She’s trying to go along with him, but even I can see the panic in her eyes. She’s probably had an attack recently from the way she’s holding herself. Everything in me is screaming to go get her, but I know I have to wait.
Warren stops and turns to face her, letting go of her arm. She staggers a little and I take a step forward, the instinct to catch her overwhelming me.
“I’m trying to hold you up so you don’t pass out again.” His voice is seething as he talks down to her. “You better get it together, Jules. I won’t have you embarrassing me.”
She looks down at the ground but doesn’t make a move as he opens the passenger door to the car next to them.
“They can’t drive out of here,” I whisper into my microphone. “If it comes down to it, shoot the tires.”
“Roger that,” Levi says, and I nod to where he’s hidden.
“Get in the car,” Warren demands, but when Jules doesn’t move I can sense things are beginning to change. There’s a look of pale calm that comes over his face as he grabs her again and she calls out at the pain. “Don’t you remember I enjoy the sound of your cries?”
It’s too fucking much, the way he’s talking to her, reminding her of the trauma she went through before with him, and I can see in her breathing that she doesn’t have much time before she blacks out. I can’t sit here and watch the woman I love be abused by this piece of shit.
“Coop!” I hear in my headset as I take off in a hard run toward Warren and Jules.
A train could come out of nowhere and hit me and it wouldn’t stop me from getting to her. Jules is my only focus as I push my heavy legs as hard and fast as they can go until I reach her.
Just before I slam into him, Warren turns and sees me. He has time to raise his gun, but I’m tackling him to the ground before he can pull the trigger. I go in with my knife up and I make contact with some part of his chest.
We roll around on the ground and I feel a sharp pain in my side, but I ignore it when I hear Jules scream. Blood is pumping in my ears and the adrenaline and fear are thudding loudly through my body.
Suddenly there’s a loud shot and a searing burn in my shoulder. I cry out, rolling with Warren and pinning him to the ground. Blood is coming out of his mouth and he’s fighting for air as I struggle to pull the gun out of his hand. My knife is lodged deep in his chest and it’s only a matter of time before he’ll be gone.
I feel arms pull me from behind, but I keep on fighting to get the gun away from Warren. The fucker tries to push me off of him, but it’s the last of his energy as his arms fall and the gun drops from his hand.
The next thing I know I’m being laid out on the ground and I’m calling out for Jules. She’s there in my vision, but she’s beginning to blur. She’s also got tears in her eyes and I know I need to make it okay, but I’m having a hard time talking.
“Shhh,” I say, reaching my hand up to cup her face and I realize there’s blood all over it.
“Stay with me,” she says as she takes my hand.
I blink a few times and it’s then I understand that I’ve been shot and I’m losing a lot of blood. My heartbeat is slowing and black spots are beginning to creep into my eyes. I don’t know how much longer I can hang on, so I pull Jules down close to me.
“I love you,” I whisper, and she begins to cry harder.
“I love you too. Don’t you dare leave me, Cooper Ross.”
“Why would I go and do a stupid thing like that?”
The last thing I see before I close my eyes is her smile. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather see right before I fade away.
When I wake up I notice two things right away. The first is that my shoulder is hurting like a motherfucker, and the second is that there’s a warm, soft body on top of me. I inhale a deep breath and the scent of Jules fills my lungs. I wrap my arms around her and the motion jolts her awake.
“Cooper.” Her eyes are wide as she looks me over and runs her hands across my chest. “How are you feeling? Are you hurt?”
“Tell me what happened,” I say as I cup her cheek and she leans into my touch.