Whispers of Darkness (The Deadwood Hunter Series Book 2)(5)

By: Rachel M Raithby

Lexia was aware again, only this time she wasn’t in the pain she’d been in before. She’d never felt such pain in her life; every part of her body had hummed in agony. The worst part of it all was she was trapped in her body, not able to fully wake to find out if Lincoln was ok and as her body throbbed with torturous pain, her heart twisted in fear. What if he didn’t make it? As the blackness had called her back into its infinite depths, she’d gone willingly because in the numbness, she didn’t feel, didn’t have to face the thought of a life without her panther.

But now Lexia could feel and she felt afraid to open her eyes. She didn’t move a muscle even though her whole body felt stiff; her joints ached from not moving. How long have I been here? Lexia heard a movement to her side and she pushed out her senses; it was time to join the world again, to face whatever lay ahead.

She couldn’t feel Lincoln and her heart gave a sharp stab; Lexia bit back the gasp that tried to escape her mouth. Whoever was with her had power and she didn’t want them to know she was awake yet. Lexia opened her eyes a crack and stared at a white ceiling. She could hear the sound of traffic outside. I’m in a city? Moving her head a fraction she risked a peek in the direction the sound had come from. Standing with his back to her was a man as tall as Lincoln; he was bent over slightly sorting through some papers. Lexia sat up slowly, careful not to make a sound. She noticed she had on a hospital gown and a bandage was wrapped around her shoulder and thigh but they didn’t hurt anymore. As Lexia silently slid to the floor she noticed a small table with surgical instruments on it. Her eyes fixed on the scalpel that sat glinting in the midday sun. And as her hand stretched out towards it, she noticed the man’s shoulders stiffened. Lexia froze as he slowly turned around and faced her; an image of a man walking into the clearing around Lincoln’s home flashed through her mind and she reached for the scalpel putting it to his throat with lightning fast speed.

“Where is Lincoln?” she growled. He gulped loudly and his eyes widened in fear. “Tell me where he is or you’re dead.”

“He just left, I told him to get out of this room, let his panther roam.”

Lexia looked at this man, Caden she thought he’d said his name was; he looked fearful of her and for a second she felt guilty for doing this to a man that had obviously fixed her but then the feeling was gone and she pushed the sharp edge against his skin. “You’d best not be lying. He’s ok? Alice is ok?”

“Yes, yes, I saved him. This is the first time he’s left your side. Honestly, Hunter, I have no reason to lie to you.”

“Don’t call me Hunter,” she growled low and deadly. “Where’s Alice?”

“She’s back with her family, Lexia. She’s safe.”

“How can she be safe? There’s Hunters all over Deadwood.”

“No, no she’s not in Deadwood. I have a friend in the FBI. She’s in witness protection.”

“Witness protection...” Lexia’s hand loosened on the blade. Had her friend really lost her whole life because of her? Would she ever forgive her?

“Lexia just put down the scalpel and we can wait for Lincoln.”

She smiled at him, snapping out of her thoughts. “We can wait like this for him. If, like you said, he went for a walk, then he should be back soon. For your sake I hope he’s quick because if you’ve lied you’ll be dead. This is your last chance, just tell me if he’s dead and I’ll leave. Lie and with a single flick of my wrist you’ll be gone, it’ll be so simple.”

“Lexia, he’s alive, I promise, please.”

Lexia moved the scalpel so that it wasn’t pressing into his skin and as she stood there waiting, she wondered who she was? Had she really become a person that could kill so easily? Hold someone at knife point? But as long as she stood there feeling strong and in control, the churning feelings of dread in her stomach were held back; Lincoln had to walk through that door. Any minute she would see his beautiful caring face and the world would feel right again because if he didn’t, she feared she would not slice the sharp edge of the scalpel through Caden’s throat but through hers; like she said it would be simple, so simple and all the heart ache and pain would be gone.

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