Home > Twice Bitten (Cascadia Wolves #6)(4)

Twice Bitten (Cascadia Wolves #6)(4)
Author: Lauren Dane

    “I’m the Enforcer here. I’m a sort of cop too. These mages are a way bigger issue than you know.” He scrubbed his hands over his face trying to work out how to send her away from the danger.

    “You are so not going to convince me to go home like a good little girl.”

    “You always could read my mind.”

    She could mainly because he wore his emotions on his face so clearly. Not so much now, but she knew, given the way he was talking, that he figured he could take over and send her away and that was not going to happen. He was clearly used to being obeyed. Ha. He’d better buckle up because she wasn’t the blind-obedience type.

    “So stop dicking me around and tell me what is going on.”

    “This is bad, Michelle.”

    “Give me details. Help me. Help me find her, damn it.”

    He blew out a breath.

    Josh had been a big guy in school. Broad shouldered. His honey blond hair had been very short then. But not now. It reached his shoulders and matched the neat beard he wore. He was sun-kissed. Which only highlighted the pale green eyes. He was still big, but now he was a man.

    Ha. A man. He was a freaking werewolf. God.

    He smelled good. Wore some seriously well-fitting and expensive clothes. Clearly he was someone here given the size of his office and the view afforded out the windows. That and the respect she’d seen him given.

    Gone was the genial, laid-back football player she’d loved so hard when she was young. He was bossy now. Way bossier than he had been then. She was around bossy men all day, most cops tended to be alpha personalities. She dealt with it, knew how to handle them, how to push back when it was necessary. She was an alpha too after all.

    But Josh? He emanated that energy that only his kind of alpha male had. Charismatic. Powerful. He commanded attention simply with his presence.

    Josh the man made her tingly in ways she couldn’t have even begun to dream about when she was sixteen. Still, she wasn’t going to be managed or handled, even by a man as searingly sexy as the one next to her was.

    “I can scent it, you know.” His voice had gone low, stroking over her senses like a caress.

    “Huh?” She knew she blushed.

    “Arousal.” He leaned in very close, and she told herself—quite sternly—to get up and move out of his reach. And sat right where she was, fascinated by the way his nostrils flared a little and his eyes had gone an otherworldly shade of green. “I can scent the rush of blood to your skin in your blush. The way you just got all wet.” He paused, breathing deep again, and she nearly moaned. She should be horrified, but that was not what was happening at all.

    She swallowed the moan back. “I’m in charge of my parts. Tell me about what’s going on.” Her voice was breathy, so not authoritative.

    He smiled. A slight tip upward at the corner of his mouth where his dimple showed. She wanted to lick it. The moment stretched between them in a way she couldn’t find the energy to disentangle herself from.

    Allie.

    She sat back, getting some distance, and his hand shot out, far quicker than she’d anticipated, latching on to her knee. She gulped, her heart thundering as she licked her lips.

    “Allie,” she said out loud, and he nodded, but kept his hand on her knee.

    “The mages have been working with turned witches. In an increasingly organized fashion. All across the country—hell, Canada too—witches have gone missing, only to be found a few days later.” He shut up and she shook her head.

    “I need to know the details. I’m a cop, Josh. I can’t find her... I can’t protect my people if I don’t know what’s going on.”

    “They’re found dead. Totally drained. The numbers have been increasing and they’ve recently begun kidnapping Weres too.”

    She knew she’d paled, could feel the blood rush away from her face as shock smacked her. “Good God.”

    “Yes. Since you’ve spoken with Gage, you know we’ve got some contacts with them and Clan Gennessee to the south. The witches are aware and working on a unified defense. Back east where this all first started, we’ve created a coordinated effort with the de La Vega Jamboree. Jaguar shifters,” he added when she looked confused. “And of course with National. That’s the sort of united governing pack for all wolves in the United States. Anyway, Cascadia, that’s the big pack in Seattle, they’ve recently lost two of their wolves. The cats have had similar losses in the major cities. We’ve had some stalking, but so far our people have been safe. We think they might be working with human anti-Other hate groups.”

    “Are you fucking kidding me?”

    He started and then laughed. “Grown-up, gorgeous woman and she’s got a potty mouth? Be still my heart.”

    She sniffed in his direction. “If anything deserved all the big bad cuss words, Josh, it’s this. How long? I mean, I know the longer we don’t find her, the lower our chances are that she’s alive. But tell me what the odds are.”

    He swallowed hard and she knew he did not want to say anything.

    “The longest case that I know of was five days. And when they found her, she was in very bad shape and spent two weeks in the hospital.”

    She stood and began to pace. “Well then, we need to get going.”

    “There’s no way I can convince you to stay at your hotel while we track, is there?”

    “No. Which would be dumb anyway. I can see the mage energy and you can’t. The last place I saw it was at a rest stop in Aurora, Baldock, northbound.”

    “Are the state police looking for the vehicle?”

    She nodded. “I sent out an alert yesterday afternoon. Though I had to do some fancy footwork with just why I knew that particular car was of interest. Can’t very well say I followed my othersight up the freeway.”

    “Witches really need to come out. It’s awfully hard to hide what you are in the modern world.”

    She shrugged. “I’m not in charge of any of that. I only know ten other witches. Well, eleven if you count Gage, and I only know him from one phone call. All those decisions are made far above my pay grade.”

    He sighed. “Yeah. I get that too. With these disappearances, well I can’t see how it can go on much longer. It’s come out on your own or get outed.”

    “Easy for you to say. I guess you’re part of that pay grade I’m not in. So? We gonna get on this or what?”

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