The Wolf Within Page 15

Connor was rumored to have killed dozens of paranormals and at least eight humans in the Seattle area. All within the last year.

Psychopath? A psychopathic werewolf was a living hell on earth.

“Though I have tried the clawing technique a few times,” Connor added as he glanced down at his hands. “Pity werewolves heal so fast.”

Elias edged away from the cell. “Holly? You coming with me?”

“She stays,” Duncan said immediately. He didn’t want Holly out of his sight. No, more than that. He needed her close.

Wanted her close.

Elias’s gaze darted between them. He and Elias had worked well together just days before, but in that moment, their camaraderie seemed long gone. Maybe it was due to the fear that lingered in Elias’s stare. The hint of terror that he couldn’t quite hide.

He didn’t see Duncan as a man anymore.

“Ten minutes,” Elias finally said, giving a hard nod. “And I’ll…I’ll make sure that no one gets through the door until you’re done.”

Duncan inclined his head. “Thank you.”

Elias’s hands fisted. “It could have been me. It should have been me. You saved my ass, and now look what you’ve become.”

The thing he hated.

Only he didn’t hate the power he could feel coursing through his veins, and even the wolf that lurked within him didn’t seem so foreign now. It was actually as if he’d finally found a part of himself that had been missing.

“I’m sorry,” Elias told him and turned away. “So damn sorry.”

“Don’t be.” The flat words broke from him and caused Elias’s shoulders to stiffen. “We all dig our own graves in this world.” He’d made the decision to jump in front of those wolves. Elias hadn’t forced him to do anything. Neither had Pate. Every decision had been his.

Elias’s footsteps were soft as he left the containment area.

Holly’s breath expelled in a rush when the door shut behind him. “Pate will know we’re here. He’ll see us on the security cameras.”

True enough. “He wants us here.” Why else would Pate have told him where to find the alpha? Pate never said or did anything without a reason.

Holly nodded. “All right then. It’s your show.”

His freak show, yeah. He turned from her and paced toward those bars. Connor stared back at him. Eyes narrowed. The guy should have been looking at him with hate, with fury, hell, maybe even with fear—the way Elias had been doing.

But there was no emotion in those golden eyes.

Time to make some emotion come out. “How do I know you?” Duncan demanded.

Connor shrugged. “Maybe I’ve got one of those faces.” He smiled, but the smile never reached his eyes.

“When I look at you,” Duncan said, standing just inches away from the cell. “I hear screams. A kid crying.” Connor looked like he was close to Duncan’s age. Maybe a bit younger.

“I can’t help what you hear.” But Connor’s smile had slipped a bit. “Can’t help you at all.”

Holly’s footsteps padded closer. “I could…I could make him tell you what you want to know, Duncan.”

Connor’s stare drifted to her. Sharpened. “The vampire. The sweet bite I’d hoped to enjoy.” He inhaled. “Don’t you smell nice, just like honey and—”

Duncan’s hand flew through the cage bars. His claws hung inches from Connor’s throat. “I already warned you about her.”

Emotion finally flashed in those eyes. Rage. “You think you’re gonna mate with a vampire? Think you’ll get all of that power to control?” He shook his head. “Better rethink that. You’ll just make the same f**king mistake he did. And you’ll leave the same bloodbath behind.”

Duncan’s heartbeat drummed in his ears. “Who are you talking about?”

Connor’s gaze searched his. “Maybe you need to get the vamp to bite you. Get her to make you remember.”

Connor was just jerking him around. Duncan yanked his hand back through the bars and barely felt the singe of the silver on his fingers.

“You believe you were the good guy, don’t you?” Connor mocked as he rocked forward onto the balls of his feet. “The human out there, fighting the werewolves. Putting us in cages and sending the worst of the lot to rot in your Purgatory.”

“I was saving humans.” He wouldn’t regret what he’d done. He’d never taken down any paranormal without proof that the man or woman had been killing humans. Never. “I don’t throw innocent paranormals into cages. Every single one I captured was a menace. Someone who had to be stopped.”

Connor’s gaze was on Holly once more. “Are you going to be able to stop him, do you think? When the moon rises and the alpha werewolf really comes out, I don’t even know if someone like you can control him.”

Another one singing the song about him going moon crazy. Sure, it was a fear that Duncan had, but he was tired of everyone throwing it in his face.

“I trust Duncan,” Holly said, voice clear. “He will keep his control.”

Connor shook his head. “You’re a fool. The werewolf in him will come for you because he wants your blood and your body. And he’ll kill anyone who comes between the two of you.” He tapped his chin. “That’s the way for mates, and whether your special agent werewolf wants to admit it or not, he’s marked you as a mate.”

Duncan could feel the glance that Holly cast toward him. He didn’t look at her then, couldn’t. Connor was telling the truth, and there was no point denying it. I want her. “I have ten minutes, and you’re wasting my time.” And not answering his questions. Deliberately, Duncan was sure. “Why do I see you and hear a child begging for help? Screaming my name?”

A muscle jerked in Connor’s jaw. “You don’t know me.”

“I know your face.” He just didn’t know how. “I’ve seen it before.”

Connor shook his head. “Let me guess…in your nightmares?”


“Not all humans can become werewolves,” Connor murmured. “You have to possess the DNA that will let you transform.”

“I don’t want a science lesson!” Duncan snarled. Wasting time, wasting—

“Where do you think the DNA comes from? It’s no random mutation.”

“It’s passed down,” Holly said, her body sliding closer to Duncan’s.

Connor nodded.

“Werewolves and humans…we’re separate, but we can mate. But the half-breeds…they can’t always change,” Connor murmured.

