The Wolf Within Page 12

They’d laughed about how easy it was to control humans.

Only…oh, crap, she wasn’t trying to control a human. She was dealing with a werewolf. Maybe she couldn’t control him through a compulsion.

He still had on his silver collar. Pate had given her another remote and had made sure it was tuned to be able to control both Saul and Duncan.

But she didn’t want to use the silver to control them.

His mouth lifted from hers. “Do you know…” Duncan growled against her lips, “that I want to bite you?”

Vampires weren’t the only ones who liked to bite.

“So what’s to stop me?” he murmured. His fingertips were suddenly at her throat. Trailing lightly over skin. No, not just his fingertips. She could feel the light scratch of his claws.

“There’s no one here. Just us. No other agents. No Pate.” The last was said with a touch of anger. “I can bite you. I can claim you. And you can’t stop me.”

What could have been a lick of fear shot through her. But, no, this was Duncan. He wouldn’t do anything to her.

Would he?

“S-stop,” she said.

“Make me,” he ordered her again.

His body seemed harder. Stronger. He wasn’t shifting—oh, he’d better not be shifting.

“Duncan?” Yes, okay, fear had the word trembling.

“When a werewolf bites his chosen mate,” and his fingers were on the side of her neck, “it’s a mark that tells all the other wolves to stay the hell away. A mark that says…mine.”

She knew how the wolf rules went. She’d done the paranormal classes that the agents took, too.

“I look at you,” his words were deeper, darker. “And think…mine.”

“You’re trying to s-scare me.” Trying. Succeeding.

“No. I’m telling you what is.” His head lowered to her neck. His teeth skimmed over her frantically racing pulse. “You won’t get away from me.”

She didn’t think it was the man who spoke the words, but the beast he’d become. The wolf inside that thought in primitive terms of possession and claiming.

Holly lifted her hands and tried to shove him back. “Stop.” He couldn’t claim her. A werewolf claiming was forever. Or rather, until death. Because werewolves had been known to kill their mates instead of letting them escape.

“Make me,”he snarled.

His hold was so much tighter. Harder. His h*ps were pressing against hers, and she could feel the light sting of his teeth on her neck.

The situation was out of control. He was out of control. They were supposed to be working together. Getting Saul.


His head lifted. His eyes stared down at hers. They were glowing—the gold and blue so bright. Far more beast than man. In that instant, she knew that he wasn’t stopping. Not unless she made him.

Her wild heartbeat shook her chest. She stared into his eyes. Felt fear and adrenaline heat her blood. “Let me go.” Her words didn’t shake. They just came from her, whispered softly.

His jaw clenched.

“Step away from me.” Her heart raced faster. Adrenaline had her fingers trembling as she pushed against his chest. “And get your hands off me.”

His teeth snapped together. And he backed away.

“Get control of your beast,” she said, flattening her hands against the wall behind her. “Get that control now.”

His shoulders rolled. His claws turned back into regular nails, and the wildness faded from his eyes.

They stared at each other, breath heaving.

I did it. But, just to be sure, she blurted, “Tell me you love me.”

“I love you,” he said instantly.

And her heart hurt. “Right.” Softer. She nodded. “I think that ends our little experiment, doesn’t it?”

He blinked. His eyes were still feverishly bright, shining in the night.

“I guess I just had to be scared enough.” Her head tipped back against the bricks as she stared up at the dark sky. “That was the purpose of that little scene, right? You were trying to scare me into losing control so I’d be able to use the vamp power?” Maybe that had been the key. He’d made her shake with fear for a moment there, but, it had worked. When she’d only had fear left, there had been no holding back. She’d felt as if something unlocked within her.


She realized that he hadn’t spoken.

Her gaze darted to him. “Duncan?”

He shook his head. “I wasn’t trying to scare you.”

Uh, oh. All of the moisture seemed to dry up in her mouth.

“I wanted to take you.” He backed up another step. “Consider yourself warned.”


He turned away from her. “At least you know how to stop me now.”

He’d really been ordering her to stop him. Ordering…or begging? The words had been so rough. Had the man been fighting the beast? Trying to hang on? She reached out for him.

But he stepped farther away.

“No touching,” he growled. “When I touch you, I want.”

The blood link that she’d created? Or something more? Vampires were addictive to their prey, but she didn’t just want to be some addiction to him.

I love you.

She wanted to be something more.

“Let’s do this.” He headed toward the mouth of the alley.


He stiffened but didn’t glance back. She forced herself away from the bricks. “Let me take off your collar.” Pate had wanted him to keep wearing it. Because Pate didn’t trust Duncan’s animal instincts.

“That’s not a good idea,” Duncan said.

“You’re not going to attack any human, you’re not—”

“I almost attacked you right then. And with the full moon coming…” She saw his hands clench. “It’s a risk I can’t take.”

Because of his family. She knew what had happened to them. The slaughter by werewolves that had left a five-year-old boy covered in blood and orphaned in the world.

He’d learned monsters were real at such an early age. Too early.

She hadn’t learned that lesson until she’d stepped into Pate’s world.

“I keep the collar.” It rode low on his neck. “And you keep the remote.” His head turned and his gaze met hers once more. “And if I ever go for your throat or your heart and you can’t pull me back with a vampire compulsion, you don’t f**king hesitate to burn me.”

She could only stare at him in shock.

“Promise me,” he demanded.

She nodded, but she couldn’t bring herself to speak. Because she didn’t want to lie to him.

Then they were heading toward the bar. Toward the laughter and the noise on the wrong side of the city. A battle waited for them, and this time, she would fight.

