Logan followed after him. Wolf passed Rafe a knife, and he went to work on her bindings.

“I’ll have you out in a moment, bella,” he promised.

Logan was already on his radio. “Yeah, Sheriff, we’re going to need to call in some help. We found her. Laura’s fine, but Deputy Briggs and Special Agent Kincaid were forced to put the suspect down. He was going to kill her.”

Rafe turned back and sent the deputy a grateful smile. He passed the knife across to Cam who cut through the last of her bindings, and she was free. Rafe pulled her up and into his arms. She was deliciously crushed. Even the pain from the strikes she’d received now just reminded her that she was alive and they were here.

Bella, I was so scared.” Rafe didn’t seem to care that her ass was hanging out, but Cam came around the other side and covered her with his body. His arms wound around her.

“I was terrified,” Cam admitted.

“I’m fine.” Laura sighed and let herself sink into their warmth. “I knew you would come for me.”

She felt a tremble go through Rafe’s body. “Always, bella. Never, ever doubt it.”

When they carried her out, she didn’t look back. That part of her life was done, and it couldn’t hurt her again.

Chapter Twenty

Laura watched as Stef and Jen Talbot had their first dance as husband and wife. They were wrapped up in each other like vines twining together, swaying to the music. The Bliss Reception Hall had been completely decked out to look like a romantic forest complete with greenery and trees along all the walls. Stef Talbot was a billionaire who could have bought his own private island to have a wedding, but he and his bride had insisted on the Feed Store Church and the Rec Center.

“They look good together,” Holly said, locking arms with Laura.

For days, Holly had tried to keep a hand on Laura. Laura hadn’t been able to miss the way her best friend refused to let her out of her sight.

Laura leaned over, brushing Holly’s head with her own. “Those two definitely belong together. Jen is the perfect woman to deal with King Stef. She makes him laugh.” And she put him in his place from time to time. Everyone needed that.

“Caleb never laughs,” Holly said with a sad sigh. “Why do I like him so much?”

Her poor friend. Caleb Burke was a puzzle and a half. He’d been all over Holly when there was a threat, but he’d backed off the instant the threat was gone. He was right back to sitting in Holly’s section at Stella’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and staring without ever asking her out. She didn’t envy Holly dealing with Caleb, but it was obvious her friend was totally into the doctor. “You just need to give him a little time. When is Nicky coming into town?” That was the way to get Holly’s mind off her heartache. She lit up at the mere mention of her son spending a week with her. It had been a long time since Holly had been able to spend time with her seventeen-year-old son. “He’ll be here in a couple of days. He’s got a tiny bit of time between his summer pre-college camp and football camp. I’m so excited. And now that the serial killer is gone, I don’t even have to worry about him being murdered.”

“Always a good thing.”

Bliss had settled back into a peaceful, sleepy existence. They had only added two murders to their total this time around. Hiram, the mayor of Bliss, had called it a win.

Laura had gone back to work, but only until Bart found a replacement for her at the Stop ‘n’ Shop. She’d promised Rafe she’d get her PI license and join him in building a real business. She meant to keep that promise. He was passionate about finding missing persons and reuniting loved ones.

Cam was finding his place. He was a hard-working deputy and spent every night perfecting his software. Callie was rapidly approaching her due date, and Cam had already been told he would be in charge of Bliss while Nate was on paternity leave. Given Cam’s longtime law enforcement experience, he’d been given the second in command job. Logan had taken the news well. He’d shaken Cam’s hand, and then Cam had had to pick him up at a bar two towns over later that night. Cam was happily busy with his new job. Well, when he wasn’t busy making love to her. He and Rafe seemed happy to spend as much time in bed as possible.

Nell joined them, her face shining in the twinkle lights of the reception hall. “Hey, you two. Stef had a vegan cake brought in. It’s delicious.”

Trust Stef to make sure everyone had what they wanted. There were three different cakes. A bridal cake, a groom’s cake, and a vegan cake. Not a one of them was vanilla. “That’s great, Nell. I’m glad you decided to give up your nude protest in order to attend the wedding.” Nell shrugged. “Well, friendship is more important, isn’t it?

Rachel gave me her blessing. She said she found a very nice cover on the Internet that allows her to see Paige when she feeds her. I think she should be allowed to run around topless if she wants to, but I got outvoted. Besides, the bunker got too quiet once Mel and Cassidy left.

Henry was completely irrational about the whole topless thing. I was very surprised.” She turned, and her face went from bright and shiny to serious. “But he’s being reasonable about one thing.”

“Really?” In Laura’s opinion, Henry’s response to Nell’s topless protest was one of the more rational things he’d ever done. She knew what would happen if she tried that. Rafe and Cam would do way worse than take her to a bunker. “What is that?”

“I know what happened to you. I know that you can’t carry a baby anymore,” Nell said quietly, her eyes softening.

Laura felt Holly’s hand on her shoulder. Being reminded of what she’d lost didn’t hurt the way it used to, but the thought still brought tears to her eyes. “When the time comes, we’ll see about adoption.”

“And that would be great,” Nell said, taking both of Laura’s hands in hers. Nell’s brown eyes shone as she looked up at Laura. “If that’s what you decide to do, I am all behind you. But if you want to, you could choose a different path. You kept one of your ovaries. I could be your surrogate. My womb works, at least I think it does. And Henry and I decided a long time ago that we would forgo having children, so you wouldn’t be intruding.” Laura was utterly shocked. Nell had many principles, but this was one of her most sacred. “Because of population control. Nell, you believe in that.”

Nell gave her a watery smile and squeezed her hands. “I believe in you more. Like I said, friends are more important. And you and Rafe and Cam would raise an amazing kid. It’s just something to think about. If you want to, we would like to give you that gift.” Now Laura cried for a different reason. She hugged Nell, pulling the delicate woman into her arms. “Thank you.” Laura might never take her up on the offer, but it was a balm to her soul that Nell had offered.

“It’s something to think about.” Nell pulled back, and a little smile curled her lips. “And if we need to do it the old-fashioned way, you know I think Rafe is just cute as a button.”

“Bad girl!” Laura said playfully as Nell winked and scurried away to dance with her husband.

Holly had tears in her eyes as she leaned forward and kissed Laura’s cheek. “I’m going to get a drink. I love you, you know. You and Nell, you’re my lifelines. Now you get out there and dance with those hot hunks of yours.”

Holly turned and started a conversation with Marie and Teeny.

“So, this is what a wedding’s like in Bliss, huh?” Cam asked, nodding to Holly as she walked off. He handed Laura a glass of champagne.

Laura looked at her loves. Rafe was right beside Cam. They looked amazingly gorgeous in tuxedoes. Rafe was tall, dark, and broodingly handsome. Cam was an all-American hottie. What had she done to deserve them?

“Were you surprised when the bride danced down the aisle? I think Stef was,” Laura said.

The ceremony had been joyous, utterly reflecting the quirky beauty of the couple involved. There hadn’t been a dry eye in the house. Laura had even caught Max wiping his eyes when Stef had pledged to love his bride forever.

“I liked the bales of hay,” Rafe admitted with a broad smile. “I haven’t been to a wedding where all the guests sat on hay.”

“That’s because you’ve never gotten married in a Feed Store Church before,” Laura replied. “You get a beautiful wedding ceremony, and all the attendees get ten percent off their next feed order. I think that’s the only reason James Glen came. He says he’s allergic to commitment of any kind.”

She looked across the room where the said commitment-phobe was talking up Brooke Harper. He might not want to get married, but he was definitely looking for some company. Wolf stood beside his closest friend. He didn’t look like he would mind spending some time with Brooke Harper, either. Two cowboys strode up, trying to get into Brooke’s space. Laura searched her memory. They were brothers.

Shane and Bay Kent. They were friends of Stef’s, but Max and Rye Harper couldn’t stand the two cowboys. Brooke was about to get herself into a very interesting situation. Wolf stepped back like he didn’t want to get too involved. When he saw her, he smiled and raised a glass.

She smiled back and did the same.

And found both of her men frowning down ferociously at her.

“Hey, I was just saying hi,” she said.

“See that you keep it that way,” Cam replied.

She threw back her head and laughed. “Because I need a third guy. Trust me, baby, my dance card is totally full.”

“It’s full of us,” Cam said, getting close to her. He invaded her space, his hips moving. He bumped against her in time to the music.

“We can keep you dancing, baby.”

She felt Rafe at her back. “We can dance all night, bella.” They could dance forever. They would dance forever.

The music flowed around them as they swayed together. Laura was surrounded by her men and her friends and her future.

She almost didn’t notice when the double doors to the reception hall opened, and a big, broad figure filled the doorway.

“Oh my god,” she breathed as she realized who it was. “Alexei?”

“Who’s Alexei?” Rafe asked as he looked around at all the people staring at the new guy. Everyone had stopped.

The big, gorgeous Russian walked in, a broad smile on his handsome face. He glanced around the room, and his focus lasered in on Holly. The room seemed to stop, every eye following the former mobster as he made his way toward the woman he’d saved.

Laura watched as Holly turned, and her eyes widened. Alexei had dressed for the occasion, wearing a perfectly tailored suit that clung to his muscular form. He was hotness personified, and Laura wasn’t surprised that Holly practically drooled.

Alexei walked up and stopped mere inches from his target. He towered over Holly.

“Hello. My name is Howard, and I am be coming from Orlando.” Holly seemed breathless as she looked up. “Is that your witness protection name?”

“Yes.” Alexei started to reach a hand out. “But we can pick new one if you do not like this one. The trials are over. I am free to go where I like to go. I go with you.”

“No!” Caleb Burke’s favorite word didn’t fall out of his mouth this time. It was pushed and with great force. Caleb’s face was a mask of indignation. Unlike normal, his emotion could be read plainly on his face.

Another song started. This one a happy, bouncy tune.

Holly was in a mess.

“Dance with us,” Cam whispered.

“Be with us,” Rafe said just as provocatively. “We found a closet that’s unlocked. There’s plenty of room. We need you, bella.” Their hands were on her hips and getting dangerously close to her breasts. Laura’s heart sped up. It always did when they were around.

“Take me there.”

Holly would figure it out. She was caught in between two men, and that was an amazing place to be. Laura gave her best friend a little wave as Cam and Rafe led her off.

It was time for Laura to dance.