Read Let Us Prey: BBW Military Paranormal Romance (Wild Operatives, #2) Online

Authors: Vivienne Savage

Tags: #bbw, #paranormal romance, #military romance, #curvy, #shapeshifters, #shifter, #eagle shifter, #interracial

Let Us Prey: BBW Military Paranormal Romance (Wild Operatives, #2) (14 page)

BOOK: Let Us Prey: BBW Military Paranormal Romance (Wild Operatives, #2)
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“I love your dress. Where did you get it?”

“I picked it up from the new thrift store in town. What I like most is the skirt, because I can carry my revolver under it,” Daniela explained. She hiked up the dress to mid-thigh level and revealed the holster. Her legs were a little slimmer than mine and I envied her.... her ample bust line.

“I don’t think a thigh holster would fit me.”

“Russ had this made for me after I passed the course for my concealed handgun license.”

“I’ve never shot a gun in my li—”

Tires squealed in the dirt road in front of my house then the windows imploded, showering the carpet with glass shards. Projectiles sailed through the open space and thumped into the walls.

My terrified dog fled upstairs. As my instincts kicked in, I threw myself onto the floor and wriggled into place on top of Sophia to shield her. “Should we run?” I called up to Dani.

“No! Just stay down!” she urged me. On her hands and knees, she pushed with her body to shove the sofa on an angle between the windows and us. “Fuck, I can’t text Russ. I have his phone!” She dialed 911 and put it on speakerphone.

“911. What is your emergency?” a relaxed voice spoke to us.

“Someone is shooting into our house!” I yelled back, fearing I couldn’t be heard.

“Where is your location?”

I rattled off the address and hoped the operator understood my shaking voice. She calmly repeated it back and let us know a car was on its way and to stay on the line.

“Can you make it into a safe place?”

“N-no, and I have my baby with me. Please hurry.”

I didn’t dare grab Sophia and run for it while bullets flew through the destroyed windows into our living room. More glass shattered behind my head, indicating Ian’s television was trashed. With my body curled over my squalling, kicking child, I was her first line of defense against any wayward bullets. We had nowhere to run and no place we could hide, but in the midst of all the shooting, the door slammed open and heavy steps thudded through the entrance way.

An African-American man burst into the foyer with a scrawny white guy beside him. Both needed a good meal, and only one had his teeth. They leveled handguns into the living room as they spun to face us. “Get the fuck down and—”

Dani didn’t give them the chance to finish his command. Her revolver barked loudly and the black guy fell thrashing to the ground. The toothless white guy remained upright beside him and fired a round at my friend. A bullet missed her head by a narrow margin, carrying forward into some knickknacks on Ian’s fireplace mantle instead.

“Bitch, drop the fucking gun!” When Dani didn’t lower her weapon, he pulled the trigger and shot her.

Dani jerked and stumbled back as a bullet slammed into her body. She squeezed off rounds until the revolver clicked dry and the other shooter went down.

“Dani!” I cried.

She stumbled to the couch and slumped in the corner, profuse amounts of dark blood staining her new dress. A steady trickle seeped from a bullet wound on her left shoulder. My fledgling knowledge of human anatomy told me it was close to a large blood vessel, but probably hadn’t punctured it.

One of the shooters wasn’t out. He sat up with a groan and swung his gun arm up. Without thinking, I rushed toward him, snatching the lamp from the table and yanking its cord from the wall. I bashed him over the head before he could aim then secured his fallen firearm. They weren’t dead, but I didn’t trust leaving a weapon within reach.

“My friend’s been shot!” I screamed at the phone when I returned.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” someone shouted outside. A growl preceded several gunshots then a noise resembling a dog’s whimper.

“Do something, dude!” another voice shouted.

“You didn’t say the motherfuckah got attack dogs ‘round here!” With the windows blasted out, their voices carried across the lawn into the room.

From where I knelt beside Dani, I couldn’t see much out the window but besides an ancient red Nissan parked by the road. A figure in a dark hoodie jumped into the bed of the truck then the driver peeled down the road.

“Are you and Sophia okay?” Dani asked.

“Forget us, we’re fine!” I don’t know what had come over me, but I went into action. Using a baby blanket for a makeshift cradle sling, I secured Sophia against me to provide her comfort. She continued to squall, but the angry red color faded from her cheeks. With her beginning to quiet, I doubled over and folded an afghan from the back of the couch and guided Dani onto the hard floor. “I’m going to apply pressure to this, okay, Dani? And to your back where it exited.”

