Home > Spiral of Need (The Mercury Pack #1)(9)

Spiral of Need (The Mercury Pack #1)(9)
Author: Suzanne Wright

“How long before Cain’s out?” Zander asked.

“Four months,” replied Derren.

“I tell ya,” began Eli, “I wouldn’t like to be the Beta pair of the Collingwood Pack when Cain gets out.”

“Why?” asked Kent.

Eli arched a brow. “How, exactly, do you think a sociopath will protect and avenge his mate, whether he’s claimed her or not?”

“He’ll go after the people who hurt her,” deduced Bracken.

Shaya nodded. “And how, exactly, do you think said sociopath will react if Derren doesn’t live up to his word and keep the guy’s mate safe—especially if something happens to her in the meantime?”

Bracken looked at Derren. “He’ll go after you. Maybe even punish our entire pack because we all refused to help her.”

Shaya nodded again. “And all because some jealous heifer decided to make life hell for her mate’s ex.” Softening her expression, she sat next to Nick. “If this happened to Willow, and she needed help, wouldn’t you want someone to be there for her?”

Nick growled. “No one will ever lay a fucking finger on her.”

“Yes, we all know that if anyone even thought something offensive about your baby girl, you would disembowel them before they could blink. But what if she didn’t have any of us to protect her, if she was pretty much all alone in the world . . . wouldn’t you like to think that someone else would protect her?”

He narrowed his eyes. “Playing the Willow card is below the belt.”

“Ally would only be staying here for four months. That’s not long. And unless you want Derren and Cain having serious problems, you don’t have much of a choice anyway.”

After a long moment, Nick sighed. “You sure about this, Derren?” Translation: Are you sure you want to be around a Seer, considering how you feel about them?

“I’m sure.” Being a man of his word sucked.

Nick sighed again. “Fine. We’ll help her. But, Derren, she’s your responsibility while she’s here.”

Despite being relieved that he wouldn’t find himself at loggerheads with Cain, he couldn’t help resenting the situation. Even if he didn’t have very personal issues with Seers, he wouldn’t be looking forward to watching over a flaky, free-spirited wacko with a sense of entitlement.

 

After the evening meal, Derren and Eli headed for Collingwood territory. Soon enough, they were sitting in Matt Ward’s office. The guy had happily welcomed them, wanting news on how Nick and the rest of the Mercury Pack were doing.

Once the chitchat was over, Matt asked, “So, what can I do for you?”

From the chair opposite the Alpha, Derren shrugged carelessly. “Well, it’s simple, really. You and I both have a problem, and I figure we can help each other.”

Matt’s brow crinkled. “Oh? And what problem is that?”

“Alyssa Marshall.”

The Alpha stiffened, but he didn’t speak, just moved his startled gaze from Derren to Eli.

“She’s a member of your pack, correct?” prodded Derren.

“Yes.” The answer was hesitant.

“I have it on good authority that she’s having a hard time here at the moment. That she and your Betas are having some . . . issues.”

Matt’s eyes narrowed. “Where did you hear that?” He was clearly affronted at the idea of outsiders knowing his pack’s personal business.

Derren waved away the question. “The good news, Matt, is that I can help you with this.”

“How so?”

“I can take her with me.”

Matt looked wary, most likely expecting Derren would want something in return. “Why would you do that?”

“Let’s just say that her safety and happiness is very important to someone you do not want to fuck with. Here in your pack, she’s neither safe nor happy. And that’s a problem for him, because it’s a problem for Ally. That makes it a problem for you.”

Panic flitted across Matt’s face. “Who is this person you’re referring to?”

“That’s not important.”

“I protect all my wolves,” insisted Matt defensively, “including Ally. Why would you want her?”

“The person who wants her protected trusts me to ensure that that’s exactly what she’ll be.” Derren held Matt’s gaze with a determined look. “Give her to me, and the current issue in your pack will be gone.”

Matt swallowed nervously. “Who wants her?”

“I told you, that’s not important.”

“I will not hand over one of my wolves without knowing where they’ll be going.”

“She’s coming with me to my pack.”

Matt was quiet for a moment. “What have you heard?” In other words, how much did Ally’s protector know?

“I’ve been told that your Beta female is giving Ally problems, that she accused Ally of trying to kill her.”

“I haven’t cast Ally out. I doubt her guilt.” Matt was likely saying that now, since he was anxious that he might have offended someone who would seek vengeance. He had every reason to be anxious.

“Of course you do. And my friend will be happy to hear that. Just as he’ll be happy to hear that you didn’t cause any fuss about this.” Derren leaned forward. “Give her to me.”

Another nervous gulp. “I’ll send for her.”

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

Eyes had been glued to Ally as she made her way to the pack house. Most held hatred and accusation, while others held pity and disappointment. With those emotions battering her, the journey felt like walking through a cold mist. As usual, no one had said a single word to her. It was perfectly clear that, although she was still in the pack, she remained a social outcast.

Ally wondered if Matt had summoned her because Rachelle had laid more accusations at her door. Or maybe her punishment was about to increase. Zeke had told her that Matt didn’t want to banish her, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t change his mind. Well, there was really only one way to find out.

Inside the pack house, she knocked on Matt’s office door, and quickly received a “Come in!”

Refusing to show any panic or anxiety, she straightened her shoulders and entered. And stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of two unfamiliar wolves. She studied the powerfully built male with the short bronze hair and indomitable look and her voice of intuition whispered, merciless. Yeah, Ally could see he was someone to be wary of. The blend of impatience, dubiousness, and distrust that seeped from him caused her scalp to prickle and itch.

Moving her attention to the dark, supremely masculine male beside him, Ally realized he wasn’t so unfamiliar after all. She’d seen him before in a juvenile detention facility long ago. His body had changed since then; he was taller, his shoulders had broadened, and his build was solid and defined. He was currently watchful, tense, and still; those brooding pools of dark velvet stared too hard, saw too much. His sensual mouth was set in a harsh line; it had a cruel edge to it that hadn’t been there years ago.

Back then, the teenage Ally had felt curious when she saw him. Now, a crushing carnal hunger licked over her skin, heated her blood, and pooled low in her stomach—it was instant, elemental, and made no sense.

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