Home > Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1)(14)

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1)(14)
Author: Patricia Briggs

The sound drew Adam's attention from the body to the boy at my feet.

He growled. "This one isn't one of mine-and neither is that."

"So gracious," I said. "Your mother should be complimented on your manners, Hauptman."

"Careful," he whispered. It wasn't a threat, it was a warning.

Okay. He was scary. Really scary. He'd probably have been scary even when he was just a human. But it wouldn't do to let him know he intimidated me.

"Adam Hauptman," I said politely to show him how it was done. "Allow me to introduce you to Mac-that's all of his name I know. He was attacked by a werewolf in Chicago about two moons ago. The werewolf killed his girlfriend, but he survived. He was taken by his attacker and put in a cage. A man who sounds a lot like the Chicago Alpha Leo sold him to someone who held him inside a cage in a semitrailer and used him for what sounds like some sort of drug experiments until he broke free. Last Friday he showed up at my door looking for work."

"You didn't inform me that you had a strange wolf on your doorstep?"

I gave him a put-upon sigh. "I am not one of your pack members, Adam. I know this is difficult for you to fathom, so I'll speak slowly: I don't belong to you. I am under no obligation to tell you anything."

Adam swore harshly. "New werewolves are dangerous, woman. Especially when they are cold and hungry." He looked at Mac, and his voice changed completely, the heat and anger gone. "Mercy, come here."

I didn't look down to see what he'd noticed in Mac's face. I took a step, but Mac was wrapped around my left leg. I stopped before I fell. "Uhm. I'm a little stuck for the moment."

"For a smart girl, you're pretty stupid sometimes," he said, his voice rich and gentle so as not to startle the werewolf by my side. "Locking yourself in a garage with a new wolf and a dead body isn't the smartest thing you could have done. I don't have a connection with him yet. It would help if you have his real name."

"Mac," I murmured. "What's your name?"

"Alan," he said dreamily, coming up to his knees so his face was pressed against my belly. "Alan MacKenzie Frazier after my grandfather who died the year I was born." The friction of his movement rucked my shirt up and he licked my bare skin. To an outsider it might have looked sensual, but the abdomen is a vulnerable spot on the body, a favorite of predators. "You smell good," he whispered.

He smelled like werewolf, and I was starting to panic-which wasn't a very useful thing to do.

"Alan," said Adam, rolling the name on his tongue. "Alan MacKenzie Frazier, come here to me."

Mac jerked his head away from me but tightened his arms painfully on my hips. He looked at Adam and growled, a low rumble that caused his chest to vibrate against my leg.

"Mine," he said.

Adam's eyes narrowed. "I don't think so. She is mine."

It would have been flattering, I thought, except that at least one of them was talking about dinner and I wasn't certain about the other. While Adam had Mac distracted, I reached behind me and grabbed my big crowbar from the shelf directly behind us. I brought it down on Mac's collarbone.

It was an awkward hit because I didn't have much leverage, but the collarbone, even on a werewolf, is not hard to damage. I heard the bone crack and wrenched myself out of Mac's grip and across the garage before he recovered from the unexpected pain.

I didn't like hurting him, but he would heal in a few hours as long as I didn't let him eat me. I didn't think he was the kind of person who would recover from murder as easily as he would a broken bone.

Adam had moved almost as quickly as I had. He grabbed Mac by the scruff of his neck and jerked him to his feet.

"Adam," I said, from the relative safety of the far end of the garage. "He's new and untaught. A victim." I kept my voice quiet so I didn't add to the excitement.

It helped that Mac wasn't looking particularly dangerous at the moment. He hung limply in Adam's grip. "Sorry," he said almost inaudibly. "Sorry."

Adam let out an exasperated huff of air and lowered Mac to the ground-on his feet at first, but when Mac's knees proved too limp to hold him up, Adam eased him all the way down.

"Hurts," said Mac.

"I know." Adam didn't sound angry anymore-of course, he was talking to Mac and not me. "If you change, it'll heal faster."

Mac blinked up at him.

"I don't think he knows how to do it on purpose," I offered.

Adam slanted a thoughtful look at the body, then back at me. "You said something about a cage and experiments?"

Mac didn't say anything, so I nodded. "That's what he told me. Apparently someone has a drug that they are trying to get to work on werewolves." I told him what Mac had told me, then gave him the details of my own encounter with the dead werewolf and his human comrade. I'd already told Adam most of the salient facts, but I wasn't certain how much information made it through his anger, so I just told him all of it again.

"Damn it," said Adam succinctly when I'd finished. "Poor kid." He turned back to Mac. "All right. You're going to be fine. The first thing we're going to do is call your wolf out so that you can heal."

"No," Mac said, looking wildly at me, then at the dead wolfman. "I can't control myself when I'm like that. I'll hurt someone."

"Look at me," said Adam, and even though the dark, raspy voice hadn't been directed at me, I found myself unable to pull my eyes off him. Mac was riveted.

"It's all right, Alan. I won't allow you to hurt Mercy-much as she deserves it. Nor," Adam continued, proving that he was observant "will I allow you to eat the dead."

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