Pipe Dreams Ch. 07byCia81©
When Lina woke up she had no idea where she was. She could hear beeping as she shifted in discomfort, her body ached all over. She began to move her arm, trying to find the pillow saturated with Kane's scent that had been helping her sleep the past few nights. She had to find the alarm clock and turn off that incessant beeping too; she wasn't ready to get up yet, she felt so tired.
"Ow!" A sharp pain and a sensation of tugging in her arm made her stop moving.
She opened her eyes slowly. She was lying on her side in a narrow bed covered in white sheets. The first thing she saw was a bank of monitors. A hand grabbed hers and squeezed gently. Lina blinked; why was someone in her room?
She looked around, and then frowned. Where was she; this wasn't Kane's room.
"You're awake! Oh, he's going to be so upset."
Lina looked down and saw Maggie sitting in a green plastic chair next to the bed. Lina blinked.
"What are you doing here?" she croaked. "Aren't you supposed to be in Hawaii?"
"Oh Lina, like I would stay there when you were here and hurt. Your boyfriend here got me a flight back the second I insisted on coming home. You've picked a good one Lina," Maggie whispered.
"Where is Kane?" Lina looked around rapidly, ignoring the pain as her heart beginning to pound. Had he left her? Did he change his mind about her, think she brought too great a risk of exposure to his pack? The beeping on the machine began to race with her heart.
"Lina?" A deep voice behind her, the sleep lowered tone made her gasp. The sound was like a blanket of calm draping around her. Rapid footsteps brought Kane around the bed to stand at the head of her hospital bed.
"Oh baby, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
Kane brought his forehead down to hers, stroking her hair softly. She locked gazes with the man who claimed her as a mate, seeing his eyes filled with many emotions. She could see pain and fear, anger and love in the light blue eyes that were filled with tears. She watched in awe as the first drops fell, her own face wet with tears without her even realizing it until Kane wiped them away with his thumbs.
"I'm sorry I failed at protecting you," Kane whispered. "This was my fault, all mine."
"You couldn't know that he was following you and saw me and took the chance to grab me."
"I'm a werewolf, Lina. If I hadn't been screaming at Mike over the phone I would have heard you. I was so upset that Carson managed to get out of the safe room. I thought you would be safe, and I didn't use my senses. I should have known better!"
"I don't blame you, I'm thankful to you for finding me, for saving me. I was so scared that he would manage to get away before you could find us." Lina's tears turned into sobs as she relived those moments of frantic hope that Kane would find her and desperate fear that he wouldn't get there in time.
"Shh, baby, shhh . . . We were right outside by then. We looked for you, but couldn't find you. Then Mike told me that Carson tracked a man who smelled like you. We knew you were in the house; but we didn't know where you were or if he was holding a weapon on you. It was all I could do to wait and let my men do their duty before I could go to you. It broke my heart, thinking you were being hurt." Kane soothed Lina, a slow rumble from his chest and his hand stroking her hair gradually calmed her.
A nurse came in. "Mr. Jacy, the officers are here to speak with you and Miss Revers if she is awake."
Lina shifted uncomfortably in Kane's arms. Her arms felt heavy and sore and her face was throbbing after her crying jag. She didn't need to say anyone.
"Thank you, Mary. Lina needs a moment to compose herself and then some more pain medication would be appreciated, I'd bet."
The nurse went over to Lina's monitor. "Yes, her heart rate is a bit elevated." She turned to Lina. "Are you in much pain my dear?"
"What would you rate it on a scale of one to ten, with ten the worst pain you can imagine."
Lina frowned, that was hard. She felt like a wimp, but a five was what her mind said. She hurt so much and Kane suggested she take the medicine. She cleared her throat. "About a five."
Mary nodded and checked her chart. "Well, the doctor left notes that you could receive some additional medication, and ice chips if you were thirsty."
Ice chips. Oh, her throat was burning at the thought. "Please."
"Sure thing, sweetie. I'll go get those before we left those cops in, that way you can suck on a few before you have to talk much. If you feel like it's too much for you let me know, and I'll make them leave."
She bustled from the room, and Kane let go of Lina's hands. She protested wordlessly, reaching for him. She didn't want him to be away from her at all.
"I'm just getting a washcloth for your eyes. I'll be right back." He wet a white cloth in the sink and brought it back, wiping her eyes gently and then folding the cloth over them. He leaned down close to her ear.
