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Authors: Crissy Smith

Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction

Pack Daughter (2 page)

BOOK: Pack Daughter
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“Sounded important,” he started.

Mike had been travelling back from Texas, where he had been visiting another member of his old military unit, Casey. He’d planned on stopping in and seeing RJ even before he got Brandon’s call.

“It is,” Brandon said and pulled a file from his bottom drawer. “You’ve heard about the threats to the Packs that went public?”

Mike nodded. It was one of the reasons he’d been in Coyote Bluff. His old unit commander and his mate, the feline Prince, were concerned about the new threat to the shifters.

For the first few weeks since the announcement, the excitement about there really being shifters had been top news. But as time passed, more and more people—humans—started to see shifters as a threat.

Shifter communities that had chosen to be open now had to deal with some heavy backlash in the form of threats.

“Riverwood, California. Last night was the fourth fire in less than a month. Before each fire there is a letter sent to the Alpha. ‘Surrender the Pack and land or the town will be burnt down’,” Brandon informed him.

Mike opened the file. The Pack was located in northern California not far from his own Pack. Population over three thousand.

The first known organised community of shifters.

It had become common for shifter species to live and work together, depending on one another to survive. But that wasn’t how it had always been. Long ago, the shifters had lived by the rule that only the strongest survived. The Pack Alpha in Riverwood had known the shifters would never last if they kept killing each other. He’d started the first community that welcomed shifters to live in harmony.

Because of the success of his idea, shifter communities now thrived all over the world. As years passed, the Alpha position had been passed down to the next generation but the honour that came with being the first community never faded.

The current Pack Alpha, Jim Nelson, had decided to go public because over the years the pack had fallen on hard times. He’d approached the Alpha Council and received approval to brand the title of the first known shifter community.

It had sounded like a good plan to Mike. And it had seemed to work. The entire town had grown. Mike had always supported the decision to go public and had agreed with his own Alpha to take that step.

He flipped through the pages and read the report that looked like a copy of the police investigation. The photos of the fires showed him more. Someone was out to ruin the town.

“The fires are always at places that the town depends on. And they are getting closer to the downtown district and homes,” Brandon told him.

“Anyone hurt?”

“No, luckily all buildings have been empty at the time. But the concern is that if they don’t get what they want, that’ll change.”

“Do we know who they are?”

“No. And no instructions on how they want the Alpha to ‘surrender’ his Pack,” Brandon said. “The demand is bullshit. They just want to hurt people. But without knowing who’s involved they don’t know whether to look at locals or tourists. That’s where you come in.”

Mike lifted an eyebrow. He knew what was coming. “And what do you want with me?”

Brandon sighed. “Alpha Nelson has reached out to the council and asked for help. Dylan was approached to see if he had any ideas.”

“And?”

“Dylan and RJ thought you’d be a good man for the job.”

Now they were getting somewhere. “What kind of job?”

Brandon grinned. “Recon. Just like what you did with the unit.”

“And how do you know what I did with the unit?” Mike questioned, grinning.

The unit he’d belonged to had been made up of all shifters. Several different shifter species. He and RJ both wolves, but they also had felines and bird shifters, as part of the team. “And how is this even remotely the same?”

“Hey.” Bandon held up his hands. “Blame the Cross brothers. I’m the contact to Alpha Nelson but sending you was their idea. Something about you drifting around lately and unable to settle?”

He nodded. He’d been a little lost since he’d left the military and he had always enjoyed helping others. “I don’t mind helping out,” Mike told Brandon. “And I really don’t want anything to happen to this Pack. I’ll go.”

Brandon clapped his hands together. “That’s great! I was really hoping to be able to tell Alpha Nelson something today. This is a big load off my shoulders.”

Mike shrugged. “It’s not like I had any big plans anyway.”

He’d been headed home even though he knew he wouldn’t be there for long. Mike couldn’t seem to stay in one place. So much had happened in the last year.

It started with the kidnapping of the feline Prince, then the long mission of getting him back, before they left the military. Casey and RJ finding their mates. Then the shifters going public…

His whole life, he had moved from one purpose to another.

