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Authors: Kathi S. Barton

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BOOK: Walker (Bowen Boys)
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He was out the door when he remembered
his dad. He’d asked to speak to him before he left, but Khan wasn’t in the mood
now. He tore off his shirt and shifted even as his pants were settling on the
ground.

Roseann had been like the girl in the
bedroom upstairs. Conniving and vicious, she had made him fall in love with her
then she’d not only betrayed him, but his family as well. He would never trust
another human as long as he lived.

Khan had known she wasn’t his mate, hell
they all had, but she was everything he had wanted in one. Except for being a
panther. And when he’d told her what he was, even going so far as to show her, she’d
seemed just fine about it. But he’d been wrong, nearly dead wrong.

She’d had him over one night and had
told him she was having a few friends over as well. He’d asked her to marry him
the week before and she’d said yes. The big wedding had been planned for June,
June nearly seven years ago.

He shuddered when he thought of the
events that had followed and cringed when he thought of how he’d handled it. Her
family, wealthy and prestigious, had made it difficult for him to return to a
normal life and even more difficult to return to the job he’d loved so much.

Khan stopped when he saw Dylan at
Walker’s house. He’d been going there to talk his brother into releasing the
girl to where she belonged. When they went into Walker’s house Khan nearly went
back to his own home, but decided to get this over with. The girl needed to be
gone.

There were things for each of them at
all their houses, including his. There were places that hid each of their
clothes in the forest beyond as well. Khan went there now. He pulled on his
jeans and was unfolding his shirt when he knocked on the door. Walker didn’t
look surprised to see him and invited him in.

“We’re having pizza and beer. If you can
remain civil then you can stay, otherwise, you can leave now.”

Khan wanted to snap he was always civil,
but remembered how uncivilized he been to the girl.

“I mean it, Khan. I’m not in the mood
for your shit tonight.”

He nodded and walked in. Whatever had
happened to his brother must have been bad. Walker was usually the least
tempered of them all. Khan was in the kitchen when his cell phone went off and he
turned it off when he saw who it was. He would take his punishment later from
his mom. Right now, he wanted to speak to his brother.

“When will that girl be gone?” He’d
managed to make it until the pizza was delivered before saying what he really
came there for. Walker didn’t answer at first, but Dylan had plenty to say.

“What do you care? She’s not hurting you
and she certainly isn’t sponging off you either. And as far as I could see the
other day, Mom and Dad seem to like her.” Dylan snorted. “‘Course they don’t
hate every person they come in contact with like you do.”

He wanted to hit him, but was in enough
trouble with doing things in other people’s houses already. He looked over at
Walker, ignoring Dylan. He decided to ignore him and get to the problem at
hand.

“She’ll leave when I say so. You can
fuck off for all I care.” Dylan started to say something, but Walker stopped
him with a look. “You don’t like that then you can leave now. I’m not releasing
her until she’s healthy.”

“What’s going on?” He looked at Dylan
then at Walker. “You know something about this girl that you don’t want me to
know. She’s a fucking reporter, isn’t she? Mother fuck, Walker, do we want to
go through that again?”

“As a matter of fact, I don’t know what
she does for a living. She didn’t even tell me her name, so Dad told me.” He
noticed that he didn’t answer him about what he knew. Before he could ask
again, Dylan spoke.

“You might not be able to tell him, but
I fucking don’t have a problem with it. She’s his mate.”

Khan staggered back and looked at both
men. Walker was saying something to Dylan, but Khan couldn’t understand. His
entire world had just narrowed down to a pinpoint.

 

Chapter Four

 

By the next morning, she was so sore she
could barely hold her arms up without screaming. Her leg was pounding in pain,
but she wasn’t going to stop. No pain, no gain was what she kept telling
herself when she tried to lift her leg again. But as soon as it was off the bed,
she did cry out and nearly screamed when the door crashed open to the room.

“What the hell is going on?” Dr. Bowen
was standing before her in just a pair of boxers and the most beautiful body
she’d ever seen. “Who is attacking you?”

“Get out.” She hated the way her voice
sounded breathless and she pointed to the door again. “I told you yesterday I
didn’t want to see you again…what the fuck are you doing?”

He’d taken the covers from her and
tossed them off. She glanced down at the blood soaked bandages and tried to get
the blanket back over it when he tore them from her fingers and threw them on
the floor.

“What have you been doing? You’ve opened
the wounds again. Now I’m going to have to see what you’ve done.”

She tried not to stare at his body, but
Christ, he was not giving her much choice. Even as pain riddled as she was, he
was making her wish he would take off the rest of his clothes and join her in
the big bed. He stopped suddenly and looked at her.

He looked…well, hungry came to mind, and
she reached for the pillow next to her and covered herself with it. He didn’t
move and neither did she for several seconds. When he came toward her she fully
expected him to hit her and braced herself for the blow.

“Do you know what you do to me when you
smell like that?” He was standing over her and she could see his cock harden
beneath the shorts. “Caitlynne, if you don’t want me to join you in that bed,
pain or no pain, you had better say something.”

She thought of a thousand ways to say “yes,”
but only shook her head. He took a step back then another before he took a deep
breath. He didn’t look any happier that far away than he had close up. And his
cock seemed to agree with her about getting into bed with her.

“I want to leave. Today. Now.” He didn’t
move, so she tried again. “I want to go home and I want, no, I demand that you
take this thing out of me so I can go.”

“And what do you think will happen when
you do leave? Do you think someone is going to help you around? How will you
feed yourself? How will you move without help?”

She glared at him. “I’ve been shot
before and I know how to take care of myself. I don’t need anyone to cater to
my every whim.”

