Alpha instinct, p.15
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       Alpha Instinct, p.15

         Part #1 of Moon Shifter series by Katie Reus
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Page 15


  She screamed again. This time louder. Not bothering with the stun gun, he knocked her across the face. Not as hard as he normally would. He didn’t want to break her bones. But he wanted her stunned into submission. “You like it rough, shifter whore?” Now he used the weapon to jolt her system. Her mouth opened but no sound came out as her body started to spasm.

  She went slack, her head lolling back on the floor.

  “December!” A male voice carried from downstairs.

  What the hell? Chuck pushed up. There wasn’t supposed to be anyone else here unless … her brother. Shit.

  He shoved up from the floor. His options and time were limited. Killing a cop wasn’t something he ever planned to do. It brought too much heat.

  Still on the ground, December mumbled incoherently. Screw it. He wasn’t getting pinched for this. Fleeing the room, he escaped back down the hallway. As he reached the end, the sheriff arrived at the top of the stairs. Wearing boxers and a T-shirt, he looked slightly disoriented but he had a gun.

  Chuck lunged at him, slamming him against the wall. The action took the cop off guard for a split second. Chuck didn’t waste the opportunity.

  Sprinting down the stairs, he rushed out the side door. A shot splintered close to his head, urging him on. He heard shouts behind him and risked a quick glance as he ran across the yard. The cop hadn’t followed. Probably checking on his sister instead.

  Chuck pulled out his cell with a shaky hand and dialed Adler as he raced down the sidewalk.

  He picked up on the first ring. “You got her?”

  “Shit, no. Her brother was there and he caught me. I’m about to turn onto Magnolia. ” He tried to keep his voice low as he ran.

  Adler cursed. “I’ll pick you up. ”

  As Chuck rounded the next street he immediately spotted the dusty green Chevelle rumbling toward him. Adler slowed down but didn’t completely stop, barely giving him a chance to jump into the front seat. “That fucking cop was there. ” He slammed his fist against the dash then ripped off his mask and threw it on the floorboard.

  Adler was silent as he steered down another side street, farther away from December’s house. Chuck didn’t know who the car belonged to but he knew Adler had stolen it earlier that night. They’d stashed another car a mile away and planned to ditch this one in case anyone had seen them leaving December’s house.

  “I told you it was stupid to try to take her. ”

  Adler sighed heavily. “My boss is not going to be happy about this. ”

  “Fuck your boss. Why isn’t he here doing something if this is so damn important?” Chuck turned around to see if they were being followed, but they weren’t.

  “I fail to see why it’s so hard for you to see the bigger picture. ” Another sigh. This one more annoyed.

  Well, Chuck was annoyed too. Annoyed he was always kept in the dark. He hadn’t lived in Fontana long, and Adler had only recruited him recently. Chuck wasn’t sure how long the other man had been with the APL and until recently the group hadn’t been very vocal about anything. Now he occasionally saw members on various talk shows discussing the danger of shifters, but they never admitted any violent actions. Everything was so hush-hush with them. So why the hell should he know what the bigger picture was if no one told him? “You never tell me shit so maybe that’s why I can’t see the bigger picture,” he spat.

  Adler shook his head as he made a left-hand turn.

  His stomach knotted with tension. “Aren’t you going to say something?” He knew another lecture was coming and he’d rather get it over with now. At least Adler couldn’t punch him while he was driving. Maybe his mood would cool by the time they got back to his place.

  “There’s not much to say. You are useless. ” Adler’s voice was calm, emotionless.

  That’s when Chuck saw the knife. The blade glinted wickedly under the moonlight as it slashed toward him.

  He held up his hands in defense, but Adler slammed it into his chest. In shock, Chuck stared at the black handle protruding from his ribs.

  A bitter, metallic taste filled his mouth. His own blood.

  Agonizing pain ripped through him. He tried to breathe but choked instead. Liquid filled his nose and airway. The son of a bitch had stabbed him. He stared at Adler. He wanted to lunge out at him but his body wouldn’t obey.

  Adler’s dark eyes barely flickered with any emotion. “Fucking die already,” he muttered.

  Chuck clutched the handle of the knife. To do what, he didn’t know. He was a dead man even if he pulled it out. The reality barely set in when blackness engulfed him.

  Chapter 6

  Ana stared into the darkness of their room. Moonlight bounced around, creating shadows of the furniture along the wood floor. When she shifted, Connor’s grip on her waist tightened. She wasn’t exactly sure how much time had passed, but with each minute that ticked by, the worse the ache between her legs grew.

