Home > Wolf's Fall (Alpha Pack #6)

Wolf's Fall (Alpha Pack #6)
Author: J.D. Tyler


Alpha Pack commander Nick Westfall strode from his office and down the main corridor of the compound, his heavy black boots muffled on the carpet.

His hand went to his side, fingers touching briefly on the butt of the firearm tucked into the waistband of his jeans. He pulled his T-shirt down to cover it and kept walking.

I should feel something, shouldn’t I? Fear? Self-loathing? Regret?

Yes, all of those things shredded his guts like razor blades, but not because of what he might be about to do. He wanted to hold on. It wasn’t in his nature to give up, ever. But the storm within battered him from all sides, tidal waves washing over his head again and again until it seemed there was nothing left to do but just let go. Drown.

Every time he closed his eyes, he saw Carter Darrow’s sinister smile splitting his cold face. Day and night, the phantom press of the dead vampire’s body, fangs piercing his skin, unwillingly aroused him all over again.

Worse, he’d begged for it. The nightmare of his time with Darrow never left him. The vampire had broken him down, mind and body, to the lowest common denominator of flesh, blood, and desire. He was nothing but what the creature wanted him to be: enslaved.

Choking off a bitter laugh, he turned a corner and almost mowed down Hammer—aka former Special Agent John Ryder. His best friend and right hand, the one man who’d been with him for years. Endured all sorts of shit with him since their days in the FBI, passing a few years as humans. The one man who would see through Nick’s mask in a heartbeat if Nick wasn’t careful.

“Where you goin’ in such a hurry?” The big wolf shifter was half teasing, but the easygoing smile met a quick death as he studied Nick’s face. “What’s up?”

“Nothing,” he said casually. “Just going out to the hangar to check on the repairs of that Huey, and then I’m heading over to Sanctuary to see how things are going with the new residents.”

All of that was the truth. He’d just left out his next, possibly final, destination. Still, the huge bald man narrowed his eyes, shifted his stance, clearly communicating that his bullshit detector was fully functioning. They’d been friends too long to miss when something was off with the other.

“I’ll go with you.”

A test. One he’d fail if he refused his friend’s company, and the guy knew it. Shrugging, he said, “Sure.”

Nick could fool most people, but not the former undercover agent whose life had depended on his ability to read the subtle nuances of tone, body language, and facial expression. And he probably knew Nick better than anyone else ever had, even Nick’s own brother.

As they headed for the hangar, a buzz vibrated against Nick’s thigh. Fishing in his front pocket, he pulled out his cell phone and let out a frustrated breath as he saw his brother’s name on the screen. Hell, the guys of the Pack were more his brothers than Damien had ever been.

He should have known. Just when he wanted nothing more than to be left alone, especially by that asshole, he had a couple of minders breathing down his neck. “Fuck off,” he muttered, pushing the button to decline the call. Then he shoved the device back into his pocket.

“You not gonna answer that?”

“Nope. Thought the ‘fuck off’ made it pretty obvious.”

Hammer was unperturbed, sliding on his sunglasses as they stepped outside. “You know he’ll just keep calling back.”

“Yeah, he’s a dick like that.”

“He cares.”

Nick shot him a glare. They had been friends for years, since long before the Pack. The others might suspect that Hammer had known the sad story of Nick’s past all along, but nobody knew for sure and no one had asked in the days since everything had come out.

Hammer had known, almost from the start of their friendship. And he had never told a soul. He was the most loyal, steadfast friend a man could ask for.

Few people knew better what Nick had been through twenty years ago, after making a horrible mistake. He’d used his abilities as a PreCog to change the future, saving his daughter’s life. But his actions had cost his mate her life instead—at Carter Darrow’s hands. Damien had banished Nick from their clan and forced him to leave a then-eleven-year-old Selene behind. He’d lost his daughter, mate, brother, and clan, in one fell swoop. It was that bastard Darrow’s fault—but Damien could have handled things differently. The heartless prick could have supported Nick instead of casting him out.

Which was why Hammer’s pushing Nick to reconcile with his brother completely baffled him. Coming back to the present, he realized he’d stopped to stare at his friend.

“You really want to go there with me?” he asked in a warning tone.

“Just sayin’.” Thankfully, his friend lapsed back into quiet mode until they reached the cavernous hangar, and didn’t bring up the subject of Damien again.

In the driveway outside the building, some of the guys were waxing the SUVs. Correction: most were waxing and two others were goofing off. Jaxon Law, Ryon Hunter, Zander Cole, and Micah Chase were polishing the freshly washed black vehicles to a high shine while Aric Savage and Kalen Black were running around throwing wet, soapy sponges at each other. Nick exchanged an amused look with Hammer and the two of them stopped to watch.

“Gotcha!” Kalen yelled as his missile hit Aric’s chest with a wet splat.

“Yeah? Take this!” The redheaded wolf shifter returned the favor, dipping his sponge into a bucket and then letting it fly, hitting the Sorcerer in the head.

“Oh, yeah? Die, mangy wolf!”

With that, Kalen waved a hand at his own bucket—and the contents shot from it, completely drenching Aric. Who sputtered, cursed, and laughed at the same time.

“You fucker! That’s cheating!” He wiped soap from his eyes and gave Kalen an evil grin. “You’re gonna pay, Magic Man.”

Aric waved a hand at his own bucket, the sudsy water splashing on the concrete as he used his gift of telekinesis to hurl the entire thing at Kalen. Who immediately used his own magic to stop the bucket midair and send it straight back at Aric. Halfway to Aric, the bucket met with equal resistance and hung suspended between them.

“Stalemate,” Kalen said dryly.

“Yeah. All the water’s gone anyway.”

With the ceasing of their power, the bucket fell unceremoniously to the ground with a clatter. Nick rolled his eyes and stepped forward. “Is that all you two idiots have to do today? I’m sure I can find jobs for you. Like cleaning the staff restrooms, for example.”

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