Authors: Dawn Sullivan
Tags: #Paranormal Romance, #Romance, #Shifters, #Shifter Romance
Shaking his head, Jinx walked up the stairs and into the house, following the rest of the team. While the rest of the team claimed seats around the table, Jinx chose to stay by the open doorway, leaning against the doorjamb. Jade took a seat by Angel and waited to see what would happen. She had never actually taken part in a mission discussion before, and that was exactly what this was. It was a search and rescue mission for Trace.
“I am going to try and connect with Trace first,” Angel told them. “I know he was hunting his father in Colombia. Jaxson, pull up everything you can on a drug lord that goes by Philip Perez. He is who we need to find if we want to find Trace.”
Jade’s eyes widened at the news, but she kept quiet. She needed to let RARE do their magic and right now that meant no interruptions from her unless she had something helpful to add. Nico and Phoenix rose and went to flank Angel. Jade watched Angel close her eyes and grasp the arms of her chair tightly. Breathing slowly in and out, Angel sat for several minutes without moving. Finally, she sighed leaning back in defeat. “I can’t reach him,” she confessed. “He might be blocking me, too.”
“No, he isn’t,” Jinx said from his spot by the door. “He’s unconscious.” As everyone looked at him in surprise, he shrugged. “I piggybacked on your thread and kept going when you came up short. He’s in a lot of pain, but is unconscious at the moment.”
Moving away from the doorjamb, Jinx said, “I’m heading to Colombia now. We know that’s where he is. We can connect with him when he’s awake to find out more information.”
“Jinx, wait,” Angel ordered as he started to leave the room. Stopping, but not turning around, Jinx waited for Angel to continue. “We have a plane that can be ready by the time we get to the airport. Ride with us. Please.”
Nodding once, Jinx told her, “I will be outside when you are ready.” Without another look, he was gone.
Jade reached out and gently clasped Angel’s hand. “Jinx has been through hell and back,” she whispered. “I will never betray his confidence by giving details, but just know this. He cannot be in small spaces for more than a short period of time. He will go crazy. He prefers the outdoors. He is also very powerful. If he says Trace is unconscious, then it’s the truth. Trust his judgment. I do.”
Squeezing Jade’s hand once before letting go, Angel started handing out orders. “Nico, call and make sure the plane is refueled and waiting for us. Jaxson, I want you to pull up all the information you can on Perez during the flight, so Nico will be piloting with Phoenix this time. Ryker, I know you are in a hurry to get back to your new mate, but I need everyone on this.”
“Josie will understand, boss,” Ryker said. “Trace is one of ours. We are bringing him home.”
“I’m going, too,” Storm said from the doorway. Storm was almost killed just the month before when she and Ryker were sent on a mission to hunt down a rogue wolf pack. But she’d worked hard at her physical therapy and after finally being able to shift into her wolf form two weeks ago, she’d begun to heal quickly.
“If Doc Josie clears it, you go,” Angel responded. “Ryker, when you call the Doc to let her know you won’t be back yet, verify that Storm is cleared for duty.”
“I will be outside with Jinx,” Jade said when Angel was finished giving out orders. “We will be ready to go when you are.” Ignoring the surprised looks of everyone in the room, Jade walked out and took the stairs two at a time. Grabbing her bag on the way through the kitchen, she went out to wait with Jinx. She was done sitting on the sidelines and playing with the damn babies. She had more training than anyone in that room realized, and she was about to show them all what she could do.
Walking over to Jinx, Jade leaned back against the barn beside him. “How did your mission go?” she asked softly, scanning the perimeter for enemies the way Jinx had taught her.
Nodding approvingly, Jinx responded shortly, “The mission is complete.”
“And the General?” Jade pressed. “What will he say when you don’t return right away?”
“Nothing,” Jinx replied. “I contacted him as soon as it was done and told him I would return after I got laid. He thinks it helps feed my gifts. Dumbass.”
Despite the situation, Jade had to laugh. “Really? He thinks having sex gives you more power?”
Shrugging nonchalantly, Jinx told her, “That’s what I told him a long time ago. He won’t question it unless I am away longer than a couple of days. Besides, as long as I go back and kill the next person on his list, he won’t give a shit.”
