“We have to talk,” she told him again. “There are things you don’t know about me.”
He laughed at that. “Babe, tell me something I don’t know.” But now wasn’t the time for talking. The wolf wanted to run. No, he wanted to kill, and maybe Caleb had news on those coyotes that would let him do just that.
Rip. Claw. Blood.
A fist shook the door. “Lucas! I know you can hear me!” Caleb. But with an edge to his voice. Guess the guy’s patience had run out. Not that the Texan ever really had much patience.
Lucas yanked open the door. Caleb’s narrowed eyes met his. “I can’t make contact with Dane.”
“We sent scouts to the area. There were signs of a fight, and the coyotes are locked down tight now.”
Caleb’s gaze drifted to Sarah. Widened a bit.
Because Sarah was only wearing a sheet. Lucas stepped to the left, blocking the view. “Did the scouts catch Dane’s scent?”
Caleb’s gaze snapped back to him. “They . . . thought they picked up his scent in one of the houses but—”
“Then we’re going to fucking get our man back.” The wolf howled inside. Just what he needed. Blood and death and fury. “I’m tired of screwing with the coyotes. Time to break that pack.”
Caleb’s lips twisted into a savage grin. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
“Tell the wolves it’s time to hunt.”
“Lucas,” Sarah touched him again. Dammit. He knew Caleb noticed the slight jerk of his body. Toward her. “You’re hurt,” she said, “you can’t—”
He laughed at that. “Babe, I can do anything.” She looked so delicate, so sexy with her hair mussed and his scent on her. His scent, not his mark.
Already been marked by that fucking bastard.
Rip. Him. Apart.
“You’re afraid of the wolf in me.” He didn’t bother to keep his voice low. Caleb would hear no matter what with his shifter ears. “Fair warning, that wolf is hungry, and he’s about to come out.”
She didn’t let him go. Surprising. “Be careful.”
He knew his smile held a razor’s edge. “I’m not the one who has to worry.” No more playing nice with the coyotes. They’d come at him . . . my turn.
The idiots probably thought he’d wait until the cover of darkness to attack. The better to not be seen by humans. What they didn’t understand . . . he didn’t give a fuck about the humans. They had Dane, the wolf who’d stood by him in hell, and in order to get his friend back, Lucas would cut through anyone who got in his way.
Sarah’s gaze held his. After a moment, her hand fell away, and he went to hunt.
With her scent on him.
Sarah watched him leave through the window. Lucas had to know she was there, but he didn’t glance up at her, not even once. He left as a man, loading into the SUV with the others, but she knew he’d soon be shedding the cover of flesh for the power of fur and fangs and claws.
The sheet felt cool around her body, and damn if she didn’t still feel the press of his hands and lips on her.
What was happening? She’d thought sex might be a possibility, but . . .
But she was weakening with the wolf. She’d almost told him the truth before he left. Talk about crap timing. With his wolf so close—that would have been a nightmare.
The sun beamed down from overhead. Attacking in daylight. Figured that would be something Lucas would do.
The SUVs disappeared along the winding road.
Her gaze darted to the left. To the phone that waited on the nightstand. Should she call and give a warning?
She was at the phone before she gave herself time for second thoughts. One ring. Two. Answer. Lucas knew exactly where the coyotes were hiding. The bloodbath would be brutal. She’d seen what he could do when he was the only one fighting.
How fast would they all die when the wolf pack attacked?
Another ring. Not answering.
She slammed the phone down. Dressed as fast as she could. Then Sarah ran for the door. She wrenched it open—
And found herself staring up into a pair of golden eyes. She stumbled to a stop right before she slammed into the human wall.
“Going somewhere?” he asked, crossing his arms over his chest and thoroughly blocking her way. He was young, probably barely in his early twenties—not much younger than me—but his face . . . like Lucas’s. The same hard chin. The same cheeks. His eyes held the same hard edge, even though the color was different. But then, she’d seen those eyes before.
The wolf who came to greet Lucas the first day. Sarah forced her shoulders to relax. “You’re Jordan.”