“The genetics are there,” Holly said to Duncan. “They would still pass down…in children, grandchildren.”

Connor’s stare was back on him. “We’re everywhere, you see. The teacher in your school. The cop walking his beat.”


“They’re us, and they don’t know it.” His teeth snapped together. “Not until they get the bite.”

“The bite must activate the dormant DNA.” Holly’s arm brushed his. “That’s why some humans can change and others can’t. Those who can…they’ve got an ancestor who was a werewolf. I should have realized it before. It’s not about mutations—it’s…” Her head turned and her gaze found his. Softer, she finished, “It’s just family.”

Duncan’s hands fisted. His claws were trying to break free. “Werewolves killed my family.”

“Is that what you were told?” Connor asked, words rumbling.

“It’s what I saw.” He glared at the wolf, glared and heard—Help me! Duncan! Duncan! A child’s voice.

His eyes squeezed closed.

“Hearing voices are you? Those screams again?” Connor taunted. “Careful, or even your vamp will start to think you’re going crazy.”

His eyelids flew open. “I. Know. You.”

“And I know you,” Connor fired right back. In that instant, the mask he wore dropped. Rage burned fire-hot in his eyes as his fangs extended. “I know your face. I know your scent. I’ve looked for you…for years. And I found you, hunting me. Hunting our kind!”

“There’s no ‘our kind’ here! Werewolves killed—”

Holly wrapped her arms around Duncan and pulled him back from the cell. “Elias is coming back.”

The thunder of his heartbeat had drowned out the sound of approaching footsteps.

Connor’s cheeks were flushed. His claws out. His chest heaving.

Duncan’s claws were out. His chest heaving.

“Alphas aren’t made,” Connor told him. “We’re born. One generation to the next. Alphas only come from alphas.”

The door was opening behind him.

Duncan didn’t look back. He couldn’t. He remembered what Connor had told him when he’d burst into that basement room, so desperate to reach Holly.

“Hello, brother.”

His eyes swept over Connor’s face. “Have you gotten his DNA?” Duncan asked Holly.

“Yes. A sample was taken when he first came in to the facility.”

They had the best lab in the nation there. With equipment most couldn’t even dream of.

Connor smirked at him. “Figuring it out, are you?”


“The ten minutes are up,” Elias said before Connor could speak. “And I just saw Pate in the hall. He’s coming this way.”

Because Pate would have been listening. He would have realized exactly what or rather, who, Connor was to Duncan.

“It can’t be possible.”

“What? That you were always the monster you hated? Trust me,” Connor growled, “it’s possible. Welcome to my nightmare.”

“I don’t have a brother.” Why dance around this anymore? “Holly will check your DNA against mine, and this BS you’re spilling won’t fly.”

But Connor just stared back at him.

“It won’t. I don’t have a brother.”

Connor lunged forward in an instant. His hands wrapped around the silver bars and smoke rose from his flesh. “Because you let that bastard take me! I begged you to save me. I was four! Fucking four! You were supposed to watch out for me. You were supposed to save me!”

Duncan couldn’t speak.

“You let him take me.” Connor’s gaze slid to Holly. “Now I’ll take everything from you.”

Holly had stiffened beside him.

“The hell you will,” Duncan snarled. No one was taking Holly. No one was hurting her.

“It’s already started,” Connor said, voice lowering. “You don’t even realize it. The moment you were bitten…it was all planned. Your humans? They sold you out. They gave you to me. This time, you’ll be the one to scream and beg. And there will be no one to save you—or her.”

Chapter Eight

They were brothers. Duncan and Connor. She’d done Y Chromosome testing, and the proof was right there for her to see. They shared the same father.

Alphas are born, not made.

Their father had been a werewolf alpha, and now, so were both Duncan and Connor.

The two men also shared the same mother. She’d been lucky enough to get DNA from the ME who’d worked Katrina McGuire’s murder case that had confirmed their link.

“It’s true.” Duncan’s voice. Flat. Cold. And coming from right behind her.

She pressed her hands against the table. Thanks to the high-end equipment that Pate had stocked in her lab, she’d had the results in just a few hours. Hours that Duncan had spent pacing.

She turned toward him. “Same mother. Same father.” A father who’d been a werewolf.

Duncan shook his head. “I don’t remember a brother, I don’t—”

“You remember his screams. Now that you’ve seen him again, you’ll probably start to remember even more.” She walked toward him. Duncan’s body was thick with tension and the room seemed charged with his desperate energy. “You were a kid then, too, you—”

“I was five. I would have remembered him. Not just screams. Him.”

Holly swallowed. “You survived a blood bath. Your mother was slaughtered. You must have been in shock when the authorities found you.”

“And I—what? Just pretended my own brother didn’t exist?”

“You were a child,” she said as she tried to keep her voice soothing. “You can’t blame yourself for something that happened back then.”

“He blames me. He hates me.”

Connor certainly seemed to. “Well, if Pate’s intel on him is right, the guy is psychotic so he probably blames a lot of people for—”

Duncan’s head had snapped up.

I said the wrong thing. Oh, crap.

“He’s slaughtered so many. He’s my blood, that’s what you’re test showed, right? That’s what he told me.” Duncan sucked in a deep breath. “A killer…that’s what he is.”

“But that’s not what you are.” She wanted to shake him—so she did. A hard yank against his shoulders. So much for soothing. “You aren’t him. You haven’t spent years killing. You’re a good agent. A good man. Whatever he is, that isn’t you.”

“But we share blood. A father.” His brows furrowed. “Wait, if my father was a werewolf, was it some kind pack war? Is that what happened? Other wolves came and killed him and my mother?”

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