The Wolf Within Page 26

Her lips began to lift in a small smile.

“Uh…we’ve got an island full of blood-thirsty monsters. A prison gone wild. Get your horny hands off my sister and follow orders, McGuire.”

Duncan spared a glance for Pate. “When this is over, I’m marrying her.”

Pate raised one brow. “When this is over, you’d damn well better.”


“Did he tell you who was helping him?” Pate asked as his eyes cut to Ian’s prone body.

“No.” There hadn’t been time to force answers. Only time to live or die. “We just know that he’s in the FBI, someone high up, and that he’s a werewolf.”

Pate’s eyelashes flickered. “That’s more than enough.”

“You know who the bastard is?”

“No, but I know how to trap him now, and for the moment, that’s good enough.”

There was no more time for talk then. They could hear voices crying out in pain and screaming for help. They ran out, heading to fight, and Duncan looked back just once before he followed Pate.

Holly was beside Connor. Helping him lie down on a gurney.

Saving his brother.

Just as she’d saved him.


She stitched up the humans and the werewolves. Gave bagged blood to the vampires who needed it in order to survive.

Two men died. Humans. Guards who just didn’t wake up from whatever gas Ian had sent pumping through the ventilation.

Five other guards were caught—all wearing gas masks—as they tried to leave the prison.

Now they were the prisoners. Held in a cell just beyond the infirmary.

“Bite them,” the order came from Pate, but it wasn’t an order he gave to her. Holly glanced up and saw Shane closing in on the men. “Make them tell us everything they know.”

Holly eased out a slow breath. Compulsion. Pate wasn’t going to stop until he had his answers.

He glanced over at her. His eyes narrowed on her face. “Don’t.”

“Don’t what?” She tossed away her bloody gloves. All the patients had been tended to. Or at least, she’d done what she could. More guards had been flown in on choppers, more doctors, too.

Things were under control in Purgatory, for the most part.

“Don’t look at me like I’m a stranger,” Pate said. There actually seemed to be pain whispering in his voice.

She realized that was exactly the way she’d seen him. “I don’t know you anymore.”

He turned and caught her hands. Behind him, she saw Shane enter the cell with the guards.

Pate said, “I never wanted to risk you, not in any way.”

“But you’d risk Duncan?” Because he had.

“I had a job to do. More lives that you can guess were depending on me.”

“That doesn’t make Duncan expendable.”

Pate shook his head. “No.”

“Were you setting him up all along, just so that he’d be strong enough to fight whoever was waiting in this prison?”

Pate searched her eyes. “He wanted you. I saw it in his eyes the first time he looked at you.”

That wasn’t an answer to her question.

The infirmary doors squeaked open behind her. Duncan. She knew it was him without even looking. She could smell him. Feel him.

“You wanted him, I saw that, too, but you weren’t going to risk being with a human. You thought you were too dangerous.”

Her hands clenched within his grip.

“I knew what potential Duncan had inside of him, and I knew that if he was going to be with my sister, then he’d have to be strong enough to protect her.”

She didn’t want to hear this. She’d asked but—

“I made him strong enough.”

Insane. Cold-blooded.

Pate’s eyes cut over her shoulder. “You’re welcome, McGuire. Don’t worry, you can thank me later.”

Pate began to stalk past them.

Holly’s hand flew out. She grabbed Pate’s arm. “You owe him.”

He shrugged. “I owe a lot of people.”

“You owe him, and you’re gonna pay.” Even if she had to make him do it.

“And just what payment is it that I owe?”

“Let his brother go.”

“What?” Duncan and Pate said at the same time.

Then Pate shook his head. “That man is a killer. There’s no way he’s leaving this island.”

Duncan had fallen silent once more.

“What if he’s not a killer? What if he’s not the man you think at all?” Because she’d seen a different side of Connor. He’d been in the infirmary, and he’d helped her work on the prisoners. He wasn’t a cold-blooded killer, she was sure of it. “Check him out. Dig deeper. Find out the truth about him. If he’s not the man you think, then let him go.”

