Home > Magic Bite (Supernatural Bounty Hunter #1)(10)

Magic Bite (Supernatural Bounty Hunter #1)(10)
Author: Leia Stone

After getting an extension from Mack, Cass was out following up on a lead about our siren, while Molly “assisted” Croft. I was in the process of hobbling across Brock’s porch when I felt him. Before smell, before sound, I could feel him. It was odd and comforting at the same time. I spun around, ready to get into a verbal spat about something stupid, but the look on his face stopped me. He looked… scared.

“You’re so thin,” he breathed, eyes wide. He hadn’t seen me in the past two days, while he’d been busy with pack business.

The air was knocked out of me when I realized he was scared because I was possibly dying, and that he cared if I died.

I shrugged. “Doc can’t figure it out.”

I was actually terrified I’d waste away into nothing. I was eating six huge meals a day, packed with meat, cheese, and carbs, and I still couldn’t keep the weight on. Clearly my fox had been hiding for a reason. She was killing me. I tried not to look in the mirror anymore, because what I saw there freaked me out to no end.

Brock frowned. “Your grandmother must have known something about this, right?”

A second punch to the gut. The question I’d been asking myself for the past seven days. Did Gran know and not tell me?

“She couldn’t have,” I defended her automatically. “She definitely would have told me if she’d known.” All those nights I came home from school, and cried myself to sleep for being a dud… she wouldn’t keep this from me, would she?

Sabine appeared in the open doorway. “Evie? I’ve got an idea. Just one more test for today, okay?”

We’d become frenemies who tolerated each other. She poked me to death while also trying to help me. Beneath her stiff clinical nature, she was actually quite caring, though I suspected she’d slept with Brock at some point in her life.

I hobbled past Brock while he looked at me longingly. As if… I don’t know, I was probably imagining it, but it felt as if he wanted to reach out and touch me. We hadn’t yelled at each other in at least forty eight hours, so maybe something was shifting between us. Or maybe he just felt sorry for me.

“When you’re done with the test, come find me. I want to take you somewhere,” Brock called after me.

My nod was the only answer. Where the hell did Brock the Cock want to take me? I was too weak to care.

I barely registered the needle as Sabine took her blood sample. “I’ll have this ready in a couple of hours.”

With another nod, I hobbled back out onto the porch, where Brock was waiting.

“Ready?” he asked.

I gestured to my crutches. “Kind of. I’m quite tired, so how far is this place you’re taking me to?” I’d grown accustomed to two naps a day to deal with the overwhelming fatigue.

He frowned, worry clouding his amber eyes. “Just to your Gran’s cabin. I’ll drive.”

Gran’s cabin. Those words coming from his mouth usually annoyed me.

“Can you make it down the porch or—?”

“I’ll be fine,” I cut him off harshly. I was a badass bounty hunter who took down full-grown vampires. There was no way I was letting the wolf carry me to the car.

I took it slow, step-by-step, until my crutches landed on the soft-packed earth at the bottom of the stairs. I was pulling my leg forward when my knee gave out suddenly.

Brock reached out, lightning-quick, to hook his hands beneath my armpits. He hauled me up quickly until I was smashed against his chest.

“Are you okay?” he asked, nearly panting. With each inhale, his belly pushed against mine, awakening a warm throb between my legs.

“Fine. Just tired,” I squeaked.

We both stood there, breathing heavily, not taking our eyes off each other’s lips.

It was difficult to be sure about much since I’d shifted into an animal, when it shouldn’t have been possible. But at that moment I was certain we both wanted a replay of that first night we met—even if we also wanted to strangle each other.

I felt him grow hard between us… and then he was pushing me away, taking deep cleansing breaths. With one hand he held on to me, and with the other he picked up my crutches, and helped me into his big-ass truck. I was waif thin, weak, with dark circles under my eyes, and still he wanted me. How about that?

He cleared his throat, but didn’t say anything as he drove the short three minutes to Gran’s cabin. We passed his bulldozer, parked on the far outer road as promised, and I glanced at the heavy machine. “Is it expensive? I almost blew it up one night, but thought better of it in case you sued me for the cost.”

A slow grin crept across his face. “Very. That one set me back about a hundred-and-sixty grand.”

I nearly choked on my spit. “Good thing Cass talked me out of it. That’s more than my Gran’s house costs.”

Brock pulled up to my childhood home, and turned to face me. “Do you know why my family has fought so hard for so long to get your grandmother off our land?”

We never talked about it, at least not in the past few days, it only led to fights, but something in him had changed. Maybe because it was obvious I was dying, or maybe because I’d just fallen and smashed my boobs into his chest, giving him a hard-on. But if he was finally going to be forthcoming, I’d take advantage of that no matter what the reason.

“Because werewolves hate witches,” I blurted out my theory. “Hate what we smell like. Hate our magic. Hate, hate, hate.”