Seeing the pain Jinx tried to hide from her, Jade lightly touched his arm. “It will all be over soon, Jinx. And you haven’t killed anyone that didn’t deserve to die.”
Covering her hand with one of his, Jinx stared out over the farmland surrounding them. “I kill to survive, Jade. I don’t want to do it, I sure as hell don’t enjoy it, but I have no choice. And I will keep doing it until I shut that bastard down.”
Laying her head gently on his shoulder, Jade stood in silence while they waited for Angel and her team. She would give anything to get her brother away from the General. Jinx could kill the General now, but there would be another mad man in the wings waiting to take his place. You had to cut off the tentacles of the monster, not just kill the monster. The General had several people invested in his breeding program, and they could not all be eliminated at once.
Raising her head as Angel walked out of the house, Jade decided to forget about the General and his psychotic schemes for now. She had more important things to worry about. Like her mate.
race groaned as he slowly woke from a deep sleep. Shit, his head hurt. Frowning, he tried to figure out what had awoken him. Gypsy slept fitfully on the hard ground in the cell next to his. There were soft moans of pain coming from a couple of the other cells, but everything else was quiet. Letting his eyes slowly close again, he suddenly stiffened. There was another presence in his mind. The only two people that ever merged with him like this were Angel, and most recently, Jade. This was a male, a very powerful male if he had made it past Trace’s shields. Not recognizing him, Trace tried to push him back out, but after the last torture session, he was too weak.
the man ordered.
You can’t get rid of me, so stop your sorry ass attempt.
Breathing heavily, Trace snarled,
Who the hell are you? What do you want?
the man responded
. Jade’s brother. She sent me to track you.
Jinx, Trace thought. He’d never heard of Jinx. But then, Angel hadn’t told them about her daughter, so maybe she’d neglected to tell them about her son, too. Not willing to fully trust someone he didn’t know, Trace growled,
So, you found me. Now get the fuck out of my head.
You are just as stubborn as my sister,
That wasn’t true, Trace thought. Jade wasn’t stubborn. She was an Omega wolf. They did everything in their power to keep peace and harmony in a pack.
Now Jinx was laughing.
That’s just what Jade lets everyone believe. She isn’t an Omega wolf.
She is something altogether different.
I taught her to give off the impression she was Omega years ago so the General wouldn’t use her gifts against her.
Trace gritted his teeth together and clenched his hands tightly into fists. He was in pain, a constant pain that never left. His head was pounding, his arms felt like they are going to be pulled from his body, his legs were weak and sharp pains were shooting through them, not to mention what was going on under all the damn chains that were crushing his chest. Growling, he tried to block the pain out so he could respond to Jinx, but it was getting more and more difficult by the minute.
I know you don’t trust me. I would think less of you if you did right now. But I AM Jade’s brother. We’re on our way to Colombia to find you, but I need to know where you are. Jaxson has looked up everything he can on Perez, and nothing is leading him to you. Angel wasn’t able to reach you for some reason. You are stuck with me. Now, you can either tell me where you are, or I will get the information myself.
Get the information yourself?
Trace questioned with a snarl. He did not want someone digging around in his head. If Jinx could do as he suggested against Trace’s will, he had to be very powerful.
Yes, get it myself. Make no mistake, I can and I will, Trace. My sister is hurting right now and I won’t allow that to continue. Now, for the last time, where are you?
Deciding there was no other option, Trace gave Jinx the information he needed, including the layout of the mansion. Last, he showed Jinx The Dungeon, where he and several other prisoners were being held.
There are two females here that need to come with us,
My father has one with him. She’s a young girl named Sari who he stole from her family to keep as his mistress. The other is her older sister, Gypsy.
Glancing in the cell next to him, Trace showed Jinx the spot where Gypsy lay.
She is stuck down here with me, beaten daily and starved half to death. I won’t leave without them.
They will come with us,
Jinx agreed, letting Trace see the sincerity in his mind.
I will make sure of it. The other prisoners are on their own, though. My top priority is my sister. If shit goes south, I’m getting her the hell out of there.
