The Wolf Within Page 13

“Tell me!”


That one word sent a shiver through her. She remembered the blonde who’d been led down the stairs just moments before her. “Is your alpha in there?”

Laughter. “You’re…out of your league…little girl.”

She leapt forward. Her fingers wrapped around his throat. “I’m not a little girl.” She bared her fangs. “I’m the woman who can kill you in an instant.” She was itching to use that silver collar on him. Her gaze narrowed as she studied his neck. It was red and bloody—it looked like he’d been trying to claw the collar off.

No dice. Those things had been built to withstand just about anything. Pate had always been so clever with his gadgets.

“I’m asking again…is the alpha in there?”


There was no time to go for Duncan. The woman would be dead in moments. “Stay here,” she told him, knowing he’d have no choice. “And don’t even think of shouting out a warning to the guy.”

The mission was to get Saul. To have him take the agents back to the alpha who was leading the wolves on such a rampage through the human population.

But Holly wasn’t about to leave a woman to die. She couldn’t.

I’ve been there.

So she crept toward that room. Her palms were sweating when she opened the doorknob. The door slid open. A fluorescent bulb flickered overhead. A woman was on a table, her blonde hair trailing around the table’s edge. A man bent over her. His teeth were at her throat.

But he stiffened even as the door creaked open. His head lifted. His eyes—bright, glowing gold—met Holly’s.

“Well, hello, there.” He inhaled deeply and shoved away from the table. “Aren’t you something…sweet.”

Oh, shit. Was that the pick-up line that all the werewolves were going to use? As soon as she was back in her lab, she’d have to find a way to combat that scent.

He stalked toward her. He was big, as tall as Duncan, but with shoulders not quite as wide. His teeth were sharp, and the guy’s claws were definitely out.

“Harold said he’d be sending me some treats, but I had no idea…” he inhaled again, seeming to draw her scent fully into his lungs, “that a vampire was on the menu.”

“I’m not,” she gritted. Then, because she wasn’t an idiot who’d come into this battle unprepared, Holly yanked out the gun that she’d tucked into the back of her shirt. A gun that Pate had given to her before she’d left her apartment. The gun wouldn’t be loaded with wooden bullets—Pate would never risk giving her a weapon that could be used against her. Instead, she knew it would be packing silver.

The werewolf was just a few feet away from her now. No chance that’s she’d miss this shot. “Freeze,” she told him. Technically, she didn’t have a badge because she was the doctor on the team, not an FBI agent, but the wolf didn’t know that. “Don’t take another step,” Holly ordered, “because you’re under arrest.”

He laughed at her. Laughed. Figured. Then he lunged toward her.

Holly’s finger squeezed the trigger as she fired.

Chapter Seven

When he heard the blast of gunfire, Duncan jumped away from the bar. The patrons had frozen, and that gave him the perfect chance to rush right through the crowd.

Unfortunately, the werewolves at the door hadn’t frozen. They’d ripped open that door and were already vanishing down the stairs by the time Duncan made it across the bar. He followed the sound of their thudding footsteps.

Then he heard another shot.


He jumped over ten steps and landed on the bottom floor in a low crouch. The werewolves that he’d followed spun to face him. Duncan bared his teeth. They weren’t getting in his way. No one and nothing would stop him from reaching Holly. The werewolves ran at him, attacking in unison.

Since they were attacking that way, so would he. He swiped out with the claws of his right hand and the claws of his left—catching both of those bastards with his attack. Blood flowed. They howled, then they hit the floor.

He kept running, heart pounding, as he tracked the sound of that gunfire. The rooms were dim, lit only with candlelight, but he didn’t care. He could see perfectly.

He could sure as hell see Saul, standing frozen in the middle of the next room, with eyes wide and fangs glinting.

Duncan lifted his claws, more than ready to rip and tear again—

“Don’t!” Saul yelled. “I’m not a f**kin’ threat!”

The guy had fangs and claws. Like he’d buy that Saul wasn’t about to attack him.

