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Tracker(Rylee Adamson #6)(12) by Shannon Mayer

His wolf paced inside him, snarling at the very thought of sharing close quarters with Milly. Then again, she had no magic, so he could kill her if he had to. With ease, actually. She might even give him just cause to break her tiny little neck. His wolf settled with that thought.

He gave a sharp nod. “Fine, you can come. Teach the kid, stay out of the way, and don’t touch me.”

The two women grabbed coats and followed him out. Rylee’s Jeep was parked in the same place she’d left it last night. His eyes dropped to the ground, looking for tracks, but the falling snow had covered them firmly. Her scent pulled him forward a few steps, drawing him down the path she’d gone.

“Liam.” Pamela’s voice drew him back. “How are we going to use the Jeep?”

His eyes flicked over the compact vehicle, and he wondered the same thing. Whatever he was, he packed far more of a ‘supernatural’ wallop than the others. “We’ll have to try, see if it will start with all three of us.”

“And if it doesn’t?”

Well, that should be obvious, but he said it anyway. “Milly stays behind, regardless of how vulnerable she is.”

Milly lifted her chin, and he saw the fear in her eyes. Orion wasn’t just coming for Rylee and her pack; he was coming for Milly and her child too.

Shit, he was not going soft on her.

He wasn’t.

Before we left Giselle’s, I took a wrapped torch, lighter fluid, matches and a long coil of rope from my Jeep. Looping the rope around Alex and tying it firmly, he was able to carry it easily. Everything else was light enough for me. At least I’d thought ahead enough to take the majority of my gear from the root cellar. Alex and I ran for two hours, until the light stained the snow around us a faint pink. With the snow falling steadily, I wasn’t worried about leaving tracks, though I knew Liam would be able to scent us. I had to believe he would do as I asked and wouldn’t follow me. That, and I was pretty sure he would get the subtle jab that trust had to go both ways, or it didn’t work at all. The run with Alex helped with the anger and the hurt.

Going to New Mexico on my own wasn’t a big deal, there was no danger waiting for me. But Doran loved to poke at Liam, loved to drive his wolf into a rage. Which was one more reason to send Liam in a different direction. I could handle Doran on my own.

It wouldn’t be long before we hit the highway, and from there we would snatch a ride to the badlands exit with one of the big rigs, they were always headed along that route—

A blood red, meticulously clean pickup truck rolled to a stop beside us, the windows tinted pitch black. The passenger window rolled slowly down to reveal Faris sitting in the driver’s side, a grin on his face, fangs fully showing. “Fancy meeting you here, Rylee. Get in, I’m losing heat.”

The shock didn’t last long, a mere split second before my rage spilled all the way to my fingertips. The only thing that kept me from launching myself at him was knowing Charlie was alive.

Seven days, he’d promised me seven days before I had to help him. I wrenched open the door. “How am I not surprised—you fucking liar—that you didn’t keep your word to me?”

His grin didn’t falter. “I thought you would be grateful fot l gratefr the ride, seeing as you mistakenly left your Jeep behind.”

He still thought I thought he’d killed Charlie, threatened my family, forced me into oaths that bound me to help him, and he wanted me to be fucking grateful?

Then again, it was morning, and the sun was shining, if dimly. “Actually, I am grateful.” I smiled at him and opened the door fully, yanking it backward until the hinges squealed. Oh, what a joy it would be to see him fry to a crisp in the early morning sunlight.

His eyes narrowed and the grin settled into a snarl. But that wasn’t what pissed me off the most, no. That fucking asshat jumped the veil. Just sitting there, he jumped the veil.

My temper cooled and I realized it was probably for the best anyhow. After all, I needed him. Sure, I wasn’t happy about it, but without Faris I wouldn’t be able to unify the vampires—or worse yet, Berget would gain true control. Add to that I was really hoping to find a way around killing my little sister.

I slapped my hand on the door. “Get in, Alex. We have a ride now.”

As I slid into the driver’s seat, I wondered if somehow Faris had done this on purpose, if I was already falling into a trap he’d carefully laid out. I gripped the steering wheel reflexively. No, I couldn’t worry about it now; I had a way to get to the mineshaft and that was all that mattered.

Still, knowing he’d suckered me into my oaths while not actually hurting anyone only compounded my belief he was far smarter, and far more devious, than any of us gave him credit for.

The truck spun out as I gave it gas, the back end fishtailing before the tires found traction in the wet snow. Probably had four-wheel drive, but it wasn’t that nasty out. I’d save that for going through the badlands, which would be rutted and snotty at best.

Alex all but vibrated beside me, claws tapping on the dashboard. “Alex hungry.”

“You can eat when we get to Dox’s.”

He slumped in his seat, bottom lip sticking out. “Bugger.”

I ignored him and peered through the darkened windows, the tinting making it look like midnight than morning. The passenger door had closed better than I thought after I wrenched the shit out of it and the interior heated up nicely. In the center console, a cell phone beeped. I grabbed it and held it up. The color still stayed on, the cell phone still worked. A tingle of apprehension slipped along the surface of my body. I flicked the phone open and it continued to give me the high definition color screen. The connection was simple; Faris had something to do with the guns being used. Yes, I had an old cell phone, but it was ancient and as simple as they came, and even it chose not to work sometimes. This phone was shiny and new and hurt my eyes the screen was so damn bright.

I flicked the “answer call” button.

“Who is this?”

Faris laughed softly. “Be careful, Rylee. I need you in one piece, and there are new enemies coming your way. Not that you should be surprised, Tracker.”

“Why the fuck would I believe you?”

I could almost hear the smile in his voice. “Because I believe they were following me, and now they are following you. Since you stole my truck, that is.”