you thought.”

That was a relief. The ball of tension loosened in my chest, which was very curious. Up to that moment I hadn’t been able to feel my chest at all. Probably because of the drugs, which they’d given me because I got … attacked by a bullet? Oh yeah. Maybe I should ask Reese about that, now that I knew Jess was safe …

“When did I get shot?”

“In the warehouse,” he said. “Do you remember the man in the bathroom?”

I shuddered, wishing I could forget him—I had a feeling I’d be seeing those eyes blinking at me in my nightmares for the rest of my life.

“Yes.”

“We think it might’ve been a ricochet in there,” he said. “Either that or a random hit while we were running out of the building. It’s a graze along your arm, but you got lucky. Didn’t penetrate much past the outer layer of muscle—no nerve damage. You had so much other blood covering you that we didn’t even notice until you passed out on the floor of the van. Like Em all over again. Thought I’d have a fuckin’ heart attack.”

I frowned. “Why didn’t I feel it?”

“Adrenaline. Happens more often than you’d think.”

I blinked at him, the world finally coming into focus. Reese looked tired, his eyes shadowed with dark circles, and I had a feeling I wasn’t looking too shit-hot myself. My head was starting to throb—felt like a Mack truck had rolled right over me. I looked around, trying to move as little as possible in the process. I seemed to be in a child’s bedroom. There was a kitten poster up on the wall and a pink canopy overhead.

“Where on earth are we?”

“At a friend’s house,” he told me, scooting his chair closer. “His club and the Reapers are allies, so when you needed a place to go, he offered. We’ve had a medic in to see you, and they stitched you up while you were out. Doc said you’ll be fine, gave you a shot of painkillers before he left. He’s a friend of the club, too—won’t report anything. Jessica’s situation is a little more complicated, because she needed more tests. Got her into a private clinic. They’ll keep their mouths shut so long as they get paid enough.”

I closed my eyes again, too tired to keep talking. The bed dipped and then Reese was lying next to me. It hurt to move, but I cuddled into his arms anyway. He made me feel safe and protected.

“One more thing I should mention,” he said.

“What’s that?”

“Looks like Jessica was raped. Repeatedly. She’ll need STD and pregnancy tests.”

I closed my eyes, because I couldn’t handle thinking about that just yet.

“She’ll need a lot more than that.”

He didn’t say anything, which I appreciated. Instead he rubbed my back softly, soothing me. Why, I have no idea. I didn’t deserve his kindness—not after what I’d done.

I drifted off, waking up again when someone opened the door and asked Reese something.

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