Valiant Page 30

She shook her head. ’’No. One of them wanted to but the others were happy to settle for just hurting me. They wanted me to make some video stating I hated New Species too. They were nuts.’’

Sheriff Cooper turned to Valiant and offered his hand, to shake. ’’Thank you, Mr. Valiant. The entire town owes you and your friends a great debt of gratitude for stopping those bastards from killing her.’’

Valiant frowned but he took the Sheriff\s hand. ’’Don\ thank me. She\s mine and I will always protect her.’’

Tammy winced as she shot Valiant a warning look and shook her head at him. ’’Remember our agreement about how I do all the talking?’’

He released the sheriff\s hand and shrugged. ’’It\s true.’’

Sheriff Cooper looked confused as he spun to face Tammy. ’’What does that mean? You\ e his?’’

She hesitated. ’’We\ e involved.’’ She left it at that.

’’Oh.’’ The Sheriff\s eyes widened as he jerked his attention to Valiant first and then back to Tammy, his gaze ping-ponged back and forth. ’’I never would have guessed you two would date. Nope.’’

’’Miss Shasta!’’ a woman yelled. ’’Can you give an interview?’’

Stunned, Tammy turned her head to watch a woman and a cameraman attempt to shove past one of the deputies to reach the back of the ambulance.

Sheriff Cooper took a few steps away to yell at his men. ’’Shove those reporters back. No comment, you ambulance chasers. Get them back, Byron and Vince. I mean it.’’

’’Why are reporters here?’’ Tammy wasn\ happy about the situation at all.

The sheriff uttered another curse word under his breath. ’’Some idiot let it get out that a woman had been kidnapped and that we contacted New Species Reservation for help. Those nasty newshounds showed up by the vanloads and our phones at the station are being bombarded with calls from press from everywhere in the world.’’

’’You need to get her out of here,’’ Tiger informed the sheriff, walking from the front of the ambulance. ’’It will quickly escalate into a media frenzy otherwise. We also have to leave the scene immediately.’’

’’Did you catch those men?’’ Sheriff Cooper faced Tiger.

Tiger hesitated. ’’We captured three of them and transported them by helicopter to Reservation. Didn\ you hear it? The fourth one is dead but it couldn\ be avoided.’’ His pretty catlike gaze met Valiant\s for a few seconds before he focused back on the sheriff. ’’They had weapons and refused to surrender. One of my men has been shot too but he\ll live. It was just a flesh wound. We\ll put the dead man on ice until you can arrange to have him picked up at our medical facility. I gave one of your deputies a detailed description of where they were camped out, holding Miss Shasta. It should be easy for you to find the crime scene.’’

’’You had a helicopter out there?’’ The sheriff seemed surprised. ’’Where are my prisoners?’’

’’We will transport them to your station when they are medically cleared by our doctors, who are treating them at this moment.’’ Tiger studied Tammy before he returned his attention to the sheriff. ’’They are receiving medical attention at our facility but you may send deputies to pick them up if you wish to transfer them that way. One of the prisoners is in critical condition and as I stated, one of my men was shot. The helicopter transport was faster than trying to carry them through the woods to here. We keep one on standby at Reservation at all times.’’ Tiger glanced at Tammy again. ’’We have excellent medical facilities if you\d allow me to call the helicopter back to transport Miss Shasta and allow our doctors to treat her.’’

’’They need a real hospital,’’ Sheriff Cooper replied.

’’It\s fine,’’ Bart the paramedic interrupted softly. ’’They have a top-rate facility. As a matter of fact, we have used them twice so far in severe, trauma situations. They have better equipment and skilled trauma doctors, something our local hospital doesn\ boast. We just don\ have those kinds of machines. The prisoners are better off if they were sent there.’’ Bart gawked at Tiger, looking intimidated. ’’We can handle Tammy\s medical needs but thank you, sir.’’

Tiger nodded and addressed the sheriff. ’’Do you want to pick up the prisoners when the doctors are done treating them or do you want us to transport them to you? We will write full reports and give you a detailed account of everything that transpired when we reached their camp. My men and I will be fully at your disposal to answer any questions you have.’’

’’I\ll come there,’’ Sheriff Cooper decided. ’’Thank you so much for everything you\ve done tonight and I appreciate you getting right to the scene when I called.’’

Tiger shook his hand. ’’We\ e neighbors and that\s what neighbors do. We at New Species Reservation extend our help at any time, Sheriff Cooper. We\ e just glad that we were able to locate Miss Shasta before they\d seriously harmed or killed her.’’ He released his hand and stared at Valiant. ’’Let\s move it. Rider has been shot but it\s minor and Justice is expecting us to brief him by phone immediately when we return.’’

Valiant\s expression turned scary and his voice came out a deep growl. ’’I will not return unless Tammy comes with me.’’

An irritated expression twisted Tiger\s features. ’’You can\ go with her. Her attackers were members of an organized hate group. You can bet there will be more arriving soon if four of them are in this vicinity. More of their group may already be here. I can\ have you running around this small town. You\ e a target and if you\ e alone it will make you easier prey for them. There\s the innocent factor too, Valiant. They could hurt anyone around you if they attempt to kill you and that includes Miss Shasta. We are under orders from Justice to return home now.’’

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