The Wolf Within Page 11

I’m sorry. We’ll make it work. Everything will be fine again, I promise.

Holly shook her head. Tried to pull away from him.

But Pate just tightened his hold around her. His lips brushed over her forehead. I won’t lose you.

Oh, hell, yes, he would. Duncan bounded down the stairs. “Get your hands off her.” A lethal order.

This wasn’t about getting an order from his unit’s director. Wasn’t about the supernatural nightmare that was his life.

This was about some prick having his hands all over the woman that Duncan wanted.

And Pate needed to back the hell up before Duncan wrecked the guy’s face.

“I was worried this would happen,” Pate said with a sigh. He didn’t let Holly go. Big mistake. “Don’t you see, Holly, he’s linking with you? Bonding?”

“My fist is going to bond with your face,” Duncan promised.

Holly pushed Pate away. Then she whirled to face Duncan. She blocked his path, stopping him before he could carry through on that sweet promise he’d made to Pate.

“Don’t,” she said, shaking her head.

He reached out his hand. Ran his fingers over the spot that Pate had kissed on her forehead. He needed to get some things clear, fast. Wolves… werewolves didn’t react like humans.

Pate had that bit right. Duncan was linking with her. He wanted her again. Wanted her na**d and screaming beneath him. She hadn’t screamed with pleasure before, would she next time?

“My bite…it’s…ah, making you react this way,” Holly said, her words rushed.

The bite?

“It…creates a connection. Between vampire and prey. There’s pleasure in the bite.”

Yeah, he’d gotten that part.

“The pleasure is addictive. It’s how vampires lure their prey to them, again and again.” Her lips tightened. “The vampires who aren’t interested in torturing their prey, that is.”

So the bite itself was the vampire’s weapon?

“You shouldn’t have bitten him,” Pate snapped from behind her. “You shouldn’t have—”

“I bit Saul first, okay?” Her shoulders had straightened. Her eyes were still on Duncan, but her words seemed to be for Pate. “Because your little wolf—the one you were so confident you could control—came to attack me.”

Over her shoulder, he saw Pate’s face. The guy’s expression had frozen into a stone mask.

“I bit him, then Duncan came in and chased the guy right out of the window.” Her breath eased out. “Thank you, Duncan.”

His hand fell away from her. “You should have let me kill him.”

“That would have been a mistake.” From Pate. Why was the guy still talking?

“Yes," Holly said with a nod. "It would have." Then she looked back at Pate. "The chip in the collar will let us track him. As soon as we do, I-I can get Saul to take us to the other alpha."

"Are you in control?" Pate gritted.

“Hell, yes,” Duncan snapped. “Right now, I’m—”

“Not you, McGuire.”

Holly’s laugh broke what was left of Duncan's heart. "Does it matter? I took the blood, from both of them."

Pate frowned at her.

Duncan knew about vampires. Vampire 101 had been an introductory class for every agent entering the unit. He knew that the basic rules when dealing with a vampire went this way…

Rule number one: Don't get bit.

Too late.

Rule number two: If you do get bit, get the hell away from the vamp. Because once a vamp bit his prey—her prey—that vampire could slide into the victim's mind. Could command. Control.

I am so screwed.

Rule number three: Don't f**king get bit.

How had Holly become a vampire? Because from everything he'd heard, the transformation wasn't easy. A human had to be at the brink of death, and then the human had to get a very powerful infusion of vampire blood to make the transition.

"Isn't this why you made me?" Holly asked quietly.

Wait, hold up, made her?

"Get me to Saul, and I can deliver the alpha to you."

Duncan's gaze drifted between them as anger pulsed inside of him. "If all you had to do was take a bite of Saul, why not just do it back at the lab?" His hands fisted. He’d been running for hours as he tracked Saul. "Why send me on this whole song and dance about—”

"Biting him wasn't an option. Not if Holly ever hoped to return to her human life." Pate ran a shaking hand over his face. "Until you, she'd never taken blood from a live source. Only gotten transfusions of blood that had been injected with karahydrelene."

When Holly had followed him into the woods, he’d gotten too close to her. He remembered Holly's lips being crushed against his own. Remembered the faint coppery taste that had filled his mouth. His blood?

"I-I must have bit your lip when we kissed," Holly's gaze wouldn't meet his. "I'm sorry."

He wasn't. Maybe he should have been.

"Then, after Saul, when we were—” Her breath sighed out. "Werewolf blood has a very powerful effect on vampires."

"It makes them drunk with pleasure and power," Pate said as his hands crossed over his chest.

"I couldn't stop myself," she said, and finally, her gaze came back to his. "You were too good."

Uh, yeah, he'd thought the same thing about her.

"The karahydrelene worked to combat the changes occurring within Holly—” Pate began.

“Kara—what?” Duncan wanted to know. He’d never heard of it.

Holly gave him a small smile. "Karahydrelene. It’s a drug I made that inhibited the bloodlust. With it, I could go for much longer periods of time without needing the blood. My fangs never extended, and all of my other vampire…features…were contained."

"But now that she's just had straight werewolf blood…" Pate let his words trail away.

Holly’s gaze held Duncan's. "The bloodlust is going to be much harder to control." Her gaze dropped to his throat. "Before you go out on this hunt with me, you need to know that. I might—I might try to drink from you again."

Will you try to f**k me again, too? Because he thought that would be a rather awesome bonus.

“Can you handle that?”

She stared at him with fear in her dark eyes. As if she actually expected him to say that a little bite from her was too much for him to handle. Um, hell, no, it wasn’t too much. “Just so you’re warned, too.” He bent his head over hers. Caught more of that heady scent and didn’t even care if the scent was part of a vampire’s appeal to draw in her victims or if it came from the karahydrelene or if it was just her. “I may want my own bite.”

