“I’ll leave that to Bunny. Speaking of which, why was any part of Gary’s ass alive to be hauled off to jail? I’m surprised Bunny didn’t just kill the fucker and be done with it.”
“We needed answers that only Gary had. Besides, he’d shifted. We would have had a body to hide and that’s just not as easy as it sounds.”
Julian tilted his head. He looked like he was listening to something only he could hear. “It wouldn’t be the first time.”
“Not you. And not Bunny, either. Bunny prefers to maim rather than kill.” Tabby grimaced. She was still getting used to the fact that the Alex she knew was the same man other grizzlies backed away from in fear. “No, the Pumas have done it before. Not sure how, or who, though.”
“Well, Mr. I’m-A-Hunter said we needed him alive, so Alex let him live.”
“Is it true the guy who tried to rip out my throat pissed himself?”
“Okay, pizzas are ordered.” Alex flopped into the middle of the bed, wriggling until he was between Tabby and Julian. He turned onto his back, causing the bed to dip and sway. Tabby held on for dear life. “What were we talking about?”
“Oh. Nah. I’d never wash the taste out.” He turned to Tabby with a grin. Only she could see how the smile didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Would you really want to kiss me if I had Gary breath?”
“Ugh.” She exaggerated her shudder and made a face. “Thanks for that thought.
The tension in Alex eased. “More for me, then.” He took her hand in his. “Not sorry I didn’t tear him apart then?”
“Nope. Let him face justice. From what I heard, Gabe says they’re going to make him wish he’d died on your claws.” She curled her fingers around his, contentment flowing through her. He was there beside her, and right then that was all she needed. “Any idea when we’ll hear from Gabe?”
“Depends on how long it takes for him to crack Gary. It could be minutes to days.”
Tabby blinked at the thoughtful tone of Julian’s voice. “What now?”
“I could enter Chloe’s dreamscape again, see if I can find something. It’s possible she remembers her attacker somewhere deep in her subconscious.”
“Hell to the no.” Bunny nearly shoved Julian off the bed. “Do it and I’ll not only call the aunts, I’ll call in the cousins. All the cousins.”
“Shit. No need to be mean.” Julian shoved back. Alex barely moved. “Fine. Maybe I can call in someone else who can help.”
Tabby rolled her eyes and climbed out of bed. “We can let him out of bed now.
Alex snorted a laugh just as the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it. God, it’s like I have a brother-in-law now. A pain in the ass, sarcastic, know-it-all brother-in-law.”
“Is there any other kind?” Julian yelled after him. He put his arms under his head. “I like this town.” He started to snicker. “Hey, Bunny? If I’ve been adopted by your aunt and I’ve already adopted Tabby as my sister, does that mean your mating is illegal? Because first cousins really shouldn’t marry you know.”
This time it was Tabby who almost pushed him off the bed.
Alex stared at the door to Living Art. He could see two of the women laughing and talking through the plate glass window. Cyn especially looked relaxed as she tried to coax Glory into doing God knew what. There was no sign of Tabby.
Inside, he was chilled to the bone. “So what you’re saying is Gary isn’t the one who went after Chloe.”
“Nope.” The sound of Gabe’s sigh was tinny through the earpiece. “He knew who Chloe was, though. She was one of the people he was sent to Halle to keep an eye on. And get this. Hunters in other parts of the country have found three bodies with similar MOs. All of them were half-breeds.”
“Half-breeds?” Now there was a term he hadn’t heard since the last time someone had called one of his cousins that. But hey, Harry said Barney’s arm had healed.
“No shit.” He took a deep breath, mentally reciting a mantra to calm down. “Have they gone after children?”
Silence. Fuck. “Good question. If they have, they’ve managed to make it look like accidents.”
“Why?” Alex wanted to punch something badly. It had been six weeks since Chloe’s attack. The annual Halle Halloween masquerade was in two days, and they were going. He and Tabby were closing on a house just three blocks from Simon and Becky Holt’s place the day after. She’d taken one look at the For Sale sign on the little red brick house and squealed in glee. How could he not buy it for her?
And this morning Tabby had told him she thought she was pregnant. Julian had met them for breakfast, taken one look at Tabby and ordered her a large glass of milk and a doctor’s appointment. She hadn’t been amused, but she’d drunk the milk and made the appointment with the doctor Julian recommended. She’d been saving the pregnancy for a surprise, not knowing Alex would more than likely have noticed within a day or two anyway. There was nothing about her body he didn’t keep an eye on. The thought of his cub growing under her heart made his nearly skip a beat. The fear that someone was going after half-breeds, endangering his child and his mate, made him see red.
“No clue, but I’m going to find out, starting with the anonymous phone call to 9-1-1. Someone saw something that night and called it in or Chloe would have been dead before the ambulance got there. I’m going to find out who and what they know if I have to shake this whole damn town loose to do it.” And as a Hunter, Gabe was more than capable of doing just that.
“My family is moving into the area. We’re at your disposal.” Once his father knew the family was in danger, they’d be more than at the Hunter’s disposal. They’d be his fucking shadows. “Is Chloe still in danger?”