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Page 62

“The name’s Eric Warden. I’ve come to see Dylan Morrissey.”

“I’m Sean Morrissey.” Sean didn’t offer information on Dylan’s whereabouts or what his relationship was to Dylan.

Eric’s gaze moved briefly to Sean’s Collar. “I’ve been in touch with Dylan for a few weeks now. He invited me here.”

If so, Dylan hadn’t informed Sean or Liam. “From?”

“Las Vegas. I’m Shiftertown leader there.”

Sean kept him pinned, but annoyance bit him. He wished Dylan had bothered to mention an impending visit from another Shiftertown leader. Humans forbade such visits without formal permission, fearing to give Shiftertown leaders any chance to conspire. Not that Shiftertown leaders paid much attention. They’d long ago decided that what humans didn’t know wouldn’t hurt Shifters.

“Where’s your backup?” Sean asked.

Eric shrugged and spread his hands. “I came without.”

“Insane, are you?”

“Probably.”

“Ask him what he wants to see Dylan about.” The voice was Andrea’s, and it came from the porch. She looked down at Eric, unafraid, the naked sword of the Guardian in her hands.

Eric’s brows shot up in surprise. “Easy, girl.”

Sean’s outrage battled with laughter, and Sean settled for humor. Here he was, facing an alpha as powerful as himself or Liam, and his sweet little mate-to-be had charged out to protect him.

“She’s a little headstrong,” Sean said with a smile. “Don’t provoke her.”

“Your father told me that you were the Guardian,” Eric said.

“I am. She just likes handling my sword.”

That got him. Eric tried to keep his expression stern, but his lips twitched. Behind him, Ronan gave up and burst out laughing.

“Very funny, Sean,” Andrea said. “You still haven’t asked what he’s doing here.”

“My business is with Dylan.” Eric’s quick recovery told Sean he wasn’t about to discuss it with anyone but Dylan.

Sean gestured to the Morrissey house. “Come in, and I’ll see if I can round up Dad and my brother.”

He led Eric to the front door, but as soon as they stepped inside, Andrea was there, following them in, the sword resting on her shoulder.

“Andy-love ...”

“If you think I’m letting you walk in here, alone, with an unknown Feline, you’re crazy.”

Sean gave up. “Andrea stays. Ronan, do you mind standing guard outside?”

“Hey, you make me another mountain of pancakes, and I’ll do anything for you, Sean.” He grinned at Eric. “Sometimes he puts mini chocolate chips in them. Culinary genius.” He gave them a casual salute and left, closing the front door behind him.

Sean led Eric and Andrea to the kitchen, where the table was littered with notebooks and textbooks Connor had left behind. Andrea pushed them neatly to one side, laid the naked sword on the tabletop, and sat down. “Why don’t you make us some coffee, Sean?”

That won her another irritated look, and Eric said quickly, “I don’t need coffee.”

“I’d love a cup,” Andrea said, smiling at Sean.

Sean sat down. “You know where it is.”

Andrea remained seated. “So, are you going to tell us why you traveled all the way from Nevada to visit, Eric Warden? Especially one as high-up as you?”

Eric looked uncomfortable, also a little confused about Andrea’s role here. He’d have scented by now that she was half Fae and understand that she wasn’t an alpha female, but not why she didn’t defer to Sean or to him. Not that Andrea was going to bother to explain. This Eric might be telling the truth about his appointment with Dylan, but then again, he might be on Callum’s side. He might have other Shifters lying in wait for a chance to snatch the sword. Someone in this needed to be smart.

“I think I should wait for Dylan,” Eric said.

“How’s Callum?” Andrea asked.

Eric looked blank. “Who’s Callum?”

Sean said nothing, only sat back and watched.

“Handy that you’ve come to talk to a Shifter who hasn’t been around much lately,” Andrea said.

“I can’t help that. Dylan arranged to meet me here. We left the time vague—I didn’t know when I could get here to the minute.”

“How did you get here?” Andrea asked. “Hitchhike?”

“I have my ways.” Eric made a point of inhaling her scent. “I had no idea I was coming to be interrogated by a Fae.”

“Half Fae. To be exact, a half-Fae warrior princess.”

Andrea couldn’t help smiling when Sean tried to suppress his start. “Ah, is that why you’re such a smart-ass, love?” Sean asked.

“Could be.” Andrea fixed her gaze on Eric, meeting his green eyes without showing fear. It would be easy to fear Eric Warden, because he had power, as much power, Andrea sensed, as did the Morrisseys.

“Let me put it this way, Eric,” Andrea said. “If you’re involved in any way with gangs of human gunmen or Shifters who follow Callum, I’d advise you to stop now. This isn’t your territory, and when Sean and Liam put Callum in his place, you don’t want to be caught up in that.”

Eric’s eyes widened slightly. “Son of a bitch, what the hell is going on down here?”

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