Another week, another update! This one is inspired by the picture of a tiger staring into the camera, which dovetails nicely. I hope you enjoy this week's flash chapter.
“I used to wonder if I might have been better off, after my Alpha sold me to the streak, if the doctor had taken me.” Ritch shuddered. “I guess I was lucky he didn’t. Unless, of course, Frank gets his hands on me again.”
“Not going to happen,” Park assured him. He shoved the books back on the shelf.
“He’s right. I won’t allow anyone to take you from my lands, if you don’t want to go,” I said. The armoire was empty of anything but knickknacks. “I’m going to try the office. Make sure you put the books back even. I’m serious about your mom killing me.”
Park had every right to be upset about everything that had happened, but he seemed to be far more focused on Ritch than what we might find hidden. I couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or not. Henry had often used the office with the door closed, his cue for us to leave him alone. I shut the door behind me and then sat down at the desk. Henry wasn’t stupid. He wouldn’t leave a printed email taped to the underside of a desk drawer or behind a photo. He’d taken his laptop and his phone.
The quiet in here was odd, the sounds of Ritch and Park searching muffled with the door shut. Growing up there’d always been the sounds of chaos. Friends over. Lydia cooking in the kitchen with the music going, the TV going in the background.
I sat back in the chair, studying the room. How did he get in touch with the doctor? The older streak members were gradually adjusting to the electronics era, but that Skype and Hangouts weren’t their strong suit. Emails were only so secure.
So phone calls. He couldn’t be using his regular cell phone; I saw him leave that lying around all the time. Burner phone? There’s no way he would’ve left that here. I leaned forward and rested my head in my hands.
The door opened. “You okay?” Park asked.
I rubbed my forehead. “I don’t know. Your dad was a smart man. He wouldn’t keep anything incriminating here when he left.”
“Maybe. Or maybe not. He had places where he put stuff. Did you know the base of that chair screws off? I saw him with it in pieces one time when I came in without knocking.”
It couldn’t be that easy. I got up and Park helped me flip the chair over and unscrew the wheeled base. We flipped the chair over and shook it, but nothing came out. “Damn it.”
“We’ll keep looking.”
I shook my head. “I don’t think we’ll find anything. I hoped we would, but your dad wasn’t stupid. He didn’t flee, he left, taking the time to make your mom think he was going because I sent him.”
“Exactly. There has to be something here.” Park ran a hand through his ruff. “I keep trying to think of where he spent a lot of time growing up. In here for sure. I really don’t want to go through my parents’ room.”
I leaned against him, gaining a level of comfort from the contact that I hoped that he got as well. “Kraig’s going to be okay, Park. We’ll figure all this out. The important thing is he’s with us, and safe. I shouldn’t have killed that doctor, but my rage was too strong. Now we’re hunting blind.”
“Mom will get information from Dad, and Cameron will find him. She may be his mate, but Kraig is her son.” Park grabbed the top of the desk and climbed to his feet. “Come on, let’s keep looking.”
“Did you find anything?” Kraig asked.
“No.” I slumped next to him on the couch. He leaned into me, rubbing his cheek against my shoulder. “How are—” I cut myself off. His light eyes stared into me, the warning clear. “I love you,” I said.
He rolled his eyes. “Well, it’s a good thing I’m the smart one between us. I had Mom pull up that number Dad called her from. He didn’t call tonight, but we ran a search. We got a city in Montana.”
“Did you let Cameron know?”
“We thought it would be best coming from you.” Kraig yawned.
“Let’s get ready for bed. It’s been a long-assed day.” I pulled out my phone and sent Cameron a quick text, telling him which direction. How he got there was up to him. I wasn’t going to micromanage. I helped Kraig up and we headed for the bathroom.
Naked time in the shower sounded just about perfect. I wanted to touch every inch of his body, to feel his heart beating and his breath on my skin. It wasn’t sexual, just a need for him that I couldn’t deny. Kraig didn’t protest as I washed him, dried us both off, and he let me pull him into my arms and twine my legs through his.
Sleep was slow to come, but I had what I needed. I pressed my cheek against the soft stubble on the back of Kraig’s head, inhaling his scent. His chest rumbled against my hand. There was so much against us, but we had this.
“I love you too, you know,” Kraig whispered. “I always have. I think, somehow, we were always supposed to be together.”
“We are now. That’s the important part.”
My phone ringing woke me. “We found him,” Cameron said. “But he’s dead.”
Kraig stiffened. I rubbed his chest. “How?”
“Not sure. We tracked that phone down to an area, then started looking for crap hotels he might be able to hide in. Once we found his car, I was able to scent him to his room. There were at least two other people here, humans, by their stench.”
“Bring him back here. Make sure you search everywhere in the hotel, just in case something was hidden there.”
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