Alpha Rori King’s POV
Arrowhead Pack, Alpha’s Home
“Alpha, there is a vehicle at the gate, a middle-aged woman is inside,” the duty Warrior in the security center reported.
“Recognize her or the vehicle?”
“No, ma’am,” he said. “Sending patrol out to talk to her; she isn’t going away.”
I sat back, rocking Cheryl after her last feed of the evening. Mark had already been fed and changed, and the Omega who had nanny duty tonight set him down next to a sleeping Hope in the crib. The Pack was still on high alert after the recent attack by three Werejaguars, and it made sense for my Betas and their daughter to stay with me. I appreciated the extra protection Coral provided with her twin brother Chase gone.
Coral was a better fighter and had always been a more dominant wolf than her Doctor brother. She had dedicated herself to the warrior arts from a young age, while Chase never expected to be an Alpha. The heir-apparent to his Pack had been his oldest brother, Sawyer, now 133 years old. Sawyer and his mate Ashley had taken over leadership of the Donner Pack in California last year. Middle brother Carson, who had expected to be Sawyer’s Beta, but ended up becoming Alpha when Chase’s father went feral and was killed. Chase was my mate, and I was the dominant wolf in the relationship. It wasn’t the norm, but it worked well for us because Chase didn’t want to be the top dog.
Our Pack was not like others, and we liked it that way. We’d taken in dozens of Omegas and abused females, and my adoptive mother and her biker husband were Betas in the Pack despite being human. “Brent, you and Laura stay close in case this is a diversion,” I sent to them. The mated pair of Warriors had Cheryl duty tonight; as the next Blessed One, a firstborn female in the line of the original Werewolf King, she was the most valuable female in our world. She could become pregnant annually like me, while normal pairs were lucky to have one child every fifty to a hundred years.
“Alpha, the woman at the gate, she says she is Three Tequila and is here to see you,” Security reported.
“Let her in; she knows the way. Close the gate behind her and keep an eye out for anything else.” There was only one reason she would leave Florida in December to come to frozen Northern Minnesota, and it wasn’t to see the babies and me. I reached for the phone, calling for backup. “Mom, it’s me. I need you to come over and hurry up. You need to be here before Three Tequila kills me.”
“Three Tee is here? Oh fuck. I’ll be there in a few minutes.” Our Alpha house was at the tip of the point the Pack House sat in the center of, and Coral’s house was to my right. Possum’s house was back where the shoreline point met the west side of the lake, on the way to the front gate. She would have to hurry if she was going to be here before Three Tequila.
I handed Cheryl over to the nanny, then looked over at Laura. “Watch the babies; I’ll be back in a few. If you hear yelling, ignore it. I can handle her.”
“Of course, Alpha.” The nanny laid Cheryl down with her brother and cousin as I walked to the door. Heading downstairs with Brent trailing behind, I walked to the entryway and waited for her to arrive. Looking out the window, I knew it was her because she was going at the speed of smell through the snow and ice on the road. A lifelong Floridian, this was her first time driving in a Minnesota winter.
She parked in the driveway and got out, and I laughed at her dress. She didn’t own a winter coat, so she was in jeans, motorcycle boots, and a Harley-Davidson hoodie. She looked miserable as she came up the walkway to my door. I opened it up and smiled. “This is a surprise, Three T,” I said as she came in.
She looked around as I closed the door, then grabbed my sweatshirt by the shoulders and pushed me into the door. “WHERE THE HELL IS SHE,” she said.
Brent moved to grab her, but I shook him off. I just pulled her into my arms, holding her as she started to break down. “You took her, she’s still alive, and you didn’t tell me,” she sobbed as I held her up.
“Come on; we need to talk.” Possum had shown up by now, so I led them to the library, a cozy room off the entryway that held books, comfortable chairs, and a gas fireplace between the windows looking over the lake. I turned on the fireplace and set Three T in one of the wide leather chairs, sitting next to her as I pulled a crochet afghan over us. She had only been outside a few minutes, but her hands were freezing cold. Possum hugged her, then took a chair across from us. I sent for an Omega to bring us some hot chocolate and snacks while she snuggled in next to me.
“Where is she?”
