Hard Mated - Page 38

The truck neared her, its fog lights on as well, and then it swerved into her lane. Myka yelped and hit the brakes, trying to steer the pickup onto the road’s tiny shoulder.

The pickup’s driver also hit his brakes, and the larger truck skidded sideways right at Myka. Connor ripped the seatbelt from Jordan and hauled himself and Jordan out the door. Myka fought with her seatbelt as the large black truck came right at her.

She dove for the passenger door at the same time the other truck finally halted, inches from the door behind which Myka had been sitting.

Myka crawled out the other side of the truck, her legs watery, her stomach roiling. Connor held onto the squirming Jordan, blending into the darkness on the other side of a ditch.

Before Myka could ask if everyone inside the truck was all right, the door slammed open, and out climbed Gavan himself. He’d brought backup—three Shifters all as big as Nate and Spike, and one had a shotgun.

“You’ll want to stop right there, bitch.”

Great. Here Myka was, standing on the side of the highway, all alone, facing down four towering, hard-bodied, enraged Shifters. Gavan pinned her with his white-hot glare, the other three thugs ready to do violence on his behalf. What had happened to Sean and Glory sitting on him at the fight club?

“I’ve changed my mind,” Gavan said. “Spike’s dead. I thought I could trust him, that we were friends. I guess not.”

“You can’t kill anyone,” Myka said, planting her booted feet firmly and lifting her chin. “Humans won’t go for Shifters killing each other, or hurting humans. You know that.”

Sounded great in theory. The human bureaus that dealt with Shifters constantly reassured the public that Shifters were contained, controlled, peaceful beings that wanted nothing more than to live in harmony with the world.

In practice, here was Gavan and his three henchmen in a half-circle around her, filling her with terror. Myka had watched Shifters fight each other, ignoring their sparking Collars or at least not letting the Collars slow them down much. Nate had shot Ronan, who’d be dead if he were human, and now Liam was somewhere teaching Nate a lesson.

At least Connor had run off with Jordan.

Gavan was sniffing the darkness. He nudged the nearest thug and pointed the direction Connor had gone. “Go get them.”

Connor was much younger than these guys, and maybe he could outrun them, or get to Liam in time.

Carrying a four-year-old child through open fields? Myka shivered. Go on, Connor.

“Get in the truck,” Gavan said to Myka.

“Don’t think so,” Myka said.

“Put her in,” Gavan said to his second henchman.

The Shifter came for Myka. She whirled and ran a few steps before the thug grabbed her by the arms, dragging her back to the black pickup. She didn’t go meekly—she kicked, bit, and punched until Gavan grabbed her around the neck.

His Collar sparked, but he didn’t ease the pressure. “You give us trouble, I’ll kill you. You sit still until Spike comes to find you, and I’ll let you go home in one piece. You’re right—I don’t want trouble with humans. But I’ll do what I have to do. Got it?”

“You’re a f**king dickhead.”

“Hey, I’ve been called worse by females who like me, sweetie. Don’t write me off. Now that you’re used to Shifters, you’ll be begging for more.”

Myka kicked him. Pain flashed through Gavan’s eyes followed by rage.

Shit-kickers, indeed. Myka’s boots had caps on the ends to protect her toes from horses who liked to put their feet down on hers.

“You little . . .”

Gavan grabbed her and hauled off her feet so easily it made Myka sick with fear. Humans were right to be afraid of Shifters. They were strong, bred to fight. Shifters who didn’t care, like Gavan, could wreak havoc.

Myka struggled against him, but she knew she’d never win a battle of strength. Her only hope was Liam, and Connor finding him to tell him what had happened.

That hope died when she heard Connor yell, and Jordan cry out. Found. Damn it.

Jordan, in his wildcat form, was snarling and yowling as Gavan’s thug carried him across the ditch to the road.

“Where’s Connor?” Myka cried.

“I put him down,” the Shifter growled.

Fear sliced through her belly. “You killed him?”

“Dunno. Let me break this one’s neck. He’s a little shit.”

“Nope,” Gavan said. “Need him intact.”

Gavan carried Myka to the pickup and threw her into its empty bed. Myka’s breath whooshed out of her as she landed, and before she could scramble up, Gavan had slapped a pair of handcuffs around her wrists. The cuffs had been looped around a metal hook in the bottom of the truck bed, locking Myka in place.

She struggled and swore at him, but she could only hunker there, sore and breathless. Jordan fought his captor like a crazed thing, drawing blood with teeth and claws. Good for him.

“He’s going to shred me!” the thug complained.

Gavan chuckled. “He’s a good little fighter. When I raise him, he’ll be my good little fighter. Hit him with the tranq and let’s go.”

The thug carried Jordan, who sank his teeth hard into the man’s arm, to the pickup. The one who’d caught Myka rifled for something behind the seat. A syringe glittered in the lights from the truck, and the second thug punched the needle into the struggling Jordan.

Jordan stopped snarling and went limp. The four Shifters piled into the truck with Jordan, leaving Myka chained in the back, and started up the highway the way they’d come.

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