The Wolf Within Page 7

“And that’s why you’re wearing a collar, too.”

He barely felt the weight of the silver around his neck. Probably because Holly had set it for the lightest possible intensity level. She hadn’t wanted to hurt him.

And he…

I want her.

Duncan cleared his throat. He had to stay away from her. When he was near Holly, he just thought about f**king.

Or killing anyone who wanted to hurt her.

The beast was way too unstable when she was near.

Pate held up the remote he’d taken from Holly. “There are several master remotes at this facility. And the silver can’t just be amped up…the setting can be switched to kill mode.”

So Duncan had always suspected.

“You go rogue, you start attacking humans, don’t worry, I’ll take you out myself.”

Good to know.

“Now time is running out.” The lines near Pate’s eyes deepened. “If you’re not in for this plan, then—”

“You think I’m stable enough to handle this?” A question that had to be asked. “Another shift could come. I can’t—I can’t stop the shift.” He’d been so angry before when he’d been in his cell and he’d heard Holly’s screams. Enraged and afraid for Holly. The shift had swept over him, and there’d been nothing he could do to stop it.

But then, he hadn’t been sure that he wanted to stop it then. He’d wanted to attack whoever—whatever—had been hurting her.

“We wanted you to stay the night at the facility so that Holly could do her tests.” One brow rose even as Pate’s gaze dropped to his neck. “So you’d be collared.”

And you’d have your automatic kill switch?

“But you aren’t a prisoner here. You’re a federal agent. A man who has always done his job and protected the innocent. You can walk out of this building anytime you want.” A pause. “Though I’d prefer for you to leave in the next five minutes…with Saul.”

Taking that guy anywhere was going to be a risk. “I want a master remote.”

Pate immediately tossed it to him. “Done. Saul’s code is 7943.”

“And my code?”

Pate smiled.


“I know it. Holly knows it. So I’d say we’re covered on that end,” Pate told him.

No, Pate was covered.

“Are you going to tell the others what I’m doing?” Duncan asked. He’d rather prefer not to get shot down by his own team members.

Pate nodded. “After you’re gone, they’ll all know.”

“Not before?”

“We need to make it look real,” a soft murmur.

So it looked like he was going to do this. All right. Fine. He motioned toward himself. “I think I’ll need more clothes.”

“Back up gear and clothing are waiting outside. Go in the hall, then take the fourth door on your right.”

Duncan turned away.

“Ah…just one more thing, McGuire.”

Wasn’t there always one more thing with that guy?

“I’ve noticed that you seem to be reacting a bit…intently to Holly.”

Understatement of the century.

“You’re too dangerous to be around a woman right now in any sort of sexual capacity.” Pate’s voice had hardened. “So I’m giving you an order. Stay away from her.”

The wolf growled. The sound hung in the air.

“I’m still your director here.” Pate’s chair squeaked and Duncan knew the guy had shot to his feet. “You will listen to what I say and—”

Duncan glanced back over his shoulder. Pate’s eyes widened as he gazed at Duncan’s face. What does he see there? “Staying away from her may not be an option.” Not when the moon rose. He was very much afraid that when the moon rose, the wolf would go straight to her. “You work on keeping her away from me. Send her away from this place. Get her out of the town. Do whatever you need to do.”

“Why? Why her?”

“Because the beast knows I want her.” I can still taste her. “And he wants her too.”

Then Duncan yanked open the door and hurried down the hallway. He had a serial killing werewolf waiting for him. One that needed to get broken out of his cell.


The guards outside were dead. So much blood. Everywhere. The attack from the werewolves had been brutal.

The scent of that blood…it was so strong.

Feeling light-headed, Holly stumbled back inside. Her shaking body told her that she’d gone too long without her dose. She knew how dangerous her condition was, and she should have been paying more attention to the passage of time.

But the little matter of the attacking werewolves had distracted her.

She hurried into the med unit, then made her way into the section she’d designated for her lab. She just needed one dose to get her through the next twelve hours, and—

“She smells so sweet.”

The rasping voice froze Holly in her tracks. It was a familiar voice. Saul’s voice.

“Why does she smell that way?” Saul asked.

Then a hand was curving over her shoulder. A hand with long, thick claws. Saul’s hand. Holly opened her mouth to scream.

But the cry never left her lips. Because suddenly Duncan was there, and he put his hand over her mouth, choking back the cry.

Duncan? No, no, he wouldn’t hurt her. He’d helped her before.

“You shouldn’t be in here now,” Duncan whispered. His lips brushed over her cheek and a shiver shuddered through her body. “You were supposed to be outside. Helping the guards.”

There were no guards to help. But she would have still been out there, securing the bodies, if she hadn’t gone too long without her dose. She’d been afraid to go any longer without it.

Her hand slid into the pocket of her lab coat.

“She’s going for the remote!” Saul’s fierce warning as his hand jerked from her shoulder and grabbed hold of her wrist. His grip was brutal as he twisted her hand, and the bones snapped.

She was staring straight into Duncan’s eyes when her wrist broke. His stare was blue, with streaks of gold, but as she cried out in pain, the gold seemed to explode in his gaze. He released her instantly, and he grabbed Saul—then threw the man across the room. Saul crashed onto the operating table. “You don’t hurt her!”

Holly stumbled back. Her wrist throbbed and…the bones were facing the wrong way. She grabbed her wrist with her left hand, and yanked the bones back into place. A tight, high moan escaped her as the pain shot through her again.

“Holly…” Duncan growled her name.

Fumbling, her left hand managed to grab the remote.

“Stop her!” Saul yelled as he leapt back to his feet. “Stop her or every agent left in this building will come after us!”

Duncan caught her left wrist in his hand. His grip was gentle but strong. “I can’t let you stop us.”

