Sensing the change in him, Riley frowned. "What's going on?"
"Someone's at the gate." He jumped out of bed and began pulling on some clothes.
"I'm about to find out. I shouldn't be long; I just have to-why are you getting dressed?"
Dragging on a T-shirt, Riley flicked her hair out of her collar. "You're going to the security room to check out the cameras, right? I want to know who's here."
Yeah, well, Tao didn't want to drag her into the matter in case she insisted on getting involved in something dangerous. "You're better staying here."
"Should I remind you that I'm Guardian? I need to know if there's a risk to the children so I can get them to safety."
Tao swore, unable to deny that. "Fine. Let's go."
A minute later they were entering the security room, located near Trey's office. Rhett was there, his fingers tapping crazily on the keyboard of his computer. Trey, Jaime, Dante, Makenna, and the other enforcers were also present. They'd undoubtedly all received the same warning from Gabe, who was manning the perimeter gate.
Riley glanced around. "No Taryn?"
"Kye had a nightmare, so he ended up in our bed," said Trey. "She's staying with him while I find out what's happening."
Tao went straight to the wall where all the monitors were positioned and homed in on the screen that displayed footage of the gate. Gabe was standing just outside the security shack, his eyes locked on the visitors standing behind the locked gates. "Is that . . . ? That's a police car."
Rhett nodded. "Yep. They got here a few minutes ago."
Tao looked at Trey. "What do they want?" His stomach dropped when his Alpha turned to Riley.
"They've asked to speak with you," Trey told her.
Riley pointed to herself. "Me? Are you sure?"
"The cameras have audio," said Rhett. "We heard them ask for you."
His wolf growled, and Tao slashed a hand in the air. "No fucking way is she going out there."
"Definitely no fucking way," agreed Jaime. "This could be someone trying to get Riley out into the open so she's an easier target."
Trey rolled back his shoulders. "I'll speak with the humans and, basically, tell them to fuck off." He ran his eyes along Tao, Dante, Ryan, and Trick. "Follow me."
While Makenna and the other enforcers argued to go along, Tao gave Riley a quick kiss and said, "Don't bother insisting on coming with us. I genuinely think the police are just bait to flush you out."
"I wasn't going to ask to go with you," said Riley honestly. "I need to call my uncles and find out who's missing from the flock. Someone sent the police here. I want to know who it was." And she wanted to throttle the fucker for daring to bring danger to her home.
"Text me when you know."
"Okay. Be careful."
"Always." Tao gave her one last kiss and then followed Trey and the others out of the room.
Keeping her eyes on the monitor, Riley pulled out her cell and called Ethan. "Hi, I know this isn't a great hour to call, but we think there's a good chance that someone from the flock is missing."
"Somebody's on your territory?" asked Ethan, both worry and anger in his tone.
"Not yet, but they're close, and we think they're trying to draw me out."
"I'll call you back in a minute."
Riley bit down on her thumb as she waited for the Phoenix wolves to appear at the gate. Makenna, Jaime, Roni, Marcus, and Dominic gathered around her, all completely focused on the monitor.
"I'm pissed that I have to hang behind," grumbled Marcus.
Dominic folded his arms. "Trey was right in what he said
. If he takes too many wolves with him, it'll look confrontational. It's better to just get rid of the humans than to antagonize them."
Roni nodded in agreement, briefly leaning into Marcus. "They're just pawns anyway."
Riley shifted from foot to foot. It was possible that someone was hovering around those gates with a freaking rifle, waiting for her. She doubted that they would shoot at one of the wolves in lieu of her. If hurting someone else to hurt her were enough for them, they would have gone after Max or Ethan. They wouldn't have followed her all the way here just to settle on shooting someone else. Still, she got more and more nervous with each minute that went by. Her raven was just as uneasy; she wanted the freedom to explore the territory for the threat.
Taryn strode into the room. "What the hell is hap-where's Flintstone?"
"He went to talk to the police and get rid of them." Rhett gestured to the monitor. "They want to talk to Riley."
Taryn swore. "The asshole should have taken me with him. We're the Alphas, we should always present a united front."
"I suppose he thought it wasn't worth dragging you away from Kye just to go send the humans away," said Makenna. "Where is Kye?"
"Still asleep in my bed. I had to know what was happening."
As the monitor showed Trey, Tao, and the others finally nearing the security shack, Riley blew out a breath. She couldn't quite shake off her apprehension. A bolt of reassurance shot up the mating bond and a half smile curved her mouth.
They'd be fine, Riley told herself. They'd all be fine. And if something did happen to anyone, Riley would raise fresh fucking hell on the trigger-happy fucker.
Tao and the enforcers flanked Trey as they strolled to the security shack. Despite the darkness, Tao could clearly see the two humans behind the iron gates, standing beside a police car. One was tall and lean, the other was balding fast and had a thick, old-fashioned mustache.
Trey spoke to Gabe at a volume that wouldn't meet the humans' ears. "Have they said anything else since we left the caves a few minutes ago?"
"Not to me," replied Gabe. "But they keep talking into their radios. They obviously know how acute a shifter's hearing can be, though, because they've kept their voices quiet."
Trey nodded. "Wait here, Gabe."
Again Tao and the enforcers flanked the Alpha as they approached the closed gate. Both officers strode toward them, their gaits casual and easy, their perceptive eyes scanning each and every wolf. Tao's wolf sniffed in annoyance as the wind carried the scents of fast food and cigarette smoke that clung to the humans.
The taller of the two studied Trey carefully. "You're the Alpha?"
"I am," said Trey.
"I'm Officer Brown. This is Officer Taylor." His tone was as casual as his stance. Apparently the guy was trying to put them at ease and pretend to be their friend or something.
Taylor, chewing gum, simply inclined his head.
Brown looked at Trey expectantly, as if waiting for him to introduce each of the wolves. He didn't.
"What brings you officers to my territory?" Trey asked.
Brown glanced past him to where Gabe stood. "As I told your pack mate, we'd like to speak with the raven you have staying with you."
"Riley Porter isn't staying with us. She's part of my pack. That's different."
The officers exchanged a brief look, and Tao got the feeling they hadn't actually known that. Maybe they'd assumed that each breed of shifter stuck with their own kind.