Pate stared down at her. A tense moment passed, then, “You know I’d do anything for you.”

Even force her lover to become more than human? Yes, she was getting that idea. That terrifying, horrible idea.

Pate nodded grimly. “I’ll dig deeper. Shane can compel or you can or—”

“I can,” Duncan growled. “I’ll be the one to find out my brother’s secrets.”

“Fine.” Pate exhaled on a rough sigh. “If he isn’t the killer we think, he’ll go free. You have my word.”

Then Pate was walking away. Holly reached for Duncan’s hand.

“Oh, Duncan, just so you know…”

Pate had stopped near the guards’ cell. Shane was inside. The guards weren’t moving.

Duncan frowned at him.

“I was bullshitting before. Getting you amped before the battle. I do know your weakness, and I’m not talking about the desperate need you seem to have for my sister.” Pate glanced back at him. “If you ever hurt her, I’ll make everything that’s passed before this moment seem like a f**king cake walk for you. Got me?”

Duncan’s fingers twined with Holly’s. “I got you.” He didn’t sound scared, though.

Pate grunted and entered the cell.

Duncan’s attention turned back to Holly. “I got you,” he said again, the words softer.

They were in a prison for paranormals. She was a vampire. He was, well, alpha, but she’d never been happier than she was in that moment. “You won’t ever hurt me,” she said, absolutely sure of that.

“No, I won’t.” His lips feathered over hers. “I’ll just love you, for the rest of my life.”

He kissed her again, then he was pulling her from the infirmary. More federal agents were there. She knew that Pate had hand-picked all of those agents. She and Duncan passed them all, went outside, out into the darkness that waited.

But the darkness could be beautiful. She’d learned that fact. And monsters…

They weren’t all evil.

In fact, some of the monsters were actually heroes.

They climbed onto the boat. A boat that would take them away from Purgatory.

We’ll get you out, too, Connor.

She knew they would, just as she knew her instincts about Connor weren’t wrong. The mission wasn’t over, not completely, not yet.

But they’d keep working until Connor was free, and until the werewolf working against the Para Units had been stopped.

The boat cut through the dark water.

Duncan pulled her close. “I love you,” he whispered.

She’d never get tired of hearing those words from him, and, since they both now had unnaturally long life spans ahead of them, she figured she’d be hearing those wonderful words plenty of times.

She’d died, lost her humanity, but found it again—with him.

She’d found hope. She’d found love.

She’d found her alpha. A man with a wild side that she adored.

Howls drifted on the wind behind them, and his arms tightened around her. Before them, the night seemed to stretch endlessly.

There was nothing for them to fear in the dark.

Holly smiled and knew that her fangs would flash in the night.


Pate stared at the werewolf and vampire who sat across from him. The werewolf was sweating. Only to be expected. This would be his first mission and his first chance to start earning some redemption.

“You understand the mission?” Pate asked carefully. Someone was trying to start a war between the humans and paranormals.

It was Pate’s job to stop that war.

By any means necessary.

Connor nodded quickly. “Y-yes.”

“And you’ll do what I say, follow the orders you’re given without question?”

Another nod.

“Good.” Despite what he’d learned about the werewolf, Pate still didn’t trust him. Not completely.

But then, he didn’t trust anyone completely. Except for Holly.

Pate’s gaze cut to the vampire. The oldest vampire he knew, and one that had cheated death more times than should be possible. “And you’re willing to take the risk?”

Shane smiled, flashing his fangs. “Purgatory will be a walk in the park.”

No, it wouldn’t be. But there were more answers to be found in that prison. Answers that he thought the vampires there could give to him.

He just needed a strong vampire to find those answers.

A vampire and a werewolf.

Because sometimes, it took monsters to save the world.

“Then, gentlemen, let’s get started…”

Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies