Authors: Bobbie Palmer
Emily and Paul were sitting at the dinner table
eating breakfast silently. Carrie walked in and
went over to Paul to pour him more coffee. Wasn’t
she aware the man could pour his own? He did have
two working hands. It wasn’t like Emily had broken
them like she wanted to break Carrie’s face. If
the woman valued her job, she’d keep her distance,
and Emily let her know by giving her the evil eye.
She hoped the woman got the idea.
“Do you want anything else?” Carrie asked him
with a charming smile. Apparently she didn’t get
“Okay, but make sure you let me know if you
change your mind,” she said with a smile that
showed lots of teeth. Bitch! She was so fired.
Maggie could handle it, though. It was one of the
many things she liked about the woman, she would
handle the little problems Emily didn’t want to
Carrie walked away with an extra sway to her
hips. Okay, maybe Emily would kill her. Emily
couldn’t take any more. She stood and walked into
the kitchen. “Out!” she said, when she saw Carrie
sitting at the table. Carrie scurried away,
knowing Emily was pissed. She liked the look of
fear in her eyes.
“Em, calm down. What’s wrong?” Maggie asked.
She knew Emily very well and was one of the very
few who could handle Emily yelling at her.
“Because she’s flirting with my prisoner,” she
grumbled. He was her prisoner, not a guest. Well,
she wouldn’t want Carrie flirting with a guest
either. But he was a prisoner, he was supposed to
be miserable, not flirting.
“Why does it bother you? It’s not like you
want him or anything, other than as a prisoner,”
she said with a small smile.
“I don’t want him getting any ideas that my
staff will help him escape or something. I mean,
what if I put him back in his cell and Carrie
decides she wants to help him escape and hides him?
I don’t want him escaping.” She thought that
“Uh huh, yeah, I don’t think that’s going to
happen. I seriously doubt you’re putting him back
in the cell,” Maggie said with a knowing look.
“And why is that?” Emily asked. She could put
him back. If he weren’t her only lead, he’d still
be in there. Unfortunately, he was all she had.
“Because first off, he’s helping you. Second,
Bill wouldn’t let that happen. And third, you like
“Oh, I think you do,” Maggie said with a smile.
“Anyway, I think you should go back in there and
get some more coffee and food in you. You’ll feel
much better,” and she gave Emily a little push.
“Fine, but you need to stop mothering me. I’m
older than you,” she grumbled. She knew Maggie
actually looked her age and probably acted more
like it, but that didn’t mean she had to mother
“I’ll stop mothering you when you stop acting
like a child,” she said, and went back to cleaning
Emily walked back into the living room and
plopped down into her chair. She looked over at
Paul and saw the smirk on his face. “What?” she
“Nothing,” he said, and went back to eating.
She knew he was smirking at her reaction, but she
couldn’t help it. He was just so infuriating. She
took a deep breath, then went back to her food
while she waited for Bill to arrive.
Paul couldn’t believe how mad Emily was. He
knew she was pissed the day before, but wow! He
wasn’t sure if he should be flattered or scared.
When she flopped in the chair, it took everything
in him not to laugh at her tantrum. Maybe she
didn’t like him talking to her staff, but he
thought it had more to do with Carrie.
He didn’t plan on doing anything with her, but
that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to enjoy the
attention. He hadn’t had a woman look at him like
that in a very long time. Being locked in a cell
can do that to you. And when he was with Zeke, he
wasn’t able to notice the attention, so he’d missed
out. Now he was going to enjoy it.
“Why are you…?” Paul began, but before he
could finish, the door flew open and slammed
against the wall.
Paul stood, ready to attack whoever was
storming in. He was afraid whoever had taken Stacy
was back. He might not be in the best condition,
but that didn’t mean he was going to let anyone
hurt Emily or anyone else in the house. He didn’t
have any weapons, so he quickly looked around,
trying to find something he could use to protect
everyone the best he could.
When he heard someone stomping in, he knew it
wasn’t an attack. No one trying to kill or kidnap
would make that much noise. He sat back down,
wanting to enjoy some more food while he watched
the show. He had a feeling it was someone who was
pissed at Emily.
“You are in huge trouble,” Bill said as he
walked into the room and pointed at Emily. Paul
was happy he wasn’t the one the anger was directed
at. He never wanted to have Bill pissed at him.
The man was scary as hell.
Huh, he never expected that. He figured Emily
would be in his face, fighting him. But there she
sat with a defeated look on her face. He started
to wonder if maybe he shouldn’t be so hard on her.
But, she had kept him locked in a cell for a long
time. Maybe he’d be cruel for just a little
Bill was pissed. He didn’t know if they could
save Stacy. He wasn’t told she was missing until
days after she had been taken. He wished he’d
known sooner. He would have torn everything apart
until he found her. Now he didn’t know if they
ever would. He’d work as hard as he could, but he
seriously thought she was probably dead.
“I want to know why you didn’t tell me sooner.
I could have helped you. We might even have had
her home by now,” he said gently. He knew if he
did nothing but yell and scream, he would never get
“I know who took her; I just don’t know where
they took her. I have Paul, so I figured we’d be
able to get her back, but he made me tell you,” she
Bill looked around and saw Paul sitting at the
table. He didn’t know how he’d missed the man, but
somehow he had. Maybe he was too caught up in his
anger. “And why do you think Paul will be able to
help you find her?” he asked.
