Little red and ryder wol.., p.6
Little Red & Ryder Wolfe (Iron Hills Pack Book 3), page 6
Another howl sounded, this time closer.
The back door crashed open, slamming into the wall. Saxen couldn’t contain her scream as Martin staggered into the kitchen. His pant leg was torn and she saw blood. She couldn’t help but want to cheer that he’d been injured in his attempt to reach her. She was worried though, not just for herself and her baby, but for Ryder and those who were guarding the house.
“I always knew you were a slut,” he said. “Run straight from my bed to someone else’s. And not even a man, but a damn shifter.”
“Ryder is ten times the man you are.” Her chin lifted a notch. “And he’s not just any wolf. He’s my mate.”
He sneered at her.
“Ryder’s going to tear you apart.” Her voice trembled, but she knew that Ryder would come for her. She didn’t doubt for a moment that he would protect her with his life.
“Might be a little hard when he’s busy bleeding all over the grass.”
She gasped and felt the blood drain from her face.
“What did you do?” she demanded.
“Had to switch to knives. Guns are too noisy when the law is after you.”
She felt sick to her stomach and worried about Ryder. Was he still alive? She didn’t hear him howling anymore, and he hadn’t made an appearance. What if Martin had killed him? She’d never forgive herself if she lost him now. If she hadn’t gotten into his truck, he’d have been safe.
“Where are the others?” she asked, thinking it odd that no one was running to her aid.
“A few are tied up at the moment, some are knocked out, and one is bleeding near your wolf. That security guy was the first to go.” He laughed, the sound menacing and pure evil. “Should have installed that alarm your first day here, girly. It won’t do you a bit of good now.”
“What do you want, Martin? You can’t want me because you never did. You never let me forget that not only did I need you for my survival, but that I was a burden to you. Well, I don’t need you anymore.”
“Bitch! You think you’ve made the big time, don’t you? Big fancy house, nice new truck outside. How long did it take before you spread your legs for him? An hour? A day?”
“What Ryder and I have is special, and you could never understand.”
“Well, what he’s going to have, when I’m done, is a dead girlfriend.”
With a sinister smile, he lunged across the kitchen toward her. Saxen lashed out with the knife, striking at him. The blade sliced across Martin’s arm and he cursed at her before attacking again. She held him off as long as she could, praying that help would come. She began to tire and knew she wouldn’t last much longer. Martin chased her around the kitchen until she finally stumbled and fell. He sat on her legs, knocking the knife out of her hand.
“Any final words before you breathe your last?” he asked.
“I hope you rot in hell,” she said. “You’re an evil man.”
“I only wish I’d thought to do this sooner. You have no idea how freeing it is to take a life, Saxen. When I saw the light fade from that loser’s eyes, I knew…I was meant for greater things. This was my purpose all along.”
Her stomach churned at his words and she fought back a sob. As a last resort, she clawed at him and called out for help.
Martin backhanded her across the cheek and raised his knife. Saxen counted the seconds, each feeling like a lifetime as she watched the knife arc down toward her chest. She slammed her eyes shut and braced for impact, but nothing happened. Martin’s weight flew off her and she gasped, opening her eyes to see what had happened. She instantly recognized the wolf who had put himself between Martin and her.
“Ryder!” she cried out.
He whimpered but didn’t take his eyes off Martin. With a snarl, he advanced on her ex-boyfriend. Martin’s eyes were wide as he stared at the wolf, as if he couldn’t believe that Ryder had come to her aid. Blood matted his coat and she worried about his injuries. Martin lashed out at the beast but Ryder chomped down on Martin’s wrist and growled. The scream that filled the kitchen was inhuman as the wolf attacked again, this time going for the groin.
Saxen looked away, unable to watch another moment. Screams and growls filled the air until it went deathly silent. She turned and saw Martin breathe his last breath. Ryder limped over to her and shifted before collapsing on the floor.
“Call Zach,” he said, right before he passed out.
With shaking hands, she found Ryder’s phone and called the alpha, explaining what happened. Then she cradled her mate’s head in her lap as she waited for help to arrive. Her gaze kept straying to Martin, unable to process that it was finally over. He would never bother her again. But if Ryder died, then it wouldn’t matter. She didn’t want to think about a life without him.
