Play of Passion (Psy-Changeling 9) - Page 97

“If the packs step back in a public fashion,” Sascha said, to Indigo’s surprise, “make it clear we’re not allied with you, what will happen?”

Tension gripped the room.

“They may leave you alone,” Anthony said, “come after Nikita and me in force.”

“But I wouldn’t bet on it,” Max added, pushing back strands of his jet-black hair. “From what Sophie here tells me, far as the PsyNet is concerned, this area is already seen to be functioning as a cohesive unit. There’s a hell of a lot more cross-pollination than in any other sector.”

Indigo thought of the connections that tied the people in this room to each other and knew Max Shannon was right. There was also the fact that both packs had proven themselves a threat to even the most powerful Psy. No matter what, the other Councilors would not leave them in peace.

Nikita spoke into the quiet, her words directed at her daughter. “That is a decision your emotional nature would never allow you to make,” she said with icy practicality, “so why did you ask the question?”

“I have a child to protect now, Mother.” Soft, powerful words. “Priorities change.”

Nikita said nothing, and Indigo’s wolf wanted to claw at her. Because that wolf understood only family, knew that its own mother would never look at her child with such coldness.

“But,” Sascha said, “it doesn’t matter how we try to distance ourselves. Max is right—we’re all connected now. We all call this region home. They can’t attack one without affecting the other.”

That, Andrew thought, leaning a little on his mate as his body began to protest at being forced upright for this long, was the crux of it all.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Andrew wouldn’t go that far, but he could almost see Hawke calculating the possible options before saying, “We’d be more apt to take you seriously if you gave us information we could actually use.” It was a challenge.

“Henry and Shoshanna are assembling an army,” Anthony said, meeting Hawke’s gaze. “They’ve got a few Arrows on their side, along with all those who believe in Purity.”

“They lost people when they came after Hawke”—Riley’s steady voice again—“and at least one of them was a teleport-capable telekinetic.”

“A scarce resource,” Anthony agreed. “It may prove a set-back to their plans—but a small one. As Tks have one of the most dangerous abilities, they tend to most strongly embrace the Protocol.”

Giving the Scotts a powerful pool of assassins.

“Ming and Kaleb may assist us when the Scotts strike,” Nikita added. “But only if that assistance serves their own interests.”

“Some assistance,” Hawke said, “we don’t need.”

Andrew agreed. Ming LeBon, by all accounts, was a sociopath masquerading as a Councilor. Kaleb Krychek was harder to pin down, which might simply mean he was better at hiding his crimes—because according to the intel Andrew had unearthed, Kaleb Krychek had been mentored by the same sadistic killer who’d not only tortured Brenna, but killed a number of other young changeling women.

“Yes,” Nikita said, “so any defensive measures we take will have to be based on our own resources. I have a not insignificant pool of strong telepaths under my direct command, but the primary asset I bring to the table is my considerable economic strength. I am already in the process of strangling some of the Scotts’ finances.”

Anthony, it went without saying, brought his foreseers to the table.

“Have you considered a preemptive strike?” Hawke asked, and Andrew recalled the “warning tap” they’d discussed not long ago.

Anthony nodded. “However, they have a strong advantage on home ground. The opposite is true here.”

A long, silent pause broken by Hawke. “Another meeting. One week.”

“Very well.” Anthony inclined his head, the threads of silver at his temples catching the light. “There is one more thing you should know. Every strong F-Psy in the NightStar Group has made at least one spontaneous nonbusiness prediction over the past month, a highly unusual event.”

“What did they see?” Lucas asked.

“Blood and death and fire. Over and over, with no alternate futures logged. Whatever we decide at the next meeting, I do not believe any of us will escape the coming holocaust.”

Drew patted Indigo’s butt as she lay sprawled over him later that night. “I think I’m dead.” He squeezed her toned flesh with blatant possessiveness. “And this is my idea of heaven.”

Well aware she had to keep a watch on those sneaky steamroller tactics of his, Indigo gave a half hearted growl, but she was too sated to work up any real outrage.

“I like seeing you this way.” He petted her ass again before beginning to draw designs on her lower back with a desultory finger. “All pleasured and warm and mine.”

Possessive demon. But she was the same, so she couldn’t complain. Yawning, she snuggled closer, her eyes heavy lidded. His body was hot and muscled under her touch, his heartbeat still a little erratic, and his scent . . .

Her wolf rolled into a happy little ball, but she dragged up the willpower to say, “I thought Lara ordered you to rest.” He’d literally ambushed her as she walked in the door, his mouth on hers and his body inside hers before she could corral her brain cells into objecting.

He kissed her again. “I decided pouncing on you sounded like more fun.”

Smiling against his mouth, she stroked her hand over his ribs. “That was some meeting, huh?”