Valentino's Cowboy [Brac Village 10]

By: Lynn Hagen

There it was again! Abe saw something move behind Valentino’s eyes.

“Trust me, my little cowboy. There is no way I could ever ignore you. Whoever thinks you are dimwitted is an idiot. No worries, though. You’re going to come work with me, remember?”

Abe’s grin was wide, hurting his cheeks. “Oh yeah.”

“Get some rest,” Dr. Sheehan said. No sooner had the words left his mouth than Abe’s eyes closed and he was out.

Chapter Three

“How long will he be out?”

The doctor had been writing some notes, but glanced up at Valentino’s question. “Hopefully the rest of the night.”

Valentino ran his hands over Abe’s silky blond hair. “Would you mind keeping an eye on him while I take care of something?”

Setting his pen down, the doctor turned toward Valentino. “I don’t mind at all.”

He turned to leave and then spun back around. “What’s the prognosis on his hand?”

“It’s too soon to tell. I repaired all the damage”—the doctor shook his head slowly—“but there could still be some impairment.”

That’s all Valentino wanted to know. “Is there someone who can take me back to the Lakelands’?”

“I’ll go get Carter for you.” The doctor left and was back in no time at all. Without a word, Carter shimmered Valentino to the ranch.

“Do you need me to wait?”

“No, my car is here. I’ll use that to get back. Thanks for bringing me here,” Valentino said to Carter before he strode into the house. He didn’t bother to knock. Valentino was filled with too much contained rage. Walking into the kitchen, he spotted Gavin standing by the sink.

“Dr. Prayze. I just want to say—”

Valentino didn’t wait for Gavin to finish his sentence. He crossed the room and slugged the man on his jaw. The other Lakeland men jumped up from the table and came after Valentino. He swung again, blood spurting from Gavin’s nose. “Winter told you that he was losing his grip! How dare you put my mate in harm’s way.”

“Whoa,” Malcolm Lakeland said as he inserted his body between Valentino and Gavin. “It was an accident.”

Valentino glared at the father of the bear clan. “Abe is blaming himself for this. He thinks he failed Gavin. This was no accident. Winter told Gavin that he was losing his grip, but Gavin insisted the piece was too important. He had no regard for my mate’s safety.”

Malcolm’s had snapped around, confusion in his grey eyes. “Is this true, son?”

Gavin’s jaw clenched as he looked away. Valentino could see remorse in the man’s eyes, but that wasn’t good enough. The guy had total disregard for Abe’s safety. “Since you treat my mate as expendable, I want you to take me to his room so I can pack his things.”

Malcolm gave a stiff nod, but didn’t move from in front of his son. “Roman, take Dr. Prayze up to Abe’s room.”

Some might think that he was overreacting, but when it came to his mate, Valentino wanted no excuses. There was no way in hell Abe was staying another minute on this ranch if they took his safety so lightly.

He packed Abe’s belongings and walked back downstairs, not saying a word to anyone as he walked out to his car, put his mate’s things in his trunk, and then drove away.

Okay, he felt kind of bad for the way he had acted considering the Lakelands were kind and fair folks. But this was Abe that had been hurt. Valentino wasn’t going to allow his mate to be hurt in any way. Gavin had a lot to answer to, but Valentino was going to call Malcolm and make sure they were cool.

After stopping at the gate to gain access, Valentino parked the car and headed back inside the Den. He was normally a laid-back carefree man, but when it came to Abe, Valentino’s claws came out.

“Any change?” he asked the doctor as he entered the recovery room. He could see that Abe was still passed out. Valentino walked over to Abe’s injured hand and ran the tip of his finger up the small man’s arm.

“No changes,” Dr. Sheehan said. “He’s still asleep as you can see. I have a few things to take care of. Since you are here I can get them done.”

Valentino waved the doctor away as he pushed a small stool close to the bed and took a seat. He hated to see his mate like this. Valentino swore that he was going to do everything in his power to make sure that Abe didn’t feel slighted in any way if he no longer had use of his hand.

Abe moaned and turned his head.

The man shouldn’t be opening his eyes after the drugs Dr. Sheehan had given the fey, but Abe’s eyelids fluttered and then he was staring at Valentino with those pretty blue eyes.

“You should be snoring and drooling,” Valentino said in a soft whisper, the words threatening to get stuck in his throat. “Why are you awake?”

Abe’s eyes were unfocused as he continued to stare at Valentino. He wasn’t sure if Abe was aware of what he was doing. It must have been a fluke because Abe’s eyes soon closed and the man’s body relaxed.

Laying his head on the bed, Valentino stayed with his mate. If Abe woke again, he wanted to make sure he was the first thing his mate saw. Valentino blinked when he spotted two wolf pups run into the room.