“Give me two more months.”
And then, Shoshanna thought, San Francisco would burn.
Indigo sat in the curve of her father’s arm on the edge of the White Zone forty-eight hours after the shooting. She hadn’t wanted to leave Drew even for an instant, but Lara had pulled in Hawke, and her alpha had ordered Indigo to take a break or he’d carry her out.
“I’d decided on him,” she told her father. “My wolf had decided on him, but he didn’t know.” There had been too many people around before he went up for his security shift, and she’d wanted it to be a special, private moment. “I was going to tell him when he got home, but—”
Her father stroked a big hand over her hair, slow and easy. “Do you think he didn’t know when the bond snapped into place?”
“I just keep thinking if I’d accepted the bond earlier, I could’ve—”
“You held him,” her father said, his voice stern. “That’s all a mate can do in that situation. You did it. You’re still doing it.”
“Drew’s in my heart. So deep,” she said, “until the thought of losing him feels like razors cutting across my soul.”
“It’s who we are, pumpkin.”
She knew the childhood nickname was meant to make her smile. Nothing could. But she accepted the comfort of his hold. “All this time, this was what I was so scared of—of loving someone this much and losing them.”
Abel brushed her hair off her face. “You were always going to love with all your soul, sweetheart. You’re built that way.”
“So is he,” she whispered. “There’s so much love in him, Dad.” The mating bond showed her a depth of feeling, of heart, even greater than she’d imagined. He was someone special, Andrew Liam Kincaid, and he was hers. “I wish you could see him as I do.”
“That would be against the laws of nature,” Abel said in a somber tone. “I have to be able to kick his ass if necessary—therefore, I must see him as the filthy bastard who dared hurt my daughter by getting himself shot.”
“Are you threatening my mortally wounded mate?”
Her father pressed a kiss to her temple. “I’ll hold off until he’s healthy.”
About to respond, she caught a gentle scent as familiar to her as her own. “Evie’s here.”
“Of course she is.”
Her sister’s embrace almost brought moisture to Indigo’s eyes, but she swallowed back the tears. She would not cry. To do so would be a surrender. And she refused to give Drew up.
Having just spent an hour beside Drew’s motionless form, Hawke pressed his palms to the wall outside the infirmary, wanting to do some damage, find his revenge, but knowing that even if he was able to get his hands around Councilor Henry Scott’s neck right this instant, it wouldn’t help Drew.
Logic didn’t matter to his wolf. It was enraged and—
A scent. Rich and exotic. Sandpaper across his skin.
He stayed still, hoping like hell she’d pass by.
But she stopped and to his shock, put a hesitant hand on his back. “Is he . . . ?”
He didn’t turn, knowing that if he looked at her right now, he might do things that could never be taken back. “He’s stable, but otherwise, no change.”
Her fingernails scraped against his T-shirt as she curled her hand into a fist. “He’ll be okay, though, won’t he?”
She was asking him for reassurance, and had it been any other member of the pack, he would’ve turned and taken them into his arms. But this was Sienna Lauren, and he couldn’t trust himself around her. “He’s strong.” When her hand dropped from his back, he felt the loss like a knife wound. “Lara’s hopeful—and your uncle’s worked on him, too, helped repair some of the microscopic damage.” But the bullet fragments had caused so much harm that even Judd couldn’t be sure he’d found every lethal cut and nick.
Sienna nodded and he just caught the movement with his peripheral vision. As he watched, she went to the door of the infirmary and slipped in. Only then did he push off the wall, his muscles taut as iron.
It was agonizingly tempting to give in to his wolf, to run until the violent emotions within him were exhausted to silence, but he was alpha. And there was work to be done. One of the most important things was ensuring that every single surveillance device within the entirety of den territory had been found and destroyed. SnowDancer, in concert with DarkRiver, had already launched an all-out search, but there was still a chance of overlooking one or two.
“Do you have anyone who can help us be certain the land is clear?” Hawke asked Lucas on the phone a few minutes later, thinking about the Psy members of the leopard pack.
Lucas didn’t. But he made a discreet inquiry, which led him to ask Hawke an odd question. “The devices you’ve found all have metallic components?”
Hawke checked with Brenna. “Yeah, there’s at least a little metal in some form or another in every single one of these things.”
“Give me a few minutes.”
When Lucas called back, it was with an offer of assistance from one hell of an unexpected source. Devraj Santos, director of the Shine Foundation and one of the Forgotten— descendants of those Psy who’d dropped out of the Net before Silence—had volunteered his services.
“How is he going to find them?” Hawke asked, his wolf unwilling to put its faith in a man he hadn’t ever met. “And what does the metal have to do with it?”