Read Allure of the Wolf (Seraphine Thomas Book 2) Online

Authors: Erin R Flynn

Tags: #Paranormal Mystery

Allure of the Wolf (Seraphine Thomas Book 2) (7 page)

BOOK: Allure of the Wolf (Seraphine Thomas Book 2)
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“You are
joking
, Chief?” I seethed as I stormed into his office with a printed-out email someone had forwarded me. “You invited the other Chicago FBI office to the casino tonight? Are you
trying
to see if I’ll punch you again? Why would you
do that
?”

“Nice to see you too, Thomas,” he drawled, glancing up from his computer. “How was your lunch? Are the cases going well?”

“No, and I’m all carbed up for what’s apparently going to be my humiliation in front of
all
my colleagues, past and present,” I growled, slamming the paper on his desk hard enough that a few things fell over.

“I invited them because we don’t play all that well together right now, and this was something outside of the office to show we have similar tastes too,” he explained, folding his hands on his desk, ignoring his disturbed possessions. “They have softball and basketball teams we can’t be a part of so let them see we still blow off steam as well. Plus, I want them to see this division isn’t a
joke
anymore and one of our leaders is a badass.”


If
I win,” I hissed, barely able to hear myself over the pounding in my ears. “If I
win
, Chief. If I don’t, you just made me the laughingstock of the FBI.”

“And the CPD, CFD, and a few other bigger suburban police divisions, Elgin of course because the casino’s there,” he muttered. He cleared his throat and reached up to straighten his already perfect tie.

Yeah, he
should
be squirming. I couldn’t think of anything besides strangling him with it right then.

“Oh my fucking
god
,” I groaned, plopping down in the chair across from his desk. “What if I don’t win?”

“You
will
. Even if you don’t, word has spread you agreed to the fight because it was the deal made to get your team trained since they can’t go through Quantico. Rumor’s running about this up-and-coming division chief of MNSTR who is so dedicated, so
willing
to make her team into something great that she’s risking her own ass
personally
to see it done. There’s going to be press coverage and—”

“I
hate you
right now,” I whispered, burying my head in my hands. “You can’t keep making me the poster child for what’s wrong between the divisions of the FBI, Chief. It’s not fair.”

“No, no it’s not, but
you
made this deal, Sera. You did it for the good of your team, on your
own
because the FBI has failed you, this division, and our people. If what you did will shed some light on that, yeah, I’m sorry, I will fucking sing that to whoever will listen.”

I slowly raised my head and narrowed my eyes at him. “You are so damn lucky Harris and Riley showed me how to align with my wolf last night otherwise I wouldn’t have a chance in
hell
at winning. I
knew
that and took the deal anyway for the help. I didn’t plan on making a complete ass of myself in the process or my boss
helping
me to.”

All the color drained out of Monroe’s face. “You thought you would lose?”

“Yeah, I
knew
I would. So thanks, Chief.” I stood and ran my hands through my hair, my blood pressure so high I thought something would burst inside me if I didn’t get it down. “I’m twenty-eight years old and a new wolf and since it’s not a
seduce off
, what I am can’t help me. Noah fought in the fucking
Crusades
. I knew I was going to get my ass handed to me. I hope you got C-SPAN to cover that and make my humiliation complete for your goddamn budget proposals.”

I left the office and decided to go peek in on the shooting classes. Showing up there, I received the first
good
news I’d had in a while. Of the seventeen people under me, Harris and Cooper had immediately passed their FBI qualifier as I had. A week of instruction and refreshers, five others had as well. Seven down, ten to go. That was progress.

And of the targets I was seeing, a few more weeks of practice and we’d have at least half of those in the bag. Oddly enough it was Davis who was one of the stragglers.

“I’m sorry, Sera,” she muttered as she moved next to me when I was standing off to the side. “I don’t know why I can’t do this. I get the mechanics. I can strip the gun just as fast as everyone else and put it back together again. Something just isn’t clicking for me.”

“It will. I’m not worried.” We moved to the last row of the targets and I watched her. It took me two clips to figure out what the problem was. It wasn’t her aim, or that she wasn’t able to sight—Davis was hesitant to learn how to
kill
. I’d seen it before and I would see it again. She flinched at the last second when aiming at the head or the heart of a person drawing… Picturing the real thing.

She cared. That happened. Some might have called her weak or not up for the job, but to me, all it said was she took it seriously and I was glad it came out
now
instead of in the field when I’d seen guys choke because they didn’t understand what they had really been training
for
all that time.

Yeah, they weren’t always going to
be
targets. And for the record, I’d seen the same in the same percentage of males as I had females. It wasn’t being a
girl
that left her hesitant to kill. It was that she was a good
person
and had realized it ahead of most. We
all
had that moment in training or after when we realized, with our jobs, at some point, we might have to take a life.

And that was a gigantic pill to swallow.

Plus, the more times she tried, the more often people stared and the more nervous she got and the farther her score dropped.

“What am I doing wrong?” she seethed as she ripped off her head gear, throwing it against the partition. She was biting the inside of her cheek so hard to probably keep from screaming, I could smell the blood from the wound.

I felt the weight land on my shoulders of knowing the answer as anyone would have in that situation. But knowing and knowing how to
tell someone
were two very different things. “You’ll figure it out.”

“You know, don’t you?” she hedged, glancing between me and the target she botched.

“Yeah, but it’s not something I can just tell you to fix. I’ll work you through it. You’re doing nothing
wrong
, Davis. We’ll come this weekend without all the eyes, blow off some steam because I’m going to need it, and just relax and let loose.” I tried to put all my sincerity in my eyes so she would know this wasn’t some type of game or bullshit training exercise. Some answers couldn’t be told in life. They had to be
learned
.

