Between the Were Wars

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Chapter 2: Tragedy

“Don’t leave me here with these tears
Come and kiss this pain away
I can’t forget the day you left
Time is so unkind
And life is so cruel without you here beside me.”

-”Unbreak my Heart” by Toni Braxton

Alpha Merino staggered, the pain coursing through his bond alerting him to Joe’s distress before he was linked in. “Joe, what is going on? Are you all right?”

“They’ve killed Daria.”

“Who did this?”

“Three men, on ATV’s, just south of where we attacked those drug smugglers. They are heading southwest, send everyone you can.”

Fuck. Drug smugglers again, and this time they killed the mate of a Pack member. They better fix this fast, he thought, or Joe would completely lose it and become a danger to everyone. He linked in with his warriors and the border guards. “Cut them off, shoot on sight. If you can, keep one or more alive, I need to know who sent them.” He ran to his vehicle, his Betas with him as they took off in pursuit. “I’m going with Doc to meet Joe. I’ve got to keep him from losing it and going feral on us.” To distract Joe, he asked him to project what he had seen of the gunmen; it took a few minutes for him to calm down enough, but he did. He relayed the memory to his men who were racing in pursuit.

Ten minutes later he reached Joe’s location. Before the vehicle even stopped, he was out of the passenger seat and running for his side. Joe was gently rocking Daria in his lap, his arms locked around her as he kissed what was left of her face. It only took a glance to see that there would be no miracle here, Daria was dead and her mate was reeling from her loss. He knelt by his side, bringing him into a hug. Words were not necessary as Joe broke down in his arms. It was better, Alpha thought, than what he feared.

Joe’s wolf had not taken over yet, perhaps only because they hadn’t fully mated yet.

As he sat with his pack member, he was getting regular updates from the other Betas and Warriors on the pursuit. It wasn’t going well, the bad guys had a good lead and their ATV’s were fast. Too fast. The chase teams couldn’t close the distance before they reached the pack border.

Alpha, I have one shot at this.” Mark was on a lone border patrol when the alert went out and he made a beeline for where he thought they would cross. In wolf form, he moved swiftly through the rock and brush, his brown fur blending with the rocks as he moved to intercept. He saw their truck and trailer parked by the side of the paved road that marked their border, ramps down and warmed up. Looking back, he saw the three ATV’s rapidly approaching. The men were making good time despite the bundles of drugs on the front and back cargo holders. Mark wished he was armed, but there was no time. His wolf would have to be enough.

Keep one alive if you can, we need to know who sent them.” The Alpha command reverberated through his head as he set his ambush. There were only seconds left until the first one reached him. He watched him tear by, then the next, and fixed his eyes on the tail driver. This is going to hurt, he thought, as he leaped out of his hiding place and launched himself at his head.

Mark kept his jaws together, he needed him alive and the impact would be enough. He felt his chest hit the driver’s shoulder, knocking them both to the ground. The ATV swerved and rolled, its cargo flying loose as it cartwheeled along the dirt path. The driver rolled several times before coming to a stop. Mark groaned as he hit the ground, the impact had busted up his ribs and he could taste the blood in his mouth as he coughed. The pain nearly blacked him out as he lay in the dirt.

The first two men didn’t stop or slow down when their companion was taken out. Mark watched, panting heavily, as the men drove onto the trailer and raised the ramps before jumping in the back of the crew cab truck. The man riding shotgun saw Mark and the downed raider, and as they drove off he started firing an AK-47 their direction.

Mark ignored the pain and scrambled behind a rock, only to watch bullets kick up around the unconscious guy on the ground. They weren't going to leave someone behind who was still alive.

“Fuck, this might hurt.” He ran out and grabbed his leg with his teeth, then pulled hard and dragged him towards the rocks. His chest was on fire, but he growled and kept pulling until they were out of the line of fire. Collapsing again with pain, he listened as the sound of the truck died away. It was another five minutes before help arrived, and by then the truck was long gone.

