“Ouch-dammit, come on Doc! My ass just got blown to bits, you could be a little gentler.” I breathed a sigh of relief at the sound of Derek’s voice.
“It would be easier on you if you’d stop moving so much.” Dr. Morris complained.
“Come on, you big baby, it isn’t that bad.” I smiled at him as I entered his room.
“Damn, Em, you look like shit.” I laughed and sat down next to him.
“Quite the charmer.” I took his hand in mine. “Are you okay?”
“I’ll be better when the doc is done torturing me.” Dr. Morris rolled her eyes at him.
“I am not torturing you, I’m changing your bandages. It’s imperative that we keep these clean so you make a full recovery.” Derek let Dr. Morris finish her work before she left the two of us alone. Well, semi-alone. Alex hovered in the doorway like a watchdog.
“Are you okay?” I asked him. “I want a real answer, Derek.”
“I can’t say I haven’t been better.” He winced as he tried to turn to me. “What about you?”
“You took most of it. I just hit my head.” I rubbed the bandage.
“We don’t know.” I looked over my shoulder at Alex. “But whatever it was, Nick seems to think I’m the target so I now have a babysitter.”
“Great.” Derek rolled his eyes. “I love having Alpha eyes on me at all times.” He sat up as much as he could and turned his attention to Alex. “I’ll call for you when I need to take a shit, Omega!”
“Derek!” I pushed him down to the bed and he groaned. “Sorry! I’m sorry! Dammit, Derek.” I stood up and assessed the damage I did.
“I’m fine.” He linked his hand into mine. Thankfully, Alex ignored him, he was in no shape to start a fight. “Emma,” he winced again. “What the hell did you get yourself into it?”
“I wish I knew.” I have wracked my brain for a reason, any reason why someone would want me dead. I’ve kept to myself since my mother’s death. I didn’t look into it after the pack leaders closed the case. So why were they striking again? Who was it?
The following day I was sent home from the hospital. My dad picked me up and dropped me off at my house. He wanted me to stay at his house but I refused. I wanted to get back to my life. Derek was still in the hospital for another few days while his wounds healed. My head was nothing more than just a scab and a reminder that my old life wasn’t enough anymore. Whoever detonated that bomb that almost killed Derek was going to be found and he was going to pay.
My phone pinged back at me and I opened the text message right away.
‘He’s at Rizzo’s.’ Emmett was going against everything in his wolf and his training by disclosing the location of our Alpha. I didn’t even send a text back. I placed my phone in my back pocket and grabbed a jacket on my way out the door. Rizzo’s was the bar Emmett and I went to for our first date. What was I doing? I wasn’t really sure. I needed to confront him but I didn’t know what I was expecting. Be strong. Be confident.
I flung the door of Rizzo’s open, my eyes didn’t have to search long to find Nick. Natalie was with him, her ass planted on the table beside an open bottle. Nick was leaning into her, flirting, his hand on her bare leg. Her shorts were so short her bare ass was on the table. I hope the bartender had a strong disinfectant. My scent must have caught Nick’s attention before anything else, his golden eyes darting to mine. I slammed my hands on the table, my finger getting way too close to Natalie’s ass. She squealed as she jumped, nearly falling into Nick’s lap.
“What the hell, Emma?” She jumped off the table and turned to me.
“Some alpha you are, hiding the truth from your pack.” I didn’t yell, but I wasn’t keeping my voice down either.
“Emma—“ Nick gave me a warning growl.
“What?” I hissed through my teeth. He turned his attention back to Natalie.
“Excuse us.” He grabbed my wrist with such force I knew he could break it with one snap. He practically dragged me out of the bar, swinging my body so hard out the door I thought I was going to smash into the side of the building, but I caught my balance. “What do you think you’re doing?” He was almost calm.
“I’m uncovering the truth, something you’re so desperate to cover up.” He actually laughed at me. I was getting so mad, all I wanted to do was punch him.
“You should get your facts straight before you come here accusing me of things in front of the pack. I mean come on, Emma, you were just released from the hospital and now you’re coming into bars screaming about uncovering the truth? You look like a lunatic.” He turned away from me, dismissing me. He wanted the pack to see me that way. So they wouldn’t believe me. My anger took over, my finger nails turning to claws. Within a split second my hand reached out and grabbed his arm, my claws digging into his skin. He growled, his arm twisted from my grip as his other hand grabbed my forearm, the force of his body slamming into mine had me against the building before I could even know what happened. I couldn’t say the sheer power of his body didn’t turn me on. My body was radiating heat like a wood burner but I had to ignore every ounce. “You’re going to get yourself hurt.” Was he threatening me?
“I’ve already been hurt.” I kept my eyes on his.
“Emma, I’m trying to keep you safe, don’t you see that?”
“From what, Nick?” I could feel my confidence weakening. “From you?”
“Stop looking into this.” His voice was almost pleading.
“What are you hiding?” I tried to push myself off of the building but his body had me in a tight hold.
“I’m asking you to go back to your life at the bar. Your simple life that you wanted, Emma, go back to it. Looking into this is only going to get you hurt.”
“What if I don’t?”
“Then I won’t be asking next time.” He stepped back, keeping our eye contact for just a second before he disappeared into the night. I fell to the ground, my weakened knees not being able to hold me up any longer. My hands found my face as I tried to compose myself. Ever since my mother was killed I wanted nothing more than what Nick just spoke of. A simple life at the bar. I work, I go home. Nothing more. I didn’t want friends, I didn’t want a mate. But now, that explosion set a new fire in me. I needed answers, I needed to solve this mystery that’s been haunting me for tens years. Even if it was against my alpha’s orders.