Cat Of A Different Color

Chapter 21

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“We’re cutting him off before he gets to the highway.”

Gabe sucked in a breath. “We’ll never find them if he takes her out of state.”

“No shit.”

“He heads east and he can pick up I95.”

“I know.”

“I’m calling in a few favors. Trust me, he won’t get much further.”

Adrian stared at the dead phone in his hands and wondered what his Second was up to.

“God damn it! Stay on the fucking road, Steve!”

“I’m trying, Rudy, but there’s a bunch of fucking yahoos with trucks blocking it!”

Rudy lifted his head from her breasts with a growl. He’d just succeeded in getting her jeans off her, leaving her completely naked. “ Go around .”

“What the hell do you think I’m doing?”

Sheri squealed as shots were fired.

“What the fuck?”

“They’re shooting at us!”

Rudy sat up and pulled out his gun. He peeked over the top of the bench seat and stared out the windshield, and the scent of Puma came through. Those “yahoos” were her Pridemates.

Sheri could barely see, so she stayed down. She recognized the sounds of rifles being fired, and did the only thing she could think of. She hit the floor of the car and covered her head with her arms.

Bullets shattered the windshield, raining glass down on top of her. Rudy cursed again and fired back as Steve tried desperately to go around the roadblock.

“Fuck!”

“What?” Rudy snarled at his driver.

“Tire’s blown.”

She could feel the car fishtail as the driver tried desperately to bring it back under control. “ Adrian!” she screamed as loud as she could, firmly convinced he was responsible for this and praying he would hear her over the noise of the gun battle.

Because if he didn’t get her out of there, her Puma would. And then hell would really break loose.

The sound of his mate screaming broke something inside Adrian. “Up there,” he snarled, already ripping his clothes off. He knew the men on the road block were Pumas; Gabe had called him back as soon as he’d set it up. They would do their best to hold Rudy in place until Adrian could arrive and kill his ass.

He shifted right there in the front seat, uncaring that his claws ripped Max’s leather seat. Max reached around him and opened his door and he leapt out, making a beeline for the car Rudy had his mate in.

The snow-white puma came soaring out of the back window with an effortless grace that burned through him. Her bright red eyes were fixed on him with fear, love, relief and hope. She was almost safe.

A gunshot fired.

She stumbled, and went down.

And his heart, missing its core, stopped beating.

He looked from his fallen mate to the man in the car, the Wolf with his mate’s scent all over him, the smoking gun still held in his hands, and realized he had one more task to complete before he joined his mate in death. But even that was denied him as the huge red Wolf sailed past him, leapt into the car and in one strike ripped out the throat of the rogue.

Adrian crawled to his mate and nuzzled at her wound. To his relief she grumbled, and his heart started beating once more.

She lived.

He curled up around her and allowed the Wolves to deal with the remaining rogues. He had more important things to do.

Epilogue

“Your heart stopped.”

“I thought my mate was dead. Of course my heart stopped.”

“What happened to those wonderful Marshal powers? You’d think they would have told you I was mostly stunned.”

Adrian cuddled her closer. “Yeah, well, I wasn’t exactly thinking at that point in time.”

He hadn’t been able to let her go in hours. They sat on the front porch, curled up in his swing, enjoying the night air. He barely felt the chill. He had his snow princess safe and in his arms, keeping him warm.

The four blankets he’d wrapped around them didn’t hurt either. She’d mentioned something about buying a chiminea for the front porch. She’d had to explain what that was to him, since he didn’t have a clue.

When she told him it was an outdoor Mexican-style fireplace, his Puma had purred its approval of that idea.

After all, his snow princess only liked to come out at night, and he had to keep her warm. He couldn’t wait until summer, when she said she’d show him the joys of “moon bathing”.

She nuzzled his neck, planting a tiny kiss. “I’m fine. Once I shifted back to human the bleeding stopped.

It was just a flesh wound. Although I admit it stung like hell.”

He pulled her even closer with a low growl.

“Can’t. Breathe.”

He loosened his hold on her with a huffed laugh. “I don’t think I’ll be able to let you out of my sight for a good long while, sweetheart.” Hell, if he could he’d rig a papoose and carry her everywhere.

“What happened to the rest of Rudy’s Pack?”

Adrian snarled. “Dead.” And a good thing, too. Adrian had been damn near feral by the time they got Sheri back home. If any of the rogues had been alive, he’d have eaten them. Literally.

“You shouldn’t be walking,” a deep, cold voice said. They turned to look and realized the window behind them had been left cracked open, probably in an effort to remove the blood scent. They looked at each other, pretty sure they knew who Richard was growling at.

“I’m sorry, do you have a medical degree? No? Shut up.” Belinda’s voice panted, pained and pissed at the same time.

“You’re in pain.”

Belinda gasped mockingly. “I am? Really? I never would have guessed.”

“Then you shouldn’t be walking.”

“My doctors told me to move around as much as possible, as it will speed the healing process.”

“Heart-stopping agony speeds the healing process? In that case I’ll break out the red hot pokers. You’ll be better in no time.”

“Look, Dick , I’d much rather be riding the morphine train right now, but if I ever want to shift again then I need to get the goddamn pins out of my hip. If I ever want the pins out, I need to heal. My doctors told me to walk in order to heal. So sit. Stay. Good dog. Arf.”

Adrian and Sheri shared a wide-eyed glance. Belle was giving the huge Pack Alpha grief?

“She must be in an awful lot of pain,” Sheri whispered.

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