Mark was still on his side, his breath shallow as he tried to get past the pain of just breathing from his broken ribs. The noise of the vehicles approaching was enough to wake the bad guy up. He sat up, shaking his head and his long blonde hair, and took a deep sniff. Before Mark could react, he had shifted into a black and tan wolf and taken off for the border. Mark quickly relayed the information, and the Pack vehicles were in pursuit. It was only a few minutes before they had the man surrounded, subdued and tied. They weren’t gentle either. His bruised and trussed form was tossed in the back of a Jeep for the ride back to the Pack house.

A different vehicle had stopped by Mark, Julia jumped out along with her nurse and rushed over to him. He tilted his head, tongue hanging out, as he watched them approach. “Hey Doc, good to see you. Sorry I can’t give you a hug but my ribs hurt too bad.”

Julia gently probed his back and chest, drawing flinches when she got to the damaged area. “Shift back, I want to see this without the fur.” A minute later, he was sitting on the ground, a pair of basketball shorts on. He grimaced as his ribs were examined and wrapped with a bandage. “The ribs will have to heal on their own, bed rest for a day or two should do it. Next time, lead with your shoulder. And let your mental walls down, Lynn knows you are hurt and is worried about you.”

Mark closed his eyes for a few moments, then smiled. “She’s mad I’m hurt but has plans for me being restricted to bed. I assured her that relevant parts remain functional.”

“Just remember the REST part of bed rest, it applies even to the newly mated!”

Gila Pack Alpha Office

New Mexico

Renee leaned back in her chair as Robert stood, leaning over his desk to stand over the phone. “His BROTHER is challenging the result of the Alpha challenge?”

“That’s correct,” said Elder Grey. “As I said, the hearing will be in a week. The National Council will hear from each side and make their decision. Only Alphas will be allowed in the hearing unless they are called as witnesses. You are allowed to introduce evidence and provide witnesses, as well as challenge evidence and witnesses Alpha Diggs brings forth. The hearing could take an hour or several days depending on what is covered, so be prepared for that. Our administrative staff will be in touch with you soon to make arrangements for your travel. Do you have any questions?”

Robert looked at Renee, she was staring blankly at the wall. “Not at this time.”

“Very well then, we will see you in a week, Alphas.” The dial tone filled the room after he hung up, but Robert was too busy looking at Renee to notice. She wasn’t blinking, wasn’t moving, and he could hear her heart racing. He hung up the phone and moved to kneel by her, but she suddenly jumped up and ran to the door.

“I THOUGHT THIS WAS OVER!” She slammed the door closed, hard enough to knock things off the shelves. He sat, figuring she needed to cool down before continuing.

The next sound he heard scared him. “Robert?” It was soft and pleading. He quickly opened up the door to see her leaning against the wall, holding her rounded belly with one hand while the other hand was in front of her face. Tears ran down her face as she stared at it in shock. It was covered in blood.

El Paso Pack Territory


Having seen to Mark’s injuries and sending him back to the Pack House with her nurse, Julia drove alone to meet her Alpha and Beta Joe. Alpha Merino had confirmed that there was no hurry, Daria had died instantly. She nervously tapped the body bag she had in the passenger seat as she drove back to them.

For the most part, life as a Pack doctor was good. Werewolves were rarely sick, wounds and broken bones healed much faster than with humans, and there was the joy of helping mothers bring new life into the world. Death was tougher for her to handle, even after all these years. Losing your parents at an early age will do that to you. In the years since then, she had seen more than enough death from battles large and small, but this one turned her stomach.

As she stopped near them, she opened her medical bag and prepared an injection kit. You never knew what would happen when a man lost his mate, and it could rapidly turn violent. A wolf in a rage would hurt enemies and friends alike and it was very difficult to stop them once they got rolling. Heavy sedation was the normal treatment, but it had to be administered early to be effective. Once the rage kicked in, their body would be able to resist its effects for a few minutes, minutes that could have deadly results.

She placed the auto-injector in her pocket, put on gloves and her lab coat, and walked over. Joe was still rocking back and forth slowly with Daria in his lap, her T-shirt spattered in blood and a large exit hole on the back of her head.

