“Damn it!” Dominic cursed. He let his hand slowly trail down over the rough side of the building before suddenly sending his fist flying angrily into the bricks. He had known the moment they pulled up to the warehouse that Hailee wasn’t there. Her absence from the bond they shared suggested she wasn’t even anywhere nearby.
“I know it’s not what we had hoped for, but at least we’re getting close,” Doug said.
As the large weremale slowly turned around, he shot the officer with a glare that screamed he wanted to end someone’s life. The shorter man swallowed hard, before throwing both hands up in submission. Luckily for him, Dominic had decided he was too valuable as second in command.
“There are still two other locations,” Ava reminded him as she stepped up alongside the pair. A moment later, Justin and Jupiter joined them as well with a device they had borrowed from the Chicago PD. Certainly the department wouldn’t miss one, tiny-little, ten-thousand dollar thermal imager.
“Looks like there’s at least two hundred bodies lined up, eight people across, twenty-five rows deep,” Doug pointed at the screen as he looked over Justin’s shoulder. “They’re all a perfect 98.6 degrees fahrenheit,” he explained.
“This must be his farm,” Jupiter reasoned. With a silent nod of his head, Dominic agreed.
“There’s also three bodies on the second floor and two on this level here.” Doug gestured towards the ground level of the warehouse where the five werewolves stood. “At a cool 60 degrees, I can only assume they must be vampires.”
Dominic immediately began forming a plan to take out the hostiles-- alone. He knew he was stronger, but today it seemed that speed was more important. He’d already lost Hailee, and he’d be damned if he lost anyone else.
“Fancy us a gander there, Alpha?” Dominic jumped as Calum seemed to mysteriously appear by his side. With a grunt he quickly took the camera from Jupiter, nearly bending over in half in order to bring the screen low enough for the leprechauns to see. The three looked back and forth between each other while nodding their bald, little heads. Then, without a single word, they suddenly disappeared.
“What the hell?” Doug muttered as he looked over at the machine. Even Dominic was bewildered as one by one, the five vampires vanished from the screen.
“All clear,” Calum smirked as he and the other two leprechauns abruptly reappeared. Dominic had to admit he was impressed, but he made sure to take mental note that the mythical creatures could not be captured on thermographic cameras.
As the eight werewolves and leprechauns shuffled into the warehouse, Dominic found it hard to breathe as his throat seemed to tighten. A chill went up his spine at the sight before him and not just because it was startlingly cold inside. His heart felt like it was wrenching in his chest as he walked past rows upon rows of equipment revealing humans kept inside large, poly bags. With heart monitors strapped over their chests and their eyes and mouths hanging wide, a large, central tube connected to an augmented bypass machine drained the blood from each of the two-hundred brain-dead bodies. It was so much worse than any of them had imagined.
A startled gasp echoed throughout the building as Ava came to stand before a little boy. Dominic could feel his rage boiling over at the thought that this could have been Henry. He felt so much emotion at the thoughts of this happening right under his nose. He had failed to serve and protect Hailee and now the entire city.
“Promise me this will end today!” Ava pleaded before looking towards Dominic.
He watched as she hysterically fell apart in Jupiter’s arms. The taller woman stroked the scarlet hair on Ava’s head as she buried her head into the crook of her mate’s neck. But Jupiter herself looked like she was barely holding it together.
Dominic was about to answer when Doug’s cell phone went off. He could see the disapointment wash over Doug. Apparently, both the were-bears from Michigan and the North Dakota shifters had found the exact same thing in the other two locations. They quickly estimated the total to be somewhere near nine hundred humans. Evidently the dry dock in the upper east side was where Bojing was hiding most of his livestock.
There had also been a greater number of vampires guarding the place. Charlie said it had been a bloodbath, and had nearly lost one of his men. Viking and his mate Taz were currently heading back to Rose City where she said she would take good care of her man.
Dominic was furious. Where in the fuck was the blood sucker hiding his mate? They were running out of time. Every second they were apart he swore he could feel Hailee slipping further away from him in the bond.
