Savage Urges (The Phoenix Pack #5) - Suzanne Wright Page 0,1
gave you alcohol, drugs, food, and somewhere to stay? That’s what Tariq does. He finds loners like yourself, he gives them all those things, makes them feel like part of a group . . . then suddenly he announces, ‘Hey, those things weren’t freebies. Now you owe me.’ Trust me when I say the jobs he’d ask you to do wouldn’t be fun.”
“How do you know?”
“I’ve helped a lot of his recruits over the years.”
His eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Why would you help loners?”
“Because I’m a loner too. Someone helped me. And now I’m going to help you.” Earlier that day, she had helped a ten-year-old loner move to a pack consisting of his extended family—hence Makenna’s happy “buzz” that had disappeared on finding Zac on her doorstep.
“I’m going to take you to a safe place.”
Zac snickered. “There’s no such thing.”
“I won’t ask you to trust me. You have no reason to. All I ask is that you come with me somewhere.”
He licked his chapped lips. “Yeah? Where?”
“It’s a shelter for loners, you’ll be safe there. If you don’t want to stay, you don’t have to. But if you want food, fresh clothes, and a bed, you’ll find all those things there.”
“What’s the catch?”
“You at least take a shower, because you absolutely reek.”
His mouth twitched into the smallest smile for a mere second. He was a good-looking kid. “I don’t have to stay there?”
She shook her head. “In fact, you could just stay long enough to eat, shower, and change into clean clothes. But if you go back to Tariq, your life will become worse than anything that ever came before. Believe that, if nothing else.”
For a moment, he was silent. “I’ll go with you.”
Stalking people was so boring.
At least the view was attractive. Smoky black eyes, a strong jaw, broad shoulders, and impressive abs that she could see right through his dark-gray tee. The angles of his face were hard, rough, and dangerous, matching his menacing frown. He was incredibly hot, if you liked the broody, rugged type, which Makenna totally did. Especially when that male exuded strength and confidence with every step he took.
Whenever she found potential guardians for loners, she researched them, scouting the Internet for information and asking questions of her many sources. The guy was a respected enforcer within a powerful pack and was well known for being a seriously talented tracker. All good things. He’d been described as stoic, dauntless, cold. But Makenna often had feelings about people—she was good at reading them, good at seeing past masks and shields—and she had a very good feeling about Ryan Conner.
Since she had a better chance of talking with him in a public place than being permitted on his territory, she’d followed his Chevy Suburban to a small line of stores in town. And now, parked at the far side of the lot, she watched impatiently as he stood by his car talking on his cell phone. Her plan was pretty simple: the moment he put away his cell, she’d approach him, introduce herself, explain the issue, and . . . and now he was walking away.
She grimaced as he disappeared down an alley, out of sight. Crap. Could nothing be simple anymore?
Hopping out of her Mustang, Makenna crossed the lot, traced the path he’d taken, walked into the alley, and—
Where the fuck had he gone?
She moved a little farther into the alley, stepping into the shadows. It was empty. Well, that was totally shit. Now she’d have to—
A large, warm, calloused hand suddenly curled around her throat from behind as a solid body propelled her forward, caging her against the brick wall; the rough surface grazed her palms.
A hot mouth was then at her ear. “Why are you following me?” It was a menacing rumble.
And just like that, at the feel of his breath against her ear and the sound of that gravelly voice, lust slammed into her. The reaction was instant, elemental, and totally unwanted. Sometimes being a naturally sexual creature was very inconvenient. “You know, there aren’t many people who can creep up on me. You’re good.” He hadn’t made a single sound. Makenna was good at stealth, but not that good.
For a moment, he didn’t respond, and she had the feeling she’d surprised him. He grunted, “Answer my question.”
Did he think that gruff tone would scare her? It probably should. Especially since she had well over six feet of untamed power practically curled around her from behind. With her