Hostage (Predators MC 3) - Page 88

“He’s working tonight. He wanted to finish the bench for Lily. There’s a delivery truck going near Kentucky, and Shade’s meeting it to pick it up.”

“If it takes much longer, we’ll make him get his ass home instead of bringing the beer.” Stump started to get out of the chair. “I might as well go get it myself.”

“Max just came in the door.” Jackal saw Max was empty-handed.

Stump looked around the room before narrowing his eyes on him.

“What’s up?” Jackal said, already beginning to get up as Max came toward him. By the look on Max’s face, something was wrong.

“I passed by the area where Penni lives, and I saw cop cars. I couldn’t see what was …”

Jackal didn’t wait to listen to the rest, already running out of the clubhouse with Stump and Max a step behind him.

Jackal gunned his motor, driving toward Penni’s house. It was ten minutes away, and each minute, he told himself Max didn’t know if the cops were at her house or at someone else’s home in her neighborhood. He made it to the street before hers, the one that led to the community lake.

Dammit, to reach her condo, he had to go that way, and it was blocked off at the lake.

Jackal parked his bike, taking off toward her house. Jackal was intending to satisfy his curiosity then go back to the clubhouse when he saw the cops weren’t at Penni’s. They were down by the lake, and as he reached it, he saw detectives taking reports.

Two women were standing near a rope, blocking anyone from coming closer.

“What happened?”

An older woman turned to look at him sadly. “Someone killed several of the ducks, swans, and their babies.”

Jackal’s stomach recoiled at the thought that someone could do such a senseless act. He had to get to Penni and tell her before she found out. He didn’t see her with the rest of the bystanders.

He was walking away when he saw her crouched down by the shore of the lake, her brown top blending in with the tree she was under.

He raised the caution tape so he could slide under, and a cop tried to stop him.

“I’m with her.” Jackal pointed at Penni, and the cop let him pass.

Jackal broke into a run as he drew near. She was sobbing, trying to soothe the large bird lying limply in front of her.

“Let’s go.” He tried to pull her to her feet.

“Who would do this?” she cried out, shrugging away from his touch.

“I don’t know, but I promise I’ll find out.”

“Is the vet here yet?”

Jackal bent over the bird, seeing it was the one she had showed him the other day that had lost its mate.

“Is that him over there?” There was a man the cops were escorting under the tape.

Penni turned to look, nodding and waving the man to hurry.

He did hurry his pace when he saw her.

She moved out of the way as he examined the swan.

“Can you go to my car and bring me a cage?”

Jackal followed the vet’s directions to his van, deciding to bring two of the cages in case there were more birds that could be saved. He hurried, and it wasn’t long before he was placing the cages next to the dying bird.

He reached down and lifted Penni to her feet. This time, she didn’t resist him, burying her head in his shoulder.

The vet placed the swan in the cage. “I want to check the other birds to see if I can help. The police want me to bring the rest to my office so I can tell them how they died. Could you drive this one to my office? My partner should be there.”

“Yes,” Jackal answered. “Penni, stay here, and I’ll get your car. Where are your car keys?”

“In my house, by my front door. But my house is locked from the front. When I heard the police cars, I jumped over the back wall.

“It doesn’t matter. I have a key to your house.” Jackal took off, coming back in a matter of minutes.

Penni got in the front seat as he loaded up the cage. He didn’t think the bird would live, but he wanted to try for Penni.

As he was getting in the car, he saw the vet coming toward him with the other cage.

“I found three ducklings that need to go, too.” He shoved the other cage in the back seat.

Penni gave him the directions to the vet’s office then said, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” Jackal did a U-turn, driving toward the office on the other side of town.

“He’s not going to make it, is he?”

“I don’t think so, sweetheart.”

The waiting vet came out of the office as soon as they pulled into the parking lot.

Jackal tried to talk Penni into leaving, but she refused, sitting down stubbornly on one of the waiting room chairs. Therefore, Jackal sat down next to her, taking her hand in his.

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