Full Blooded

Page 33

James didn’t wait for an answer. He shot around us, lunging into the five, scattering them like bowling pins. At that, the bar erupted into chaos. The humans hadn’t noticed the threat before, but they did now. They would all assume it was a bar fight, not a supernatural showdown.

I turned and took a step after James, eager to join the battle. I didn’t care what he’d just said, there was no way I was leaving with Rourke. This was my fight and I was staying. Before I could go more than a foot, my wrist snapped backward and once again I was pressed against Rourke’s jacket. The leather was tinged with the scent of oil, along with sweat and delicious cloves. And it pissed me off.

I jerked my hands up, breaking his hold on me. With everything I had, I shoved him back. He moved less than two inches, but it was enough. “I’m not going anywhere with you. This is my fight, dammit! I caused this, and I will not abandon my Pack to wage a war without me. Got it? So don’t even think about getting in my way.”

I dismissed him completely, wrenching myself from his grasp entirely, turning back to the fight.

He let me go.

As I spun around, I met a powerful, piercingly blue stare.

It stopped me in my tracks.

The gaze held me across the sea of pandemonium. My father strode through the bar like he was strolling through the woods, like nothing was amiss and a war hadn’t broken out all around him, humans shrieking and things breaking.

His eyes held one word.


Rourke stilled behind me, reading the message clearly too.

I opened my mouth to protest, but nothing came out. This order wasn’t from my Alpha. It was from my father.


His command swirled through me, pushing me, urging me. I realized with a start that sharing my father’s blood during the oath had somehow connected us, bonded us in a new way. His emotions raced through me, and I felt compelled to follow his directives. My wolf cried in my mind. She felt it too. I tried to resist, but I was frozen in place.


“Sorry, sweetheart, what you want doesn’t look like it’s in the cards tonight,” Rourke muttered from behind me.

I took a step forward, trying my hardest to break the command, pushing as much power into it as I could. I didn’t want to leave, dammit, I wanted to fight.

Before I could get away, Rourke lunged, bending and twisting, snatching me up by my waist and tossing me effortlessly over his shoulder. His arm clamped around my middle like a vise.

Then he turned, ignoring my howls of rage, and raced out of the bar.


In the back alley behind the bar, Rourke set me down roughly but kept a tight grip on my forearm. Then he started ushering us forward at a quick clip, his nose scenting the air as we moved, his posture guarded.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I tried to wrench my arm from his grasp, with no luck. His hands were like stone. “You can’t just pick me up like a fucking caveman and make my choices for me. How dare you!”

Rourke stopped, spinning around. “Keep your voice down,” he snarled, “and listen up.” His irises blazed an ethereal green. “In case you haven’t noticed, none of this was my idea. But here are the facts. You’re a one-of-a-kind werewolf. The only one of its kind. That means you’re now in a position of extreme interest to all parties involved. And I mean all parties. There’s not one Sect on this planet who won’t be interested in getting a piece of you now. Do you hear me? All of them—wolves, shifters, vamps, witches, everyone. If you die now, whatever you are dies with you. Understood?” He shook me a little to emphasize his point. “Now stop whining like a pansy-assed little girl, because we need to get clear of this area right now.”

My anger bubbled over and I had to tamp the rage back in order to speak. I had no intention of backing down. My Pack was fighting. I wasn’t going to leave them behind just because this guy told me to. “What do you mean, what I am? Just because I have breasts doesn’t mean that’s not my Pack in there. Those wolves happen to be in the middle of fighting a war because of me. Now let go of me! I’m going back to join them.” My words sunk in. I was the catalyst for this war.

“Wrong answer.” Rourke started down the alley, yanking me behind him.

It was full dark. I tried to anchor my feet into the ground as he toted me down the alleyway like a three-year-old. I couldn’t get away unless I shifted, and even a partial shift now would be extremely risky out in the open. Not to mention I had no real idea how I’d done it before. I could use a little outrage here, I told my wolf. Rourke continued to haul us along, and I could feel her on the edge of anger, but not nearly as pissed off as I was. I thought we weren’t supposed to leave the bar with the scary predator. He’s a no-no. And he’s tugging us along like a petulant toddler. He’s kidnapping us! Get mad. Her ears perked and my muscles tensed for a quick second. I got excited.

But she wasn’t focused on me at all, her eyes were directed ahead of us, scanning for the next threat.