“Your vamp bitch…” Saul gritted out the words, but didn’t so much as take a step forward. “She froze me.”

Duncan didn’t know if the guy was lying or not, so to make absolutely sure that Saul wasn’t gonna be an issue, Duncan slammed his fist into the guy’s jaw as hard as he could. Saul’s eyes rolled back in his head, and he hit the floor.

Duncan could hear the pounding of footsteps overhead. Humans, fleeing, but also…steps coming toward the basement room. Backup? If so, the agents needed to run faster.

He raced toward the room down the hallway. There were no more shots, but that didn’t matter. Now he could smell Holly’s scent, and he knew exactly where she’d be. Hold on, Holly, I’m coming, hold on.

He knocked the door down. Went in with his claws out and a snarl on his lips.

Duncan saw a man on the floor. A man with dark hair and heaving shoulders. The guy’s own claws appeared to be buried in his chest. Blood soaked the front of the man’s shirt.

“I got him,” Holly whispered.

Duncan’s gaze snapped over to her. She stood to the left, about five feet away from the crouching man. She still had her weapon pointed at the guy.

Duncan hurried to her side. “Are you all right?” She didn’t seem to be injured but—

The man’s laughter stopped him. Chilled him. Because the laughter was cold, haunting, and strangely…familiar.

Duncan glanced back at him. The man’s dark head lifted, and his glowing, golden eyes met Duncan’s.

The werewolf’s smile widened. “Hello, brother.”

Duncan stiffened. “I’m not your brother.”

Smoke was rising from the werewolf’s chest. Now he realized why the guy’s claws were in his chest. Holly had been the one shooting, and she’d fired the silver right into the werewolf. Now the fellow was trying to dig the silver out, with his claws.

The werewolf’s head cocked to the right. His gaze swept over Duncan.

Duncan’s own eyes narrowed. That guy…why the hell did he seem so familiar to him? Had they crossed paths before? “You’re the alpha.” Holly’s shoulder brushed against his arm. Duncan wanted to grab her and pull her close, but that move would reveal too much to the predator that watched them with glowing eyes. Eyes that were searching for a weakness.

“So, it seems…” The man flashed fangs. “And so are you, brother.”

That brother shit was getting old.

The werewolf inhaled deeply. His golden stare flickered to Holly. “Guess you got the first taste of her. But I’m sure there’s plenty to go around.”

Duncan lunged forward. In a second’s time, he had his claws at the guy’s throat. Holly was screaming behind him, telling him to back away, that she had this—

No, he had this. Duncan had the fool who thought he’d take what belonged to him.

“It’s the way of the beast,” the werewolf whispered to him. “We don’t like to share what we’ve marked as ours, do we?”

Holly is mine.

The werewolf gave what appeared to be a sad shake of his head. “It’s going to be a problem for you.” Hell. It almost sounded like the psycho werewolf pitied him.

Duncan tightened his hold, ending the guy’s words. “You don’t threaten her. You don’t even look at her.”

Golden eyes stared back at him.

I’ve seen those eyes. He knew the guy’s face. The heavy cheekbones. The sharp nose. The cleft in the guy’s chin.

He stared at the guy and heard echoes of screams. Cries that didn’t come from anywhere but in his own mind. A child’s cries. Begging. Desperate.

Holly’s hands closed around his shoulders, and she jerked him back.

The screams died away as the alpha smirked up at him. Duncan could hear other sounds then. Like the heavy tread of footsteps rushing toward the room.

Then Pate was there. Climbing over the broken door. Shane and Elias were right on his heels. They were all armed, and Duncan knew silver would be loaded in their guns.

“When will they turn those weapons on you?” The alpha asked, raising his brows. “Think they’ll wait until the full moon rises? Or will they put you out of your misery before then?”

A woman moaned then. The blonde in the back. The woman stretched out on a table and currently bleeding.

Was that blood having any impact on Holly? She seemed to be in control.

