Rising from the Ashes Chapter 1
Shaylee was never shy, so why couldn’t she tell him her name. He was gorgeous! That’s why she was tongue tied. He was seriously the man of her dreams. Warm honey eyes stared straight to her soul. Her heart beat rapidly inside her chest. She gazed at the perfect face before her. He had a strong chin, perfectly trimmed beard and light brown hair that looked as soft as silk. She had to hold herself back from running her fingers through his perfectly styled locks. He was close enough to touch. All she would have to do is reach up. He cleared his throat. “Miss, can you tell me your name?” He asked again.
Get a hold of yourself Shaylee, just tell him your name... She took a quick breath and closed her eyes to steady herself. “I'm sorry. My name is Shaylee, Shaylee McFadden.” She softly spoke.
He nodded once and smiled. He could see her exhaustion, she was clearly shaken up. “Well Shaylee, after your statement I can give you a lift home. You've had one hell of a day, I imagine.” He spoke so gently, she was comforted by his concern. “I’m Officer O’Neil. You can call me Lance. Do you know how the fire started?” This was the question she had been waiting for, but hoped wouldn’t come up. Of course she knew, she started it. It wasn’t on purpose, but they were trying to take her, she was scared. How did they find out about her though? She was always so careful. Looking down, she shook her head. “Did you see anything that was out of place or out of the ordinary?”
“No, nothing.” Still looking down she twirled her finger through a strand of her long soft hair. It was a nervous habit. She was afraid to make eye contact, afraid he would see right through her.
He watched her hands, mesmerized by how the hair naturally curled around her finger. Each movement brought about different shades of reds with gold flecks. His pants twitched. Beautiful! This woman is absolutely beautiful. She had soft skin, perfect curves, and a delicate face with a cute patch of freckles across her nose and cheeks. The smell of fire was still on her skin, but there was also a slight smell of cinnamon and something floral. He inhaled her scent. He’d never smelled anything like it before. She was tantalizing. “We’re about finished here, so whenever you’re ready, we can go.”
She softly smiled her appreciation. Looking around the hospital room she steadily got to her feet. The paramedics brought her in as a precaution, but she knew she was fine. Fire never hurt her. Her jeans were tattered and her white tank top was now black and gray from the fire. But she didn’t have to change into a gown when she arrived. Finding her ballet flats she gracefully placed them over her dainty feet.
“One more question, miss McFadden. Why were you in the warehouse?”
Her breath caught. How could she explain without revealing the truth? She looked up into the amber depths of his eyes. He could see her fear, her hesitance. He smiled encouragingly, a dimple showing through his whiskers. She knew she couldn’t reveal her secret, but she could explain how she got to be in the warehouse. She knew the fire fighters would see what was contained in the warehouse and that the two dead men could possibly be identified. Determined, she replied; “The two men kidnapped me. They were trying to get me into a van that was parked inside.”
Lance ran his hand down his face. Fuck. This just keeps getting better and better. Now I have to investigate a kidnapping on top of the fire. “Did you know these men?” Shaylee brushed back her hair with her fingers and shook her head no. He noticed as her shirt hem lifted to reveal a bruise on her side just above her right hip. Using his pen he slightly lifted her shirt, bringing attention to the mark. Shaylee reacted pulling her shirt down and winced. “Is that their handy work?”
“I think so, I didn’t notice that before.” Confusion was clear on her face. She started running her hands over the rest of her body, checking her arms and legs. Nothing. “Can you check my back, please?” She turned and lifted her shirt.
Lance had to move her hair, which he was more than happy to do. His hand brushed her back as he lifted her heavy curtain of hair, moving it to the side. Electricity shot straight through her and pooled deep between her legs at his delicate touch. She took a steadying breath. He couldn’t help but notice her skin so soft, softer than he expected. Her back was perfect and sexy. Her white bra was offset by her shimmery tanned skin. A tent formed in his pants. He looked her back over, perfectly clear skin until he noticed her neck. “You have another bruise on your neck. The thought of her in pain flattened his tent, thank goodness. “I need to record your injuries for the report.” She nodded her consent as he pulled his cell out and snapped a few pictures. He released her hair reluctantly. “Turn for me please, so I can get some of your hip.” She complied lifting her shirt, just so, as he took a few more shots.
He sat down in the chair next to the hospital bed. I’m sorry to put you through this, but the attempted kidnapping changes things. I’m going to need your statement of that as well. Please tell me about everything. Any detail might be helpful.” Her emerald green eyes snapped back to his. He saw more fear. “I’m not going to let anything happen to you. You’re safe with me.” He meant it. There was just something about this beautiful woman. He felt a deep desire to protect her, and was determined to do just that. He motioned for her to sit back on the hospital bed
She felt the truth of his words, she didn’t know why, but she trusted this man. She took her seat and another deep breath. His scent calmed her. He smelled fresh, like a warm summer breeze. It was masculine and he didn’t cover it with colognes. You can do this, just tell him what happened. She nodded. “I came out of the antique shop around the corner from the warehouse. I just passed the alley when the two men grabbed me.”
Writing down her words Officer O’Neil asked; “can you describe these men?”
“Yes. One had blond hair and a tattoo on his left arm of a blue dragon with two legs. The other had black hair, olive skin, and a leather jacket. The blond one called him Joey. He also had a tattoo, I didn’t see all of it, just the bottom around wrist. His was orange.” Shaylee knew they were their marks, but she had never met a Legendary before, except for her guardians. Of course she couldn’t explain this to a human.
Lance’s jaw tightened. Fucking Wyvern. I didn’t know they’re back in town… Dominic isn’t going to be happy about this. His favorite little henchmen. The brothers caught in a fire. It’s almost poetic. Wonder how long before they resurface. They’re such pieces of trash... Fuck, why would they want to kidnap her, though? “Was this the first time you’ve seen these men?" He continued his investigation.
She nodded her head. She remembered how they taunted her: “Little fire bitch, you’re going to bring in a lot of money.” The one in leather told her. Goldilocks looked her over with sleazy eyes “Joey, maybe we should keep her for ourselves, screw the boss. Look at her, you know she wants it.” Leather, clearly the one in charge replied; “can it, we gotta get her and get out of here.” Then the fire consumed them and everything else.
“They wanted to take me to their boss. They said I would make them rich. It all happened so fast.” A single tear escaped her eye.
He reached up to wipe it away with his thumb. His slight touch calmed her down. She looked into his eyes, they were piercing. “You’re safe now. Those men are gone. They can’t hurt you.” Hopefully…
She shook her head. “Their boss, what if he’s looking for me?”
Lance leaned closer, in absolute sincerity; “Shaylee, I promise I’ll keep you safe.” Dominic will probably come for her again, she’s right about that. He's a stubborn son of a bitch. When he wants something, or in this case someone, he takes it. Hopefully Joey and Jesse weren’t on orders to nab her. Ah, shit. He knew right then he had to protect her. Lance knew there was no one else that could protect her as well as he could. “Let’s get you home so you can get some rest.”