“I’m sorry you got hurt, Caleb.” I pushed down a stab of guilt, but what was I supposed to do? Let the guy get away? Caleb had to stay to finish clearing the shack.
“The idiots inside the cabin fled right out the front doors anyway. One of them just got in a lucky shot.”
“Did anyone see any other human werekin with bonded werekin souls?" I asked. “The one I found has two distinct scents.”
“Does your brother have three scents, since he has two stolen souls?”
I growled. “Watch what you say about my brother. He didn’t steal anything. He was kidnapped and experimented on against his will.”
“Okay, okay. I didn’t mean anything by it, sheesh.”
“Sure you didn’t.” The panther was a prick, and if he didn’t watch it, I was going to show him just how much more dangerous a Tiger could be. “Pick that human up and let’s go.” I turned and headed back the way I came. I didn’t like the idea of Ritch alone with that other guy.
Landon made his way through the group to walk beside me as we made our way through the dark woods. “How hurt are you?”
“It’s nothing. I’m fine.” I jumped over a log. Landon hopped on top and then down on the other side.
“Can you drive?”
That was a good question. “Ritch can drive. He has been for a while.”
“We’re going to have to drive back to your territory without stopping for more than gas. He’s not to be able to drive all that way.” Again, Landon made a good point, but I didn’t like it. “He can stay in my car until Ritch needs to swap out for a break, but I think Victor would get on your nerves the least.”
“As long as it’s not Silas.” I fought the urge to snarl. “If that jaguar doesn’t learn some manners, I’m going to kick his ass.
Ritch was in the driver’s seat when we made it back to the clearing. He had his visor down and was looking in the mirror, so he missed it when we stepped out of the woods. He jumped and cursed when I said his name. “Stop sneaking up on me,” he complained.
That might be a fun game for another day, but I was too tired to even tease him. “Sorry.”
He got out of the car. “Is everyone okay?”
“Not everyone, but no one was hurt too bad. We’ve got another captive, he’s going to ride with Christian. You’re going to have to keep driving,” I said. “I’m sorry I can’t do more, but when you need a break, Victor is going to take over for you.”
“Can you trust him?”
“As much as I trust anyone who isn’t from our streak. He’s here to do a job. We’ll be fine, and if he does try something, I’m still armed.”
“I think we should get going,” Christian said. He finished patching Caleb up with his big first-aid kit.
“Agreed. I’ll call Deke from the car. He’ll pass along the information to your alphas for a convocation. Hopefully it’ll all be worked out by the time we get back.”
We’d been driving for six hours, before Ritch finally asked for a break. I texted Landon in Christian, and they pulled over at the next exit. We decided to gas up all the vehicles at the same time.
When Ritch opened up the backseat passenger door, I went around the car and got in behind the driver’s seat. “What are you doing?” He asked.
“Yeah, what the hell are you doing? I don’t think I like you right there behind me," Victor complained.
“Too fucking bad." I really didn’t care what he liked or didn’t like. “Just drive.”
He kept grumbling, but I ignored him. “Just relax against me,” I told Ritch. “Scoot down, you can use my leg for a pillow.”
“I should probably wear my seatbelt. I’m just a human werekin, I wouldn’t survive a crash.”
“Neither will the wolf, if he gets us into an accident.”
The wolf snarled, and I hit the back of his seat. “Shut up.”
“It’s been a long night, on top of a long couple of days, that guy’s in the back, and there’s a wolf in the front seat. I think we both feel better if you just lie down.” The scent coming from the back was disturbing enough that I knew I wouldn’t sleep.
Rich studied me for a second, but then he let go of his seatbelt. He turned and slowly sank down on his side. I slowly lowered one hand onto his shoulder. Rich gradually relaxed, until he was sound asleep. My body ached, but I caught what rest I could earlier. I stared out the window and watched the miles pass.
“They knew we were hunting for these guys. What the hell is taking so long?”
“Making arrangements for an alpha to leave their territory takes time, as you well know" Deke said. “I’ve assigned guards, and the prisoners will be kept isolated until the others can arrive tomorrow.”
I growled. “We need to find out what they know now.”
Deke narrowed his eyes, and his answering snarl sent a shiver down my spine. I lifted my chin, exposing my throat. “I’m sorry.” I was exhausted and angry, but that was no excuse.
“The convocation will take place as soon as possible. Your mom’s been asking about you, so why don’t you go see her and then go home and get some rest. As my beta and the leader of the hunt, you will be the first to know when the meeting happens.”
Rich was waiting outside Deke’s office. Dark circles clone under his eyes, and guilt swamped me. If nothing else, this delay would give him some time to rest. “Come on, let’s go.” I knew Mom was going to ask what we found.
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