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Tracker(Rylee Adamson #6)(11) by Shannon Mayer

I ran a hand over his head. “We love you too, buddy.”

A minute passed and I pushed her away. “I have to go.gge have t Before Liam wakes.”

“If you think he’ll let you go, why don’t you wait to tell him?” Pamela wiped her cheeks, her eyes questioning me.

I shook my head, unable to tell her the truth. It wasn’t just Liam I worried about; I had doubts about myself, too. While being dependent on Liam wasn’t totally bad, it was making me soft. I had to be strong enough to do things on my own, like before I’d started my own pack.

Good practice for when Faris showed up and I had to leave.

Again.

Fuck, this shit was getting old.

I slid on my heavy winter jacket, the leather-lined coat had as many stitch-up jobs as I did. Weapons already on, I nodded at Pamela. “This time tomorrow, I’ll be back. Don’t worry, okay? You just help Liam get the info he needs, however he needs to do it. I’ll leave the Jeep for you three. Alex and I can make it on foot.”

She gave a quick nod, but the doubt was in her eyes.

“Come on, Alex, let’s go.”

He and I headed out the side door. I turned back on the threshold to see Pamela standing in the candlelight, Giselle behind her.

Go, Rylee. You must. Giselle’s words hummed inside my head, a reassurance I needed. I lifted my hand to them both, and stepped into the blowing snow.

Chapter 6

Sleep, though it stole him away from his worries, was not restful. Giselle’s words haunted his dreams, and a myriad of ways to die filled his mind. He couldn’t tell Rylee, he knew that, but he hated to keep secrets from her. Hated how her eyes had filled with distrust when he couldn’t tell her. Hated that he pushed her away, even if it was for a good reason.

Morning sunlight woke him as it snuck past the drawn sash and bathed his face in weak winter light. Liam groaned and rolled to his side, his hand reaching out for Rylee’s body. Nothing but a cold spot beside him. Not really a surprise, she was probably downstairs working out already—the woman could rarely be pulled from her routine, even when the shit hit the fan.

And hit the fan it had. The entire local coven wiped out, Dox and his friends skinned alive, Eve dead and then brought back to life. Giselle’s Reading of him. Liam ran his hands over his head, still not fully believing everything they’d seen.

Not to mention Rylee was as pissed as a cat in a rainstorm at the moment. Nothing he could do about any of that now, so he shook it off and got out of bed. His spine cracked as he stretched and his eyes were drawn to Rylee’s weapon stash.

Her two best swords were missing.

The winter ice might as well have slid down his back. He threw on his clothes and was in a flat out run in a matter of seconds, down the stairs and into the kitchen where Milly and Pamela stood side by side, heads bowed together. The murmur of Milly’s voice as she explained something about subtle magic to Pamela. No Rylee and no Alex. Maybe she’d just taken the submissive werewolf outside.

Maybe he was just trying to delay the inevitable once he finally asked the question.

“Where is ad eshe?” He drew in a deep lungful of air, trying to scent Rylee. She’d been here, but it was faint, like it had been hours since she’d last been in the house.

Pamela turned and pulled something from her back pocket, handing it to him. He noticed the red around the rim of her eyes, the smell of sadness clinging to her, and anger.

He took the note and flipped it open.

I won’t be long, twenty-four hours at the most. Take Pamela and see what you can find out about those fucking guns. We can’t let Orion or his lackeys get their hands on them.

That was it, nothing about where she’d gone, or what she’d left for. But he knew this was a dig at him. He hadn’t opened up to her, and so now she was fucking off on her own. Having a fucking snit.

“You know where she is, don’t you?” He folded up the note and tucked it into his pocket as he lifted his eyes to Pamela.

She tipped her chin up ever so slightly. “Yes, I do.”

“Are you going to tell me?”

Uncertainty flickered through her eyes, her age showing. “If I do, you’ll go after her and then she’ll be angry with both of us.”

Milly said nothing, just watched them, her green eyes thoughtful.

Liam put his hands on his hips and dropped his chin to his chest, thinking, as he tried to work his mind around the anger coursing through him. A few deep breaths and he managed to get himself under control. He’d told Rylee that she would have to make choices and he trusted her to deal with Faris on her own when the time came. There weren’t a lot of options and, though he and his wolf were pissed as hell, what Rylee was asking him to do made sense. Even if her reason for leaving on her own was stupid and more than a little childish in his eyes, he did understand why she’d done it.

He hurt her, pretty much told her he didn’t trust her, and she’d run away.

Fuck it all.

Through the anger, the logical side of him—his FBI training—said what she’d done was the best division of labor. Whatever task she was after wasn’t dangerous; at least, that’s what he told himself. Trusting her was one of the hardest things he did, mostly because he knew how quickly she found trouble, whether she wanted it or not.

The faster he tracked down where the guns were coming from, the faster he could go after Rylee. If he had to. But no matter what, he couldn’t tell her what Giselle told him. Hell, he needed to make something up. Twenty-four hours was enough time to come up with a plausible reason he’d held back. Right?

“Let’s get this done and get back here.” He turned and headed for the side door.

“I’m coming with you,” Milly said, stopping him in his tracks.

Pamela cleared her throat softly, only loud enough that Liam heard. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, Milly. It’s not like you can actually help now that you have no magic, and besides, Liam wants to kill you.”

Ah, for the simple honesty of a teenager.

He looked over his shoulder. “Pamela’s right.”

Milly lifted an eyebrow, then dropped her gaze. “I can still teach her as we go, and I don’t want to be left alone. I am totally vulnerable without my magic. At least if I am with you and Pamela I have a chance.”

Teeth clenched, he tried to see how he could deny her. Hellid ny her., he could have Pamela tie her up and leave her in the hallway closet until they got back.