Home > Roman (Wolves of Winter's Edge #2)

Roman (Wolves of Winter's Edge #2)
Author: T.S. Joyce

Chapter One

The flashing red and blue police lights were giving Roman Striker a headache.

He didn’t know how the werewolf who was standing right beside the crime scene could stand it. Five minutes parked behind the police tape in the woods right outside of town, and he was ready to pick up the damn police cruiser and chuck it into the trees.

The paramedics loaded a covered body into the back of an ambulance, and Roman narrowed his eyes at the dark-haired giant in the policeman’s uniform, watching the body disappear with a dead expression in his icy blue eyes. See, this was the problem with the alpha of the Bone-Ripper Pack. Rhett was unstable at best, a brutal alpha, a dickhead on a good day, and he was also the chief of police in a town that didn’t know what kind of monster lived inside him. He was taking notes and statements, as though he wasn’t the one who murdered that tourist.

Rhett was a wolf in officer’s clothing. Small town law enforcement, so he got away with everything. Rangeley was being run by a monster, and the unsuspecting humans here didn’t have any idea how bad this was about to get.

Roman’s brother, Gentry, had gone to war with the alpha. Hell, Roman and Asher had joined him. Gentry had nearly ripped Rhett’s throat out, and that kind of defeat did bad things to alphas like him. It was a slow, mental poison—the idea that Gentry could come in and take his throne whenever he wanted. That, and Rhett still looked weak as fuck. Hunched and pale, he wasn’t healing right. Good. Made it easier for Roman to kill that asshole when his brothers weren’t looking. Gentry and Asher didn’t even know he was out here tonight, following tips on the police scanner, watching Rhett. He’d been doing this for a few weeks now, observing Rhett’s routine, figuring out who he met up with and when. Figuring out his patterns, where he felt comfortable, where he let down his guard.

Maybe his brothers had some bigger plan for this town, but not Roman. He was going to avenge Dad, avenge Blaire, and then turn right back around and leave this hell-hole, just like he had when he was kicked out of the pack all those years ago.

As if his dad could feel his anger, he appeared out of the corner of Roman’s eye. He didn’t startle at the pale, transparent figure on the edge of the woods who stood staring at him. Dad had been haunting him from the moment Rhett took his life.

That little talent was Odine’s fault. She’d done her black magic on him to turn him into a werewolf, and now he was like that little kid in the movie, The Sixth Sense, seeing dead people and shit. Thanks for nothing, witch.

Dad looked like he had the last time Roman had seen him, down to the same outfit and everything. He stood there, staring, just like the day Roman had driven away from here. He still hated his father.

When the back door to his Jeep Wrangler opened, Roman startled hard. Before he managed to twist around in his seat, the acrid scent of fear mixed with vanilla hit his nose. Mila.

Roman huffed a dark laugh. “Get out.”

“You shouldn’t be here.”

“Well, that makes two of us, Mila.”

“No, I mean, you shouldn’t be in this town. You don’t understand what’s happening here. Leave, Roman.”

Mila sounded scared, but she was a submissive, at the very bottom of the Bone-Ripper Pack. She was scared of her own shadow.

Roman turned to pop off with a pert, “Fuck off,” but he stopped when he saw her.

Mila had changed in the years he’d been away. She wasn’t some pin-thin rail of a nerd anymore. She had grown out her dark brunette hair and cut her bangs so they hung heavy over her eyes—probably to hide. Submissives liked being invisible. But she couldn’t hide how fucking gorgeous she’d grown up to be. Little nose, rosy cheeks, full lips, fair skin. Her hair hid her big ears. He’d always made fun of them when they were kids. Her eyes looked different, though. In the past, Mila used to have control over her wolf, and her eyes had stayed this soft chocolate brown. But since he’d come back to Rangeley, he’d never seen her eyes any color but the striking champagne tone of her wolf. Something bad had happened to her animal to freeze that color in her face. Don’t pity her. She’s one of them.

Mila was wearing a thick, black jacket with one of those fur-lined hoods, and she was hunched down in the seat, hiding behind him. Hiding from her alpha, who would probably kill her just for talking to Roman.

Roman couldn’t figure out if he cared too much about that yet. Mila felt like a traitor.

“You need to stop digging, need to stop stalking. You and your brothers need to go.”

“Go where?” he asked innocently. “This is home-sweet-home.”

“B-bullcrap. You left on purpose.” Whoo, there was deep bitterness in her voice. Roman glared at her suspiciously, tried to figure out what that angry look in her eyes meant. Mila had feelings about him leaving?

“You and your brothers are the reason this is all happening,” she said on the quietest breath. “The least you can do is let us try and pick up the pieces.”

Roman slammed his open palm on the steering wheel. “Pick up the pieces by murdering some hunter in the woods? Pick up the pieces by hunting Blaire? By trying to kill her? I fucking saw you there, Mila. Yeah, you hung back, but you were there, herding her, helping Rhett hunt a fucking human woman. Do you know what we had to do—?” Roman cut himself off from the memory of what Odine had done to save Blaire’s life. Mila didn’t deserve the real stuff. He was a jokester, sure. He liked to play, liked to mask hurt with laughter. But underneath the jokes, he was pissed, and Mila was here practically begging for him to take his anger out on her.

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