“So what should we do now, man?” Doug pulled the phone away from his ear as he let his arm hang by his side. He seemed to be growing impatient waiting for Dominic’s decision.
“We can’t leave them like this,” Ava sobbed. Deep down Dominic knew she was right. But what on earth were they going to do with the hundreds of bodies?
“This will have to be coordinated to the second,” Dominic began. “Each oxygen tube needs to be disconnected but left pumping from the source. Tell the Brotherhood to start first-- since their facility had more humans, and once everybody is disconnected, tell both Charlie and Running Fox to get their men out. The fire department isn’t equipped to handle three huge fires all at once. We’ll light this place up first, then have Running Fox blow there’s. The department will respond by order of occurrence and hopefully by the time they get to the docks, the rubble will be unrecognizable and most of the bodies reduced to ash.”
Less than an hour later, Dominic and crew were driving down the expressway headed back to his apartment where they had all agreed to rendezvous. About a dozen emergency vehicles passed them as three explosions seemed to rock the entire city. Dominic was able to talk Ava into pulling herself together, and in order to make sure her cousin wasn’t incriminated, she sold the three properties off to the leaders of the Gangster’s Disciples and the Kings. To keep suspicions from arising, she also backdated the documents to a date before the new year. The way she worked, so quick and smooth, it really came as no surprise anymore to either Dominic or Doug why they were never able to catch these digital hackers.
“So, any ideas on where we look now?” Doug asked as he and Dominic rode up in the front. With Ava, Jupiter and Justin crammed on the bench seat, the three leprechauns were forced to roll around in the trunk. Honestly though, they seemed to be the only ones having a good time, Dominic thought.
“We’ve literally been after this guy for years,” Dominic shook his head. “We could never take him at the Atlantis because it was deemed entrapment, but most of the time, he wasn’t even there.”
“Where do you go when you don’t want to be found?” Doug asked.
“I don’t know,” Dominic grated. He couldn’t believe that after all this time, they still weren’t any closer to apprehending Big Dragon. As he cracked his neck, rolling his head back and forth across his shoulders, he suddenly felt a slight prickling sensation. The hairs raising straight up along his spine.
“What are you doing?” Doug shrieked as he grabbed for the handle above his head. He along with everyone else in the car, grunted as Dominic made a hard turn to the left.
“Did any of you ever check Hailee’s old apartment?”
“You mean that rat infested shit-hole?” Jupiter asked.
“Rat, infested, shit--” Doug had been repeating the worlds slowly out loud before trailing off. With one look at his face, Dominic knew Doug had figured it out.
“Fuck,” Dominic growled. “She’s there man, I can feel it.” Or at the very least she was somewhere close by. His entire body was thrumming with excitement.
“A hundred and thirty units,” Ava began. “And owned by a Whitlock Brother’s Management.” Dominic could hear her fingers clicking against the keys on the laptop before going on. “A quick search reveals that the business is a front. The two brothers are in Bo--”
“Don’t say his name,” Dominic growled.
Ava huffed in annoyance but knew better than to argue.
“Alright, so the two brothers are in Voldemort’s employment then,” she quipped. “And if I draw a line from each of the other three locations, Hailee’s apartment is in the center, every time. I really think this might be the place,” Ava agreed.
And the moment they pulled up, Dominic knew this was the place.
All common sense and rationality went out the window as the Alpha weremale hopped out of his car. He could feel her inside, scented her in the air. He was in mid shift when Doug and Jupiter tried to stop him.
With a thunderous roar he sent both of his captains flying. The adrenaline through his veins prohibited him from feeling any guilt. They should have known better than to get in his way. He would tear down the entire place with his bare hands if he had too. Nothing could stop him from taking back his mate.
With a ferocious snarl the hulking officer leveled his massive shoulder. He knew he was going in blind but hopefully surprise would be on his side. The air around him sizzled with electricity as he neared, his hackles rose but his wolf demanded he ignore it.
An unfortunate mistake for sure as his big body never even made it to the door before suddenly blacking out.
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