Creed's Claim(8)

By: Mina Carter

Before she could say anything else, the cell was plucked out of her hand by one of the men. “Itan? It’s Bennett. We got a couple of intruders. Five by the smell of it. They caught Braun and her friends in the alley by the library. One got tagged and it’s bad.”

“Which one?”

Kait clearly heard the question as she wrapped the jacket more securely around herself. She felt like an owl as she watched those around her. Three of them, including Lilly, crowded around Kacie, trying to stop the bleeding.

The guy with the cell looked down, a crease between his brows. “Yeah, it’s Kacie Leroy. How did you kn—”

The whole group heard the roar of pain and fury from the other end of the line. The guy holding the cell held it away from his ear, a wince on his face. He must have caught the full force of the sound before he’d yanked it away.

“Yes, Itan,” he said when the noise died down and he replaced the phone against his ear. “We’re on our way. Scott went to get a truck…” He paused and looked up, as though listening for something. “He’s just about here now.”

Sure enough, within seconds a truck pulled up to the entrance to the alley. Kait was shunted to the side as two of the men loaded Kacie onto what looked like a body-board and carried her toward the vehicle.

Lilly straightened up and regarded at her with an odd look in her eye. “Kait, I’m sorry, but you’re going to need to come with us.”

“Duh, way to go, Captain Obvious.” How she was still walking and talking, Kait didn’t know, but at least her powers of sarcasm hadn’t deserted her. “Where she goes, I go. Why aren’t we taking her to a hospital again? She’s bleeding… From. Her. Stomach. That shit’s serious. Like way serious.”

All of a sudden it hit home and the blood drained from Kait’s body right until she felt queasy. “Shit, she could die, couldn’t she? Screw this, I’m calling an ambulance…the sheriff. Anyone.”

She had her cell half out of her clutch when it was plucked out of her hand. She gasped and turned to look up into Bennett’s face. His eyes darkened dangerously.

“Sorry, ma’am, but we can’t let you do that. So, we can do this the easy way, or the hard way. Please take the easy way. Cause you won’t like the alternative.”

Chapter 3

“You can’t do this,” Kait hissed for what seemed like the hundredth time as she was hauled out of the truck and shoved toward a large building. The lodge, apparently. Lodge of what, she had no idea. It looked more like one of those fancy hunting places Aiden and his lot booked for “team building exercises.” Despite having grown up in Lizard Lick, she’d had no idea it was here, tucked away in the forest-covered hills above town.

The others had already unloaded Kacie, rushing her into the building ahead of them. Dean Sterling had been waiting at the door, lines of concern and fear written on his face. Perhaps the thing Kacie had for him wasn’t all one way?

“Hey, Bennett. Stop being an asshole and be gentle.” Lilly stormed around the truck and got all up in Bennett’s face, forcing him to let go of Kait’s arm. “She’s human and scared, so cut her some fucking slack, okay?”

“Yes, Enforcer.” The big guy rumbled, ducking his head in what appeared to be a subservient gesture. Kait’s eyes widened, as much at his manner and the casual way Lilly had referred to her as “human.”

Shitshitshit, this really wasn’t a dream, was it? She stepped to the side, away from the big man and swept a gaze around her. There was a parking area in front of the lodge, filled with all manner of vehicles, but just beyond it was the tree line. She was a fast runner, once she got rid of the ridiculous heels, of course.

If she could make the trees, she had a good shot at getting away from whatever madness this was. Alert the authorities about the attack on Kacie. She’d been thinking about it. Those guys must have had some kind of cosplay claws that fit over their hands…perhaps they were all involved in some weird live action role play world that Lilly also seemed to be involved in.

“Good, don’t you fucking forget it.”

Lilly slid a sideways glance at Kait. “Don’t run, Kait. We’re predators. We like to chase.”

Kait’s breath stuttered in her lungs. How the hell had Lilly known what she was thinking?

“I’ve known you since we were kids. It’s written all over your face. For moon’s sake, never play poker. You’d lose in a heartbeat.” The other woman chuckled. “Come on, let’s get inside.”

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