Read Trent Online

Authors: Kathi S. Barton

Tags: #Erotica, #Paranormal Romance

Trent (3 page)

BOOK: Trent
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And while he was thinking about what his
brother said to him, two more emails came in from the very man they were
talking about. They could just walk away from this deal, of course, but the
problem was how much they had invested in this venture to get to the point
where they were right now. Just about to the point where they were signing off
on it. Hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“All right. Then it’s done.”

Trent felt his belly tense up and his heart
pound in his chest as soon as the words left his mouth. He knew that Elijah
could hear it and hoped that he thought it was just a simple case of nerves.
But Trent knew better. As he tried to slow his heart and breathing, he began to
see pinpoints of light in his vision.

This had happened to him several times over
the last few weeks. He’d be out of breath for a few minutes just walking from
the couch to the kitchen. His head would spin and he’d feel sick. But the way
his heart was pounding right now he was a little afraid, and he knew it was
making his heart beat all the faster. Soon he couldn’t see anything but what
looked like blood rushing behind his eyelids.

He heard his name being called, screamed
really, and Trent felt his body sliding to the floor as his heart started to
ache. His chest felt as if it were going to explode, and he knew that he was
dying. Right there, right then, he was dying. Closing his eyes against the
unrelenting pain, Trent tried to think, about anything other than how badly his
chest was hurting, how his arms were going numb, and how his head felt as if
someone had shot a cannon off in it. But all he could think about was that he
hurt and he was too young to die. Looking at the face that seemed to fade in
and out in front of him, he told his mom that he loved her and simply passed
out.

~~~

Joe counted as she did the compressions on
the big man’s chest. Each time she thought she couldn’t go any further, she’d
glance at the face of the man’s mother and double her efforts to bring him
around. He would not die while she was there to help, not if she could help it.

She’d only come by to get a ride back to the
estate with the Calhoun’s. They’d said they were coming into town to see their
sons, and she knew that one of them worked in the big building. Having gained
access to the upper floors, she was nearly bowled over by Mr. Calhoun when he
was rushing by her to this office. When she entered too, it took her breath
away to see the younger man on the floor and no one doing a damned thing to
help him.

“The ambulance just pulled up.” Joe nodded at
Elijah, the man she’d been introduced to when she’d told him to get the fuck
out of her way. No one, it seemed, had ever taken a first responder class and
they were too stunned to even call out for help. “I’m really sorry.”

Nodding, she kept at her work. The small mask
that had been placed over the man’s mouth had come from the kit that was
brought to her when she had to give him mouth to mouth. The secretary had said
that she could help, but she wasn’t sure if she could do that to her boss. Joe
thought she’d fire the dumbass if it were her decision. What kind of person
didn’t want to help their boss?

By the time the medical team showed up, Mr.
and Mrs. Calhoun had stopped sobbing about their little boy, and Elijah had
called the others. Joe wasn’t sure who that might be, but she was pretty sure
that they might be family. Mr. Calhoun had told her that he had a big family,
and Mrs. Calhoun had told her that they had six sons. If this was one of them, he
had to take better care of himself if he wanted to be around for a while.

Joe moved back out of the way to let the men
who were paid to do this step in. She watched the man that she’d worked so hard
to save. He was still breathing, which was good, and his color had improved a
great deal since she’d come in. All good signs for someone who more than likely
had suffered a heart attack.

He was handsome…a big guy with a short
military type hair cut that made him look younger than the thirty-three she’d
been told he was. He wasn’t heavy by any means. In fact, his body was toned and
well-muscled. When she’d pulled his shirt open to keep his heart pumping, Joe
had been surprised to find his chest smooth, free of the fur that she had always
associated with wolves. Knowing what he was, Joe had figured he’d be hairy.

“Joe?” She looked over at Mr. Calhoun and
nodded. “They want us to go with them. Can you come along? I’d really like for
you to be with us being that he’s only here on account of your quick thinking.”

She doubted that. Joe was sure that someone
would have stepped up had she not knocked them out of the way when he’d first
fallen. Shaking her head, she started to tell them that she needed to get home to
her aunt, but Mrs. Calhoun insisted.

“My aunt will worry.” Mrs. Calhoun told her
she’d call. “I really don’t want to intrude, Mrs. Calhoun. I know that you need
to be together as a family.”

“Had you not been here, we’d not be much of a
family.” Joe tried to tell her that she’d only been the first to try. “No. That’s
not true. We were standing there like fish out of water, not sure how to save
him. I would really like for you to go too. Just in the event that the doctor
has any questions for us.”

In the end, she went with them. It seemed
that for every excuse that she had, they countered her with a good reason. Besides,
they were her only ride home. Going with them seemed easier than trying to walk
home. Not that she couldn’t do it. She was in good shape, but it was about
eight miles in the heat.

They were all there by the time she and his
parents arrived. Four men the size of the Calhoun’s filled the waiting room, and
adding the other one and the dad and mom, the room felt positively packed. Standing
in the hall, trying to not be overwhelmed by them all, brought her face to face
with a man she’d just as soon not ever see again.

“Well, well, well.” Joe started to back away
from Max Ford, but found herself hitting a wall of a chest behind her. When
hands held her arms, it was everything she could do not to try and run. “Look
what the cat dragged in. It’s the little bitch that thinks she can tell me what
to do. What do you think, David? Should we teach her a lesson right now? She
sure did think herself pretty grand the other week when I only wanted to talk
to her roommate. What’s old Noah doing with himself nowadays? Still letting you
run things for him?”

“Let her go, Ford.” No one moved at the sound
of the voice next to her. Joe didn’t turn to look. She knew Mr. Calhoun’s voice
when she heard it. One thing about the man, he could talk your arm off when he
thought he had something to say. Or even not. The man could jabber on and on. “You