Tears streaked her cheeks by the time Zach, Weston, and several other wolves arrived, as well as the police and an ambulance. Ryder was the only one injured badly enough to need a hospital and Saxen insisted on riding with him. The ambulance driver refused, saying there wasn’t enough room.
“I’ll take you,” Zach said.
She nodded and followed him out to his car. The entire way to the hospital she prayed that Ryder would be alright.
“He’s tough,” Zach said. “It’s going to take more than a crazy ex-boyfriend to take him down.”
“I hope you’re right.”
They pulled into the emergency room parking lot and Saxen leapt from the car and took off for the entrance. Ryder was being wheeled into the back as she reached the triage desk. She filled out their forms as best she could and then was told to sit and wait. She wanted to wail at them and beg to see Ryder, but she knew they would do everything they could for him.
Minutes ticked by, then hours. Finally a doctor came to greet them.
“Mrs. Wolfe?” the doctor asked as he approached.
“Your husband is stable. He’d lost a lot of blood and we had to do a transfusion after we stitched him back together. He’s going to be tender for a while and shouldn’t overdo it. I’d like to keep him overnight for observation, and if all goes well, he can go home tomorrow.”
“Can I stay with him?” she asked.
“Of course. We’ll be moving him to a room shortly. Would you like to come sit with him?”
Zach placed a hand on her shoulder. “We’ll get the house cleaned up, and I’m sure Wyn will finish installing the alarm once his headache goes away. He’s pissed as hell that Martin got the drop on him.”
“Tell everyone thank you, and I’m sorry.”
He nodded and Saxen followed the doctor into the back. Ryder’s eyes were closed when she stepped inside the curtained area. He had stitches along his ribs and more across one bicep and a few above his eyebrow. A sob welled in her throat and she said a prayer of thanks that he was going to be okay. Pulling up a chair, she sat and reached for his hand, giving it a squeeze.
“I’m here, Ryder.”
He gently squeezed back. “This wasn’t how I pictured our night going.”
She laughed through her tears. “I think I’m ready for lots of quiet nights at home. I’ve had all the excitement I can handle.”
“As soon as I’m healed, we’re taking a honeymoon, somewhere peaceful.”
“They’re keeping you overnight, but we can go home tomorrow, if you’re doing okay.”
He snorted. “In three days, all of these will be healed. It was pointless to even put in stitches. They itch like a bitch.”
“Dr. Wolfe, are you complaining about my work?” a man asked as he stepped into the makeshift room.
Ryder chuckled then winced. “Wouldn’t dream of it, Dr. Stanton. But you know all this was unnecessary.”
“Hospital guidelines were followed. If you don’t like it, take it up with the board. I think they’re still pissed at you from the last time you made a fuss about the rules. Keep it up and I’ll have to take care of your patients because they’ll revoke your privi
“Perish the thought.” Ryder smiled. “You won’t get rid of me that easily.”
“We have a room ready for you. Your mate can stay with you tonight and then we’ll release you in the morning. I’d let you go home now, but since you had a transfusion, they want to keep an eye on you a little longer. We used shifter blood that matched your type.”
Dr. Stanton shook his head and motioned for an orderly to wheel Ryder up to his room. Saxen followed and nearly collapsed onto a chair when they reached the room. She felt a little dizzy and short of breath, even though the walk hadn’t been strenuous. She could feel Ryder’s gaze on her and tried to assure him that she was fine, but no words would come out. Just as she was starting to panic, everything went black and she passed out.
When next she woke, she was in a hospital room of her own with some weird thing strapped across her stomach.
“Where’s Ryder?” she asked the nurse.
“Dr. Wolfe is in his room, throwing a fit because he isn’t allowed to get out of bed and come see you.”
“What happened?” she asked.
“You fainted. Dr. Wolfe insisted that we check the baby and do everything we can for you. In case you’re wondering, the baby is fine and you seem quite healthy for someone who hasn’t had any prenatal care. Dr. Stanton thinks it was the shock of everything that happened today, but he wants to keep you in this bed until morning, just to be safe.”
