Lost Inside: Chapter 33
“I don’t want to go.” Yuri winced and lowered his voice. “I want to stay here.” Benny had tucked Yuri into his bed while he and Dav worked on finding Sheshtun. He was holding his head, and he still looked sick. Benny hated making him get up, but he couldn’t guarantee when he’d be back. Someone had to look after Yuri while he recovered.
“Don’t you want to see Cleara? The younglings?”
“They’re too loud.” Dark shadows inside Yuri’s eyes were made darker by the purple shadows under them. He’d been asked to endure so much. Benny tried to keep his ears upright. Dav thought one of his contacts had a lead on Sheshtun’s whereabouts. Bastard was hiding—big surprise. He’d never put himself at risk if he could get others to do his dirty work.
Benny’s phone range, and Yuri flinched. Benny growled as he yanked it out of his pocket. “Yes?”
“We need to head out. I have a bag of weapons ready. Stockins is double checking his surveillance footage, but he’s pretty sure a Tiger matching Yuri’s father’s description came through Lexer. My car has a full tank; I say we take it instead of your gas guzzling truck.” Dav wasn’t going to let Benny go on his own, even though Benny’d snapped at him, insisting taking down his mate’s father was his problem. A single glare from Dav when Benny had tried arguing had stopped him in his tracks.
Sometimes he forgot his friend Dav was Davis Retic, the Snake. When Dav asked him if he was putting his pride before his mate’s safety… Benny had caved. He knew he didn’t have a leg to stand on.
“I’m not ready yet. Yuri….” Benny trailed off. He didn’t want to say his mate was being difficult—but he was. Benny ran a hand over the soft bristles of his hair, wishing he could tug on it.
“What’s wrong with Yuri?” I heard a tussle, then Ellis’ voice came over the phone.
“What’s wrong with Yuri?” he repeated.
“I just asked him that.” Benny heard Dav in the background. He sounded exasperated.
“Well, are you a medical professional? No. I am. Now shut it.” Benny listened in silence.
“Benny? I asked you a question.” Now Ellis sounded exasperated at him. Benny cleared his throat. That was the last thing he wanted.
“Sorry. He doesn’t want to leave the apartment. Says Cleara’s younglings are too loud.”
“Hmm. His head probably hurts. He’s been through a lot. Being in your bed, with your scent, will probably help him. I’ll call Dr. Pannar and beg off for a few shifts. I’m sure he’ll understand. He’ll probably want to see Yuri, though, as well as the other doctors.”
Bile rose up to burn Benny’s throat and his breath caught in his chest in a painful lock. “No! No. He doesn’t go out. Yuri has to be safe, and guarded, at all times!”
Ellis lowered his voice to a soothing tone. “Oka, Benny, calm down. I understand, and I actually agree with you. Would it be okay for them to bring some portable equipment here? We’ll check it all, and I’ll only let the doctors you know in. No one new, and the guards will be there, the whole time.”
Benny tried to calm his breathing, which came out in pants after his outburst. Maybe it was better for Yuri not to leave.
“Okay. He stays here, with you, and at least two guards outside, and another two inside if anyone but you comes in.” No one, and he meant no one, was ever going to hurt his mate again.
“Come on, buttercup, I don’t have all night.”
Yuri had fallen asleep just before Ellis came over. Benny sat next to him on the bed, holding his hand and stroking Yuri’s soft hair away from his face. He flipped Dav off but didn’t get up.
“He’ll be fine,” Ellis assured him. “Go. Do what you have to do.” A dark look crossed over his face. Ellis had once done what he had to do, at the same time he learned he had fangs and venom—though he’d been born a full human.
Killing Sheshtun wasn’t the hardship. Benny didn’t think of it as anything but an act of long-deserved recompense for the evil Sheshtun wrought on those he should’ve protected. For his sons, his clan, and the future of all the Tigers… the bastard deserved to die.
“Make sure he gets a bacon cheeseburger for lunch, with fries. He likes those.” Kissing Yuri’s sweaty forehead one last time, Benny pulled his hand away and stood up. He let out a deep breath.
“I’m ready to go.”
He followed Dav out to his car and got in the passenger seat silently. The click of their belts was loud in the silence.
“We have confirmation on his location, and my informant is watching the house to ensure he doesn’t lose Sheshtun. Guns and knives are in the bag.” Dav gestured with his head toward the back seat of the car as he smoothly merged into traffic on the freeway.
“What’s our plan?”
“That depends. Are you going to do this the smart way or the guns blazing take no prisoners’ way?” Dav raised an eyebrow and glanced at him.
His question was one Benny had been bouncing around in his brain since he found out Dav had a lead. “Don’t know if I’m capable of a smart way.” Then again… if the result was Sheshtun’s bloody head in a sack, along with the dead bodies of his co-conspirators, Benny would be happy.
“Hear me out.”
Benny sighed. “We have a few hours.” He was exhausted, but he had so much adrenaline in his system, Benny knew sleeping was out of the question. “Okay. Tell me.”
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