The Wolf Within Page 9


She heard a creak then. Very soft. Too close. The creak had come from her bedroom.

Fingers trembling, she pushed open the shower door and grabbed for her towel.

“Hello, sweets.” A drawling, dark voice.

Her head snapped up.

Saul stood in the doorway of her bathroom. He inhaled deeply. “Followed that sweet smell all over town…” He took a step closer. His gaze drifted over her. “And straight back home to you.”

Oh, hell. She’d been so worried about tracking Duncan that she hadn’t even thought about Saul coming after her.

He snapped his teeth together. “That smell tempted me for weeks. Fuckin’ weeks.Didn’t even realize you were the one sending out that sweet scent, not until you came into containment. And now I’ve just got to take a bite.”

The collar was around his neck. But the remote, hell, the backup remote she’d swiped on her way out of the lab was in her bedroom. In the nightstand drawer. Completely and totally useless to her at that moment.

Her hands were clutching the towel over her body. But it was weak protection. What she needed was a serious weapon.

Saul licked his lips. “Maybe I’ll f**k you and rip your throat out, all at the same time…”

Oh, yes, Pate had made a real brilliant move in letting this psycho out of his cage. Brilliant.

She swallowed—four times—and managed to choke down her fear enough to say, “That alarm—it will go feed back to the agency. P-Pate wired it. Agents will be here—”

He laughed. “I’m not as dumb as you think.” He was totally blocking the doorway. And his claws were out. “I cut the wires leading away from this apartment. The alarm might be screaming in here…”

It was. Just like she was screaming in her mind.

“But no signal is getting out.” He smiled at her, flashing his fangs. “No one’s coming to save you. It’s just you and me, sweets. You…” He leapt toward her and yanked the towel away. His claws sliced down her arm. “And me.”

She didn’t cry out at the pain. He wanted her to scream and beg. She could see it in his eyes. “You don’t want to…do this.”

He brought his mouth close to her neck. “I want nothing more. Your scent was in the air, did you know that? In the f**kin’ ventilation. I smelled you all those days.” His teeth raked over her skin.

She shuddered. Stay strong. Focus.

“Why do you smell so good?”

He hadn’t changed into a wolf. That meant she had the advantage. His mistake. “You want to know why?” Her fingers lifted and pressed lightly against his shoulders. “Because I’m not human.” Because she had a brew of drugs in her body that had tried to make her some weird mix of human and vampire. The drugs had the side effect of sending out that sweet smell. Vampires always smelled good, that was just one of the ways that they lured in their prey. But her scent had been amplified by the drugs. A bad side effect that she’d try to fix.

“What are you?” Saul demanded.

Instead of answering, she shoved him back, as hard as she could. He flew through the air, rammed through the doorway, and sent chunks of wood shooting up around him. She ran out after him. She wasn’t sure how her strength would stack up against him, but she’d get the collar’s remote and totally disable him—

He was already back on his feet. And between her and the nightstand.

Then he started to laugh. “Aren’t you…full of surprises?”

Her breath was panting out. Her heart racing too fast.

And she was na**d. Dammit, na**d, in front of that psycho.

Her gaze darted to the nightstand.

“Ah…looking for this, are you?” He lifted the remote from his pocket.


“Why don’t you come and get it?”

Fine. She would. Time to see who was stronger…the beast or, well, me.

Holly pushed back her shoulders. Lifted her chin. Then bared her own fangs.

Saul’s eyes widened.

“You should have stayed away,” she told him.

He smiled at her. And crushed the remote in his hand.

Oh, hell. Holly swallowed, choking back her fear, then she attacked.

Holly raced across the room. This wasn’t about testing herself. This was survival. Kill or be killed.

His claws sliced across her stomach. More blood flowed from her.

No more.

She grabbed his hands. Held them tight. Then her mouth went for his throat.

Bite. Bite. Bite.

The temptation that was always in her mind. Only this time, she wasn’t resisting temptation.

“You f**kin’ bitch, I’ll slice you open, screw you while you bleed—”

It was his turn to bleed. Her teeth sank into his throat. His blood trickled over her tongue.

He howled then. A loud, inhuman sound. He tried to shove her off him. They wound up both falling to the floor. She held on tight, not about to let him go. She couldn’t let him go.

His blood was in her mouth. Werewolf blood. Powerful. Heady. The rumors she’d heard were true. She could already feel his blood making her even stronger.

He rolled, twisted, and came down on top of her. She kicked out at him, even as she kept her teeth in his throat.

He yanked his hands free from her grip. “Should have known…should have known…” His hands closed around her head, and he shoved her skull back against the floor. “I know what you are.”

Good for him. She knew what he was, too.

He lifted one hand. His claws glinted. “I know what you are…so that means I know how to kill you.”


And, right then, her alarm stopped its wild shriek.

He smiled. “Ready to die?”

Again? “No.” Her chin lifted. “Are you?”

Chapter Five

He followed Saul’s scent—sweat, animal, fear—back to a small building on the outskirts of the city. From the outside, the place looked like an old fire station. One that someone had converted into a house?

He inhaled deeply. Saul had sent him on wild hunt. Racing in and out of buildings, in alleys, through a tangled maze that had led through the city…

And back here.

His nostrils flared as he pulled in the scents around him. The musky scent of Saul and—


Fuck, no. He ran for the building, his heart pounding frantically in his chest and his claws bursting from his fingertips. He lifted his foot to kick in the door, but saw that someone had already beaten him to that chore—the door’s lock was broken. Shattered. He shoved the door open and rushed inside. The bottom floor was empty, but he could hear sounds coming from upstairs. He flew up those stairs, four at a time. Turned to the left—

And saw Saul, on the floor, on top of a na**d Holly. She was bleeding. Saul’s claws here out. He was trying to swipe at her.