“Joe, it’s Doc. Can I look at Daria?” She knew it was better to get permission, you didn’t want to set him off. Joe didn’t respond, he kept rocking her back and forth as tears fell down his face. She knelt in front of him and slowly reached for her head, but he twisted away from her. She looked up at her Alpha. “Jose, can you help me get him to release her? We need to prepare her for the funeral ceremony.”

“NO! No one is taking her from me.” Joe looked into his Alpha’s eyes. “I will take her back and prepare her, she is MINE.” Nodding, Jose stood and helped Joe to his feet, still cradling his dead mate in his arms.

Julia returned to her car and returned with a white sheet. “Joe, may I wrap this around her? It will maintain her modesty during the trip home.” When he nodded, she placed the sheet over her body and worked with him to wrap it around her. Joe then walked her to the back seat of the Alpha’s jeep. They slowly drove back to the Pack house, mainly because Alpha Merino wanted their prisoner in the cells and guarded before Joe got there.

They needed him alive for now.

The entire Pack knew what had happened, and although she was new and still human, the Pack had claimed her as one of their own and responded accordingly. As the two vehicles approached, Pack wolves lined the road, raising a howl to the sky as Daria passed by.

Gila Pack Lands

New Mexico

The six Betas rested on the back of the lift truck, completely exhausted. The process of moving the pallets of cash had taken all morning and into the afternoon. The pallets were broken down, first taking a tenth each and putting it into duffle bags for distribution to the Johnson and El Paso packs per their Alpha’s instruction, plus one duffle for Pack use.

That was still in the van, along with the gold, jewelry and bonds. The rest of the cash, they vacuum sealed in heavy plastic bags with dessicant packs inside, placed in duffle bags, then carried to the back of a cave system deep inside their territory. A few well placed sticks of dynamite later, and the fortune in cash was buried under thousands of tons of rock.

As they drank their water bottles and ate the sandwiches Anna had prepared for their group, they considered where to hide the rest. It needed to be someplace accessible, out of the way and yet secure. Someplace that no one would think to look.

Rick came up with the idea. He had been instrumental in building and expanding the koi pond. No one would look for treasure under a pit full of fish poo, and it would be close enough they could keep an eye on it. That night they finished the job, using the excuse of emergency repairs to the filter system. The hole was dug into the bottom of the pit and covered with six inches of concrete and rebar.

Only the six of them and their Alphas knew the locations.

Gila Pack Medical Wing

New Mexico

Robert clung to her hand as if it was the only thing keeping him alive. In a way, it was. The failure of his past had crashed down upon him as he had picked her up and run her here, frantically mind linking the medical staff to meet him. Blood covered his right forearm where he had held her, and his left hand was on his forehead as he sat next to the bed she was resting on. It couldn’t happen again, not another miscarriage, not another mate bleeding out and him helpless.

Terry and Wendy were frantically working over her, she was hooking up monitors as he was getting the ultrasound ready. By the time he had the first look at her, his mate and nurse had started a large bore IV with a blood transfusion. She was still bleeding, it wasn’t a hemorrhage yet but it wasn’t good either. “OK, we’ve got two strong heartbeats, no sign of fetal distress. That’s a good sign, Renee.” Doc continued to examine her until he found the problem. He sent out a mental call to check how much of her type blood they had on hand, finding it insufficient he directed a call be sent out for donors. It was better to be safe in case her condition worsened. Wendy finished hooking up the fetal and blood pressure monitors as they communicated mentally. Thick cotton pads were placed at her groin to soak up the flow. Finally, Terry moved around and sat in a chair by her head next to Robert.

“Are my babies going to live, Doc?” Renee was barely holding her emotions in check, tears in her eyes as the worst case scenario kept running through her mind. She took some comfort in the squeeze of her hand, she knew Robert would always be with her.

“It’s still early on, but the signs are very encouraging. You’ve had a partial placental abruption. A small part of your placenta tore away from the uterus, resulting in the bleeding you are experiencing. Luckily, it was a smaller tear and the remainder of the placenta is still functioning. We will be monitoring the babies for any signs of distress, and we will be monitoring you closely for effects from blood loss. You will need blood and fluids to replenish your own supply until your body heals.”

Robert looked at him. “So it will heal on it’s own?”