He looked shocked. She wasn’t sure if it
was her tone or the fact that she’d been shot before. This time when he took a
step, it was toward her again and he didn’t stop until he was almost on top of
her.

“Who are you?”

She looked away, somehow knowing that he
would know if she was lying.

“What is it you do that got you into the
mess we found you in?”

The need to answer was nearly
overwhelming. She looked back at him and frowned. “Nothing. When you found me
it was because I was being a good Samaritan. I doubt I’ll go that route ever
again.”

Walker dropped to his knees and when she
tried to look away, he pulled her chin back to face him. He looked at her with
such intensity that she felt his gaze all over her body. When his eyes seemed
to center on her mouth, she licked her lips. His moan made her feel things
she’d never felt before.

“I want to kiss you, Caitlynne.” Without
thought to what that would mean for either of them, she leaned toward him when
he pulled her toward him. “Caitlynne.”

First contact was a brush of his lips. The
second, more. His hand moved to the back of her head and he took her lower lip
into his mouth and suckled. She moaned this time; her entire being needed more
from him. But he pulled back and she could only stare at him.

“As much as I’d like to take this to the
very end, I’m afraid that you’re not up for it.” He kissed her again, this time
longer; his tongue danced with hers. Then he lifted his head. “Christ, I would
like nothing more than to bury myself deep in—”

The door opened and there stood Khan.
She didn’t know why he’d been coming in, but he was on top of Walker in
seconds. The two of them were going to kill each other if they weren’t stopped.
One of them, or both, could get seriously hurt. She reached for the closest
thing she could touch and held it in her hand, waiting for the moment she could
use it.

The pitcher of water flew across the
room. Her intent was to hit them both, but she only managed to hit Khan. And
when it broke on his forehead, he fell back on the floor with a thud. She
looked around for another weapon when Walker turned toward her. He was
breathing hard and looked…well, she didn’t know what exactly was different about
him, but he was bigger, it seemed.

“You all right?”

She nodded at his question.

“Good. Don’t move from that spot. I need
to get help with him and I don’t want you to get cut.”

His voice was calm. She didn’t know how
to react to it so she nodded again. Glancing at Khan when Walker stepped out of
the room, she swung her legs off the side of the bed and tried to stand. She
was getting her ass out of here. These people were certifiable.

The first step on her injured leg nearly
took her breath away. She almost fell over the catheter tubing and had to count
to ten when she came down oddly on her leg. Once she was moving toward what she
hoped was the bathroom, things didn’t get much better.

Sweat poured off her, but she knew she’d
have to get over it. But before she could get inside and the door closed, she
was being scooped up into someone’s arms and held while she tried to fight
back.

“Don’t hurt yourself. It’s me.” She
glared at Walker when he laughed. “You’re a hellcat, aren’t you? I thought I
said to stay put.”

“I’m not a dog to mindlessly obey
chauvinistic men like you. Put me down.” He did, but back on the bed. “I’m
leaving before he wakes up. He’s not going to be happy with me when he does.
And I’m reasonably sure he hated me in the first place.”

His entire demeanor changed. “What did
he say to you? So help me, if he hurt you in any way, I will rip his throat
out.”

“She looks like she could hold her own
with him.” George walked in and smiled at her. “Pissed you off, did he? Good
for you. Come on, Walker. Let’s get him to safer grounds so you can pick the
glass out.”

“She thinks she’s leaving. I can’t…she
can’t leave just yet. She’s not fully he—”

“She’s sitting right here, you moronic
asshole. And if you have something to say about me or something you assume that
I will do, then I would prefer that you said it to me and not around me.”

George laughed and didn’t seem fazed
when Walker glared at him. “Oh, she’ll do just fine. Just fine indeed.” George
laughed again as he continued. “I’ll sit with her for a spell. Your mother is
getting the kitchen ready for your surgery.”

Lynne watched two more men come in and
pick Khan up as if he didn’t weigh a ton. The other two, more than likely
brothers to Khan and Walker because of their matching looks, seemed to find it
funny that she had knocked the man on his ass. She looked over at George. “Is
he going to be all right?”

George nodded.

“He attacked without provocation. He’s
lucky that I didn’t…”

“Didn’t what?”

She looked away. She’d nearly said lucky
she didn’t shoot him.

“Lynne, you’ve never told us who those
men were that hurt you. We can’t help you if you don’t let—”

“He kissed me.” She didn’t know why she
blurted that out, but once she did it seemed to open a damn. “I don’t know why,
but he made me feel things… Why would he kiss me and Khan come in and attack
like that?”

“He was hurt. Khan was hurt by a… by
someone much like you. He is bitter and cold and I despair of him ever getting
over her.” He looked through the open door when there was cursing from beyond
it. “He needs someone to love him so that he’ll trust again.”

Lynne was still trying to wrap her mind
around the fact that he said someone like her. What did this man know or think
he knew? She had to get out of here and short of taking the catheter with her
on her own, she was coming up short on plans.

~~~

Walker would have taken the glass out
without numbing his brother’s head, but his mother was standing right there. She
was eyeing him as if she knew what he had been planning. She more than likely did.
Walker stretched his neck muscles again and tried to gentle his hands.

“You’re trying to slow this down on
purpose just so I can’t get up. Well it won’t work. She’s leaving right now.”

His mom hit Khan in the back of the head
hard and then glared at him when he looked ready to stand up. “You’ll sit right
there or so help me, Khan Bowen, I will take you to the wood shed.” She hit him
again in the shoulder. “What were you thinking attacking your brother like
that? Were you hoping to scare that poor woman so much she’d run?”

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