Home > Never Cry Werewolf (Crimson Moon #5)(14)

Never Cry Werewolf (Crimson Moon #5)(14)
Author: L.A. Banks

"Affirmative," Woods said, matching Fisher's stance.

"I think this civilian needs a lesson in manners from Delta Force Bravo Company," the colonel said with pure hatred in his eyes as he looked Hunter up and down.

The man on the colonel's flank patted his sidearm. "And if the she-wolf and her dogs make it an unfair fight by flipping out.. . well, we're locked and loaded for any eventuality, sir."

"Okay, now I know it's time for everybody to just stand down before someone gets hurt," Sasha said, looking at Hunter.

"You and your men threatened her with a firearm— one of your own?" Hunter said, moving closer to Madi­son.

"Just think of my lieutenants as peacekeeping forces so your girlfriend doesn't get nervous under the full moon and decide to break rank, turn wolf, and jump into what should be between men when she sees you getting taken to school," Colonel Madison said. He gave his men a half smile. "I don't think it's going to take much for you to learn what a real leader is made of."

"Believe me, if you pull a weapon on Sasha in my presence, it won't help you. Your arm needs to be con­nected to your body when you squeeze the trigger."

Hunter hadn't blinked, hadn't stuttered, and was so close to a shape-shift that she wanted to drag him out by his arm.

The colonel looked at Hunter and hesitated for a second and then laughed. "Overconfidence is always the best teacher."

"Yeah ... Let's go outside and learn together," Hunter said as the muscles in his shoulders bunched.


This was beyond crazy, but there was no stopping the events that were unfolding too quickly. Patrons began flowing out of the tavern behind them, but thankfully Ronnie and his bouncers got between them and the small group that stalked off toward the tree line, telling people he'd call the cops if a crowd gathered.

Yet appalling as the situation was, there was also a small, glowing ember of satisfaction alive within her. The night air fanned it, brought it alive, just as the full moon stoked it, and the sound of her once dejected team trudging behind her made whatever repercussions were sure to follow all seem worthwhile.

The only saving grace was that she was on the re­cord as having tried to intervene. According to military code, Hunter was not her spouse—he was a civilian, a private citizen, and she'd also warned her commanding officer.. . who had pressed for the fight, even after she, Woods, Fisher, and Winters had suggested he stand down. This one wouldn't make it to the general whom Madison reported to, and would undoubtedly be a brawl that remained under the radar ... the sort of thing this ass**le was clearly used to doing—command by intimidation. So be it.

Sasha threw her shoulders back and stood taller when Hunter stopped walking. The shadows were long tonight. The trees, the parking lot trucks, all of it was beyond what Madison could comprehend. However, that also told her how foolish the man was, not realiz­ing he'd been lured into a wolf trap. She watched the man take off his sidearm and hand it to one of his men, a smug look of confidence marring his sharp features in the moonlight. From the corner of her eye she thought she saw a fast-moving silver blur go past the tree line, but then it was gone. She couldn't focus on that now; there was just too much else happening.

"You are so screwed," Winters muttered and shook his head.

"Check him to see if he's armed," the Asian lieuten­ant said, glancing at the others quickly.

Before one of them could cross the wide circle the two teams had made, Hunter pulled up his jean legs one at a time with perfect balance on one leg, showing them there was nothing in his boots. Without a word, he then lifted his shirt and took it off, stripping it over his head. Methodically, moving like a tai chi instruc­tor, Hunter then took off his amulet and tossed it to Sasha. She caught it with one hand, wishing she hadn't left the mate to it on her dresser at home.

Moonlight washed over Hunter, adding definition to the tight ropes of sinew that made up his torso. Now that he'd passed inspection and been deemed unarmed, Madison began to slowly circle Hunter. The group backed up, giving both combatants wide berth. Sasha's grip on Hunter's amulet tightened as she watched the contest, then Madison lunged.

It was a skilled judo move, an impressive one that combined speed and impact, if only it had landed. But what Madison obviously hadn't gleaned from all her reports was that wolf speed and agility were unmatchable by a human—especially when that wolf was pissed off. The sad part was that Hunter was just toying with his prey. It was all so reckless; Madison just couldn't seem to grasp that he was dealing with a wolf, a being stron­ger and faster than he'd ever be, and not a regular hu­man. The man's own prejudice had clearly blinded him to the facts and had left him in a state of twisted denial.

Every aggressive move Madison made, Hunter coun­tered with an avoidance move, choosing not to land a blow. The first lesson that Madison would learn tonight was that he was expending precious energy and Hunter was just wearing him out. He'd also have his confi­dence shaken, as he continued to try to land blows that Hunter easily avoided. Soon frustration would make Madison sloppy and he'd know that Hunter could have put him down at will, but didn't. . . and that would in­spire fear. Sasha cringed inwardly watching it all un­fold, and knowing how it would probably end.

Then Hunter did the unthinkable. On the next lunge, he spun out of Madison's way and then bitch-slapped the colonel. Sasha's mouth flew open.

"Teach me!" Hunter shouted. "We've been out here for ten minutes and all we've been doing is dancing."

Oh . . . my. . . God.

Madison ran in, fury propelling his body forward in a near-blind rage. This time Hunter allowed their bodies to connect, flipping Madison and body-slamming him to the ground. Hunter moved away with an angry smirk and allowed Madison to get up.

"If you go to New Orleans like this, you'll die, you stupid bastard," Hunter said, slipping into a shadow and coming out behind Madison. "You'll get your men killed. Not that I care, but it's good information for you to have."

Madison spun and stepped back, giving himself safety space. His men immediately drew on Hunter.

"You're one of them!" Madison shouted, and then turned toward Sasha. "He's a goddamned beast like you!"

"Oh, you don't know the half of it," Hunter said, ca­nines ripping through his gums as his eyes changed. "Lower your weapons. Threaten my mate and instinct takes over."

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