Dream Shard(8)

By: Mary Wine

Devon Ross couldn’t be far.

Kappel wanted to believe that, but the truth was Devon Ross was a trained soldier. They couldn’t follow his tracks from the crash site because the Army recovery team would only follow the tracks they left. Lifting out was the only way to preserve the scene he’d gone to so much work to create. They had to lose the helicopter too or risk it being picked up on radar. His pilot circled a small clearing and set the bird down. Kappel exited with his team. Their expressions were tight as they started searching the forest for signs of tracks.

It was success or death, and every last one of them knew it.

“Pull up!”

Her patient jerked, his body thrashing as he relived whatever event was playing inside his unconscious mind. Kalin tried to scoot back but his eyes opened and locked on to her. He was still caught in his mental illusions, the subconscious workings of his mind more real than she was.

“You’re in—”

He flipped over, rocking the old cast-iron-frame bed with a violent motion. The springs squealed right before he jabbed his arm beneath her chin to pin her to the mattress. He dropped most of his body weight on her, making it hard to breathe.

“Who are you?” he demanded. His tone was stone cold with a ruthless edge.

“I am a nurse.” She fought the impulse to struggle, but she was helpless against his strength and panic was quickly trying to steal her composure. “You were suffering from exposure.”

He looked around the room but kept his arm braced against her.

“You shot the tires out of my jeep and crushed the phone. This was the only way to treat you.”

She reached for his arm and slowly began to push. He returned his attention to her but his forehead was creased in confusion.

“I don’t remember…”

“You’ve suffered some sort of trauma.” She pushed harder. “Disorientation is normal.”

He lifted his body but stopped before releasing her completely. “For how long?”

The man was used to being in control. There was a note in his tone that sounded like it came straight off a military base.

“I am not a doctor.” She wiggled away from him now that he wasn’t lying on her anymore. “Release me.”

He wasn’t the only one who had learned the value of confidence when it came to issuing instructions. Her voice was firm and solid.

He sat and she rolled off the bed. She looked back at him but shifted her gaze as soon as she caught sight of him in the full light of day.

He was mouth-watering. Hard and sculpted to perfection.

Heat teased her cheeks so she turned to open the closet.

“You cut my clothes off me?”

She gasped and turned around. He moved silently, like some kind of shadow. There was a tingle on the back of her neck as she watched him sorting through his ruined garments without a care for modesty.

“You were…” Her heart had started racing, making her words sound breathless. He wasn’t making any attempt to shield himself from her. Every ridge was bathed in afternoon sunlight and his cock was standing hard. She turned back to the closet. “You were suffering from hypothermia. Without a phone or vehicle, body heat was the only means of treating you. Leaving you in wet clothing could have been terminal.”

She found an old pair of her grandfather’s jeans and a flannel shirt. When she turned to hand them to him, she found him checking the gun. He handled it so naturally, lifting it toward the window and looking down the barrel before nodding with satisfaction. It was also more important than covering himself. That idea made her shiver.

“I’ll leave you to dress.”

“You stay right there.”

His tone was razor sharp. She stared at the gun, a tingle of fear knotting her insides. But something else stirred deep inside her. Some foreign impulse that made her raise her chin.

“There is nowhere to go. The main road is ten miles away and you shot out the tires on my jeep. I’ll be in the kitchen.”

She grabbed the pile of wet quilts and walked toward the door. It seemed much farther than it was, tension making it an effort to move. But she held her chin steady and made it through the doorway.

She’d been holding her breath, and when she made it to the small kitchen that took up the second half of the back of the cabin, she had to suck in several breaths to fend off a wave of dizziness. She leaned on the counter and then pushed away when the wet quilts soaked her tank top.

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