My Highland Mate

Page 44

Standing For His Mate
AfterSuzieandEdwina left, Rory helped Anita into bed.
“Do you need anything? Something to drink? Eat?” Rory asked.
“I’d love to have a shower, but I want to sleep more.”
“I’ll help you shower later.”
“Can you help me take off my pants? The shirt is past saving, so rip or cut that away. I’d appreciate it.” Anita sounded exhausted.
Rory made quick work of her request and tucked her into bed. In five minutes, she was sound asleep.
Rory debated if he had time to grab a clean set of clothes and his phone from his room. The first job on his agenda was to locate Hugh. He couldn’t conceive of Hugh or his men taking a potshot at Anita, but he needed to question his fellow wolves.
After considering the shooting, he’d decided the shooter had wanted to scare them. He could’ve waited until Rory, Anita, and the girls were close enough for a kill shot. The shooter hadn’t.
Until now, Rory had reacted instead of applying logic. The shooter was either lucky he’d hit Anita or very skilled and issuing a warning. Rory would bet on the second. There was an ex-soldier who’d specialized as a sniper in their pack…
Rory growled under his breath, his muscles quivering, and the anger, the fury, didn’t come from solely his wolf. He hated this situation. He wanted to eradicate the unknown threat, but he’d need to investigate. Aye, cunning and careful examination first, then he’d take action.
After a quick check of Anita, he took possession of Anita’s room key and left. He’d shower and check his messages before he returned to watch over his mate.
His room was empty when he arrived. Hugh’s clothes still hung in the wardrobe, and his toiletries sat on the shelves in the en suite. Rory grabbed his phone from where he’d left it on the nightstand. He powered it on and pulled a face at the twenty missed calls. He sucked in a deep breath and listened to his voicemail.
The messages were from his increasingly shrill grandmother, the gist being that she hadn’t sent him to the gathering to have an affair with a sly cat.
“Meet the she-wolves and make your choice. The pack future depends on you having children. A wolf of Henderson blood has always headed the pack, and that will change over my dead body.”
Rory winced at the slam of the phone in his ear. That had been the last message. He checked his texts—most from his grandmother and two from customers wishing to learn the status of their orders. He fired off texts to Marcus and asked him to contact the customers with progress reports. That done, he began his search for Hugh.
Hugh answered on the first ring.“Problem?”
Rory rolled his eyes. “Where were you this morning?”
“Since you didn’t need us, I used the opportunity to take the men on a training run. Angus told me about a running group and arranged for us to join them. We’re at the pub in town having a well-earned beer and lunch.”
“What time did you leave?” Rory asked, even though he never doubted Hugh was telling the truth. His reply was unhesitating and simple enough for Rory to check.
“We left at seven-thirty to meet with the group in town. Why the questions?”
“I accompanied Anita and her two friends on a treasure hunt this morning. Someone shot Anita while we ran along the forest track.”
Hugh cursed under his breath. “Is the lass all right?”
“She will be, according to the doctor. But the thing is, someone shot her from afar. I don’t understand why the shooter didn’t wait until we were closer.”
“A sniper.” Hugh’s voice held tension.
“Aye, that’s the way I’m thinking.”
“Your grandmother is pissed,” Hugh said. “She ordered me to watch you and make sure I kept you away from non-wolf shifters.”
“And did you?”
“No.” Hugh paused. “After you told me to leave you and return home, I started thinking. You’re right. You’re an adult and old enough to make your own decisions, and Elizabeth is attempting to control you. I wouldn’t like it, so I understand why you’re rebelling and ignoring her counsel.”
“Can you ask your men if they’ve seen anyone loitering around the place?”