Decadent (Wicked Lovers #2) - Page 49


“Keep talking,” he told the old man. “Cal, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” the old man said cautiously.

“What do you mean, start over again?”

He hesitated. “I’d better not say anymore without my lawyers.”

Within three minutes, pandemonium erupted in the apartment. Police units stormed the place. Deke led the suspect out by his nape and prodded him forward with the barrel of his gun.

After the police verified Deke’s credentials, they were cool. And he turned all his attention to the EMTs working on Kimber.

He detailed the cut on her arm calmly. “Why the hell is she still unconscious?”

“You family?”

Oh, this shit. “I’m her…” Boyfriend? Fiancé? Father of her child? “She’s mine.”

“Your wife?”

“Not…yet.”

“Sorry. No information given out to nonfamily members,” said one as they carried her out on a stretcher.

Deke couldn’t resist touching her face, her shoulder, as they passed. He followed them out to the ambulance. “Let me ride with her.”

“I’m sorry, sir. Family only.”

Fuck family only! “Where are you taking her? And don’t tell me family only. I can get her family there.”

The EMT rattled off the name of a hospital. Deke didn’t know where it was, but he’d find it.

“I’m following you.”

“If you can keep up.”

Deke resisted the urge to snort. He’d crawl naked across broken glass to make sure Kimber was okay. Driving fast was nothing. He watched as they shut Kimber away in the ambulance.

Through the small windows in the back doors, he could see they were working on her, stabilizing her. She’d lost a lot of blood. She still hadn’t come to.

Someone fired up the engine on the ambulance, and Deke scrambled to the Hummer, leaping into the driver’s seat and hauling ass across the parking lot to track with the ambulance down the lonely street, to the hospital…and an uncertain prognosis for Kimber. She hadn’t pulled her own trigger the way Heather had, but if Kimber was lost to him, too… Gripping the steering wheel, Deke willed the thought away.

No. Fuck no! He loved Kimber. Wanted her. Always. Even with the baby. Lots of them if she wanted them. He’d try his best. Anything. Everything. Just as long as she lived…

CHAPTER 21

Deke slung his Hummer into a parking space at the hospital and hauled ass across the parking lot to the emergency room. Damn, his palms were sweating.

When would Kimber wake up? How extensive were her injuries? Having no answers balled a roaring frustration in his chest. And fear. Couldn’t forget that.

Even at this distance, he could see the EMTs unloading Kimber out of the back of the ambulance…and her brothers standing there watching.

He’d called them on the way to advise. Logan lived just a few blocks away, so they’d beat him to the hospital. Hunter’s grim eyes tracked Kimber’s progress out of the vehicle, through the automatic double doors, and into the hospital’s cool interior. Logan looked ready to crawl out of his skin as they followed the gurney.

Deke caught up to the guys, and they nodded absently in greeting.

“Are you the family?” a fiftyish nurse asked them.

Hunter pointed to Logan and himself. “We’re her brothers.” She cast a pointed glance at Deke. Oh shit. The whole family thing again. Hunter had the power to cut him off at the balls on this one…

“He saved her life. He stays.”

Deke breathed a sigh of relief.

“Anything I should know about her medical history?”

“No.”

“She allergic to anything?”

“Sulfa-based antibiotics.”

The nurse jotted that down, then regarded Hunter again with kind blue eyes. “Is she taking any other medications right now?”

Hunter shrugged stiffly, seemingly annoyed with himself.

“I don’t know.”

Deke cleared his throat. “No.”

The brothers turned to look at him. They’d always given him a wide berth before but now…they looked downright grateful. Yeah, they were thankful he’d saved their sister from Call the killer right now, but he doubted their appreciation was going to last.

“Thanks,”

Hunter murmured.

“History of head trauma or concussions? Seizures? Passing out?”

“No.”

“Anything else?”

Deke swallowed, waiting. Both brothers shook their head. They didn’t know. Oh, shit… Mother humping son of a bitch. The nurse started to turn away. Deke reached out to grab her arm. “One other thing.” He drew in a deep breath. “She’s pregnant.”

“You lowlife snake!” Logan lunged at him. “I’m going to rip your eyes out of your skull and force-feed them to you, you bas—”

“Not here. Not now.” Hunter grabbed his brother and restrained him—barely.

“No fighting in the hospital. You take that outside,” said the salty nurse.

Apparently, she’d seen it all in her time.

After another efficient notation on the chart, the reed-thin woman in blue scrubs turned away.

With a huff, Logan backed off. But he still had broiling murder in his eyes. Green and alive with fury, they promised pain. Hunter’s, on the other hand, were a glacial blue and vowed revenge—in his time, in his way, to his satisfaction.

Great.

“Is the baby yours or your cousin’s?” Hunter asked quietly.

“Or do you even know?” Logan sneered.

“Mine. I’m not going to apologize. I love your sister. I went to her apartment tonight to talk to her. What happens next is up to her, and between us. But you dare upset her while she’s recovering…” If she recovered. Deke turned to address Logan. “I’ll cut off your balls and force-feed them to you. You got that?” The younger brother bristled and looked ready to keep the verbal war going. A grudging respect entered Hunter’s icy stare as he interceded again. “Thanks to you, she’s more likely to live long enough to have that conversation. The rest we’ll sort out later, once Kimber is up to it and Dad is out of the hospital.” With a terse nod, Deke turned away and sat in a slightly padded, circa-1977

orange chair with chrome arms. The brothers sat two chairs away. No one spoke for hours. Logan paced. Hunter sat stock-still, looking eerily placid, but the way his gaze cased the room and lingered on the clock hinted at his inner turmoil. Deke related. Maybe he and Kimber’s brothers would never have any sort of lovefest, but he respected them. In their shoes, he’d be pissed about a pregnant sister who’d been in the middle of a ménage. Hunter in particular…one cool customer. Faring much better than Deke himself was, in fact. Deke glanced at his cell phone again, checking the time.

