Dangerous Things (Blood Bound Book 3) - Amy Blankenship - ebook
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Steven Wilder had fallen for the bat-wielding temptress in more ways than just hitting the floor… he wanted to keep her. Finding out she was promised to the mob gave him the reason he needed to kidnap her and make her his mate… for her own protection, of course.----Everyone says there are two paths in life, but for Jewel Scott it looked like both of them were very dangerous. One led toward Anthony, a murdering psychopathic Werewolf who was also the head of the city mob and her fiancé… against her will. The other road led toward Steven, a Werecougar whom she had knocked out with a baseball bat on their first meeting. He retaliated by kidnapping her and making her his mate.Steven Wilder had fallen for the bat-wielding temptress in more ways than just hitting the floor… he wanted to keep her. Finding out she was promised to the mob gave him the reason he needed to kidnap her and make her his mate… for her own protection, of course.Anthony Valachi had become obsessed with Jewel when she was no more than a child and, under mob rule, he’d gained control of his bride to be. If anyone thought they could steal her away from him they were wrong… dead wrong.PUBLISHER: TEKTIME

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Dangerous Things

Blood Bound Series Book 3

Amy Blankenship, RK Melton

Copyright © 2012 Amy Blankenship

Second Edition Published by TekTime

All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Envy bustled around her bedroom packing some of her things into her black leather suitcase. She stopped and glared at her brother when she noticed he was unpacking her stuff every time she turned her back to get more. He’d been breathing down her neck since she came home and she was starting to get really frustrated with him.

“Stop it,” Envy snapped as she jerked a handful of clothes away from him and threw them back into the suitcase. She tossed her long red hair over her shoulder and shot him a warning glare.

“But moving out? You’ve only known him what… a week? Are you sure this is what you want to do?” Chad repeated like a mantra.

“The answer is still the same Chad,” Envy informed him in a steady voice, wondering how many times she’d have to say it before he actually heard her. She locked gazes with him and, treating him like a dim-witted child, she said the words very slowly, “I want to move in with Devon, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

“How can you be sure that in a week or month from now, he won’t find some other girl and dump you?” Chad demanded desperately.

“He won’t.” She continued packing, trying to block out the nagging feeling that she was abandoning her brother. He was a grown man for crying out loud, and a cop to boot.

“You don’t know that for sure. I mean, he dances in that club half naked every night and you’ll be stuck behind the bar serving drinks to perverts,” Chad exclaimed ready to start pulling his hair out. What he really wanted to do was scream at her for getting involved in something so dangerous… with someone so dangerous.

Envy stopped packing and looked up at her only sibling whom she loved dearly but was getting ready to throttle. “One, I do know for sure. Two, he might be half naked, but he looks great that way. Three, I’ll get to dance with him in the cage. And four,” she leaned closer as if parting with a dirty little secret, “you really need to get laid.”

Chad glared down at his sister, “I do not need to get laid.” He growled when she cocked an eyebrow at him.

“Yes, you do.” She jerked open a drawer and grabbed a handful of skimpy lingerie.

“No, I don’t.” Chad slammed the suitcase shut before she could add them to what he prayed was only a huge overnight bag.

“Yes you do.” Envy shook the lingerie in his face as if to make a point.

“No I don’t.” He jerked them out of her hand.

“No you don’t.” She narrowed her eyes angrily.

“Yes I do.” Chad paused then punched the fist full of lingerie in the air. “DAMN IT!”

Devon was in the living room leaning against the wall with his ankles crossed and his hands in his jean pockets… trying not to laugh his ass off. Their arguing reminded him so much of his relationship with his own loving siblings.

He could tell Chad really did care about Envy, and because of that, he wouldn’t stand between them. Chad was doing what he did best… he was being a big brother to one spit-fire of a redhead. Nope, he wouldn’t stop them, but he’d pay good money to just watch.

Devon laughed out loud then tried to cover it up with a fake cough. Someone knocked on the door and his ice blue eyes narrowed wondering who in the hell would be visiting the siblings before dawn.

“Devon, could you get that for me?” Chad called out.

“Sure,” Devon answered and pushed away from the wall before moving toward the entrance. Opening the door, he couldn’t help but smirk at the surprised look on Trevor’s face. “Hello Trevor, long time no see.”