heard me. I said to let her go. She’s here with my family.”

“Your family?” Joe said nothing, but she knew
that the rest of them, all the Calhoun’s, had joined their patriarch. “I had no
idea that she walked in those circles, TJ. I was just going to tell her that
we’re ready for her to come and work for us now that we’ve gotten some things
straightened out. With your son there helping us with the loan he said we could
have, we’ll be able to afford her.”

“You’ve yet to unhand her. And we’ve been
about as polite as I think we need to be on this.” This was from the man that
she’d knocked down, Elijah. “Let her go, or the only thing saving your life will
be the fact that we’re this close to the emergency room.”

She was let go, but shoved just hard enough
to nearly fall when she staggered. Elijah put his hands out to stop her descent
to the floor. As he held her to him, three of the others, their names escaping
her memory right now, stood between her and Max, and his sometimes bodyguard,
David.

“For some reason, and this could just be me,
I’m thinking that she doesn’t want to work for you. Is that right, Joe?” She nodded
at Elijah. “See? She doesn’t want to work with you either. And I’m pretty sure
my brother and I have made it perfectly clear that we have no desire to help
you out. Not now and not ever. Now, I think you should move on your way and
leave us on our own.”

“Can’t blame a man for trying, now can you? I’ve
heard nothing but good things about how Miss Samuels can turn a dime into a
buck. Besides, I thought you were gonna talk to that brother of yours about our
business. I went by the offices and saw them wheeling him out, and came here to
see if I could offer up some assistance. I had no idea that you knew Joe here. I’ve
been after her to work for me for years now.” No one said a word, and Joe moved
back a little more, freeing herself from Elijah, only to be pulled closer to
Mrs. Calhoun. “I’m still a little in the dark as to why we’ve all decided this won’t
work. All we had left to do was sign off on some papers and it was a merger
made in heaven.”

“I’ve already told you that we’ve decided
against it. That should be enough for you to move on. It was for us.” Max looked
at her, and she could see the hatred in his eyes. There had been no time when
she’d been going to work for him. And Joe had no idea why he’d said that to
them. “Unless you have business elsewhere on this floor, Ford, I’d really like
it if you left us on our own. We’re here for our brother and not to explain to
you about why no means no.”

As soon as Elijah turned his back on the man,
it was as if the rest of them had some sort of inner connection, and they all
turned as well. Max tried to talk to her again when they moved back into the
small room.

“You talk to that boss of yours before—”

That was as far as he got before she was
pulled into the room with the rest of the Calhoun’s. Simon stood near enough
that should Max have tried anything, he would have been thwarted in his
efforts.

Max watched her as he made his way to the
elevator, glancing back over his shoulder every few minutes. She wasn’t afraid
of him, but she was afraid of what he might try to do to the Calhoun’s and to
Noah.

Max had changed a great deal, but she knew
who he was. Not only that, Noah did as well. A man could change himself
whenever and however he wanted, but his scent would forever be the same. She
knew who he was because Noah had smelled him on her when Max had accosted her
the other day when she’d been in town for groceries. She thought about Noah now,
and decided he needed to have a heads up on the fact that Max was trying his
crap again. Not to mention, he was trying to insert himself into the Calhouns’
lives as well.

The man Ford is threatening me and you. Again.
Noah asked her where
she was.
Mercy General Hospital. One of the people that I have been helping
had a heart problem, and I was there with them. The Calhouns. You heard Meggie
talking about them. Max knows them as well, but they do not know him as we do. He
is expecting them to finance something for him. That can only mean trouble for
the pack. They are a good family, and I hate to think of what Ford can do to them.

Meggie wasn’t her aunt, not really. Joe had
no living relatives. And had she any when she’d been younger, they had all long
since died. Meggie was the descendant of the sister of Michael, the man that
had worked for Noah as his keeper longer than Joe had. They all had been
watching over the family for generations, and when Meggie had started working
for the Calhouns, they knew the family inside and out before she ever made
their first meal for them. She had always been a firm believer, as had Noah,
that they cared for their own.

I will be there soon. The wolves, are they as
good as we have thought? A pack that might be open to me coming to see them?
She told them that
they were.
You will please warn them that I will come by soon. I know that I
need no permission to visit there, but I should ask that you tell them. I don’t
wish for any hard feelings even before we begin.

I will. They saved me, I think.
Noah asked her how,
and she told him what happened.
They had no reason to do that, Noah. They
owe me nothing.

You think no one owes you anything when I
know for a fact that I owe you my life several times over.
She told him she
loved him, and to her that was reason enough to risk her life for him over and
over.
Yes, child, and I you, but there is the added fact that you have saved
me a great many times.

After telling him where they were in the big
hospital, he told her that he’d come soon. She turned to the family and tried
to think how to tell them he was coming. The best way, she’d always found, was
usually the simplest. Just straight out.

“Have you heard of Noah Stark?” Most of them
had and Joe nodded. “He is the man that I watch over when he needs me to. I
have been his for a great many years. We have been...friends. He should like to
come here and talk with you. All of you.” She explained that they both knew Max
Ford, and they might want to listen to him. “Noah is a good man.”

“He’s a vampire, isn’t he?” Joe nodded again
at Mrs. Calhoun’s question. “I thought so. I’m also assuming that you’ve never
applied for a job with Max Ford. Nor have you any intentions of doing so. At
least I hope not. That man stinks of being a cheater and a liar.”

“No. I have never wanted to work for anyone
but Noah. I’m his day walker. And have been for many decades.” She watched their
faces. “We have spoken of.... He will be moving along soon anyway, and when he
does, I shall be going with him. But he comes here now to speak to you. He does
want me to tell you that he will be here soon and that he wishes for you not to
be upset with him.”

BOOK: Trent
6.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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