“Hey.” I hold her face between my hands. She’s so fragile, so f**king breakable, and the most important thing in my life. If something happened to her, I don’t know what I would do.
“You’re here.” She presses her face deeper into my hand.
“Told you I was close.”
“Sir, I’m gonna need you to wait outside,” a different EMT says, hopping into the back with us.
“And I’m gonna need you to cut me some f**king slack. My woman was attacked, and I need to see for myself that she’s okay. As soon as I’m done, I will let you do your job, but don’t f**k with me right now,” I growl.
“Give him a minute, man,” I hear Leo say from outside.
The EMT looks at me and nods before jumping out. My eyes go back to Sophie’s; I study the marks on her, swearing that whoever did this to her won’t be able to walk again after I find them.
“You sure you’re okay? No cramping or anything, right?”
“No, nothing like that. My head just hurts.” Her hand goes to the back of her head, and mine follows her movement. The second I touch the bump on the back of her head, she flinches, and I let off a string of expletives. “You know you can’t cuss like that when the baby gets here, right? The last thing we need is for his first word to be f**k,” she says softly.
“You finally admitting it’s a boy?”
“No.” She rolls her eyes then winces. I lay my forehead against her stomach, just taking a second before asking her more questions. “Are you okay?”
“No… Fuck no,” I choke out.
“I’m okay.” She runs her fingers over my hair, down the back of my neck. I can’t believe she’s trying to comfort me right now.
I finally build up the courage to ask. “What happened, baby?” I hear her take a deep breath, and I lift my head to look at her.
“I was getting all my stuff together for the wedding when I heard someone in the living room. At first, I thought it was you getting home early and you stopped by to help me. I called out your name and you didn’t reply, and then I thought maybe you were trying to scare me. It took a second to realize you would never do that to me.” She shook her head. “I started heading for my phone when a person wearing a ski mask and all black clothes came and stood in my bedroom doorway. As soon as I saw them, I started screaming and put the bed between us. I looked for a weapon, but there was nothing near me. I was so scared.” I can hear the fear in her voice again, and I run my hands up and down her arms, trying to calm her. “The guy grabbed me and started dragging me out of the room. I wiggled out of his hold and got in a good kick to his crotch. I was almost to the front door when he grabbed for me again; that’s when I got this scratch,” she says, pointing at her face. “He got ahold of the neck of my shirt and it ripped, which made me fall backwards and hit my head on the coffee table. Then someone started pounding on the front door and he took off.”
“Jesus, baby.” I pull her closer, needing to know she’s safe, “I’m sorry I wasn’t here.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“I should have made you wait for me,” I insist.
“Please stop,” she says quietly, her arms squeezing a little tighter.
“I’m gonna let the EMT finish checking you out. I’ll be right outside talking to Leo.” She nods, and I put a finger under her chin, lifting her face up so I can look in her eyes. “You’re safe. I love you.”
“I know.” She rests her head against my shoulder, and my hand goes to her stomach, where my child’s growing.
“All right, baby. I’ll be right back.” I kiss her forehead then her lips. I give the EMT a chin lift, letting him know he can get back to checking her over as I hop out the back of the ambulance. “Talk to me,” I say to Leo, handing him his phone back. He starts to take a step away from the ambulance, but I shake my head no. I need to have an eye on Sophie.
“All right, man. I heard what she told you.”
“Yeah?” I prompt.
“The neighbor who pounded on the door told us they were walking their dog when they heard her scream. At first, they were just going to ignore it, not wanting to get involved in a domestic dispute. When they heard the second scream though, they decided to act.”
Fuck me. I know many times people ignore a scream or yell thinking it’s nothing or not wanting to get involved. Who knows what would have happened to Sophie if someone hadn’t knocked on her door and scared the person away? I shake my head, not allowing myself to think like that. I look into the back of the ambulance at Sophie, who’s talking with the EMT. She’s a little roughed up but safe, and that is all that matters.
“The neighbor said he banged on the door before trying the handle, which he was surprised when it opened. He found Sophie in the living room. She was out of it but talking. He said he helped her to the couch then called the cops.” He shakes his head, running his fingers through his blond hair. “When we got on the scene, she asked us to call you first. I thought she was a client or something, so I had one of the guys call Kenton. That’s when I found out she’s yours.” I watch as he looks in on Sophie, his eyes going soft. “How did you find this chick?” he asks quietly.
I know we don’t look like we match—she’s the soft to my hard, the light to my dark, the blatant innocence to my roughness—but I couldn’t give a f**k if people look at us and wonder why we’re together. I don’t like the softness in his eyes when he looks at her. Leo is a good ol’ boy. He grew up on his family’s farm, comes from old money, played high school and college football, and could have gone pro if he wanted to, but he always dreamed of being a cop. He’s about six foot two and two hundred and eighty pounds of pure muscle. He’s the kind of guy a sweet girl like Sophie could take home to her parents, or vice versa. Too bad for him she’s mine and will be until God sees fit to take her from Earth.
“Do I seriously need to tell you not to check out my girl right now?” I glare at him.
“Sorry. It’s not that. She’s just so not your type.”
“Really?” I raise a brow at him, ready to put my fist in his face. “I’m pretty sure my kid growing inside of her tells you just how much of my type she is,” I say through my teeth. “Besides, you have your own woman,” I tell him, missing the way his jaw ticked.