Protecting His Forever(2)

By: LeAnn Ashers

Quickly, I grip the hood of the car beside me and pull myself up off the ground, trying to catch my breath to call for help. How the hell has nobody heard my attack? My body aches with every inhale of breath, each stretch of a limb. His iron like hand clamps onto my calf, and in a panic I blindly kick my foot out. A loud crack followed by a husky scream pulls my attention down to my attacker. He releases my leg and cups his nose as blood flows freely between his knuckles. My escape within reach, I turn and run back towards the store.

My adrenaline courses through me at lightning speed. I don’t watch for passing cars or bystanders as I approach safety. Rushing up to the sidewalk I take a backward glance to make sure my attacker isn’t behind me when I stumble forward and my face smashes against something hard. Strong hands grip my shoulders and pull me up to my feet. I thrash my small fists forward, hoping to connect with my attacker. How did he close in on me so quickly? My breathing is labored, and I dart my head around wildly looking for the man. He pops around the side of the car and starts toward me. Jerking back, I try to dislodge the hands from my arms.

“Please!” my sob is broken and breathless.

I feel his warm breath against the shell of my ear as his grip tightens around me. “Sydney!”

Suddenly my feet are placed against the ground. When my eyes meet his, all the air seizes from my chest. His eyes are hard and devious, but not at me. I know this man. He’s my brother’s friend. He gently grabs my waist and thrusts me behind his body then charges at my attacker, forcing him to the ground. The attacker’s head smashes against the pavement as his foot comes back and kicks against his skull.

The man makes a garbled sound as his body stills, but Kane’s kicks continue. I know if Kane doesn’t stop, he’ll kill him.

“Stop!” I scream.

Much to my surprise, he stops. Sucking in a much needed breath, I crumble to the ground as shock consumes me. My whole entire body shakes uncontrollably, harsh sobs wracking through my chest. Clasping my hands together and wringing them tightly in an effort to control them. Did that really just happen? To me? Resting my elbows on my legs, I hold my head between my hands and try to comprehend what the hell just happened to me. Did I really just almost get kidnapped? Raped? Worse? Shaking my head in disbelief, I look over at my attacker lying on the ground.

“Are you okay?” a deep voice asks.

Looking up, I see Kane kneeling beside me. I nod yes then hug my arms to my chest to hide my trembling hands. I’m not okay, not at all.

His hands tug at my chin until I’m looking up at him. His eyes are full of concern and I know he doesn’t believe me. He takes off his shirt and presses it to the cut on my head and brushes the hair out of my face. His gentle care and concern snaps all the control I have left. A sob escapes and the dam breaks.

A second later I’m hit with his warmth. His arms wrap around me, and my face is pressed hard against his chest. He lifts me onto his lap with both arms wrapped around me tightly.

“Shhh, it's going to be okay. I’ve got you,” his deep voice sooths. Relief washes over me knowing I’ve been saved, still the tears continue to fall.

The moment is interrupted by the sound of sirens blasting in the wind and tires screeching to a halt.

“Sydney!” My head shoots up at the sound of Ethan’s voice. Climbing from Kane’s lap, I run straight toward my brother and slam into his chest. He lifts me off the ground and holds me tight. I whimper in pain, and he places me back on the ground.

“You took a couple years off my life, Sydney! Don’t ever fucking do that again, you hear me?” His stern voice makes me choke out a strangled laugh. Delirious, obviously.

He studies my face as he takes in my injuries, and suddenly his demeanor shifts and his eyes grow dark.

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