Her Perfect Mate(106)By: Paige Tyler
“Name your price.” Stutmeir’s gaze locked on his, and for the first time, Landon saw real fear there. “Whatever you want, I’ll pay it.”
Landon shifted his body until he was directly over Stutmeir’s chest, putting all his weight on the knife. Stutmeir gave up punching him and instead put both hands on the knife, doing everything to keep Landon from plunging it into his chest.
“Keep your money.” Landon forced Stutmeir’s hand back until the knife was positioned directly above the man’s heart. “All I want is your blood.”
Stutmeir whimpered as the tip of the knife touched his shirt. “Please.”
Landon leaned down so his face was mere inches from Stutmeir’s. “Is that what my partner said when you tortured her?”
“You’re the cat bitch’s partner? They told me they killed you.”
“Guess your hybrids aren’t as good as you think.”
Tightening his hold on Stutmeir’s hand, Landon shoved the blade into the man’s chest.
Stutmeir gasped, his eyes going wide as he choked on blood.
Landon staggered to his feet. His radio headset had gone missing long ago, so he had no way of contacting the rest of his team or knowing where Buchanan had taken Ivy. The lodge was the most likely place. Leaving Stutmeir lying there, he turned and headed in that direction.
He was just running down the hill on the far side of the lodge when he heard someone coming at him from the other direction. He hesitated, ready to duck behind a tree so he could jump whoever it was, but then he caught a glimpse of a plaid shirt and long, shapely legs.
Landon sprinted though the trees, desperate to close the distance between them. Ivy threw herself into his arms, holding on to him so tight he could barely breathe. He held her close, burying his face in her hair for one long moment before pulling back to look at her.
She blinked, her eyes going wide at the blood running down his arm. “Oh God, you’re hurt.”
“I’m fine. Stutmeir, not so much.”
“You got him?”
“I got him.” Landon frowned as he took a closer look at her. There was blood splattered across the shirt he’d given her to wear. And it was fresh. He didn’t see any visible wounds, though. “Ivy, you’ve got blood all over you. What the hell happened?” He ground his jaw. “I’m going to kill Buchanan for leaving you alone.”
“He left because I made him leave. And this”—she gestured to her shirt—“isn’t mine. It’s Jeff’s.”
“Jeff?” He frowned. “Your ex-partner? What was he doing here?”
Landon’s blood went from a simmer to a rolling boil as she told him about Jeff working with Stutmeir, the DNA samples the two doctors had taken from her, and about Jeff trying to rape her again.
“That bastard.” Landon clenched his fists. “I’ll kill him.”
“That’s chivalrous, but unnecessary.” She cupped his cheek. “I already killed him.”
Landon shook his head. “You shouldn’t have had to go through that again.” He pulled her into his arms and pressed his lips to her hair. “If you’re going to slay all your own dragons, what do you expect me to do?”
“I do love you. I love you so much it hurts.” He gently tilted up her chin. “You’ll never know how sorry I am for letting you get captured. I promise I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to you.”
Ivy put her fingers to his lips, silencing him. “It wasn’t your fault. I got captured because I zoned out again. We both know that. The important thing is that you came back for me. You risked everything to rescue me, and that means the world to me.” She kissed him. “You mean the world to me.”
Something clogged Landon’s throat and he swallowed hard. He didn’t deserve her.
He covered her mouth in a long, slow kiss, then reluctantly held her away from him. “We’d better get back and check on everyone else.”
She nodded, entwining her fingers with his as he led her back toward the lodge. “I forgot to tell you. I figured out how to keep from zoning out.”
“You did? How?”