"We can't afford to let the cops into the investigation. We had to lie," he whispered before the nurse came back. Lina listened closely, knowing this was important for the pack. She was already dedicated to her friends among Kane's pack and the urge to protect them was stronger than her feeling of wrong for hiding things from the police.
"You were abducted from your house. Some guy grabbed you, but he wasn't around when you woke up. You were able to break a window in the room you were held in and climb out; that explains the cuts. You were beat up a little, but that came from before he knocked you out and took you from your house. Once you were out of the house you ran. You found a house down the road with lights on and got help from them. Okay? Can you remember that for me?"
Kane picked up the washcloth, turning it to a fresh side and wiping her face and eyes again. "I'm sorry to ask you to lie, but we can't stop whoever is making Pipe Dream if we hand over what we know to the cops. Not yet."
"It's okay. I want everyone to be safe. What about the house I called from?" Lina worried about that; the police would check their story, she was sure of it.
"A pack family has volunteered. They understand what they are to do." Kane glanced at the door. "Mary is coming back. Do you think you can remember that? Should it be better for you to play asleep?"
Lina shook her head. "If my face didn't give away that I was awake my heart would." She glanced at the still beeping monitor ruefully.
Kane kissed her on the forehead and Lina closed her eyes, feeling the cool wet cloth drape across them again.
"Is she asleep?" Mary asked in a whisper.
"No," Lina said. "My head just hurts. Can we turn off the lights?"
"Oh, sure thing honey. First, let me get this shot going." Lina stiffened when the nurse came closer and her heart rate monitor began beeping faster. "Oh, don't worry, it's going in your IV. No needles for you."
Lina sighed in relief. She hurt so much already, but a needle was just something that freaked her out. Her therapist thought it was a byproduct of her dad's business in the drug world. A knock on the door distracted her from her thoughts. Kane touched her lips with a cold spoon, and she sucked in a few ice chips. She let them melt on her tongue and dripped down her throat, sighing in relief as she felt the cool water soothe the raw feeling.
"Miss Revers, my name is Detective Abrams and this is my partner, Detective Lizzet. We'd like to come in and speak with you, if you're feeling up to it."
The cop speaking was a man, and Lina felt Kane's hand tighten on hers. She squeezed it back.
"Yes," she said softly.
There were a few noises and Mary patted her on the shoulder from behind. Lina flinched away and whimpered. Kane instantly crouched down, their foreheads together as he stroked her hair with his free hand.
"It's okay, baby. Shhh . . . ."
More tears leaked from behind the washcloth as Lina fought the urge to break down. She breathed deep, pulling in the spicy scent that always seemed to surround Kane. It helped draw her back from the fear swamping her. She'd nearly had a phobia about people touching her, and the recent attack made it worse.
Kane removed the washcloth. "Maybe it will be better if you can see for a bit, just now."
Lina nodded, still breathing him in, unable to talk.
"Miss Revers has just had some medication so please keep this short, officers," Mary said from the foot of the bed.
Lina glanced at the officers standing behind Kane. Two men, both average height and average age. One red haired, the other had dark black hair, but she couldn't see anything that stood out about them. They wore suits, but had their badges out.
Kane looked at both of the names and numbers, his lips moving silently. Lina had seen him in action in the office and knew that he had both memorized, just in case.
"Miss Revers, we'd like to speak with you privately. If Mr. Jacy could just wait outside, we don't have too many questions for you."
Kane didn't make any move to leave, but Lina clutched at him. Her heart rate monitor went crazy and she began crying again. "No. No, don't leave. Please..." she whimpered.
Kane shot a glare at the officers and bent down again, drawing Lina's head up to meet his eyes.
"I'm not going anywhere, Lina. Breathe, baby. Look in my eyes. I'm here, you're safe. No one is going to hurt you again."
Lina choked back on her sob. "You won't go?"
"No," he said soothingly, "Not a step away from your side until you're ready."
The door opened and Mary came walking back into the room rapidly. She took one look at Lina and then turned to the detectives with her hands on her hips. "What's going on? Why is my patient so upset?"
"Ma'am, this is a police investigation. We must ask Miss Revers some questions and asked Mr. Jacy to step outside."
