Target(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 3)(38) by Connie Suttle
"Winkler!" Ashe was standing and shouting in a blink. "Winkler!"
"Ashe, can you take us? We know we have until nearly dawn tomorrow; they won't move them until after the run," Winkler said. Ashe sat inside the van with Marcus, Trajan, Shirley Walker and Winkler.
"Yeah. Do we have a map?" Ashe picked at loose skin around one of his blisters. It made him think of Jimmy, who'd rubbed ointment onto the raw skin the day before. Ashe drew in a shaky breath.
"Stay with us, Ashe," Winkler said, hauling out his cell. In very little time, he had a map of the area pulled up. "Now, they're either here," he pointed out the northern tip of Padre Island, which began just south of Mustang Island, "or on one of these," Winkler pointed out St. Joseph Island and Matagorda Island, north of that.
"I'll take you overhead," Ashe agreed. "Are you afraid of coming with me—as mist?" He asked Shirley Walker. Shirley snorted.
"That's a no," Winkler interpreted. "Come on, Ashe. Let's go. Trajan, stay here and make sure nothing else happens." Winkler nodded to Ashe, who went to mist and gathered Winkler, Marcus and Shirley Walker immediately, rising high above the van and flying eastward, invisible to anyone who might come looking for them.
"Bash, Crush, go now. You know what to do," Rend instructed his two youngest brothers. Both nodded to their eldest brother and disappeared.
"Trace, Marco, Gabe, Ace, I want you to be werewolf. I get an itchy feeling every time I think about the fact they didn't get Ashe," Trajan said quietly. "If anybody appears from nowhere and it isn't Ashe and the Packmasters, jump 'em."
"All right," Trace replied softly. "Where do you want us?"
"By the van, I think. I'll put a few of the others around it, too. That will make it look like we're guarding something inside. They won't know it's empty. I hope."
"Okay, bro," Trace slapped his brother's arm before shucking his clothing and turning to a tall, black wolf. Marco did the same, becoming the dark-gray wolf, standing somewhat shorter than Trace. Ace, when he changed, became a snowy white wolf. Gabe's wolf was a reddish-brown with a splash of white around the muzzle.
"Trajan, what's going on?" Jason and Marcie walked up when they saw Trajan leading four wolves toward the van.
"Just don't want any extra trouble," Trajan said. "If those things come back, they'll have a fight on their hands."
"Will they find Jack? What are Mr. Winkler and the others going to do?" Marcie's voice trembled. Nobody had seen Ashe leave; he'd misted away from the van. For all the others knew, Ashe and the Packmasters were still inside the vehicle.
"I hope they find them, but I don't know what the plan is. In the meantime, we have to guard the van, I think."
"You think they're after Ashe, too." Jason nodded.
"Possibly. We don't know."
"I'll turn if you want me to."
"Sure." Trajan trusted Jason. Jason handed his clothing off to Marcie before changing to a compact, black wolf. He paced beside Trajan, positioning himself at the front of the van. The others spread out around it, interspersed with a few of Shirley Walker's guards, who'd remained in human form. Trajan stood beside the door and drew a pistol from the waistband of his jeans—Marcus had left the weapon with him. Denise DeLuca, without saying a word, stepped up beside Trajan, nodded to the tall werewolf and stood at the ready.
"Honey, if you've ever wakened early, now's the time," Adele brushed away a tear. Aedan Evans lay in the rejuvenating sleep all vampires experienced while the sun was in the sky. It was past six and two hours remained before twilight fell, bringing with it the possibility of Aedan's rising. Adele had a number to contact the Vampire Council, and dithered over calling it.
Night had fallen already in England. Adele knew the Council was based somewhere near London, but the exact location wasn't given to anyone except those who absolutely had to know. Besides, Winkler or the Grand Master might have already contacted them. Sighing, Adele brushed Aedan's hair with shaking fingers and rose from the edge of his bed to leave the bunker.
There! Do you see? Ashe sent mindspeech to his passengers, none of whom had the ability to reply. He flew over the small camp, making note of where Sali, Dori and the others sat. Ashe then made a wide turn, taking in the terrain before passing lower, until he was misting through the camp itself. It would be so easy to gather them inside his mist, but that would allow their captors to escape. Ashe didn't want that. He wanted the kidnappers. He wanted Winkler and the others to take them. Deal out justice. That's what he wanted. Silently apologizing to his friends who sat on the sandy beach between two large dunes, Ashe misted away.
