But he couldn’t.
In the doorway he turned to look at her but kept his expression devoid of emotion. “I’ll have my phone on me all day if you need me. Once I’m done, I’ll stop by the store.”
With confusion and more than a hint of pain in her blue eyes, she nodded. “Okay.”
His chest ached with the need to comfort her, but he ordered his legs to move. Hurrying out of the house, he didn’t breathe until he was outside. Even the small distance didn’t help. He could still see the hurt on her face. Knowing he’d put it there made it worse.
“Fuck me,” he muttered. He knew he was being an asshole—he just didn’t know another way to keep December safe.
“No thanks.” Jayce appeared from behind one of the trees, looking haggard and tense.
Dressed in all black, the other wolf had a look that said someone was going to die today. Just fucking great, Liam thought. He needed to question that guy William Braun and he didn’t need Jayce tagging along, freaking the guy out before he got the information they needed.
As they strode across the yard, he cleared his throat, not sure how to broach the subject. “When did you get back?”
“Half an hour ago. I’m going with you to question that asshole.” A statement, not a question.
“I don’t think—”
“I don’t give a shit what you think. I’m going with or without you.” The threatening note in his voice wasn’t exactly subtle.
Liam shook his head. “You’re not thinking clearly—”
“I’ve never been clearer headed in my life. And if you try to stop me, I’ll rip your throat out,” he growled without looking at him.
Liam wasn’t sure if he’d actually do it or not. He wasn’t exactly scared of the guy, but a male terrified for his female was a scary thing. The potent scent of rage and pain rolling off Jayce was stifling. And he and Kat weren’t even mated. Hadn’t been together for months. Sighing, Liam projected to his brother that he was taking Jayce with him.
Connor wasn’t happy but he didn’t argue the point. Probably because, as a mated male, he understood more than most the kind of pain Jayce was dealing with. If Ana were out there right now, Liam had no doubt that Connor would have ripped apart the town trying to find her.
As they reached his Bronco, Jayce slid into the passenger seat. The silence was tense and uncomfortable as Liam steered through the gate. Normally he didn’t mind the quiet, but today it felt as if one wrong word would crack the very air around them.
“We’re going to find her,” Liam finally said. For himself or Jayce, he wasn’t sure.
Jayce grunted something incomprehensible.
Kat was a strong female. Stronger than any human he’d ever met. “They took her for a reason. They’re not going to kill her. From what we’ve gathered, they want to use our females against us.”
“They might not kill her, but they’re all dead. I’ve pissed off a lot of people in the last five hundred years, long before I became the enforcer. We don’t even know if this was the APL.” His voice was remote yet pained.
It was them. Liam could feel it to his core. He hesitated a moment longer before asking what was really on his mind. “If you could go back…would you do things differently with her?” He wasn’t sure why Jayce had never bonded with Kat when it was obvious he loved her.
Jayce was silent so long Liam wasn’t sure he’d answer. Still staring out the window, he finally spoke, his voice hoarse. “Yeah. I’d have run fast and far the fucking moment I met her if I’d known this could happen.”
Liam was quiet after that. Knowing what he knew now, he wished he’d done the same thing. There wasn’t anything else to say. The drive through town was short. Following the directions Ryan had given him last night, he kept going until he found himself in the middle of a quiet, upper-middle-class neighborhood downtown.
American flags were displayed proudly from most houses, the fallen leaves were all raked, and all the houses were neat and tidy. No chipping paint jobs or rusty cars in any driveways. A far cry from the trailer park the other APL member they’d hunted down lived at. Guess social status didn’t matter as long as these assholes had a common goal.
“You sure this is it?” Jayce asked as they pulled into the driveway of a two-story farmhouse-style home.
“This is his last known address. According to Ryan, his wife and two kids still live here.”
“This bastard has kids?” Jayce growled.
Liam nodded. “Two little girls, so try to tread lightly. We want information, but we don’t want this guy so shitting-his-pants afraid he’ll tell us anything to make us go away.”
“Don’t tell me how to do my job.”
Liam rolled his eyes and ignored him as he got out of the vehicle. Jayce wasn’t thinking like a trained warrior or an enforcer right now. He wasn’t thinking at all. If he couldn’t keep a level head, they’d be screwed. Stepping around a fallen pink bike, they strode up the walkway. Liam rang the doorbell once.
