Lessons in Purrsuasion: BBW Paranormal Werelion Surprise Pregnancy Mob Romance (Chicago Catastrophe) (14 page)

BOOK: Lessons in Purrsuasion: BBW Paranormal Werelion Surprise Pregnancy Mob Romance (Chicago Catastrophe)
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Twenty-Six
Stone

H
earing Selina’s
voice made Stone’s lion roar with joy.

“Are you guys alright?”
she asked, sounding worried.

The whole situation was ridiculous.
She
was worried about
them.
The irony was too much for Stone.

He looked over to the couch where Kate was sitting. She had been in the middle of undoing the Velcro straps of her vest, hiding her winces in the process, when Stone realized he had a missed call. She was staring at him, brows raised questioningly.

“It’s her,” he mouthed at Kate before answering Selina. “We’re alive. Where are you, are you safe?” he said into the phone.

“I’m okay. Richard tried to take me to Parker but I escaped.”

“When I get my hands on that snake…” Stone muttered into the speaker, imagining his claws ripping into Richard’s body.

“Actually, he’s with me right now,”
Selina interjected, her tone icy.

Fear leapt through Stone, but Selina was already explaining.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got a gun on him. Oh, and he regrets his actions or whatever and totally wants to help now. Should I shoot him now or wait?”

The last part was delivered with so much sarcasm that Stone couldn’t help but smile. His little spy was outclassing them all.

“Where are you? I’ll come get you,” Stone said, already reaching for his car keys.

Richard could be sorry all he wanted, that didn’t change anything. But right now, the most important thing was to get to Selina.

“I have a car, I’ll come to you. You should stay put. Just text me the address.”

Stone glanced at Kate, cradling her ribs as she attempted to sit back down. He didn’t want to leave his friend, alone and defenseless, but Selina was alone in a car with a traitor. Selina must have already figured what he was thinking.

“Do you really want to waste time arguing? Just tell me where to come,” she said before hanging up.

Goddamn it, woman!

Stone sent Selina the directions and started pacing around the room. He wouldn’t get a second of peace until Selina was here, back at his side. He hurt all over and yet, the mental image of ripping Parker to shreds kept playing in his head like a pleasant lullaby.

“She’s coming?” Kate asked.

“Yeah. And she’s not alone. Richard’s with him.”

“What? Why is she hanging out with her kidnapper?”

Good question.

Stone grabbed an icepack from the freezer and handed in to Kate. She flinched as she pressed it to her ribs.

“I have a feeling the roles have been reversed. She also said something about him being sorry? I guess we’ll see when they get here.”

His tone was calm, but on the inside, all he could think about was holding Selina in his arms again and never letting go.

It took about thirty agonizing minutes until there was a knock on the door. Stone opened it, only to be greeted by Richard’s face, wracked with guilt as it was. Stone’s rage threatened to boil over, but somehow he managed to keep it in check.

Selina was standing behind Richard, gun shoved against his back. A smile slid across her lips as their eyes met. Stone waived them in and locked the door behind them, fighting his urge to grab Selina and kiss her as she walked past.

The hand Selina was gripping the gun with fell to her side as she rushed towards Stone and wrapped him in a fierce hug as soon as the door shut. He squeezed back, inhaling her scent and letting it permeate his being. Stone’s lion finally stopped clawing at his insides, content to have his mate back.

Selina stepped back to take stock of him. He knew it wasn’t exactly a pretty picture. Blood was seeping through his shirt from the gashes he sustained as a lion and he could barely put any weight on his left foot.

She frowned as her gaze moved over Stone’s shoulder to Kate, who already had her weapon drawn and was pointing it at a chair not too far from where she was sitting on the couch.

“Why don’t you have a seat over there, Richard,” she suggested politely.

Stone could tell from the way Kate’s eyes burned she was feeling anything but.

Richard sat down, avoiding her gaze.

Kate looked even worse than Stone. Her arms were covered in scratches, dried blood caked in her hair and on her neck. You could tell every breath she drew caused her pain. She was a long way from the carefully put together ice queen she usually was.

“Kate,” Selina whispered, letting go of Stone and moving to her side.