We remained that way until sirens heralded the arrival of EMS and the police.  According to the paramedic who helped her onto the stretcher, my friend’s injury wasn’t a gusher, more of a slow trickle, which meant it hadn’t hit a major artery. I’d probably saved her from going into shock.

“Let me grab my purse, and I’ll come with—”

“No! Stay here to tell the boys what happened,” Dani insisted. “They’ll be home soon. You need to be here to tell them what happened.”

“Are you sure you’ll be okay?”

Dani smiled weakly at me as they wheeled her into the ambulance. “Positive. These vans carry morphine.”

Once I had Sophia settled and in her crib, the cops asked me question after question, having me repeat the story long after they seemed satisfied. They took photographs and waited for my husband to arrive while I nervously shot glances at the kitchen. I’d left Russ and Ian’s clothing on the patio table outside.

“I don’t
know
where my husband went.”

“Does Mr. MacArthur have a cell phone number where you can reach him, Leigh?”

It was on the kitchen table. I sighed. “Ian went for a walk. I think he and our neighbor were planning to set up a deer stand or something somewhere, and he owns a couple hundred acres or so. There’s no telling where they went.”

“I’m right here. What the hell’s going on here?” A glance over my shoulder revealed Ian striding from the kitchen. Russ wasn’t far behind him.

“We heard the sirens. What’s happening?” Russ stared into the living room then at the blood stains on the couch. His face went white as a sheet. “Where’s Dani?”

“She told me to stay behind and tell you guys what happened.” I relayed the story to them in detail like I had for the cops, and once I was done, Russ took off for the hospital in Ian’s SUV.

“Are you sure you’re all right?” Ian demanded. His eyes darted toward Sophia’s bedroom door then swept over my body. His hands followed, quickly assessing whether or not I had sustained an injury. He lingered at the blood on my jeans.

“I’m fine. I’m fine, Ian. We’re both fine!” I tried to convince him when he moved as if to dart to Sophia’s room next. “Sophia’s okay, too. Not a scratch on either of us. It’s just... I was so afraid, and I didn’t know what to do, but somehow I did everything right.” The rest of my attempt to speak broke off into a sobs. With the worst of it over and the excitement at its end, my dwindling adrenaline left stone cold exhaustion in its wake.

“Christ. I’m so sorry I was gone, Leigh. I’m sorry,” he whispered against my hair. He hugged me tight in his arms and refused to let go until my shaking ended. Afterward, we both walked to Sophia’s room together. Even though the paramedics and I had both checked her, Ian looked her over himself.

It seemed like hours had passed before the cops were gone. The damage left from the firefight and failed drive-by made Ian reluctant to remain overnight.

“We’re going to Gram’s for the night. I’m not making you guys stay here. Pack up.”

He didn’t have to suggest the idea twice. It took about twenty minutes to pack up a bag and everything Sophia would need for a night away from home.

“Have you heard from Russ and Dani yet?”

Ian glanced down at his phone and shared the recent text message from Russ with me. “She’s good, see? Russ is with her now and he says it’s nothing major.”

“She was so brave, Ian. You should have seen her.” I wiped my eyes and got ahold of myself before I broke down, determined to be a strong wife Ian could be proud of. “I still don’t know what happened outside, but there were growls. I thought maybe Trigger got loose and came to our rescue.”

“I can explain, but it’d be better if you see it. Come on.”

Ian picked up Sophia in her car seat and shouldered the diaper bag. He led the way to the forested walking path between the two houses while I led Petunia on a leash.

“Are you sure it’s safe out here? Those snarls were so close.”

“Trust me.” Ian brushed a kiss against my temple then led me deeper onto the path. The last rays of sunlight cast shadows all around, but we weren’t in complete darkness and the trees shielded us from the wind.

“Okay, lovebirds, you can come out now.”

“Lovebirds?”

Leaves rustled to my left. As my gaze snapped from Ian’s placid features, I caught sight of two wolves emerging from the brush. I staggered back a step and nearly lost my balance.

“It’s okay, sweetie. They’re with me.”

“With you?” I questioned. My voice raised on the last word.

Both marvelous creatures moved forward to greet me with their proud heads raised. A rust-colored smear of dried blood stood out against the larger, charcoal and white-furred male wolf. The female had more blood around her blonde muzzle than he did, but no visible injuries. I never knew wolves could have green eyes.