Mary was pushing buttons on Lina's monitors. She glanced at Lina who was still shaking in fear. She clung to Kane's hand. The nurse reached for her, but Lina shied away.
"Sorry," she said.
The nurse gave her a comforting look. "Don't you worry about it, dear. You just try to relax.
"I would suggest you gentlemen resign yourself to Mr. Jacy's presence, or wait until Miss Revers has had a chance to calm down. Either way, if you upset my patient like that again I will be calling her doctor who will be calling your boss." Mary gave them a stern look and then bustled out of the room, leaving Kane to continue to calm Lina.
The detectives were clearly unwilling to ask their questions with Kane in the room, but Lina refused to speak to them without him. When Kane agreed to remain completely silent they finally agreed. They asked her a lot of questions, more than she expected about what happened.
She pretended to be fuzzy on the details, her concussion certainly made remembering the past events difficult anyway. Detectives Abrams and Lizzet left when Lina's medications kicked in and began to put her to sleep, promising to do what they could but without much confidence in their voices.
Kane waited until they were gone and then snuggled up to Lina, crawling up in the too small bed with her. She curled into his chest, his extra warmth and his spicy smell blocking the sterile hospital room from her senses. Lina was just sinking into sleep when she suddenly remembered something.
"Wait. Where's Maggie?" she asked in a groggy voice.
Kane chuckled. "I thought you missed that. She said she was going home to rest since I had it under control."
Lina's eyes popped open. "Is that safe?"
Kane rubbed her arm gently. "Yes. We seem to have run all of Charlie's associates out of town once we caught up to Rocky. He was our main target until Charlie took you and we managed to track Carson to him. Teddy took Rocky to our property in the country. He's sitting in the jail cell we keep for dangerous werewolves. He has two guards on him at all times until my betas and I can question him. The rest were all small time dealers who were just pushing Pipe Dreams for the money they were paid; they're not going to escalate to violent crime. Besides, Carson has taken to patrolling around your home since Maggie arrived. No one is getting by him to hurt your friend.
"You're both safe, now rest. I'll be right here when you wake up."
Lina sighed sleepily. She was in pain and she couldn't seem to stop shaking, but she did her best to go to sleep. She felt a little like she would fly apart; it was almost like she wasn't quite all there, but with Kane's arms around her she decided her worries could wait until the next day. He would keep her together until she could do it for herself.
She'd get past this, and Kane would be there like he promised. She held tight to that thought as she let the drugs take her away into a painless sleep.
The hospital only kept Lina for another day after she woke up, their policy for patients with head wounds and concussions.
"Are you sure you don't want to come home?" Maggie asked her as she helped her out of the hospital gown and into a comfortable pair of jeans and an oversized button up shirt Kane had brought.
"No. I'm sorry Maggie. I don't know if I'll ever be able to feel safe there again." She pulled her friend into her arms and hugged her. "Plus with Kane, I just . . . ." Lina paused, unable to finish the thought.
"You're just head over heels in love with Kane, and he's got it just as bad as you. I'm surprised he let me in here alone with you to get dressed. He hasn't left your side in days." She returned Lina's hug carefully and then pulled away.
"Do you know where I can get a guy like that?" Maggie joked as she knelt down to help Lina put on her slip on shoes.
"You never know. Kane has a lot of friends."
The comment just slipped out, but Lina was shocked she hadn't thought of that before. Well, she probably would have, if things hadn't gone so crazy. If Maggie found a mate among the werewolves then Lina wouldn't have to keep secrets from her.
Maggie held up her coat. "So, I talked with your professors. I'll get notes for the class we share but you're responsible to get the material for your other classes. They all said you can take the rest of the week to recover."
Lina winced and muffled a whimper as she tried to pull her jacket on. Her arms and shoulder muscles had been strained and the doctor said she would be sore for a few more days. Soaking them would help, and another benefit of going to Kane's house instead of hers would be the big sunken tub in his bathroom that had jets.
The door opened instantly.
"You okay in here?" Kane asked, sticking his head in. Lina knew he'd heard the whimper.
"Just a little sore," she said.
"Good timing," Maggie said. She headed into the bathroom to get Lina's toothbrush. Lina shook her head and smiled at Kane.
"I think that's everything," she said as she came back out, stuffing the toiletries into the small bag of stuff she'd brought from home for Lina. She handed it to Kane when she looked at the clock.
