No Contest (Alaskan Sabears #1)(4)

By: Becca Van

“She’s alive,” Tarik said, hoping to relieve his sister’s fear, but they wouldn’t know how badly her friend or Jarvis were hurt until Serge and Ward examined them.

“Put her on the stretcher,” Serge said, pointing to the portable gurney ready and waiting outside the ambulance.

Tarik eased the woman down onto the bed and when he saw her face he sucked in a noisy breath. She was so fucking beautiful. Her face was covered with streaks of dirt and blood marred her left cheek. He followed the path of the blood and saw she had a cut on the side of her head just above her left temple.

“Shit!” Serge muttered as he studied the unconscious woman. When Serge began to run his hands over her limbs, Tarik’s sabear protested. A low warning rumble started from deep in his chest and out of his mouth. Serge glanced at him with wide shocked eyes and then began to explain what he was doing. “I’m just making sure she doesn’t have any broken bones.”

Logically, Tarik knew what his friend was doing, but his inner animal was having a hard time dealing with seeing Serge’s hands on her slim, sexy body. He inhaled deeply but couldn’t catch the woman’s scent—only the stink of aircraft fuel. Tarik didn’t know why his sabear was acting up just yet but he had a suspicion. He wouldn’t be able to confirm his beliefs until he was away from the crash site.

“Is she all right?” Tammy asked as she stood next to Tarik, leaning into his side. Tarik wrapped his arm around his sister’s shoulder to offer her comfort.

“She doesn’t have any broken bones, spinal injuries, or whiplash,” Serge explained. “What’s her name?”

“Celeste,” Tammy sobbed, before taking a deep breath and speaking again. “Celeste Marsden.

“She does have a hell of a knot on the side of her head.” Serge grabbed a penlight from his bag, lifted Celeste’s eyelids before shining it into first one eye and then the other. “Her pupils are reacting sluggishly.”

“What’s that mean?” Tammy covered her mouth as tears streamed down her face.

“She has a concussion.”

“Is it a bad one?” Tarik asked, needing to know how severe her head injury was.

“Not sure yet.” Serge cleaned up the cut with antiseptic wipes.

Tarik sighed with relief when he saw that the cut didn’t seem too bad. He realized that head injuries tended to bleed like a bitch, but he hadn’t been able to see how deep the gash was. “Will she need stitches?”

“No. A couple of butterflies should be enough.” Serge glanced over to Ward. “How’s Jarvis?”

“Lucky to be alive,” Ward replied. “He’s got a broken arm and a concussion, but otherwise seems fine.”

“Let’s get these two to the clinic,” Serge said.

Tarik moved to the end of the gurney and helped his friend get Celeste into the back of the van. Hodge helped Ward with Jarvis.

“We’ll meet you there,” Tarik said and turned to face Tammy. “You okay, sis?”

Tammy nodded as she wiped the last of her tears from her face. “She’s going to be okay.”

“Yes, she is. Come on. You need to be there when she wakes up. I don’t want her freaking out when she opens her eyes to strangers.”

Tammy nodded as she grasped his hand. Tarik glanced over at the crashed aircraft, pleased to see that Hopper and Phelan had doused the spilled fuel with foam retardant, circumventing the chance of a fire and or an explosion.

“How long has it been since you’ve seen Celeste?” Tarik asked glancing at his sister as they walked toward the clinic.

“Six months. We spent my last break from college together having fun.”

“Why didn’t she finish college?”

“A model scout offered her a contract.”

Tarik frowned. He didn’t like the sound of that because he believed a college degree was important. However, he didn’t know Celeste’s circumstances so he would keep his opinions to himself, for now.

He glanced back when he heard pounding footsteps coming up behind them. Hodge slowed his pace when he drew close and after ruffling Tammy’s hair he met Tarik’s gaze. His friend’s eyes were glowing, his inner beast close to the surface.