Finding Love Ch. 06bydurablue©
Very special thanks to mikothebaby for the spur of the moment editing.
Sleeplessgurl was unable to edit this chapter, but her help was still invaluable. You earned this much needed break and I look forward to hearing all about it!
And to ~L... for everything you do, Lady, thank goodness for you.
I want to take a second to thank everyone for the great comments and emails on chapter 5, and for that matter, all of Finding Love. They are always deeply appreciated, and I've learned a lot.
This is a copyrighted work of fiction by the author durablue. All rights reserved.
"Ivy and my mom... they had a wreck a short time ago. Listen to me, Sam!" Daylon squeezed his hand when Sam's eyes began to change. "Don't! She's fine... they are both fine."
"You... are you... sure?"
"Yes. That was one of the paramedics. Ivy and Mom are bruised up, bleeding a bit, but okay. They are going to the hospital to run a few tests and check mom out. She lost consciousness for a short time. But they are alive and okay. We need to call my dad and Mary, then get to the hospital."
"There's something else, isn't there?" Sam asked as he fished his cell out. This was not a call he looked forward to making.
"I sensed danger, then I get a call that Mom had a wreck? And Ivy just happened to be with her? Contact Holland, too, after you call Mary. I want to know what the findings are the second they establish what caused this. Call in a few favors if you have to. Also, tell Mary that we'll come get her, then pick up my dad. I want us all together."
"You think someone tampered with your mom's car?" Sam asked.
"Dad just had that car serviced, Sam. This should not have happened," Daylon said, then looked at Sam.
"Fuck, you are saying this wasn't an accident?"
"That's exactly what I'm saying," Daylon said.
* * * *
"I'm okay, Daylon, stop hovering over me," Ivy said as Daylon once again checked her scrapes.
"Where's the damn doctor?" Daylon growled at Holland. "And is there any word on Mom? Jesus, are all the doctors on a coffee break around here or what?"
"Am I actually supposed to answer one of those questions?" Holland asked.
The wolf was struggling for control, and coming close to winning. Daylon hated hospitals. The smell of stale urine, cleaning agents, the sickly-sweet scent of infections and abject hopelessness was bad enough, but add in the sensitive nose of a wolf... and his stomach churned. Of course, stress over his mate and his mother had nothing to do with his condition.
Daylon paced the small confines of the room, ready to hunt the doctor down if he didn't show up soon. What the hell was taking so long? Just as Daylon was ready to go tearing out of the room, the door opened and the doctor walked in. Daylon sniffed, and knew immediately it was another wolf.
"Macon. My name is Doctor Macon. I'm with the Springfield Pack."
"Daylon McCloud. I'm the—"
"Oh believe me, I know who you are. It's why I was asked to attend on these two cases. Sorry for the delay, I was at another hospital when I was called. The humans thought you would feel better with another wolf for a doctor."
"They would be right. So... what's the damage here? How badly are my mate and mother hurt?"
"I haven't had a chance to examine either of them. I'll start with Ivy then examine your mother," Dr. Macon said.
Doctor Macon first checked Ivy's reaction to the small pen light he flashed in her eyes.
"Hmm, pupils dilate normally," Dr. Macon said.
"Is that good?" Daylon immediately asked.
"Very much so," the doctor said. "Ivy, are you seeing double? Headache?"
"No to both questions. There's a knot on my head where I hit the door and it's tender, but no headache or pain."
"What year is it?" Dr. Macon asked as he ran his fingers over the bump. Ivy flinched a bit as he felt of it and Daylon growled softly.
"2011," Ivy answered then looked at Daylon. "Daylon, calm down."
"Just tender like I said."
"We can't rule out a concussion, so we'll watch it for a few days. Don't do anything strenuous. Anyone with you needs to watch out for signs of headaches, drowsiness, decreased coordination or nausea. Come to the ER immediately if any of those signs occur. Understand?"
"Yes," Ivy said.
"Thank god," Daylon growled again.
"Daylon, I'm going to clean out a few of the deeper cuts, and bandage them so please stay calm. It will sting a bit but I'll be very gentle," Dr. Macon said.
"Why don't you come stand behind me? I could use a hug right about now," Ivy said as the doctor started cleaning her cuts. Ivy wanted his attention on her, not what the doctor was doing. She nuzzled his neck. Daylon leaned in close and rested his head against hers.
"I know what you're doing," he said softly.
