Luca buried his face in her hair, trying to save his eyesight. Riella was lethal. She would have made a very successful cage fighter.
“I begged you to leave him alone. I begged you on my knees!”
“He knew it,” he shouted, trying to still her. “He gave up his life to protect yours.”
She still fought, but he could feel her tiring, grief weighing her down. Deep sobs erupted from her chest, replacing her will to fight.
“Come on.” He pulled her to her feet and towed her into the darkness, farther away from the fire and shootings.
They made it to the last trailer just as he heard the grenade launchers.
“Fuck. We need to run like you’ve never run before. Over to that line of trees. Ready?”
“No. Wait. I can barely stand up.”
“Tough. You can complain later. C’mon.”
Luca grabbed Riella’s hand tight in his hand and started for the trees. They ran for their lives, while behind them the campsite turned to churned mud and fire. Trailers and cars alike blew up, and the few people who hadn’t already taken cover ran away into the darkness.
As soon as they were hidden by the first line of trees, Riella pulled her hand out of his and dug her heels in. “Wait!”
“Riella, we’re not safe here. We need to get farther in.”
“I don’t give a shit! You stop and answer me one question, Luca Anziano, or you may as well kill me here and now.”
Luca stared at her for a split second. Dogged determination was shining in her eyes. Hell of a gene to inherit from her father. Why couldn’t she just have his color eyes, or same shape chin instead?
Riella stood, hands on hips, hair wild and twisting in the wind, outlined against the conflagration that had been her and her people’s home, like some avenging angel come to rid the world of its canker.
“Luca,” she panted, “when you told me you loved me… I just need to know… Were you lying to me?”
The metallic whizzing of several simultaneous barrels resonated over the crackling of the fire. Sprays of bullets showered the already destroyed site, catching any stragglers unawares.
“Who the hell sold him a metal storm? The guy’s nuts!”
“I’ll answer you on the go.”
Luca grabbed her in his arms and ran. The bullets kept coming and Riella was shouting something over the noise, but not loud enough for him to make out individual words. He ran, mind focused on one thing, and one thing only: to get her away from the danger, to make her safe.
The forest floor was uneven, and it would have been difficult terrain even without having to carry a struggling woman in his arms; with her added weight, Luca felt like he was wrenching each step through a vat full of treacle. His thigh muscles burned, his lungs were on fire, but now he could see the road, and parked to the side, the truck in which Karalius must have brought over his arsenal designed to teach Goliath’s people who’s boss.
Escape was in sight.
From in front, someone opened fire, and Luca stumbled. Before he could work out why, he hit the ground and knew no more.
Want to read more? Find Not Juliet on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Juliet-Addicted-Romance-Collection-ebook/dp/B00IDC1Q50/