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Chapter One


Blaise put the truck into park and blew out some of the tension. As drives went, that one had been intense. Visibility at best was five feet in front of the vehicle. Her truck was built for off-roading and it was a good thing, much of the drive had been through snow that would have bogged down her Alliance ride. Even the few times she could see, she wasn’t sure if she was on a road or making her own. There hadn’t been any gaps that could have been a turnoff, so she hoped this was the place. The snow was blowing so much she couldn’t see anything. Was there a house here? There had to be. Why did they send her here?


Grabbing her phone, she messaged Kenzo, her boss. Maybe now he’d give her some details. The cryptic instructions she’d been given were to get here any way possible, tell no one, and then she’d be filled in. The strangest part of it was she was told to use her own vehicle and not one from the Alliance. Why? It had taken her a day and the weather had done all it could to prevent her from going anywhere. She hadn’t stopped, afraid she wouldn’t get going again. She couldn’t remember a snowstorm like this before. She kept hoping she’d drive out of it eventually but hadn’t. If anything, the closer she got to this mountain the worse it got.


Her phone rang, and she answered without pausing to see who it was. It wasn’t like many called her.


“Blaise.” It was the boss.


“I made it.” She had already told him that in the message, but after that drive, she’d thought it bared repeating.


“You used your own vehicle, right?”


“That’s probably the only reason I got through it.”


“Good. There’s no way you were tracked then.”


She grinned, “good luck to anyone tracking anything in this weather.”


“Yeah, it’s a mess.”


“Why am I here, Kenzo?” She put the window down a few inches and tried to see through the blowing snow. A gust of wind blew snow in her face. She closed the window.


“If you’re at the end of the road,” Blaise tried to see if she could go any further, but could only see snow. “Roughly twenty feet into the bush there’s a small shed. I’ll send you the key code to get in. There’s a sled inside to get you up the mountain.”


Blaise leaned forward and caught glimpses of ‘the mountain’. The wipers were pushing snow, but not able to keep up with it. She was going up there?


“Raymond says you go straight up from that shed, there’s a trail cut through the trees, so you’ll know if you stray. When you can’t go any further, you hang a left and it will take you to the cabin.”


“Raymond Hardy?”


“Yeah. This is his personal getaway spot.”


Blaise raised both eyebrows and looked out the windshield again. “What am I doing at this cabin?”


She heard Kenzo suck in a breath and blow it out. “Watching Aiden Tomas’ half-brother, a half-breed, until we can figure out what we’re doing with him.”


“I’m sorry, did you say Aiden Tomas’ brother is a half-breed?”


“Yes, I did. Tripp and Amari got him.”


Blaise stiffened, the exhaustion from her long drive was gone. She opened her mouth and then closed it. “How long have we had him?”


“Just before the storm hit.”


“Does Tomas know?”


“He has to by now.”


She started to ask if he wanted her to ‘persuade’ information out of him, but he cut her off.


“Hold on.”


There were other voices in the background making her wonder where her boss had gotten snowed in. All the teams were stuck in various areas, and their plans to breach Tomas’ locations and free their kind had come to an abrupt halt. No one was happy about it. Blaise had been escorting a few collared rescues when the storm hit. Fortunately for her, the center was near HQ and her own ride had been parked in an underground lot she used when she was there.


“Tell them to go see if they can find their vehicle and tag it.” He cleared his throat, “sorry, Tripp saw a bit of action this morning.”


“Everything good?”


“Yeah. They were somehow tailed in this storm and thought they’d catch them off guard at dawn.”


Blaise smirked, “How’d that go for them?”


“Tripp took one out, Amari,” he snorted, “got the drop on the other. Trying to get clean up there right now is going to be a nightmare.”


Blaise had dealings with Amari a few times and she had nothing but respect for her. “Amari’s out of control, I like her style.”


Kenzo laughed, “well, her mate, Tripp, isn’t sure he does.”


Her eyes widened, “they’re mates? That’s awesome.” She chuckled, “he’s outta control too. Good match.” Lately, everyone was finding their fated mate. She rolled her eyes at the thought. A part of her was happy for them, but then there was her reality, which didn’t leave room for happy, gooey thoughts and fantasies of ‘what if’.


“You can say that because you don’t have to try to control Tripp.”


“I don’t think anyone can control Tripp, Boss.”


“Don’t I know it. At least you don’t openly defy every order. Message me when you find the cabin. Graham Watts from Raymond’s team is there right now, but he is needed elsewhere. Take all your gear with you, I don’t know how long you’ll be up there.”


She nodded, “any instructions on what I can or can not do with the prisoner?”


“Unknown at this time, we’re waiting on word from Devin Addison. He is tagged though, by Tomas, so he can not leave the Faraday cage he’s in. And have care with your phone, signals can be detected in the rest of the building. ”


“Tomas tagged his brother?”


“He’s a half-breed, Blaise, given how the Tomas family feels about our kind, we’re still astonished he’s been allowed to live.”


What kind of life would that be? To share blood with a man that thought of their kind as pets? “Yeah.” Was the only response she gave him. She couldn’t talk about Tomas or what those they rescued went through. It just sent her into a murderous frenzy. Focus on the task.


“Objective until further notice, keep him safe and alive. You good to head up now, or do you need a short rest?”


“I’m all aces, boss.”


“Good. Probably an hour’s ride in this weather, so get your bearings and head up now.”


“Will do.” She listened as he hung up. “Aiden Tomas’ half-brother.” She blew out a breath, “this is going to be a helluva ride.” She glanced at herself in the mirror her green eyes were flecked with amber, telling her that her cat was close and ready for some fun. At least now she understood the secrecy. Turning the truck off, she stowed her keys in her run pack and grabbed a hair elastic. She made fast work of getting her hair braided and off her face all while avoiding looking at herself in the mirror again. The dark skin on the right side of her body from her jaw down didn’t bother her anymore, but that didn’t mean she wanted to see it either. She’d accepted her life, but then again, she had no choice. No one with a brain dared ever call her a mixed breed, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t true. The secrecy in her own family regarding that topic told her it was one hundred percent fact and someday, she was going to find out all the nasty details about it.


She felt the truck rock in a gust of wind and decided to go find the snowmobile before she hauled all her gear there. She stared at her phone waiting for the code to be sent. Once she had it, she’d put it in her pack.


Had Kenzo purposely chosen her to do this? Get the abomination to watch the half-breed? She didn’t know, but it didn’t matter. He didn’t treat her differently and she respected him for that. Besides, she had orders, and she’d carry them through without question. She owed Kenzo a lot, he’d recruited her when she was at a crossroads in her life. One direction on that road would have led to the end of her existence, and further humiliation for her family. Today, she’d proceed like any other day, follow her instructions and not deviate from them. If she got to beat someone or kill something along the way, even better.

Chapter Two

Griffin stood there facing the window that was an inch away from the cage. To his captor, it would appear he was looking out at the blustery weather, and that’s what he wanted him to believe. The light was just right in this space to allow him to use the clear pane as a mirror and watch the other man. He wasn’t locked in the room by any physical walls, just wire. His father, Alberto Tomas had put a tracker in his body. How had he not known this? When had he done that? At first, he thought it was a ploy to keep him cooperative and stay in the cage and then a big man named Raymond had shown him with a bug detector. He scowled and looked at the floor for a moment, did his brother watch his movements and only display false trust in him? Trust was the wrong word, Aiden had never hidden his disdain for their shared blood.


Flicking his gaze back to the glass, he watched the man that was here to ‘protect’ him. They had him in a cage. It was roughly eight feet by eight feet and contained a small cot. He knew the size because once his head had cleared from being knocked out, he’d paced it a lot. The wire was to keep any signal from his transmitter from being detected. Graham, he only knew the man’s name because the big man, had called him that, had been left to watch over him and feed him.


Three days ago, he’d been sent to retrieve an alpha woman and had woken up here. He was glad for one part of this at least, that Aiden hadn’t gotten the woman. It would be one Griffin wouldn’t have to watch as his brother’s lackeys crushed her free will and erase all that she was and turned her into an empty shell. He hated seeing when the light was no longer in their eyes when they’d broke and given up hope.


He turned and watched Graham sit down and look at the small tv screen. His own fate was questionable at this point. He hadn’t been asked any significant questions, threatened, or beaten since he’d woke up in the back of the vehicle with the alpha woman and the man, that as it turned out was not working for his brother, but was part of the Shifter Alliance. He’d been scanned, fed, and for the most part, ignored. He was used to being ignored, had been for most of his life—but having nothing to do but sit in here was going to get to him if it went on much longer.


