Most Wanted Page 18

“I need to talk to him,though I don’t know what to believe anymore. I can’t believe Ryan would do something like that. And no matter what you say, Idon’t trust Partland not to have faked the vid and lied about everything. I won’t be separated from Ryan. If Ihave to, I’ll take him to Lycanus. We can start over there, and no one could touch him.”

“Blayde, I’m sure he can be rehabilitated, especially if he was on drugs when this happened. Let the pack help you. You can’t give up your own life.”

“Lucas, he is my life now. I told him once that I would try to rehabilitate him. Try to help him somehow, but if hewon’t trust me, I can’t help him. I don’t know what to do.”

Lucas walked over to put a hand on his shoulder.“I’m sorry, brother. I’ll do anything I can to help you, you know that. You just have to tell me what you need.”

“I don’t know yet. I need to talk to him, to see him. No matter what he’s done, he belongs to me.”

Chapter Six

Ryan was dreaming of the past. He and Blaine were in the hall closet, deep behind the musty-smelling clothes, hiding from Aunt Betty. Blaine was crying, so Ryan wrapped an arm around him. A nervous boy, two cycles younger than Ryan, with thin shoulders, Blaine curved inward when he was trying to hide inside himself, like now. Ryan whispered to him to stop crying, Aunt Betty might be able to hear him. Suddenly the door flew open and Aunt Betty was reaching for them, her cruel fingers pinching and pulling at their scrawny arms.

With a start, Ryan sat up in bed, gasping. It took a moment before he realized where he was so he could try to catch his breath and calm down. His stomach burned and ached, and he rubbed it absently.Something was wrong, but he couldn’t figure out what it was. Blayde would be down to see him soon, he was sure of it. The nightmare had been bad, but it was only a dream, he reminded himself firmly. He heard a noise at the door and his heart leaped in anticipation. Blayde must be coming.

The door swung open and banged against the wall. Nikolai and Kyle stood there looking at him with undeniable disapproval on their faces.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” Ryan had a strange feeling that something was terribly wrong as he looked at the two huge men. Their faces were grim and unsmiling, their posture stiff.“Is it Blayde?” he asked nervously, sudden terror gripping him. “Has something happened to Blayde?” Confused and scared, he jumped to his feet and would have run out the door to find Blayde if Nikolai hadn’t caught his arm and pulled him firmly back.

“We’ll take you to him, Ryan. He’s fine, don’t worry.”

“Then why are you looking at me like that? Something’s going on! Tell me!”

“Calm down,” Kyle said harshly. “He told you we’ll take you to Blayde. Everything will be explained when we get there.”

Ryan looked up at the two men in confusion. Neither of them had ever spoken to him with anything but politeness, even kindness. Now there was a steely coldness fairly radiating off both of them, chilling and frightening him.“I want Blayde!” Ryan cried out, backing away from them.“I won’t leave with you until he says so.”

Nikolai thinned his lips and stepped closer to him.“I don’t want to hurt you, Ryan. Just come with us peacefully, and I won’t have to touch you. You know Blayde wouldn’t like it.”

It was true—Ryan knew that Blayde had acted with alarm and anger whenever either of his cousins had put their hands on him. He nodded his head slowly and took a deep breath. He walked slowly over to them and followed their gestures to precede them to the door.“Blayde’s waiting for you just outside beyond the corridor, Ryan.Go to him.”

The second he hit the door, the men in the other cells started up their catcalls, but he didn’t feel as full of bravado without Blayde behind him, so he kept his head down and didn’t respond to their hoots and whistles. Nikolai stepped to the door and gestured toward the far door opening to the corridor.“Go ahead. Go to the door.”

Ryan’s need for Blayde was more like a hunger now, and he heard himself whining softly. He’d never heard himself make a sound like that before. The pains in his stomach were worsening, and he was getting more and more afraid, but he stood up straight and tried to make himself stop making the whining noise. Something was wrong. He could feel it. One of the men, Scarface, he thought, yelled what sounded like a warning to him. He turned and looked behind him and saw that both Kyle and Nikolai had their guns leveled at him. Shocked, he turned and tried to run to the door. He had to get to Blayde.

The men in the cells were screaming, and he felt something hit him hard in the back. He fell to his knees, but kept crawling toward the door. Something slammed into him again, this time on the back of his head, and the floor came up to strike him in the face. He wasn’t quite unconscious, still vaguely aware that Nikolai and Kyle had come up and taken him under each arm and were dragging him out the door. He couldn’t move or quite get his eyes to focus, but he could hear everything around him. They took him out in the corridor and hoisted him up over a shoulder. Not supposed to touch me, Ryan thought. Blayde will be so angry.

