The sheriff climbed in his SUV and started the engine. He switched off his flashers, did a U-turn, and headed back toward town. Savannah watched me suspiciously from the passenger-side window.
The red-haired woman with a tattoo on her left shoulder.
Why had the fortune teller sent me to her? How would she help me bring these killers to justice?
I picked up my phone and called Billy, my top enforcer and brother-in-law. “
The county sheriff is headed your way. Follow him discreetly with your vehicle. A woman survived the attack, and he’s dropping her off at home. Take two teams and stake out the place overnight. She’s the first break we’ve gotten, and I’m betting that they’ll come for her again. Make sure she doesn’t get hurt.”
I hung up and shoved my phone in my pocket, then headed toward the battered wolf lying on the asphalt. He’d been wolfborn like me. The wolf was our true form, and we shifted back at death. Not all shifters were like that. I knelt and examined the corpse.
Dane. I thought I had recognized the scent. I’d exiled him from the Dockside pack for inciting violence after my sister’s death.
We needed to ditch the body and destroy the evidence. If we didn’t, we were going to be fucked. Another former pack member had already been implicated in one of the earlier abductions, though he’d never been found. Rumors were flying, and the Order of Magica—the body that governed all supernatural species—had threatened to revoke our pack’s extralegal status unless we brought an end to the abductions. If this got out, we could lose our independence. It would be the end of pack law.
I stood and wiped my hands. Dane had been a cancer, and now he was roadkill. His actions had threatened our pack, and I had no pity for the bastard.
Regina stepped out of the woods, still half-dressed from shifting. Some shifters transformed clothes and all, but as wolfborn, Regina and I could not. We did it the real way—the original way—with snapping bones and growing claws.
From the expression on her face, she’d come up short. I asked anyway. “Any luck?”
She pulled her shirt back over her head. “None. I followed the she-wolf’s trail to that crappy restaurant, but there were too many smells to track her closely. I’m betting she grabbed their car. Sorry.”
“Did she smell like someone from our pack?”
Regina’s eyes dilated in surprise. “No. Why?”
I nodded to the dead wolf lying on the side of the road. She crouched down and turned its head to the side. “Fuck, it’s Dane.”
I grimaced. “I know. Tell no one.”
She stiffened. “He’s got family in the pack. Surely they deserve to know.”
“He’s not part of our pack. I kicked him and his associates out to keep the peace in Magic Side. He’s a rogue wolf, Regina. His family carries that burden already. They don’t deserve the shame of being linked to these abductions as well. We can’t have the pack implicated in this—not even our exiles. We could lose everything.”
She fought back a pained expression and submitted. We had to do what was best for the reputation of his family and that of the pack.
Regina stood and looked around. “What do we do with the body?”
I grabbed the huge wolf by the scruff of the neck and heaved the corpse into the bed of our truck. “We’ll bury him and say nothing.”
She winced. “Should the Dockside alpha really be burying bodies in the backwoods of Wisconsin in the middle of the night?”
From some, that would have been insubordination, but she was doing her best to remind me that I wasn’t my father’s enforcer anymore. I was the alpha now—the master of our pack.
I wiped my hands on my pants and circled the truck. “I trust our team to a point, but someone might slip up. We can’t risk anyone knowing that former Magic Side wolves were involved in this.”
Regina shook her head as she opened the passenger door. “You did your father’s dirty work, Jaxson. And your sister’s. You need to find someone to do yours.”
I grinned as I hopped in the cab. “You offering? Fine, you get to steal us a shovel.”
With a snort, she buckled in. “Do we need to worry about the woman talking? How much does the dirty wolf killer know?”
Even if he’d been a bastard, Dane had been part of our pack once. Loyalty ran deep, and I was sure the pack would want justice. Once pack, always pack.
I started the engine. “The woman knows nothing—she doesn’t even know she’s got magic in her veins. Let’s keep it that way.”
“Do you think they’ll come after her again?”