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Raising Innocence(Rylee Adamson #3)(19) by Shannon Mayer

The good doctor did not look amused. “I’m well aware of the law and legislation, Officer Gossard. But the child’s welfare is my concern. She will be going with me. Immediately.”

Now it was my turn. We’d played nice and, like most often, nice wasn’t going to cut it.

I pushed my body between Pamela and the doctor’s, forcing her hand off the kid’s shoulder. We were nose to nose, and Dr. Daniels was doing her best to look down on me. Which wasn’t a tactic that would work, not with me. “Will, take Pamela down the hallway and get her a candy bar or something.”

“Sure.”

I didn’t turn around, just stood there staring down the doctor. “That kid isn’t going anywhere. I’ll sign whatever I need to sign, but you aren’t taking her.”

Daniels put a finger to my chest and poked hard. “You can’t tell me what to do. You are not in charge here. You’re just another dumb Yank.”

I opened my mouth to speak when a familiar voice cut through the room and chaos broke loose in a most unexpected manner.

“Rylee, help me!”

Spinning, I saw Milly run toward me, her dark brown hair streaming out around her, tears tracking down her cheeks. What the hell was going on? How had she found me here?

She slumped as she reached me, and I barely caught her before she hit the floor, shock making me slow.

Milly was the reason Alex had a death threat on him.

Eve had almost died wearing Milly’s spelled anklet.

Giselle had died because Milly had, in a way, forced her to take a truth spell.

“Medic,” I yelled, lowering her to the ground, doing what I knew she would expect. Milly still thought we were friends, thought I would help her. Let her think that until the second my sword bit through her spine. Her eyelashes fluttered and she let out a low groan.

I stepped back and eased my swords from their sheaths on my back, holding them loosely at my sides. I didn’t have the spell Terese had given me to put Milly to sleep; of course I’d left that at home, not for one second had I thought Milly would find me here in London. Or would want to find me, for that matter. A sudden image of my blood on her moving boxes flashed through my mind. Shit, I’d given her what she needed for a locator spell. They were tough to weave from what I knew, and only worked if you had the blood of the person you wanted to find.

“I’m so sorry, he’s gone berserk. I don’t know how he followed me here. I didn’t know where else to go.” She opened her green eyes to stare up at me, looking to me for safety, and my heart clutched against my ribcage, not for her, but for someone else. She couldn’t be talking about O’Shea, could she?

No, she wouldn’t have tried to take him out too, would she? Shit, of course she would.

Which meant that Giselle’s last words meant even more now. Trust your heart.

The roar of a man caught between beast and human echoed into the room. Backlit with the light from the open door, O’Shea stood on the threshold, bare-chested, and bare foot with only a pair of tattered khaki pants on, and a flashy gold chain around his neck. A chain that looked remarkably similar to the anklet Milly had made for Eve.

My heart thumped hard at the sight of him, the first in over a month. He’d leaned out, any excess he’d burnt off with the shifting from wolf to man and back again.

“I’m here to kill Alex,” he said, the words in a monotone, like a robot working on command. It had to be the collar, there was no other thing that would make O’Shea go after Alex, even at his weakest time when he first was bitten he managed to control himself.

Alex swayed side to side as he clung to a chair, ears flipped back in submission. “Not right, not right. No kill Alex!”

Not taking my eyes off O’Shea, I said, “Milly, hold O’Shea back. Something’s wrong and I need to talk to him.” I knew she would refuse, but I had to ask.

Her words were soft, and I could hear the regret in them, but she didn’t apologize. “I can’t, I’m exhausted.”

Fuck, I hated being right! O’Shea’s eyes flicked over me then skidded over to Alex. With a second roar, he leapt through the room, scattering people as their brains finally clicked in. I heard the first shot of a gun, felt the bullet careen past my head, though I was a long ways from O’Shea and the bullet’s trajectory.

“Gun’s won’t work,” I yelled, yanking my two blades free of their sheaths. I stood in O’Shea’s path.

Time seemed to slow, giving me long moments to think. I didn’t want to do this. My heart slammed against my chest and in a moment of desperation, I Tracked O’Shea. Sure, he was right in front of me, but I needed to know what he was feeling.

Anger. Fear. Desperation. Shame.

Shit, this was about to get bad real fast.

