ec556-moonthumb“Crap!” Max just about hit the roof.

“She must be in a lot of pain,” Doc said, “see the welts covering her scars?”

“She’s ghostly white and her lips are blue.” Max snarled, but adjusted his sight to the scars on her arm, they blazed red. He growled out a string of curses.

“Follow her home, but remember do not touch her. Chase, Jamie, and I will hold a meeting, and bring you up to speed in the morning when Chase relieves you from your post.”

He glared at Doc before climbing out of Jamie’s vehicle. He wanted to be at the meeting. He wanted to know what Doc thought. He wanted to yank Montana there with him, hold onto her and never let her go, but he couldn’t. He had to keep an eye on her, so he would miss the meeting. The whole situation had him gritting his teeth. Unbelievably his already tight muscles tensed even more, he didn’t think he would ever be able to relax again.

He returned a short time after Montana and entered the house. The rain had eased off into a drizzle and the house was dark as black inside without the lightning lighting it up. He wandered the downstairs, making sure the rooms were empty before slipping into the garage. Putting on some gloves he untied the bag on her Harley and peeked in. Gold coins filled the pockets to the brim. It certainly seemed like Sterling was planning on moving back into this realm, and Montana was his means of doing that.

He swallowed, wondering again how he’d save her. After seeing her drained of all of her color tonight he’d had the strong urge to grab her and run. He blocked out the sight of her kissing Sterling the moment it surfaced, reminding himself she had no idea what she was doing. When he’d seen that it felt like she’d plunged a knife into his heart.

He re-tied the bag, jerked his head up, and gazed at the ceiling of the second floor, willing himself to see through it. He though he heard Montana screaming at him.

He shook his head; there it was again, like an echo vibrating through his mind. He bounded out of the garage, taking the stairs three at a time, flew into her bedroom, didn’t see her in bed then yanked open the bathroom door.

Heat and steam blasted him as he entered. Waving it away he glanced in the shower, she was sitting there fully clothed with her head between her knees. She didn’t look up. He went over and put his hand under the water, pulling it back quickly. It was scalding hot. He reached over to turn on the cold water and even out the temperature.

“Don’t touch it! I’m freezing!” I snapped.

He stepped back, wanting to wrap his arms around her and warm her with his own body.

Had he heard me? I’d been screaming at him in my mind for what seemed like hours now, he was finally here.

I wanted him to wrap his arms around me and hold me tight. I wasn’t sure what happened tonight. I only knew I found myself standing in my bedroom, freezing, fully dressed, and soaking wet, my scars burning with a vengeance.

Tears slipped down my face. I needed Max. I needed to feel his warmth and tenderness, but I couldn’t even ask. I felt like I was wrapped in a lonely cocoon, like something prevented me from reaching out to him.

I raised my head. He stood there wearily, watching me with his arms crossed over his chest. I opened my mouth then closed it. It was no use, nothing would come out. I screamed at him with my mind—help me please!

He blinked and his eyes narrowed a touch.

Did he hear me? I opened myself up to his emotions, yelling at him again in my mind. He flinched and stepped back, shocked. I smiled, closing myself back up. Opening up to other people’s emotions left me exhausted, and I was exhausted enough already. I closed my eyes, drifting off with the hot water pounding on my cold aching body.

Max couldn’t believe it. She had been screaming at him. He actually felt her let down her barrier. Her screams for help vibrated through his being. She’d startled him into silence and now she was sleeping in the shower.

He gritted his teeth while punching a number into his phone.

“Chase, I need you here now! Put on Doc.”

“The Doc will call you back on his cell. I’ll be there ASAP.”

Max’s phone rang the moment Chase hung up. He answered, closed the bathroom door three quarters of the way and sat on the floor, leaning against the wall. Chase had better be here before the water got cold.

He explained to Doc what happened in low tones.

I woke up sweating, wearing flannel pajamas, and covered in three heavy blankets. What the…? I threw the blankets off me and stumbled to the shower. It was spring in Florida. Why would I need all of those blankets?

I passed Max sleeping in the chair, a memory niggled its way into my thoughts. I tried to grasp it, but it disappeared leaving me with the feeling that it had been really important for me to remember. I sighed looking at myself in the mirror. I eyed my neck, my ears, and my hands, there wasn’t any jewelry adorning my body. I grinned; now all I had to do was figure out a way to slip past Max or Chase, depending on who was here at the time, and return the other jewelry to the gulf.

“Good morning.”

Chase startled me when I stepped out of the bathroom, which meant Max wasn’t here anymore.

“Good morning.” I glided over to my dresser for some clean clothes.

“You’re in a good mood. Did you sleep well last night?”

I glanced at him. No. I was still exhausted.

“Slept better than I have been,” I lied.

“Good. Max will be back later. What’s the plan for today?”

Maybe giving you a light dose of sleeping pills so I can return the jewelry, I thought to myself. I smirked, I’d be lucky if he fell for that one again.

“No plans. I do need a favor from Max; I’ll talk to him when he comes back.”

He nodded. “I need some coffee. If I leave you alone for a minute will you stay put?”

“I will. I promise.”

He raised his eyebrows at me before walking out the door. I quickly got dressed.

“Hey Chase, just going out back.” I said passing the kitchen.

I stepped out onto the back porch and lit a smoke. Chase handed me a mug of java. I sat down enjoying the weather. I need a plan, I thought, as I downed my coffee.

Sterling-A Montana Dayton Novel Chapt.14:2
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