Target(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 3)(18) by Connie Suttle
"Is Jackson okay?" Ashe slid off his bed.
"He's fine—his mother and Jason are talking to him now," Marco said. "He's not sure what he saw, and some of the wolves downstairs are asking questions."
"What was I supposed to do?" Ashe sighed and paced.
"What you did. Ashe, we'll have to keep Jackson hidden until we know the threat from his father is over," Winkler explained. "And that may mean a move." Ashe watched the Dallas Packmaster closely. Lines of pain formed around Winkler's mouth.
"Doctor Lang available?" Ashe asked, suddenly concerned.
"He'll stop by when his shift at the fire department is over," Winkler said. "I'll be fine until then."
"Just a graze," Marco agreed. "Bullets bounce off the boss."
"Good," Ashe said. "I'm sorry, I didn't know where else to take them."
"Son, you did fine. Stop worrying about it," Winkler patted Ashe's shoulder. "Want anything to eat or drink?"
"Come on, we'll find a sandwich downstairs," Marco coaxed.
"All right." Ashe walked downstairs with both men. He was sitting at the kitchen island having a roast-beef sandwich when David Lang walked in. Winkler didn't even stop eating while Dr. Lang cleaned out the wound and bandaged it again.
"I'd ask if you wanted something for pain, but I know better," Dr. Lang laughed.
"It'll be healed in the morning," Winkler waved the doctor-turned-paramedic off. "Now, what I really wanted to say, Ashe, is that since Dominic Pruitt knows where we are, we'll be traveling to my beach house in Port Aransas tomorrow. We'll stay there for a little while, I think, until we can get this sorted out. You'll get to see your parents and friends on weekends if you want. I'd prefer that you stay at the beach house with me during the week. It's right on the gulf, so it shouldn't be a hardship."
"And you won't be getting out of your exercises, we have a weight room there and you and Marco can run on the beach," Trajan walked in, grinning. "How's the shoulder?" He asked Winkler.
"Fine." Winkler huffed. "Grady is meeting someone here tomorrow afternoon, so he won't be traveling with us. Pick at least six to come along, and let Jason, Marcie and her boys know they're coming too. Those two didn't know where Pruitt was; he just called and sent them after Jackson. So, we're at a loss, still, on that end."
"Will do, boss." Trajan set about making a roast-beef sandwich for himself, asked the doctor if he wanted one, made an extra and set out soft drinks for both.
"I sent Orville to Cordell," Trajan grinned. "Trace will head down to Port A as soon as Orville gets there. Gene's coming and I have Ace, Gabe, Spencer and Nick all packing bags. Told Marco to come along, too. Just in case."
"Sounds good," Winkler agreed. "Never hurts to have an extra or two. Jason and Marcie will move into one of the extra houses in Star Cove. Put Ace and Gene in next door to watch those boys of hers." Trajan nodded. He was on the boss' wavelength. Winkler hadn't gotten as far as he had or stayed alive because he trusted or believed everybody. Plus, the Grand Master wanted Winkler closer to the border, in case there was trouble. Winkler's jet would be parked at the Corpus Christi Airport and kept at the ready.
"We'll leave first thing in the morning. Have those two from the Phoenix Pack ready to go to the Grand Master before then."
"Already taken care of," Trajan nodded. "Got six of ours going with them in one of the bigger vans. Did you get everything out of them that you wanted?"
"With a little help," Winkler nodded. "I asked Wlodek for a little fanged assistance. Since somebody was already in the states that I know, he dropped by. Looks like he's gonna be with us for a little while. At Wlodek's orders." Trajan noted the set of Winkler's mouth and didn't ask questions about the why of it.
"Where is he now?" Trajan asked instead.
"Grabbing a few supplies," Winkler said. "He'll be here before dawn and we'll transport him in a body bag. He'll look like luggage."
"Until sundown," Trajan snickered.
"Yeah. There's always that."
"Dad, Marcie's boys came to Dallas," Ashe informed his father. He'd called his father's cell, since his mother was likely in bed already. It was after midnight and Ashe had just finished packing for the trip. "And then two of their father's wolves showed up to kidnap Jackson, who's still seventeen. Winkler and the Grand Master want him hidden and out of harm's way until they can get everything sorted out, so we'll be down there in the morning. Winkler's putting Marcie, Jason and her two boys in one of the empty houses in the new addition, and the rest of us will be staying at Winkler's beach house in Port Aransas. I'll get to come home on weekends if I want."