“Liam, don’t do this!” I knew I somehow had to get to the torc, past his reach; then time seemed to pick back up again. My onetime lover-newbie werewolf and FBI agent slammed into me, knocking me to the floor. Could I have run him through? Yes, but I couldn’t, not with what I knew in my gut, in my heart. This wasn’t O’Shea; this was Milly. I rolled to my feet. “Alex, here,” I yelled, and the werewolf skidded out of O’Shea’s reach and cowered behind me.

O’Shea twisted around toward me and the ache in his eyes, the pain there stunned me. “Don’t do this,” I said, my hand shaking. “I don’t want to kill you, Liam!” I had to keep Milly thinking I believed what was going on. Keeping Alex behind me, I pushed backwards, working my way to where Milly had last been.

The Officers in the room were spread out, watching this play out like a hostage situation, which I guess, in a way it was.

The patter of little stocking-covered feet reached my ears, but I couldn’t look away from O’Shea.

“Pamela, stay out of the way,” I yelled.

“I can help,” she said, and O’Shea was lifted into the air, caught in a spell that Milly should have been able to do blindfolded.

I lowered my blades and took in a deep breath, finally looking over at Pamela, “You okay for a second?”

She bobbed her head in agreement and took a bite out of her candy bar. “Yes, I can hold him like this for a long time.”

Milly slowly stood up, shaking her head. “I’m so sorry, Rylee. Truly.”

“It’s not your fault,” I said, walking over to her, readying my body for the fast lunge and slice of the blade it would take to remove her head from her shoulders. For some reason, I didn’t want her to suffer. Stupid me. “You couldn’t have known—” a chair slammed into me from behind, sending me to the ground.

A nightstick was next, and I got bitch slapped twice with it before I got my hands wrapped around the weapon, effectively killing the magic on it.

I flung the nightstick at her and stood, a sword in my hands.

“Bring it, bitch,” I growled.

Eyes wide, she stared at me, shock filtering through her green orbs slowly.

“So, we are on two sides, are we?”

“Have been for a while, I just didn’t know it,” I said, swirling my two swords, loosening my wrists up.

Sadness etched her features. “This is the only way.” She turned to face Pamela, and I felt her gather her power, the black aura around the spell visible even to me. A death spell, one that would eat the kid in a matter of seconds.

“Pamela, get down,” I screamed as I launched myself at Milly.

The black spell left Milly’s hand as I hit her full-on, tackling her to the ground. Nothing but the pounding of my own heart filled my ears in the moment it took to hit the ground with Milly.

Milly effectively cushioned my fall, though her screech brought sound in living colour back to my ears. People rushed around us as if we didn’t exist, and I took the moment to look at Milly, try to discern where things had changed.

“Milly, why?”

She looked away, tears streaming back into her hair “I’m doing this for you, Rylee. I’m trying to keep you safe.”

“That makes no sense,” I said, my voice hardened. “And it doesn’t matter. You’ve signed your own death warrant.”

She looked at me then, her eyes as green as always, but harder than I’d ever seen them.

I moved back enough so that I could jerk her to her feet, keeping her hands clasped in mine and keeping her magic from flowing.

Looking around the precinct, desks and paper were everywhere, and there was a group of officers clustered around where Pamela had stood. My heart sunk until I saw a blonde head bob around the group and walk toward me, blue eyes serious.

“Two of the officers took the angry werewolf to a cell, but I didn’t let him go until they got him there.”

I licked my lips, then nodded, thinking perhaps it wasn’t best that Pamela stay with me. Shit, within hours of meeting me, she had a death spell tossed at her and a rampaging werewolf within ten feet of her. Not a good sign. I had to get the collar off O’Shea, before anything else.

“Aren’t you going to introduce us, Rylee?” Milly asked, her voice full of venom.

My mean streak surfaced. “Meet your replacement.”

Milly stiffened against my hands. “She won’t be able to replace me.”

I snorted. “She already has.”

13

Milly was placed into a cell despite my protests that she wouldn’t be there come morning, and for some reason, no one would let me run her through. Nor would they allow me below in the cells, stating I wasn’t cleared, that I could be trying to help Milly and O’Shea. Fuck them all, they’d find out soon enough how very wrong they were to think they could hold a witch behind bars. Everyone scoffed at me. Or at least, every human did. The two other shape shifters, Will and Officer Smith, were guarding O’Shea’s cell and keeping an eye on Milly while they were at it. So far, we hadn’t been able to get close to Liam. Whatever Milly had instructed him with was keeping him raging at anyone who came too close. Pamela said she could hold him so we could remove the collar he wore, but Dr. Daniels was being a major pain in the ass, not allowing Pamela out of her sight.