“What’s the thing across my stomach?”
“It’s a monitor for the baby. If the baby gets distressed, we’ll know.”
“Did…did Dr. Stanton do an ultrasound while I was out?” she asked.
The nurse smiled. “You’re having a baby girl.”
“Does Ryder know?”
“Dr. Stanton was picking up a pink balloon to deliver to Dr. Wolfe’s room. Now, if you need anything, just press the call button. The remote is on the bed if you’d like to watch TV. Lunch has already been served, but Dr. Wolfe worried you hadn’t eaten so I’ve arranged for a sandwich to be delivered shortly.”
The nurse smiled and left.
Saxen rubbed her belly. “Hello there, little girl.”
“God dammit! I’m not a fucking invalid!” Ryder roared from the hallway.
Saxen giggled as he came into the room, holding the back of his gown together. Seeing him on his feet eased her worry for him. His color was coming back, but she wasn’t sure how much of that was to do with his cursing in the hallway.
Ryder approached the bed and placed a hand over her belly. “I’m going to need to invest in a shotgun.”
“A shotgun?” She smiled. “Why do you need one of those?”
“Because, if this baby girl is half as pretty as her momma, every boy in the area will be sniffing after her.”
“Well, maybe you should just threaten to neuter them. That should keep them away.”
“What a pair we are. His and hers hospital rooms.”
“I’m not leaving. They’ll have to knock my ass out and drag me out of here if they want me to move.”
She shook her head. “Is this a wolf thing again?”
He smiled a little. “No, this is a protective husband and father thing. I nearly lost you, both of you.”
“We’re fine. And you’ll be fine too.”
He leaned down and brushed his lips across hers. “Love you, Saxen. So damn much.”
“I love you too, Dr. Wolfe.” She caressed his cheek. “Who knew, when I was running from a monster, that the big bad wolf would swoop in and save me.”
He flashed her a bit of fang.
“My, what big teeth you have.”
He growled. “The kind of eating I want to do doesn’t require teeth.”
Saxen burst out laughing as her cheeks burned bright. “Better save that for the honeymoon you promised me.”
“Oh, I will, sweet mate.”
A nurse poked her head into the room. “If you don’t quiet down in here, I’m going to separate you.”
Ryder growled at her and the woman scurried off.
“That was mean,” Saxen said, but she couldn’t stop smiling.
“No one comes between a wolf and his mate.”
Saxen didn’t know how she’d gotten so lucky, but she was going to spend the rest of her life loving Ryder and their children. As long as she had her big bad wolf by her side, then she could conquer anything. Even the evil stove.
Iron Hills Pack
While the Iron Hills Pack series can be read as stand-alone stories, it can be enjoyed more by starting with book one, Wolf Charming, which is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo. Book two, Beauty and Her Beast, is also available at these retailers.
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Thank you for purchasing Little Red & Ryder Wolfe, book three in the Iron Hills Pack series (a wolf shifter series based on fairy tales). I hope you enjoyed the story. I’d love to hear what you thought about it, either in a review or by contacting me directly at [email protected]! If my muse cooperates, the fourth book in the series should release in April.
About the Author
Award-winning author, Jessica Coulter Smith, has been in love with the written word since she was a child. Her first stories may have been written in crayon, but now she's a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and spills over from her professional life into her personal one. When she went on that first date with her husband, she never expected to hear the words "marry me" pop out of his mouth--and judging by the shocked look on his face, he hadn't meant to say them either. But, being the hopeless romantic that she is, Jessica said yes and they've been married since 2000.
Other Paranormal Romance Series by Jessica
Ashton Grove Werewolves
(available as a boxed set)
An Ashton Grove Thanksgiving
An Ashton Grove Christmas
Ashton Grove M.C.
(available as a boxed set)
Steel Riders M.C.
Crash & Burn
Witch Way to Love
Resisting the Alpha
Jessica Coulter Smith, Little Red & Ryder Wolfe (Iron Hills Pack Book 3)
by Jessica Coulter Smith / Romance / Young Adult / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes