but was able to wedge herself under the rope so she was clinging to Mikayla’s back like a monkey. Mikayla used her body to surround the other girl, holding her unconscious body in place again the tree. She could hear frantic calls coming from the river bank but didn’t let herself get distracted. “Come on, honey. Let’s get out of this water.”
“Lindsey won’t wake up,” the girl sobbed from her back.
Working as fast as she could, Mikayla shoved Lindsey’s unmoving body under the rope and held her with an arm wrapped around her. She looked over to the side of the river and saw Gage standing there with a man next to him while another was in the truck looking back at her.
“What’s your name, sweetie?” Mikayla asked, her voice shaking with cold.
“Megan. I’m so cold.”
“I know you are, Megan. My name is Mikayla. Just hold on and we’ll get warm soon, I promise.” Mikayla slowly worked her way around the tree so the rope wouldn’t get tangled. “This next part is a little scary, but it’s also going to be fun. When I give the order, the truck is going to pull us onto shore and we’ll be able to get warm again. It is going to be scary when we are being pulled, but you have to hold on tight to me, okay?”
“Okay,” Megan said into her neck.
“Good girl. Now deep breath, Megan. Here we go. Pull us out!” Mikayla yelled, releasing the tree so they wouldn’t get caught up in the branches.
The man in the truck drove forward, pulling the three bodies in the water quickly to shore. Hands grabbed at them as soon as they were on land, wrapping their bodies tight in blankets and coverings. The little girl Lindsey was taken and rushed toward the waiting ambulance. Megan screamed as another man tried to take her away from Mikayla.
“No, no!” the little girl screamed repeatedly.
Mikayla turned to the traumatized girl and hugged her frozen, wet form to her. “It’s okay, sweetie. Go with him, Megan. He’s going to make sure you get warm.”
Megan reluctantly released her hold on Mikayla and the other man picked her up, rushing her to the ambulance as well. Her mind was sluggish, slowed down until everything barely seemed real. Mikayla tried to lift the rope off of her and winced as her arms barely moved.
The rope was yanked away from her and she was jerked into a hard body. Gage’s warmth seeped into her chilled body as he rocked her gently on his lap. Another warm body pressed against her from behind. She heard Wulf’s whine and knew her furry friend was pressed up against her back.
“Good dog,” she whispered.
“Goddamn it, I am going to spank the shit out of you,” Gage growled at her. “You’re fucking crazy, you know that?”
She smiled and absently realized her teeth were chattering when she tried to speak again. “You do that and I might just shoot you.” She wedged her cold nose into the crook of his neck, burrowing into him seeking more of his warmth. She let her eyes drift closed as shivers raked through her.
“Gage, we should take her in,” a male voice said from behind them as he untied the rope from the back of the truck and threw it into the bed, slamming the back closed. “We’re out of heat blankets, and she needs to be checked over.”
“S-s’all right. I’m okay,” Mikayla said on a slur. “Just need a nap.”
“Fuck.” Gage snarled again as he quickly picked her up, taking her to his truck. “I’ll take her in. Take Wulf will you.”
“Fuck man, your dog hates me.”
“Do it, Nick,” Gage ordered then slammed the door shut.
Gage put the vehicle in gear and took off with her lying on the front seat with her head in his lap. Mikayla began to fumble under the blanket, causing Gage’s gaze to flicker down to her.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“F-freezing,” she stuttered out. “Have to get t-these off.” She was trying to get her T-shirt and jeans off, but her fingers felt numb. She gave up, pulling the blanket around her. Her eyes