As promised, Trevor had come to talk with Chad about what he’d seen at the church. The last thing he’d expected was for Devon Santos to open the door. Unable to control his reaction, Trevor instantly raised his fist and hit the jaguar right in the nose… hard.

Devon stumbled back a couple of steps and wiped the blood from his nose. He looked at it then back up at Trevor, baring his teeth. Before Trevor could move, Devon tackled him out of the door and into the front yard.

Clothing ripped and fell away as the two of them shifted into their animal forms. Devon circled around the Kodiak and lunged with a loud jaguar scream. Trevor roared and rose up on his hind legs while trying to grab at the jaguar attached to his back.

Inside, Chad and Envy heard Devon's roar and ran through the house to the front door. They froze when they saw Devon fighting with a huge bear right in their front yard. The cop was instantly grateful they didn’t live within seeing distance of any neighbors.

Chad flipped his mental switch, turning all his emotions off. It was something that clicked within him that always made him completely calm and cold… even in the middle of a gun fight. Reaching to the holster on his right hip, Chad drew his pistol and fired it once in the air trying to get their attention. He frowned when it didn’t even faze them and he got a punch on his left arm.

“Let someone know when you’re going to fire that thing!” Envy exclaimed while holding a hand over her right ear and cringing at the loud ringing.

Zachary stepped away from his car with a huge sigh and stared at the two children fighting. Once more, cooler heads would have to step in. He smirked at his inside joke because no one would ever use the word cool to describe him. Raising his hand in front of him, he shot a heat wave toward the two shifters, making them leap back when a single stream of fire raced across the yard separating them.

“If you two don’t want your fur singed, then you had best change back into men and pretend to have a little common sense,” Zackary warned as another flame started to grow from his outstretched hand. “Are you two going to act like adults or children, because it doesn’t make any damn difference to me?” he smiled coldly as the flame grew higher and leaned toward its target.

Knowing Zackary would do it, Trevor changed back and glared across the licking flames at his opponent. Just looking at the man who had stolen Envy from him had his blood pressure up so high that he had to concentrate just to keep is human form.

Devon changed back but kept his fighting stance, not trusting Trevor as far as he could throw him. He was momentarily distracted hearing Chad’s loud “Good Lord” and quickly glanced toward the siblings. Seeing Envy staring wide eyed at Trevor… who was now naked, Devon growled deeply wanting her attention back where it belonged… on him.

Envy rubbed her temple now that both men were naked, luckily with only minor wounds. Devon had shown her how fast weres can heal so she knew nothing was as bad as it looked with them. Her gaze traveled over Trevor, still shocked that she’d been dating a freaking bear for so long and not known it.

Trevor smirked enjoying the fact that Devon’s growl was the sound of pure jealousy… served the jaguar right.

Chad blinked wondering who’d slipped him the acid. Usually the calm one in bad situations, he inhaled deeply then pushed away from the door to stand at his full height. “This is my house, so we play by my rules. Envy's staying here with me, and everyone that’s not human is leaving.” He tried to shut the door but Envy stopped him.

“Not without my mate,” Devon growled trying to shake off the echo affect he was getting. Damn, who knew Trevor was so strong? The knowledge didn’t sit well with him.

“Put your clothes on,” Envy frowned then turned curious eyes toward Zackary. It looked like him and Trevor could have been brothers, their coloring was so similar. The only real difference was Zackary had short hair and was a little taller. “Okay, I know what they are… but what are you?”

Zackary bowed elegantly, “You can just call me a guardian,” he smiled as the flames went out. “A guardian of both humans and paranormal creatures,” he righted himself and glanced toward Trevor. “Didn’t you tell her anything?”

“No, he didn’t,” Envy shot Trevor a well-deserved dirty look then turned her attention back to Zackary. “Guardian? What exactly does that mean? And are you and Trevor brothers?” She couldn’t help but ask.

“It means we protect both sides from each other,” Trevor answered then added, “And no. As far as family goes, I don’t have any.”

“Oh, now you're just full of information,” Envy mumbled.

“I tried to tell you,” Trevor reminded her while he pulled on the spare pair of pants Zachary had just tossed him. “It’s not my fault you didn’t listen.”

Envy's lips parted to tell him off but paused… guiltily remembering the last night she’d really seen Trevor. He’d told her he had something to do with the C.I.A. but she hadn’t believed him. She’d even tasered him for thinking she was dumb enough to fall for such a lame lie. But then again, how did he expect her to believe him when he was out dancing provocatively with other women?

The flip side of that was… he’d told her it was the cover for his job. Envy frowned at the headache that was forming and decided that Trevor was a bigger ass than she originally thought for making her think about this.

Chad looked over at the jaguar before heading inside. He came out a couple seconds later with a pair of jeans and tossed them to Devon.

“We don’t need your help,” Devon stated as he zipped the jeans then walked over to Envy and slid a jealous arm around her waist.

“Oh yeah? I saved your sister while you were busy stealing my girlfriend,” Trevor retaliated before directing his heated gaze back to Envy.

Envy raised her eyes and locked them with Trevor’s bluish-silver ones. She could still see the hurt in them and it made her heart clinch uncomfortably. She really didn’t hate him at all. As a matter of fact, she still loved Trevor… just not like she loved Devon. Her lips parted to try to explain, but Devon cut her off.

“Why did you come here? Did you follow us?” Devon asked, not liking the fact that Trevor kept putting Envy on the spot. She’d made her choice and Trevor needed to come to terms with that little fact before it got him hurt.

“Actually, he came here to see me,” Chad said as calmly as he could. Turning to his sister, he took her hand in his and pulled gently while looking over her shoulder at Devon. “If you don’t mind, I’d like a minute in private.”

The second Devon let her go, Chad pulled her inside the door and shut it. He actually had to stop himself from locking the bolt. Besides, after what he’d just seen in the yard, it wasn’t like a bolt lock would do any good.

“Are you sure you won't stay here just one more night? For my sanity?” he pleaded, even though he knew he’d lost control of his life a few exits back.

Envy wrapped her arms around her brother and gave him a much-needed hug, then took a step backwards to look up at him, “I can’t. You saw what happened at the church tonight. Everyone has scattered, so Warren is trying to get a meeting set for first thing in the morning.”

She glanced back at the door as another thought struck her. “Besides, staying with them is probably the safest place to be right now. As a matter of fact, I’ll call and tell you what time to come to the meeting and if it’s at Moon Dance or Night Light. I want you to do me a favor. Bring Trevor and flame boy to the meeting, because if what I heard is true… we are going to need all the help we can get.”

“Vampires?” Chad asked going into cop mode again even as he rubbed the back of his neck where the small fine hairs had decided to permanently stand on end.

Envy nodded, frowned, then shook her head, “The vampires yes, but there’s a demon on the loose and…”

Chad reached out and grabbed her by the arms, “A demon? No one said anything about demons!”

Envy inhaled then nodded, hoping what she was about to say would make him feel better, “Yes, a demon. The good news is we have two angels on our side.” She gave him a weak smile hoping he didn’t faint.

“Angels?” Chad let her go and leaned heavily against the wall, “Good God.”

“Exactly,” Envy nodded watching him run his fingers through his hair as if fighting the urge to pull it out. “Now you deal with Trevor. Can you do that for me? Bring him and Zackary to the meeting tomorrow.” She bit her bottom lip not wanting to make another scene. “And in return, I won't take my stuff tonight… if it will make you feel better.”

Chad nodded and gave her a small smile, “Deal.”

He opened the door to let them out but both of them paused seeing Zackary standing between the two men with a flaming palm pointed at both of them.

“Oh dear, we’re leaving,” Envy said and rushed out the door grabbing Devon's hand as she made a beeline toward his car.

Trevor started to follow but Zackary stopped him, “hold on there, lover boy. We need to deal with the brother first.”

“Let’s go inside and I’ll brew us some coffee,” Chad offered, followed with a thankful sigh when Trevor turned angrily around and marched into his house like a man on a mission. He nodded as Zackary followed Trevor in, then closed the door wondering what the hell he’d gotten himself into.

Once the coffee maker was going, Chad turned toward his two guests. At the moment, he had more questions than answers and that wasn’t helping anything. “Now what’s this about Envy saying there’s a demon on the loose? She also said that Warren is calling everyone together tomorrow for some kind of meeting about what happened tonight and she wants the three of us to crash it.”

Trevor couldn’t help the small smile that played at his lips. So Envy wanted him involved… wanted to keep him close. He couldn’t blame her. At the rate Devon was protecting her, she couldn’t feel all that safe. Knowing she needed him made most of his lingering anger fade into the background.

“We’d have crashed that little party anyway.” He glanced toward Zackary who confirmed the statement. He smiled again realizing he would see Envy in a couple hours. “I guess it’s time to tell you what’s going on.”

He inwardly cringed at how he was using his position to get closer to Envy again. He was also well aware of how it would look to everyone else. Devon would assume that he was using Envy again but that was the furthest thing from the truth. Then again, he wasn’t above using her brother to get closer to her and do his job at the same time. Devon would just have to learn that all was fair in love and war… and may the best shapeshifter win.

“I’m all ears,” Chad grumbled and crossed his arms over his chest to get Trevor’s attention back from wherever he was. He’d never thought of himself as psychic but he was doing a pretty good job of reading Trevor at the moment.

“We don’t know much about the demon, only that it had been trapped there for a number of centuries. Its existence predates anything we have on file at P.I.T. but we’re still searching for clues,” Zackary started and hoped Trevor would jump in.

“So you knew a demon was imprisoned under the cemetery for who knows how long and you didn’t do anything about it?” Chad demanded.

Trevor cocked an eyebrow at him, “What would you expect us to do about it? Help it get loose? It was trapped there and we don’t even know how the hell a fallen and a vampire were able to break the spell holding it.”

“Fallen?” Chad asked. “You mean one of the angels Envy told me about?”

Zachary nodded, “Yeah, we’ve known about them for a really long time. We know there are others, but we can’t locate them anywhere, and apparently the two fallen living within the city didn’t even know of the other’s existence trapped in the cavern until one went down there.”

“We also have someone that knows how to deal with demons,” Trevor offered. “With any luck, she’ll be able to figure it out once we call her in.”

“It’s not too late to back out,” Zachary said to Chad. “Just give the word and we’ll wipe your memory of everything that happened.”

Chad frowned and started to pour coffee for the three of them. He’d been a cop all his life because he wanted to make a difference. More than once though, he felt like he wasn’t doing enough. There was always one more drug dealer, one more murderer, one more traffic violation… it just didn’t seem worth it sometimes. But what Trevor and Zachary were doing did make a difference… the kind of difference Chad had always wanted to make.

Taking a long drink of his coffee, he set his cup down and nodded once. “I’m in.”

*****

Angelica decided that phones were worse than demons when hers started ringing at three in the morning. Looking at the caller ID, she narrowed her eyes and grabbed the receiver. Turning it on, she pushed her dark hair out of her way and placed it against her ear.

“Unless the world’s falling apart, the seas have turned red, the seven plagues of Egypt have returned, or you’re dying, there’d better be a damn good explanation for you waking me up,” she growled.

“Aw, come on Boo… is that any way to talk to your Zachy-bear?”

Angelica hung up and dropped her head back onto the pillow. She’d just gotten back to sleep when the phone rang again. Without looking at the phone, she turned it on and spoke again.

“I’m going to get you, Zachary,” she muttered. “You and your little dog too.”

“Oh my, Wizard of Oz flashbacks,” Zachary gasped and Angelica secretly smiled at his antics, glad he couldn’t see her.

“What do you want?” she sat up, pushing her hair out of her face.

“We got a really nasty one for you named Misery,” Zachary offered.

Angelica climbed out of bed and turned on the lamp. “How big?”

“Not sure, but I’m going to guess a level seven.” He smiled into the phone knowing that would get her attention… and he just loved getting Boo’s attention.

Angelica walked out into the living room and turned on her laptop. She typed in a few things and frowned.

“Level seven? Are you sure?” she asked. Anything over a level five was very dangerous and extremely rare.

“It’s just a guess,” Zachary answered. “It was able to trap one of our two fallen that we’ve been following and apparently another fallen had been down there with it for a long time. Since they are considered level seven then I’m assuming anything powerful enough to trap one is an equal.”

Angelica was searching her database. More than three quarters of it had been illegally obtained from the vaults of the Vatican, but no one could argue with her results. The fact that a level seven demon might have been discovered in Los Angeles was more than enough of a reason to wake up not only her, but the rest of the P.I.T. crew as well.

