Standing up, I look over to Johnathan who’s watching me with a bored look on his face. “You done?”

Glancing around the room, I notice the blood splattered all over. All Alexei’s.

Fucking feels damn good.

Andrew’s not around though, so I’m guessing he’s outside securing the perimeter.

“Almost,” I growl out.

“Andrew’s right, though. You’re going to need to be stitched up. You’re bleeding from your shoulder pretty good,” Johnathan says, then I hear his boots walking away from the room.

Turning back to Meghan, I walk over to her, and the feelings of murderous rage start to slowly fill me again as I take in her small body bound to the medical table.

I want so badly to go back to beating Alexei, but having a dead body slumped over her chest is enough of a deterrent to hold me back for the moment.

“You okay, baby?” I ask as I shove the corpse away from her with one hand and push the sweaty hair away from her eyes.

“If you untie me, I will be,” she tells me in a matter-of-fact tone.

“Sorry. Kinda got carried away over there,” I say as I begin to unfasten all the straps holding her down.

“I can’t believe you killed him with your bare hands like that,” she whispers to me, her eyes widening with the realization of what she watched me do to a man.

Her eyes need to see what I’ll do to any man that dares to touch her.

“He’s not dead,” I say with a shrug. “I figured I’d give you the choice of ending that piece of shit’s life.”



Once Gabriel has unfastened all the leather straps holding me down, he lifts me up into his arms. The bloody sheet covering me begins to slip down my legs as his massive biceps wrap around me in a crushing hug.

But I don’t care.

After everything that’s happened, after watching what he did to Alexei, the need to be held by him, to feel him, to know he’s real, is all that matters right now.

Sitting down on the edge of the medical bed, he pulls me onto his lap, and I press myself against his chest while something inside me cracks. The strength I’ve been holding onto crumbles away at his touch.

If I could somehow burrow myself inside him and hide for the rest of eternity, I would.

“It’s alright. Everything is fine now, baby girl,” he murmurs as I start to shake uncontrollably. “I’ve got you.”

I toss my head back and forth in disagreement, tears bursting from my eyes. It’s not alright, and everything isn’t fine now.

Cocooned in Gabriel’s warmth, the shock, the adrenaline rush, the focus on survival is gone, and all that’s left is the devastation of what’s been done.

I almost lost everything.

My life…

The possibility of a life growing inside me…

My father… oh god, my father.

Gabriel kisses the top of my head, and I just can’t stop crying. I don’t think I’ve ever cried this hard before in my life. But there’s so much pain inside me, so much pain and anger, I can’t keep it locked inside.

It’s not until I start to squeeze Gabriel back and sense him stiffening, that I can get the slightest grip on my emotions.

“You’re hurt,” I say accusingly, and force myself to pull away.

“It’s just a scratch,” Gabriel says gruffly and tries to squeeze me back into the hug.

Bullshit, I think as I wiggle out of his grasp.

If he’s showing any sign of being in pain, it must be bad.

“It’s nothing,” Gabriel frowns down at me as I begin to run my hands all over him, searching for the injury.

I ignore him, finding purpose in taking care of him. My tears dry up as I explore his chest, sliding my palms over his tactical vest. Finding nothing, I cover every inch of his arms. His knuckles are a bit busted up from punching the shit out of Alexei, but otherwise he seems okay.

Once I reach his shoulders, however, I catch him sucking in a sharp breath.

Scowling, I position myself until I’m kneeling on his lap so I can see what the hell is going on with his shoulders.

“Holy fuck,” I growl and yank my fingers back when they run over something sharp. “You have a chunk of metal stuck in your shoulder!”

Being more careful this time, I gently probe at the big chunk of metal embedded in Gabriel’s flesh just on the edge of his tactical vest.

“Doesn’t hurt at all,” Gabriel says with a slow smile curving along his mouth. “In fact, I feel better already.”

“What?” I blink up at him in confusion, then I follow his gaze downward.

“Oh my god, are you seriously checking me out right now?” I ask as he stares with absolutely no shame at my naked chest.

Gabriel’s smile only grows wider.

I’d hit him, but knowing him, he’d probably like it, so I just cross my arms over my breasts. “You need to get that looked at.”