His dark brows rose. “Lucas told you about me?” He even had the same thick, dark hair that Lucas had.
No. “I’ve heard about you.” About the young wolf who’d once been taken by a band of vamps. Lucas had become legend when he’d gone after them and destroyed the bloodsuckers. Don’t fuck with the LA pack.
That message had been loud and clear for years. Until Rafe’s patience had worn too thin. He’d wanted to be the legend.
Jordan’s gaze searched her face. “You’re my brother’s lover.” Said without inflection.
Her shoulders stiffened. So much for relaxing. “I’m sure you brother has plenty of lovers.” Okay, now why did that actually hurt? Wolves were sexual, she knew that. Fucking was sometimes as necessary as breathing.
“None that he ever brings around the pack.”
His head cocked. “You going somewhere?” Now an edge of steel had crept into his voice. “I don’t think Lucas would like to come back and find you missing.”
There was a reason the wolf had survived capture by the vamps. He had a core of fire inside. Strength that was apparent in the hard stare of his eyes.
Not a kid. She’d been foolish to make that mistake when he was in wolf form. She’d been nervous because of Lucas, and hadn’t been focusing enough. This wasn’t a kid. This was definitely a grown man. A very dangerous man.
“I didn’t think Lucas wanted you . . .” Near me. Ah, how could she put this delicately? “I thought you were out—”
“He told me to keep an eye on you.”
While the others hunted.
His gaze dropped to rake her body. “So here I am.”
His stance widened, and the smile he gave her wasn’t pretty. “And trust me on this, you’re not going anywhere. Not until the pack is back, safe and sound.”
She recognized the look in his eyes. She’d seen it plenty of times. “You don’t trust me?”
“I don’t trust anyone who isn’t pack.”
While similar to Lucas, she realized that Jordan’s face wasn’t as hard. More handsome, less dangerous. But the threat was still in him.
“I was just going down to the kitchen.” She put her hand on her stomach. “I skipped a meal last night. What with the fire and attempted murder and everything.”
No smile curved his lips, but he did step back, giving her space to cross over the threshold.
Guess that meant she got to eat.
Sarah had taken five steps down the hallway when she heard the smash of glass. Jordan lunged in front of her, and she saw the deadly flash of his claws.
The scent of blood filled the air. The wolves growled behind Lucas, their instinct to lunge forward and attack. Blood always drew them in . . .
Lucas let the shift sweep over him, barely feeling the burn of the change. The crack and snap of bones filled his ears, drowning out those growls as the wolf inside was—fucking finally—free.
He sprang forward, his paws slamming down on the earth and the others were right on his heels, racing forward toward the line of buildings nestled near the woods.
No mercy. He sent out the order, knowing the others would understand. If they showed mercy now, word would spread that their pack was weak. Too many bastards were already trying to come after them. Too many enemies needed to learn to stay away.
The coyotes deserved what was coming for them with hungry jaws and sharpened claws.
He burst through the window, and the glass shattered around him.
“Get back in your room!” Jordan ordered, never glancing back. “Lock the door and stay there!”
He raced for the stairs.
Because she wasn’t a fool, she raced back for her room. She hurried inside. Slammed the door shut. Clicked the lock, thought about hauling the dresser over in front of the door and—
“You’re a hard woman to catch, Sarah King.” A low, taunting growl.
She froze, her eyes on the closed, bolted door. If she’d been a shifter, she probably would have caught his scent in time, but...
But he’d known she wouldn’t sense him.
The floor creaked as he came closer. “Watching you run was fun, but the chase is coming to an end now.”
“Not yet,” she whispered, then she screamed, “Jordan, help me!”
The bastard slammed her head into the door.
Bodies littered the floor. Coyote shifters who’d been slaughtered. The wolves sniffed the air, moving carefully now.
Someone had beaten them to the kill.
When he’d landed on the floor, he’d landed in the middle of the bodies.
Jess lay with his head twisted, his eyes open, and his throat gone.