“Thanks, I’d appreciate the help.” She forced a small chuckle and at least I knew she wasn’t pissed at me.

I held out my hand for the gun, smiling when she did everything she was supposed to the right way before giving it to me. She definitely got the basics of gun safety. Davis was smart. She just didn’t want to take a life. I think that simply didn’t make her a sociopath. I’d prefer
not
to have those on my team anyways. I loaded a new target, hit the button, slid in a new clip, took my stance, and adjusted my neck before letting the bullets fly.

“Perfect score,” she muttered when the target was back in and our earphones were off again. “I want to be able to do that.” She glanced from me to the paper. “How do you not flinch, Sera?”

“By knowing that I’m never going to be in front of an innocent pulling the trigger,” I explained gently. And just like that, understanding filled her eyes. “Taking a life is never easy, Terry. I still see the faces of every single one I have. But I did the
right thing
each time, and I don’t regret it. It was them or me, and I saved lives by doing it.
That’s
why you pull the trigger. That’s why we learn to shoot. Not because killing is fun or we’re here because we want to hurt people.”

“Yeah, you couldn’t have just told me that and had me believe it,” she sighed, scrubbing her hands over her face.

“It’s cool. I knew a few guys at Quantico that had the same issue when they started.”

She froze before lowering her hands and glancing at me curiously. “What did they do?”

“We had a badass instructor who took a step back and worked them off zombie targets on the weekend,” I chuckled, giving her a wink. “I have some at home. I was going to steal his play and drive out with you here tomorrow.”

She smiled at me. “I can shoot zombies. They’re already dead.”

“Yes,
yes
they are.”

She’d be just fine. I knew it in my bones. Caring was never a problem in our line of work. It wasn’t a handicap—it was what kept us honest.

 

* * * *

 

“I’m going to throw up,” I groaned as I glanced out the window of the locker room to the casino’s ring. My stomach rolled again, and I wrapped my arms around my midsection, leaning over.

“You already did that several times,” Riley sighed as he handed me a sports drink. He shook it when I wouldn’t take it. “Much more of that and you’ll pass out the moment you sweat. There’s nothing liquid left in you, Sera. Don’t make me call the fight due to medical reasons. Drink this.” I caved. That would be an even worse humiliation than losing. I’d passed out from puking too much over the
nerves
of fighting.

Great. Shoot me now.

“Come on, Chief. We showed you badass wolf moves,” Harris reminded me, clapping me on the back. I nodded and took a few sips of the blue drink. It was my favorite at least.

I heard Vlad come over the PA and announce Noah, just hearing my opponent get hyped up to the crowd almost had me racing back to the bathroom. “And the wolf most of us would
love
to love on, Division Chief
Seraphine Thomas
,” Vlad introduced. I spit the mouthful of drink I’d been about to swallow all over Harris and Riley.

“He did
not
just say that,” I whimpered. They both shrugged and grabbed towels to wipe their faces as Tristan chuckled, pushing the door open for me. I didn’t move, frozen in fear and embarrassment. Even my wolf didn’t like this. It was too loud, too bright, too
everything.

“Sera, the quicker you draw blood of any kind on Noah for all of this, the sooner you get to run home and
hide
,” Tristan offered his hand at my lower back, pushing none too gently.

I booked towards the middle of the arena, still holding the sports drink. I dove under the blue ropes, sliding over the soft mats that made the floor of the ring. That was the best idea
yet
. I just had to draw blood.
Any
blood.

I could do that. Fuck, I’d been trained for the quickest ways to incapacitate people. I knew the best places to hit people that would make them bleed, even vampires, and the right way to make that happen. I
liked
this plan. I chugged down half the drink and handed it back to Riley who was behind the ropes staring at me like he saw a woman possessed. I grabbed my sparring gloves from him and shook out my arms.

As I slid them on, I tried my best to tune it all out. I didn’t hear the slot machines from the casino floor through the open doors or the shouting—no, filters went on and it became muffled. Gone was the excitement and the cold beer I could smell in the stands… Replaced by Noah’s sweat. I ignored the TV monitors that I was
damn
sure would have my image on them. I flinched when I caught out of the corner of my eye how
high
up the seating venue went. It must have been dozens and dozens of rows of filled red chairs.

Nope. In the zone. Stay in the zone. Draw the blood. That’s all you got to do. In and out and run home.

“All right, you both know the rules,” Vlad reminded us. “First blood drawn wins. No fangs, claws, or shifting. Any of that and time is called until the person violating gets themselves under control. No other power usage either.” He shot me a look and I nodded. No siren fun. Got it. I centered myself as we tapped gloves and aligned with my wolf, both of us clear on the new plan. Vlad raised his voice for the crowd. “How about a kiss instead of shaking hands?”

“Ass. Holes,” I grumbled, leaning in and giving Noah a peck on the mouth. But then I smiled. It gave me the connection I needed and also the focus to be able to read him better. Hey, I’d come into this world a clairvoyant after all.
That
I knew how to use to my advantage in a fight too if I had a lock on the person.

We backed away from each other, Noah pouting he didn’t get more than a peck. Yeah, I couldn’t risk the distraction. He looked
hot
in nothing but loose-fitting MMA shorts. Granted, I was wearing spandex ones and a sports bra so nothing got in my way, but I wasn’t attracted to boobs.

BOOK: Allure of the Wolf (Seraphine Thomas Book 2)
7.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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