"Whatever works," Ivy said back.
"Okay, I'm done and Ivy is fine. She could use with a swift transformation once you are home to help heal the scratches. I understand she also transformed at the scene, so that helped the healing process."
"Have you been to see my mother yet?"
"No, I came here first since you are the Alpha. Tests were run though when she came in and the results came back a short time ago."
"I'm going to leave my second in command here with my mate. There is some question whether this was an accident and I don't want her alone."
"That's fine by me," Dr. Macon said.
Daylon and the doctor went to the next room and examined Kiara. Rigor was pacing the small area just as Daylon had been.
"Well?" Daylon asked.
"Considering the severity of the accident, they are both very lucky. Kiara has a slight concussion, according to the scan, and some bumps and scrapes. Your mate has a knot on her head and some scratches. Both will be sore, but should be okay. I'd like to keep Kiara for observation as a precautionary measure, nothing more," Dr Macon said to Rigor.
"Oh... stay the night?" Kiara said.
"Mom, this is the best thing for you so please don't argue, okay. My nerves are shot," Daylon said.
"Oh my, a guilt trip, nicely done," Kiara said.
"Learned from the best," Daylon said and winked at her.
"Once I'm done, I'll give orders that everyone stay out of here for at least thirty minutes so she can transform. That will help with the speed of her recovery," Dr. Macon said.
"Good," Rigor said.
"I'll go get the release papers for your mate," Dr. Macon said. "I'll meet you in Ivy's room."
"I need to have a word with my father, and then I'll be there," Daylon said as the doctor left.
"I'm going to stay here with your mom," Rigor said as a nurse brought in sheets and a pillow for Rigor.
"That might be a good idea," Daylon said.
"Do you believe it was an accident?" Rigor asked.
"None what-so-ever," Daylon replied, shifting from foot to foot.
"Go on son, we're fine," Rigor said.
Daylon returned to Ivy's room to find Doctor Macon waiting. He signed the release papers and helped Ivy dress. After a quick stop to see Kiara they left the hospital. Kiara would be released from the hospital in the morning. Both were very lucky, considering.
After Ivy was released, she and Daylon went to the police station to fill out the reports and answer questions, the same questions asked in different ways over and over again. The detective was a wolf that Daylon knew in passing and had a good reputation with both the humans and wolves.
"Again Detective Moss, the truck that stopped flicked the lighted cigarette out the window at us while Kiara's car was leaking gas," Ivy said.
"And it wasn't a truck you'd seen before?" Detective Moss asked as Ivy shook her head.
"I couldn't see the plate because it was covered with mud, as was most of the truck, and I'm not sure what color it was either. It might have been white, silver, or maybe gray. It might have been a GMC or a Chevy. And it did have those black-out windows."
"What did the driver do again?"
"Flicked a lighted cigarette out the window. The smell of gas was strong, and that had me worried more than anything."
"Okay, we have everything we need for now. Daylon, remind your mom she needs to come see me tomorrow after she's released. It'll be better to do this while it's fresh."
"I'll tell her," Daylon said as he walked Ivy out.
Once home Daylon called in a favor and spoke with the Chief of Police. The cops had tried to canvas the flea market and ask questions but the place was just too big, and too many people came and went. Several hours later Daylon received a phone call, and finally had his answer on what happened.
Ivy was standing next to Daylon when he got the phone call, and she knew immediately he didn't get the answers he wanted. His big body was shaking, and harsh growls were working their way up from his chest. His eyes lightened in his anger.
"What! Are you sure? It's obvious the brake line had been cut? So there is no question this was done on purpose?"
Someone on the other end answered, and the answer didn't calm Daylon down.
"It's been gone over... completely? There was nothing, no fingerprints, nothing. Son of a bitch. Yeah, thanks Shep, I appreciate you getting back to me so fast."
Ivy quickly wrapped her arms around Daylon and held on tightly. She was the only reason he didn't tear his whole office apart in anger... and fear. Fear was something Daylon wasn't used to dealing with. Neither was the guilt, and Daylon was consumed with guilt.
"Nothing, there's nothing. No one saw anything; no one heard anything... just nothing!" Daylon said as he slammed down the phone. "It's like that damn truck just disappeared into thin air."
"What the hell was I thinking? I should have never let you go without an escort," Daylon said as he stormed around the office. "I knew there was a threat and—"
"Whoa. I think I know where this is heading, and you can just stop it right now. This was not your fault. You are not to blame for what happened!" Ivy wound her arms around Daylon's neck.
