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Until Cobi (Until Her/Him )
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Cobi Mayson knows exactly who Hadley is to him the moment he sees her for the very first time. That doesn’t mean it will be easy for him to convince her to take a chance on him.
Hadley Emerson knows she could fall hard and fast for a guy like Cobi. A man who seems to show up every time she needs him, but she knows better than to just hand over her heart.
Knowing his future with Hadley is on the line, Cobi begins to tie their lives together. As the invisible rope that connects them tightens and things between them heat up, an unknown threat emerges threatening to to take away their happily ever after and send them both into darkness.
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“DO YOU KNOW HER, Mayson?” my partner Frank asks, studying me and the woman in my arms. His shaggy brows are drawn tightly together in confusion over his blue eyes.
I want to roar, “Yeah, I fucking know her. She’s mine!” but that would sound ridiculous, because it is fucking ridiculous. I don’t know anything about the woman I’m holding besides the fact that her first name is Hadley, she smells like peaches, and she feels perfect against me, even if she is passed out.
“No,” I growl, my teeth grinding together as my hold on her tightens.
Getting closer, Frank drops his voice. “Then maybe you wanna stop fucking growling anytime one of them—” He jerks his thumb over his shoulder. “—tries to touch her, and let them do their job.”
I frown and look past him, noticing the three paramedics standing around me looking unsure and nervous. I don’t want to—as in really fucking don’t want to—let Hadley go, but I know I need to. She has a cut on her forehead that hasn’t stopped bleeding, and bruising under her jaw. I jerk up my chin, and one of the paramedics comes forward. I must make a noise, because his head flies my way when he touches her and his eyes widen with fear when they meet mine.
My jaw clenches as I force myself to relax and release her, and I watch with my breath locked in my chest as she’s placed on a stretcher. It takes every ounce of self-control I possess to not go after her, to not reach out and touch her again just to prove she’s real. As they load her in the back of the ambulance, I wrap my hand around the back of my neck. I want to go with them to make sure she’s okay, but I can’t. I have a crime scene that needs to be locked down and a dead body in the woods behind me that needs to be dealt with. The good thing is, since I’m a cop, I won’t have a problem tracking Hadley down, even if she’s released from the hospital tonight before I can get to her.
“What the fuck was that about?” Frank questions from my side as the ambulance doors shut and the lights go on.
I don’t look at him. I run my fingers through my hair and shake my head. “Nothing.”
“You sure you don’t know her?”
“I don’t know her,” I mumble then look around. “Let’s get this shit sorted.”
“Fuck.” Frank looks around the mostly dark woods and at the other officers milling about. “It’s going to be a long night. I need to call the wife to let her know I won’t be home for a while.”
“When you’re done with that, meet me at the body,” I say, and he jerks up his chin before walking off. I grab a flashlight from one of the cruisers then head into the woods to get to work. When I got the call from dispatch informing me that a woman called 911 saying she witnessed an unconscious woman being dumped into the trunk of a car outside the local movie theater, I had no idea the unconscious woman was my cousin Harmony. Not until her sister Willow called to say Harmony hadn’t returned from the restroom, where she had gone during the movie they were watching.
After Willow’s call, I had dispatch connect me to Hadley, who was the one who witnessed my cousin’s kidnapping. She was following the car, and I was close behind her—just not close enough. After she informed me that the car turned off the road, I told her that she should keep driving, that the other officers and I were closing in and would be there, but she didn’t listen. Instead, she hung up and kept following. From what I learned, she ended up running for her life along with Harmony, who had somehow managed to escape the trunk of the car she was in. They both barely escaped death at the hands of a madman who was aiming a gun at them in the middle of the woods.
When I make it to the body, which is now covered in a white sheet, I know Frank was right. It’s going to be a long fucking night. Only, unlike him, I have no one to call to tell I won’t be home.
Four and a half hours later, the crime scene guys leave along with the coroner, and I catch a ride back to the station with Frank, where I pick up my truck before heading to the hospital. When I arrive, I check in at the nurses’ station and ask about Hadley. I find out she suffered a concussion and that the doctors are keeping her overnight just to be on the safe side.
After being told she’s resting, I go check on my cousin Harmony, who is out of surgery with our family gathered around her. I talk to my family and Harmony’s fiancé Harlen for a few minutes, making sure they’re good before I go to Hadley’s room. It’s across the hospital, and when I reach her door, I walk straight in, expecting to see her family gathered around her, but the room is empty except for the bed, where I can make out her form under the covers.