Arrowhead Pack Alpha’s Home
Three Tequila was exhausted from the events of the day, so after handing Cheryl back to the nanny she was ready for bed. I led her to a guest room, getting her into bed where she was out as soon as her head hit the pillow.
I was headed back to my empty bedroom when Coral came out of the room she and Keith were using and pulled me back in with her. “You have to see this,” she said.
“SONS OF TEZCATLIPOCA KILLED IN DRUG BUST,” the wording across the bottom said. I watched as the cameras focused on a pretty blonde reporter, a warehouse surrounded by law enforcement in the background. “Sources confirm that a major drug pipeline to the West Coast has been shut down, and large quantities of cocaine and other drugs seized. FBI sources stated that the Sons of Tezcatlipoca members inside the warehouse refused to surrender or follow commands, and only eight members of the violent biker gang are now under arrest. Thirteen of the Sons were killed in the raid, which was conducted by members of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. It’s another shocking development in a story that began with the revenge murder of a former DEA undercover agent and his family in Florida.”
“This is good news, right,” Coral asked.
“I’m sure Chase had something to do with it,” I said with a smile. “I know he was going to get Spider Monkey involved, but I thought it would take a lot longer before we got any results.”
“Spider is fantastic; I love that girl.”
“She’s got a wild streak in her. She knows what she wants, and she goes and gets it.”
“Yeah, mostly big tall guys who can fuck her stupid,” Coral said with a laugh. “She loved it up here, said it was a ‘target-rich environment’ with all the single werewolves and the visiting bikers. Living in Silicon Valley, she has a tough time finding her kind of man.” The kind of man she liked, tall and muscled and unapologetically masculine, was common among the single warriors. They were welcome to have fun with the humans, provided they followed the rules and treated them well. Our Pack had a lot of single females, and despite their backgrounds, some of them enjoyed dalliances with humans as well. Werewolves were a lusty bunch.
“Well, the faster they get this done, the faster my mate returns. I’m wiped out. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Sure thing.” I left her in her room and went to my own, quickly showering and hitting the pillows, asleep seconds later.
“Alpha, the twins want their breakfast,” their nanny sent to me. It was six in the morning; I’d gotten a good five and a half hours of sleep. That counted as good times for a Mom of infant twins.
“Coming.” I pulled on my robe and went down the hall to where my twins were crying for me. At five and a half months, they were still breastfeeding, supplemented by the formula. My breasts were full, and as soon as I had myself seated and the robe pulled aside, they latched on. “How was their night,” I asked.
“Quiet,” she said.
“Good.” The two were draining me quickly; I was looking forward to starting them on solid food soon. I handed them back, checking in with security to make sure the night was quiet too. Everything was good, but we would need a Pack meeting today to discuss the situation. The three Werepanthers who had attacked us now rested in a small cave, the entrance collapsed to seal it. It was deep on our property, and their bodies would never be found. It had taken two days to dry the tunnels out and fix the water damage from doors that leaked by, but it was worth it. The dump valve off the bottom of the swimming pool had killed them without a single Pack member being hurt.
The raid on the Sons and their drug pipeline would stir things up even more, especially if it got out that we were involved. The Sons were bound to show up, both for Harleigh and for revenge. We had to be ready.
“Canvas?” I looked up in surprise as Three Tequila stood at the doorway. I’d been so caught up in thoughts for the morning that I didn’t sense her approach. It was a lapse I couldn’t afford.
“Morning Tee,” I said with a smile. “How did you sleep?”
“Better,” she said. “I feel better knowing that she’s safe. Now that you know, you can keep her safe, right?”
“We will, you can count on us. She’s your family, so she’s important to us too.” I got up, my stomach growling. “Why don’t I get dressed then go get some breakfast.”
“I’m not dressed for this weather. The radio said it’s minus five outside,” she said nervously. I went into my closet, pulling on jeans, a flannel shirt, and motorcycle boots. I threaded a holster on my wide leather belt, tucking a Glock 19 in the holster behind my right hip. “I told you that the cat shifters attacked, you may as well see how we killed them and how I keep my Pack safe.”
Leading her down the stairs to the media room, I started to explain our system. “When the homes were built, I wanted to make sure we could get around without going outside, and we could move around safely if attacked. We put in a tunnel system that connects into the basements of all the homes. In the big Pack House, we built a huge safe room in the basement that can hold us all for thirty days.”
“That’s pretty extreme,” she said.
“It worked. When our cameras picked them up running across the lake, it gave us enough time to raise the warning. We got everyone into the safe room before they reached my house. If you’re told to go to the safe room, you go this way.” We reached the door, and I opened it. The carpet in the media room was stained, and the tunnels smelled damp, but they were dry.
“This is amazing,” she said as we walked up the gentle slope to the next door.
“It’s a great storm shelter, too. The doors are normally unlocked and closed.”
“Isn’t that a risk?”
I pointed at a camera. “We’ve got complete video surveillance of the tunnels, and the doors are alarmed, so our security control center knows who is in it and where. They can electronically lock each of the doors. The whole tunnel goes almost half a mile along the lakeshore; as we build more cabins, we’ll extend it further.” I opened the door to the basement of the Pack House, and the noise from the dining room got louder as we climbed the stairs. The three wings of the dining hall were only used when we had a lot of guests, so this morning, only the wing closest to the kitchen was open.