"Ivy, sweetheart, someone cut the brake line. Do you understand what that means? Someone wanted the car you were in to crash. You and Mom, you both could have been killed."
"I know that. Daylon, the person in the truck that stopped after the wreck was probably the one who.... I couldn't see the license plate..."
"You sure you didn't recognize the truck?"
"I haven't seen that truck in my life, and before you ask, I have never seen Dolmas drive a truck like that."
"You know it was him, Ivy. I'd bet money it was him. I'm gonna rip him to pieces, and then I'm going to rip the pieces to pieces! I'm gonna go over there, drag his ass out of the house and—"
"I should have killed his ass when I first had—"
Ivy hugged her mate close to her. "You don't know for sure he was behind it! How could he have known we'd be at the flea market? Your mom didn't ask me to go until that morning. The trip was spur of the moment. Daylon, he couldn't have known."
"He knew somehow. It might have been just sheer luck he saw you two there, and took advantage of an opportunity, and damn, that took some balls, the crazy fucker." Daylon ran his hand through his hair. "Or somehow he knew. I just don't know how. There's no way he could have gotten on our territory without being seen."
"Listen to me. You can't go and start a war with that pack with no proof. Daylon, there is no proof. Innocent people could be killed and for what? A gut feeling?"
Daylon rested his chin on Ivy's head. "Damn it, I hate this. I hate that you're right and there's nothing I can do without causing a war. I hate being level-headed."
"I know that, but what other choice do we really have?"
Daylon pulled Ivy closer to him. "You were the target, Ivy; I have no doubt over that. Promise me you will be careful."
"I will be."
"And promise me you won't throw a fit when I make sure someone is with you at all times."
"Oh come on, are you serious? All the time?"
"Whenever you're off our territory. I'm not going to compromise on this Ivy. I won't lose you, I can't. You're everything to me. I need to know you're safe. Ivy, please my beauty, don't fight me on this."
Ivy raised he head up and kissed Daylon softly on the lips. "Well, since you asked so nicely... Holland isn't going to be happy."
"He'll live," Daylon smirked.
* * * *
One wolf was happy, but another wasn't faring so well.
Kern hadn't been done talking with Jade when he had been forced to run out of Lowe's. Hands shaking Kern tried to call Jade, only to get her voice mail. He hung up without leaving a message. Kern was desperate to see Jade. Kern was just desperate... period, and for good reason. There, sitting on the kitchen table, were Mr. Mac's homegrown tomatoes. The only place to buy them was at the flea market.
He and Caleb had been out together when he had heard over the police scanner what had happened with Ivy and her mother-in-law. Kern had broken out in a cold sweat. A brief description of the vehicle thought to be involved went out over the air waves. The owner was wanted for questioning by the human police. Kern's own kind would be interested, too.
Kern knew that Daylon would be heavily involved with the human side of the investigation, also. The connections he had went far up the ladder. His pack was rumored to have influence all the way to Washington. Not to mention the investigation Daylon would be doing... his mate had been attacked, and so had his mother.
Neither brother had said anything, but they were thinking the same damn thing. There was little doubt about who was responsible. The main thing that confused Kern was the description of the truck used. As far as he knew they didn't own a truck like that. Kern and Caleb arrived home, only to find that their father wasn't there.
And there, sitting like a proclamation of guilt, were the tomatoes.
"Oh my god," Kern said, staring at them.
"Don't say a word, not one word. We don't know for sure."
"Yeah, right," Caleb said.
There was a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach and his head was pounding.
"Don't say a word to Dad, Caleb. The less we know the better."
"He's going to drag us into this; it's just a matter of time. Kern, I've been thinking... I don't want to tangle with Daylon over something as stupid as this. Ivy is mated, and Mom went willingly. And damn it, I don't want to die."
"Just give me some time, okay. I'll think of something. I got to get out of here; I'm going to take a walk."
"I think I'll cut the grass. It needs it and I want to get started before something gets said... with a fist."
"Fine, you do that and I'll weed eat around the house and trees later," Kern said.
Kern had to get out of the house; he needed air, needed space, and needed to think. He wandered around until he ended up near the back of their land. Way in the back, surrounded by trees, was an old barn they didn't use anymore. This part of their property was overgrown and abandoned. Weeds like goldenrod and ragweed stood waist high, and ivy was taking over the run-down barn.
