Home > Blackwing Defender (Kane's Mountains #1)(12)

Blackwing Defender (Kane's Mountains #1)(12)
Author: T.S. Joyce

“Did you do the job?” Kane asked in a careful tone.

“Nope. I left the crew. It was the first time I ever disobeyed him. I left my chance of dying the way I wanted.” Logan leaned onto the table and dared a direct glance at Dark Kane. “Until you.”

Kane stood and paced to the kitchen and back, running his hands through his hair, pushing it back from his face. “I’m not going to be the one to put you down, Logan. I’m really not. I’m struggling to control my dragon and killing won’t keep me steady. It could put the world in danger. I’m not your solution.”

“I’ll do it,” Rowan whispered.

“What?” Kane and Logan asked simultaneously.

The Second of the Blackwing Crew leveled Logan with a heartbroken look. “If you make it into this crew, and you get to a point where you need to be put down, I’ll do it.”

“Rowan, this is a bad—”

“You can join the others,” she said, lifting her chin primly. “Send in that big fella with the scarred-up face next. Wait with Winter until we call for group interviews.”

Logan sat there stunned, his palms on the table as he dragged his gaze from Rowan to Kane, then back again.

She’d just offered him hope. “Thank you,” he murmured, exposing his neck. Jerkily he stood, and the chair behind him scraped across the floor. He made to leave, but remembered the picture and doubled back. He took it from Rowan’s outstretched grasp and said it again with more feeling this time because death by dragon’s fire was his last chance to end the hurt. “Thank you.”

“Logan?” Rowan asked as he opened the door.


“I asked Winter who she thought would be good in this crew, just based on pure instinct, and do you know what she said?”


“She chose you. Maybe you aren’t unsalvageable either.”

Logan ducked his head to hide his deep frown. Rowan didn’t know what she was talking about. If she spent a single minute in his deranged mind, she would Change into her dragon and end him now. But she’d just done him a favor by pushing him into the next round, so he didn’t argue. Instead, he forced a smile and lied to make her feel better. “Maybe not.”

Chapter Five

“Oh, my gosh,” Winter whispered.

How did she wrap her head around all that Logan had just admitted to the dragons? She pushed off the house where she’d been eavesdropping near the back window and hurried around the corner. Fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck, Logan was a mercenary? And not only that, but he was on a mission to be put down? She wanted to cry, but he would see her tears and puffy eyes, and he would know what she’d done.

She bolted away from the house toward the trees. Once she was in the woods, Winter slowed her pace, acting like she’d just been taking a stroll through the forest.

“That was the longest piss in the history of urine,” Dustin called. “You pooped, didn’t you?” He nodded and rolled his eyes. “It’s okay, kitty, everybody poops.”

Logan was standing by Dustin with his hands on his hips, staring thoughtfully in her direction. Mortification heated her cheeks. “I didn’t poop, Dustin. I just took a walk.”

“Somebody call the fire truck. Kitty’s pants are on fire.”

“Fuck you,” she muttered.

“Fuck me?” Dustin asked, twitching his long hair out of his face. “Okay, is that on the table? You look a little small for my dick, but if we use tons of lube, you spread your legs wide enough, and relax your goody basket—”

“Stop it,” Logan gritted out.

Power rippled through his words. Dustin let off a dog whimper and snapped his head to the side, exposing his neck. “Okay, okay, sorry,” Dustin choked out.

Logan moved to the other side of the fire pit near Emma and sat down. Beast was nowhere to be seen, so he must’ve already been inside with the dragons.

Clenching her trembling hands to steady them, Winter murmured, “I really wasn’t pooping.”

“Then what were you doing in the woods, hmm?” Dustin asked, rubbing his neck like it was sore.

With a shrug, she said, “Nothing.”

Logan was staring at her clenched fists, though. “Were you eavesdropping?”

The direct question startled her. He would hear a lie, and now he was watching her so intently, there was no way she could wiggle out of this.

“Ooooh, curiosity is gonna kill the kitty,” Dustin sang.

God, she hoped he didn’t make it to group interviews.

Winter stalled by pulling her hair up into a high pony tail. “So, they still have to make it through all these interviews before they begin the group ones.” She nodded her chin toward the fifteen milling shifters hanging in loose groups in the shade. “I’m starving. I think I saw a mom-and-pop burger joint down the road near the gas station. Anyone want anything?”

“Three hamburgers with everything on them, two orders of fries, and if they have milkshakes, I want chocolate, and also a strawberry one,” Dustin said without missing a beat. “Extra-large like my—”

“Money,” she interrupted, palm out.

“You aren’t paying?”

“I would rather step into a legitimate bear trap than take a werewolf out to lunch.”

“Rude,” Dustin muttered, digging in his wallet.

“Emma?” Winter asked.

Apparently she’d turned her hearing aid back on because she nodded and told her she wanted a hamburger, hold the onions. When she reached for her purse, Winter shook her head. “On me,” she said.

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