“Yes, I would expect it to heal fully in the next day or so. I will be watching that as well, we will do periodic ultrasounds to make sure it is improving. However, nothing is guaranteed. If the tear worsens, you could lose enough blood to place the babies and your own health in jeopardy. This is a serious complication, Alphas, to an already risky pregnancy of twins. We also don’t know the full impact of the drugs you were injected with or the beatings you have endured. You are now at high risk for miscarriage and we cannot take any more chances with your health. The longer the babies develop before delivery the better. In the meantime, Alphas, you need to rest. Renee, that means you stay where you are, no trying to sit up or roll. If you need to move, call for help. We will clean you and the bed up once the flow has slowed down. I’m not kidding, I want 100% bed rest, you don’t even go to the bathroom, you get a help and we use a bedpan."

He looked at Robert. "And Alpha, you really need to take a shower and get new clothes.”

“I can’t leave my mate.”

“You can shower here, and ask one of the Omegas to bring you clothes. Someone else can sit with her while you are gone. I know one particular little girl who is very anxious to see you.” Renee smiled, knowing little Michelle was worried, she had been waiting for her since she found out she was in the clinic.

Wendy went outside to a room full of concerned pack members. She found Michelle and picked her up, she had been crying constantly while she waited. “Shhh, little one, your Alpha will be fine and her babies will be too.”

Michelle sniffed and said, “Really? She’s ok?”

“I promise. Come on, let’s go see her.”

Michelle ran over to the bed and gave Renee's leg a hug. “Alpha, are you really going to be fine like Wendy said?”

Wendy looked up to see Terry’s face, his expression was one that promised punishment later. She quickly dropped her gaze, knowing immediately that she had said too much.

Terry did not like anyone talking about his patients without his permission. Her stomach clenched with the thought of what her punishment would be this time. Her sex didn’t care, it was already preparing for him.

Robert sighed, leaving her side was something he never wanted to do again but the last thing he wanted in the world was to risk her babies. In cases like this, even the Alpha had to submit to the judgment of the healer. A few mental communications later, he was headed for the showers down the hall and Michelle was sitting in his place by her side.

There were a few things he took care of by mind link as he showered. He had his assistant set up a call with the Elder’s Council for the morning- she could not travel to the hearing. He asked Linda to work on putting together the Pack celebration and inviting the Johnson and El Paso pack members, since Renee wouldn’t be working either. Then he linked Doc and his staff and informed them his office had just moved to the hospital room until further notice. He wasn’t going to leave her side any more than he had to. He couldn’t live with himself if something happened to her.

El Paso Pack Territory

Detaining Facility

The prisoner remained defiant, despite the beatings and threats. Beta Jim Rogers stepped out of the room, removing the tape from his fists before washing the blood from his hands in the sink. He and the other Betas present kept an eye on him through the one way glass of the room. He was labored in his breathing, which was to be expected from the broken ribs and body shots he had taken. “Alpha, he isn’t saying a word. I don’t see any identifying marks and none of us recognize him.”

Alpha Merino sighed, Joe was hanging on to his sanity by a thread and he really needed to see justice done if there was a chance of him surviving. “Take a photo of him and send it to our allied packs, and ask them if they know. Hopefully someone will give us a clue on who these assholes are.” He received the projection of the prisoner through the bond and sent it to his pack members, but no one responded with a name.

He looked over at Joe, who was still rocking his mate in his arms as they drove back to the pack house. “Tell him this. He and his men killed a new mate of one of our Betas. He will be in the cell house in an hour, and no one will stop him from extracting as much pain from him as he can inflict for as long as he lets him live. Or, he can tell us who else was in his crew and who sent them and we’ll give him a quick death.”

“I’ll tell him, Boss, but I don’t think he will talk.” He looked at him through the mirror, his head was bloody but his eyes remained defiant.

“You’re probably right,” he said, “ but I almost hope he keeps quiet. Joe will be better off if his wolf gets his pound of flesh.”

A few minutes later, they arrived at the Pack House. Joe waved off the gurney brought out to the car, he wasn’t going to let anyone else touch his mate. They followed him as he carried her to the room they used as a morgue.

