Indestructible (Page 1)
I was still a young girl when I learned that not every penny tossed in a fountain or plea with a shooting star would grant me a wish, and that not every story ends in a happily ever after. And as discouraging as that revelation was, it never deterred me from holding out hope.
Hope for the dream—for the fairytale. For the prince charming who’d storm into my life on a great white steed, pluck me from obscurity, and carry me away to his castle. Perhaps it was wishful thinking of an overactive imagination, but I still spent countless nights lying under the stars, fantasizing about a beautiful man who’d someday capture my heart. The prince who would adore me—a man strong enough to create the storybook-perfect world I longed for.
I’d read all about great loves and tragic romances, and knew that with every enchanted tale came challenges: those nasty hurdles in the road that delayed but rarely prevented the charmed finale. It was expected, and as I grew older, I saw the excitement in dreaming of what I’d do for the right man…what he’d do for me, and for my love.
And while there may not have been any swordfights or fiery dragons to slay, since the morning Logan West jogged into my life, I knew my world would never be the same again.
Logan was my prince; he found me, and was worth everything I had to give—my love, my respect, and above all, my trust.
Epic ending or not, this was our story…and one I’d cherish until my final breath.
My home, once my sanctuary, was now a chaotic scene of dedicated officers, continuous streams of monotone voices exchanging tedious facts, and the occasional snap of a camera. And then there was me, dazed, in the center of it all. Logan stepped into the hall, tucking me closer against his side, my hands clutching his bloodied shirt.
Mixed into the congested air were Kurt’s agonized whimpers. They echoed around us as the paramedics rolled him past on a stretcher. I couldn’t look at him; instead, I buried my face against Logan’s chest, focusing solely on his soothing heartbeat and protective warmth that sheltered me.
The front door slammed shut and my entire body jerked, but Logan held me closer.
“It’s okay,” he murmured against my ear. “He’s gone.”
The paralyzing adrenaline buzzing through my veins began to settle, easing the tension in my shell-shocked muscles.
“Miss, I’m sorry, but we need to have the paramedic assess your injuries before we can do anything else. Is there a private room we can use?”
I knew that voice. I lifted my head sluggishly and peered up at the familiar uniformed man standing before me.
My brows pinched together, and all I could do was stare blankly at the officer who, as a boy, had mowed my grandparents’ grass every summer. I was Cassie to him then, and so desperately wanted to be again—not ‘miss’. I supposed a friendly greeting would be unprofessional considering the circumstances, but the lack of it only added to my wounds. I wanted to be me, not some victim.
My shoulders slumped as I peeled myself from Logan.
I blinked then swallowed, clearing the dryness from my throat as I swam back to the cruel reality awaiting me.
“Yeah, there’s a guest room down the hall,” I said finally. Speaking took some energy, but I even managed a small, albeit tight, smile as I gestured toward the room. I could do this.
He nodded, watching me for a moment with sympathy or perhaps pity before turning toward the room.
With my hand locked around Logan’s, I took a step, then another, each one forcing me into the here and now. This was real life—my life—and there was no hiding, or denying what had happened. I had just been attacked. There was no dream or nightmare to blame—only the psychotic nature of another human being. I’m lucky, thanks to Logan, I reminded myself.
But as I took the third step, it hit me like a slug to the chest. Fear ripped at my gut, stopping me cold in my tracks. I tore myself from Logan’s grip, feeling panic set in as I clutched his shirt and dragged my wide-eyed gaze up to meet his crinkled brow.
“Scout!” I all but cried. Oh God, where is he? “Have you seen him?” I asked, but I didn’t wait for Logan’s answer. His expression said it all.
“Scout!” I shouted more loudly, turning and running back toward the living room. “Scout! Come here, boy!”
“Scout! Come here. Come on!” I weaved frantically and carelessly through the officers crowding the rooms, pushing them aside. I only had one goal: Find my pup.
I stopped abruptly at the back door, my pulse pounding at the sight. Shattered glass littered the floor, and the kicked-in bottom was completely demolished. A sharp intake of breath cleared my invading memory of Kurt. Then, with determined steps, I crossed the threshold.
Snow tumbled around me in a thick flurry, the temperature barely above freezing. With my arms wrapped around my middle, I scanned the snow blanket covering the backyard.
“Cassandra.” Logan’s solid arms encircled my waist, lifting me from behind and carrying me back inside quickly.
I whipped around to face him, fiery tears in my eyes.
“Where is he? Did you see him?” I asked, shaking. Please, please let him be okay. I tried to remember if I’d seen him during the attack, but it was all still a blur.
Logan closed the door slowly, his expression heavy with contemplation.
“What!? Where is he!?” Tears streamed out as I clutched his arms for support. “Did that b*****d hurt him? Oh, God!” I couldn’t breathe. No! No, no, no—not Scout!
Logan cupped my cheeks gently, holding my attention.
“He must have gotten out, that’s all. Wherever he is, he’s safe now.”
Logan’s voice was calming—almost like a sedative. I eased into it as I felt tears drying against my skin. It was too painful to feel everything waiting under the surface, ready to explode. I had to push it away, had to stay strong.
“I’ll call Jax. He’ll find him,” Logan added, stepping back and letting his fingers skim down to my forearms.
As numbness set in, I wiped my eyes and whispered, “Thank you.”
He’s safe. He’s safe, I chanted in my head. It was all I could think about as Logan led me back through the crime scene inside. It felt like anything but home.
“Can you call him now?” I asked, stopping outside the guest-bedroom door, reluctant to go inside knowing Scout was out there somewhere alone and cold. “Please.”
After a soft kiss to my forehead, Logan pulled his phone from his pocket and held the door open for me to enter. “Of course. I’ll be just a moment.”
With an appreciative nod, I entered the room alone. It was small and cramped, and held a chilly undercurrent despite the dry heat pumping through the floor vent.
I sat on the bed in silence as a woman in front of me opened her bag and began digging through it, pulling out multiple mystery items. I stared past her, allowing myself an escape into a foreign world of darkness. It held no pain or relief—only a vast, empty hole where my emotions should’ve been erupting but were instead eerily still.
I remained lost there, disconnecting myself from reality, until a sharp sting radiated through my cheek.
“Ah.” I winced, jerking my head out of the paramedic’s hold.