Destroyer(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 5)(13) by Connie Suttle
"I can't believe he's falling for that worthless girl," Dawn said. "Did you meet her?"
"No. I think she had a hotel room in Port A," Dori said. "We didn't see her."
"Ashe met her," Dawn huffed. "She's supposed to be so smart, getting through college and going to veterinarian school. Seemed too timid to me. Fitting, I guess, since she's a bunny when she turns."
"I didn't know that," Dori blinked at Dawn in confusion. "She's a shapeshifter? Did Randy know about that?"
"Not until she got here."
"Wow. I don't know what to say," Dori muttered.
"He'd be better off with a werewolf or a larger shifter. Somebody who can protect him, if necessary. That rabbit is dinner."
"Well, maybe somebody else will come along," Dori offered. Dawn seemed angry and Dori didn't know how to deal with that. Dawn pulled into the mall parking lot and located a space not far from the entrance.
"Where can we meet, in case we get separated?" Dawn asked as they walked in the mall.
"We can be back here—whenever you're ready," Wynn offered, tossing long, white hair over a shoulder.
"Two hours? I should be done by then," Dawn said.
"Sounds fine," Dori shrugged.
"Great. See you later." Dawn started to walk away when her phone rang. "Hello?" she answered the call. "What do you want, now?" she asked, anger evident in her voice again.
"Let's go that way," Dori steered Wynn in the opposite direction.
"That was weird," Wynn whispered as they walked away quickly. She cast a quick glance over her shoulder. Dawn had her back turned to them, still talking on the phone. "Come on. There's a shoe store this way."
* * *
"There's a Mexican restaurant here at the mall, and we can find shoes at the same time," Trace steered the SUV into a parking space.
"Sounds good," Ashe opened his door and climbed out. "If we're lucky, we may not be going home alone." Ashe stuffed the tail of his shirt into his jeans and began walking toward the entrance. Trace had to trot to keep up with him.
* * *
"Dori—look! There's Ashe and Trace." Wynn pulled Dori away from a rack of shoes and pointed.
"Let's go. Maybe we can get a ride home with them. It makes me uncomfortable when Mrs. Smith talks about shifters like they're scum."
"Yeah. Let's go."
"Ashe?" Dori called out. Ashe turned quickly, followed closely by Trace.
"Hey, Dori. Wynn." Ashe started walking toward them. "What are you guys doing here?"
"I could ask you the same," Dori grinned.
"We're here for Mexican food. Then Ashe wants new shoes," Trace grinned.
"We were looking at shoes, too, but Mexican food sounds awesome," Wynn said shyly.
"You can eat with us—I'll buy," Ashe offered.
"That's great. I'll call Mrs. Smith and let her know we're with you, if that's okay," Dori said. "We rode in with her, but she wants to leave in about half an hour."
"We'll take you home, no problem," Trace agreed. "Call your parents, too, and let them know."
"Great," Dori bounced on her toes. Wynn pulled the cell from her purse and placed a call to Dawn Smith.
* * *
"Why do they always bring flour tortillas when these corn tortillas are so much better?" Dori dropped a spoonful of salsa on a buttered corn tortilla, covered that with a little queso and rolled it up before biting into it with a happy smile.
"No idea. I have to ask for these every time." Trace had introduced them to the tasty goodness of warm corn tortillas as an appetizer. "The old Mexican restaurant we went to in Denton always served these."
"This is pretty darn good," Ashe agreed, helping himself to another tortilla.
"Says the bottomless pit," Trace grinned.
"I'm a growing boy," Ashe laughed.
"You'll be as tall as Trajan and Trace if you keep that up," Dori snickered.
"Close, maybe," Ashe agreed.
"Mrs. Smith said you met Randy's girlfriend," Wynn said, taking a chip from the complimentary basket and dipping it in the bowl of salsa.
"What did Mrs. Smith say?" Ashe turned to Wynn.
"That his girlfriend seemed too timid."
"She said Randy's girlfriend was dinner," Dori snorted. "It made me mad."
"It should make you angry," Trace muttered. "There's no excuse for that."
"I need to talk to Randy," Ashe grumbled before hauling out his cell and punching in a number.
* * *
"Ashe? What's going on, man?" Randy answered Ashe's call.
"Hey, Randy. I had a talk with Mr. Winkler yesterday. He said you're welcome to invite Sara down next time and meet her in San Antonio. The plane tickets will be cheaper and he has a three-bedroom condo there you can borrow."