Joe laid her gently on the table and kissed her forehead on the side that was still mostly intact. Two older pack members slowly entered the room with washcloths and linen sheets for the wrap; standing on the other side of the preparation table, they waited patiently for him to look at them. “I’ll prepare her myself,” he said, “but I would appreciate your assistance.” He looked at his Alpha, his eyes pleading for privacy.

“Joe, we will send her off at sundown tonight. Preparations for the pyre are already underway. She will leave as a member of our Pack, even though she hadn’t turned yet.” He nodded and then his eyes returned to her, and everyone else left the room and left them to their somber task. He left two Betas outside the door in case Joe’s mental condition worsened.

By the time he got back to his office, his Luna was waiting for him. “Jesus, how is he doing?” She crossed the office and hugged him tightly as he embraced her.

“Maria, Joe is still in shock.” He stepped back and sat on the lounge chair next to his desk, pulling her into his lap. “He hasn’t said much of anything, he just kept rocking her in his lap the whole way home. He can’t believe she is gone. There was no reason for it either, they just fucking shot her while she was standing there. One minute they are making love on the blanket, the next she is gone.” He put his head on her shoulder. “I can’t imagine what he is going through.”

“He will snap out of it sooner or later, and when he does there will be hell to pay. Are we ready for that?”

“I have two options... I can have Doc sedate him to the point of a coma, or I can give him a focus for his anger. I think we have a while, he refuses to be separated from her now and he will stay with her until after the ceremony tonight. It’s after that I’m worried about.”

She put her forehead on his as she cupped his face. “Our track record in this isn’t good. I think we need to have some help from the other packs.” Seeing the quizzical look on his face, she continued. “We’ve never been able to save a mate who lost their mate. Other packs, though, have had some success. I saw it at Wolfstock, but we never found out how they help them. I got a call while you were gone; Alpha Robert and Renee Hastings have invited us and those who helped them to a celebration in three days of the end of this cartel mess. I think we should bring Joe with us and see if they can help. Both of them have survived the loss of a mate.”

“I will talk to the Pack tonight after the ceremony. Maybe a change of scenery will help him. Did you mention this to the Gila Alphas?” She shook her head no. “We need to warn them before we bring a potentially dangerous Beta along. They and their medical team need to be aware of it. I also think it is a good idea to be more social and to build our ties with other Packs, especially those who we are allied to. Did you say we would be there?”

“I said we would be honored to attend and would let them know tomorrow how many will be coming. They assured me that even if I brought the whole Pack they would be fine with it, they have enough accommodations to handle it. And it’s not like we don’t have the money to travel now.” She giggled as she thought of the money they had recovered from the Cartel. “Fat stacks of Benjamins, yo.”

Enrique’s Apartment

El Paso, TX

The two National Security Agency analysts followed the FBI agents under the crime scene tape. As soon as the address came up in traffic, alerts went out to both agencies. The FBI had taken over the crime scene before the local law enforcement had finished setting up crime scene tape. One look in the extra bedroom was enough to know that it was bad, it was the job of the analysts to figure out just HOW bad.

The men entered the room, booties covering their feet and latex gloves on their hands. Their instructions were to recover any information related to national security secrets before the crime scene people were given the room. They glanced around the room in shock, the information on the walls alone was explosive. It included information from confidential informants, wiretaps, electronic communications... even internal DEA and Customs documents. They took down the papers from the wall and placed them in sealed envelopes. They didn’t miss the cables that ran to missing computer equipment- probably a laptop and a portable hard drive with electronic versions of what was on the wall, and who knew what else. It was a fucking disaster.

It took two hours to complete their work, and they reported their findings on a secure line to the Director. He had several calls to make, including the White House counsel and the CIA director. This was now an issue of national security, whoever had that information had to be found... and stopped.

The FBI would have the names of everyone who had been in that apartment by the end of the day.

Doctor’s Quarters

Gila Pack, New Mexico

Terry’s anger had been building all afternoon. It didn’t help that he had all the paperwork to finish, plus the hassles that come from having the Alpha basically taking over his hospital while his mate was there. He burst through the front door of their cabin and froze.

In the center of the room, Wendy was kneeling naked. Her knees were wide apart, exposing her sex which was already dripping with her arousal. Her back was straight, breasts proud and nipples erect. Her head was bowed and her eyes focused on his feet. In her hands was a riding crop, held out in front of her. “Sir, I have angered you and broken your rules by informing other Pack members of Renee’s condition without your permission. I ask for your discipline.”

Terry looked at her for a few seconds, took the crop and then walked past her to the bedroom. She heard drawers opening and a few minutes later he was standing in front of her, also naked. “Stand.”

She rose gracefully to her feet, ankles shoulder width apart, and hands behind her back grasping opposite forearms. Terry ran his fingers down her body, teasing her breasts before cupping her wet sex. He’d always been a dominant, and when he found his mate he was thrilled to find out that she was sexually submissive. Bondage quickly became a part of their play, and they both enjoyed scenes that always included hot sex.

Turning her around, he placed leather cuffs on her wrists and tied them together with a carabiner. He lifted her wrists, forcing her to bend forward at the waist, and led her over to the closed bedroom door. He raised her wrists further, grasping the back of her head until the top of it was touching the doorknob. He used his legs to push hers backwards and out until her body was at a right angle with her legs spread widely. “Do not move from this position or we will start over. You have earned twenty. Count them out.”

Raising the crop, he picked his target in the center of her left cheek and brought it down hard. There was a loud smack, he watched her tense and struggle not to move. “One, sir.” He continued with clinical precision, alternating between her cheeks and moving his targets in a circular pattern to avoid overlap. The crop left red marks behind that made her even more beautiful in his eyes.

“Nineteen, sir.” Her voice was straining and her legs shaking. Not only did she have to maintain the position without her arms to balance, but the pain and anticipation of the hits forced her to concentrate on relaxing. She could feel her juices flowing down her thighs in anticipation of what was coming next. “Twenty, sir. Thank you sir for your correction.”

She had barely finished speaking when he slammed himself deep into her. She yelped at the sudden intrusion into her sodden pussy. His cock filled her to overflowing, hitting all the right places as he pulled slowly back. He grabbed her bound wrists and used them as leverage to slam into her again.

She gave herself up to the sensations, ignoring the pain as her head bounced off the doorknob and door as her mate took her with power and authority. Her first orgasm was quickly upon her, he fucked her through that and on to the next one. When those spasms ended, he withdrew and opened the door. Marching her over to the bed, he tossed her face down onto it and pulled her ass back to the edge.

“Please sir, take me, use me.” She moved her hips back to him, seeking contact with his cock, but he stayed out of reach.

“I’ll take you when I want, how I want.” He pushed her shoulders down with one hand while the other aimed his cock. With a brutal thrust, he sheathed himself fully in her ass.

“FUUUUUUCK! Yes take me sir, take me hard! Use my ass!” She ignored the burning from the sudden intrusion and focused on the delicious feelings as he pounded her hard. She relished the rough use, he owned her completely and she loved it that way. The feeling was starting again in her core, it slowly built with each thrust until her whole body exploded. She felt her body stiffen, her ring clenched tight around him and that was enough to send him over the edge as well. She screamed her release as she felt his seed filling her ass.

When he finally withdrew, she let out a moan as the sticky mess dripped out and ran down her leg. He left her there, bent over the bed and panting, and went into the bathroom. A few minutes later he returned, removing her bindings gently and carrying her into the large Jacuzzi tub. He got in behind her and she lay back on his chest, her body still tingling from the session. She loved that, but she also loved the tender aftercare he showed her as she came down from the high. “I love you, Sir.”

“I love you too, my perfect little mate.”

El Paso Pack Ceremonial Grounds


The entire pack was gathered around the wooden pyre as they approached just after sunset. The clearing was lit by torches spaced evenly behind them. Joe led the way, Daria in his arms; she had been cleaned and wrapped in white linen. Behind him came the Alpha pair, followed by the Betas. Doctor Julia followed as well, her black medical bag in hand, a large sedative dose at the ready in case his beast broke loose. There was no sound except the crunch of the sand under their feet as they walked forward. Alpha Merino came forward and helped Joe lift Daria on top of the pyre. When they stepped back, Maria handed Joe a lit torch before stepping back to the embrace of her mate.