The last few months just seemed like he was cruising. And he didn’t like it all. So RJ was right, he was just drifting.

He’d even thought about going back to the military. He hadn’t shared that thought with anyone else though. Now that he wasn’t tied down every day he just wasn’t sure what he wanted to do.

Maybe this assignment would help him decide. It would be nice to have a purpose once again, anyway.

He stood and offered his hand to Brandon. “I like to see RJ while I’m in town but I can leave tonight.”

Brandon came around the desk and threw an arm around his shoulder. “Nah, man, we’re having a cookout for the family at the Alpha house tonight. Come along with RJ and Nikki and leave in the morning. I’ll let Alpha Nelson know to expect you tomorrow.”

“Sounds good to me,” Mike agreed.

He left Brandon at the office door and was amused to see Brandon trying to catch the receptionist’s eye. She pretended not to notice Brandon standing there but the sexual energy bouncing between the two was enough to make anyone take notice.

It would be interesting to see where that relationship would go.

He stepped out into the warm early evening air and looked around the main street of the small town. There weren’t many people walking around which only added to the small town feel.

The community was friendly and anyone who did pass waved to him. He glanced down the street and saw that RJ’s tattoo shop still had the open sign lit up.

It had taken time but from what RJ had told him people were finally coming around to his shop. He was even getting quite a few out of town appointments once word got out that he did custom mate tattoos.

Mike was really happy for his friend. RJ had an amazing talent. He had done every one of Mike’s tattoos.

He started in the direction of RJ’s shop taking his time. He still had the file for the California Pack under his arm and he wanted to talk it over with RJ.

He would do whatever he could to help the wolves in need.

He pulled open the door of tattoo parlour and was not surprised to see RJ sitting in a chair with his mate Nikki Stratton straddling his lap.

Luckily they still had their clothes on. The two new mates seemed to spend a lot of time in the process of undressing each other.

RJ glanced up when Mike walked in and grinned at him. “Hey, man! We were just talking about you.”

Mike smirked. “I hope it was before Nikki had her hand under your shirt or it might get a little awkward.”

RJ laughed and Nikki blushed, removing said hand from under RJ’s black T-shirt. She started to slide off RJ’s lap but he caught her easily.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

She pinched RJ and was able to escape. “I told you I had things to do. You’ve gotta stop distracting me.”

RJ pouted. Actually pouted and Mike couldn’t hold back his roll of laughter.

Nikki just shook her head and grabbed her messenger bag from the counter. She stopped close to him and kissed his cheek. “It’s good to see you, Mike.”

He looked over to the woman he now felt like was a sister to him. “You too, honey.”

“You staying for a little while?” she asked.

He shook his head. “Just tonight. I have to head out in the morning to another Pack that’s having issues.”

She sighed. “I really thought we were doing the right thing going public. I never thought it would scare so many people.”

“Hey!” RJ said coming up behind her. “It is a good thing. People just fear what they don’t know. It’ll get better.”

“I hope so,” she stated sadly.

Mike hoped so too.

“But I do have to run. I need to finish the potato salad and cobbler for tonight. I’ll get your room ready too, Mike.”

They really did take good care of him, always welcomed him whenever he was in town, even opening their house to let him use the spare bedroom. “Don’t go through any trouble. I’ll just be here one night,” he told her.

She waved him off. “It’s no trouble for family.” She kissed RJ one more time then sidestepped out of his reach when he grabbed her for another. “Stay out of trouble, boys,” she called then left them alone.

RJ threw his arm around Mike and walked him farther into the shop. “So you’re heading out to California then? I thought you’d be perfect for it.”

Mike elbowed his friend. “Really?”

RJ motioned to one of the big chairs and Mike sat while his friend grabbed two beers from the mini fridge.

“Really, I’m worried about you man,” RJ confessed.

Mike glanced up, shocked. “Why? There is nothing wrong with me!”

RJ held a hand up. “You’re not happy. Do you think I can’t tell when something is going on with my best friend?”

Mike sighed. “It’s fine, man. Just trying to find my niche.”

“Yeah,” RJ agreed. “I understand. You’re thinking about joining again, aren’t you?”