  All she could envision was what it had looked like to see Connor about to take her breast in his mouth. It had been almost surreal watching him. As if it hadn’t really been her. She still couldn’t believe she’d managed to stop him. Her fingers had trembled as she’d buttoned up her top but he hadn’t seemed to notice. She tried to scoot a little farther away but his grip simply tightened even more. By his steady breathing she was pretty sure he actually was sleeping. Sighing, she stopped fighting him. She might be more than a little sexually frustrated, but for the first time in ages she felt safe.

  Ironic, considering Connor was more or less the Big Bad Wolf. Still, it was a relief to hand over some of the responsibilities of the ranch. Especially the protection part. Though she hadn’t admitted it to her sisters, ever since the males of their pack had died, she’d lived in a state of fear. It hadn’t affected her on a day-to-day basis, but in the back of her mind she’d worried that a group of warrior shifters would come in and just take over. Connor’s wolves were different from any males she’d met before. Even different from her father’s pack. They had a lot of respect for females, as most shifters did, but they were obviously more hardened to life. It was subtle, but she’d seen it in the way they’d talked to and acted around her packmates.

  She closed her eyes and forced all those thoughts from her head. For once she wanted a good night’s sleep. As blessed darkness started to take over a distant, foreign sound greeted her ears. Before she’d even sat up, Connor had jumped from the bed and was pulling on a sweater.

  “Is that a vehicle?” she asked, her voice thick and tired. So much for a full night of sleep.

  He nodded. “Sounds like it. ”

  The bright red numbers of the digital clock told her it was almost three in the morning. Anyone coming to see them this early would only be bringing bad news. She scrambled from the bed and quickly shoved her legs into her discarded jeans. By the time she’d tugged on her turtleneck, Connor had disappeared from the room.

  She found him downstairs, waiting by the front door, talking on the phone. He acknowledged her with a nod but continued speaking. “All right. Radio the men and round them up. Whatever it is, we’ll need them here. ”

  “What’s going on?” she asked as he disconnected.

  “I don’t know, but look for yourself. ” He pulled back the curtain blocking the small window next to the front door.

  Red and blue lights flashed in the distance but they were coming up the drive fast. The dirt drive stretched on for miles but it would only be a matter of minutes before they reached the gate. “What are we going to do?” Ana looked at Connor.

  His jaw was set in a firm line and his beautiful green eyes had darkened to almost midnight black. It wasn’t a trick of the light either. He was pissed and likely fighting not to change.

  She placed a hand on his forearm and almost immediately the natural color returned. “Are you okay?”

  He nodded, but took a moment before he spoke.
“I’m fine. I’d forgotten how often humans jump to conclusions without having any facts. ”

  “We don’t know why they’re here,” she murmured.

  “It’s three in the morning and I count two squad cars. They probably have more backup waiting. This is not a friendly visit. ”

  “I know. ” She sighed and automatically went to open the door, but he beat her to it.

  He stepped out first, then turned and nodded for her to follow. She’d been opening her own doors for so long, she’d forgotten what it felt like to be protected. Male humans had a funny tradition of opening doors for women and allowing them to enter a building first. One never knew what was on the other side of a door. It didn’t make sense to let a female step into possible danger without assessing the situation first.

  Connor placed his hand on the small of her back as they strode across the yard. She wanted to shrug it off but decided to let him keep it there. Even if she wouldn’t admit it, his presence reassured her. The cops visiting twice in one day was bad for their pack. By the time they’d reached the gate, everyone had filtered out of their houses or cabins and stood by expectantly. A few of the males on protection duty were coming in from the fields too.

  Ana spotted four men in tan-and-brown uniforms and a redheaded female she vaguely remembered seeing in town before. It was dark, but the light from their homes, the nearby barn and the pale moon overhead gave them more than enough illumination.

  Connor opened the gate and he, Ana and Liam greeted Sheriff McIntyre and two of the uniformed officers. The other officer hung back with the woman. Connor could sense the rage coming from the sheriff and fought his own.

  Tempering his anger, he stepped forward in an attempt to block Ana. “How can I help you, Sheriff?”

  “I need to see all of the newest members of your … pack. ” He directed the demand behind Connor to Ana.

  Connor could feel his canines start to extend and had to control the dominant need to protect her. And to put this guy in his place. This was his land, his pack, and the beast inside him didn’t care that the sheriff was the law. It only cared that he was encroaching on his territory. “You don’t speak to her. You speak to me. I’m the Alpha of this pack now. ” The man might not understand what Alpha meant, but he sure as hell understood Connor’s tone.
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