Full Blooded

Page 15

No time to worry about it.

I was in control and that was all that mattered.

I jumped up and started moving. I’m in the driver’s seat now, got it? She was still in my mind, but now she sat just behind an opaque film that hadn’t been there a moment ago. Fighting humans and imps is mine, I told her as I slid between the parked cars. You can have the nasty werewolves.

She let out a howl of frustration.

We’re searching for harmony here, so feel free to help a girl out. I stopped and crouched lower. I was one car length from Drake and Jen. He had a grimy hand covering her mouth and one solidly around her middle. He was fully occupied.

I shimmied to the edge of the fender. As much as I was aching to jump in right away, I had to be patient. We had to pin Drake with everything we could. If I jumped too early, especially since he had the gift of persuasion, he could easily convince Jen that nothing had happened and get away scot-free. I couldn’t risk that.

Jen bravely kicked and slammed her head into his shoulder over and over. She was fighting a good fight. It was all I could do not to attack then and there. Drake was obviously struggling to keep his hold. He finally grabbed her face and hissed something in her ear. She stopped moving instantly.

He hurried her back toward his car.

I followed closely, keeping myself low and out of sight. I spotted Nick across the road. He was right on time, whistling something under his breath, making a good show of a man heading back to his car from a night at the movies. Drake saw him immediately and arched himself around, Jen still in his arms, changing his plans instantly. He started toward the knoll to get out of sight, just like we’d thought.

Drake, although not full on brains, would’ve had a loose plan in place. If he failed to get his victim to his car in time, the hill would provide a cover from any human interference. That’s why he’d picked this particular theater complex.

Only he had no idea that the only female werewolf on the fucking planet was coming after him.

The moment he disappeared from sight I took off. There was a small cry followed by the sound of a body hitting the ground. I jumped the curb, leaping into the air, clearing the knoll in one jump. Drake was already on top of her. From my angle, it wasn’t clear if he was trying to keep her quiet or if he was going to satiate himself right then and there.

It didn’t matter, because I was on him one beat later.

I hit him hard, smashing into him from the side, and we both went flying. “Take that, asshole,” I growled. I rolled once and was back on my feet. Drake readied himself just as quickly, snarling at me, flashing a set of stained, yellowed teeth that looked remarkably sharp.

Hmm, maybe he had a bit more imp in him than we’d previously considered.

He let out an enraged yowl and came at me with impressive speed, but he wasn’t nearly as fast as I was. When he was within an arm’s length of me, I swung my right leg around and connected with his ribs. They popped with a satisfying crack and he flew backward ten feet in the air.

My wolf gave a delighted yip. See, I’m not a pansy. You’re going to have to start trusting me.

Despite his injury, Drake was up and on me again. “You little bitch,” he hissed. “I’m going to make you hurt for that.”

He seemed to have increased strength, as well as persuasion. I was now a hundred percent certain Drake Jensen was genetically more imp than human. If I hadn’t just become a full-blooded wolf, I was pretty sure he would have the upper hand and my ass would’ve been in serious trouble.

I needed more strength.

I made a split-second decision and opened myself a little to my wolf. I cracked the opaque barrier a tiny bit and she gleefully burned through me, pumping me with more strength, giving me a satisfied growl in return.

Drake came at us again, and I dodged him easily. He wheeled around, changing his direction quickly. I braced myself for the impact and we both exploded to the ground. He landed on top, grinning down at me, mistakenly thinking he’d caught a lucky break. He threw a punch, connecting hard with my left shoulder. It rocked me into the dirt, but as he recoiled to throw another punch, putting space between us, I shimmied my knees up under him and rolled back on my hips. I threw him off in a rush, crossing my fingers that he would hit something hard. I jumped to my feet.

My shoulder hitched for a second, healing from the blow. Another shot of adrenaline raced through me, courtesy of my wolf. The surge of new power was more than the small opening I’d just made could sustain for any length of time. The little crack was on track to become a gaping fissure. With my new infusion of strength, I felt fire kindle in my irises. I was certain they were blazing full yellow.

Drake lunged at me again, feral madness in his own eyes. I spun quickly, pivoting back around, bringing my arm up. Using the power in my upper body as a fulcrum, I smashed my fist into his face as we collided.

Drake’s face imploded in on itself as he flew backward, crashing directly into the small tree behind him, shaking it to its roots. He slid down the base, collapsing into a scumbag heap on the ground.