Each demon was placed in a class of one through ten, with level ten being the equivalent of Satan himself. She’d hate to run into anyone who possessed enough magic to seal away a level seven demon… you’d need the thunder of God to pull it off.

“I’m not finding anything on a demon named Misery in the Los Angeles area,” she said after a few minutes. “Let me hook up my external hard drive and take a look at those files.”

She heard Zachary talking to someone in the background and figured it was Trevor until she heard another voice join in the conversation.

“Who are you talking to?” she asked curiously.

“The newest member of our team, Chad,” Zachary answered. “He’s a local cop that knows a little too much, so we brought him on to protect the masses, and by the masses I mean the other idiots he works with.”

Angelica smirked, “They’re probably worse out there.”

“Not by much,” Zachary said.

“Okay,” Angelica said. “I got it hooked up, let’s take a look around and see what all I’ve got on here.”

“You mean you don’t know?” Zachary asked in surprise.

Angelica sighed, “You know how I am. I’d forget my head if it wasn’t attached sometimes. I’ve only had a chance to explore a fraction of this thing.”

“Yeah, you did download it in a big hurry.” Zachary said and sighed himself. “Good times, good times.”

Angelica accessed the hard drive and typed a word into her search prompt and pressed enter.

“I take it you haven’t been behaving yourself.” Angelica asked leaning back on her sofa while the computer did its thing.

“Hell no,” Zachary laughed. “You can’t take me anywhere, remember?”

Angelica winced remembering only a couple months ago when they’d gone to a big gala while chasing a four year old werewolf who had gotten lost and wasn’t very happy about it. By the end of the night, Zachary had lost his pants because the werewolf had transformed during a child’s temper tantrum and ripped them to shreds.

The funniest part was that Zackary hadn’t said a thing, just took them off and walked around in his underwear and tuxedo jacket and shirt. Angelica couldn’t make up her mind whether to be embarrassed or laugh her ass off. Seeing his legs with the knee high socks and dress shoes had nearly killed her when several of the young ladies crowded around him wanting to dance.

Her laptop beeped and she sat forward to look at what the search had found.

“Find anything?” Zachary asked.

Angelica opened a few of the files that had the word Misery located in them and started reading. Her cigarette slipped from her fingers as she read and landed on her foot.

“Ouch, damn it!” she cursed and picked her cigarette back up, quickly putting it out.

“Everything okay?” Zackary frowned worriedly and held up a hand when Trevor wanted to know what was going on.

Angelica read over the information again just to be sure. “I’m catching the next flight out,” she informed him before pulling the phone away from her ear. She hung up on Zachary’s questions and looked back at the screen. It wasn’t what she had read that made her so sure this was dangerous… it was that the head man of PIT had somehow just locked her out of the file.

If Storm was keeping secrets… then she was wanted to know why.

Chapter 2

Anthony paced relentlessly across the marble floor of his study. He ran a hand through his dark hair in frustration and anger. He knew he’d lost his temper when he killed Arthur and now he’d also lost his leverage for binding Jewel to him as his mate… not that it would stop him.

He’d meant for the situation to remain calm… but when Arthur had brought up Anthony’s father, the werewolf part of him had lost it. Now he’d be forced to use coercion of a different kind on his runaway bride. The only problem was, he had to find her first.

Someone knocked on the door and Anthony stopped pacing long enough to straighten his hair and clothing. He was the alpha, and with that came a certain measure of decorum.

“Enter,” he called out in a cold voice.

The door opened and one of his wolves stepped in, closing the door behind him.

“What did you find?” Anthony asked.

The pack member looked very nervous and cleared his throat. “I stayed behind just like you ordered to see if the priest came back to the church. I wasn’t there long when all hell broke loose at the church and in the graveyard behind it. People were showing up right and left, most of them coming out of nowhere.” He paused and swallowed nervously before adding, “That’s when I noticed Jewel was with them.”

“Then where is she?” Anthony demanded as he closed the distance between them with rapid strides. “Why didn’t you bring her back with you?”

The wolf backed away with panic in his eyes knowing bringing bad news to their alpha was never a good thing. “I couldn’t,” he shuddered.