Mike took a sip of his beer and relaxed into the chair. He wasn’t surprised RJ had picked up on how he was feeling, even if he wasn’t ready to talk about it yet. But he knew his best friend, and RJ wouldn’t leave him alone until they did talk.

“Yes,” he admitted.

RJ nodded. “Thought so. I hate to think about you going back in without my being there to watch your back. I’ll support you no matter what you decide but I want you to do this first.”

“Well I’ll do what I can. You know that,” Mike told RJ.

“Yeah, plus…the Alpha’s daughter…?”

“Daughter?”

“Yes, her name is Rebecca Nelson. Nikki met her several years back. She’s a photo journalist. One of the best from what Nikki says. Could work anywhere but stays close to the Pack. Nikki wants to go down there herself and it’s all I can do to keep my mate away from the danger.”

“So you wanted me to look out for Nikki’s friend?” Mike asked amused.

RJ huffed then smiled. “I can’t have an unhappy mate. I almost had to lock her up to keep Nikki from going up after the second fire. She was ready to jump on a plane.”

Mike could imagine that fight. Nikki was one of the most stubborn, hard headed, females he’d ever met. He really did like her.

“Stop smirking,” RJ grumbled. “You just wait until you find your mate. You’ll see then.”

Mike smacked the finger RJ waved at him. “I don’t know that I will be so…”

“Don’t say it,” RJ threatened.

“Whipped,” Mike responded.

RJ flipped him off but had a huge grin on his face.

Chapter Two

Becca tried not to roll her eyes at her dad but as the lecture went on and on it was getting harder. If her father’s Beta, Eric, the Pack Enforcer, Adrian, and the head of security for the Pack, her best friend Kenny, hadn’t been in the room, she was sure she would have already.

But even she knew that now was no time to push her dad. She could admit that the threats made to the Pack put them in danger. Her own knowledge of the fires broke her heart but she was more than capable of taking care of herself.

“Are you listening to me, Becca?” her father asked loudly.

Becca snapped back to attention. She’d drifted off in the middle of his latest rant. “Yes, Dad, but I really don’t need protection. I do not need some wolf from another Pack to come up here and keep an eye on me,” she argued for what felt like the millionth time in days. “There is no reason to think anyone will come after me.”

Her father shook his head. “He’s already on his way. And I want you to listen to him. He had better not report back to me that you are not cooperating. He’s not here just to keep an eye on you, as you said. He’ll also try to help us figure out what is going on. To catch the people responsible once and for all. We need the help.”

Becca sighed. “Fine.” She met her dad’s gaze. She had never deliberately defied him. And he knew it. They were close. As close as any daughter and dad could be.

It had been just the two of them after her mom had been killed by a hunter one night when she’d shifted and gone for a run. Her dad never got over losing his mate but had always been there for Becca. Had been her everything—father, mother and Alpha.

When the council had sent a representative to talk to him about the shifter world going public, her father didn’t have to even think about it. After the way he’d lost his mate, he supported the council one hundred per cent. Plus it had been horrible seeing his Pack struggle to survive. There wasn’t much the Pack could offer being so far away from civilisation. It had been a great idea to bring the tourists in. Now that might be what would destroy them.

“Just let him keep an eye on things while we try to figure out what is going on,” her father reiterated.

“Do you really think someone from our Pack is involved with the fires?” she asked.

She just couldn’t believe that someone from the Pack she’d been born into would ever do something so…disgusting. They’d known from the start that the Alpha would go public. They had been there when his mate had been killed.

Becca just couldn’t fathom one of the Pack members being involved.

Her dad shook his head sadly. “I don’t want to believe it either. But we do have to be prepared for it.”

“What about you?” she questioned leaning forward on the couch. “You have to be the biggest target. Take down the Alpha and the Pack will shortly follow.”

Her dad pressed his lips together but she still saw the flash of amusement in his eyes before he could hide it. “I have increased my security, as well as the security around the property. I’ve also had word go out that anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable staying in their own homes may stay at one of the guest houses.”

BOOK: Pack Daughter
4.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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