He drifted in and out of consciousness for a long time, aware only of movement. He heard someone shouting, “Give him to me!” and then he was lying somewhere soft and safe. It was okay. He could relax now, he thought, and drifted down to sleep.

He awoke maybe a few minutes later and slowly looked around himself. He couldn’t seem to move, but he was mostly awake, except for the fact he couldn’t get his eyes to open more than a slit. He tried harder and got them open just a little more. He was lying on a leather lounge in a big room. There was a huge window in front of him, showing open space, with screens and complicated looking navigational devices around the room. Blayde was sitting beside him, arguing loudly with Nikolai and Kyle.

“Did you have to shoot him twice? I swearI’ll kill both of you if anything happens to him.” Another man, Lucas, Ryan thought, spoke from outside his range of vision. Ryan still couldn’t move his head, and remembered the two shots that had been fired at him. Must have been from stun guns, he thought tiredly. They had a paralytic effect. Ryan decided to stay still and listen to see if he could figure out what was going on.He concentrated on Lucas’ voice again.

“… will be all right in a few minutes. His pulse is already stronger, and I think I saw his eyes twitching a few seconds ago.”

Ryan felt Blayde’s lips on his face, kissing him all over.“I’m here, baby. Wake up and look at me.”

Ryan opened his eyes and looked into Blayde’s beautiful sherry-colored ones. He was very close, his face right up next to his.“Hello, sweetheart. Can you speak to me? Blink once for yes and twice for no.”

Ryan slowly blinked twice and Blayde ran his hand along his cheek.“It will wear off in a few more minutes, sweetheart.Just hold on.” Ryan felt himself being gathered up in Blayde’s arms and Blayde sat down with him in his lap, gazing down at him.“Nik and Kyle shot you with a stun gun to make the other prisoners think they’d killed you. It’s over now, sweetheart.I’ll take you back home to Lycanus3.”

Ryan nodded ever so slightly, and Blayde smiled down at him. He heard Lucas issuing orders next to him.“See to it the other prisoners see the so-called body disposal on the closed circuit monitors.Do you have the fake body ready to dispose of?”

“Yes, Alpha.How does this look?”

Ryan could just turn his head enough to see Kyle hold up what looked like a couple of long duffle bags, wrapped in a black, plastic cloth, tied at what could have been the neck, the waist and the feet of a body. It did look remarkably like a body from a distance. Kyle carried the bundle over to disposal chute and then stepped back. He stood at a parade rest stance and Lucas turned on the camera.

“Prisoners,” Kyle said. “These are the remains of Ryan Henderson, who unfortunately died of his injuries after trying to escape. We will now dispose of his body, and may the gods have mercy on his soul.”

He touched a button and the bundle shot out into open space. Ryan felt a chill go through him and Blayde pulled him closer to his body, cradling his face against his chest. Lucas turned off the camera and came over to sit beside Blayde. Kyle and Nikolai drew near also. Ryan began to feel very intimidated as they all stared at him, but he found he could move again, and struggled to sit up in Blayde’s lap.

Blayde allowed him to sit up and moved so that he could sit next to him on the lounge, keeping a hand at his back for support.

Ryan found his voice and it came out hoarse and full of anger.“Why didn’t you warn me what was going to happen?You scared me to death.”

“We wanted you to look scared,” Kyle said. “Made it look more realistic.”

“I’m an actor, asshole. I could have played the part.”

Kyle took a step forward in anger but Nikolai pushed him back.“Don’t do it, Kyle. Blayde would defend him and one of you will wind up dead.He’s not worth it.”

Stung, Ryan looked sharply at Nikolai.He’d thought they were becoming friends. Blayde’s jaw tightened at the words, but he kept quiet. Ryan looked around at the Lycans in confusion. “What is it? What have I done?”

“You mean besides lying through your teeth to our cousin? Involving him in your schemes and risking his safety?” Kyle stared down at him, a look of disgust on his face.

“Ryan,” Lucas said quietly. “We only want to help you. We know you’re Blayde’s mate and he loves you very much.You’re a part of our pack now,” he looked at Kyle and Nikolai, “and it would be appropriate for everyone to remember that. But we have some new information that is troubling to us.”

Blayde spoke up.“Ryan, we know what really happened that night in the judge’s hotel room.We’ve seen the vid of you killing that boy, smashing his head down on the marble floor. It’s no use lying anymore.”

Ryan flushed painfully.“It’s not how it looks, Blayde. Let me explain.”

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