“No!” Pate’s immediate snap. “That can’t happen!”

He didn’t want to leave Holly but, slowly, Duncan made his way over to his boss. “You got a claim on her?”

“Uh, Duncan…” Holly began, voice rather nervous, from behind him.

Pate glared at him. “Yes, I do.”

He could rip the man apart. The werewolf strength that he’d hated before was an advantage right then. “Forget it. You’re not having her, you can just—”

“She’s my step-sister.”

Duncan managed to keep his jaw off the floor.

“And she’s too good for you. So don’t even think about biting her because she’s not going to be your mate. Not going to be anything to you. You do the mission, and it’s over. You’ve already screwed things up enough for her.” A muscle jerked in Pate’s jaw. “So have I.”

Then Pate marched away, leaving Duncan staring after him. He knew the guy was right, on one count anyway. Holly was too good for him. That was why he’d stayed away from her before the vampire attack. And even though he knew that Pate was right in warning him off, Duncan also knew that he wasn’t about to leave Holly. They’d complete the mission all right, but after that, things would be far from over between them.

Chapter Six

The bar was loud. Bursting with noise. Laughter. Music. The scent of alcohol and sex lingered in the air.

So did the scent of blood.

From the corner of her eye, Holly glanced over at Duncan. They’d followed the signal from Saul’s collar, but, honestly, she thought Duncan could have tracked the guy without it. His senses were seriously amped, and she was pretty sure that those enhanced senses could tell that—

I’m still turned on.

Because she was. No wonder Pate had tried to keep her away from werewolf blood. It was heady. Saul…Saul’s blood had amped up her body. Given her a boost that made her feel incredibly strong.

But Duncan’s blood? It had been like wine. Ecstasy. Her whole body had shuddered from the pleasure of tasting it.

She looked at him now and still wanted.

It was wrong on so many levels. She was on a mission. Her first, ever. This was her chance to show Pate that she could still be an asset, even as a vampire. That he didn’t have to keep hiding her in the lab with the karahydrelene-laced blood right by her side in case she had a meltdown.

This was her shot, but she was about to blow it because she kept lusting over the werewolf to her left.

“Can you control me?”

The quiet question was the last thing she’d expected right then. Her head turned fully toward him. They were across the street from the bar, waiting beneath a broken street light. The darkness surrounded them, and, though she knew he could see perfectly in that darkness, Holly could only see the outline of his body and face.

Vamps didn’t get the sensory kick that werewolves possessed. They got the enhanced strength and mind control bit instead.

“Can you?” Duncan pressed.

“I haven’t,” she said, hedging.

A rough laugh. “That means you could, if you wanted.”

Yes. Maybe. “I should confess something to you.” She’d sounded so confident with Pate because she’d had to sound that way. “I, uh, I’ve never tried to control anyone before.”

A rather painful silence, then, “Run that by me again.” His eyes were shining, like a cat’s, in the dark.

“I’ve only taken blood from you and Saul. The other blood—it came bagged or was given to me via an IV. There were no people there for me to try and control.” Her words tumbled over each other. “Theoretically, I should be able to do this. I mean, it’s something all vamps can do so—”

He swore, grabbed her arm, and pulled her into the nearest alley. Then he pushed her back against the rough brick wall. “Theoretically? Holly, this isn’t some experiment. You go up to that werewolf and you can’t control him, then he’s gonna go right for your heart.”

Or her head. Because one surefire way to kill a vamp? Take off the head.

“I can do this, okay?” Her heart was racing in her chest. His hands had curled around her shoulders and his head—and that sexy mouth of his—waited just inches from hers.

“Prove it.” His hold tightened on her. “You got my blood, and you got his. So if you can control me…”

“Then I can control Saul.” But she shook her head. “I don’t want to do that to you.”

He stared down at her.

“You’ve been through enough lately, ok? It’s just been over thirty-six hours since your change. I know what it’s like to have your life ripped away.” Oh, talk about being able to relate. Now she could finally tell him. “And I’m so sorry this happened to you.” Holly pulled in a deep breath. “That’s why I’m not going to control to you, okay? You don’t need me ripping into your mind, too.”

His hold tightened. He brought his head even closer to hers. “I want you in my mind.”


“If you can’t do it, then you aren’t going into that bar. I’ll call Pate. Tell him to come get you. Tell him the operation is off.”

Then what would happen to her? She’d get shoved back in her lab, and Pate would start forcing her to try his cures again.

“Make me step away from you.” Duncan’s words were a low whisper. Rumbling. Dark. Sexy. “You think that you linked with me when you took my blood? Then make me step back. That’s simple enough, right?”

Yes. But she hated the thought of forcing him to do anything, even something so small, against his will.

“I’m inviting you in, baby. Let’s see what you’ve got.” His body brushed against hers. “Make me stop.”

Then his mouth took hers. Light at first, then harder. His tongue skimmed over her lips. His hand slid down her body, his fingers skirting around the curve of her breast.

A moan rose in her throat.

Make him stop? She’d rather make him strip.

A door slammed then. A car horn honked. Voices drifted toward them.

“Make me,” he said against her lips.

She could feel his c*ck swelling against her. Her body ached but…

Holly pulled her mouth from his. “S-step away from me.”

His whole body tightened.

Then his mouth found hers again as he kissed her harder.

Her heartbeat doubled. He wasn’t supposed to still be kissing her. This wasn’t the way it worked. She’d interviewed vamps at the facility. They’d all said…

Controlling prey is easy. Take the blood. Then just tell them what you want. They can’t resist. The blood is the link. The power.

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