By the time he parked the car in the underground garage beneath the den, the warning in Judd's brain had gone critical. He began running full-tilt the second he hit the ground and made it to the Kincaid family quarters in less than a minute.
The door was open.
He entered to find Riley, Andrew, Hawke, and Greg - a wolf Judd knew to be both vicious and bigoted - standing in the living room. Greg was bleeding from several lacerations on his face and Andrew bore a number of cuts on his left forearm.
"Where is she?"
All four men looked up. Andrew bared his teeth. "Get the hell out! Your kind is the reason she's like this!"
Judd looked at Greg's face. "What did you do to her?" Ice spread through his veins, bringing the dark heart of him, the part that could kill without compunction, to the surface.
"Nothing!" Greg yelled. "That's what I keep trying to tell you all. I f**king did nothing to your little princess."
"Watch your mouth or I'll clock you myself," Hawke growled.
Greg raised his hands palms out. "Look, she isn't part of our regular crowd, but she spent the night hanging with me, Madeline, Quentin, Tilau, and Laine. We threw together some dinner and then chilled at my place. When the others left, she stuck around."
Judd was focusing very hard in an attempt to keep himself from killing Greg. He'd figured out that Brenna was behind the closed door at Riley's back. And she was in trouble. Despite the dissonance hammering at him, he could teleport himself across the space without problem. However, his instincts - that word again - told him to wait, that he needed the facts, needed to know what damage Greg had done.
"I thought she wanted to...you know." Greg shrugged. "But she left after an hour of talk and I gave it up."
"Just like that?" Andrew growled. "You're not known for your forgiving nature."
"I'm also not a moron. You and Riley would've eaten me alive if I'd done anything." The admission fit his personality. "And I thought she might be teasing to build up to the main event, like the females sometimes like to do."
The wolves didn't interrupt so Judd gathered that to be a truthful assertion. But he did not want to think about the "main event" and what might have taken place in that room less than fifteen feet from him.
"Then," Greg continued, "I got a call today inviting me here. I wasn't keen - I mean until she said you two were going to be out for hours."
"So you hurt her." Riley moved to grip Greg's neck in a bruising hold, his tone quiet. Deadly. "What did you do?"
Greg shoved at Riley's arm but couldn't break away. "She was wearing a robe, for crissakes!" he choked out. "What else was I supposed to think when she crooked a finger and told me to close the door?"
The image did something inside of Judd, broke one of the vital chains of control. He could suddenly feel Greg's heart as if it lay in his hand, the beat rapid and panicked. One hard squeeze and -
Hawke put an arm on Riley's, breaking Judd's line of sight. "He's telling the truth about the robe at least. Let him talk."
Riley didn't budge. "Did she say no? And don't you lie to me."
The chain slipped again. "Tell us or I smash your brain." He made the words matter-of-fact because they were. "You'll be lucky if you can feed yourself afterward." Moving up from the heart, he wrapped power around Greg's skull. And began to apply pressure.
Utter terror rolled through the other male's eyes. "Hawke, stop him!"
The alpha's gaze met Judd's. "Don't kill him yet. We need to know what happened."
Greg started speaking on the heels of that pronouncement. "I swear she didn't say no! I kissed her and went to put my hand on her shoulder. That was when she freaked. Clawed me before I could move. I didn't even push her, I was so busy trying to get out before she punctured my eyeballs or something."
Riley released Greg. He dropped to the floor, coughing. At the same instant, Hawke looked at Judd, the pale silver-blue of his eyes more wolf than human. "She won't let anyone near her, including Lara. Lara's gone to try and track down Sascha." White lines bracketed his mouth. "We'd force our way in but every time we try, she screams so damn hard we're afraid of damaging her."
Any more than she's already been damaged. Judd saw the unspoken judgment on all their agonized faces. His resolve firmed into granite. "I can pull her out."
Andrew made an angry move toward him, but Hawke pushed him back before Judd could. He wasn't going to play stupid games when Brenna's sanity was at stake. But he couldn't teleport in - seeing him use telekinesis would only enrage her.
"You sure?" Hawke shoved Andrew back a second time. "She was pissed with you to begin with."
Which was why she'd gone after this useless excuse for a male sniveling at their feet. But, a still clearheaded part of him pointed out, such an act of betrayal wasn't in Brenna's nature. It simply did not fit. "I have a better chance than any of you."
"Why? Because you're one of the psychopathic race that did this to her?" Andrew again, anger and frustrated protectiveness combined.
"I've walked in her darkness." It had been an unavoidable side effect of the healing process. He'd fed power to Sascha through a telepathic link, but that link had in turn fed him the horrifying agony of Brenna's memories. He'd thought the experience had had no impact. He'd been wrong. "I know what to say to bring her back."
No one got in his way after that. Before opening Brenna's door, he halted and turned to Greg. "You say a single word about any of this, you die." No room for negotiation.