He frowned. “No, that’s no it at all. It’s because…” He threw his truck into park and sighed, as if resigning himself to reveal some long lost secret. His gaze got lost past the windshield. “An alpha pulls power from his territory. Territory that’s laid out and marked by the original alpha, making the entire pack bound to it. If another supernatural being claims land within that territory, it weakens the alpha, which in turn weakens the pack.”

My mouth gaped open. “My Gran never told me that.”

He shrugged, turning in his seat to look at me again. “She probably didn’t know. We don’t reveal our secrets to anyone outside the pack. I’m trusting you won’t repeat this. A lot of people would take advantage of it.”

Trust. A powerful word for someone like me who didn’t trust easily. I trusted Gran and Cass, and now maybe Molly, but that was it. I definitely hadn’t expected Brock to confide in me.

I nodded. I wouldn’t tell a soul, save for Cass of course.

Brock gazed at Gran’s cabin. “I remember when I was twelve, it was a new moon and my dad had just been in a bad dominance fight. Belinda was outside doing her weird crystal spells, and drawing power from the land. My dad wasn’t able to heal as fast as he normally did with her stealing the land’s magic.”

Oh shit.

“I had no idea,” I muttered. I didn’t know what else to say. This whole time, all these years, they’d actually had a good reason for being so possessive about their territory.

Brock unlocked the door. “Well now you do. This land is special to my family, and it’s my turn to protect it, so… now you know why I’ve made such a fuss.” He hopped down from the truck and crossed the hood to open the door for me.

Leaning my weight on my crutches, I glanced at the cabin again. “What exactly are we doing here?”

Brock shrugged. “Searching for answers. Your family had to know what you were. If we find that out, maybe we can heal you.”

As he spun on his heel to walk inside, my stomach did flip-flops. Brock, the big bad alpha, was searching for a cure for me. It meant he cared, at least a little bit.

Molly had tucked a key under the mat. We used it and entered the house to look for clues. Never before had I hoped so much to find them.

Two hours later, we’d ransacked the cabin, including the attic, and found nothing helpful except for a black and white photo I’d grown up seeing. It was a picture of my mom, a full-blooded witch, and my dad, a full-blooded sorcerer.

Still, Brock insisted on uploading the photo to my computer, and when he zoomed in on my father’s eyes, his pupils looked slitted… like a fox’s.

No way!

My mind reeled at the implications. I tried to wrap my brain around what it might mean, but I was too flustered. What the fuck was happening to my life?

Brock tapped the photo in his hand. “So maybe your dad wasn’t actually a sorcerer?”

I scowled. Would Gran lie to me? If it meant protecting me from something bad, then yeah, she would. Did that mean I was in danger? Other than dying of starvation, or whatever was going on with my body?

“I guess.” My voice sounded hollow even to my own ears.

“Your parents, are they around?” Brock took in the slender blonde in the photo, her smile wide as she wrapped her arms around my Asian father. I got my unusual violet eyes and figure—curvy in all the right places—from my mother, and most everything else from my father. My hair was long and silky, black as a raven’s feathers.

Just staring at my smiling mother and father made my heart pinch; I never got to know them.

I shook my head. “They died in a car wreck when I was a baby.”

Brock gave me a look that said he didn’t believe the car accident line.

I rolled my eyes. “Google it. I found the news article online when I was sixteen. It happened here in town. Drunk driver. Healing witches couldn’t get to them in time. My mom bled out. Dad’s leg got ripped off, among other things.” I gulped. I didn’t have memories of either one of them, but what happened to them hurt every time I thought about it, which was why I did my best not to.

Brock winced. “Damn. I’m sorry.”

My hair swayed as I nodded. I hadn’t told many people that story, save for Cass and a few others at Hunter Academy. A wave of dizziness washed over me then, and I clutched the seat of my chair in a death grip.

“What’s wrong?” Brock’s whole body tightened as he leaned into me.

“Just tired. I’d like to go back and lie down.”

“Of course.” He stood, and slipped the photo into his pocket, reaching out to help me stand.

Once I was up, his phone rang.

“This is Brock.” He held the phone to his ear but didn’t let go of me.

The voice on the other end was female, but I couldn’t make out what she was saying.

Concern laced his voice. “Well, what is it?”

I attempted to read what was going on from his eyes, but he wouldn’t meet mine. After a beat he hung up the phone.

“Sabine thinks she’s figured out what’s wrong with you.”

A mixture of relief and fear crashed through me in equal measure. “What is it?” I whispered, my voice cracking.

He shrugged, but didn’t look happy. “Said she had to tell us in person.”

Oh God, that was bad. That was really fucking bad.

In a daze, I followed Brock out of the house and over to his truck, the whole time my mind cycling through what might be wrong with me. That was, until Brock opened the car door for me, and a blue pearl rested on my seat.

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