“I couldn’t let him kill her,” came Holly’s soft voice. “I had to do something to stop him.”

Her “something” had been to shoot the alpha. Nice.

Pate inclined his head toward Shane. The agent hurried across the room and scooped the blonde into his arms. But the blonde began to fight him almost immediately, crying out for “Connor!”

The werewolf’s smile vanished. “We’re done, love. The humans can take you now.”

And just like that, she stopped screaming.

What the hell?

Shane carried her out of the room. Pate and Elias closed in on the alpha called Connor. Pate pulled a second weapon from a holster under his jacket. With one glance, Duncan knew it was the weapon used for dosing paranormals. Not killing, but knocking them out.

“Alpha, you’re under arrest.”

Connor’s bloody claws raked over the dirty floor. “Gonna to send me to Purgatory?” His fangs snapped together. “Gonna toss me in a cage like you’re doing with the rest of my kind?”

Pate fired the weapon. A dart burst from the gun and lodged in Connor’s throat. “Yes.”

“Y-your…mistake…” Connor grabbed the dart and yanked it from his neck. Duncan knew the removal would do no good. The drug was in his system now. “Putting…together…makes us…more dangerous…”

Pate fired again. Guess the guy wasn’t in the mood to take chances. The second shot hit Connor in his already bloody chest. “Once you’re in Purgatory, you won’t be getting out.”

Connor’s gaze—now growing bleary—found Duncan. “N-neither w-will…he…”

Then he crashed forward, slamming into the floor. Out f**king cold.

Daphne and Brent—two other Para Unit agents—hurried into the room. They stood near Elias.

“Make sure he’s secure, Elias,” Pate ordered without taking his gaze off Connor. “I want his transfer to be smooth and fast. Get him to our base and get him caged.”

The base that had been already been under attack by the wolves? The place hadn’t exactly been secure then, and Duncan sure hoped that Pate had stepped things up. The werewolves might try to rescue their alpha. If they did, he didn’t want to walk into another bloodbath.

“The guards have been doubled. We aren’t gonna have any trouble,” Pate said, as if the jerk had just read his mind. But he couldn’t do that. Pate was just human.

At least, Duncan thought he was.

“You didn’t believe we’d have trouble before,” Duncan said. He was suddenly conscious of his collar. The heavy weight. The silver that was burning more than it should in that instance. Because his wolf was trying to come out?

The alpha hadn’t challenged him, other than that a**hole comment about Holly. Shouldn’t the guy have come at him with claws ready to rip him apart? The whole scene just felt wrong to him. What the hell was going on?

Duncan’s eyes swept back to Connor. The unconscious wolf wasn’t giving him any answers.

“Good job, Holly,” Pate said. Duncan looked back as Pate’s hand lifted, and he pulled the gun from her fingers. “But I thought I told you to locate him. To confirm that he was here, then call for backup.”

“There wasn’t time for backup.” She shook her head. Duncan realized she was still staring at the unconscious werewolf. A faint furrow was between her brows. “He was going to kill the blonde.”

“He won’t be killing anyone else,” Pate said, as if making her a promise.

It wasn’t a promise that Duncan was sure the guy could keep.

And just why did Pate still have his gun out?

Pate shifted his position slightly, as if putting his body between Holly and Duncan. No, not as if he were doing it. The guy was damn well trying to separate them.

He was also lifting his gun and pointing it at Duncan. “Is the silver burning you more now?”

“Why are you pointing that at me?” Duncan demanded, not answering the question.

A muscle jerked in Pate’s jaw. “Because your eyes are glowing, and there’s smoke rising from your neck.” His lips tightened. “I didn’t need to ask. It’s obvious the silver is hurting you more. That wolf of yours wants out.”

Because another alpha was close? Or because he’d been so wild at the thought of Holly being hurt?

Maybe it was both. And maybe…maybe it didn’t matter anymore. “Drop the gun.” Or he’d rip it out of Pate’s hands.

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