He lifted a shaky hand to touch the side of his face, but still didn’t say one word. Deep purple marks marred her neck. Mac’s body tightened, and a shallow breath managed to escape. He took in her pale face under the bruises and gazed at the chipped stubs of filthy bitten fingernails as she lowered her hand back to her side. Mac pulled himself together. “Lisa, we need to get you out of here, okay?” He gently helped her stand. She winced as he looped an arm around her side to steady her.
He took one look around the bare room and didn’t bother to ask if she needed to take anything. Taking one cautious step, she tried, but her knees buckled. Mac caught her before she got anywhere near the floor. Without thinking, he brushed one kiss on her forehead and looked into those big eyes that were fighting to stay open. She blinked at him slowly, easier breaths ghosting his face, and Mac’s arm tightened as her head lowered.
In that small, cautious, trusting movement, Mac heard his bear roar protectively as his arms tightened round her. No one would ever hurt a hair on her head again. While he still had breath left in his body, she would be safe, she would be cared for, and she would be… loved.
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Riley went to touch her face. Skye yanked her head back. Riley felt like he’d been slapped. He brushed a frustrated hand through his hair. “I’ll see you in the morning. I’ll come and get you when the kid’s leave for school.”
He tried to smile and failed miserably. Skye didn’t look like she was going to manage it either. Riley closed the door behind him. He chewed his lip. His bear was worried also. Even though he’d known immediately when he had first saw her in the woods because of her scent, neither of them had been able to sense her wolf. Female wolf shifters didn’t shift until mated, but he should be able to sense something.
She’d seemed interested in where she was, but he still had an uneasy feeling about her story. He wasn’t convinced she hadn’t been trying to distract him. Why was she so scared of him sleeping with her? She hadn’t liked it when he’d laid over her, but he was a big guy, maybe a little intimidating to someone who had never done this before. He would have been gentle with her. An uneasy feeling settled over him. He’d assumed she was a virgin. He had no idea why. He wasn’t. It’s not like he’d spent his teenage years waiting for his mate.
He stared at the closed door between them. Suddenly he felt sick. His legs buckled, and he slid down the wall to the floor. Shit. They all suspected she had been held captive for years. What if? What if she’d been raped? Riley breathed slowly. His hands fisted tight to stop his claws escaping. The thought of anyone touching her had his bear roaring so angrily, he didn’t know how he stayed human. Pain sliced his hands, and he relaxed them. His claws had pushed through, straight into each palm. Riley watched as the holes healed and the pain faded. He banged his head back sharply, uncaring.
There were big gaps in her story. He’d got the sense she was leaving things out. Maybe this was why? How on earth did he get her to talk about this, to trust him?
Had she lied? Why would she lie? Maybe he was being too harsh. Just because they were mates, didn’t mean automatic trust. It ought to, but it didn’t.
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