“Good morning, Alpha, Tee,” one of the Omegas said. “Your favorite this morning.”
I looked over at the serving line; biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and toast. It was a good morning already. “Thank you, Karen. It smells amazing.” We got our food and sat at one of the tables, joining the men and women of the Pack. It was serious and subdued; they were still nervous, and they wanted to talk. “We will have a short Pack meeting in the Dining Hall at 8 am. Please save questions for when we don’t have guests around.”
“Rori, what can I do to help you guys out,” Three Tequila asked.
I thought about it for a bit. “Stay safe and go on as if Harleigh is dead, because in a way she is. By the time the danger is over, it will be too late for Harleigh to come back. She will become Heather and live a new life. She can’t ever go back to Orlando or her old life.”
“Why not? When the Sons are gone, she’ll be safe.”
I looked over to where Tom and Meghan were eating at the next table. “There’s an active case for the attempted murder of a police officer in Orlando, from when we took her. If she shows up again, the State will want to know where she was, who she was with, and how she was taken.”
“She won’t tell them anything,” Three T said.
“They could easily work things so she was involved, and go after her for conspiracy. The trail leads here, and we all get more attention than we want. No, the best thing is to let her go. When the time is up, file for her death certificate, liquidate her estate and keep up the illusion of grieving for her.”
“I need to see her, Canvas.”
I hugged her. “She will need to stay with us for years, Tee. Once the heat is off, we’ll get her plastic surgery so she won’t be recognized. She can start college, find a job, maybe find someone to love. It’s not the worst thing in the world. You know you and Mongo are welcome up here anytime, and you can see her here. Just not now, it’s too risky.” She wasn’t happy. “Why don’t you write her a letter, and when I can get to her safely, I’ll make sure she gets it.”
Her eyes brightened up. “I’d like that.”
“How did you get up here?” She told me about chartering a private jet using the Visa cards we’d given her. She was smart about it; I’d give her that. Flying commercial would leave a trail. The pilot was staying overnight, so I asked her to contact him and schedule a return flight this afternoon. I had one of the Omegas escort her back to her room while I prepared for the Pack meeting.
At eight, almost everyone in the Pack was gathered in the room; the only exceptions were those on security duty and those who were asleep after being on duty overnight. “I’m sure many of you have heard of the recent misfortunes suffered by the Sons of Tezcatlipoca Motorcycle Club,” I said. There was nervous laughter; the bust had been big news. I talked about how the danger had changed; with Heather hidden away from our Pack, now we had to worry about retaliation. “The precautions we put in place will remain until further notice. No leaving Pack grounds in groups of less than four, and only when needed. Carry pistols or long guns, if trained, and report anything suspicious.”
“Alpha, what about my job in town?” Most Pack members worked in Pack businesses or direct Pack support, but there were a dozen or so who had ‘normal’ jobs among the humans.
“Tell them you got sick,” I said. “We can’t spare people to protect you, and we can’t lose you either. If we leave ourselves vulnerable and the Sons are watching, they could pick us off one by one.” She wasn’t happy, but she understood. The meeting was almost over when Security sent me a mental plea to turn on the news. “Louise, can you turn on the televisions and turn them to Fox News?”
“Of course, Luna.” A few seconds later, the 80” LED monitors we had placed along the outside of the room came on, and the news crawl was full. “RAIDS ON SONS OF TEZCATLIPOCA CHAPTERS,” it read. In the background, on split-screen, were the aftermaths of two SWAT raids. “Sources in the Drug Enforcement Agency confirmed earlier that search warrants were issued for all fifteen Sons of Tezcatlipoca chapters in the United States, and arrest warrants for the leadership. Simultaneous raids occurred at each of the Chapters at six this morning. Details are still coming in, but both law enforcement and gang deaths have been confirmed. Two officers are dead in Los Angeles, three in Houston, and one in Phoenix. The count of gang deaths is over forty and still counting.”
I had her mute the sound. “This is good and bad. Good because the Feds are cleaning up our kitty-cat mess, bad because they won’t get them all. They are going to be looking for revenge. Stay alert,” I directed. “Back to work, everyone.”
I pulled Beta Ron and three of his Warrior trainees aside. “Three Tequila is going to be leaving late this morning to fly back to Florida. If anyone is watching, she has to be on her own, but I don’t want her to be on her own. Just in case.”
Ron nodded. “We can take a couple of trucks, drive them from the back of the property across the lake to the boat launch on the north end, or around it on the road. With the whole lake being empty, we’ll make sure we aren’t followed. It will be practical training for them in surveillance and protection.”
“Fine, but I’m going to let her know you’ll be out there. Let me know what trucks you take.” I went back down to the tunnel and back to my house. I was thrilled that things were going so well, but something told me it wasn’t over.
Saying goodbye to Three Tequila made us both cry, and her letter was safely in my pocket. She drove off carefully, needing to get out of town before the next snowstorm blew in. Waving at her, I went back inside.