A few moments later the door opened and a pretty blond woman stood before them. She eyed Liam curiously and Jayce with blatant fear. Probably because Jayce looked like a hardened biker or gang member with the scar on his face and shaved head. The fact that he was staring unblinking at her with those scary gunmetal gray eyes definitely wasn’t helping their cause.
“Uh…h-hi?” she stammered.
“Hi, we’re here to speak with your husband.” Liam tried to keep his voice soothing.
She glanced over her shoulder, then back at them. “Um…”
“Honey, who is it?” A male voice called out.
“Some men here to see you.” There was fear in her voice and he wasn’t sure if it was because she knew what they were, or because her husband had just gotten out of prison and now had two big strangers showing up to see him.
He rounded a corner and when he saw them, his face paled to a deathly white. He faltered for a moment but quickly hurried down the tiled hallway and expertly blocked his wife with his body. Liam might not like the guy, but he could respect him for protecting his family. “Honey, this’ll just be a second.”
“I’ve got to talk to these guys outside. Go finish making breakfast for the girls.” Without waiting for a response, he stepped out onto the porch and pulled the door shut behind him. With his gaze on Liam, he held up both his hands in a defensive gesture. “I just got out of prison. I don’t want any trouble.”
“And you won’t get any if you tell us what we want to know.” Jayce’s voice was low and threatening and held more animal in it than human.
Liam wanted to punch him for being such a dumbass. They couldn’t have this guy so scared he wouldn’t talk. Or worse, tell them whatever he thought they wanted to hear.
“Who are you?” William asked Jayce cautiously.
“He’s a friend of mine,” Liam said. “We’re not here to cause problems for you, but we need some information.”
He glanced over his shoulder even though the door was shut. “I’m done with the APL. After I got sent away, I thought my wife was going to leave me. Hell, if I hadn’t got out so quickly, I think she would have. I’m done with all that shit and I don’t want any more trouble.”
“You have information we need.”
He shrugged, the action jerky and nervous. “I already told you everything I knew last time, remember?” The man held up his crooked thumb, which hadn’t healed properly.
“Yeah, you told me your boss’s name, but that’s it.”
“I don’t know any more than that. Everything is really compartmentalized with them. They don’t trust outsiders and I hadn’t been a member very long.”
“What about safe houses?” Liam asked.
The man gave a confused look, but Liam didn’t buy it. “What?”
“You’d planned to take December for your boss. Do I need to refresh your memory? Where did they plan to keep her?” Even thinking about that day he’d caught this guy behind her store made Liam see red. Maybe he wasn’t the only one who needed to calm down. He clenched his fists at his sides and took measured breaths. He was in control, not his inner wolf.
“Fine, they have safe houses. I’ve never been to any of them, but I heard rumors that Adler has a couple for hostages. I kinda figured it out anyway, since no one would want to keep hostages at their own homes.”
Jayce took a menacing step forward and Liam had to throw his arm out to block him. Killing this guy wouldn’t do them any good. Especially not in such a public place and in front of his family. “Where are these houses?” He ground the words out, hating that he had to deal with such scum.
“I don’t know, I swear. I went to Adler’s house for a meeting once, but I was blindfolded for the drive since I was so new. From what I could tell, his house isn’t in town but just past it to the east. There weren’t a lot of lights out there either. Just farmland. I didn’t see any other buildings near the house, though, so I don’t know of any landmarks.”
“Anything else you can think of?”
“I don’t know, man. Half his face is burned and he hates anything paranormal and he hates women. Well, except for one woman. There’s this lady, Brianna—she seemed pretty new to the group too, but he was different around her. Almost like she—I don’t know—had a controlling effect on him or something. I can’t…be associated with those people anymore. I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said, almost to himself. “Can you just leave now? I don’t know anything else!”
Liam looked at Jayce, who nodded. This guy was scared and from what Liam could sense, he was telling the truth. Lies often had a distinctive, almost metallic tang to them and this guy wasn’t exuding that. But he still wanted to instill fear in him. “If I find out you know more than you’re telling, I’ll come back and break more than your thumb.”
***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com