“That’s pretty much what I picked up today,” he said, forcing his attention to the matter at hand when he realized everyone was waiting for him to respond. “People are disturbed, but more at the idea of Purity than because they subscribe to it.”
Indigo put down her smoothie. “There are going to be pockets of malcontents. Nothing we can do about that except monitor the situation.”
“Yep,” Emmett agreed, his body angled toward his mate in a way that Andrew didn’t think the other man was even aware of. “But my take? We don’t have to worry about the population in general.”
Andrew agreed. “By the way,” he said, figuring it’d be silly not to mention it since he’d guessed, “congratulations.”
Ria glowed. “I didn’t realize changelings outside the pack would know.”
“Most won’t.” Indigo’s tone was dry even as she reached out to squeeze Ria’s hand. “But Drew’s made a lifelong study of the female form.”
Emmett laughed and nuzzled a kiss to his mate’s temple. “Tell them what Lucas said when he found out.”
“You know I’m Luc’s admin assistant, right?” At their nods, Ria continued, “When he realized I was pregnant, he yelled at me.”
Andrew blinked. “Seriously?” The cats adored kids as much as the SnowDancers did. He couldn’t imagine the leopard alpha not being pleased about the event.
“Uh-huh. He asked me what the hell he was supposed to do when I went on maternity leave.” Ria waited for a beat before delivering the punch line. “Then he told me to put my feet up and wouldn’t even let me pick up a stapler until I threatened to bash his head in with it.”
Indigo burst out laughing. “How many times has she threatened you since you found out?” she asked Emmett.
“Only twenty or so.” Emmett gave a slow smile as he answered, and Ria jumped a little.
Andrew saw Indigo bite back a grin as the other woman’s cheeks colored. “You’ll have to excuse Emmett,” Ria said in a laughter-choked voice, “he’s absolutely uncivilized. Can’t take him out in publi—Emmett!”
Andrew dipped his head toward Indigo. “What do you think he’s doing under the table?” he whispered in her ear, even as he slid his own hand up her thigh.
“Don’t get ideas, hotshot.” But her wolf flickered a shimmering gold in her eyes.
And later that night, when they lay entwined in bed, her eyes turned night-glow on him, and he knew that he danced with the wolf and the woman both. It wasn’t quite everything, but it was close enough to soothe his own wolf.
Having just sent through an update to the other lieutenants on the situation in the city and in den territory, Indigo was heading to her office to read the report Riaz had filed after his shift when Brace came crashing into the den. He was scratched and bloody, his T-shirt ripped. Seeing Indigo, he began talking. It was obvious he was one step away from total panic. “Silvia fell down a cliff. I tried to catch her but I couldn’t grab her in time. I couldn’t—”
Indigo put her hands on those lanky shoulders, made him meet her eyes. “Where?” It was a question imbued with her innate dominance.
Giving her the location in a fast gallop, he heaved out another breath. “She wouldn’t respond when I called down. Indigo, she wouldn’t—”
“Focus, Brace.” She squeezed his shoulders, anchoring him with the touch of Pack. “How far down is she and how accessible is the area?”
“Um”—she could see him attempting to clear the cobwebs from his mind—“you’ll need ropes, climbing gear. I tried to go down but it’s almost a sheer rock face. She’s trapped on a ledge so far down you can hardly see her.”
“I’ll organize the rescue,” she said and, knowing he’d function far better if he had a concrete task, added, “Your job is to track down Lara and bring her to the site. Understood?”
A sharp nod, his wolf appreciating the direct order. “I’ll find her.”
Making calls on her cell phone as Brace left, Indigo gathered the soldiers that she knew were in the den and available, updating Hawke on the situation as well.
He was driving away from the den but turned back at her call. “I’ll meet you at the site,” he said in a terse voice.
Drew, Sing-Liu, and Tai took only minutes to answer her summons. They met at one of the pack’s supply lockers and, working at rapid speed, picked up the ropes, climbing gear, and other equipment they’d need to winch up Silvia’s injured form.
No one even discussed the possibility of her being dead. She was Pack. She’d be brought back, no matter what. “Let’s go,” Indigo said, and it was the first words any of them had spoken since she’d shared the details of the accident. Now they ran together, the location being impossible to reach by even the most rugged of vehicles.
Every second that passed brought Silvia closer to death, so they pushed and made it in under half the usual time. Dropping the gear she’d carried in a pile a little ways back from the cliff edge, Indigo belly-crawled to the part that had crumbled until she could peer over it. Her eyesight was changeling keen, but Brace had been right. She could only just see the pale blue of Silvia’s jeans, the red of her cardigan as she lay crumpled on a ledge at least a hundred meters down, one hand outflung. Her legs appeared to be twisted under her body in a way that they simply shouldn’t have been.