“It’s okay. Most of the blood is from the tiger that jumped on top of me and tried to use me as a scratching post,” Kate responded with a brittle smile, never taking her eyes off of Richard.

“And the icepack?” Selina asked, worry swirling in her dark eyes.

“Tom shot her,” Stone interjected guiltily. “He got a hold of my gun in the chaos. Fortunately, he only hit her bulletproof vest, but she’s still got bruised ribs.”

“It’s not your fault, Stone. It’s his,” Kate hissed, waving her gun at Richard.

The man finally looked up, giving Kate a pained look.

“I did it for you. Selina was supposed to buy you leniency from Parker and the Crimson Claws.”

Kate’s eyes widened at that. Selina took a deep breath and rattled off a quick explanation before either Kate or Stone could say a word.

“Richard is in love with you. He thought Parker was going to get wise sooner or later and kill you, so he struck a deal to trade me for your safety.”

Richard cringed in his seat.

“That’s pretty much the gist of it,” he admitted.

Richard is in love with Kate?
How did I not notice that?
Stone wondered.
Well, of course you didn’t notice, all your attention was on Selina
, he countered, answering his own question.

Selina stood from kneeling beside Kate and moved to his side and he relaxed despite himself. He locked his fingers around hers, needing to keep her as close as possible. Having her away from him was a hundred times worse than any physical pain he had ever experienced. It was something he never wanted to go through again.

“And you thought that would work?” Kate exclaimed, more shocked by the stupidity of Richard’s plan rather than his motivations.

“That’s what I said!” Selina quickly threw in.

“My people are dead because you thought you knew what’s best for me?” Kate shouted in disbelief, gasping at the pain that followed raising her voice, her pretty face twisting in anguish.

“I didn’t mean for any of that to happen,” Richard answered, slumping over and grabbing his head between his hands.

“I should kill you right now,” Kate ground out, shaking with anger.

Richard squared his shoulders and faced her.

“You have every right. I just wanted an opportunity to say I’m sorry. Everything I did, I did because I care about you.”

Stone caught the pitying look Selina gave Richard. She tightened her hold on his hand and spoke softly to Kate.

“We could still have use for him. And there’s been too much death today already.”

Kate must have agreed, as she slowly lowered her gun, eyes glistening with unshed tears of rage.

“I’m going to wash this blood off. Don’t turn your back on this one,” she said, standing and almost dragging herself towards the bathroom.

Stone looked around the apartment, thinking of the best way to restrain Richard. It was a nice little two-bedroom home with modest furnishings and low ceilings. Kate had assured him no one but she knew about it and it couldn’t be traced back to any of her aliases.

Stone started pulling out random drawers until he found some rope. It was one of those necessities that any assassin’s lair needed. Richard didn’t object when he used it to tie him up to the sturdiest chair he could find. Next, he had the man put in some earbuds and connected them to the entertainment system, turning the volume way up.

“So he can’t hear what we’re saying,” he commented to Selina.

“Yeah, I kind of got that,” she responded with a small eye-roll.

Always challenging me, this one,
he thought with a grin.

He pulled her close, tracing a finger along her jawline and reveling in the electricity that crackled between them. The dark pools of Selina’s eyes warmed as she leaned against him, enveloped in his warmth.

“Did he hurt you at all?” Stone asked, even though she looked unharmed.

“No, I’m okay,” she answered, smiling up at him.

“People sure do love kidnapping you,” he grinned, attempting to lighten the mood a bit.

“What can I say, I’m in high demand.”

Stone was just about to plant a kiss on her perfectly pink lips when Kate returned from the bathroom, wrapped in a silk robe. She was still much too pale, but was starting to look more like herself again.

She threw a furtive glance Richard’s way. When she saw he was very securely tied to a chair facing the wall and had music blasting in his ears, she gave Stone a grateful nod. Apparently she didn’t have a lot of love for her prince charming.

They all sat down on the couch with Selina’s hand still firmly in Stone’s.

“So what do we do now?” she asked.

“I sort of have an idea, but there are still a few pieces missing,” Stone answered.

Two pairs of eyes fixed on him, full of resolve.