Joe stood there for a few seconds, then looked up at her. “I vow to avenge you, my love, my mate.” He stepped forward, thrusting the torch into the base of the pyre and igniting the tinder. He moved around the pyre, lighting it at intervals until the heat was too much. He stepped back then dropped to his knees as the roaring flames consumed her. Tears flowed freely from his eyes, as well as from many others in the Pack. When the Alpha pair removed their clothes, Joe and the pack followed and shifted. Joe sat back and raised a heartbroken howl to the heavens. It was soon joined by the Alpha, then echoed by the entire Pack.

They stayed until the pyre collapsed, then pack members slowly moved off leaving only their Alphas, Doc and Joe behind. Joe didn’t rise until there were only coals remaining. He turned his tear streak face to his Alphas and fell to his knees again. Maria rushed forward and embraced him, her own tears wetting his shoulder as he released his grief.

They were walking back to the Pack house when his assistant linked him. “Alpha, we got a call from the Gila pack Alpha while you were out. They recognized our prisoner. His name is Richard Hunter. He was a low level beta in Stanley Digg’s pack; after Blake became Alpha, he and a number of other Betas were kicked out of the pack as he cleaned house. They made some phone calls, he and five others joined the Tahoe Pack. They will fit right in with Marcus Diggs and his pack.”

Jesus smiled, now he didn’t need to break the prisoner, they had the information they needed. “My love, I’ll meet you back in our room. Joe has something to do.” With a quick kiss she left, and he turned Joe to the detention area. He linked Doc to stay back but ready.

He walked Joe into the interrogation room. Leaving him for a moment, he returned with a pair of pliers, a blowtorch, and a silver knife. He placed them on a back table, then they watched as two Betas brought the prisoner in and bound his hands and legs to the chair with silver shackles. He was defiant still, that made the next few moments even more satisfying. “Richard Hunter, new Beta of the Tahoe pack. Meet Joe, one of my Betas.” Richard looked up with a “so what” expression. “Joe, Richard here was one of the men responsible for the raid that killed your mate. He didn’t fire the shot but he was involved. He’s yours. Let me know when you finally kill him.”

Joe smiled. He had the knife in one hand and the blowtorch in the other as Alpha Merino closed the door. He could still hear the screams from outside.

His sleep was not disturbed.

FBI Field Office

Albuquerque, NM

Jake burst through the door of Henry Warren’s office. “We’ve got a fingerprint match. Linda Remington.”

“The REPORTER Linda Remington?” The Special Agent in Charge could already feel the shitstorm coming his way.

“Yep. The other prints we are still searching, if Werewolves were involved we may not have their fingerprints on file unless they were old enough to be printed before the war started. I did some checking, Linda is now part of the Gila pack in New Mexico.”

“What the hell was she doing in an apartment in Texas, then?”

“I guess we’ll have to ask her.”

Fuck. This would have to go all the way to Headquarters. You couldn’t just arrest a reporter, even on a case like this, without getting the White House behind you first. It was going to be a long night.

Gila Pack Medical Center

New Mexico

The knock on the door woke Robert from his sleep. He was curled up in wolf form around the feet of his mate; he had tried to sleep in the chair but his wolf needed to be closer to her. She was still sleeping, and he could tell the bleeding had stopped. Jumping off, he shifted and dressed before going to the door.

His assistant handed him the phone. “Sorry, sir, but your mental blocks were up and this is urgent. It’s the east end sentry.”

Taking the phone, he stepped outside so he wouldn’t wake Renee. “Yes?”

“Sir... the FBI is here. A whole bunch of them. They have an arrest warrant for Linda Remington, and are demanding entry or they will arrest me for obstruction of justice.” Fuck. “And sir... they have a search warrant. They want all Pack members outside immediately so they can search our buildings.”

Robert let out a sigh. “Fine. Escort them here.”

He sent out a mental message. “Enrique... the FBI is here with a search warrant. Take all your stuff and go into hiding. Don’t tell me where.

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