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“Why here?”

“I heard there was a local… operation.” Translation – pack.

“And what happened to the one you were with before now?”

“Slaughtered.” She turned away. “My husband too.”

He slid a finger beneath her chin, and turned her face to his. “By who?”

“The Royal Guard.”

His eyes narrowed. “Which rebel unit were you with?”

It was a test, one she would pass. “Gillan’s,” she said, which was the Rebel pack she and Troy had taken down with their team.

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nbsp; Acceptance registered in his eyes. “You’re a rebel without protection.”

“I don’t need protection,” she said quickly. Her plan was to draw him in, but not too fast.

“Yes,” he said. “You do.” He slid his hand up her waist, grazing her breast. She’d just told him she was up for grabs and now he intended to make her his – at least, until he was tired of her. He was known for sharing his females with his wolves once he’d had his fill. He pressed his lips to her ear. “Consider yourself under my protection. And sweetheart, I’m going to take damn good care of you.”

She pressed on his chest, pushing him back. “I’ve already talked to Joseph in Vegas. He’s willing to take me in.” It was a lie, but she’d learned that she could sneak one past a sexed up male wolf and this one qualified.

“Yet you’re here.”

“Only because the Werewolf Society, and the Guard, is headquartered in Vegas. That makes me nervous.”

“It should,” he said. “And Joseph has a wife. I don’t.”

“Are you offering me your personal protection?”

His lips twitched. “I’m offering you an audition for my personal protection.” The bastard kissed her, covering her mouth with his, sliding his tongue possessively against hers. It was all she could do not to bite him. His hand boldly covered her breast. Power rushed over Cassie and it wasn’t that of the wolf. It was Troy. He was watching, and he wasn’t happy. Cassie had to do something to get control before he snapped. Their team was outside the building, unable to do anything to affect Troy’s actions.

Jack tore his mouth from hers and stroked her cheek. “Come with me, little pet,” he growled, and there was something menacing in his tone she didn’t like, not to mention the ‘pet’ remark. That’s what the Rebels called humans, which was only slightly better than the ‘snack’ bloodthirsty rogue vamps named them.

“I’m not a pet,” she said, trying to push away from him.

He grabbed her hand and yanked her off the stool, and it was all she could do to keep her skirt from going to her waist. He all but dragged her towards the back of the bar, which was at least part of the plan. There were private rooms that were rented by the bar owner, and that was where pretty much anything kinky and illegal took place. Troy would be waiting and she would do anything, including enduring whatever pain was necessary, to ensure Jack unknowingly helped them to bring down his operation, and Sarah. Only he didn’t go to the private rooms. He detoured to the right, down a hallway that led to an exit. Damn, damn, damn. This was trouble. Every instinct she owned told her to be ready for a fight. She had no idea how many more pack members might be outside. Cassie reminded herself that even if Troy was still inside, her team was outside, and Troy’s two brothers Evan and Aiden combined with her brother Nico, were one hell of a lethal team.

Jack shoved the back door open to the alley and pulled her with him, anger and lust rolling off of him. Anger. She had a bad feeling he knew who she was but she clung to the certainty that he wouldn’t shift, which would make him harder to beat, stronger and more agile. None of the wolves, not even the Rebels, wanted the exposure to humans.

The instant they cleared the exit, he slammed her against the wall, which put her blades against concrete, out of her reach. A dim bulb above spotlighted them while his hand ripped the front of her dress. A second later, that same hand was on her throat and her feet were dangling off the ground. Apparently, his idea of foreplay was choking her.

“I know who you are, bitch,” he said, confirming her guess. “You think Sarah wouldn’t warn me about you?”

Cassie grabbed his hands, trying to loosen his grip, and she would have rammed her knee in his crotch but he grunted and his eyes rolled back in his head. He dropped her and slumped forward, blood gushing from his mouth, his hand going to the wall.

Another grunt followed and then he was flung on the ground with Troy shoving his knife back under his jacket. “I knew I should have yanked that son-of-a-bitch out of the bar and killed him the minute he touched you.”

“We needed him alive,” Cass rasped through a raw throat. “We needed him - ”

“Dead. We needed him dead.” He surprised her by pulling her into his arms, pressing his head to hers and running his hand down her hair. It was the first time he’d ever touched her like this. “I should never have agreed to this, Cass. You aren’t bait.”

“I’m fine. I’m a member of the Royal--”

“I know what you are,” he said shortly, pulling back to stare at her. “And I don’t care. He could have killed you before I got to you.”

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