Kissed by Fire(8)

By: Kimber White

Gideon paced at the end of the table. He ran a hand through his dark brown hair. His green eyes normally flashed like emeralds. His own dragon stirred and lit them with green flame. “A Tyrannous Alpha?” he asked. “Are you sure? We haven’t heard about any packs like this around here. I thought the trouble in Kentucky was taken care of.”

For decades, a ruthless Tyrannous Alpha wolf had controlled all the wolf shifters of Kentucky. But a year or so ago, there’d been an uprising and things were different there now. We hadn’t heard of any further trouble since then. That said, there were dozens of wolf shifters who’d been displaced, unable to assimilate into other packs. We feared it might someday cause problems.

“I just know what I saw. I had no choice but to bring Shae here. They killed the witch who ran the shop, then turned on her. I felt it. They had orders to kill her. If I hadn’t been there…”

Loch put a hand up. “We know. Nobody questions your judgment on that. If you say Shae needed your help, that’s enough for us. But Xander, what about the wolves? Did they see you? Do they know what you are?”

I shrugged. “I told you. It wasn’t me they were after. Their focus was on Marvin, the shopkeeper. After he was mortally wounded, they went for Shae. I don’t think they saw me shift. I mean, I cloaked myself in time. And like I said, their Alpha wasn’t in the building.”

“But she saw you.” Kian stepped forward. Blue flame swirled in his eyes. He spoke so little these days, the sound of his voice cut through me.

“Yeah,” I said. “She saw me. “There was no help for it.”

“And she’s human,” he said. “I is she okay with any of this? Did she know what Marvin was?”

“She knows,” I answered. “And she knows about shifters too, obviously.”

“I’m sorry, but this is bad,” Finn said. “She’s a human who’s been working for a mage. Who the hell knows what other contacts she has? What about the dragonstone, Xander? Do you have it?”

I let out a sigh. It was a stupid question. If I’d found any trace of the stuff, it’s the first thing I would have told them. “I don’t think it was there. I think this was just another one of Avelina’s dead-end rumors.”

“So what was that wolf pack after?” Gideon asked.

“I don’t know. It could have been anything. Like Finn says. Who knows who that old man was connected to? Maybe he owed someone something and those wolves came to collect.”

“Well,” Gideon turned to face me. “We’re going to have to figure it out. You’re probably right about the dragonstone. But, like it or not, we’re involved in this now. I know you said you cloaked yourself before you let your dragon out, but how can you be absolutely sure they didn’t sense what you were? They’re still alive. That pack is out there. If they have even a hint of dragon blood, you know what that means. We’re all fucked.”

“Avelina’s going to throw a fit,” Finn sighed.

“I’ll talk to her,” Loch offered, but the color drained from his face.

“No,” I said. “I’ll talk to her. I did what I had to do. She’ll understand....I hope.”

“So what’s your plan in the meantime?” Gideon asked. “About Shae?”

It was my turn to pace. God. This was a turning into a damn nightmare. Sure, I’d saved her. But, I’d also unwittingly dragged her into a dragon shitstorm.

“I’ll talk to her too,” I said. “I’ll try and make her understand.”

Kian let out a bitter laugh. “Understand what? And who are you kidding? Let Loch or Gideon talk to her. You aren’t thinking straight where that girl is concerned.”

The logical part of my mind seemed to separate from the rest of me. Sure, I realized the irony of my reaction, but it damn well didn’t matter. I charged Kian. “I don’t want anyone else near her!”

Kian’s lips curled back and he dropped his fangs. The blue fire in his eyes turned to gold. My own fire rose to match it. Loch got between us, putting a palm on each of our chests. He shoved us backward.

“Enough!” he said. “Agreed. Like it or not, Shae’s going to have to be our guest for the time being. If those wolves are still looking for her, this is the safest place for her. And until we know why her boss was targeted and what else she might know, it’s safest for us too.”

“Fine,” Gideon said. “Xander, you talk to her. Make her understand she’s not our prisoner.”