The Wolf Within Page 2

She stared down at Duncan’s powerful body. Blood was all over him. Already drying on his ripped clothes. On his neck. His arms. But even as she stared at him, the long, thick gashes on his body were closing before her eyes.

Werewolf healing. That was some kind of magic.

“He’s going to be very strong,” Pate murmured, the soft words just for her ears. The other agents had already backed up. Backed up, but she noticed that Duncan’s partner, Elias, still had his gun out.

And aimed at Duncan’s unconscious body.

She moved her own body a few inches, deliberately putting herself in the line of fire. You aren’t shooting him!

“We can use him,” Pate said, his body brushing against hers. “If we can control him, then this could be our chance.”

This wasn’t a chance. It was a man’s life.

She reached out her hand to touch Duncan’s skin. Even through her latex glove, she could feel the heat pouring off his body.

“Clear the room!” Pate snarled again. Because the other agents were lingering. She didn’t blame them. One of their own had just been taken down in a way that was no doubt a nightmare fear for them all.

“But, sir…” Elias stepped forward. And he still had his gun out. “He’s too dangerous to leave alone with her! He could attack—”

Pate’s shaking head stopped his words. “He’s not going to wake up for hours. And by then, he’ll be collared.”

Collared. When werewolves were brought in for containment at the facility, the first order of business was always to suit them up with a silver collar. The collar controlled them. Kept them in check every moment. If the werewolves tried to attack anyone, then silver was automatically released from those collars and injected into their blood via tiny needles.

The collars themselves were unbreakable, mostly because they were made of silver, and no werewolf had ever been strong enough to fight the silver and escape.

The old story about silver being the weakness for the wolf? Luckily for humans, that story had turned out to be true. If the werewolves hadn’t been given some sort of weakness, the humans would be screwed.

But the idea of Duncan…collared like that…

Her back teeth clenched.

“He doesn’t want this,” Elias shouted. That gun needed to be holstered. She was about to do it for him.

“Right now, the man doesn’t know what he wants!” Pate threw back. Holly knew Pate wouldn’t back down. He never did. “Now, Agent Lone, I’m ordering you to stand down. This isn’t your call. And it isn’t his, either.”

Because once you joined the Para Unit, your life wasn’t exactly your own any longer.

Swearing, Elias holstered his weapon. Finally. Then he turned on his heel and hurried from the room. The double doors swung shut behind him.

Holly forced herself to take in a deep breath. Duncan had been viciously attacked, and now, to come back as a werewolf? Pate had taken risks before with his agents, but there had never been a case like this.

“He’s going to be an alpha,” Pate whispered, staying close to her so his words wouldn’t carry far. She knew the other agents were waiting just outside of the medical wing. “I can tell by the speed of his healing. Hell, the guy was already starting to shift at the scene. We had to dose him three times just to stop the change.”

Three times? She’d been the one to brew that drug. Holly knew it was powerful. One dose should have been more than enough to put Duncan out.

The doors to her medical wing flew open again, and she jerked. Elias—coming back? What the hell?

His cheeks were flushed. His blond hair mussed. He pointed toward Holly. “She’s going to need a guard in here with her!” Elias called out. “The doc won’t be able to handle him.”

Shane August grabbed the guy and tried to yank him back. Elias didn’t appear in the mood to be yanked.

Pate exhaled slowly. “After Duncan has the collar on, she’ll be able to control him.” Then Pate pointed to Shane. “August, you stay in here and keep an eye on Holly until she has Duncan secure.”

Shane, not Elias. Very good choice.

Shane shoved Elias back of the room, then he stood there, near the door, with his watchful brown gaze locked on Duncan’s body.

Pate made no move to leave, not yet. “Check him out, top to bottom. Get blood work. Run your tests. Every test you can think of.”

Tests that would show them all just how deadly Duncan would become.

She nodded and met Pate’s stare. “If he—if he proves to be too much of a threat?” Because she’d seen werewolves who had no sense of humanity left in them. Beasts that couldn’t be controlled or contained. They’d all seen wolves like that. In her experience, those recently bitten were the worst.

The most dangerous.

“Then you stop him.” She noticed the emphasis he put in his command. “But that’s a last resort. I don’t want to lose him. We need him, Holly. We need what he’ll become.”

Because while the other agents thought that Pate was just a suit who never got his hands dirty, she knew better. Pate had been chosen to lead the West Coast Para Unit because he knew all about the dark side of life.

And he also believed that the best way to fight a monster was…with a monster.

That was why she was there.

“Do whatever you have to do, but make sure Duncan McGuire survives.” Then Pate was backing away. He crossed to Shane’s side, whispered to the agent, and after a moment, the swinging doors to the med room closed behind Pate.

She didn’t move from her position near Duncan. Duncan McGuire. He’d always made her nervous. Too aware.

She put on her stethoscope. Bent to listen to his heartbeat. So fast. Not weak, the way it should have been considering the amount of drugs in his system. Duncan’s heartbeat was thundering at a frantic rate.

The transformation.

Holly had been hiredto be the personal physician for the agents in the Para Unit. When you went out and fought monsters, you could return with some rather…unusual wounds. Instead of explaining vamp bites and shifter claw marks to the local hospital staff, Pate had wanted her to take care of his men and women.

He’d also wanted her to study the prisoners in containment.

Two reasons to bring her in. There were more reasons, of course, there always were. But those were the two he’d used to the FBI Brass.

And, since she’d owed Pate far more than she could ever repay, it wasn’t like Holly had been given much of a choice in taking the job.

No, she’d lost that whole choice option a year ago. When she’d lost her life.

Carefully now, she lifted one of Duncan’s eyelids. She was about to shine her light on his eye when she realized—

No need for the light.

His eye was shining on its own. The blue had lit up, streaking with gold. Already a werewolf’s sight. A werewolf’s vision was ten times better than a human’s during the day, and at night, werewolves could see in the darkness. All of a werewolf’s senses were enhanced. Incredibly amped.

She backed away from him a bit. Her gaze scanned over his body. So much blood. Her nostrils flared a bit at the scent. Considering the damage he’d sustained, it was amazing that he’d survived the attack.

And if he hadn’t? If Pate had come back to tell her that Duncan had died on his mission? How would she have felt then?

Holly swallowed. She put down the small light, and her gloved hands reached out to skim over the wound on his neck. I would have missed you.

She’d been paying too much attention to Duncan from the very beginning. On her second day at the facility, he’d walked in with a bullet in his shoulder. He’d stripped off his shirt. She’d dug the bullet out, been all business.

Until she’d looked up and gotten caught by that bright, blue gaze.

As a rule, when she looked at Duncan, Holly wanted. She craved.

Dangerous, but then, Duncan was a dangerous man. He was about to become even more so.

“Shane…” She raised her voice so the agent near the door would hear her. “Please get me the silver collar from the storage room.”

“I’m supposed to guard—” Shane began, his voice rumbling just a bit with the drawl of South Carolina.

Holly glanced up at him. Shane was a good guy. Tall, blond, with classic features and warm, brown eyes. Handsome, no doubt appealing to most women.

She wasn’t most. She didn’t want pretty boy perfect.

Her fingers lightly skimmed over Duncan’s shoulder. “He’s out. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. Just…get the collar for me, will you?”

After one last worried glance at Duncan’s still figure, Shane headed toward the storage room.

Her breath eased out on a relieved exhale.

Good. She’d wanted a few moments alone with Duncan. She reached for her scissors. Carefully, Holly cut away his shirt. She bagged it and sealed it because Pate would want an analysis done on all that blood.

Then she bent to inspect the bites on Duncan’s neck and shoulder. “They sure tore into you,” she whispered. But those wounds were closing. Already healing as he became something far more than man. “I’m so sorry, Duncan.”

