“Son of a bitch! Ritch, hide!” I jerked my arms and the cuffs busted through the cheap wood. Ritch bolted upright and then scooted backward off his bed and into the corner. “Where the fuck is the key?”
No time. I jumped off the bed, fighting with the sheet. In seconds the attacker was on me. I fought back, using my cuffed arms to grab the back of his neck and yank his head down onto my rising knee. He yowled and raked my sides with sharp claws.
I held back my own cry and fought with my teeth clenched. I had no time to spare to see if there were others coming in or if Ritch was safe. Hampered by the cuffs, I fought back using my legs, finally getting my attacker on the ground. I rolled us, getting his back to my front, and held on tight with both legs around his waist and my arms locked around his throat.
My shout rang through the room when he clawed down both my arms and hands, but I didn’t let go, even after blood dripped down his neck and onto my chest. He finally went limp and his arms splayed out to the sides.
I groaned as I shoved him off me. There was no one else in the room. “Ritch?”
He peered over the bed.
“Call Christian.” I’d be shocked if he hadn’t heard the commotion, but I’d tried to keep it quiet. Shit, I was bleeding all over the carpets. “And then I need towels.” I yanked the ugly bedspread down to the floor and pushed it under me to hopefully soak up some of the blood. My mattress was halfway off the bed, and I was having a hard time catching my breath.
Ritch unlocked the door and then grabbed towels while I kept my eye on the intruder. “I can’t find the key,” Ritch said. He turned on the light, and I flinched.
The door burst open. I growled and tried to stand, but Ritch put his hand on my shoulder. “It’s just Christian.” And the werekin staying in his room, of course.
“What the fuck happened here?” Christian hissed.
“That guy broke busted his way in through the window. He’s unconscious.”
“Jesus.” Caleb looked at me and then the tiger on the floor. “He tore you up good.”
“I’m awake and he’s been choked half to death. Pretty sure I fucking won that one.” I snarled and the towels on my arms slid off, exposing the cuffs.
“Bondage? Sweet dreams are made of this,” the bear said. He laughed huskily.
“Oh shut the fuck up. And be quiet, damn it. Do you want the humans to hear and come investigate?” The was blood everywhere, and I knew my eyes were glowing red. I’m was damn close to hunter mode, and if one of these fuckers pushed me, I was going to hand out another ass-kicking.
“Found it!” Ritch crowed quietly. He carefully unlocked the cuffs, grimacing when his fingers came away bloody. He bowed his head. “I’m sorry.”
“What, why?” I swayed toward him. Maybe the blood loss was getting to me.
“You wouldn’t have been locked up if I hadn’t been such a weakling. I know you won’t hurt me, and now you’re all torn up. I can almost see bone on your wrist.”
“I heal quickly. Come on, look up.” He did and I smiled ruefully. “So you have to drive for a few days, and I won’t be winning any races. I’m fine. And now we have a clue. Toss those cuffs to Christian, but keep the key on you, okay?”
Christian pulled the tiger up and into a chair before cuffing his hands behind him. He hung limp. “Doesn’t look like he’s waking up for a while.”
“Fine. I need some time to clean up. First Aid kit’s in the car. Christian, go with Ritch, please?”
The wolf had trailed behind the bear, so I hadn’t seen him until they moved out of the way. “You. Come sniff this guy and tell me if he smells like our quarry. And no fucking wisecracks, Wolf.”
“My name’s Victor, and you’re not very cautious, are you?” He leaned close to our captive and began sniffing.
I leaned against against the bed. “What do you mean by that?”
“You send away your men, and you stay here with us while you’re injured. Foolhardy, if not outright stupid.”
“Why, you thinking about attacking me while you think I’m weak?” I split my attention between both of them, but neither looked ready to move in just yet. Ritch had moved my weapons bag next to me and it was gapped open from his search for the keys. I narrowed my eyes—I hoped the fuckers tried something.
“Maybe,” the bear rumbled.
Good enough. I whipped out a pistol and aimed it at his face. “Maybe I don’t care if we have to get rid of a few human witnesses then. Survival of the fittest, after all.”
He held up his hands and stepped back. I swung the gun toward Victor. “What about you? Got more attitude for me?”
“I’m just here to sniff these guys out and get the fuck back to my clan.”
“Well then get to work.”
By the time Ritch and Christian had me cleaned up, the rest of the werekin had filed in and our guest was beginning to stir. “Think he’s part of it?” I asked.
There were some general murmurs, but then Ritch actually spoke up. “I don’t think so. I recognize him.”
I growled. “Do you now?”
“He’s part of the alpha’s clan. One of his errand boys, the ones who don’t mind getting the job done even if it’s dirty.”
“Dirty, huh?” I glanced down at the tape holding the bandages on my ribs and the swathes of fabric covering the slices down my arms. I’d have scars. “I can do dirty.”
More to come next week! Want more flash? Visit these authors: