Home > Blackwing Defender (Kane's Mountains #1)(5)

Blackwing Defender (Kane's Mountains #1)(5)
Author: T.S. Joyce

“One pen, seriously?” someone yelled.

“Crew shit 101—learn to share,” Air Ryder called out over the noise as he began inching his truck toward the cabin again.

Logan cast Winter an unreadable glance. His eyes had lightened from pitch black to smoke gray. “I’ll get the applications.” The rest in the circle had stood, including Winter, urged by the chaos of the mob scrambling for the fluttering papers, but true to his word, Logan brought back a stack in less time than Winter had expected. They took them as he passed them around the circle. All but the giant scar-faced bruiser, Beast. He snarled and stood, disappeared into the crowd, and returned thirty seconds later with his own. A team player he was not.

She thought he would stay on the other side where he’d been standing, but Logan handed her an application and took his seat beside her again. “You sure got a big purse,” he said. “Any extra pens in there?”

“Yeah,” she said on a breath as she dug around the depths of her oversize handbag. She carried everything in it—way more than she needed. There was even a pair of purple hand wraps for boxing, a back scratcher, and four pocket knives. Like she needed all those weapons. She had teeth and claws.

Winter found three pens and tossed Emma one since she was looking right at her like a brave little human. Dustin snorted a disapproving sound, but so what? He smelled like dog fur, and she wouldn’t ever go out of her way to help a werewolf. They were crazy and manipulative, every last one of them. It was ingrained in them since birth. He might be acting normal, but he wasn’t. That was just a show to play nice and try to get into Kane’s crew.

The other pen, she handed to Logan. His fingertip brushed hers as he took it, but he didn’t flinch away from her touch. He sat there, frowning down at her, linked to her by the pen and this tiny brush of skin.

“These questions are bullshit,” a shifter yelled from behind her. “How many times do you jack off a day? Would you consider yourself a sexual delinquent? And they aren’t yes or no questions, but a scale from one to fifty!”

Winter giggled when she read the first one. Clearly, Air Ryder had put this application together himself. Instead of asking Male or Female it said Dick or Treasure Cavern.

Another car horn blasted, and a late-model, jacked-up Bronco slowly came to a stop. The windows were rolled up, but when the door opened, a tall man with black hair hanging to the side in front of his face got out. His bright green eyes were chock full of fury. The crowd went eerily silent.

“What the actual fuck are you all doing on my lawn?” Dark Kane barked out.

“Interviewing for the crew,” one of the men answered. “The announcement said today.”

“Announcement?” a blond woman said as she stepped out of the passenger’s side of the Bronco. Her eyes were bright gold, and she made the air feel too heavy, right along with her mate. Winter had no doubt this curvy beauty was none other than the infamous Rowan Barnett, formerly of the notoriously violent Gray Backs, now the queen of these mountains and Second in Kane’s Blackwing Crew.

“Air Ryder Croy—”

Kane held up his hand to cut off the man. “Stop right there, say no more.” He slid a furious glance to the redhead sitting on his front porch in a rocking chair with his work boot up on the railing as though he didn’t have a care in the world.

“Hi, fourth best friend.” Air Ryder wiggled his fingers in a wave.

Under his breath, Kane murmured, “I’m gonna kill you.”

Winter believed it. Kane’s face was twisted into a feral expression that terrified her. A low rumbling noise filled the clearing. “Crew’s full. Now get off my property.”

“What? Hell no, I traveled all the way from Nevada to get in this crew!” one of the men yelled.

The mob went wild, yelling, questioning, surging toward him, but despite Kane’s deep limp, he wasn’t backing down. He strode right up to the first shifter and closed-fist blasted him across the jaw. While the man went down like a sack of rocks, Kane caught the fist of the next one, then head-butted him hard. The sound of the man’s nose breaking was audible even over the roar of the angry masses. Rowan leaned on the hood of the Bronco. She looked bored as she slurped on a red sucker and watched her mate level the rampaging idiots one-by-one. Ryder was on the front porch with a shit-eating grin stretching his freckled face. Winter would’ve laughed if an all-out riot wasn’t happening in front of her very eyes. And also if she hadn’t wasted her time driving all the way out here and getting her hopes up on a crew that wasn’t even recruiting right now. They’d all been obviously duped by Air Ryder.

Logan stood.

“Where are you going, boy scout?” Dustin asked. “Don’t you hear Kane breaking their bones? That dragon will kill you and laugh at your corpse.”

Logan shook his head, and ignoring Dustin’s warning, pushed his way through the fight. Winter stood on the log, balancing on her tiptoes to see what Logan was doing. Dustin had been wrong. He wasn’t going after the dragon at all, but he was pulling the mob back one by one, yelling at them, making space for Dark Kane to fight. And then Beast was there too, pushing the masses back with Logan.

“Fuck,” Dustin muttered as he made his way toward them. “Move!” he yelled at someone who was standing in the way. When Dustin snapped his teeth at them and growled, the gooseflesh rose on Winter’s arms.

“I’m out of here,” the goth girl murmured. She strode off for the gravel road, but Winter stood there stuck. Did she get in the middle of a dominant male fight? Or did she make like Goth Girl and get the hell out of here?

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