“Who are you and what was are you doing here?” I asked, the shotgun trained on him.
Before I could get an answer, Eliza came out from the side of the bunkhouse and called out, “Peter?” then ran to the man. She knelt down beside him and shot me a dirty look. “Put the gun down, Calvin, you’ve done enough damage.”
I’d never seen Eliza touch someone with the tenderness she gave that stranger. It was bad enough that Eddie was involved with us. It had taken some getting used to, but I wasn’t ready to add someone else to the mix. I looked at how she was acting and the expression on her face and I felt sick to my stomach.
“Who is that?” I asked.
She glared at the gun and I couldn’t help but do exactly what she’d told me to do. “You shot someone, and you didn’t even know who it was?” Eliza asked incredulously.
“There was someone skulking around in the dark and there was an out-of-town plate on that vehicle. It’s from your part of the state, so why is he here? Who is he? I thought it was some of your clan coming to get you or something. I don’t know. All of your stuff was gone and then that Jeep popped up. What was I supposed to think?” I didn’t mean to hurt her friend, though I didn’t want her to have a friend that she looked at like that.
Eliza’s features softened. “It’s okay. I know you were just doing your job keeping us safe. It will be fine. I will have him healed up in no time at all.”
“Youcan heal him?” I had no idea what she was talking about, but I figured I was going to find out there were even more mysteries and secrets to be revealed about Eliza. Eliza just became more and more amazing as time went on.
“Yeah, I don’t do it often, but I can heal most wounds.” She turned away from me and towards the mystery man.
I watched Eliza’s hands glow and heal the man’s leg and knee. It as the craziest thing I’d ever seen.
“Can all of you guys do that?” I asked her. The sudden idea had me worried.
The man on the ground, who was now as good as new, shook his head. “No, it’s just her. She can climb better than any of us, and she got her mother’s healing abilities. There is a reason she was supposed to be queen.”
I knew Eliza was special, but this went above and beyond. She was talented in so many ways.
There was a conspiratorial smile between the two of them. I didn’t like that. This guy was old enough to be her dad and I wanted to know why he was looking at her like that. Why was she still touching him? He was healed, shouldn’t she give him a little space?
“So how do you know each other?” I asked. I didn’t know what was going on with these two, but I figured I had a right to know, this was my ranch, after all.
Eliza smiled. “He is an old family friend, the only member of the Bransom Country clan who wasn’t horrible to me. Patrick tried to help me, got me out of a lot of punishments…”
I scoffed. “He didn’t do it enough,” I said, considering the scars she had on her back. I wasn’t okay with how forgiving she was about what had happened to her. I wanted to take out all of her people just because of how they had treated her. Maybe not everyone it was involved, but there was complicity in silence, and sometimes that was just as bad. Sterling would never allow someone in our pack to be abused like that, but if he did, I wouldn’t stand for it. I was sure of that, if nothing else.
Eliza shot me a dirty look. “You have no idea the situation Patrick was in. Can you imagine going against everyone in your pack? He did, several times.”
Patrick had a lot to say on what was about to go down. The leader of the Bransom Country pack devised a plan to get them here and attack us for land. They wanted land from us, had for a while, and now they’d found an opportunity to hit us. It wasn’t starting a war, it was retrieving Eliza, whom which they didn’t even want. They wanted to cut her bond, and Patrick was really interested in that part.
“You are going to have to take care of that, Eliza, the sooner, the better. You know he can feel you, just like you can feel him. You are like a beacon.”
Eliza sighed. “I don’t know what I am supposed to do.”
“It’s going to be okay,” Patrick said, and pulled her into his arms.
I felt the blood boiling in my veins. I didn’t know who the hell this guy was, but he needed to get his hands off her. I didn’t want to see the two of them together, I didn’t like it one bit. Family friend, my ass.
“What the hell?” Eddie looked shocked when he walked up and saw Eliza with another man.
Eliza turned towards Eddie and she smiled at him. He calmed down pretty quickly, and I still didn’t know how she did it. It was some kind of voodoo or something. There was a part of me that hated that any other man had an attachment to her, but she was not just mine.
Eddie got a quick rundown that was far less alarming than the one that I had gotten. Eddie seemed to be fine with trusting Patrick. I thought we should look into it more, but there probably wasn’t going to be any time. The Bransom Country pack were on their way and I needed to get with the program now.
The whole time we were talking, I was watching the newcomer. Patrick wanted Eliza, that much was clear. I didn’t think he’d had her before, but he certainly wanted to change that. Eddie noticed too, but he didn’t seem as worried about it as I was.
They were going to come for this ranch first, so we put together a plan based on what Patrick could tell us. I hoped we were right and that we could take them out.
I was nervous, and I didn’t think it was because a pack of wolves was coming to take us out.