This wasn’t the Alliance that his brother swore about and insulted often. He expected feral lunatics based on the information he’d overheard, but so far, he’d only seen intelligent reasonable people. What worried him more than anything was that they couldn’t keep him indefinitely in this cage. Then what happened? He’d overheard a quiet conversation and as far as he knew they were waiting for a doctor that could safely remove the tracker that rested in the muscle at the back of his neck. If removed wrong, it could paralyze him. Reaching, he ran his fingers along the muscles, trying to feel it. There was a small lump, but he’d always had it—moving his hand he felt the other side. There was no lump. His father had had it put in when he was quite young because it had been there for as long as Griffin could remember. Other than that, he hadn’t overheard anything pertaining to his current situation.


Why would it matter for him to have this inside his body? At what point had he ever been able to wander free? Never. The pickup for the Alpha woman had been the first errand he had been sent on alone. The reason for that was that things were happening to finally stop what his family was doing and there hadn’t been anyone free to ‘escort’ him.


His one guard had told him some of what was happening, how the shifters were fighting back, and for the most part, winning. He’d had to clamp down on his emotions and not cheer out loud when he’d been told. It was about time that someone did something to stop his family and the others that worked with them.


He turned around to look directly at Graham again. Family. Could he even call them that? Family did not torment and humiliate other members. Not that he had a lot of proof of that, he didn’t know anyone outside the immediate circle that worked with his brother. Even thinking the word brother made his stomach churn. Aiden was no brother, just as his father hadn’t been a dad either. A sire would not parade his child around like a showpiece of ‘look what I did,’ not in the evil sense he had. Griffin couldn’t relate to those he shared blood with at all.

The sound of Graham’s phone chirping dragged him out of his thoughts. He went over and lay on the cot and closed his eyes, not wanting it to be obvious he was going to listen to the conversation.




While this vacation from Aiden was nice and no one was barking orders at him, Griffin hoped that soon someone would communicate with him, maybe give him a clue what fate had in store for him. Graham gave off the vibe that he wasn’t interested in conversation, so he’d used the last few days to sleep, because for the first time since he was a child he could without worrying about something happening to him.


“Visibility is next to nothing up here.” He chortled, “when do I panic and worry she’s out there lost in this?”


Someone was heading here. Was it the medic to remove his tracking chip, or tracker, whatever it was called?


“I’ve never worked with her, but I’ve heard she’s straight-up scary.” He laughed, “yeah, we’ll be fine.” He heard the chair scrape the floor. “You want me to head back down?” The sound of the tv was lowered, “yeah, might take me a day to get there, so tell him to wait. These machines are solid, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.” A few moments of silence, “sounds good, boss. Yeah, still chilling and catching up on sleep. Will do.”


He heard the man’s boots on the floor. “Hey. Do you want a shower before I go?”


Griffin opened his eyes and looked out through the cage at him. “Yes.” He swung his feet to the floor and stood up. Grabbing the silver blanket from the end of the cot, he wrapped it around his shoulders. He didn’t know what it was made of, just that it was heavy, and blocked any signals. For whatever reason, the only spaces protected in this place were his cage and the bathroom. Who put their bathroom inside a Faraday cage? He didn’t know who owned this place, but they’d obviously built it with captivity and privacy in mind. He glanced out the windows as he walked. There was nothing to see but white in any direction when he looked out.


Graham stood at the door for a moment before locking him in. “I’m going to be heading out soon.” He put his hands on his hips and looked at him, “look I can’t imagine being a half-breed, but just take a bit of advice, be straight with them when they start asking questions.” He shrugged, “I’ve heard the prince is a fair man.”


Griffin was going to meet the prince of the Alliance? He would process that later. He made sure the blanket covered the back of his neck, “like I’m in a body that is the wrong size.” He told him. Graham’s confused look almost made him smile, “what it’s like being a half-breed.” He clarified.


Graham nodded, “that’s got to bite, man. Sorry.”


Sorry? He was apologizing like he had played some part in his father’s sadistic world. He shrugged it off, “take what you’re given and make it work.” He mumbled it and turned his back to the door, so Graham wouldn’t try to strike up any sort of conversation. Right now, he needed the solitude the shower offered him. Hot water sluicing over his skin and the sound drowned out all noise. He smirked when the door closed, he knew his mother wasn’t one of those water people, or he’d still be able to hear in the water. At least that was his assumption.

He didn’t know what they planned for him, or what was next in this life for him, but he did know that he was never going back to a life of torment with his family. Even if the cost was his life.

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