"Sorry honey, I have to get to class. Call me later, okay?" She hugged Lina carefully and kissed her cheek.
"Bye Maggie, thank you!"
Maggie waved back at her, already breezing out the door.
Kane laughed. "Does she ever slow down?"
Lina laughed with him. "Only when she's sleeping and even then she sometimes sleepwalks."
Kane walked over to her and wrapped her in his arms. "It was harder than I thought to wait outside. I need to hold you for a minute."
Lina rested her head on his chest, soaking up the comfort and security she felt while snugly held in Kane's arms. It was rapidly becoming her favorite place in the world. The pain pills they had given her were making her slightly drowsy and she could feel her eyelids getting heavy.
"I think I like having you with me all the time too."
There was a knock at the door and an orderly came in with a wheelchair. While Lina got situated Kane made a call on his phone. Lina sat down carefully and Kane walked beside her, carrying her stuff as the orderly took her to the exit.. When they got downstairs Les was already waiting with the car at end of the sidewalk.
"Thank you," Lina said when he held the door open. The werewolf smiled at her briefly, but lowered his eyes and tilted his neck back a little when a quiet growl rumbled in Kane's chest. Kane was right behind her as she got in the car. Les got back in and they pulled away from the hospital.
Lina sighed. "I'm tired already."
Kane pulled her toward him. "Just rest. We'll get you in bed as soon as we get home."
Lina yawned and leaned her head on Kane's shoulder, breathing in his scent. He smelled vaguely like the hospital, a unique scent that she'd always hated. Maybe they all used the same antiseptic. Her nose wrinkled. "Bath first?"
Kane chuckled. "Okay."
Lina fell asleep until the car stopped in front of the house. Kane helped her out of the car carefully and kept an arm around her as they walked in the house. Several pack members were there including Carson. Lina had never seen the wolf alert and awake before.
"Hi Lina." Carrie came forward and hugged Lina carefully, her big belly getting in the way and making her have to lean dangerously far.
"We're glad you're okay," she said, going back to stand with her mate. "We were so worried."
Lina smiled at her warmly. "I'll be fine," she said.
"Once she rests." Kane looked at the rest of the pack who were staying at the house at the moment. They all seemed to get the hint, except Carson. When the rest of the pack backed away, he came forward.
"I'm sorry if I hurt you," Carson said. He fell to his knees and leaned his head back, his whole front of his throat exposed. The air was charged with tension as his adam's apple bobbed when he swallowed hard.
Lina looked up at Kane, completely confused. Kane was glaring down at the man at her feet.
"Carson was the wolf who attacked the drug dealer. He wasn't supposed to burst through the glass that way but he lost control, again. He is . . . apologizing."
When Lina looked back at the man she could see faint pink lines on his face, like well healed cuts. Having the man on his knees in front of her and so vulnerable made her feel nervous, but she knew it had to be a werewolf thing.
"What am I supposed to do?" she whispered.
Kane dropped his arm from around her shoulders. "If you were a wolf, such an offer would be met by taking his throat in your teeth. It shows his submission and reaffirms the pack bonds with a scent mark. If you forgive him you touch him gently, if not . . . ." Kane didn't finish, but Lina shuddered. She got the idea.
"I don't think I can--"
"It's okay," Kane said. "You're not a wolf. He just doesn't know any other way.
"Do you forgive him?"
Lina nodded. He'd help save her, and she understood if control was hard for him. The man had almost died from the drugs the dealer was pushing. "As long as he doesn't use drugs ever again."
Kane bent down and his nostrils flared. Lina watched as Kane opened his mouth, his teeth and jaw seemed to grow slightly. He bit down a little hard, his teeth denting the white skin; Carson whimpered and then went limp. Lina put her hand on Kane's shoulder and it seemed to pull the growling man back a little. He took a deep breath and let Carson go, smelling him again with their scents now mixed.
"My mate has forgiven you," he growled, "but make sure that this never happens again. If it does..."
Carson glanced up at them, unable to hide his wince at the bruises on Lina's face. They were there as a direct result of his actions as a human, not the wolf attack, but it was still his fault. Lina knew the wolf would take his reprimand seriously; she couldn't see Kane letting anyone stupid enough to repeat the same mistake stay in his pack. Carson straightened his shoulders, but stayed on his knees.