Jacob almost sobbed with relief when he saw the men in black slip back away from the fence. As far as he could tell, they hadn’t seen anything happening over the tall cement fence. He hoped that was the case.
Try as he might, he couldn’t spot anyone hiding in trees, and if there were any type of hidden cameras or recorders, he didn’t pick those up, either.
Someone needed to go outside the property line and start checking for any kind of electronic devices…
Or traps. They could have set traps! Jacob spun around in the chair and came face-to-face with Ashton.
Or face-to-muzzle. “Ashton, what if they set traps? Or spy cameras? Those men—I’ve seen them before.” Jacob’s chest ached and he clutched at it, unable to breathe. He was afraid he was having a heart attack. His vision wavered them fuzzed and he slid out of the chair.
Ashton roared, and even that sounded faint to Jacob.
Darkness tried to claim him as memories like nightmares rose in his mind. Whether he was screaming, or the word ‘no’ was on repeat in his head, it wasn’t working to chase off the images.
He’d known, he’d seen the men and known, but the mind was a fucked-up thing and his was twisting him into a terrified man. A small part of him knew he needed to break free from the terror. He’d held it together for all the time he’d been in the security room. Now that Cali and the others were safe and heading back, he was shattering, and he couldn’t seem to stop it.
The first jolt of the convulsion shot pain throughout his body, then numbness hit, and a static crackled in his ears. He lost the ability to think or do anything other than let his brain short out and send his muscles into a frenzy.
Something was wrong with Jacob, Cali felt it in his bones. He ran faster, pushing himself even though his muscles burned from exertion. He heard the roar coming from inside the house, Ashton’s cat loud and panicked, screaming more than roaring.
Fuck fuck fuck! He should never have left Jacob alone, but what choice had he had? Cali slammed against the door as he tried to stop. He keyed in the code to unlock it then almost jerked the door off its hinges as he opened it.
He smelled fear, and sickness, that acrid, salty scent of seizure. “Jacob!”
Ashton mewled and the door to the security room opened before Cali reached it. He saw something incomprehensible—Ashton, part man, part beast before he morphed wholly back into his cat.
But Jacob thrashed and his teeth snapped together, and Cali forgot about Ashton. “Jacob, Jacob, I’m here. I’m here and no one will hurt you, I swear it. No one will ever hurt you again.”
Whatever kept happening to Jacob, Cali didn’t think it was just physical. He was beginning to suspect something in Jacob’s mind triggered fear so great he couldn’t deal with it.
Or he could be totally wrong. Cali just wanted to help him, to find a way to heal him and keep him safe.
And to hold him close, to know Jacob was his.
That realization struck him in the heart and stunned him, but Jacob’s continual convulsion didn’t allow him time to dwell on it.
“Jacob, please,” Cali whispered. “Please, come back to me.”
The words weren’t magic ones. Jacob’s body spasmed and jerked, twitched and thrashed for what felt like hours, though once he began to calm, Cali knew it’d only been seconds, maybe a minute before the seizure ebbed.
But watching someone he cared about go through such a thing was hell. Cali would rather experience that himself than for Jacob to have to go through it.
And he felt that way because…Because I love him.