Soar (Page 35)

“I appreciate the concern, but I’m fine.” I put my hands on her arms and looked into her eyes. “What about you? Are you all right?” I gently touched the area around a faint cut on her forehead.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Her words sounded fake, and I needed to get to the bottom of it.

“I’m going to go watch the house.” Cody touched Casey’s arm as he squeezed by us to get to the door.

I swallowed down my annoyance at seeing anyone else touch her. “Thanks, man. I owe you.” I wasn’t sure if he had anything to do with the cut, but if it was unavoidable in order to get her away from the bear, I could let it slide.

“Just doing my job. Besides, I had some decent company.” He winked at her. He was lucky I’d already done enough fighting that night.

She smiled. “And you’re not so bad when you aren’t kidnapping me.”

“Kidnapped? Is that what you think?” My body tensed.

“Chill out. She’s kidding. We’re okay now.”

“Good.” In all the craziness of the night, I hadn’t worried about whether she thought we were on the same side.

“I need to talk to you.” Her words were soft, but I’m sure Cody could still hear them from the other side of the door.

I nodded. “Let’s talk.”

I led her into one of the formal sitting rooms. It was one of those rooms that served no purpose. What’s the point of a room filled with uncomfortable furniture? I loved the location of the house, but if I ever moved in, I’d have to gut the place and turn it into something more modern. I pictured asking Casey to move in there. If I gave her the choice, she’d probably want to knock down the walls and revamp the outdated kitchen.

She took a seat on a brown sofa, and I sat down next to her, leaving less than the socially acceptable amount of space. I wanted to be close. She seemed unconcerned with discovering I had wings, but maybe that was just shock. I wasn’t looking forward to the questions I knew were coming. “What do you want to talk about?”

“I know why the bears want me.” She looked down, but that wasn’t going to work.

I put a hand under her chin and lifted it up. “Why?”

“Well, I guess I don’t know why, but I’m not surprised now that I know who they are. Oh, this is coming out wrong.” She let out a breath. “Let’s try it again.”

I picked up her hand and held it in mine. It was so small and fragile, it looked like the kind of hand that needed to be held and kept safe, but I knew better. Casey was strong, she was a fighter. You could tell just by being in the same room as her. “I’m listening.”

“They have my sister.”

“The bears?”

“Yes. Murphy, that burly, creepy guy that you punched.”

“Yes?”

“He was my sister’s boyfriend and then she disappeared.” Tears welled in her eyes, and I had to reach out for her.

I pulled her into my arms. “I’m sorry, Casey. Did he say anything about her?” I wanted to react, to do something, but staying calm was the only way I’d get more information from her.

“He said he’d take me to her. He wanted me to go with him. Eric told me to run.”

“Would you have gone?” I watched her closely. How desperate was she to find her sister?

“Maybe.”

My chest clenched at the thought of her willingly turning herself over to them. Still, I understand it. I knew the lengths someone would go to protect the people they loved. “How long ago did she disappear?”

“Two years ago.”

“Did you know what Murphy was?”

She shook her head. “No. I had no clue. I introduced her to him because I was dating his little brother.”

“You dated a bear…” I tried to keep the emotion out of my voice.

“Yeah, I guess so. We dated for a few months.”

“Oh.” I sensed there was more, a lot more, than she was saying. “We’ll find her.” We would. If it was what Casey needed, I’d get it done. She’d brought me more happiness in the few days we’d spent together than I’d had in months. I’d make things right for her. The only thing I feared was that the sister wouldn’t want to be found.

She nodded. “Thank you.”

“I have to clamp down on the violence. We took care of the majority of it, but there is likely more to come. After that, we find her.”

“What if they’re related?”

“Related?”

“Yeah. What if the reason they took her and why they want me is all related to the attacks. I mean, they can’t be that desperate for girls.”

“Did you just crack a joke?”

She smiled slightly.

Unbelievable. This girl was perfect.

“Sorry, I know I make jokes at bad times.”

“Don’t say sorry.” I leaned in. “Don’t ever say sorry.”

I needed her lips, and I took them. I smashed mine into hers, wrapping her up tighter in my arms. I deepened the kiss immediately, pushing her to open up more. She moaned, clearly fine with the demand. Our tongues connected, and I was lost.

Without consciously thinking about it, I moved us so she was lying down with me hovering over her. She wrapped her arms around my neck, pulling me down on top of her. It was her turn to be demanding. Her nails raked up my back, and I needed more of her. I slipped a hand up her leg, letting it rest just below her ass as my other hand moved under her long sleeve shirt.

“Toby,” she moaned as I let my lips wander down to her neck.

I heard someone clearing their throat, but I ignored it. Cody could get lost. I needed Casey, and she needed me.

“Well, hello there,” a taunting voice said from the doorway.

I groaned, moving off Casey.

I took a moment to compose myself. “What the hell are you doing here, Florence?”

Jared smirked. “Obviously interrupting something good. Glad you two found a good use for this hideous couch.”

His eyes zeroed in on Casey, and I belatedly realized I’d left her skirt and shirt riding up.

She fixed them before I could, and she looked incredibly embarrassed.

“How did you get in here?”

“Your friend let me in.”

“Shouldn’t you be on your way to New Orleans to brief the king?”

“I told you I’d be coming. Besides, I’ve got some news.” He still watched Casey and that made me want to send him flying out of the room. I wasn’t playing games. He wasn’t going to screw things up for us.