Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling 10) - Page 20

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Hawke paused. “What?”

“You’re in a mean mood, Hawke. Don’t take it out on them.”

Growling, Hawke snapped the phone shut. He was alpha for a reason—and part of it was that he knew how to handle his people. Of course, Riley was also his most senior lieutenant for a reason. “Shit.” Jogging the rest of the way to the garage, he volunteered Elias as the second driver. “Were they driving when they went down?”

Elias checked the computronic log. “Yep. Two vehicles. GPS says they’re both parked a five-minute walk from the club.”

“Good. We’ll drive one down—you can bring up the second. One of the soldiers on city security tomorrow can swing by and pick up the other.”

The drive took more than an hour, and Hawke hoped like hell the young group hadn’t gotten into worse trouble in the meantime. Since José’s radar was finely tuned, chances were good he’d alerted Hawke in plenty of time.

Parking the vehicle a block away, he and Elias made it to Wild around one thirty in the morning. The bouncer, one of José’s big, strapping cousins, raised his hand in a wave when he saw them. “That pretty little one with the cherry-tinted hair”—he whistled—“where you been hiding her?”

Hawke went motionless.

Chapter 9

“WHAT’S THE TROUBLE?” he asked, the wolf in his voice.

The other male avoided his eyes, as if aware Hawke was too much on edge to accept even the slightest challenge. “Go in and see.”

Entering the bar, he stayed to the shadows as he took in the lay of the land. The place was full of humans and changelings—leopard, wolf, deer, swan, even a Rat. Their scents were clear threads to him, even entangled as they were in the confined space. Most of the non-predatories stuck together, while the predatories did the same. But wolf and leopard were mingling. Plenty.

Ebony was currently happily pasted up against a cat, while Riordan was all but devouring a leopard girl with his eyes as the two of them stood talking a small distance from the dance floor. Evie—oh, dear God, but Indigo was going to blow a gasket—was dressed in a tiny strapless dress made from some sparkly fabric that only just covered everything that should be covered. She was also giggling and drunk, a frothy pink cocktail in hand. Tai sat holding her against his chest, looking sober. Maybe there was hope for them yet.

Maria, Cadie, and the rest were out front, cheering.

At Sienna.

Who was dancing on the bar.

In f**k-you boots and a shirt that barely contained her br**sts.

Eyes going wolf, Hawke began to stride through the crowd. A few aggressive young males turned to give him a talking-to . . . and froze, their gazes jerking away when they met the dominance in his own. Even the humans understood, going pale as they moved out of his path as fast as possible.

He realized part of the reason for José’s call when he saw the human men lined up along the bar, all of them with a look in their eye that said they’d spill blood to possess the woman who danced with such wild, sensual grace. The SnowDancer males would, of course, have defended her with fists and claws the instant anyone tried to touch her.

And José’s bar would’ve been trashed in minutes.

Then there were the leopard and wolf males giving each other dirty looks as interpack flirting took place. Riordan was being watched by at least three cats with violence on their minds, while Lake and Amos were currently glaring with intent at Ebony’s dance partner.

The entire thing had the makings of a clusterfuck.

Shoving away the humans at the bar with rough hands, he reached out and gripped one leather-covered ankle.

Sienna stopped moving.

“Down,” he growled, meeting brown eyes so much less extraordinary than the truth of her cardinal gaze. “Now.”

Music still pumped but the bar had gone silent.

Sienna didn’t immediately obey, and that just infuriated the wolf. “Last warning, baby.”

Holding his gaze, Sienna said, “I’m not breaking any of the Pack rules.”

Every single person in the bar sucked in a breath.

Hawke didn’t pay them any attention. He’d had enough. A single, precisely timed tug and he tilted her off balance. As she fell, he caught her, throwing her over his shoulder. “Out!” he ordered the other wolves as he left.

Sienna, having apparently recovered from the loss of breath caused by his sudden move, began to wiggle and twist. “Let me go!”

He tapped her behind, a short, sharp shock that had her freezing. “Don’t make me any more pissed than I am right now.”

“Bully.” It was muttered under her breath, but he heard it. “You’ve got no right to punish me. None.”

He tightened his hold on her as they hit the cold night air. “You want to talk punishment, fine. What the f**k did you think you were doing on that bar? Were you trying to cause a riot?”

“I was having fun.” Heaving breaths. “Put me down. I can’t breathe with your shoulder in my stomach.”

“Tough.” He didn’t take his hands off her until he dumped her in the front passenger seat of the vehicle he’d driven down. “In,” he ordered her friends, all of whom had obeyed his order to leave.

Tai raised his hand, one arm around a suddenly sober-appearing Evie’s waist as he tucked her into the heat of his body. “I haven’t had a single drink. I can drive the other truck.”

Hawke’s nose told him the young soldier was telling the truth. “Fine.” He looked over the others. “You’re lucky José called me before a punch was thrown.”

Tags: Nalini Singh Psy-Changeling Science Fiction