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In His Keeping


Page 42




Cursing softly under his breath, he turned and carried Ari down the hall, but instead of putting her in the extra bedroom where she'd been before, he veered to the right, where the restructured master bedroom was located.
The original home had been two stories, but after having to escape from the second-floor window and climbing off the roof after a bomb had taken out most of the main floor, Beau had decided against rebuilding the home as a multilevel residence. He liked his escape options a hell of a lot better when he didn't have multiple stories to contend with.
He settled Ari onto his bed, telling himself that he didn't want her to wake alone and frightened, and that was his only reason for putting her in his room. Even as the defensive thought crept through his mind, he knew he was a damn liar.
Yes, he would sleep in the recliner in the corner of the room that faced the big flat-screen television mounted to the wall at the foot of the bed, but the simple fact was he wanted her in his space. He'd made her a promise, and perhaps he was using that solemn vow he'd made as an excuse to have her in his bed, but he was not going to leave her alone and unprotected, even for a second. That included when she slept.
He even tucked her in, for God's sake, carefully arranging the covers so nothing lay directly over the now stitched and bandaged wound. The doctor had unwittingly made it far easier to stitch Ari by giving her the injection as soon as the CT came back within normal limits.


It had indicated what the physician had called a slight "bruise" to an area of the brain that Beau couldn't recall the scientific name for. He'd been too concerned over the word "bruise" until the doctor had informed him that it was nothing to be concerned about. Unless she underwent further trauma.
Beau's relief had lasted only about three seconds before he began to worry about "further trauma." Did that mean if she incurred another bleed, the bruise could worsen? There were a thousand questions that in retrospect he should have asked, but he'd been too focused on Ari, and soothing the anxiety in her eyes.
And well, once she'd been administered the injection and had quietly slipped into unconsciousness, Beau had been relieved then. Because her eyes were closed, which meant he couldn't see pain reflected in the mesmerizing depths. And he knew that she'd at least momentarily found respite from the physical and emotional hurts she'd endured.
The doctor had ruefully announced that he'd never had a patient fall so hard under the effects of the pain medication he'd administered, but he also acknowledged that it would make the task of numbing the area and stitching the wound much quicker and more efficient. And in fact, it had taken him little time at all to finish, write scripts in Beau's name and give him instructions on her care for the next several days.
Beau hadn't needed those instructions.
Because he fully intended to make damn sure Ari encountered no stress, no pain, and if he could help it, no incessant worries. Which meant he had to work fast to try to unravel the mystery surrounding her parents' disappearance.
Something in his brother's expression had told him that what he discovered might not be good. If that was the case, he had to prepare for the worst and handle Ari with extreme care or risk her incurring a potentially fatal psychic bleed.
He fiddled with the covers a moment longer and then realized he was merely delaying the inevitable and that he was loath to leave Ari, even for the space of time it took for him and his brother and Zack to discuss their findings.
With a sigh of disgust for his lack of perspective when he was usually all business when it came to clients, he turned and stalked out the door, though he was careful to leave it slightly ajar so he could hear her if she displayed any sounds of distress.
And he also flipped the switch for the video feed that would display the interior of his bedroom on monitors in the security room.
Caleb could damn well have his say in the security room with Beau and Zack so Beau could keep vigil over Ari via the video feed.
He returned to the living room to find that Ramie had awakened and Zack was leaning casually against the far wall, hands shoved into his pockets. It was a misleading stance, however, because Zack was always prepared, even when he appeared relaxed and at ease. There was a constant wariness about him that had always made Beau curious about the man's personal past and whether events in his past had led to his quiet, but lethal, manner in the present.
"We'll talk in the security room, where I can monitor Ari," Beau said shortly, not waiting for their responses.
He turned and walked back down the hall, in the opposite direction of his bedroom, leaving his brother and Zack to follow.
After punching in the security code to gain access to the room, Beau entered and took position in the chair from which, if turned, he could see and talk to the others and also view the monitor displaying his bedroom. The screen was just to the left of where Caleb and Zack would either sit or stand.
Zack ambled in, seemingly unhurried, though his expression was stony and somber. Caleb entered with Ramie, his fingers laced through his wife's. It was rare for Caleb to be near Ramie and not be touching her in some way. After the nightmarish events that had nearly torn them apart forever, Caleb still grappled with his demons and touching Ramie seemed to give him a measure of reassurance that she was well, whole and alive. The fact that Caleb had been the one who nearly killed her was never far from his mind. Beau knew that with certainty.
"So who's going to start and how much do we know?" Beau asked bluntly.






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