And not be the same victim that she’d been a year ago.

Because just a few blocks away, well, Holly had died in a spot there. In a pool of blood. With a vampire standing over her and with her brother screaming her name.


The bar reeked of blood and death. Humans were inside, dancing, seemingly oblivious to the smell.

But Duncan wasn’t human, not anymore. His nostrils widened as he pulled in the heavy scent that came primarily from the door on the far left. The door marked Private.

The door was guarded by two men he pegged instantly as werewolves.

“What’s happening in that room?” Holly whispered from beside him as her fingers curled around his arm.

He tried not to stiffen at her touch. He was too aware of her. Of every single thing that she did. Vampires were addictive, that was the spiel, right? Maybe that was why he had a constant hard-on and all he could think about was plunging into her again.

Mission. Focus on the mission. He didn’t even know what in the hell had happened in that alley. One minute, he’d been trying to get her to use a compulsion on him. Going out on a mission without even a test run—what had Pate been thinking? And then in the next instant, he’d just wanted to mark her. To let any other wolf know that Holly belonged to him.

Because other werewolves would want her. Especially once they got a whiff of her scent.

The old stories humans told about vampires and werewolves being enemies…those stories were wrong. Vampires and werewolves were often drawn together. One’s strength was another’s weakness. Together they were damn near unstoppable. So, hell, yes, another werewolf would want her.

He wasn’t going to let anyone have her.

A blonde woman, laughing, drunk, was led to the Private door. The werewolves moved out of her way. Staggering a bit, she headed into the “Private” area. Her escort—a redhead with piercings circling his left ear—left her quickly.

The door closed behind her. The werewolves resumed their guarding position.

Duncan’s eyes narrowed. The redhead started scanning the room once more. Looking for new prey.

“We need to get in that room,” Duncan said.

“I figured that would be your answer.” She sighed, then said, “All that blood…the humans they take in, they don’t come back out, do they?”


She pulled her hand away from him. “I’ll get in. If Saul is down there—”

“He is.”

“Then I’ll get him to come back out.”

Before he could stop her, she was sauntering across the room. The jeans she wore clung to her ass, and his gaze sure wasn’t the only one to notice just how good she looked.

The redhead’s stare locked on her.

He smiled.

Touch her, and I’ll break every bone you have.

The beast was getting stronger within Duncan. So much more dangerous. Was it because the full moon was drawing ever closer? Or because he was destined to be one of those psychotic wolves that lived for blood and death?

The redhead had walked up to Holly. Gotten far too close to her. Duncan headed toward them. Even over the drone of voices, he could hear the redhead say, “You’re new here, aren’t you?”

“I heard it was a good place to party,” Holly replied.

The redhead steered her toward the bar. Motioned to the bartender. “And do you like to party?”

“I like to get wild.”

When had her voice become so throaty? Where was the shy doctor he knew and lusted after?

This was the vamp. Sexy. And taking too many risks.

The redhead was seriously leaning too close to her as the guy tried to give her a drink. “There’s a real wild party downstairs.”

Duncan caught the flash of her smile. “I didn’t even know this place had a lower level.”

“Um, yes, it’s for VIPs.” The redhead trailed his fingers over her shoulder. “I think you count as someone very important tonight.” He lifted the drink toward her mouth. “Here, have some…”

The dick was shoving the drink down her throat. And Holly was what—just taking it? The woman had to be smarter than that!

And he realized that she wasn’t actually drinking the dark red liquid. Her head turned a bit as her gaze met his.

Then she pushed the glass away. “Take me to the party,” she told the redhead.

Huh. For her first mission, the lady was doing damn well.

Vamp power? Or just sex appeal? Either way, it was working.

The redhead was leading her toward the door. She had her entrance pass. Now for his turn. Because he wasn’t about to let her go in alone.

The werewolves moved back for her, but Duncan saw them inhale deeply and frown at her. Hell. Her scent could blow things for them—

But then she vanished down the stairs.

The redhead immediately eased back. Started searching again.

Duncan kept his eyes on that door. His whole focus centered on the two guards there. If Holly wasn’t back upstairs in three minutes, he would be going inside after her.

Three minutes.

He started to count.


The wooden stairs creaked beneath her feet. Holly’s fingers slid over the wobbly railing, feeling the rough wood press against her skin. More music was coming from below. Pumping, hard music. She could hear women moaning.

The scent of blood was getting thicker.

Some party, all right.

Darkness waited at the foot of the stairs.

She headed into that darkness.

And was immediately grabbed by strong arms.

“I knew you’d come for me.” The voice was familiar. Growling.


He yanked her with him, pulling her through the darkness. She saw the flickering flames of candles burning. And…in that faint light, she saw a woman’s broken body on the ground. Her neck had been ripped open. Blood pooled around her.

“The bitch reminded me of you,” Saul said. His breath was hot against her throat. “I had to bite.”

Fear shot her, and it was that wild, desperate fear that she needed. She twisted and put her hands on his chest. Stared into his hate-filled, wild eyes, and said, “Drop your claws.” The claws that he’d dug into her sides.

He blinked. His teeth snapped together.

“Drop your claws!”

His claws fell to his sides. His body tensed, as if he were straining, and she knew he was trying to fight her compulsion.

“Now don’t move. Not so much as a single step, understand me?”

He didn’t move. Didn’t reply. Didn’t blink.

She figured he’d understood her.

Her gaze flew around that area. There was another door to the right. The faint moans were coming from inside that room. “What’s happening in there?”

He didn’t speak.

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