Protecting His Forever(3)

By: LeAnn Ashers

“What did that fucker do? He. Is. Dead,” he grounds out between his teeth.

I look over at the man lying on the ground being handcuffed by an officer, and Ethan charges toward him.

“Stop, man!” Kane rushes over and pulls Ethan back.

“Kane?” my brother asks in shock as he shoves Kane’s hand off his shoulder.

“Ethan, stop! He saved me!” I shout.

Kane confirms my words with a quick nod toward Ethan. He looks down at the attacker then back to me then to Kane, and he suddenly connects the dots. He pulls Kane into a one armed hug.

“Thank you, brother.”

A hand clasps over my shoulder, and I shout as I jump back.

“Woah, Sydney! It’s Chase.” Chase thrusts his hands up, palm out. “It’s just me! Calm down. You’re safe now.”

“I’m sorry, I’m just a little jumpy,” I tell Chase guiltily.

“It’s okay, baby girl.” He gives me a sympathetic smile. “We need to get you checked out by the EMT.” He motions over his shoulder to the two paramedics pulling a gurney from the back of their ambulance.

I nod my head slowly, then look up at Kane who is watching me intently. My adrenaline washes away like the sands on the shore. Suddenly the ground shifts and everything blurs. Gripping my head that feels like a two-ton weight, I fall to the ground not able to support my weight. “Sydney!” Ethan’s voice sounds distant as it echoes through my mind. Heavy footfalls and shouting surround me, then hands wrap around my arms and legs, lifting me up off the ground. The pitch black solace of my mind pulls me deeper and deeper as the darkness cloaks me.

Chapter Two

I wake with a groan, tugging the blanket higher under my neck as a shiver racks through my body. Hospitals are always so freaking cold. Before opening my eyes, I know where I am. The monitors beep in melody throughout the halls and the IV in my arm is another sure sign, as well as the smell of antiseptic that burns my nose. A door slams nearby. Startled, my eyes shoot open.

“You’re awake,” a deep, rough voice asks.

Looking over to the side of the bed, my eyes widen as they land on Kane.

“Kane…” I trail off, confused.

“That’s me.” He smirks and leans back in his chair with his hands folded behind his head. Rolling my eyes at him, I tug at the blanket covering me.

“How are you feeling?”

“I’m sore. My head and face feels like they’ve been rolled over by a steam roller. I’m a little shook up, but I’ll be okay.” I sigh and reach down to grab the other blanket at my feet. It seems like I can’t get warm.

“Let me get that.” He places his hand on my shoulder and eases me back against the pillows. He takes the blanket at my feet and lays it over me and proceeds to tuck me in like a burrito and fusses over the pillows behind my head.

“What’s that look for?” He holds an extra pillow in his hands.

“Oh, nothing.” I bite my lip and try to contain my smile.

“I'm going to get the doctor and tell them you’re awake.” He walks out the door and closes it quietly behind him. As soon as it closes, the breath I didn’t know I was holding blows out roughly. Yesterday was the first time I have ever met Kane. I’ve only seen him in photos with Ethan and Chase from their time in the military together. He showed up and saved me during the worst moment of my life. How or why, I’ll never know. But beyond all, I’m grateful.

A scattered breath shakes my chest as I think about what happened to me yesterday, and a million different thoughts hit me at one time.

Who was the man who attacked me?

Why did he attack me?

Oh goodness, he could have raped me, kidnapped me, or worse—murdered me!

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