No Contest (Alaskan Sabears #1)(3)

By: Becca Van

“Not before I’d left.” Cal frowned.

Tarik scanned the sky ignoring the gale-force winds, rain, and lightning from the summer storm, which was a usual occurrence this time of year. Normally, Jarvis had no trouble flying in all types of weather, which made Tarik think that something had gone wrong with the plane. Jarvis wasn’t a shifter but he was a good man, and Tarik hoped that he could put the plane down safely without injury to himself and his passenger.

He glanced over his shoulder when he heard pounding feet behind him and saw Tammy was running after them. Although he wanted to order her to get back inside just in case the worst happened, he knew she wouldn’t heed him.

“There it is,” Cal shouted.

Tarik came to a stop beside Cal and followed where he was pointing. He sucked in a breath when he saw flames and dark smoke spewing from one side of the plane. He didn’t need to be a pilot or an aeronautical engineer to know that one of the engines on the plane was history.

“Phelan, Hopper we’re going to need the fire rescue truck on standby.” Tarik contacted his other friends through their animal pack shifter link.

“Already on it,” Hopper replied. “Fin contacted us as soon as Jarvis made the mayday call.”

Tarik glanced toward the large hangar where the rescue equipment was kept and saw Hopper already driving the truck out of the shed. Phelan was in the passenger seat and both men were dressed in their firefighting gear. Tarik just hoped there wouldn’t be any need for the truck.

He followed the plane’s wild trajectory and knew that Jarvis wasn’t going to make it. He glanced at Hodge and they both took off running again. They hit the shoreline as the aircraft hit the water, bouncing once, before splashing down again. For a moment, Tarik thought the rough ride for Jarvis and his passenger was over, but his heart flipped over and then slammed against his ribs when the nose of the craft dropped just as it slid into land. The nose dug into the rocky sandy shore and then flipped tail over nose three times before coming to a halt. The silence after the loud screeching of metal scraping and breaking apart was almost deafening even over the squalling wind.

“Fuck!” Hodge muttered, just before he and Tarik reached the plane. It was upside down and there was a gaping hole in the fuselage. The pungent aroma of leaking fuel assaulted his sharpened senses, but so far, the craft hadn’t yet caught fire.

He could see a woman hanging from her seat, the only thing stopping her from falling out, the seat belt across her lap. Hodge moved around to the front of the plane toward Jarvis. Tarik ducked and entered the hole, aware of the necessity to get Tammy’s friend out of the plane in case it caught fire and exploded. Normally he would have assessed for injuries so he wouldn’t compound them before moving her, but there wasn’t time. He could literally hear the clock ticking. He ignored the sound of the rescue truck’s tires coming to a screaming halt close by, and after bracing the woman’s stomach with his broad shoulder, released the seat belt. She flopped down over him and after wrapping an arm around her legs, he carefully maneuvered her out of the hole again.

Tarik glanced over toward Hodge as he jogged away from the plane with his precious cargo and sighed with relief when he saw his friend was carrying Jarvis from the wreck. He detected two steady heart beats with his enhanced hearing, letting him know both pilot and passenger had survived the crash.

Tarik spotted the ambulance right behind the fire truck and changed direction to where Serge and Ward were pulling out equipment. Serge and Ward were trained paramedics. They often treated the local humans for illness and injury when necessary. Serge had completed his medical training and would have been a doctor but hadn’t wanted to leave the island again to get his medical degree. Just like him and most of his friends, Serge hated being surrounded by a lot of people. However, he was a highly trained medic and Tarik would trust him with his life and the life of any other member of his family and friends.

He glanced at his sister to see Tammy was standing beside the vehicle, her face so pale she looked as if she was about to pass out and anxiously shifting from foot to foot.

“Is Celeste—” Tammy swallowed audibly and tears rolled down her cheeks.