“Leah, it’s okay now. I’m gonna get you out of here. I won’t let that damn savage touch you anymore.” Chance vowed coldly. Leah saw her brothers features tense and the tendons in his hands flex.
“No!” she exclaimed as she jerked from Chase’s arms and jumped in between Chance’s gun and her man. She kept Chase’s shirt wrapped tightly around herself in an effor to hide her ruined chemise from her brother. Chance instantly lifted the gun, taking the sights off his little sister.
“Foolish woman!” Chase growled as he turned and stepped in front of Leah.
“What was I supposed to do? Let him kill you?!” Leah demanded, feeling her bottom lip trembling. There had been entirely too much stress in the last twenty minutes of her life and she could feel herself completely breaking down.
“Yes You are never to come between me and a loaded gun. Is that clear?” Chase ground out, never taking his eyes off of Chance. Chance seemed a formidable man. He looked to be around twenty-six years of age, the same as Chase. He was tall, broad, muscled and clearly used to dealing with danger as his face showed no fear, only confusion.
“Leah, come away from that animal. It’s time to go home.” Chance stated.
“No.” Leah replied with a sniff. “His name is Chase and I won’t leave him.”
“What are you saying?! This, man, kidnapped you!”
“No he didn’t!” Leah argued but as usual her brother wouldn’t really listen. As usual with the men in her family he thought he could just shut her up by talking over her.
“Do you know what this place is? This is an outlaw camp! There are only bad men here, Leah, no good ones. Look at you! Did this savage try to force you?!” Chance demanded as he once again trained his gun on Chase’s chest. Leah jumped in front of Chase again and heard him grumble but she didn’t care.
“You’re wrong, Chance! You and father are always wrong about everything! No Chase did not force me to do anything! He saved me!” Leah exclaimed as she pointed at Petey’s dead body bobbing with the current in the water. Chance followed her gaze and his eyes narrowed as he looked back at Leah.
“Leah, I’m only gonna tell you one more time to step away from that animal and come on home with me.” he said coldly. “If you won’t listen I’ll just have to force you to do as I want.”
“You will try.” Chase growled.
“I’ll come home when I’m ready to.” Leah added, her stubborn streak shining through as she stuck up her chin. “And I’ll bring Chase with me.”
“You mean you’ve been here by choice?!” Chance demanded incredulously.
“Nearly the entire time, yes.” Leah replied, squaring her shoulders.
“You spoiled little bitch!” Chance exclaimed with a mixture of outrage and shock. “Do you have any idea what this has done to mother and father? What it’s done to me? We thought you were dead and you’ve been shacked up at some outlaw camp and rutting with all the men here?!” Leah felt the pain from her brothers insult deep inside her heart. She was rendered completely speechless and barely noticed when Chase stepped in front of her, though she did notice that he was vibrating with rage.
“You will not call my woman a bitch unless you want to lose your tongue. And she has not rutted with anyone. She is mine and I have protected her.”
“Not good enough apparently.” Chance countered, sparing a glance at Petey’s dead body. “And I’d rather she rut with that man than with a man that’s barely more than an animal. The only good savage is a dead savage.” Leah knew it was her brothers voice but those were their fathers words, drilled into her brothers head for his entire life.
Leah heard Chance’s gun cock again and her heart stopped beating in her chest. Why wasn’t Chase defending himself? Why didn’t he pull his own gun? Why was her brother doing this to her? Leah couldn’t let Chance kill Chase She loved her brother but he was being cruel and Chase was her soul. She couldn’t let him be killed.
“Chance stop it! I love him!” she cried out as she jumped around Chase. Chance’s finger squeezed the trigger just as Leah jumped and with Chase’s roar or panic echoing in her ears, Leah felt the bullet slam into her side. The pain was too much for Leah and her world quickly went black.