"They blew up part of the cabin," he said, ignoring her cry. "Given the noise, SnowDancer patrols are probably already heading this way."
"I know that!" Shock submerging under worry, she scanned his ashen face. "I want to know what happened to you!"
"I used too much power." Clipped words.
"When you got me out." It wasn't a question. All those weeks of healing with Sascha had taught her a few things about how Psy gifts functioned. "Because I wouldn't let you into my mind. I'm right, aren't I?"
"That's not an issue we have time to discuss." He jerked his head in the direction of the cabin, his eyes beginning to fade back to normal. "My tactical knowledge says the hyenas are long gone by now. We should head back there to meet whoever responds." He began moving.
She ran to catch up. "Are you going to be able to cope? Your eyes..."
He gave her a sideways glance so full of male arrogance, the wolf in her wanted to snarl. "Psy eyes do that when a large power expenditure is involved - I'm fully capable of making the necessary report."
"I should learn to keep my worry to myself where you're concerned," she muttered.
"That would be wise."
Scowling at his back, she decided to concentrate on something that didn't make her want to go clawed. "How did you get me out?"
Utter silence in her mind, the cold emptiness of angry fear.
If he could teleport, that meant he was a telekinetic. A very strong Tk. Like him. The butcher. "When were you going to tell me?" Her heart felt like a block of ice.
"Never," he answered in a clipped tone. "You're not rational about Tk-Psy and your prejudice bleeds onto others."
She didn't quite understand what he was getting at, but she knew it wasn't complimentary. "This is between you and me, no one else."
He stopped and faced her, perfect Psy beauty and ruthless control. "No, Brenna. It's about you, your family, the entire den. You start hissing at me and they'll follow."
"Since when do you care what anyone thinks?"
"Since I realized that Marlee is beginning to exhibit signs of having at least some Tk in her skill set. It didn't show up in her initial tests but that occasionally happens with children who are very strong in another ability. But now it's rising to the surface."
Anger flashed to guilt, then back again. "She's a baby. No one in the den would go after a pup!" Her face burned at the idea, but at the same time, something else was trying to rise, information she couldn't quite grasp. All she knew was that it had something to do with the connection between Judd and Santano Enrique.
He folded his arms. "She's not going to stay a baby. If you poison the den against telekinetics, where's that going to leave her when she grows up?"
Her claws threatened to release and the rage washed away that ethereal piece of knowledge floating in her brain. "That's what you think of me? Well, f**k you!" Spinning away, she sprinted the rest of the way to the cabin fueled by red fury. It didn't improve her mood to realize that Judd kept pace. He was Psy - he shouldn't have been able to keep pace. But damn if she was going to ask him what he was doing to make himself changeling-fast. "The bottom-feeders are gone." Fragments of wood and glass lay scattered on the snow, the air thick with the astringent scent of explosive chemicals. But curiously, the cabin wasn't too badly damaged - the blast had only taken out one discrete section.
Going down on his haunches, Judd held out a hand. "Do you have a handkerchief?"
"Do I look like I have a handkerchief?"
"Any clean cloth will do."
"Wait." Skirting the debris, she went to a window.
"Don't enter," Judd warned. "We haven't checked it for explosives."
She gave him an evil look and, pushing up the window from the outside - after ensuring that it wasn't rigged to blow - reached in to pull open a drawer. The small kitchen towel was in her hand a second later. "Here."
"Thank you." Using the soft cloth, he picked up something she couldn't see.
"What is it?" she snapped more than said.
"A trigger. Unfortunately very generic."
"Maybe the techs can get something off it." SnowDancers made it their business to keep on top of new technology so they could beat the Psy at their own game. She used to help with the technical stuff...before.
"Oh," Judd murmured, "I think there's no maybe about it." He rose, the trigger in hand.
"You think it was planted?" She caught the scent of Pack in the wind. "Packmates incoming - they must've been in the area, to get here so fast."
"I sent Hawke a message this morning stating I'd detected signs of unauthorized access and suggesting it might be wise to inspect the border sections adjoining my watch."
Wolves began pouring out of the forest. She recognized Riley and Andrew. Shit.
Brenna averted her eyes as her brothers shifted, having no desire to see them in the raw.
"I'm going to kill you" were the first words out of Andrew's mouth. "What the hell do you think you're doing with my sister?"
"Later." Hawke's authoritative voice.
Brenna looked up and found him standing across from Judd. He was dressed and in human form, having apparently run that way while the others had gone wolf. It was an indication of his strength, part of what made him alpha.
"You made good time," Judd commented to Hawke, then held out the trigger. "I have a feeling you'll find some prints on this. Convenient ones."