Devon stood up, searching for a rag, towels, anything to put on her forehead. The sink was only a few feet away. He briskly walked toward it, pulling out several paper towels from the dispenser and wetting them slightly before he knelt and pressed them to her forehead.
She closed her eyes and opened them again, her hand coming up to rest on top of his. It still shook, but her breathing seemed less erratic. “It’s mostly my head. Are you sure it’s not bad?”
“Head injuries bleed a lot, Lark. It’s not that bad, five stitches at most. Do you remember what day it is?” Devon asked. She would likely have a concussion, but he wanted to assess how bad off she was.
“It’s Saturday, and you’re late,” she replied with a frown, after a long moment.
“Glad to see you’re okay.” It was an attempt at lightening the mood. Judging by the scowl, she’d perceived it as something else.
Lark quirked her brow at him and pushed away, grimacing as she sat up. Her other hand flew to her head. Worried she might pass out, Devon gripped her shoulders and pushed her back so she was leaning against the table leg.
“Oh my God,” she said. Her chest heaved and her eyes widened.
Devon didn’t need to look to know what she saw. He tucked a hand under her chin and turned her gaze back to him. “It’s okay,” he said quietly.
“Is he? Did I? I stabbed him, oh my God.” Lark’s breath sped up, sending tears sliding down her face.
“He’s unconscious and tied up. I took care of the other guy.” They needed to get out of here before more of Emmett’s men showed up, or she had a breakdown. “Can you stand? We should go.”
“But you killed the other man?” Her voice squeaked, several octaves higher than normal.
“He tried to kill you, Lark. If I didn’t kill him, he would have killed both of us.”
Lark closed her eyes and took in a shaky breath. “Let's go.” She opened her eyes, a look of determination on her face.
They stood up together. Lark’s body trembled beneath his hand. She wrapped her warm fingers tightly around his forearm, the other holding the towels to her head. His free hand wound around her waist, pulling her close and supporting her with his body. She wobbled slightly, but found her footing.
Devon led her out back, helped her into the passenger side of the truck, and buckled her in. “Lean back and relax, we’ll get you taken care of as soon as we get to the ranch.”
“You’re sure it’s not that bad?” Lark leaned her head back onto the headrest and blotted the giant bloodied knot with the towel.
“You’ll be fine,” Devon assured her, closing the truck door. “Keep the pressure on it to help stop the blood flow.” He pulled his cell phone out and dialed Rick’s number.
“Everything okay, Devon?”
“I need a cleanup crew sent to the bakery ASAP.”
“What happened? Is Lark okay? Were you hurt?” Rick yelled into the phone.
“She’s shaken up, but she’ll be fine. Probably has a concussion, and she definitely needs stitches. It was two of Emmett’s men. I took care of them. One is dead, the other is in restraints.”
“Thank God. Bring her here, I’ll call Preston and let Sarah know. She’s really okay?”
“We’ll be there shortly.”
“Be safe, Devon.”
Devon hung up and climbed into the truck. Lark sat with her eyes closed. He gently touched her arm. Now that they were out of danger, he could no longer ignore the electric charge that shot through his fingers at the mere touch of her heated flesh. “Hey, don’t fall asleep.”
Lark’s eyes popped open. “I was just resting my eyes,” she murmured. Her gaze lowered to his hand on her arm.
“Right,” Devon chuckled, pulling away from her and starting the car. “Seriously though, you need to stay awake. You may have a concussion.”
“I suppose you would know, huh?”
“Actually, yes, but I’m speaking more from a professional standpoint.”
Lark frowned, turning to stare at him. “There’s no way you’re a doctor.”
“Is that so hard to believe?” Devon pulled onto the main road.
Feeling her watching him, he glanced at her from the side. She sighed and looked away, seeming more relaxed. The talking helped, and he needed to make sure she stayed coherent.
“At first it was a way to take care of myself after my mishaps, but it became much more than that. I enjoyed it. The rush of saving someone’s life is a feeling you can’t possibly imagine.”
“Will you pursue that line of work here?” Lark asked.
“Not at the moment, maybe once all this settles down.”
“Right.” Lark rolled her eyes with a sigh.
“My first priority is taking care of my family and pack. In case you didn’t notice, my stepfather is a little upset about us leaving.”
“Is that who those guys were, from his pack?” Lark asked quietly, her voice thick with unshed tears.
“Yes, I don’t know why he came after you. We usually try not to involve humans as our existence is supposed to be a secret.” Anguish filled him again at Emmett lashing out at Lark. “You’re safe. I mean, we won’t let anyone hurt you.”
“Thank you.” Lark turned back to him.
Devon shifted his eyes to her. “You’re welcome.”
Bethany Shaw writes paranormal, science fiction and contemporary romance. Vampires, shapeshifters, and good old-fashioned romances are her favorites. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she enjoys creating fun and imaginative characters and worlds.