Some help you are.

As Rourke continued to drag me farther down the alley, I tried to reason with him. “Let’s start this again, Rourke. I think we’ve made a mistake here. I need to get back to my Pack—”

He turned on me in a flash, snarling, his face inches from mine. I flinched, my back pressed against the brick wall of a building. “I already told you I’m not playing around here. If your Pack is at war, who do you think they’re fighting against right now?”

I hadn’t been expecting a question.

“Um … I’m not exactly sure, but most likely the Southern Territories …” I finished lamely.

“Right on the nose, sweetheart. So at this very moment your city is flooded with more werewolves than you can fight on your own, and more than I can fight while I babysit you. So our only real option is to get the hell out of here, and we’re wasting precious time talking about it.” His breath was laced with cinnamon.

I bristled. “Babysitting me was your choice, not mine, and it’s not a mandatory position, by any means. You can let me go anytime you’d like. Then you’d be free to go back to whatever place it is you came from and we can forget this whole thing ever happened.”

His eyes glittered with emotion. “No.”

“Rourke,” I breathed. “Just let me go.”

He studied me for a long moment, his face so close to mine I started to squirm. He opened his mouth to say something, and then, just like that, we were back down the alley again, him pulling me along like a child.

He led us across a few streets, ducking and dodging through parked cars as we went, finally slipping between another pair of buildings. There were no streetlights here. It appeared to be a delivery space with a narrow path leading out to the other side. There wasn’t more than a sidewalk space between the two structures. Rourke was too big for us to walk side by side, but he had no problem tugging me behind him.

“Rourke, where are we going?” I whispered.

“To my bike.”

I knew he wasn’t talking about his bicycle.

He meticulously scanned every building around us as we went, scenting the air continually. I was scenting too. Every once in a while I caught a whiff of werewolf in the air, but it was never too close. They should be swarming us. “Rourke, why aren’t they out here?” I asked. “We should be covered in angry Southern wolves. They should’ve been all over the building when we came out.”

Rourke glanced over his shoulder at me, his eyes completely green. They glowed like two emerald pools in the dark. “Either your wolves were keeping them occupied, or something else is going on here.” He sniffed the air and his brows creased. “I don’t like it either. It’s too easy. Something is off. It doesn’t feel like a full war, they’re looking for something.”

I tested his grip on my arm again, and earned a low growl in response. “Keep it up and I’ll put you back over my shoulder.”

We emerged from between the last two buildings onto a frontage road and slid quietly along the deserted storefronts, making our way down the street. This place was familiar. It was the last block before the neighborhood dead-ended into the train tracks across the street, which were down in the culvert, and it was exactly how you’d expect it to look. A long line of old, run-down buildings, most of them vacant, and had been for years. On the other side of the tracks the highway overpasses looped off into the distance. No more neighborhood.

Down the street in front of us, I spotted a lone motorcycle parked on the sidewalk pushed tightly into an alcove against a shuttered storefront.

“How’d you get from here to the bar without being seen tonight?” I asked curiously.

“I’ve been here since yesterday. Slept on the roof of the bar and came down through the fire escape.”

“That’s one way to do it.” Tricky cat.

He shrugged. “It wasn’t hard. Once I gave you my name, I knew your Pack would stake out all the strategic locations, but this isn’t one of them.” He pointed. “Up ahead is a dead end, nowhere to go but back the way we came.”

“If we’re trapped, how are we getting out?”

He nodded toward the giant culvert. A rusty chain-link fence separated the tracks from the neighborhood, not doing much to keep people out. Grass and dirt ran until about halfway down and then the ground changed to old, broken concrete.

“The old tracks? And how exactly are we getting down there?” There weren’t any real crossing points for about a mile and a half in either direction.

“We drive, sweetheart.”


Shouts broke out behind us. Rourke tightened his grip on my arm and started jogging us forward faster. We were almost to a vintage Harley-Davidson when I wrenched my head behind me right as a runner flew around the corner, shouting a curse over his shoulder.

Ohmygod. “Tyler!” I screamed.

He slid to a stop, his eyes blazing full gold. His shirt was ripped and stained dark.

“Is that blood all over you? Are you hurt?” I yelled, struggling to get loose, but Rourke held me fast. “Tyler, answer me!” Then I turned back. “Rourke, let me go!”

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