Lie Close To Me (Lazarus Rising Book 5)(10)

By: Cynthia Eden


She dropped the stolen coat. Yanked off the hospital gown and tossed it into the garbage can. Her naked reflection loomed back at her in the mirror.

He said it was my blood. All of the blood in that terrible hospital—Maddox had said it was hers.

Outside, she heard the jingle of the gas station’s front bell. She ignored the sound as she leaned closer to the mirror. There were no cuts on her body. No bruises. There was no way that had been her blood.

She jerked on the jogging pants, pausing only long enough to rip off the tag on them. Luna put the tag on the edge of the sink. The pants were soft against her skin, and sure, they were too long, but she just rolled them up. Then she pulled on the t-shirt, again just tugging off the tag and putting it on the sink. Because the gas station hadn’t been selling a bra, her nipples shoved right against the front of the shirt. She fixed that problem, though, by putting back on his coat.

And she could have sworn the thing still held his heat.

Her fingers slid over the sink, grabbing the tags, right before she bounded out of the bathroom. “I have the tags!” Luna called out as she hurried down the aisle. She turned the corner, the cash register coming into view. “You can take them and ring me—”

Luna stopped.

The elderly man at the cash register wasn’t alone. She’d heard the jingle of the front bell, but she’d been so intent on dressing that she hadn’t stopped to think…

The sound meant a new customer had entered the store. Only she wasn’t looking at just any customer.

He’s here. Already. He’d found her already.

Maddox Kane stood near the check-out counter. His hands were on his hips. His jaw was locked, and his green eyes gleamed.

Oh, shit. Her toes curled against the floor. “Did you call the cops?” Luna asked the attendant, voice hopeful.

“He is the cops,” the gas station attendant told her.

What? No, that wasn’t possible—

Maddox reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He flashed it at her. “FBI.”

Her temples pounded.

“I’ll take care of her,” Maddox murmured, nodding to the attendant who watched them with an avid stare. “Sorry for the trouble. She’s been off her meds, and her family is mighty worried about her.”

Off her—

Luna surged forward, but Maddox moved faster. He grabbed her arm and then he locked something cold and hard around her wrist.

A handcuff. He’d just handcuffed her.

The attendant whistled. “Man, you sure are fast.”

Maddox’s body pressed against Luna’s. His gaze didn’t leave her face. “You have no idea.” Then he locked the other handcuff around his own wrist. “You’re not going to get away again, Luna.”

She yanked at the cuff, twisting her wrist, fighting the hold with desperate rage.

“It’s Lazarus-proof, Luna.” Now his voice was low, barely a breath, for her ears alone. “You won’t break loose.”

Lazarus-proof. Was that supposed to mean something to her?

“Time to go.” Now he was being loud again. He nodded to the attendant. “Appreciate the help. Always good to count on a responsible citizen.”

This wasn’t happening. Her frantic gaze flew to the older man. “Don’t let him take me!” she begged. She wasn’t above begging. “I don’t know what’s happening. Just call the local cops. Real cops and—”

“Stop it, Luna. Don’t say another word. I don’t want to have to hurt him.”

It was Maddox’s voice. Clear and strong. And…

In her head?

Her knees trembled. She almost fell, but he was there, of course. Maddox led her toward the door, their hands cuffed together. He shoved open the door, and the bell jingled. A happy, ridiculous sound that didn’t fit with her current circumstances.

Her gaze flew toward the motorcycle, only it wasn’t there. “What—”

“I hid the bike. I’ll have it picked up later. We’re in the SUV.”

A big, black SUV waited to the right. A solidly built guy—wearing all black, with perfectly straight, black hair and coal eyes—stood by the driver’s side. His stare was focused on her.

Or rather, on her toes.