“Ian, he’s hurt.” Petunia peeked out from behind my thigh at the two wolves. She didn’t fear them as much as I expected.

“He’ll be fine,” Ian assured me. “Go on, guys. You don’t have anything Leigh hasn’t seen before.”

The two wolves simultaneously canted their heads at Ian then glanced at me. The male had a skeptical look in his blue eyes.

“Seriously. Go ahead,” Ian urged them.

The two animals underwent transformation, losing their fur and lupine shapes to rise onto their two hind legs. In the blink of an eye, they were a man and a woman barely any older than me. The girl wiped her mouth with the back of a wrist and grinned.

“You okay, Thomas?” Ian asked him.

“It hurt like a bitch, but I’ll survive,” Thomas replied. He glanced down at his side where a puckered, pink scar remained. My attention wavered between his muscles and the nude woman standing beside him. She was classically beautiful by every definition of the word, with long, wavy golden hair. She had a fit, tanned body like a runner or tennis player.

“Thomas, there’s a baby. Keep it clean,” the blonde chastised with a slap against his arm.

Thomas chuckled and kissed her cheek. “Sure. Don’t worry about being buck nekkid in front of her. Worry about my mouth.”

“Meet my goddaughter, Ceres, and her mate, Thomas. They’re going to help me with some problems in the area.”

Ceres stepped forward instinctively to hug me then paused and dropped her arms at her sides. “Hi. Uh. I wish we met under better circumstances.”

Don’t look down, don’t look down.
My eyes involuntarily flicked down at Thomas’ crotch. Were all shifters hung like horses? Hoping he hadn’t noticed, I tore my gaze away to look at his face instead. He smirked at me, inspiring fears he could read my mind.

“You’ll get used to it,” Ceres assured me. “When Thomas first became a werewolf, it took us hours to coax him out of his clothes. He was so shy it was adorable. Anyway, how’s your friend? Is she going to be okay? We watched EMS take her away, but we didn’t want to risk anyone seeing us.”

“She’s definitely not coming home tomorrow,” Ian said. “But her boyfriend says nothing critical was hit.”

Ceres was right. As we talked, I found it easier to ignore their nudity and to focus on the conversation. They walked with us down the forest path to Russ and Dani’s house where we planned to borrow his truck for the night. He and Ian kept keys to each other’s rides.

“We were on our way back from...” The girl’s eyes drifted to Ian then back to me. “Anyway, we heard gunshots and knew they came from this direction.”

“There was a third shooter about to come inside after your friend shot the other two. I distracted him so Ceres could catch him from the side,” Thomas explained.

“Are you going to be okay?”

“Oh, yeah. I’m good. I’d rather be the one to get shot than Ceres anyway. It’s a small price to pay.”

“That last guy won’t be using what’s left of his hand for much.” The corner of Ceres’ mouth rose.

“I’ll tell the police to keep an eye on local hospitals then,” Ian said. “I can’t thank you enough for coming to their rescue.”

“No problem, man. We’re going to hang around in this area and camp out. My cell is nearby, so we’ll ring you if anything happens.”

“Feel free to use my house if you need anything.”

Ian fed a super condensed version of the story to his grandmother. By morning, it would probably be all over the news that a robbery had been foiled on a veteran’s home in the country.

Ian hadn’t fooled his grandmother, and he hadn’t fooled me either. The problem was trying to determine who he’d meant to convince with the story.

“Go have a soak in the tub, baby. I’ll get Sophia her bottle and put her to bed.”

Trusting him with my baby, I indulged in an hour-long soak until my skin became pruney, as if I could wash the terror of the day down the drain, too.

Ian wasn’t in bed when I emerged from the bathroom, but Sophia was fast asleep with Petunia curled up beside her playpen. I found him on the porch, leaning against the rail with a pack of cigarettes in one hand and his phone in the other. I recognized the contemplative expression on his face.

“You smoke?”

Wearing a guilty expression on his face, he ceased swiping mid-text and glanced away. “I used to when I was a lot younger,” he explained while tucking the device into his pocket. “While you were in the shower, I found Gram’s stash. She tries to hide it, you know.”

I nodded. “I smell it now and again mostly out here on the porch, so I sort of guessed she indulged.”

Ian chuckled and set the pack on the porch railing. “Hell, she’s over ninety years old. I figure she can do what she wants by now if it makes her happy, but she thinks it upsets me.”

BOOK: Let Us Prey: BBW Military Paranormal Romance (Wild Operatives, #2)
8.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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