Duncan roared.

Saul’s head whipped up. His eyes locked on Duncan, then those eyes widened in horror. Before Saul could leap to his feet, Duncan had him. His hands locked around Saul’s shoulders, and he yanked the shifter away from Holly. Then he slung the bastard against the nearest wall. The whole building seemed to shudder at that impact.

“Duncan!” Holly’s voice was shocked, scared, and angry as she called his name. He turned back toward her. Pale flesh. Wide eyes. She was trying to cover her br**sts with one arm and cover the juncture of her thighs with the other even as she bled from the gashes in her side and on her arm.

He reached for her.

And felt claws drive into his back.

“No!” Horror was the only thing he saw in Holly’s eyes then.

The hands that had been reaching for her balled into fists. “Run.” He could barely manage to get the word out.

She shook her head, sending her wet hair flying over her shoulders.


He spun back around and grabbed Saul’s hand. With one twist, he broke the bastard’s wrist. Payback, you SOB. Then he grabbed Saul’s other hand and broke that wrist, too.

Saul staggered back. Then he hit the floor. Fur burst along his skin as his bones snapped.

Saul was shifting, and…so am I.

The white-hot agony ripped through Duncan. Speech was impossible. He could only snarl and growl as his body reshaped. His muscles tore, his tendons stretched. When his hands hit the floor, they almost instantly became paws. Power beat through him. Power…and bloodlust.

He attacked what is mine.


Duncan went for the other wolf’s throat. His paws slammed into Saul’s side, and his teeth snapped at the bastard’s neck.

But Saul’s claws drove into Duncan’s side. Sliced deep. The pain just made him angrier. Duncan attacked with his own claws. Blood matted Saul’s pale coat of fur.

“Duncan?” Holly’s quiet voice.


He sank his teeth into Saul’s neck.

“Duncan, we need him alive!”

No, they needed him to die. Because he’d hurt Holly. Not once—

Holly’s arms wrapped round Duncan. “Please.”

His whole body vibrated, but he hesitated, barely managing to hold back from taking the other wolf’s life.

That hesitation was all that Saul needed. He staggered away from Duncan and ran for the big, bedroom window. The glass shattered as he jumped right through it, leaping out and falling to the street below.

Duncan jerked away from Holly and ran to the window. He stared below, snarling, as he watched the white wolf streak away.

“I don’t have any close neighbors,” Holly said quietly from behind him, “so I don’t have to explain to anyone why a wolf just jumped out of my second story window.”

He glanced back at her. The rage still burned within him, and he wanted to follow Saul but—

Can’t leave her.

It wasn’t just the wolf’s instinct to protect. It was the man’s, too.

Only she wouldn’t be seeing him as a man then. Just as a beast. He turned toward the window once more.

“Don’t leave me,” she whispered.

His muscles trembled. Didn’t she understand? If he stayed—


She broke him.

He whirled toward her. Fought to pull the man back to the forefront and shed the body of the beast. He wondered if the pain of the shift would become easier to bear, or if it would always feel like he was being ripped apart.

But the pain, it didn’t last. In moments, he was one the floor, body trembling, hands and knees pressing against the hard wood of her bedroom.


His head lifted as the floor creaked beneath her footsteps. She’d grabbed some kind of robe and wrapped around her body. Her blood had stained the side of the robe.

He still wanted to rip Saul apart.

“It’s okay.” She kept talking softly and held out her hand, as if to a wild beast.

Oh, yeah, right. That’d be me.

“Are you…in control?” Holly asked quietly.

He was still on the floor. He should be on his feet, helping her. She was wounded. She needed care and attention.

But he didn’t move because he wasn’t sure of himself. He gave her the truth, simply saying, “No.” Rumbling. Deep.

Her eyes widened.

He’d told her to run before. Why hadn’t she listened to him? Saul hadn’t been the only threat to her.

“I’m okay,” she told him. Still in that whole let’s-tame-the-beast voice. Only she didn’t seem to get that the beast wasn’t in the mood to be tamed.

Then she lifted her robe, revealing the curve of her thigh, the dip of her stomach. “See…all healed.”

There were no wounds on her, nothing to blemish that smooth skin. How the hell was that even possible?

But…screw the hows…her legs were long and perfect. He could see the curve of her breast. She was trying to pull the robe back but—

Want to see.

In an instant, he was on his feet. His hands were on her, reaching for that robe.


“I told you…run…” She could still get away. He was as much of a monster as Saul and—

Holly shook her head. Her eyes seemed to see into him. “I don’t want to run from you.”

His breath was coming too hard. His heart racing too fast. His c*ck aching too much. He stood before her, na**d because his clothes had shredded with the shift, and there was no hiding his arousal.

She wasn’t pulling away. Wasn’t pushing against him.

She was reaching up. Standing on her tip toes. Kissing him.

The woman had just sealed her fate.

You should have run. Now there won’t be any escape.

She tried to make the kiss soft and gentle. Not happening. He was on fire for her. Needed her more than air. So his hold was too rough, his hands almost shaking as he lifted her up against him and plundered her mouth. His tongue thrust past her lips. He tasted.

Yes. She tasted as sweet as she smelled. His mouth pressed harder against hers, and he stumbled forward with her.

They fell onto the bed.

His hands pushed between them. He didn’t take his mouth from hers. Couldn’t. He kept kissing her. And he ripped her robe. It tore beneath his claws.


He still had claws. Hell, no, he couldn’t hurt her. He yanked his mouth from hers. Tried to pull away from her.

“You can’t leave me now,” she said and pulled him back.

Duncan shook his head. His control was razor thin, and she didn’t understand how dangerous he was. “I’ll…hurt…”

It was all he could manage. He kissed her again. Drove his tongue past her lips.

No. Pull away. Get away.

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