"Really? That's great. I gotta tell you, I was worried that Sara might not want to come back—I think Mom scared her. You know why."
"Yeah. I know why," Ashe agreed. "Look, I'm having dinner with Trace, Dori and Wynn, so I need to let you go. I just wanted to tell you what Mr. Winkler said."
"Thanks, man, that's really good news. See ya." Randy ended the call.
* * *
"That was quick," Trace grinned at Ashe as their waitress placed plates of food on the table. "Randy will like the condo. It's really nice and not far from downtown San Antonio."
"I'd love to see San Antonio. We passed through on our way here, but didn't stop," Dori said. "Ashe, Sali and I broke up."
"I know," Ashe said. "You don't have to go into details. Sali and I are on the outs, too."
"Yeah. I hear that," Dori cut into her enchiladas. "Sali needs a hard kick in the pants."
"I don't know about that," Ashe said, lifting a taco and crunching into it. "He's done a pretty good job beating himself up."
"I got a text from Cori. She says Marco told her that Sali got grounded for disappearing for hours yesterday and not answering Marcus' calls." Dori sipped her soda and blinked innocently at Ashe.
"So, the rumor mill is as strong as it ever was, huh?" Ashe went back to his taco.
"Obviously," Wynn replied. Her phone rang. "It's Ace." She was almost breathless as she answered the call.
"Hi, baby," Ace's voice was clear to Ashe's enhanced hearing. "We just hit the ground in Corpus."
"Tell him we're at the Mexican restaurant in the mall, if he wants to join us," Trace said. He was listening to the conversation, just as Ashe was.
"Mexican? Baby, we'll be there in a few minutes," Ace chuckled and hung up.
"We'll need more space," Ashe informed the waitress when she came to refill glasses. "We've got three more coming."
"Three?" Dori lifted an eyebrow.
"Ace is driving Winkler and Trajan," Trace explained. "Had to go to Dallas for a board meeting this morning. They probably left right after the meeting was done and didn't take time for dinner."
Two restaurant employees pulled up an extra table and laid out a new basket of chips with salsa.
"We'll need another basket of chips, more corn tortillas and two orders of queso," Trace grinned at the waitress.
* * *
"Mom, Mr. Winkler, Trajan and Ace got back and they joined us at the restaurant. Trace is bringing us back when we're done," Dori assured Lavonna Anderson over her cell.
"That's fine, as long as I know where you are, honey," Lavonna said.
"We're fine, Mrs. Anderson," Winkler said, knowing Lavonna would hear.
"Thank you, Mr. Winkler."
"This is so nice," Wynn leaned her cheek against Ace's shoulder. The white werewolf leaned in and kissed the top of Wynn's head.
"I have an announcement to make," Winkler grinned as soon as Dori ended the call with her mother.
"What's that?" Trace asked.
"Wayne and Wynter flew back to Dallas with me this morning. Wynter came and asked me a question. I made a phone call. She and Thomas Williams, Jr. are officially engaged."
"Really?" Wynn clapped her hands and laughed. "That is awesome, Mr. Winkler."
"Yeah. It really is awesome," Winkler grinned.
* * *
"Kid, do you want to go back to the airport with us tonight to pick up the vamps?" Winkler asked on the way home. Trace and Ace had offered to drive Wynn and Dori home; Ashe chose to ride with Winkler and Trajan.
"I can," Ashe nodded. "That way, Mr. Montegue can get a good look at the kid."
"Kid, that vamp is more than seventeen hundred years old. Almost everybody is a kid to him."
"Around midnight?" Ashe asked.
"Yeah. You can get a nap in, if you want, before we leave."
* * *
"Curt, that information was pure gold. We have three in custody and they're answering questions now." Matt Michaels said. He was watching through one-way glass as one of his vampire agents questioned a detainee his werewolves had arrested earlier in the day. Two had tried to run. They hadn't gotten far—not many could outrun a werewolf, even in human form. This one was admitting his part in the courthouse bombing, and naming the other two as his accomplices.
"That's great news. I'll look forward to seeing the newsfeeds tomorrow," Curt replied and hung up.
Matt pocketed his cell with a sigh. Six people had died in that courthouse bombing. Matt hoped Curtis Roberts' new informant kept supplying reliable information. He wondered, though, what Curtis might eventually ask in exchange. A tenuous civility existed between Curtis and Matt, but Matt refused to trust Curtis. His distrust was one of the reasons he'd asked werewolves to go after the targets—he trusted them to do the job and not take unnecessary risks.
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