Day 3 of 12 Days of Giving Snowy Knights ~ Snow Bound
(Snowy Knights)Amity Jones is in trouble. Her ex-boyfriend is stalking her and won’t let her go, no matter how many times she runs away. After his latest attempt at kidnapping her, she has to disappear, or else. Lance Wingham, Alpha of the Rosewood pack isn’t expecting to find his mate in a ditch on the side of the road. Caring for her is easy. And, when Amity's ex-boyfriend shows up looking for her, he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her. Will Amity be able to accept the wolf lurking under Lance’s skin, or will she once again be running scared?
I’ll always find you. Amity shot up in bed with a gasp. Pain ricocheted through her body, causing her to groan and reach for her head. The incessant throbbing returned with a vengeance, something she’d grown accustomed to. She peeled open her eyes, trying to figure out where the hell she was, but the bright light increased the sharp stabbing ache. The room spun momentarily, then righted itself as she tried again to figure out where she had ended up.
The last thing she remembered was the slick, icy road and a vehicle following too close behind her. Javier. Her heart started to pound. She needed to get out of there. She needed to run. He had found her. Yet, when she opened her eyes once more, the light, not as bright as before, made her realize she wasn’t home.
Where am I? The harder she tried to remember what happened, the more her brain put the brakes on her memories. She glanced down at her arm wrapped in a sling and noticed the gray T-shirt she wore. How in the world? On the table next to her sat a glass of water and two white pills. The idea of taking both didn’t sit well with her. She needed to be able to think and move if Javier showed up, or worse, waited for her somewhere in this house.
Amity took one pill, then pushed back the covers of the bed. Had she been so out of it, she hadn’t realized someone had undressed her and put her to bed? Her legs were dotted with bruises of various sizes. The hand print on her upper thigh from where Javier had grabbed her during their last fight, turned green and yellow around the edges. Tears stung her nose, and gathered in the corners of her eyes. How had her life become such a shit pile? Why her?
She had never thrown herself a pity party before, but now it seemed appropriate. She hurt from head to toe, and her injuries from the last attack hadn’t even healed before he came after her again. She ran a shaky hand through her hair and hissed when she came in contact with glass. Great. Just fucking great. Whoever had her hadn’t even cleaned her up. <em>What the fuck is wrong with people.</em>
The fight or flight instincts she’d relied on for the last six months kicked in. She needed to get dressed and get the hell out of there. Amity glanced over at the chair across from her and found a stack of clothes. They weren’t hers by any means, but they’d do in a pinch. And where do you think you’ll go? Her car had to have been trashed. Plus, she didn’t even know where it was. She didn’t have her purse or her phone, though the chance of it working was between slim and none.
A knock at the door pulled her from her thoughts. She covered herself and slipped down into the blankets, pretending to be asleep. The less she said, the better off she’d be in this situation, at least until she could get her bearings. The door opened and the heavy cadence of footfalls grew near. “I know you’re awake, Miss. I’m a friend.”
Bullshit. No one was her friend. They could be bought off by Javier and pumped for information on where she was and how she got there. She didn’t move.
“I’m Sheriff Lance Wingham. I found you last night on the side of Highway 35. You’re at my home. The doctor said you should be fine, and I see you’ve already taken one of the pain pills the doctor left. I brought a breakfast tray for you, if you’re hungry.”
Her belly gave an appreciative growl. She cursed her wayward stomach for giving her away. “Where’s Javier?”
She opened her eyes, ready to give him a tongue lashing about playing stupid, when she paused. The man was a sight to behold and overwhelming. Short sandy-blond hair framed ruggedly handsome features. His cool, gray eyes assessed her, while his full lips were pursed and the muscle at his jaw ticked with tension. Broad shoulders gave way to a tapered waist and legs build for power. Heat licked at her insides as arousal fluttered low in her belly. This man was dangerous, and she didn’t care. “Javier. He…he’s trying to kill me.” She dipped her head, unable to hold the man’s commanding stare. “I’m Amity…Amity Jones.”
“It’s good to meet you, Amity.” He sat on the edge of the bed, the tray of food still in his hands. “I haven’t found him yet. But he won’t get far.” He placed the tray in front of her. “Eat. You need your strength.”
She glanced at the platter on the tray before her and groaned. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, and potatoes. Along with juice and coffee. A home-cooked meal, something she hadn’t had in months. “Thank you. Where am I?” She grabbed a piece of bacon and began to eat. The involuntary moan falling from her lips embarrassed her, but if he noticed, he didn’t say a word.
“You’re in Rosewood.”
An image of a snow covered wooden sign flashed through her mind. “I saw the sign.”
“I’m guessing you hadn’t meant to stop here?”
“Well…the storm.” She shrugged. “I had to stop or get stuck in it.”
“You’ve been here three days.”
The bacon settled in her stomach like a lead weight. “Three days?”
“Caleb said to let you sleep as much as you needed. Darlin’, you looked rough when I got you here.”
The way “darlin’” rolled off his tongue had her insides turning to goo. “I see. And, my car?”
“Totaled. It’s a mangled pile of metal.”
Despair filled her. Now, what would she do? “Oh.”
“Thorne did happen to bring your bag. Is there anyone I can call for you?”
She shook her head. “No. I don’t have anyone.”
A low sound, almost like a growl emanated from him. Or at least she thought it had. “You’re alone?”
He cursed. “My home is your home. You may stay here if you wish. I’ll have Thorne assess your vehicle again. Maybe he can fix it or has something suitable to replace it with.”
“Thank you.” But where would she go? Even if she had a car, Javier was out there somewhere, waiting for her to make her next move. She glanced over at the man, then back down at her plate, as she began to eat again. “Do you have any idea of where Javier went?” She didn’t understand her willingness to trust this man in front of her. Javi paid off most of his friends with bribes and kickbacks. For all she knew, this man had been on the take too. Yet, when she met his gaze once more, all she saw in his gray depths was a sense of safety and warmth.
“I have my men scouring the area as we speak. If he’s still around here, we’ll find him.” He shifted closer to her and laid his hand on her leg. “You need not be afraid of me, or my deputies. We will protect you.”
Javier said the same thing to her in the beginning, before beating the shit out of her. “No disrespect, Lance, but I’ve heard it before, and look at the situation I’m in.”
He grunted. “Point taken.” Instead of backing up, he got into her personal space. His gaze locked with hers. His lips mere inches from her mouth. “I aim to prove you can trust me, Amity.”
Her breath hitched. The scent of his aftershave swirled around her, ensnaring her in the heady smell of wilderness and spice. She licked her lips and swore she heard that rumbled sound again. “Trust is hard to come by.”
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