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“Drop your weapon,” ordered another.
Everyone plummeted to the floor. Della and Chase went down on their haunches, both prepared to launch off if needed. Then he put his arm around her, holding her down, and preventing her from seeing. Refusing to be blocked, she knocked his arm away.
Damian and one other man stood in front of the glass wall. Both of them had guns. But Damian had something the other didn’t. He held the red-haired baby girl dressed in pink, about the same age as Hannah. He pressed his gun to the screaming child’s head as the mother on the floor sobbed.
“You don’t want to do this,” called one officer.
Della again noticed the other guy with the gun. He wasn’t supernatural. Did Damian have a human accomplice? Then she noted how the two guys shot each other puzzled looks.
Crap. What were the chances they had two criminals on one plane?
Damian looked back at the officers. “Drop your guns or I’ll blow this kid’s head off.”
The mother’s sobs rang out with others’ screams. Della’s heart clutched and she felt her canines extend and her eyes stung from the oncoming brightness.
The other guy just stood there, gun out, but appearing stunned. Della glanced back at the officers, wondering which of these guys they were after. Had Damian’s crimes become a human problem, or were they after criminal number two?
“Keep your head down,” she heard Chase whisper, but she could barely hear him over the screams of the crowd.
She lowered her head, but cut her eyes up, still able to see what was happening in front.
“There’s four of us,” said one of the officers. “And it’s not going to end well.”
Damian gave the baby girl a cold look. “Yeah, and we know who it’s going to end badly for,” Damian said and lifted his head as if to sniff the air, no doubt picking up on their scents.
“He knows we’re here,” she muttered in an almost silent whisper.
“Yeah, but he doesn’t know who we are yet,” Chase whispered back. “So keep your head down. We’ll have a better chance of overtaking him.”
Feeling her blood fizz in her veins, she could hear her heartbeat hitting her ribs as if it wanted to escape. The child’s screams had her wanting to attack.
“Drop your guns or the kid dies!” yelled Damian, but he was busy looking around the crowd for them instead of focusing on the cops.
The mother screamed again and Della saw someone holding the woman back. But no one was holding Della back.
She tightened her calf muscles, ready to lunge, but Chase must have felt her slight movements. His arm came back down on her.
“Not yet,” he said in her ear.
But Della didn’t see any choice. She saw Damian’s finger go for the trigger. Bolting up, she dove for him, praying she got there in time.
Still airborne, she saw Criminal Number Two turn his gun toward her.
Chase dove in front of her.
The gun exploded.
Chase! Her heart stopped, but she couldn’t. She had to save the baby first.
Seconds felt like minutes. She grabbed Damian’s right arm and twisted until she heard it break. He dropped the baby, but the mother bolted over and caught it. Damian’s gun clanked to the floor and Della kicked it and heard it skid across the tile. Then with force propelled by fury, she shoved him to the ground. His head hit the hard floor with a thud.
Another gun went off.
More screams exploded. People started scrambling.
The police rushed forward. Della stepped away as they reached Damian.
Her heart stopped midbeat as she turned to look for Chase.
People were everywhere, falling over each other to try to get out. The cops had the other guy on the ground. Another two were standing over Damian.
She shifted her gaze from left to right.
Right to left.
She couldn’t find Chase.
Tears stung her eyes. Where was he, damn it?
She felt someone step behind her, but her nose said it wasn’t Chase, so she ignored the presence and continued to look for him.
But then the scent hit. Not Chase, but another were.
“Are you here to help? Or part of the problem?” a voice asked behind her.
Turning her head, she saw one of the officers. She’d been so tense earlier she hadn’t picked up on his scent.
But a quick glance at his forehead confirmed what her nose had already told her. He was half were, half human.
“To help. I’m … we’re with the FRU.” Della turned back to look for Chase, feeling her panic climb at frightening speeds.
The officer grabbed Della by the arm. “Then you need to show me your badge.”
Before Della could cut him a sharp look, a growl sounded behind her. “Release her.”
She swung around, pulling out of the were officer’s grip. Her eyes landed on Chase, and only then did air get to her lungs.
“You okay?” she asked. Then she cut her eyes down and saw blood high up on the arm of his shirt. “You’re hit!”
“Just grazed,” he said, still glaring at the officer.
“I still haven’t seen a badge,” the were in the uniform said.
The officer could strip na**d and howl for all she cared. All she cared about was Chase. And not trusting his assessment of his injury, she reached up, found the hole in his shirt, and ripped it open to see for herself. He hadn’t been lying. The bullet had just grazed his forearm.
He’d dove in front of her. He’d taken a bullet for her—put his life at risk. Her heart started pulling in about a dozen different directions, as did her emotions. She wanted to slap him for doing something so stupid, she wanted to kiss him because he was okay.