She’d barely talked to him before this attack. Too nervous. Every time his eyes had locked on her, Holly’s heartbeat had kicked up and raced in her chest. She’d stuttered and glanced away because—

I want him. Only, before, he wouldn’t have been able to handle her secrets. No man could.

Not and keep living, anyway.

Almost helplessly, her hands slid over the muscles of his chest. The shift would make his muscles harder, even more defined. Not just a six pack anymore, hell, it looked like he was close to getting a dang twelve pack—

His hand flew up. His fingers wrapped around her wrist, holding her far too tightly.

Holly’s gaze flew to his face. His eyes were wide open, the gold even bolder in that blue gaze that it had been moments before. His lips were parted, and she could just see the edge of his lengthening canines.

Oh, hell. “Duncan?”

He jerked to a sitting position, snapping those straps that had been over his body in an instant, and he yanked her closer to him. His other hand rose and wrapped around her shoulder, effectively trapping her in place.

His brows lowered as he studied her, and his nostrils widened as if he were drinking in her scent.

Not good.

“D-Duncan, you’re back at the med unit. I’m just checking you over to make sure—”

His head lowered toward her throat. Holly yelped, thinking he was going for her jugular, and she tried to push him back.

Only there was no pushing him.

Enhanced strength, definite check. It sure looked like Pate was right about the alpha coming out in Duncan.

He was right.

And I could be screwed.

Her nails sank into his shoulders. She didn’t want to hurt him. He’d been hurt enough. But…

He wasn’t biting her. Wasn’t sinking those new, wickedly sharp canines of his into her neck. He was—

Nuzzling her? What. The. Hell?

Holly was pretty sure that she’d just felt the lick of his tongue over her neck.

She shuddered against him. “Ah…Duncan…you need to let me go…I can help you…”

He was on the edge of the table now. He’d pulled her between his legs. Caged her so well. The heat from his body scorched her.

His right hand wasn’t on her shoulder any longer. It had just dropped to the curve of her ass.

“Duncan!” Her voice snapped at him.

His head lifted. Only the man she’d known wasn’t staring back at her from those gold/blue eyes. A hungry beast stared back at her. A beast who sure looked like he was ready for a bite.

Been there, done that.

That burning gaze seemed to consume her. “Want…” The word was an inhuman rasp, a beast’s growl.

“You…” Holly paused, wet her too-dry lips and muttered, “need to let me go—”

Her mouth was still open when his lips crashed down on hers. Not gentle. Not even close. Desperate and rough and wild. His tongue thrust into her mouth. His hold tightened around her, and Duncan—

Took.

She’d wondered what it would be like to kiss Duncan McGuire. She’d daydreamed. Fantasized. Harmless thoughts, really.

She’d never imagined anything like this. His tongue thrust into her mouth. His tongue tasted and tempted. His tight hold on her body had her pressed hard to the front of his body, and there was no missing the guy’s arousal.

Um, no missing it at all.

She shouldn’t respond. He was injured. Probably out of his mind from the transformation mutating within him, but the hot touch of his mouth on hers seemed to send a current of pleasure right through Holly’s body. Her br**sts tightened. Her h*ps pushed restlessly against the thick length of his c*ck and—

“Dr. Young!” Shane’s horrified voice cut through the cloud of lust.

Shane. And, just like that, Holly didn’t have to worry about breaking free of Duncan’s grip. Because at the other man’s shout, Duncan pushed her away from him and leapt from the table.

Then he went after Shane. With claws stretching from the tips of his fingers and with a snarl on his lips, Duncan launched at the other man.

“No!” Holly screamed.

But Duncan didn’t stop. Shane had the silver collar in his hands, and he’d holstered his weapon, so he had to drop the collar before he could arm himself.

The collar hit the floor, and Shane didn’t move fast enough to draw out his weapon.

Duncan’s right hand wrapped around Shane’s throat. He lifted the agent up into the air. Shane’s feet dangled, and he tried to choke out some speech.

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