“Us?” Holly whispered and shook her head. “There is no ‘us’, Duncan. There’s you. And then there’s a killer.” Nausea rolled in her stomach. The dose. She needed it so badly. The pain she felt just made her all the more desperate to have it.

Saul ran toward them.

Before he could reach for Holly, Duncan swung out at him. This time, Saul slammed back and crashed into a cabinet. Bottles fell. Shattered. Bags of blood hit the floor, and Saul’s claws cut right through them as he scrambled back to his feet.

Holly tried to lurch forward.

Duncan snatched the remote from her. He shattered it in his hands. Then he pulled her against him. “I’m sorry.” He barely breathed the words into her ear.

“Let me go!” He didn’t understand what was happening. His wolf must be trying to take over, just as he’d feared and—

“You can’t stop us.” He lifted her up. Carried her to the table on the right.

She struggled against him, fighting with all of her strength, but she was no match for him. Not then. Not with the sun up and her body desperate for a dosage. And certainly not with his new enhanced strength pulsing through his body.

He strapped her down. Her legs first. Then her stomach. Her chest. Her left arm. Her right-her right hand he lifted to his mouth, and he pressed a kiss to her wrist. “I’m sorry,” he said again.

Then he…left her there. Strapped to the table.

Just. Left. Her.

She opened her mouth to scream. What the hell had she been thinking? She should have been screaming the whole time! She’d just been stunned. Shocked.


Now her scream ripped from her, only to be quieted into a muffled groan when Duncan tied a twisted cloth around her head—and put part of that cloth in her mouth.

“Oh, damn, but she looks good that way.” Saul was coming back toward her.

Holly tensed. She could see his claws.

“Let’s just slice her, a little bit…”

Duncan grabbed Saul’s hand, keeping those claws away from Holly. “We’re getting out of here.” His shoulders lifted. Fell. “I want to run.”

Saul smiled. “The beast. It wants out.” He nodded quickly. “You were right to get me. I can help you. We can stick together. Fuckin’ destroy anyone who comes after us.” His gaze lingered on Holly. “Anyone.”

Duncan wasn’t looking at her.

He was just whirling away and running toward the room on the right. Toward the secret entrance and exit to the facility that only she and the other agents knew about. The guards on staff didn’t even know about that room—agents only.

So much for security. That exit would take Duncan and Saul past all of the security. Past the guards who were now being extra vigilant. It would take them to freedom.

She shook her head.

But Duncan didn’t see the move.

He didn’t see anything she did. Because he left her there. Tied. Gagged. With her wrist broken and her whole body aching.

She hadn’t gotten her dose. She’d needed it but…

But it was gone. Destroyed by Saul. Smeared on the floor.

A tear leaked down her cheek. Duncan was gone.

And there was no way to stop him. His beast was coming out.

She pitied anyone who was in his path when Duncan’s shift was complete.

Chapter Four

The sonofabitch had broken Holly’s wrist. Just snapped her delicate bones. Her face had bleached of color. Her pupils had dilated as her eyes showed the flash of agony she felt.

And Duncan had almost taken Saul’s head.

“You did it!” Saul slapped Duncan on the shoulder. “Man, I thought it was a trick, but you got us the f**k out of there.”

They were away from the facility. In the middle of nowhere. Pate had set up the containment compound far away from the busy city streets. Here, the wilderness stretched, and wild animals waited.

He should fit in perfectly with this animal.

I still want to take his head.

“I did my part,” Duncan said, fighting to keep his words steady. “I got us out of there. Now you—you take me to the alpha.”

“So you can die?” Saul rocked back on his heels. “I’ve never seen anyone with a death wish like yours.”

“So I can kill him.” Duncan lifted his claws. “I’m alpha, and I’m staying alpha.” Was that the right thing to say? He hoped it was. He needed Saul to get his ass in gear and lead him to the alpha.

But Saul was laughing. “You just changed! There’s no way that you’re a match for him yet. You try to fight him, the guy will rip you in two.” Saul shoved away from him. “Thanks for the free pass out, but this is where we part ways.”

“The hell it is!” He heaved out a hard breath and grabbed Saul’s arm. “Do you want to be the wolf that the Seattle pack goes after?”

“I will be if I take you to—”

“‘Cause when I kick the alpha’s ass and take over, I’ll have every single one of those dogs looking for you. You’ll be at the top of my list.”

Saul’s gaze slid away from his. “You won’t take him out. No one has ever been able to defeat him.”

“He hasn’t faced me before.”

Saul hesitated. “You…you think you can—”

Duncan’s nostrils flared. A new scent had just come into the area. Sex and honey. No.

Saul’s eyes widened, and Duncan knew he’d caught the scent, too. Then a twig snapped behind them.

Saul’s lips peeled away from his teeth, and he started to launch toward Holly.

Duncan jerked the guy back even as he whirled to face Holly. “Get back!”He didn’t know how she’d gotten out of those straps so quickly, but she’d just walked into hell.

Instead of running away, Holly lifted her left hand. In that hand she had—sonofabitch—another remote. Staring into his eyes, she aimed the remote at him. Duncan went down to his knees as pain shot from his neck all the way through his body.

Footsteps thundered as Saul raced away.

Holly lunged forward, obviously planning to stop Saul, too.

Duncan leapt for her. His body hit hers—I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Holly—and she cried out at the impact. They slammed into the earth, and the remote fell from her fingers.

He caught her hands, pinned them above her head, but tried to be as gentle as he could with her broken wrist. She was going to scream. He could see the intention right there on her face.

He kissed her, muffling the sound.

She bit him and drew blood from his bottom lip. He pressed his mouth harder against hers, growling, and she suddenly stiffened.

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