Bear to the Rescue(Bear Claw Security Book 3)By: Terry Bolryder
“You picked the wrong people to mess with, stranger,” he said.
Zeus said nothing. Just replied by grabbing the charging man by his collar and throwing him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. The man shrieked as he landed square in the middle of a large table, which buckled beneath him and crashed onto the ground in a cloud of splinters.
The man groaned as he rolled over and tried to get up. Zeus didn’t let up, just walked over to the man, examined him for a split second, and gave him one swift blow to the head, knocking him out.
For a moment, the room was still, not a sound disrupting the odd quiet as Zeus looked around one last time, then came over to the table Carly was hidden behind.
Her blood froze. Not only was this the largest, most badass man she had ever seen in her entire life. But he was also dangerous. What would he do with her?
Zeus knelt in front of her and reached out his hand. The anger and coldness were gone from his eyes. Instead, there was a gentle warmth that eased her worry.
“You’re not safe here. You need to come with me,” he said, his voice low.
Carly’s mind willed her to move, but her body was still shaking from the adrenaline of the past couple minutes. Everything had happened so fast.
“But, my job… My shift doesn’t—”
“There’s no time for that now,” he said, cutting her off.
Carly looked around and saw the motionless bodies of the men around her. If they really were from the Red Devils, then Zeus was right; she wasn’t safe here. But maybe they weren’t. Maybe they were just loan sharks Rob had gotten in too deep with.
Zeus looked impatiently at her, then swooped her up into his arms. “Here, let me help you,” he said, more commanding than asking.
The feeling of being picked up off the ground and held in the humongous man’s arms was surreal. Carly was by no means a slight woman, so she’d never understood what it felt like to be carried. But as Zeus turned and made for the door, opening it with his foot and walking across the small parking lot, she instantly began to feel much better, much safer.
Even if Zeus was a complete stranger and a total mystery to her, there was something about him that felt right. She was safe with him. Somehow she just knew it.
He walked toward what Carly assumed must be his motorcycle, a big, black Harley with shining chrome and a pristine paint job. She had no clue how much bikes like this cost, but she assumed it was probably pretty expensive. Which made no sense from the stories she’d heard about him being half civilized and living in the mountains all alone.
Zeus set Carly down on the rear part of the large leather seat, quite gracefully to her surprise, and then handed her a huge helmet.
“Put this on,” he said.
She didn’t ask questions, just put on the helmet that was clearly for a head much larger than hers and buckled the strap tightly so it wouldn’t come off. Zeus climbed onto the bike, and she felt the shocks lurch under his sheer size as he clicked the stand into its place and started the engine with his foot. The motorcycle roared to life as he took a pair of large sunglasses out of his coat pocket and put them on.
From behind Zeus, she could see just how broad-shouldered he was and just how big his muscles really were. Part of Carly longed to slip her hands under his jacket and see just what he felt like, but the more rational part of her still told her she was crazy for just leaving with him like this when she barely knew him.
As her mind was still racing, Zeus turned back to her, his mirrored sunglasses showing her reflection.
“You’ll want to hold on,” he said. Then he put the engine into gear. They moved forward, and Carly felt her body sway backward, causing her to wrap her arms tightly around Zeus in panic. She’d never been on a motorcycle before, let alone ridden behind someone, so the feeling was entirely new to her.
Zeus drove out of the parking lot and down the main thoroughfare that comprised most of downtown Bearstone Village. He turned the motorcycle onto a small side rode that pointed straight toward the hills and mountains that rose into the towering range where Bearstone Park was located.
But instead of heading toward Bearstone Park, this road went in a different direction. They drove up steep paved roads that winded along hillsides and passed through endless acres of ageless pine trees.
I must be crazy. This guy really does live out in the middle of nowhere, she thought. They turned off onto side road after side road, as if navigating a maze where only Zeus knew the layout. Carly held on tight as the Harley roared through the silent forests, and she couldn’t help but relish the feel of his tight muscles under the smooth leather of his jacket, despite the stress of the situation and the knowledge that she’d only barely escaped something terrible.
But she trusted Zeus. He’d helped her when no one else had, and for that, she’d give him a chance.
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