Target(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 3)(21) by Connie Suttle
"Watch this, we're gonna save the universe," Trajan grinned, loading up the game. Trace did well enough against his brother, but Marco was working as hard as he could against Ashe. With Ashe, it was as if he always knew the enemy's moves before they were made. Trajan and Trace sat back and whistled as Ashe obliterated cyber creatures, one after another.
"Here, my arm's tired," Ashe handed the controller off to Trajan while his avatar died on screen.
"Holy crap, kid, did you even have your eyes open there at the end?"
"Don't know," Ashe shrugged. "Now you know why Sali won't play against me anymore. If he wants to play, he invites Larry, Jeff and Hayes over." Ashe named off the other male students in his and Sali's class. "I'm going to bed. If you want a rematch sometime, let me know." Ashe rose from his seat on the floor. He couldn't help himself as he walked out of the room. How much Elemaiya blood do you have? He sent to Tony Hancock.
I'm an eighth, Tony returned. Ashe was shocked that the vampire even answered.
Honored One, the child is more than talented. He seems intuitive, if that is the proper term. I'd say it borders on Foresight, actually. Is there more information available on the Elemaiya? I never received anything, as you know, and they do not bother with anything less than half-bloods. If there is anyone you know who might be able to provide information, I'd appreciate any assistance with this. It will help me determine what his full talents are, I think.
Tony closed his laptop and sighed. The boy was only sixteen. He hoped Wlodek would give him more than two years before sending someone to collect him. The rule of conscription was at times a harsh one. If the vampire race found a human who would enrich their race, the normal rules of turning could be ignored. That's how brothers had been turned—mindspeech and misting ran in families. The Council's two misters were brothers, as were the two other mindspeakers. Tony had mindspeech but no blood siblings. They'd have been turned quickly if he'd had any. Tony had been adopted as a baby by his werewolf mother. He had a stepbrother—Deryn Alford, a werewolf in the Denver Pack. No werewolf had ever become vampire. They also didn't have the misting or mindspeech ability that a handful of vampires held over the centuries. Tony was surprised to get a return email so quickly from the Head of the Council, the message causing his cell to vibrate. Tony read it from his phone rather than opening his laptop again.
Will contact my eldest, the message read. He will know if anyone will—W.
"Yeah, he'd know, all right." Tony deleted the message and went to walk the beach.
"You promised to bring the boy," Obediah Tanner's brother stared at Dominic Pruitt.
"He took off with Dusty. I'll get him back. He'll learn what it's like from this end of things," Dom snorted.
"You know we need him and more like him to haul this stuff across the border," Ezekiel Tanner snapped. "All we have is older males, and half of those have bullets lodged in their bodies. They can't run as fast anymore."
Dom didn't want to point out that Obediah and Ezekiel had chased away or killed any females who'd associated with the rogue Pack, which was located just across the border in Mexico. It prevented any young wolves coming from that Pack. This was a lucrative business, but they worried about recruiting from any of the Grand Master's Packs. Somebody would surely pass the information along and the Grand Master would send his Trackers with an army of wolves and vampires at their backs.
Dom, Obediah and Ezekiel had smuggled drugs and contraband for years. Dom was searching for a good location to set up another game preserve—the one Obediah ran had brought in huge payoffs from wealthy clients, in addition to being the perfect place to hide smuggled drugs until they could be distributed throughout the United States.
Hunting on the preserve had been Obediah's idea—the shapeshifters had no form of government to protest against the practice, so it was easy to kidnap a rare one here and there. There was no shortage of well-paying hunters either, who jumped at the invitation to take them down. Dom and Ezekiel both realized that Obediah was likely dead now, after the raid on his game preserve—neither had heard from him since.
Dom hadn't heard from the two wolves he'd sent after Jackson either, and he was getting worried. Jackson hadn't turned yet, but that could happen anytime. He'd informed Jack of what he was shortly after his mother took off. The boy hadn't taken it very well, but he'd come to like it soon, Dom was sure of it. The boy would make a good runner, too, if they could get him back. He'd thought to recruit Dusty, but his oldest son had too much of his mother in him.
Dustin. Just the thought of him made Dominic growl. Dom had given up on his oldest son. Jackson liked the expensive cell phones, toys and the Corvette his father had bought for him recently. With the promise of wealth, Jackson could be convinced to run drugs as a wolf. All it took was a specially made harness, loaded with sealed bags of illegal substances. Money would replace the drugs in the bags, once the receivers on the U.S. side of the border were reached. Border guards were less likely to aim at what they saw as a wolf or coyote. It was easy for them to slip through. The bullet wounds came mostly from farmers and ranchers, worried about their livestock.
