Home > Twice Bitten (Cascadia Wolves #6)(5)

Twice Bitten (Cascadia Wolves #6)(5)
Author: Lauren Dane

    “Step one is to go to that rest stop. You said you saw their energy at two stops?”

    “I pulled off at every single one between Roseburg and here. There may be more north of Portland but I wanted to come here first.”

    “Good idea. Let’s go to the first one so I can get a good scent, and we’ll head to the second one so I can compare. I just need to stop by my apartment so I can get changed, and we’ll get moving.”

    “Don’t you have minions to do this sort of thing?”

    He snorted. “Yes. But I don’t want to assign this to anyone else.”

    “Josh, it’s just a job.” She needed him to know there was nothing beyond this. He’d wrecked her heart already, she wasn’t about to give him another shot.

    He paused, going very still, the pupils of his eyes nearly swallowing all the green. She sucked in a breath and got pine and loam. “Oh my God, I just smelled your wolf, didn’t I? That’s so cool.”

    The flash in his gaze sent a shiver through her, and she had to ball her fists to keep from touching him. Damn it, she had to not be fascinated. No. She needed to remember two things. One, he left her life without even a word, and two, her best friend was missing and in grave danger.

    “I’ll help you, but I have a price.”

    She rolled her eyes at him. “Are you serious? Never mind.” She grabbed her bag. He took her hand and turned her to face him.

    “You don’t even want to hear my offer?”

    Sighing, she gave him the get on with it hand sign.

    “Dinner. After we go to the rest stops. Let me take you to dinner. Let me get to know you again. Catch up. It’s been...”

    “Twelve years. It’s been twelve years. And there’s no catching up. That’s over.”

    She knew him well enough to understand the set of his shoulders meant the discussion was not closed. But whatever.

    “We’ll see. Come on. I’m going to have one of my people come along with us so more than one of us has the scent. Then I can send them north.” He began to gather his things with one hand while he shoved another sandwich into his face. On most men it would have made her cringe a little. But this one managed to make it look sexy.

    Figured.

    Why couldn’t he have lost all his hair or gotten a huge beer belly? Why did he have to look so damned good?

    He escorted her out, his hand at the small of her back. She quickened her pace but he did as well, keeping contact. “Hold up a moment. I need to speak to my people.”

    She could have suggested she meet him downstairs, but in truth she wanted to see how his operation worked. It wasn’t as if she had regular dealings with the werewolf pack structure. Or werewolves at all.

    They had a sort of magick too, she noticed as they entered a large room with several desks occupied by large men. Lots of large when it came to werewolves, apparently. They all came to attention when Josh entered the space, gazes straight to him, waiting.

    “Who has some open time to help me with a tracking project?”

    “I’ve got some.” Tall, dark and gorgeous stood, tipping his chin in Josh’s direction.

    “Great. Damon, this is Michelle Slattery, she’s an old friend and a cop from Roseburg. She’s here tracking a missing woman, a witch we think has been taken by mages.”

    He took her hand, engulfing it in his, and she wasn’t a tiny woman by any means. “I’m happy to help however I can.”

    “Bring GiGi with you. I want everyone working with a partner until we’re clear of this mage business.”

    A tall blonde approached, smiling at Michelle as she thrust a hand in her direction. “Nice to meet you.”

    “Meet me at my place in forty-five minutes. We’ll leave from there.”

    He spoke quietly with another guy for a bit and then turned back. “Ready?”

    Once they got to the elevator she spoke again. “I have a car.”

    “Why don’t I follow you to your hotel and you can drop it off and we can drive together?”

    “I don’t have a hotel yet. I came straight here. I might go north after we go to those rest stops today. I need to keep moving.”

    “How long has it been since you’ve slept?”

    “So anyway, why don’t I drive and then I can drop you back here when we finish up?”

    “Why do you have to resist so hard?”

    “What does it matter? My best friend is missing and she could be dead. I can’t just fucking sleep and I don’t understand why it matters to you anyway.”

    God. Her voice nearly cracked and he totally heard it. Truth was, she hadn’t slept more than those four hours before she’d gone over to Allie’s place the day before. She was freaked and exhausted and on edge, and it was all bad business for a cop to get that way.

    But what else could she do?

    The guys back in Roseburg were on it. Her boss had given her some time to come up and look for Allie, but he’d made it clear there was an official investigation and she was too close to the missing person to be effective on it.

    “I’m driving. You can stay in my guest room. And I care because I care about you. I never stopped caring about you. I left Roseburg behind but it didn’t have a thing to do with you.”

    “I’m not staying in your guest room.”

    “Where are you parked?”

    “I found a street spot about two blocks up.”

    “I’ll drive you to it, and you can follow me to my place and park there.”

    “You’re very bossy,” she muttered. It was a good plan, but he was so pushy about it.

    “Yeah, I’ve heard that a few times.”

    His car was waiting at the curb because someone had brought it out for him. “Must be nice.”

    He grinned as he opened her door and she slid in. “It is.”

    And so of course he lived in some swanky, cool loft-type building a few minutes away from the office. He’d told her to go inside the gate when it opened and to park in spot fourteen so she did. She sat there in the silence for a while.

    She needed to hold herself together. To keep her eyes open and not miss anything. It didn’t matter that she was tired. That she’d been slapped in the face with one of the worst memories of her life. What mattered was finding Allie.

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