Kern brushed against the goldenrod and a shower of pollen covered the sleeve of his shirt. He brushed the gunk off and immediately sneezed. He hated goldenrod, damn weed was a pain in his ass.
So, why were there tire tracks through the weeds and one of the barn doors slightly opened? Kern couldn't remember when the last time they had used this barn so there was no reason for the door to be unlocked, much less opened. His stomach cramped, a nauseous feeling boiled in the pit of his belly.
Kern made his way through the tall grass to the barn. For a moment he seriously debated turning around and going back to the house.
"I've got to know," Kern whispered as he opened the door.
The windows on the barn had been boarded up long ago. Light barely managed to slip through the cracks. The barn was dark, but something was wrong. The smell of oldness and mildew assaulted Kern's sensitive nose, but there was something more... a smell that shouldn't be there.
That smells like... exhaust? Kern thought.
He pulled the barn door open wider so more light would shine inside. There in the middle of the barn stood something big, covered with a tarp.
Dread dug its heels into Kern. Cobwebs drifted everywhere, and old tack hung from the ceiling. A heavy layer of dust covered most everything in there. Kern stepped closer to whatever was covered and felt the blood leave his head. He stepped up and grabbed one corner of the tarp, lifting it up.
"Oh shit, oh my fucking shit," Kern hissed. The need to throw up hit Kern hard, his stomach flipped over. For a second Kern was worried he'd be on his knees relieving himself of the last meal he ate. Taking several deeps breaths he finally convinced his stomach to return to where it belonged.
The back bumper of a jacked-up truck covered in mud looked back at him. It looked exactly like the vehicle the police were looking for. Kern arranged the drop cloth back over the truck and back away from it, his whole body shaking.
"I knew it, I knew it," Kern muttered.
Now there was absolutely no doubt. His father had done something to that car Ivy had been in and caused it to wreck. If Daylon ever found proof, none of their lives would be worth a plugged nickel.
"Crazy bastard," Kern said as he left the barn. He made sure to leave the door exactly like he found it.
Kern walked back to the house. Caleb was finishing up the lawn. Kern went inside, changed clothes, and returned outside. He got the weed eater out of the garage and went to work. He made a point of not telling Caleb want he had found. The less his brother knew the better off he would be when this blew up in their faces.
Kern tried to call Jade again later that night and over the next several days. The first few times he didn't leave a message, but that didn't seem right either. After thinking about it, he started leaving messages even though he cringed at how silly he sounded.
"Um, hey there Jade. It's me. Ah, Kern. Sorry I missed you. I, well, I was just thinking about you and wanted to say 'hey'. So... hey."
Kern closed the phone and rubbed a hand over his face while his wolf just shook his head. Could he sound any more lame? He called back determined to sound more manly.
"So anyway, I was thinking we could meet in town and have a few drinks. If you want to, that is. Then we could have dinner. Would you like to have dinner or would lunch be better? Oh man. Whatever you want to do sounds good to me. Let me know, okay. Um yeah, I'll talk to you later."
That was more manly? his wolf snickered.
Kern refused to answer.
When Jade called back, Kern couldn't answer because his father was next to him. They played phone tag until he was finally able to catch her. The conversation was brief, but the desire was still there, and growing. They tried to make plans to meet but one thing or the other kept getting in the way.
* * * *
"Daylon, it's late, are you ready to go to bed?"
"I'm not sleepy," Daylon said.
"No, I imagine not; you're too busy wearing a hole in the carpet to be sleepy. Come to bed, my mate."
"I'll just toss and turn. There's no point in both of us not sleeping."
"Who said anything about sleeping?"
"Ahh... now that I can get behind."
Daylon walked to Ivy and wrapped his arms around her. The mere thought of losing her had twisted his insides up and made his stomach ache. The thought of trying to live his life without her...
"I'm fine," Ivy whispered, clearly seeing the anguish in Daylon's eyes as he stared at her.
Ivy hugged Daylon. His lips descended, tasting, while holding her tightly in his embrace. Dear God, he loved this woman. Little nibbling kisses covered her lips, encouraging Ivy to open to him. Ivy moaned and rubbed against the hard body so close to her. His big body trembled in her embrace, his emotions running hot and high. She pressed closer, her hard nipples rubbing against his chest through the fabric of her shirt.