Home > Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(6)

Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(6)
Author: Debbie Cassidy

“Yes. And we’ll lose.”

“Not if we can sway the pack to see how viscous and uncalled for what Ulrich did is. They can’t want to live under his regime.”

Her conviction is sweet but misplaced. Still I don’t have the heart to break her hope. “And if you’re wrong?” I lean forward, forearms braced on the table. “We only get one shot at this, Fee.”

She looks up at me sharply, and I can almost see the lightbulb going off above her head. “Then we get more Loup.”

I stifle a sigh because that isn’t a realistic option. “Crimson pack won’t—”

“No. Not the Crimson pack.” She sits back and I can practically see her mind working as she pieces together whatever wonderful plan she’s coming up with. “I think it’s time to call in some girl power.”

Girl power? Wait…

She tips her head to the side and gives me a pointed look before what she’s referring to clicks. The female Loup that had come to our aid at the cabin…

Oh. Yes. That could work.

Chapter Five

Fee

“Uri says he’ll take you to the cabin and help you locate the Loup,” Grayson said over the phone. “I’ll round up as many Loup as I can this end.”

“Grayson, this could still go south. We still might not have the numbers.”

“I’ll speak to the Crimson pack,” he said

My attention flicked to Hunter, who was watching me from his spot at the kitchen table. “Hunter doesn’t think they’ll help.”

Grayson sighed in exasperation. “Hunter doesn’t have the same relationship with Crimson’s alpha as I do. He wouldn’t get his foot onto their territory. I however can, and when I point out how Ulrich being in charge with a hoard of rogue Loups at his beck and call could affect their territory rights and business operations, he’ll listen.”

He sounded confident, and he knew more about this world than I did. Still it was impossible to ignore the squirming in my gut at the thought of my mate behind enemy lines.

“Be careful. Don’t go alone.”

“I’m always careful,” he said. “You…be safe…”

I glanced at Hunter again. He was now casually sipping his coffee.

“I love you,” Grayson said.

“I love you too.”

Hunter’s jaw flexed as I said the words, the only indication he was listening.

I hung up and leaned against the counter. “You’ll stay here with Petra. Uri is taking me to hunt for the female Loup pack.”

He gave me a thin smile. “Getting used to giving the orders, aren’t you?”

“You’re not the only alpha in this Tribus.”

The air crackled and Uri appeared by the kitchen door. He was dressed for the outdoors, in a heavy jacket and boots and clutched a plastic bag.

“Herbs for Petra,” he said, holding out the bag.

Hunter pushed back his chair and took the bag off Uri, fixing him with a probing stare that was almost challenging.

Uri arched a brow. “Is there something you want to say?”

“Watch her back,” Hunter growled.

Uri snorted. “I’ve been watching her back since long before you came on the scene.”

His tone was positively bristly, but instead off retaliating verbally, Hunter merely smiled wryly and left.

Uri looked over at me. “I don’t think he likes me.”

No, that wasn’t it. It was more complicated than that. “I think it’s more the fact that he expects you not to like him.”

Uri seemed to turn my words over. “That’s not a great way to live.”

“No, it isn’t.”

He smiled at me and my heart lit up. “Maybe we can change that,” he said.

If anyone could help me do that, it was Uri.

He held out his hand. “Shall we.”

I crossed the kitchen and stepped into his arms. “Let’s.”

The snow had mostly melted in the forest, but it was still cold enough for frost to give every blade of grass a snap to it. The air was crisp and icy, chilling my lungs as we strode through the trees. I had no clue where to look for the female Loup, and according to the map Uri had with him, this forest land stretched for miles.

I needed my Loup senses.

I needed to track them.

I’d need to get naked.

Urgh.

“What is it?” Uri asked. “That look on your face…”

I sighed and began to unzip my jacket. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to get naked.”

His brows shot up as comprehension crossed his features. “You need to shift.”

“Yep.”

“But it’s freezing.”

“I’ll be fine, I don’t feel the cold as acutely as a human. My demonic side and my Loup blood see to that.”

I stripped off my coat and handed it to him then unbuttoned my jeans. He turned his back to give me privacy.

Oh god, he was adorable. “Uri, you don’t need to do that. You’ve seen everything there is to see.”

He cleared his throat and faced me again, and yes, there was a definite tinge of color high in his cheeks.

