In the Company of Wolves (SWAT, #3)(9)

Brandon West was one of the first omegas Liam had brought into the pack, and he was the biggest * of the bunch, but somehow, he’d become the informal leader of the omegas. Worse, these days, it seemed Liam spent more time with this jerk than he did with his real pack.

“What the hell do you care?” Joseph demanded. “You were one of the shitheads who ran out and left her on her own.”

Brandon advanced on Joseph, clearly expecting the blond to be intimidated by his greater size and glowing eyes. It didn’t work. Joseph stood his ground and bared his fangs in a low snarl.

Brandon stopped short—probably because he knew Jayna and the rest of the pack would stand with Joseph. The same couldn’t be said of the few other omegas who’d drifted into the lobby. They didn’t have a loyal bone in their bodies.

“I care because I have to wonder how the hell she made it out when all those other werewolves—bigger werewolves—didn’t,” Brandon said. “How do we know she didn’t get grabbed by the cops and decide to make a deal with them?”

Jayna’s hackles rose. She might be alive because some SWAT cop had saved her life for reasons she couldn’t begin to understand, but those other omegas were dead because they’d been too stupid to listen to her when the raid had started. And only a dumbass omega like Brandon would think for a second that she’d betray her pack to the cops—probably because it was what he’d do.

She was just about to tear into the omega—figuratively, at least—when Brandon stunned her into silence by leaning forward and sniffing her.

“What the hell is that smell?” he muttered.

Jayna’s stomach clenched. Crap. He must smell the SWAT cop all over me. How could he not? The guy had pulled her against his body and slapped his gloved hand across her mouth. There had to have been a scent transfer, even with the gloves and tactical vest he’d been wearing.

Her mind spun a hundred miles an hour as she tried to come up with an explanation that wouldn’t paint her in a horrible light. But nothing came.

Brandon backed up a step, his lip curling. “You smell like you spent the night in a French whorehouse.”

Jayna’s mind faltered for a second. What the hell was this stupid jerk talking about? Then it hit her…the perfume.

She’d been sitting in the stuff for so long she barely smelled it anymore. But since Brandon had called her attention to it, she realized she did smell like a walking bottle of perfume. Thankfully, the potent fragrance overpowered every other scent that might be on her.

Now that she had a second to catch her breath and calm down, she doubted Brandon could have smelled the SWAT cop on her even if she hadn’t been doused in perfume. They hadn’t even realized the SWAT team had been made up of werewolves until she’d told Brandon and the others back in the warehouse. That was because omegas couldn’t use their noses worth a crap. As they got older, the only werewolf abilities they seemed to retain were their strength and aggression, and the claws and fangs that came with them. They let most of their finer talents simply waste away.

She grabbed at the opportunity offered by the distraction of the perfume and took a step toward the tall omega. Brandon flinched slightly but didn’t retreat. “It’s not a French whorehouse you’re smelling, not that I believe for a second you’ve ever been in one. What you’re smelling is Clive Christian perfume, and it’s worth almost as much as that platinum we were there to steal. I got tossed into a whole pallet of it when I fought with one of those SWAT cops. You remember them—the big-ass alpha werewolves you and your omega friends ran from like a bunch of little girls while leaving the real girl behind to fight them by herself?”

Brandon seemed stunned. “You fought them hand to hand?”

Jayna took another step closer and let her fangs slide out as far as they would go. For whatever reason, her canine teeth were starting to come in longer these days…almost as long as Liam’s. And when she was really fired up, like now, her incisors seemed to be sharper too. Megan had told her that made her look damn intimidating to other werewolves, especially omegas.

“That’s what real werewolves do once we’re out of ammo but there’s still someone in our way,” she said. “Or didn’t you think I could because I’m a woman?”

Brandon looked like he wanted to say that’s exactly what he thought, but she knew he didn’t have the balls to try it. The rest of her pack standing right behind her obviously had something to do with that. But she noticed him eyeing her fangs and debating just how tough she had to be if she’d stood up to those SWAT werewolves by herself.

Brandon might have gotten in a lot of fights and had the face of a lifelong bar brawler to prove it, but right then, she knew he was wondering if she was someone he should stay away from. On the other hand, he didn’t want to look like a wuss in front of the other omegas—or the Albanians who’d come in while the two of them were squaring off.

Jayna was still waiting to see what Brandon would do when the sound of someone clapping cut through the tension in the room like a knife.

She turned to see Kostandin, Frasheri’s trusted underboss—or “Kos” as everyone called him—leaning with his massive shoulder against a doorjamb on the far side of the lobby, his big, scarred hands slapping together in a slow, deliberate show of disdain.

“Perhaps if the rest of you had balls as big as Jayna’s, last night’s job would not have failed so miserably.”

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