His Bear Hands (Bear Creek Grizzlies Book 1)

His Bear Hands (Bear Creek Grizzlies Book 1) by Layla Nash, Callista Ball

Book: His Bear Hands (Bear Creek Grizzlies Book 1) by Layla Nash, Callista Ball Read Free Book Online
Authors: Layla Nash, Callista Ball
underbrush and surrounded her.
    They had guns. Lots of gun.
    Radios in their ears and paint covering their faces, some with branches and camouflage netting draped around them. The bear roared inside her head and Zoe twitched, hugging herself as she backed toward the river. "Uh, it's not hunting season yet, you probably shouldn't —"
    "Mick sends his regards," one said, voice low and gruff. The leader, by his demeanor. He had blue eyes, piercing and cold, and they cut right through her. "And wants to have a word with you."
    "I'm h-happy to give him a call," Zoe said, swallowing hard as she turned. Two more woodland ghosts stood behind her, between her and the river. "But the reception out here is so bad, I'll just —"
    "He's waiting." Blue Eyes leaned forward and grabbed her arm, hard enough it hurt and the bear part of her wanted to do something about it. Her chest felt tight and intense, like the bear might burst out whether she wanted it to or not. Zoe gritted her teeth as he slid plastic loops around her wrists and cranked them down until they cut off her circulation and bit into her skin. He frowned at her and said, "Cooperate. Don't yell or try to get away, or we'll knock you out. Got it?"
    "I have a lot of money," she said quietly, praying she sounded competent and sincere. "I can double whatever he's paying you."
    "Nice try." Blue Eyes lifted up a black bag and tossed it over her head, and everything went dark.
    Zoe held her breath at the rank smell in the cloth and dug in her heels as he tried to pull her forward. Her heart started to race. Simon. Simon would save her, but he thought she needed time to think. It could be an hour before he came to find her. And in an hour, Castellano could take her anywhere. Could kill her.
    A strangled sound escaped and tears dripped to her cheeks, soaked up by the hood, and she tripped as they started marching. Alone again. Except for the bear. But if she let the bear out, if she could even figure out how to do it, would she be able to find herself again? Maybe Zoe would be lost forever if the bear came out too soon. She held her breath and tried to come up with a plan.

15

Simon
    S imon stared Tate down . "Don't yell."
    He thought he could still hear Zoe crashing through the trees, making more noise than a bull in a china shop even on a well-travelled path. Simon wanted to go after her, wanted to chase her down and prove how much he wanted her to stay with him. Tate might think the city was safer, but Simon knew better. He was a bear in the woods, the biggest grizzly in the neighborhood and most of the entire state. He could protect her.
    Cooper, Finn, and Ethan all remained outside with Simon, eyes on Tate as they assessed the threat he posed. Simon knew his guys were already riled up over Zoe being upset. She'd only been with them a couple of days, but she was already family. Already part of the group. They would defend her with their lives, particularly since she was Simon's mate.
    Tate's eyes narrowed as he faced Simon. "Look, dude. I trusted you with her, to protect her, and I get a call from her a day after I drop her off that you're crazy and she needs help. What the hell is going on?"
    "Look, man —" Simon took a breath to try and explain he wanted Zoe to stay forever when a crack echoed through the air. Gun shot. He started to yell for them to get down, but Tate stared at him with a confused look on his face. Then he looked down at where red bloomed across his chest.
    Shot.
    Simon choked on denial as another shot rang out, and another red patch appeared on Tate's chest. His guys ran for cover and Simon tackled Tate to get him down, to make a smaller target, and dragged him over to crouch behind one of the axles of the old truck. Bullets, particularly ones from high-powered rifles, cut right through car bodies. Even the axles were a gamble. Only the engine block was safe, but Ethan claimed that real estate.
    Ethan signaled to Finn and Cooper, and turned to look at Simon.

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