"I'll get the boy back," Dom promised. "Maybe we can hit that supernatural community, too. Should be enough young wolves to be had there, plus the kids who turn into larger shifters. They can carry as well as a wolf can."
"What?" Zeke stared at Dominic Pruitt for seconds before the idea took root. Dom recognized the light in Zeke's eyes as he weighed the merits of Dom's suggestion. "Do it," Zeke said, nodding curtly. "We can snatch those old enough. They'll learn quick enough what it's like to live on this side of the border."
"How are the plans coming along on taking William Winkler down?" Dom asked. He'd gotten wind from some of Zeke's rogues that something was in the works. Zeke hadn't shared anything, yet, though.
"That plan is taking shape," Zeke growled. Dom was wise enough to recognize that growl—it meant Ezekiel Tanner wasn't prepared to share information yet. He was angry, though. Angry that Winkler had been instrumental in his brother's takedown. Dom kept further questions to himself. After all, he had plans for William Winkler too, and he was keeping that information to himself.
"I don't think any normal person will get into this bank," Ashe handed over what he had to Winkler the following afternoon. The bank in Boise had been a difficult system to crack. Ashe had noticed that his usual ability to crack puzzles and such was much sharper, now. Perhaps it was because most puzzles didn't provide much of a challenge to him. Now, when Winkler set these things in front of him, he could almost see a road map to his destination if he just closed his eyes and concentrated.
"Kid, this is frightening," Winkler said, going over the information in the folder Ashe handed to him. "I'll tell you what; go find something to eat while I make a call or two."
"Okay," Ashe stretched and rolled his shoulders to work out a few kinks. He'd gotten stiff, sitting in a chair most of the day. "Do I have time for a quick run on the beach?"
"Take Marco or somebody with you," Winkler nodded.
"All right." Ashe wandered down the hall toward the media room. "Who wants to go out for a run?" He asked. Trace, Trajan and Marco were in the kitchen for an afternoon break. Keeping the grounds and surrounding beach patrolled and safe was their job, as well as that of Gabe, Gene and Spencer.
"I'll go," Trace offered. "Just let me finish this glass of water. You ought to have some too, before we head out. It's hot and muggy out there." Ten minutes later, Trace and Ashe were running down the beach. Trace was nearly as tall as Trajan and he ran with an easy lope, even in the sand.
"You know, Trace, I've been thinking," Ashe said. "When those two wolves found us in the theatre parking lot in Denton, they were parked right beside the van we drove."
"They might have been following you," Trace said.
"Yeah. I guess. But what if that isn't true? What if they had a trace on Jack's cell or something? Besides, I think Marco might have noticed if we were followed. He's pretty careful."
"Yeah. Well, I'll mention it to Winkler and see if he wants to check into that," Trace said. "Come on; see if you can catch up with me." Trace took off at a faster pace.
"Let's go do a little checking for bugs," Winkler said, once Trace mentioned what Ashe had said. "Probably should have done it to begin with. Just didn't credit Pruitt with that many brain cells."
"Yeah, well, even the dumbest of us have our moments," Trace agreed.
"Then let's go see if Pruitt had a moment. Bring the equipment and the others. We'll find out."
"Does he have his cell with him?" Winkler asked Marcie, who wore a worried frown when Winkler, Trace, Trajan, Marco and Ashe walked into the house.
"It's charging up on the kitchen counter; Jack went down to see Larry and Jeff at Jeff's house. They seem to be getting along pretty well."
"Check it," Winkler jerked his head at Trajan. Ashe stood by, watching in fascination as Jack's cell was checked. Trajan grimaced as he cracked the expensive phone's case and then used tweezers to lift out a tiny chip.
"Lookie here," Trajan handed the chip to Winkler, who had a small plastic bag ready.
"Can we look through the rest of his things?" Winkler asked Marcie, who now wore a horrified expression.
"Look through everything. Get every bit of that crap away from my son," she insisted. Winkler and his team went through the rest of Jackson's things, finding one more chip in a duffle bag shoved inside his closet. "This can't be happening," Marcie moaned. They checked Dusty's things as well, but failed to find anything.
"We'll destroy these," Winkler promised as they walked out the door.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online