Over three damn hours. Why hadn’t the doctor come out to report? What the hell was going on? Enough time had passed for Luc to scrounge up a car and haul ass to Dallas from Tyler, he noted as his cousin swept into the waiting room, looking stiff and anxious. And still no word. What the fuck is taking so long?

At five minutes until nine the next morning, Deke felt ready to climb walls, bash heads in—anything to make all the folks in white let him in to see Kimber.

Near five that morning, the doctors had come out to report that she had awakened. They’d stitched her arm, run a few tests, and were awaiting results. So far, all functions looked normal, and it appeared as if she’d suffered a concussion, bruising, and a mild case of shock.

Logan and Hunter had gone in to visit her about two hours ago, then left to retrieve their father, who was due to be discharged after recovering from his injuries following the bombing. Vaguely, he wondered what the Edgington boys had said to their sister about the fact they were going to be uncles. If they were smart…nothing.

Nonfamily members weren’t allowed in until nine. Shittyass rule. He glared at the clock. Had the fucking thing moved in hours?

“Take a deep breath,” Luc murmured. “Calm down.”

“What?” Deke shrugged, annoyed. He’d hardly moved. He knew because he’d been using all his self-control to sit still.

“I can feel waves of worry and impatience coming off you. She’s fine. Hunter said so on his way out. They’re going to release her today.” But he hadn’t seen her for himself. He didn’t know with his own two eyes that she was all right. Until then, he couldn’t stop the worry. With two minutes to spare, a nurse approached them. Young, cute, blonde with a pink bow mouth, big tits, and a welcoming smile. He wasn’t interested. Luc glanced, lingered, then let it go.

/>“She’s up the elevator. Third floor. Room 321. If anyone asks, just tell them Missy said it was okay.” She pointed to the nametag just above her left breast.

Subtle. Deke refrained from rolling his eyes, but only because he was already jogging toward the elevator. Luc followed. The ride up seemed long. If he’d have known the elevator moved slower than a herd of geriatric elephants, he’d have taken the stairs. He clapped his hands in front of him, noticing that Luc didn’t look nervous. But he did look troubled.

“Cough it up.” Deke didn’t want to do this now, but figured—hoped—he’d be too busy with Kimber later.

Luc met his stare. “This is damn awkward. I guess I should just… Have you decided to hate me?”

Hate him? “For keeping your…um, issue a secret?”

“My sterility,” Luc supplied.

“I was shocked that night. Said some things I shouldn’t have. You’re like my brother. Too much between us for hate.”

Looking relieved, Luc reached out for a brotherly handshake, a rap of knuckles.

He passed it off as casual, but Deke knew it meant a lot to him. Hell, he felt the same.

“Thanks. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. I never intended to deceive or manipulate anyone. I love you, and I’m sorry I screwed up.”

“Apology accepted. And that’s about as mushy as it needs to get between us.” Luc did a crappy job of repressing his smile. “Big surprise there. So what’s next for you? You ‘re going to get with Kimber, aren’t you?” Deke shrugged, but the uncertainty around that answer gnawed at his gut like a hungry chain saw. He wished to hell he knew the answer. Damn, right now, he just needed to hold her, know that she was all right. “We’ll see. What about you? What are you going to do now?”

“I don’t know.”

“I know your road isn’t easy, wanting a baby of your own and being unable…

Straight up? You’re a good guy. You’d make a great father. I’m sorry for you.” Luc let loose a long sigh. “It sucks to be able to fuck for hours, until you’re covered in sweat and every muscle in your body screams in protest, until the woman is damn near incoherent …and know she’ll never be pregnant by you.” Yeah, he could see where that would suck for Luc. “Just my advice, man, but I think you should forget about babies for a while and call Alyssa Devereaux. I suspect you feel more for her than you’ve wanted to admit. Even if you two will never have little ones together, it’ll be a hell of a good time practicing.”

“I’ll think about it. I owe her a favor for agreeing to hook up with us in the first place.”

Finally, the elevator doors opened. Deke racewalked to Kimber’s room. He would have flatout run if he was sure they wouldn’t throw him out. Impatience at the slower pace, the winding hallways, chafed him.

Deke found her door. He hit the threshold and stopped. From her bed, Kimber stared out the wide hospital window, through sterile white miniblinds, at the parking lot and sunny summer day beyond. As if suddenly aware she wasn’t alone, she turned to face him. Them, he realized as Luc stopped just behind him.

A bluish bruise flared across her cheek. A scrape raked her jaw. But what jumped out at Deke most were her swollen eyes and red nose. They shouted the fact she’d been crying.

“Kitten…” Deke darted across the room. “Are you in pain? Do I need to find a nurse to get you something?”

Wrapping her arms around her middle, she shook her head and looked at him with eyes so pain-filled and empty. He sat on the edge of the bed, worked around her IV, and dragged her against him. “Hey, it’s fine. All fine. Call is behind bars. He’s not going to hurt you again. I won’t let him.”

“I know. Thanks for coming to my rescue,” she whispered.

“Jesse has already called three times to apologize.” Oh, the goddamned pop star. There was a subject guaranteed to send his temper into the stratosphere.

“I hope you told the bastard to leave you alone,” he growled.

“He just called to explain why Call tried to kill me.”

“The Lance Bass in leather had to call you to explain that Call was whacked?”