Dominic was given the position as the rear guard as they marched. The forest they’d been making their way through was steadily becoming thicker and harder to navigate. Everyone was covered in scratches from their surroundings. The denseness was becoming suffocating, and worse yet, was the fact he could feel they were no longer alone. Somewhere along the lines they had picked up a tail. He was still deciding whether or not to alert the others when Arron stopped and slowly turned in a circle, scanning their surroundings ‘down’ was the only warning given.
Dropping to the ground Dominic covered Crimson’s body with his own as a shower of arrows passed over them. Leaves and bark rained down upon them as they lay there waiting to see what was going to happen next.
“I told you this jungle was trying to kill us—now do you believe me?” Crimson growled, “If we had just taken the route I had said and gone the right way; none of this would be happening. But did anyone listen to me? Noooo. The almighty Vayne and Arron knew better. HA! What a crock of shit.”
Grunting in pain Dominic didn’t even need to look to know that he had an arrow imbedded in his leg. The back of his right thigh to be precise. He could feel the blood beginning to soak into his trousers as it ran down his inner thigh.
“Somebody make them stop.” Dominic heard Nico yelp in pain.
“Nico?” Crimson reached out a hand in his brother’s direction.
“I think I’m dead, Crim.” Nico whined and Dominic couldn’t stop the chuckle from escaping.
Crimson began squirming underneath him, trying to get to his brother. “Nico?”
“Stay still,” Dominic hissed, “remember whoever’s shooting at us is still out there. Don’t make yourself a more obvious target.”
Again his mate wriggled around beneath him. “Nico’s hurt, he needs me.”
“How hurt are you?” Dominic asked Nico. His pain intensified as the constant movement of Crimson trying to free himself made the arrows embedded in his leg bit deep. “Crim, you need to stay still, I’ve been hit.”
They moment the words left his lips Dominic felt as his mate stilled beneath him. His breath came out in pants as he waited for the pain to subside. He willed his body to relax as he listened to his friends.
“I have something in my back.” Nico said softly, by the sound of the tremble in his voice Dominic thought it was serious.
“I have him,” Arron said quietly. “He has been hit just below his right shoulder blade. It isn’t too deep but I have no clue about the inner workings of a hawk shifter. Vayne on the other hand,” Arron seemed to spit the name out in annoyance. Has somehow managed to catch his head on a protruding root and has knocked himself out.”
Dominic grimaced in pain, “I have two arrows in my right thigh. Both are buried deep—one’s gone all the way through and is coming through the front of my thigh.”
“I’m okay,” Crimson whispered from below him.
Pushing himself up on his arms Dominic made enough room for Crimson to slide himself from beneath him. It crossed his mind that whoever had attacked them was still out there watching. Were they getting a kick out of seeing three of them wounded?
“Dom, there not arrows.” Crimson whispered. “They look more like long darts.”
What the fuck! “Pull them out, I need you to pull them out, baby.”
Crimson’s hands froze on his thigh. “What if I cause you more damage? They have little barbs that I think will catch into you if I try and yank them out.”
“Fuck!” gritting his teeth he said the one thing he really didn’t want to happen. “Crim, you will have to push them through my thigh, and then pull them out from the front.”
Arron’s hand touched down on Crimson’s shoulder, he’d been arguing with himself as to whether he would hurt Dominic more. He wasn’t sure what to do. “I’ll do it. You go and sit beside Nico. Just close your eyes and I’ll tell you when you can open them.”
“Okay,” Crimson felt relieved that he wouldn’t be the one to cause Dominic pain. He was much better at helping his mate heal.
Reaching out and running his fingers through his brother’s hair he spoke. “Hey Nico, I’m here now.”
His heart just about stopped as his brother’s pain filled eyes turned in his direction until their gazes locked.
“Don’t let them push this thing through me. I need you to get them to cut it out of me.”
“Shh Nico, don’t you worry about it yours is different to Dom’s.”
Nico’s eyes widened. “How?”
Crimson blinked furiously to stop his eyes from burning. “Well, Dom’s goes deep into his thigh and yours runs more under the surface of the skin.” He flinched as Dominic cried out in pain.
“One down and one to go,” Arron said matter of factly.
Crimson couldn’t see because he had purposely kept his back to his mate. Did that make him a coward—probably? A groan to his right told him Vayne was starting to wake up.
“What happened?” Vayne asked as he sat up. “What the hell’s going on?”
Crimson didn’t have time to answer as the sounds of a fight ensued in the jungle surrounding them. There were curses and cries of pain as metal clashed against metal. Gripping his brother’s hand tightly he tried to tune it all out he didn’t want to know if there was anything out there that was worse than the people who had already attacked them.
He whispered words of nonsense to Nico as Vayne, Arron and Dominic all stilled, listening to the raging battle. Then as suddenly as it had begun—it was over—until only silence remained.
What the hell was happening? What more could be out there and possibly wanting to hurt them? Or was the new attacker friendly? So many questions and no one showing themselves to give the answers needed.