"Son, how bad do you think the Phoenix Packmaster wants that boy?" Aedan wanted to know how much security they'd need at night in case Dominic Pruitt discovered where his youngest son was being kept.
"I'd say he wants him back pretty bad; he sent two wolves with guns after him." Ashe didn't want to tell his father about his involvement in the incident. Or about the trip to D.C. He'd let Winkler handle that. If Winkler wanted.
"Where are those wolves now, Son?"
"Chained up and on their way to the Grand Master in the morning," Ashe said. "I think he wants to do more questioning."
"Son, we've missed you. It'll be good to have you back."
"Yeah. I missed you, too."
Ashe stared at what looked to be a body bag that Trajan and Marco were loading into the jet. It wasn't going on with the luggage; this was carried into the passenger section of the jet and they were handling it carefully. Several locked coolers were also loaded onto the jet. The blond werewolf with ice-blue eyes was coming, as was Gene, whom Ashe had already met. He was also introduced to Gabe and Spencer, the werewolf brothers, and Nick, a short, black-haired werewolf he hadn't seen before.
Gene had taken charge of Marcie, Jason, Jackson and Dustin. Dustin wanted to be called Dusty, and Ashe thought he was doing his best to fit in with Winkler's Wolves. It made him wonder if Dusty wanted to become a permanent member of the Dallas Pack. Trajan promised to start training Dusty in martial arts with Marco soon. Ashe guessed that he'd have to be stronger and in better shape before Trajan considered him for that sort of training.
After landing in Corpus Christi, Ashe climbed into a van with Winkler's entourage. The blond werewolf loaded into a second van provided by the Corpus Christi Pack. The body bag was hefted into Winkler's van, along with their luggage.
"How's my little sister?" Winkler said to the werewolf driver.
"Just fine," the driver grinned.
"Ashe, this is my brother-in-law, Sam Sheridan, Jr.," Winkler grinned at Ashe, who sat behind Winkler in the second row of seats. "He and his dad own a lot of land south of Corpus Christi."
"We grow a lot of fruit and vegetables," Sam grinned at Ashe as he backed out of the parking space. "We just don't compete with Shirley on the cotton."
"Nice to meet you," Ashe nodded to their driver. He hadn't known until then that Winkler had a sister. Ashe was happy to sit back and watch Corpus Christi fly past, and then the waters of the gulf as they drove over a high bridge to reach Mustang Island. He gasped, though, when Sam pulled off the road that ran through the island and onto a private drive. The drive led to a beach house that fronted the gulf. Ashe had seen this house from the road when he and his mother had driven past days ago. The house was enormous, with a large, two-story detached garage. It didn't surprise him that Winkler owned something so nice.
"You'll sleep in the main house," Winkler told Ashe, watching while Trajan took charge of the body bag, just as before. Trajan and Gabe carried it to the steps leading to the apartment over the detached garage. "Come on, I'll show you which bedroom is yours and you'll have your office right next door."
"I have an office?" Ashe grinned.
"Yep." Winkler slapped Ashe on the back. "But it's Saturday, so you're off. Feel free to unpack or do laundry. We don't have much of a staff here. I'll bring in a cook and a housekeeper for the big stuff, but your laundry and bed making is your job on the beach."
"That's okay, I do it at home," Ashe said.
Ashe gaped at the view through the glass doors of the media room. "Dang," he breathed. "That is awesome." Winkler led him down a long hallway on the second floor.
"You get the bay view," Winkler said, opening the door. Ashe walked into the bedroom, which had its own bath and a view of tall grasses on the western side of the island. A thin strip of water lay beyond that, between the island and the mainland. "That's the ship channel," Winkler explained when Ashe asked. "Ships come through all the time. They haul oil in for the refinery just outside town. Plus some of the Navy ships travel through—Corpus Christi has a Naval Station, although mostly they handle the Navy jets and planes."
"Sounds cool," Ashe said, dropping his bags onto the bed.
"Your office is downstairs, beside mine," Winkler led Ashe down the steps and through another hall. Winkler had the office with the gulf view; Ashe could see the guesthouse from his. It didn't matter; if he wanted to see water, he only had to go to the kitchen, the media room or just go outside and take the wooden walkway to the beach.
"I like this, Mr. Winkler," Ashe breathed.
"Good. I like it too. Now, why don't you grab something to drink from the fridge and go out to the deck? Watch the waves roll in until lunch?"
"Sure." Ashe followed Winkler to the huge kitchen, where a short, bald man who introduced himself as Jimmy was busy preparing a meal. Winkler got a soda with Ashe and walked out to the massive deck behind the media room.
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