Home > Boundary Lines (Boundary Magic #2)(11)

Boundary Lines (Boundary Magic #2)(11)
Author: Melissa F. Olson

“Yeah,” he said heavily. “We think it’s werewolves.”

Quinn got out his phone and paced a little ways away to check in with Maven and get instructions. Wanting to help somehow, I found his spare flashlight in the duffel bag and began pulling out cleaning supplies, figuring she’d at least want us to clean up the blood. I was also hoping Maven would send us after the werewolves. Nothing sounded better to me at that moment than looking a werewolf in the eyes before I killed it.

If that sounds harsh, well, I had my reasons. When, less than a year ago, my twin sister, Sam, was murdered in Los Angeles, the police had told us that she was the victim of a serial killer and that we would probably never find her remains. But being a boundary witch allowed me to talk to Sam, now on the other side of that life/death border, in my dreams. During our last conversation, she’d urged me to talk to Detective Jesse Cruz of the LAPD and find out how she had really died. Hence my trip to LA to find him.

After I managed to convince Cruz that I already knew about the Old World—that I was now a part of it—he and his friend, Scarlett Bernard, finally told me the truth about my sister’s murderer: he was a werewolf, trying to make himself a mate. I’d heard from Simon and Lily that magic had been fading in the world for generations, and apparently this made changing someone into a werewolf far from a sure thing. The werewolf in LA had killed three women, including Sam, before successfully changing the fourth, Lizzy. I’d met her briefly, and she was a mess from the werewolf magic. She called herself a monster, and I couldn’t exactly disagree.

Any doubts I’d entertained about whether Sam was actually dead had vanished the first time she reached out to me from the other side. But my parents . . . I was pretty sure they were holding on to a tiny bit of hope that she was still alive somewhere. I had asked Scarlett if I could take her body back to my family, for closure. But as it turned out, she had tossed my sister’s corpse in a furnace—like she was garbage—to hide any supernatural evidence. And now my parents and Sam’s husband had nothing to bury, and they never would.

The worst part was that I was now a member of a team that did the exact same thing: covered up crimes, destroyed bodies. I’d signed on before I’d really felt the impact of what it would mean, what I might be doing to other families, and I’d done it to save Sam’s own daughter.

I flopped back in the grass, which made my head ache even more. Everything in my life had become so complicated.

“Lex? You okay?”

I snapped back to attention, sitting up again. “Yeah. What did Maven say?”

Even in the flashlight’s dim beam, I could see Quinn eyeing me. “She wants us to come back. Allegra’s note is too vague for us to go after the wolves tonight. We need more intelligence.”

There was a weight to his voice, enough to make me forget my own problems. “What’s wrong?”

He shook his head. “Werewolves sneaking into Colorado is bad enough. It means they’re not afraid of Maven like they should be. More importantly, though, this means Maven has technically broken her covenant with the witches. If they find out, all hell could break loose. We’re gonna need to hit back hard and fast.”

“A war,” I said softly.

We cleaned up the writing in the septic tank—well, Quinn did. I stayed up top and checked the area for footprints or other telling signs of our presence—and left for Boulder just before two in the morning. On the way, I called the Flatiron Depot to tell them I’d be too sick to come in for my shift late that morning. If there was going to be a war, I would be needed, which meant I had to get a few hours of sleep before night fell again. I wasn’t twenty anymore; lack of sleep was like a toxin to my body.

Quinn was subdued and quiet on the three-hour trip back to Boulder, and I wasn’t sure what to say to him. Our second kiss had happened right next to the damning evidence that his friend was probably dead. I didn’t know how to process that, and I’d never even met Allegra. Was he feeling guilty? Grieving? Or—and this was somehow scarier—had it not affected him at all? When I glanced over, Quinn was as unreadable as ever.

On top of all that, I really wanted to know how hard it was to kill a werewolf, and how the wolves had managed to take down a vampire, but it didn’t seem like the right moment to ask him if werewolves ate vampire bodies—a thought that sounded so ridiculous in my brain that I had to bite down on a laugh.

Maybe I’d hit my head harder than I’d thought.

When we finally arrived back at Magic Beans, Maven was waiting for us in her office, a cramped little space attached to the big concrete-floored room in the back of the building. I struggled not to yawn as Quinn filled her in on the night’s events. When he was finished, Maven stared thoughtfully into space as if she were reading through a list of her options. After a few minutes of her silence, I had to make a conscious effort not to jiggle my knee up and down.

“What troubles me,” she said at last, and I nearly started in my chair, “is that there were two attacks, from two sides.”

Quinn nodded. “I was thinking the same thing. I know I haven’t been around that long, but I’ve never heard of werewolf packs joining forces against a common enemy.”

Maven shook her head. “They’re too territorial for that, too competitive.”

I spoke up. “Do we know for sure that’s what happened?” They both looked at me with polite interest, like I had performed a card trick rather badly. “I mean, isn’t it still possible that Allegra was attacked, but Travis . . . defected?”

   
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