In the Company of Wolves (SWAT, #3)(6)

Xander shook his head. “Damn, these things are psychotic. It’s like they’d rather die than give themselves up.” His gaze went to the section of warehouse where Becker and Cooper had been, and made a face. “Jeez, it reeks down there. Is it all clear?”

Becker nodded. “No one down there.”

“Good,” Xander said. “Let’s wrap this up then.”

Becker waited until his squad leader turned and led the way to the other end of the warehouse before following.

Okay, you beautiful werewolf. I’ve done my part. The rest is up to you.

Chapter 2

Jayna sat with her knees tucked up and her ear pressed against the side of the crate, straining to hear if there was anyone still in the warehouse. She normally would have used her sense of smell to determine that, but the two SWAT guys had doused the box in perfume. At first, the scent had been nice, but after breathing it in for the past six hours, she wasn’t sure her nose even worked anymore.

She didn’t hear anything but waited a few more minutes just to be on the safe side. Even so, she cautiously pushed up the lid and peeked around. When she didn’t see anyone, she slid it aside and hopped out, almost stepping in a box of empty perfume bottles. The fancy label caught her eye—Clive Christian. Wow, that was some insanely expensive stuff. Someone was going to be pissed.

But that wasn’t her problem. Getting out of the warehouse was.

Jayna slowly made her way toward the nearest exit, checking over her shoulder every few steps and ready to duck behind the nearest crate, container, or barrel. She passed a lot of yellow crime tape on the way, as well as little pieces of numbered plastic markers set out on the floor beside each and every cartridge case. She’d been too worried about staying alive to think about it at the time, but crap, there’d been a lot of shooting.

She was halfway to the door and freedom when she remembered she was still wearing her tactical vest. If anyone was around, she didn’t want them thinking she was a criminal—even if she was. Shrugging out of it, she dropped it in one of the big industrial trash cans she passed. Next, she stripped off her black sweater and threw that on top of the vest, then covered everything with the paper already in the container. Unless someone went digging, they’d never see them.

Hoping a woman in black jeans, a white T-shirt, and boots wouldn’t attract too much attention, she headed for the exit. She quickened her step as she passed the bloodstains on the concrete floor, refusing to look at them. She’d seen four omega werewolves go down last night in the firefight with SWAT. Had the other two made it out? She didn’t know why she cared. It wasn’t like they’d been worried about her. No, they’d worried about their own asses, just like omegas always did.

But she forced those thoughts aside, focusing instead on avoiding anyone who might be walking around the place, so she wouldn’t end up dead too.

There were two men and a woman standing a few yards away from the loading dock, and Jayna instinctively ducked behind a shipping container. She thought they were cops at first, but then she caught sight of the letters CSI on the back of their jackets. Crime scene techs on a smoke break.

Jayna chewed on her lip, wondering if she should try another exit. But that would mean wandering around the warehouse looking for one and possibly running into the cops if they were still there.

Taking a deep breath, she walked out onto the loading dock and down the steps, then headed for the main gate as if she belonged there. Since she didn’t know if the security cameras were back on, she kept her head down and lifted her hand in a casual wave to the security guy and patrol officer chatting by the guard shack. Other than staring at her ass as she walked by, neither paid her any attention. They were here to keep people out, not keep them in.

The moment she reached the end of the parking lot, she darted between the warehouses there, then took off running. Only then did she finally relax. Nobody could catch her on foot—nobody. Even so, she didn’t start walking again until she’d put a mile between herself and the warehouse full of crime scene techs and dried werewolf blood.

She shuddered as she thought of what had happened last night. If that big, hunky SWAT cop hadn’t helped her, she’d be in a jail cell right now—or dead.

As she walked along one of the smaller streets near the airport, she reached for her cell so she could call Liam Kinney, her pack alpha, for a ride when she realized she’d left the burner phone in the loft. Damn. She’d have to take a cab. She needed to clear her head a little before she went back to her pack anyway. The last several weeks had been crappy and the past few hours even worse.

Why had that big SWAT cop saved her life? She’d been trying to figure it out since he’d tossed her in that crate.

At first, she’d thought he’d helped because he was a werewolf like her, but that didn’t pass the logic test. If there was a bond, it sure as hell hadn’t kept the other SWAT werewolves from mowing down her so-called pack mates like they were dead weeds.

No, there was another reason he’d helped her, and while Jayna didn’t have much use for cops, she could make an exception for this guy. Although, to be totally honest, it wasn’t simply the fact that he’d saved her life that had her thinking about him so much. There was also the minor issue of being so attracted to him that she’d barely been able to comprehend what he was doing when he’d picked her up and put her in that box.

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