“She’s safe,” I said. “I’m sorry we didn’t tell you. We needed the Sons to think the DEA had her in Witness Protection, and the DEA to think the Sons had her. We screwed up when we took her; our team used too much sedative in the coffee, and we were looking at serious charges. It was best not to tell anyone.”
“Mongo said you didn’t trust the cops to keep her safe.”
I nodded. “The cops don’t understand the threat. It’s more than just an outlaw club. The leaders of the Sons of Tezcatlipoca are jaguar shifters. Very big, very tough and they wanted her dead. Only a Pack could hope to protect her.”
“Jaguars? The big fucking jungle cats?”
“Yes. When Manilo showed up at the service, he smelled us and figured out that we were hiding Heather in Minnesota. Three Werejaguars attacked us a few nights ago, but we’d already moved Heather to a safer location. We killed the three jaguars, and moved Heather just in case.”
Possum answered instead. “Heather Rhodes is her new identity. We try not to use her old name so we get used to her new one.” She smiled. “She stayed with us for a day when she first got here. We’ve taken good care of her for you.”
She sank back into the chair, wiping the tears from her eyes. “I need to see her. I need to know she’s all right.”
“Charles, Connie, come to my house please, the library,” I sent. “I can’t do that, Tee. The Sons suspect we are here, and we don’t know if they have people watching our Pack. You arriving like this, in a panic, just confirms to them that we have her. It would have been better if you had trusted us to take care of her. You know we will do anything to protect her from them.”
“Not good enough,” she said. “We had an interesting conversation with Frank Donovan, the DEA guy in Orlando? He met us for lunch, and gave me a message for you.”
“Why didn’t he just call?”
“He told me that you needed to keep Harleigh, umm Heather, out of sight. She was seen yesterday at a pizza place in Wadena.”
I sighed. “We know she was recognized, but our people destroyed the security camera footage, and the photograph wasn’t good enough. Still, we relocated again, and she’s with one of our Pack Warriors for protection.”
“You didn’t destroy it,” she said as she shook her head. “Donovan saw the photo; he said facial recognition was a match to her. He kept it from spreading, but he told me not to trust phones or emails, and he gave me a warning. He said you needed to keep her safe and completely out of sight. The Director doesn’t want his friend’s only daughter to die because you guys are getting sloppy.” She wiped a tear. “Do you have any idea of what I’ve been through today? That was how I found out my niece was still alive!”
“Oh god,” I said as I pulled her into my arms. “No wonder you showed up on my doorstep!” I heard someone come in the door, then a minute later Charles and Connie entered the room. I introduced her to Three Tequila, reminding them that she knew of Pack life. “She wants to see her niece, but I explained how we couldn’t. Can you tell her how she is doing?”
“Of course, Alpha.” I got up and moved to the kitchen while they talked. “Coral, Keith, Three Tequila was told by a friend in the DEA that Heather had been positively identified as Harleigh Ryder in the Pizza Ranch. I need you guys to come up with a way to find the two and pass on the warning. We have to be very careful, though; it’s possible law enforcement and the Sons are watching us by now.”
“Of course, Alpha.”
I was helping Angie put together the tray of snacks when I heard a cry from upstairs. “Alpha, Cheryl won’t sleep,” the nanny sent.
“Have Laura bring her down to the library,” I said. Angie took the tray with the mugs of hot chocolate while I brought the chocolates and cakes on the tray. Three Tequila was sitting up now, and Possum was sitting with her. We passed out the mugs just as Cheryl arrived.
“Oh my God, she’s getting so big,” Three T said as she saw my daughter. Her hand slipped down to her stomach, rounded in her fifth month of pregnancy. “Can I?”
“Of course, you’re practically her Grandmother,” I said. She held the fussy girl, rocking her as she calmed down. I could tell she felt better about Heather now that she had talked with the two warriors who had recently left her. She caught us up on what was happening in Florida, while we told her about what we were doing here to guard against the Sons. We were all getting tired, and even Cheryl was asleep in her arms.
“Where is Chase,” she finally asked.
“Chase is doing what he promised the Club he would do,” I said. “He’s making them pay for their sins.”
DEA Acting Director Lawrence Miller’s POV
San Francisco Division
This had been the weirdest night of my twenty-six years in the DEA.