Looked like the coyote leader wasn’t going to be a threat to him anymore. Not to him, not to anyone.
Dane. His only concern then. The wolves broke up into groups and began searching. The scent of coyote was all over the place. Coyote . . . and wolf. Blood and death.
More bodies littered the floor as they tracked through the house. No survivors.
The killers had been fast and brutal. The dead were still fresh. They must have missed the slaughter by minutes.
They searched all the houses, every room. He caught the wolf’s scent, but Dane was gone.
Not dead, maybe, but gone.
Piers snarled as he crouched over a pair of handcuffs. Silver.
The coyotes had been prepared for Dane, but not for whoever had ripped through them.
Lucas’s gaze swept the house once more, the fury building in the wolf as the scent of blood filled his nose.
I don’t like this. From Caleb.
He didn’t like it a damn bit, either. Whoever had attacked the coyotes—someone strong. Damn strong.
Coyote and wolf scents were all over the fucking place.
The coyotes had been caught unprepared because they’d thought they were letting in an ally. An ally who’d sliced them apart.
Shit. He whirled away and ran back for the darkness. Someone else was hunting out there. Someone strong—a lot of fucking someones. He’d find them.
The world dimmed when her head rammed into the wood, but Sarah didn’t pass out. No, that would have been too easy.
The bastard grabbed her and picked her up, forcing her to face him as he smiled down at her.
“It’s been too long, Sarah.”
She blinked and stared up into his squinty brown eyes. She knew those eyes, they were very distinct with that faint yellow that circled his pupil. Oh, yeah, she knew him. Knew that thick blond hair, that deceptively handsome face. Those too-sharp teeth. Hayden. The coyote who’d started this hell with Rafe. “Hayden, how did you—”
“Sarah!” Jordan’s fists pounded into the door and the whole room seemed to shake.
Hayden smiled. “Do you think he’s strong enough to get in . . .” That smile widened as his claws rose to her throat. “Before I slit your pretty, lying throat?”
The room shook again.
Hayden’s lips came close, feathering over her ear. “Don’t worry, Sarah, I’m not going to kill you . . . yet,” he whispered. “Someone wants to see you first.”
Her heart seemed to stop. Rafe.
“But I did kill all the bastards in my way.” He caught her chin and forced her head toward him. “Guess who’s the king coyote now?”
“Not you, asshole.”
Those claws pressed into her throat. Sarah gasped, ready to—
The door exploded behind them, the wood shattering and hitting Sarah and Hayden. She stumbled and grabbed tight to the coyote—and took him down with her.
They rolled, twisting and jerking, and Jordan attacked. He grabbed Hayden, slicing with his claws, and Sarah scrambled back.
The shift started then. A fierce, hard explosion of bones and flesh. The men fought as they shifted, and it was the most savage thing she’d ever seen. Claws buried into flesh, fur exploded. Spines snapped.
She backed away, crawling fast. Her gaze darted toward the door. Now was her chance. She could run through that door and get away.
Sarah started to inch forward.
Kill the bastard. Kill the assholes waiting . . .
Jordan’s thoughts, slipping so easily into her mind. Hold on—whoa—the assholes waiting? There were more?
She stopped inching anywhere. Her gaze darted to the window. Open—had Hayden climbed up to get to her? That would have been easy enough for a shifter.
Dammit, Lucas—come back.
Sarah’s heartbeat shook her chest. Two choices—run and face who the hell knew what below . . .
Or help Jordan and face ’em together.
Not really a choice.
She grabbed the lamp, and when the two beasts broke apart, she threw it at the coyote’s head. It shattered, but didn’t seem to hurt Hayden at all. Then those brown eyes locked on her. Fury and hate blazed in his gaze.
Hayden lunged for her.
Sarah jumped away, narrowly missing a swipe of those claws.
Jordan leapt onto the back of the coyote. The two spun, slamming around the room, crashing into furniture, breaking the bed, knocking over the bookshelf. Howls and snarls filled the room. And as they fought, the scent of blood grew thicker.