The moment Bash and Crush appeared outside the van, they were in the fight of their lives. Attacked by werewolves, both wolf and human, Bash was shot by Trajan right away but gamely fought with Ace anyway. Bash didn't have the power blasting ability of Yindis and Terrin. He held strong compulsion, but the bullet wound pulled at his concentration. Ace, the white werewolf, had him down quickly, savaging his throat. Crush, thinking to hop inside the van, met with Trace and Jason before he could get the words of compulsion past his lips. He died, gurgling out his last breath on the sandy soil of Shirley Walker's peach groves.
"Those two aren't coming back," Zeke snarled at Rend, who worried for his younger brothers. They should have returned long ago. The sun was slipping toward the horizon, too, which presented a new concern. How many vampires would come looking for them? Without his younger brothers, they might be able to fight off one or two. More than that and there would be trouble. "What do you intend to do about it?" Zeke interrupted Rend's thoughts.
"I will think on this," Rend replied haughtily. After all, he could take the children they'd already gathered and use them as bargaining chips, though they were of no use to the Dark King.
"Think quick," Zeke snarled.
"They must have the camp shielded; I didn't see it until Ashe took us right through the thing," Marcus pulled Denise into an embrace. "We saw Sali; he's all right for now."
"Ashe, you did the right thing, not taking them now. We need to get our people in there and take those idiots out. They'd have scattered if you'd picked up the kids." Winkler nodded to Ashe. Ashe was staring at the bodies of two Elemaiya who lay stretched out beside the van. Ace, the white wolf, still had a smear of bright red blood around his muzzle. Trace and Jason sat near the bodies, both wolves guarding the corpses. Ashe could see the pointed ears of the Elemaiya from twenty feet away. Both throats had been torn out. It made him wonder why he hadn't been born with pointed ears.
"We'll move 'em if that bothers you," Trajan whispered next to Ashe's ear.
"No. I'm okay," Ashe nodded to Winkler's Second. He felt a little queasy, but was determined to overcome it. He might see worse before the night was over.
"Ashe, sunset is in half an hour," Winkler said. He'd pulled Ashe to a deserted part of the groves to talk. "Let's go get Hancock, your father and Nathan Anderson. I know you can carry them as mist without hurting them in sunlight. The Head of the Council has contacted another vampire who still lives in the area. He'll come as soon as he wakes and gets the message."
"What do you want me to do with Dad and the others?" Ashe had an idea, but he wanted to make sure.
"I'm coming with you, Ashe. I want you to carry Trajan, Ace, Marcus and the vampires, too. You'll have to send mindspeech when the sun goes down so they'll know what's happening. We'll hover over that camp. Shirley and her bunch will go in with boats north of the camp. I hope it'll send Zeke Tanner and his bunch in that direction. With the moon coming up too, all the wolves will be itchy. It'll be a real mess, Ashe. You've never seen a werewolf battle, and I wish you didn't have to see this one. But the vamps will be on our side, and that will make a big difference."
"But what do you want me to do after I drop you off?" Ashe asked.
"Get the kids, Ashe. We're asking you to be a grownup now. I know you pretty much are, but we're throwing things at you that shouldn't be thrown at anyone. Not without a lot of military training beforehand. Pull them into your mist and go straight to Star Cove. The Grand Master is sending as many of the San Antonio Pack as he can to help guard it, but the full moon may interfere with that. They're on their way and should arrive soon."
"But what about Dad and the others? How will you get back? Will there be enough boats?"
"Ashe, we'll work that out. You don't need to worry about it, all right?" Winkler squeezed Ashe's shoulder.
"All right. Should we go get Mr. Hancock now?"
"Yeah. Do whatever it was that you did before, Ashe. We may be short on time. Drop Hancock in your dad's bunker while we sort this out with your mom and the others left in Star Cove."
Winkler called Trajan, Ace and Marcus over; Ace was still wolf. "Ready?" Winkler nodded to all of them. They agreed. Ashe turned to mist and gathered them up. The hop to Winkler's beach house took little more than a blink. Ashe wanted to shout angrily at the devastation that met them as soon as they arrived atop the detached garage. The beach house had burned to the ground. A police cruiser was still parked out front, as was a fire truck.
Thankfully, Winkler had spoken to the local authorities—the apartment over the garage hadn't been touched. Ashe broke away from his thoughts and dropped through the roof after feeling Winkler's temporary anger and discomfort. Anthony Hancock lay quite still on a bed inside the larger of two bedrooms. Ashe gathered the sleeping vampire and hopped to Star Cove.
"My shields are holding—they suspect nothing," Sapphire reported to his oldest brother. They'd arrived shortly before sunset. The wolves wouldn't run until the moon was high overhead, but that time would arrive soon. Diamond wanted to stake out the camp and make sure they were prepared to take on the Destroyers and anyone else Baltis had thought to send.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online