Anthony’s hand abruptly shot out and grabbed the subordinate by the throat, lifting him into the air. “You’re a werewolf. Why didn’t you just take her?”

“She was surrounded by weres… too many of them,” the wolf explained, lifting his hands to try and alleviate some of the pressure around his throat.

Anthony’s hand tightened and his eyes changed to an eerie golden color. His brother had finally returned from Italy, he was sure of it. “Did I or did I not teach you how to fight another pack on your own? My brother should have been no match for you.” It was a lie. The wolf would have been lying in a ditch somewhere had he dared to fight Andreas Valachi.

“Wasssssn’t wooolvvesssss,” the wolf rasped out while trying to breathe.

Anthony snapped his attention back to the man he was strangling and jerked his hand away, seeing he’d almost killed him. “Who was it?” he demanded with barely suppressed fury lacing his voice.

The wolf lay prone on the floor trying to catch his breath. He scrambled up to his hands and knees before dropping his forehead to the cold marble floor. He bared the back of his neck showing submission to his leader and wishing he’d run when he’d had a chance.

“Cats… I smelled cats,” he said after a few seconds, “Cougars and jaguars... lots of them.” He lifted his head and saw Anthony’s eyes narrow threateningly. Quickly he added, “There was a cougar shadowing her every step. The place was crawling with vampires as well. Part of the church blew up, then a cop car showed up.”

Anthony stood there trying to reign in his growing anger. However, the longer he stood there, the more pissed off he became. His plan to retrieve his fugitive mate had been botched repeatedly by either his own actions or the actions of his ignorant subordinates.

He signaled his personal guards closer. “Take him down to the basement where he can simmer in his failure.”

The wolf sat up on his knees with a pleading expression on his face. He’d heard stories about the basement and what it contained. Some of the werewolves that survived the torture still had the scars on their bodies to show for it. He whined pitifully when his arms were taken up by the guards and he was pulled to his feet.

The guards didn’t look at his face nor did they say anything comforting or derogatory. If they had their way, they would have let him run. To them, Miss Jewel had every reason to run away from their Alpha. She was unhappy and, despite Anthony’s best attempts, would never love him. Living like this, thriving off the misfortune of others was not the true werewolf way… it was the Mob way.

At one time, they had protected mankind from the evil that threatened to overtake the world. Now, with the exception of a few tribes located in across the United States and overseas, they were the evil. It was no wonder humans made movies depicting them like rabid dogs bent on causing death and destruction.

Anthony followed his guards down to the basement and smirked when the young werewolf whimpered quietly. The mansion basement had been converted into a large, underground torture chamber that covered several thousand square feet. Chains hung from the opposite wall with manacles attached to hold a person upright against the cold stone.

Off to the right was a table covered with whips and riding crops of various sizes. A cauldron where a fire was burning had a few irons sticking out of it used for branding purposes, which Anthony had rarely used. Finally, on the wall directly across from that was a row of cells that housed a few occupants.

A few werewolves moved among the shadows readying more devices for a special guest who Anthony had been fortunate enough to obtain a couple weeks ago. They stopped and watched with curiosity when their alpha entered the chamber with his guards and a new wolf to discipline.

Anthony stood back as his guards shackled the wolf to the wall and waved them out of the way when they were done.

“What would you have us do, Lord Anthony?” the oldest werewolf asked.

“I want you to make sure to teach this one a lesson, Boris,” Anthony answered. “He failed to bring back my bride and he must learn that failure is not tolerated.”

Boris looked over at the boy and inwardly sighed. “He is only a boy.”

“Then he will learn early,” Anthony’s voice lacked emotion.

Boris lifted a scarred hand and waved two of the other werewolves over. They approached and ripped the back of the young wolf’s shirt open. Boris lifted one of the whips, a cat o’ nine tails, and cracked it in the air. The shackled wolf flinched making Anthony smirk.

Boris positioned himself about five feet behind the young one and snapped the whip forward. The young wolf screamed at the bite of the whip across his back. The screaming continued as Boris continued to strike the once unmarred skin. Finally, he stopped and another werewolf stepped forward with a large bowl of salt. More agonizing cries followed when the salt was thrown on the bleeding wounds.

The young wolf slumped against the wall believing the torture was over, only to scream again when the beating began anew… only this time two more whips joined it.