Emily knew Bill didn’t believe her. No one
seemed to. She didn’t know why. She wasn’t one to
jump the gun and go in half-cocked. She knew what
she smelled and she wasn’t going to let anyone
convince her she was wrong.
“Because she smelled them,” Paul answered.
Well, he was right, but the way he said it made it
sound wrong. It sounded like she went up and
sniffed their asses or something.
Yes, she’d scented a lot of different people,
but she knew that burnt smell. It was one of the
Hunters she had been tracking; one who had been
able to escape her many times. She wasn’t crazy.
“I know what I smelled and it was a Hunter.”
Emily hadn’t told Paul everything, but she knew
if she didn’t give Bill all the information, he’d
know. “Stacy and I had a fight. She wanted to
join our group and I said no. She didn’t
understand why. She wanted to fight for our
freedom. Anyway, she ran off into the woods. I
heard her scream and went running. I found blood,
not a lot, but some. Most of it was hers. There
was also someone else’s, so I know she put up a
fight. I shifted and looked around. I smelled
that Hunter from a few months back. The one I was
having trouble finding.”
“Yeah, this was definitely planned. It sounds
like they were waiting for her. It’s possible they
were waiting for you, but I don’t think so,” Paul
“Because if they were here for Emily, they
would have killed Stacy and waited for Emily, not
“I agree,” Bill said with a smile. Emily knew
Bill liked Paul; she just hadn’t realized how much
until then. It seemed Bill respected him. She
didn’t know why. The man had killed shifters. He
was the enemy.
Paul was surprised Bill was listening to him.
He thought he had been behind Paul ending up in the
cell. Maybe he wasn’t.
Bill loaded up a plate and started eating. He
was just shoveling it in. Damn, the man could eat!
Paul was surprised he hadn’t gotten into the food
when he first sat down, but he had seemed a little
Paul watched as Bill turned his head very
slowly to look at Emily. “You knew where he was
all this time?” Bill asked.
Emily’s face dropped at Bill’s reaction. She
didn’t know what to say. Didn’t he realize she was
trying to protect them all? And Paul. She didn’t
think he’d set her up like that. But, really, what
could she expect? She had kept him prisoner. She
looked at Paul and gave him the evil eye when she
said, “Bill, I just… I thought…”
She saw Paul look over at Bill, and he seemed
to not be able to hold back his laugh any longer.
“She thought I was going to kill all the shifters.”
What else was she supposed to do? The man
killed shifters. He was evil. Wait, what? When
did it become was? He IS evil, not was. She had
to remember that.
“Em, he’s learned that we aren’t the monsters
he thought we were. If he hadn’t woken up, he
wouldn’t have helped us,” Bill said.
“Maybe he wanted to report to his boss where we
all live so they can come in with an army and kill
“He WAS one of them and he has inside
information. I figured he’d be able to help me
find her,” she said with a shrug.
Emily just stared at him. That was a little
strange. She’d expected more yelling and fighting,
not just “okay” and Bill’s acting like it had never
happened. Oh well, if he could do it, she could
Stacy watched as a man with a cane walked into
the room. She was afraid of what he might do, but
she was determined to be strong and show no
weakness. He looked clean cut, military maybe, but
he was hunched over the cane. He didn’t look old
enough to need it.
The man got a chair and pulled it over to her
cell. She didn’t know what to think about that.
Was he planning on interrogating her? All he did
was stare, though. He was making her
uncomfortable. She turned her back to him and
looked at another part of the room. She could tell
he was staring at her, but this way she wouldn’t be
able to actually see him staring and he wouldn’t be
able to see her reaction.
“I’ve killed many shifters in my life. You’re
the first one I’ve tried talking to.” Was that
supposed to make her feel better? “What’s your
Stacy didn’t say anything. She was too afraid.
She didn’t want to give him any information. She
didn’t want to chance it being used against her or
the other shifters.
“Well, let me tell you a little about myself.
I was shot in the back: that’s why I use a cane.
My former second-in-command did it. I’m surprised
at how well I’ve healed up in a few months,” Zeke
She still didn’t say anything. Did he think
she would react with sympathy? Stacy knew why the
man had been shot. The shooter was currently
locked in a cell under her house.
“I was born in Washington State. I lived in my
family home until it was destroyed. Now I don’t
really have a home. I just travel from compound to
compound, checking on my soldiers. This one has
become the closest thing I have to a residence
because I spend so much time here.”
Really? Did he think her pitying him would
help? She didn’t care. The man was evil. She was
starting to get really pissed off by his visit.
She wanted to reach through the bars and punch him
in the face just to get him to shut up. She knew
better, though. She was just going to sit on her
cot and not react.
Richard was in the shadows of the doorway,
watching Zeke talk to the girl. She was facing
away from him, but he could see the tension in her
shoulders. She was pissed. He didn’t know why,
but she was. He had a feeling it had something to
do with Zeke being there. He knew, based on her
reaction that he didn’t have to worry about Zeke
getting too close.
“I’m an only child. My parents died when I was
young and my drunk aunt raised me,” he heard Zeke
say. He was starting to wonder if Zeke was talking
to her just so he had someone to talk to. If she
was locked up, she couldn’t get away from him.
Richard sure as hell didn’t want to listen to him