This morning I was reviewing reports in my Washington, DC office; my division worked with law enforcement in Central and South America to disrupt Cartel operations. I was called into the Director’s office, handed a warrant and instructions, and was told to bring two agents I trust with my life with me. I had arrived in San Francisco and waited for the call.
We were sitting on a bench outside the DEA building when the call came. “Execute the warrant and take over immediately,” the Director said.
“Yes, sir.” I hung up and went inside, my men and I presenting our badges. I showed the warrant and my orders to the duty officer, who paled as he read them. “Is the Division Director here,” I asked.
“No, sir. He left about two hours ago.”
“I am assuming command of this Division, effective immediately. You are relieved of your duties; you are to drive Agents Thompson and Guiterrirez here to arrest Mr. McClintock.”
“I understand, sir.” He left with them as I entered the floor where the agents worked.
Only one man was around, and he wasn’t on the list. “I’m Director Miller, and I’m the new Division Director. Stand up from your computer.” He did, looking at me quizzically. “Place your weapon and badge on the desk. You are on paid suspension pending an investigation into this unit.”
His face paled. “Investigation for what?”
“That’s classified. Another agent or I will call you in a few days with further instructions” He left the office, and I locked it behind him. I went into the Director’s office; the first thing I did was unplug his computer and disconnect it from the network, setting it aside. I put on gloves and looked through his desk. I didn’t find anything; I didn’t expect to. The betrayal was more about what they DIDN’T investigate than what they did.
I got the call about McClintock’s arrest about the same time as the FBI showed up. Their teams seized all the computers in the office, tagging them for evidence, then started boxing up the desks.
My men collected the duty agent’s badge and gun, and when they returned, we locked it all up in the safe and left the room to the FBI. Going outside to our rental car, we drove to the jail where the FBI had brought the men arrested in the raid. I had a brief conversation with Director Grimes, the Los Angeles agent who had received the tip. The FBI raid on the warehouse had been nearly flawless, and they had seized a large shipment of drugs. The shocking part was how many were killed instead of being arrested; I guess that’s what happens when a violent biker gang doesn’t want to go to prison.
We arrived, and I met up with the FBI Agent-In-Charge that had brought them in. “They’ve been segregated for questioning?”
“We have four here in different interrogation rooms, and the four in the hospital segregated from each other. They all refused to speak to anyone without their lawyer,” he said.
“Let me guess… high-priced defense lawyer?”
“Yep. She was here before we had them fingerprinted.” I told him what was going on and what I planned to do. “You sure about this?”
“I just do what I’m told,” I said. I entered the interrogation area and walked to room three. Knocking, I walked in without waiting for an answer.
A big Hispanic biker in orange coveralls sat handcuffed to the table, and a woman in a two-thousand-dollar pantsuit turned to me in shock. “I’m meeting with my CLIENT, now GET OUT,” she said.
“There’s no need for that,” I said. I walked over to where Carlos Pachino, the Vice President of the Bay Area Sons of Tezcatlipoca, sat. Taking the key out of my pocket, I removed his handcuffs. “Mr. Pachino is free to go as no charges against him are being filed; I will take him to Outprocessing so he can retrieve his personal effects.”
Both of them looked at me like I was crazy. “He’s not being charged?”
“That’s correct.” I waved for Carlos to follow me, and the lawyer trailed him out the door. It only took ten minutes for him to change, then he was at the front door. The warrant we had obtained allowed us to plant a tracking device and bug, and the one we had inserted into his wallet was our newest design. It had a voice-activated recorder and GPS location data and transmitted to a cell tower once an hour in a burst that lasted only a few seconds. It was almost impossible to detect. “I assume you can get him home,” I asked the lawyer.
“Yes,” she said.
“Good.” I turned to Carlos, who was just figuring out what was going on. “The DEA appreciates your cooperation, Carlos. Have a nice day.” I walked back inside, smiling to myself. The release would be suspicious, and the lawyer didn’t work for Carlos personally. It would be reported back with my words, and once the search warrant became public? We both knew what the Sons did to traitors.
He had two choices, both of them bad. He could run, spending the rest of his life looking over his shoulder. Or, he could go to the Club and hope they would believe him.
Either way, he was a dead man.