“Stay.” It was an almost soundless request as sleep sucked him under, but she had no intention of doing anything else. Shucking off her clothes after putting away the towel, she crawled into bed beside her mate. Though he was lost in deepest sleep by then, he reached out and hauled her against the heat of his body.
For the first time since he’d left the den, she closed her eyes and fell into true, deep sleep.
Andrew had managed to corner Indigo in her office and was demanding a kiss in exchange for the little fossil he’d picked up for her when her cell phone started beeping in what he knew as the emergency code. He stood back as she took the call.
“What is it?” he asked after she hung up.
“Signs of Psy incursion in an entirely different location from where we’ve got most of our people,” Indigo said, leaving the office at a jog. “Equipment, scent of explosives.”
“Can we redirect our soldiers to that area?” he asked as he went with her to find Hawke.
She shook her head, told him the position of the site. “The terrain means we have a better chance of reaching it faster from here.” They walked into a small training room to find Hawke sparring hand to hand with a sweating Harley.
Dismissing the boy when he saw Indigo, Hawke came to join them. His wolf was in his voice by the time Indigo finished speaking, but his orders were cool, intelligent. “Prep a team. We won’t let them push us into responding half-assed, but neither are we going to sit back while they play games.”
“It’s a trap,” Indigo said, voicing what Andrew was thinking. “No question about it. They probably chose that location because they still have cameras there. They’ll be able to confirm if you’re with us before they strike.”
“Are you asking me to stay behind?” A soft question.
Andrew stepped up beside Indigo. “They can’t assassinate you if you’re not there.”
“How do you think the pack will take the knowledge that I sat here safe while my people walked into danger?”
Shit. Andrew looked at Indigo, saw the same realization on her face. Hawke’s lack of participation would do as much damage as his being hurt.
After that, it took only twenty minutes to put together a team. Indigo, Andrew, D’Arn, Riaz, and six other soldiers would go with Hawke, while Riley would organize a team to protect the den just in case. “Where’s Judd?” Riley asked.
“Down,” Indigo answered, “but that’s as well. We can’t risk exposing him—not unless it’s absolutely necessary.” As far as the rest of the world—especially the PsyNet—was concerned, the entire Lauren family was long dead.
Riley gave a swift nod. “I’ve let Mercy know what’s happening. She’ll get the word out to the cats that there might be trouble in the city, too.”
Grabbing high-powered weapons, they streamed out of the den and toward the area that looked to be the focal point of activity. The three SnowDancer sentries who’d detected the intrusion were already in position.
But the Psy had learned from their earlier mistakes when coming up against keen changeling senses. They teleported in just as the changeling group began to crest a rise at least a ten-minute walk from the site of the reported incursion.
The black-garbed men were shooting with high-impact projectile weapons as they appeared, the bullets designed to hit hard and splinter inside the body, ensuring the shrapnel would ricochet within walls of flesh, causing severe organ damage.
The SnowDancer group was directly in the line of fire.
“Down!” Hawke’s call came as he twisted out of the way of a bullet, slamming D’Arn out of the way of another.
No one was hit in the first volley as they used bursts of changeling speed to find cover, but Andrew felt a hard punch across his mind an instant later. His natural mental shield protected him from brain damage, but his ears rang—and he knew the shield wouldn’t protect him if the Psy paused long enough to concentrate the blast of telepathic power.
Which meant the changelings couldn’t allow them time to focus.
Leaving the sharpshooting to the marksmen in the group, Andrew circled out and around the Psy in the early evening gloom, sensing more than seeing two other SnowDancers melt away into the forest to do likewise. The Psy spun around, attempting to pick them off in the trees. But this was wolf territory, and Andrew didn’t even need to look to see where he was going.
Not bothering to strip, he shifted into wolf form. And waited. When the Psy who’d trained his gun on the trees finally decided he’d killed what awaited within and turned, Andrew made his move, streaking out to sink his teeth into the man’s throat. He’d ripped out that throat and was gone before the Psy’s colleague noticed how far his partner had ventured from the tight formation of the attacking group. Even when they did notice the fallen male, a lone man turned to protect their flank.
Something was wrong. Very wrong.
And it didn’t have to do with the fact that they were unmistakably only interested in Hawke—even to the extent of leaving themselves open to enemy fire. A moment later, he heard gunshots from the other side. Somehow, in spite of the security beyond, the Psy had flanked them, pinning the SnowDancers.
The human half of Andrew might’ve sworn, but the wolf thought only in terms of turning the tables on this threat. Running to a better position, he saw Hawke, Riaz, and D’Arn standing back-to-back, holding off the Psy with well-placed bullets from weapons of their own. Indigo was gone, as were Elias, Sing-Liu, and a couple of others, and he knew Hawke had spun them off to deal with the group approaching from the other side.