“Let’s hear it.”

Twenty-Seven
Selina

S
elina listened
with rapt attention as Stone outlined his plan, fighting through the queasiness that seemed to have taken up permanent residence in her stomach. She chalked it up to general anxiety and stress, sipping on her glass of water just in case dehydration was the culprit instead.

“Right now, Parker has the upper hand because he has the whole Crimson Claws backing him up. We can’t take him down without risking some sort of retribution. But if the Claws decided he was more trouble than he was worth...” he trailed off.

“He’s probably already on his boss’ shit list for using so many resources just to get to one woman,” Kate remarked.

The thought of Parker getting in trouble because of his obsession with her pleased Selina, even though it was a very small victory. Stone continued on, his confident voice carrying over the room. It made her feel safe, even if the situation didn’t exactly warrant it.

“Exactly. I learned from Will that Parker handles the cash they raise and arranges its transport to a bank that’s under their thumb. If we could get our hands on that money, we could prove Parker’s incompetence. We could even offer to return it to his boss in exchange for future safety.”

It was as good a plan as any, but…

“We have no idea where he keeps the money,” Selina commented, catching the hint in Stone’s voice.

“Yup, that’s the catch,” Stone said, leaning back in his seat.

“Did you maybe overhear something, were any locations mentioned, anything at all?” Kate asked as she turned to Selina, grasping at straws.

Her eyes looked tired and her hair was straight, not in her usual curls. They were all ready for this whole ordeal to be over. If Selina could just remember something useful, give them a lead, at least.

“I mostly stayed as far away from Parker and his guys as I could and after that first night they never took me anywhere, I only stayed at the apartment,” Selina sighed.

Stone perked up, probing her with his gaze.

“What do you mean ‘after that first night’?” he asked, giving Selina hope she actually did have some helpful information.

She frowned, thinking back to the first evening of terror, where she’d felt so out of her head that she barely noticed a thing as she was led through the mud to her near certain death.

“Tom and another guy took me to this construction site where Parker was waiting. They took me to the nearby woods to kill me,” she explained.

The memory still made her hands shake a little. How close she had come to dying that night… Stone squeezed his fingers around hers. And to think, if she hadn’t been kidnapped, she would have never met Stone. It was an odd thing, being kind of glad someone tried to kill you.

“Would they really take her somewhere important though?” Kate mused.

“That’s just it, they wouldn’t have cared, I was going to be too dead to tell anyone anything. Parker only spared my life at the last second and Tom looked genuinely surprised by it,” Selina argued, growing excited.

This might be it!

Right now, any clue, no matter how small, could help them. Nothing could be dismissed.

“Do you think you could lead us there?” Stone asked, his leg pressing against hers as they sat on the couch.

Could she? She had been more focused on her fear than the ride to her execution. Plus, she had been on the backseat, not really looking out the window. She resolved to not let her doubts sway her.

“I can try.”

She had done may things she wouldn’t have thought herself capable lately. Maybe believing she could do it was half the battle.

Stone gave her an encouraging smile, those brilliant green eyes sparkling. Suddenly, she had a feeling that with him by her side, she could do anything.

“Okay, we’ll give it a shot tomorrow. Right now, I think we could all use a little rest and relaxation, and probably some food,” Kate said decisively.

As it turned out, she had take-out menus stashed all over the apartment. She must have used the place for stake-outs in the past.

Not so fancy after all, are we?
Selina thought, secretly pleased.

They ordered some Thai food and ate it together, careful to chat about non-serious topics only. The meal was delicious and she was starving, yet she had to force the egg noodles and curry down, all the smells wafting in the air only adding to her growing nausea.

She felt relieved when they were done and the boxes were thrown away, feeling better as the scent of grease and spices started to dissipate.

As the streetlights outside came on, Kate went to bed, the icepack still glued to her side. Selina and Stone showered, separately this time, before retiring to their own shared bedroom.

Something niggled in the back of Selina’s mind as she undressed, something she hadn’t paid attention to in a while. Thinking back on the little care package Kate had put together for her at the villa, she remembered the toiletries also included a box of tampons.

