Home > Twice Bitten (Cascadia Wolves #6)(3)

Twice Bitten (Cascadia Wolves #6)(3)
Author: Lauren Dane

    “Thank you. I appreciate that very much.”

    She moved to the mini reception area he’d indicated and checked her messages while he did whatever it was he needed to do.

    “Do we have a problem here?”

    She froze before turning slowly to face none other than Josh Neelan.

    * * *

    Josh tried not to gape at the witch whose ass he’d just been admiring. But it wasn’t her ass that stunned him into long silence as he took her in from the tips of her sensible work boots, up shapely legs, the nip at her waist, the swell of her tits—he remembered those quite well—and into her face.

    “Michelle?”

    She blinked and he scented her blush. His wolf pushed at the human in charge. He’d wanted her back then. More than he should have. Apparently his wolf agreed about wanting her now.

    “Josh?”

    Well now. A hundred years’ worth of memories fell down all around him at the sound of his name on her lips.

    He sucked in a breath and it was filled with her. And with her magick. Fuck. She was a witch?

    “I take it you two know each other?” Shaun, one of his wolves who had the door shift that afternoon spoke, his brow rising.

    “Yes. Michelle and I are both from Roseburg. She used to be a cheerleader.” He smiled at that memory. Her in tight sweaters and short skirts. Christ.

    Shaun looked her over. “Yeah, I can see that.”

    Josh did not like it one bit that Shaun looked at his Michelle that way. He gave the other wolf a glare, but Shaun wasn’t cowed.

    But the amusement he’d expected to see in her features wasn’t there. Just hurt and devastation and most likely he’d put it there.

    “You’re here because you need our help?” He took her upper arm and moved her toward the elevators, keying in his code.

    She nodded and disentangled herself from his hold.

    “Let’s go up to my office to talk.” He led her into the elevator and punched his floor number and his code before turning back to her. “Damn, it’s really good to see you.”

    He pulled her into a hug, burying his face in her neck. His entire system went wild at her scent as he dragged it in. Her body felt good against his. He’d thought he’d forgotten her, what it was to have her in his arms. But he’d been so, so wrong.

    He pulled back as they arrived on his floor, his wolf displeased that she hadn’t relaxed into the embrace.

    “Come. We can talk in my office.” He led her through the halls, finding himself having to stop from touching her. His wolf was agitated, pressing against his human skin, fighting for supremacy because it wanted contact with her.

    He was better than this. He shoved the wolf back as he indicated a couch near the windows. “Sit. Do you want something to drink? Are you hungry?”

    “Gage Garrity from Clan Owen sent me to ask for your assistance. My best friend was taken from her apartment by mages yesterday. There were signs of a struggle. I followed what little bit of a trail I could find up here. You guys are great trackers. I need your help.”

    Mages. Great. He poked his head out of his office, speaking to his assistant. “Can you get us some coffee and sandwiches?”

    “I don’t need to eat. I need to find Allie.”

    He sat next to her on the couch she perched upon, and she edged away a little, pressing against the arm to keep her distance.

    “This is dangerous. More dangerous than you probably know. Of course I’ll help. I need the facts first so we can figure out what’s happening. You’re a witch. You never told me?”

    “You weren’t around to tell. And I know it’s dangerous. That’s why I’m so worried.”

    “I need to explain. About leaving Roseburg, and you.”

    “Don’t bother. That’s long past. Very ancient history and all that jazz. You moved on. Looks like to a far better life. I’m not here for that anyway.”

    He didn’t want her to think it was about her. He hated that part. He’d left for his sanity, for the safety and security of those around him. He’d left to step into a new life and he didn’t regret that part. Still, it agitated him that she was upset in any way. And she was. She could say all the right words, but he could feel it in the tension of her body, hear it in the tone of her voice. Could scent the acrid burn of her emotions.

    “I was bitten my first semester of school. It’s...difficult to be changed when you’re a nineteen-year-old. I didn’t know how to handle it. The wolf who changed me was out of control and his Alpha came to find me. They brought me back to their pack house. It took a year to learn how to handle the wolf. I couldn’t go back to Roseburg. That part of my life was done. We weren’t out then. What was I going to tell you? You were still in high school.” He’d had to leave everything and everyone behind. And in the end, it had been the right choice.

    She let out a long sigh and he had to force himself not to push.

    He changed the subject. “Tell me about your friend. Were the police called? Why are you here instead of the local coven people? Why isn’t Gage here? You’re part of their territory. This is a big deal, big bad stuff. You could get hurt. Or worse.”

    “I am the police. I’ve been a cop for seven years now. And from what I understand, Owen is doing all it can with all the disappearances. Gage sent me here but said to remain in touch and that they’d send help when they could.”

    Oh.

    The food arrived, and he found himself sort of shocked at the bone-deep need to be sure she ate it.

    “How did you know it was mages?” He indicated the food. “You should eat. If we’re going out tracking, you’ll need the energy.”

    She frowned slightly, but took a bite and then several more.

    “I knew it was mages because Owen did these classes, taught the people in our coven how to detect their energy. Once you see it, the mage energy, you can’t mistake it for anything else.” She shuddered. “Allie—you might remember her—Allison Packer? She’s been my best friend since third grade. Her mother got a call from a neighbor. She went over to Allie’s place, saw the mess and called me.”

    “Tell me about what you found at the scene.”

    “Tell me why you’re so bossy about it.”

    Clearly he wasn’t the only one who’d changed over the years. This Michelle was firmly in charge of herself. So sexy. He shouldn’t be thinking about that. But he couldn’t stop.

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