I stood staring, my mouth open, eyes wide for several beats. The thrill of the fight wound tightly inside me like a loaded spring ready to explode. I felt no pain, only pure elation. I forced myself to bend over, bracing my palms on my thighs, taking in several quick breaths. I had to calm down, shut myself off from the adrenaline. But my wolf wanted more, rubbing against my mind like an itch I couldn’t scratch. She demanded we finish what we’d started here.

I had to settle her. We did it, the bad guy is down. Now we have to get ourselves under control, because it’s going be crazy around here any minute. People will be crawling all over. Honestly, I couldn’t have done that without you, but I need to be fully in charge now, and I can’t do it if you fight me. It’s too damn hard to concentrate when my brain is divided. Do you understand?

She gave a frustrated bark, but eased back down.

Someone was calling my name. “Jess! Jess, are you okay?” Nick jogged in my direction. “Jesus Christ, Jess! That was completely insane. I’ve never seen anyone fight like that. I couldn’t even track you, you were moving so fast. I think you might have killed him.” He looked from me to the listless pile of Drake.

I met his eyes and he gasped.

“My God,” he breathed. “Look at your eyes. They’re fully changed. How in the hell are you doing that?”

“They’re still lit?” I gasped between breaths. “I’ve got to calm myself down. When the crowd comes I can’t have glowing yellow eyes. That would be a teensy bit suspicious.”

“Um, Jess?”


“They’re not … exactly yellow,” Nick said quietly. “They’re actually kind of … purple …”

I rose to a standing position so quickly I almost tossed myself ass backward. I stumbled to get my footing and opened my mouth to tell Nick he had to be out of his frigging mind, but a voice inside my head interrupted me before I could get the words out. Jessica! Jessica, what’s going on! Jessica, are you okay? Goddammit! Answer me this instant!

It’s okay, Dad! I’m here. I put a finger up to Nick and turned and walked a few paces away. I’m fine. There was just … I had a little trouble at work. Are we on an open line here?

No, of course not. Your wolf called to mine and I answered, like I’ve always done when one of mine is in need. Then for some reason … I couldn’t connect with you. I could feel his confusion. I’ve been trying my damnedest to reach out to you ever since. What in the hell is going on down there?

Well. I surveyed the scene in front of me. Jen was quietly weeping and Drake was still unmoving against the tree. It seems I just won a fight against an angry imp who was gunning to kill me. At least I think he was an imp. He was actually stronger than we’d originally anticipated. I wasn’t sure what to say about the next part. And because I underestimated him, I sort of needed … well, I guess you could say I brought my wolf to the forefront to help me get rid of him, but I didn’t shift. If I hadn’t used her, I’m not sure I would’ve won. I glanced over at the pile of Drake bleeding profusely from his face. I think I may have killed him by accident.

There was dead silence in my mind.

Dad? Listen, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to do anything wrong. I honestly don’t know what happened, it all went so fast. A fight like that should’ve taken an hour, but it seemed to happen at warp speed. There was no time to slam on the brakes. I just reacted as best I could. I never should have come out tonight on this run, but I thought I could handle it.

After a long pause, my father said, Jessica, we’ll discuss this later. We have strict Pack rules and guidelines that must be followed. No exceptions. You don’t know our ways yet, so I am going to give you some leeway. Using your wolf is acceptable, but shifting is not. But I’m more concerned about your safety right now. It’s my top priority. Do you need a cleanup crew? I can have James and Danny there in five minutes. All supernaturals had a strict “cleanup” protocol. If we called in the human authorities every time a fight happened between us, our secret would be out with the first dead cadaver. When something with fangs, no working organs, yellow eyes, or pointy ears showed up in the morgue it tended to get noticed. There were breaches, but for the most part every Sect followed the rules.

I considered taking my father up on it. I’d never used a cleanup crew before, and it would be so much easier to have Drake disappear. No, this one will have to be aboveboard. We have a teenage civilian. Something streaked by my peripheral vision. It was Becky. She took one look at Jen, who was lying where Drake had left her, and dropped to her knees, wrapping her arms around her pal crying. Make that two civilians. There’s going to be a huge scene in about ten minutes. Police, ambulances, concerned parents, the whole nine yards.

What can I do?

There’s nothing you can do here. Are you at the Compound?

Yes, I’m here. The wolves are still … in some unrest. I am occupied for the moment.

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