“Only the once,” he said.

Oh, wow. Okay. “So, you want a repeat performance, huh?” I stepped into his aura, and allowed it to run its fingers through my hair and down my neck. Shivers of pleasure ran over my skin, and euphoria bloomed in my chest. “That can, and will, be arranged.”

He reached up to tuck a strand of my hair behind my ear. “I’m in no rush, Fee. I’m just happy to be here with you.”

But there was something in his eyes, a sliver of doubt, a question that was poignant even with his aura pressing on me.

“Uri, is there something wrong? You know you can talk to me about anything.”

He smiled and dropped his forehead to mine. “I know. Now, you should shift so we can find these Loup. I’ll stay on your…tail.”

“Haha, very funny.” I stripped quickly, handing him my clothes, and it was only as I shifted into my Loup form that it hit me. He hadn’t denied there was something wrong… But then I was Loup and the scents in the air instantly sharpened. My focus was on the hunt, on tracking, and it wasn’t long before I’d caught a whiff of another Loup. Hard to tell if it was female of male, but it was fresh, and considering we’d killed off the male pack that had moved here a week or so ago, I was pretty confident I was on the right track.

I allowed the Loup to take over, following the trail, aware Uri was at my back the whole way. We dove deeper and deeper into the forest until the sunshine was mostly blocked out by the canopy of trees. There were several distinct scents now. Yes, this was the right way. The ground was less frosty here and I stopped to examine a smattering of pawprints.

I was close.

The snap and crack of bracken had me freezing and falling into defence mode. Uri called out a warning as several huge Loup padded menacingly out of the shadows, lips pulled back from teeth in snarls.

I stood my ground, meeting their eyes. I was an alpha and I would not be cowed. I’d come here in peace, but first I needed to assert my dominance. I snarled back, snapping and moving to stand in front of Uri to stake my claim.

Do not fucking touch.

They backed up and a figure stepped out of the shadows. I recognized the female Loup that had saved Hunter and me from Larson and his hired hands. She frowned at the sight of me.

“What are you doing here?” Her gaze swept over me to Uri. “And who is this?” She sniffed the air. “What are you?”

I shifted into human form and Uri slung my jacket over my shoulders. It covered me to mid-thigh.

“Hi.” I gave a tentative wave. “You never did tell me your name.”

“I’m not much for pleasantries,” she said. “I thought we agreed that we’d come to you if we decided to. I thought we agreed you’d leave us alone, and yet here you are, with…this man in tow.”

“Uri is a celestial, not a Loup.”

“I can smell that, but why is he here.”

Her tone rankled, and the impudence nudged my alpha. “He’s with me.” My voice came out thick and gravelly.

She flinched and her jaw hardened.

Shit, I hadn’t come here to piss her off. I needed her help. I took a deep breath and smiled. “Look, I wouldn’t have come, but I need your help.”

She looked me up and down. “Pack business?”

“Yes, and I know how you feel about pack mentality. I get it, and I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t desperate.”

She lifted her chin. “I’m listening.”

I filled her in on the situation with Eldrick. And gave her brief details on Ulrich and his actions, the rogue Loup and their intentions. “If he wins, if he’s allowed to wrest control then his influence will spread. The Loup who join him thrive on inflicting pain and debasing the weak. I have to stop him, and I need your help to do it. I need you to stand with me.”

The Loup around her, still dressed in their fur, snapped at me. Yeah, they weren’t liking this.

“You want us to walk into a den of male Loup?” she asked. “Males who wish to own us. Claim us. Breed us.”

It was my turn to lift my chin. “Yes, because together we are powerful. They can’t touch us. I’m one third of a Tribus and heir to the Rising pack alphahood. I have a claim, but I don’t have the numbers. I need you.”

Once again, the wolves around her began to snarl and yip as if arguing amongst themselves.

She sighed and shook her head. “I’m sorry. I told you before, we don’t get involved in pack affairs, and we don’t leave our sanctuary.”

Fuck, I hated to do this but… “And what if the pack world came for you? Larson sent Loup here before. He gave them this territory, remember? What’s to say Ulrich won’t do the same? How long will you be able to hide then?”

She looked to her left at a huge gray wolf. They locked gazes for a long beat, and it was obvious they were communicating. Then she nodded and turned back to me.

   
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