Anthony lifted his right hand so he could get a better look at it and frowned when he saw he would have to trim his nails again. Shrugging, he turned away from the beating and approached the cell furthest away from everything at the far end of the basement. A smile appeared on his face when the heavy chains rattled.

The man inside was suddenly on his feet and straining against the bonds trying to reach Anthony.

Anthony’s bad mood suddenly evaporated seeing the proud male inside. His smile widened as he thought of a way to get Jewel back into his arms and away from the cougars she had sought shelter with.

“I’m glad I only shot you once Micah… I may have a use for you yet.”

*****

Tabatha looked around the apartment she shared with Kriss and shivered. Usually she didn’t mind being alone but for many reasons, tonight it was very hard to handle. She looked out the window whenever she heard a noise thinking Kriss had come back. She’d thought she was fine when Envy and Devon dropped her off at home on their way to Chad’s, but now she realized just how much she needed the company.

Envy had asked her if she’d wanted to go with them just in case Envy needed a tag team effort to handle her brother. But, Tabby had thought maybe Kriss would have come home soon and she wanted to ask him what happened, so she’d turned her down… now she wished she hadn’t.

Thinking about Kriss led her to thoughts of Dean and how he’d acted at the church. She could still see the look on his face when he’d seen Kane.

Tabatha shook her head when the picture of Kane popped into her mind in a vain attempt to not think about him. Seeing him laying there dying had pulled at something deep in her heart and soul. She didn’t understand why but, the thought of him dying made her want to curl up in a ball.

“Get a hold of yourself,” she whispered to break the silence. “What you need is a distraction.”

Picking up the phone she decided to call Jason at work to catch up and see if anything unusual had happened since Kriss flew her all the way to Florida.

The phone rang three times before it was picked up.

“Forest Preserve, Officer Fox speaking,” a sexy voice recited.

“Hey Jason, it’s Tabby.” she smiled for the first time since walking in the front door.

“Tabby?” Jason cried and she heard something topple over, probably the chair because he was usually leaning it back in it at a dangerous angle on two legs. “Where the hell have you been?”

“Kriss kinda kidnapped me and Envy and took us to Florida for a few days.” Tabby answered. “I just got home and thought I’d call and see what I missed.”

Jason sighed, “Other than the normal weird stuff, you didn’t miss a lot. The only exciting thing that happened is the other night we got a call from a real whack job.”

Tabby smirked and sat down on her sofa. “Do tell!”

“Jacob and me were just sitting around, it was a slow night, and the phone rang. I picked it up and this guy was talking about seeing a jaguar chasing a cougar through downtown with a cell phone strapped to one of its legs.”

Tabatha couldn’t help it and started laughing. If she’d been in Jason’s shoes a couple weeks ago, she would have thought the same thing. “Oh damn,” she exclaimed.

“Tell me about it,” Jason said with a chuckle. “Jacob and I are taking bets on whether or not there will be any text messages on it when they find the critter.”

“Are you sure you’re not drinking any of Kat’s specialties?” she asked around her laughter.

“I do not drink on the job!” Jason exclaimed and Tabatha heard Jacob’s laughter in the background. “So when are you coming back to work?”

Tabatha shrugged, “I don’t know yet. I need a few more days and I got the vacation days to burn.”

“That’s cool, we miss you though. It’s just not the same without having a pretty face to brighten up the place. All I have now is Jacob, and he isn’t much to look at.”

“I’ve missed you guys too,” Tabatha said, and she meant it. “We’ll get together in the next couple of days.”

Jason was quiet for a moment and Tabatha instinctively knew what was coming. “How’s Envy?”

“She’s doing good too. Like me, she just needed a few days away.” She bit her lower lip when there were several seconds of silence.

“Is it true?” Jason asked.

“Is what true?” Tabatha inquired trying to sound clueless.

“Is Envy really dating Devon Santos?” Jason’s knuckles turned white as he gripped the phone a little tighter.

Tabatha sighed, she knew this was going to hurt Jason in a big way, but to a certain extent it was partially his fault. Someone that cute should never be so hung up on the one girl who thought of him as a best friend and brother.

“Yeah, it’s true.” Tabatha said softly. “I know she didn’t mean to hurt you. She does love you… ya know.”