The laser fire went wide this time, hitting the wall and attracting the enemy Tk’s attention her way. Reacting on instinct, she shot a third time, but he dived out of the way, his hand coming up as if to slam her with telekinetic power. Ivy rolled behind the door to deprive him of a visible target, just as that door slammed open to hit her side in a bruising blow. Breath lost but bones unbroken, she kept her grip on the weapon and crawled quickly to the side of the bed so she’d have a direct line of sight to the door, while being protected by the bulk of the bed.
Except the Tk didn’t come in. He used his ability to lift the bed, clearly intending to smash it against the wall. Rabbit lay motionless on the bedspread. Horrified, Ivy ran deliberately into the Tk’s line of sight, and even as he smashed the gun out of her hand, she reached instinctively for the kernel of fear she could sense in him and made it bigger. And bigger. And bigger.
He collapsed into a whimpering pile just as Vasic finished off the other assailant.
Walking over to pinch a nerve in the man’s neck, Vasic sent him into unconsciousness. “Rabbit?”
The tears falling now that the danger was past, she ran back to the bed where Rabbit lay so quiet and still. “He’s hurt really bad.” She had to focus on their pet, couldn’t think about the fact she’d come so close to losing Vasic. It made her remember the ticking clock she’d almost managed to forget, the knowledge a vise around her chest, compressing her lungs until she could barely breathe.
“He was kicked.” Taking the dog into his arms and ignoring his own wounds, he teleported out, returning mere seconds later without Rabbit. “He’s with an M-Psy trained in veterinary sciences.”
Nodding jerkily, she went into his arms, his embrace careful steel. “Breathe, Ivy.”
It took effort, but she obeyed the order. Vasic didn’t need to worry about her right now. “Who are they?” she asked at last. “Was it an anti-empath group?”
“No. These men came for me.” He loosened his embrace only to cup her face and take her mouth in a kiss raw and possessive, before stepping back. “I need to transport them.”
Gaining strength from the sheer, physical life of him, his skin gleaming with sweat and his scent hotly masculine, she said, “Don’t forget the syringe.” She’d made a note of where it had dropped, now pointed it out. “We need to know what was in it.”
Vasic picked it up. “This won’t take long.”
She changed while he removed the three strangers from the apartment. “You need a medic,” she said when he returned, the vise around her lungs having tightened again in the short time he’d been gone from her sight.
Delaying only long enough to pull on a T-shirt and jacket, Vasic said, “Rabbit first,” and teleported them to the veterinarian who was working on their pet. Watching the vet through the window of the sterilized operating suite, she bit down on her trembling lower lip. “Did Rabbit try to help you?”
“He did help me.” Vasic wrapped his arms around her from behind. “He bit one of the attackers just before the man would’ve landed a disabling blow.”
“That’s Rabbit.” Pride unfurled in her, but that wasn’t the emotion that held her hostage. No, it was bone-numbing fear, because it wasn’t only Rabbit she’d almost lost. Turning, she pushed Vasic away and made him take off his jacket and T-shirt so she could examine his injuries.
Cuts and bruises marred his upper body, his beautiful face bleeding and his breath coming in a way that told her he had broken ribs. Violent protectiveness eclipsed the fear. “Medic. Now.”
“You need to be with Rabbit,” he said, as if that ended the discussion.
It didn’t. “Do you think I’m a mess at the moment?” she said. “What do you think will happen to me if one of those broken ribs goes through your lung?” Fingers trembling, she touched them to his chest. “Please, let’s go.” Rabbit wouldn’t hold it against her, and she’d make sure to be here when their pet woke.
Vasic closed his hand over her own, his eyes going to the window into the operating suite. “We shouldn’t leave him alone.”
A shaky smile curved over her lips as she realized Vasic wasn’t only worried about her, but about Rabbit. Their stubborn dog had wormed his way into the heart of this tough, dangerous Arrow. “Then,” she said, “why don’t you ’port a medic here?”
Vasic disappeared on the next breath, to return with an M-Psy who held what looked like a serious medical kit. Of course, he first made the slender brunette check Ivy. She acquiesced rather than further delay his treatment, and the M-Psy was able to deal with her bruised side in minutes.
“Now, you,” Ivy ordered, completely out of patience.
Sitting down in an empty examination room meant for animals, he allowed the M-Psy to knit his broken ribs back together, the work painstaking. Ivy went between the room and the observation window of the operating suite, keeping Vasic updated on Rabbit’s progress.
It was a half hour into it that she realized the veterinarian was doing much the same thing to Rabbit that the M-Psy was doing to Vasic. Her Arrow had brought their dog to a top veterinary surgeon, someone who probably worked on Thoroughbred horses and other animals worth millions.
If she hadn’t already been utterly, madly, absolutely in love with Vasic, she would’ve fallen right then and there. Fighting the urge to throw herself into his arms, she watched the M-Psy shape her hands over his ribs as she worked. The woman, who had the ability to see internal injuries without technological help, was wearing complex medical “gloves” that directed energy into Vasic, stimulating his cells into repair mode.