At the time, she had been relieved at Kate’s foresight, as her period was supposed to start any day.

That was a while ago now, but good ol’ Aunt Flo still hadn’t arrived. And now, she was struck with this weird nausea…

No, stop being so paranoid, I’ve been under so much stress, it’s completely normal to skip a period,
she assured herself, waving the thought away.

There were so many other things to worry about, her mind felt stretched thin already. She could ponder her menstrual cycle when all this madness was behind them and she was safely tucked away in Stone’s arms, finally out of harm’s way.

“Wait, are we just going to leave Richard in the chair like that?” it suddenly occurred to her as she was pulling her shirt over her head.

See? More immediate concerns,
she justified to herself, boxing away thoughts of what was going on in her uterus.

Stone was busy caressing her soft curves with his gaze, not really paying attention.

“I really don’t want to think about Richard right now.”

Selina rolled her eyes.

“I’m serious. It’s inhumane.”

“He’s got no one to blame but himself,” Stone shrugged, unperturbed.

“I’m not taking off another piece of clothing until you go out there and find a way to make him more comfortable.”

That certainly got his attention. Selina crossed her arms and kept staring right at him, with a look that said she meant business.

“Fine,” Stone groaned after about fifteen seconds and ambled back into the living room, clearly less than interested about Richard’s general sense of wellbeing at the moment.

There were some dragging and rustling sounds and before she knew it, he was back.

“Thank you,” Selina smiled, shimmying out of her jeans.

Stone sat back on the bed, resting his chin on his palm and enjoying the show. She was now only wearing her bra and panties, acutely aware of the predatory way he was looking at her. She felt like a mouse that couldn’t wait for the cat to devour her.

“You are exquisite,” Stone breathed, and she couldn’t help but believe him.

“Your turn,” she said with a teasing grin.

Selina noticed Stone winced a little as he pulled off his t-shirt. She sat down next to him, suddenly worried. His chest was still mostly smooth and unmarred, but as she guided him to turn around, she could see his back was a different story.

Long, red lines reached from his broad shoulders to where his pants started. The skin looked taut and tender, but puzzlingly, the wounds looked half-healed, not at all like claw marks inflicted only earlier today should look like.

“How…” she started, very gently running her hands along the lacerations.

“It’s a shifter thing,” he muttered, turning to face her, emerald eyes shining with something that definitely wasn’t pain.

A shifter thing? He’s going to have to do better than that.

Whatever questions she was forming in her mind were cut short, however, when Stone edged closer and placed his large, warm hands on her shoulders and started kissing his way up her neck. His soft lips pressed against her skin, leaving fire in their wake. Selina’s head fell back with a sigh.

We can talk tomorrow.

* * *

S
elina and Stone
drove in circles around her apartment building for a while, making sure no one was staking it out. When Stone was adequately convinced it was safe, he pulled the car into the parking lot and Selena sat in the backseat. She would much rather sit next to Stone, but they wanted to keep everything authentic to that terrifying night. Stone’s voice was reassuring when he spoke.

“Okay, I’m going to start driving, you just close your eyes and focus on that night. The sights, the sounds, the smells, anything you remember. Point me in the direction that feels right.”

Selina let her senses take over. Fortunately, being kidnapped was not something one easily forgot. She focused on the fear she had felt and let the memories wash over her.

“I think we took the first left out of the parking lot.”

The ride out of the city was pretty straightforward, but as they got to the back roads, things got a little tricky.

“No, I don’t remember it being this bumpy, go back,” Selina instructed, brow furrowing.

Stone reversed and shot down another path, and the way the car sloped downhill seemed familiar.

“There’s something coming up ahead,” he pointed out, slowing down.

Selina craned her neck and looked out the window. They were parked on a hill, overlooking a small clearing. Trees gave way to a muddy plot of land, dug up and uneven. An excavator stood, unmanned, in the middle, surrounded by a couple of shelters. She could hardly believe her eyes.

“That’s it!”

BOOK: Lessons in Purrsuasion: BBW Paranormal Werelion Surprise Pregnancy Mob Romance (Chicago Catastrophe)
12.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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