“What the hell!” Denver blinked back to reality but not fast enough before Mr. John Doe’s hand shot up and clamped around her throat.
So much for the coma. Instinctively her fingers curled around his wrist, tightened, but she didn’t exert any pressure. Confusion and fear lit his eyes, shining like the full moon, or was it anger. It shimmered across her skin like a blast of cold windy air when someone opens a door in the dead of winter. She stared back as she patted the back of his hand. Energy sizzled through her fingers and up her arm. She forced herself to not snatch her hand back, but continued to caress his skin.
“Where?” His voice sounded dry and strained. He tightened his grip as he sucked in a breath of air. “Are they?” Throwing his legs over the side of the bed, he stood and back walked her to the wall.
“Not here.” Denver tried to soothe but it didn’t work. His hand squeezed tighter, cutting off what little air she reserved in her lungs. Okay, now would be a good time to get this man off me. “Listen buddy,” Denver coughed, “It’s all right. Nobody here’s going to hurt you. Let me go.”
“Why?” His voice sounded stronger than it did a second ago.
She could make him, would make him in another second if he didn’t release her. Denver curled her lips up into an ominous snarl and grunted a laugh. Being mindful of his injuries, yet ignoring his grunt of pain, she pivoted. Her body changed positions so fast in the blink of an eye she had released his hand from her neck, pinned him against the wall and had her face an inch from his.
“Because--” she knew her eyes flared red, then instantly went back to brown just as she curled back her lips to show the points of her fangs descending from her gums. “--I said so.”
“Aw hell.” His voice slurred. “You’re one of--” The muffled grunt escaping his throat hurt as much as the pain riddling through every bone and muscle.
Not being able to hold his weight any longer, he went down on one knee, almost dragging the woman to the floor with him.
“Hang on.” She grasped his arm and slung it across her shoulder, hefted him up and walked him back to the bed. Propping him against the side, she cursed just as lights exploded inside his head. He felt his eyes roll to the back of his head and once again had no control over the darkness as it overtook him.
Reed let the thunderous clouds close in on him. He was too tired, in too much pain and too sick to care. Not sure where he was, what was going on or who the woman was standing guard over him, he drifted on a wave of nothingness. Her voice floated above him like a summer’s breeze. Although he couldn’t grab it he knew it was there. In more ways than one, he considered her voice an anchor. It kept him from plummeting too far into the darkness. It was what he heard before he grabbed on to it and allowed it to pull him out of the void he’d been trapped in for too long.
Every day his body waited for her to enter his room. He didn’t care what time. Hell, time meant nothing to him. All he knew was it was the sweetest thing he’d ever heard. Warm. Soothing. Arousing. She’d talked to his body as if he knew her, but he didn’t. He didn’t know anyone. Not in this town wherever it-- he was.
The trail of the serial killer he’d been following was almost cold until an anonymous tip brought him to the town. . He thought it was one person until he’d stumbled on their hideout. Four men of various sizes and age sat around a beat up television, plotting out their next kill. They had already killed his brother, claiming they were cleansing the earth of vermin. He was next on the list. They knew who he was and probably where he was. His only hope of survival was to kill them before they killed him or anyone else like him.
Thoughts of bringing them in for justice were long dead. That was one road he’d never travel on again. Justice and fairness meant nothing to these people. They wanted to cleanse the earth. He was going to help them.
Denver. Yes, she’d introduced herself to his unconscious self on the first day and he’d not forgotten her name. Denver, like the town in Colorado, she’d said with a chuckle. She wiped a blessedly cool cloth across his forehead. She always knew what to do. The warm caress of her fingers across his skin, on more than one occasion, made his mind sizzle. The pain riddling his body was from more than his injuries.
From the first time she’d touched him, he’s wanted to make her his own, brand his being into her soul but he could never reach out. And now, now he’d done nothing more than try to break her neck. Thankfully he was unsuccessful.
“Open your eyes, John.” Her voice slid through his mind, making his heartbeat slow in response.
“Reed.” He didn’t move. Couldn’t if he wanted to because of the pain it was best to lay still. “My name’s Reed.”
“You got a last name… Reed?”
He didn’t answer. Denver didn’t press the subject.
“How are you feeling, Reed?” She asked without missing a beat.
“Like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck.”
“You probably have.” Her hand continued to caress the side of his face. Slowly he opened one eye then the other and stared up into her face.
Damn, she was beautiful. Like an angel descended from the heavens to pull him back. Sucking in a ragged breath of air that hurt more than he thought it would, he pushed up.
“Whoa! Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Her hand cupped his shoulders and with a gentle tug pushed him back to the bed.
On a better day, she wouldn’t have been able to do that, he told himself as his body descended back to the mattress.
“I’ve got to get out of here. They’ll be here soon.”
“Who are they, Joh—Reed?”
“Them. The ones…” His voice slurred off when he moaned. “The ones who tried to kill me.”
“Nobody’s going to try to kill you.” Denver turned away from the bed and lifted a syringe from the table. “You need to get some rest.”
Before he could breathe another protest, she swiped the portal to the IV sticking out of his arm and injected the medicine.
“Go to sleep, Reed. Its oh-two-hundred dark. You’ll feel better in the morning.”
“Doubt that. He didn’t finish the sentence. The gray pressing into his mind gave way to the darkness. “I’ve got to get out of…”