Jade? You brought my mate into battle?
What the hell were you thinking?
I was thinking she would kick my ass if I left her home,
Jinx responded sarcastically.
Jade’s not one to sit on the sidelines when someone she cares about is in danger. Remember that.
Trace collapsed as he felt Jinx’s sudden withdrawal. Laying his head on his arm, he struggled to stay awake. His body felt like it was on fire and sweat beaded up on his flesh. He had a fever. On top of everything else, he was now infected with some kind of virus. Trace knew then that his body had gone to shit. Shifters didn’t get sick. He was in trouble.
Glancing over at Gypsy lying on the hard concrete floor, her legs pulled up and her arms wrapped around them in the fetal position, Trace whispered, “It won’t be long now, my friend. I’m getting you out of here.” Closing his eyes, he pictured his beautiful mate, praying he would see her soon. He imagined her snuggled close to him, before slowly allowing himself to lose consciousness again.
ade sat in a seat next to Jinx on the plane staring out the window into complete darkness. They had been flying for hours and her wolf was clawing at her, demanding she hurry and find Trace. Lost in thought, she jumped when Jinx grabbed her hand, giving it a quick squeeze before letting go. “I found him,” he said with a slow grin. Jade’s eyes widened and she grabbed his arm tightly.
“Talk to us, Jinx,” Angel ordered as the rest of the team turned in their direction. Jinx’s lip curled and a low growl escaped.
“Please, Jinx,” Jade begged softly, knowing he was pissed at the authoritative tone in Angel’s voice. “We need them.”
Glaring at Angel, Jinx snarled, “I take orders from no one.”
“You take orders from the General. That piece of shit,” Phoenix retorted.
Jinx let out a short, low laugh. “Do I?” he asked with a cocky grin, eyebrows raised. Leaning back in his seat, Jinx nodded to Jaxson. “Trace gave me the coordinates to the place where he is being held. I will send them to you.”
Eyes narrowing, Jaxson asked, “Exactly how are you going to...” before he finished his sentence his eyes widened and his fingers started flying over the computer keys. “Thanks man.”
Turning to look out the window while Jaxson went to work, Jinx told them, “He’s in rough shape. His body is breaking down. He has been held and tortured for so long that if we don’t get him out of there soon, he isn’t going to make it.” At Jade’s gasp, he raised his hand and grabbed her chin, forcing her to look in his eyes. “We are going to get him out of there, Jade. I promise you.” Sighing, she leaned into him, resting her head on his shoulder. Jade had gone through hell the majority of her life, but nothing had ever scared her as much as the thought of losing Trace. She would take a deep dark hole full of scorpions and rattlers over this fear any day.
“There’s more,” Jinx continued, glancing up at Angel. “There are two innocent females being held against their will. Trace insists on bringing them back with us. That sick bastard, Perez has made the youngest girl his mistress. The sister, Gypsy, is being held in the cells with Trace.”
“Cells?” Angel inquired. “What do you mean by cells?”
“The impression I got was of a basement with approximately 10 steel cells. Big cages really. It was dark, but I could make out prisoners in a number of them, including Gypsy in the one next to Trace. I will be surprised if she makes it. She looked weak and broken. The problem is, Trace won’t leave without her. He cares about her. He doesn’t really know the sister, but this woman he won’t leave behind.”
Jade couldn’t control her reaction. The thought of her mate going to such lengths to care for and protect another woman had her wolf pissed off. As a growl escaped, her claws punched through her fingertips digging into Jinx’s arm. “Stop it, Jade,” Jinx ordered roughly. “Stop and think. He has been stuck in that nightmare for months. That woman has been there for him, she’s been his rock.” At Jade’s vicious snarl, he let some of his power out, slowly pushing her wolf back. Jade watched as her claws receded, but even though her wolf had backed off, she was still pissed. “Jade, she is his friend. She has taken beatings that should have been his, stood up for him while he was being tortured. She has a broken arm because she tried to feed him when he was starving. I saw it. I felt the terror in him when he couldn’t protect her. But it was never the love of a mate, only the love of a good friend or sister.”