Home > Blackwing Wolf (Kane's Mountains #2)(8)

Blackwing Wolf (Kane's Mountains #2)(8)
Author: T.S. Joyce

“Okay,” Emma said, trying to wrap her head around what was happening. “So you said he was a puppy, but this dog is super old and borderline hideous.”

Dustin glared at Emma and covered Gray Dog’s ears. “Rude.”

“And did you seriously steal him from Dark Kane? The Dark Kane. The End of Days, the Apocalypse, the biggest and most terrifying shifter on the face of planet Earth, you stole his dog?”

“Well I was supposed to kill him. Stealing felt like a better option at the time,” Dustin answered. “Come on, Gray Dog.”

“Aw man, he pissed in the back seat!” Sarah yelled, leaning into her minivan.

“Good, now he is nice and empty for the ride back home,” Dustin said as he lifted Gray Dog into the back seat of his car. “See you later, Sarah.”

“No you won’t because the dragon is going to eat youuu,” she sang over her shoulder.

Sarah made a good point.

“What the hell are you doing?” Emma whisper-screamed as she sank into the passenger’s side. “Dustin, you are going to get yourself killed.”

“False, I’m going to get myself inducted into the crew.”

“Why is this so important to you?”

“Shut your door. Let’s go.” Dustin’s voice had gone deadly serious in a flash.

Emma refused, but Dustin reached over her lap and yanked on the door handle. She blasted her foot against it and locked her leg. “Tell me, Dustin. Why do you want to be in the Blackwing Crew? Real answer.”

“Because it’s not a pack!” His eyes flashed blue and green, and then he huffed an angry breath and stared out the front window. “And because I have to.”

She got it now. It all made sense, even though Dustin wasn’t explaining it well. He was on the run from his pack. His brother must’ve been a part of that pack and attacked him last night. Dustin was searching for sanctuary in shifters, like she was searching for sanctuary in sunlight.

“Do you really think Gray Dog will get you in?” she asked, shutting the door gently.

Dustin shrugged, his longer hair twitching with the motion. “Don’t know, but I’m pretty fuckin’ desperate to find out.”

This was a side of Dustin she’d never seen before. He wasn’t joking or smiling. He looked worried, sitting there with a faraway look in his eyes, biting the edge of his thumbnail, leg shaking in quick succession.

When Emma rested her hand on his tense thigh, he flinched under her touch. Looking down with a shocked expression, Dustin did something that stunned her to stillness. He pressed his hand on top of hers, then grasped it. His eyes sparked with intensity as he lifted her knuckles to his lips. He let a soft peck linger there, then rested both their intertwined hands on his leg again and leaned his head back against the seat rest. “Why do you think they let Winter and Logan in the crew?” he asked quietly.

Emma was having a really hard time formulating an answer because Dustin’s casual hand-hold was warm and strong. So steady. It felt good to touch warm skin, not the cold vampire skin she’d grown up embracing. “Because they saved Kane and Rowan from the A-Team. And because Winter’s last alpha vouched for her.”

“And Logan?”

“I think he made it in because they wouldn’t have gotten Winter without him.”

“The dragons will be trying to breed soon,” Dustin said low.

“Maybe. It will be a huge risk to see if Rowan can carry a pure dragon child, though. Adoption or surrogacy would be safer.”

“Either way, they’ll need a crew they can trust, not a collection of rogues. They’ll want a crew with interest in raising cubs and little dragons. With instincts geared toward protecting the young.”

“You think they’ll only allow couples in?”

Dustin swallowed hard and looked a little green around the edges, but she didn’t understand why. “Forget I said anything,” he muttered, settling her hand into her own lap.

Her palm tingled and chilled in the absence of his touch. Behind her, Gray Dog whined and stared at Dustin’s profile. For the first time in her life, she wished she was a shifter so she could feel what Gray Dog was feeling. So she could sense whatever reaction Dustin was having. With her human senses, she felt nothing, and now Dustin’s face was plastered in that smile he fooled so many with. Not her, though. Not anymore.

“If this doesn’t work,” she said, “I think you need a plan B.” Because she sure as shit didn’t want to watch him get burned to ashes and devoured by the dark dragon.

Dustin didn’t say anything, only shifted gears and pulled out of the parking lot, aiming the nose of his car toward Kane’s Mountains.

Minutes drifted by before he spoke again. “You want to pretend to be mine?”

“What?” That wasn’t the direction her mind was going. “I was thinking an escape plan.”

“But you think it, too. You think we’ll have a better shot at being Blackwings if we work together.”

“Work together? Dustin, being in a relationship with someone isn’t a job.”

“It could be. We could both get what we want—invites into Kane’s Crew. And once we’re in, we could just…I don’t know…stage a big fight and break up or something. No harm, no foul.”

“No harm, no foul,” she repeated, disgusted. “I’m not going into this trying to trick the dragons. I want to earn my place, not swindle my way into their crew.”

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