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Blackwing Wolf (Kane's Mountains Book 2)

By:T. S. Joyce

Blackwing Wolf (Kane's Mountains Book 2)
T. S. Joyce

       Chapter One




Dustin Porter didn't want to do this. In fact, he would rather do  literally anything else in the world than sit in the dark woods waiting  on his pack to show up. Axton was going to bleed him.

Dustin leaned up against his Nissan GT-R. He'd bought it in all black,  because the ladies loved dark and sleek. That, and it matched his wolf.  Dustin checked his watch and smoothed his shoulder-length hair out of  his face. This was just like his brother to make him wait on his  punishment. It was just like when they were kids, and their mom got  called into the principal's office to discuss whatever trouble he and  Axton were in. She'd beg Mr. Sheldon not to suspend them again, then jam  a finger at them and say, "Just wait until your father hears about  this. See you at home, boys." Ugh, those days sucked balls. It would've  been easier to get the beating over with, but no, he had to endure the  rest of the school day and then sit around waiting for Dad to get home  to wallop him.

Axton was just like Dad. That wasn't a compliment.

The sound of a truck engine rattled the woods and drowned out the gently  flowing river in front of Dustin. Already he felt the urge to expose  his neck just to save himself from pain. Dustin inhaled deeply and  plastered a smile on his face, then turned to greet the bouncing  headlights.

Axton angled toward his GT-R but didn't slow down. Fuck. Dustin put his  hands out. "Not the car!" It was the one material possession that meant  anything to him.

Axton gunned it, laughing out the window like a psychopath, the dick.  Dustin stepped in front of the car and waited for the hit. God, this was  going to hurt, but Axton wouldn't kill him. Probably. Axton slammed on  the brakes and skidded to a stop just inches away from Dustin. Dust  kicked up in swirls around him. The door to the old truck swung open so  hard it banked back, and Axton let off a string of curse words that  would curl the hair of their granny wolf.

"Hey, what did the door ever do to you?" Dustin joked.

Axton pinned him against the side of the car and slammed Dustin's head  backward. His brother was the opposite of him. He used to be tall, dark,  and handsome where Dustin barely made six foot and was stockier with  sandy-blond hair. All the ladies used to drop their panties for Axton,  but not anymore. Harper Keller had burned him so badly that one side of  his face looked like melted metal. His hair hadn't grown back either.  His eyes glowed silver as though his wolf was already wanting the fight,  but that was just Axton now. He'd been a loose cannon before, but now  he wasn't right.

"You had one fuckin' job to do," Axton ground out.

"Dude, breath mint."

"Jokes? Seriously?" Axton yelled. He squeezed his fist around Dustin's  throat, cutting his air off slowly. "I could pop your head from your  body right now, and do you know what I would feel? Nothing."

The threat hurt in ways his soulless brother would never understand.

"All you had to do was get in the crew. That's it. So imagine my  reaction when it's announced that the Blackwings registered a bear and a  panther to the crew, but no fuckin' wolf."

Dustin's vision collapsed inward from the lack of oxygen, but Dustin  didn't dare struggle. This is the way it was with Dad, too. Struggle,  and he really would kill him. Wait for him to tire of the abuse, and  Axton might let him breathe another day. He hated his brother. But he  loved him more than anything. He was his alpha. Maybe he should just  provoke Axton this time and end the purgatory.

After Axton released his neck, Dustin doubled over, gasping. Rubbing his  throat, he croaked out, "They aren't done recruiting. I still have  time. Look, they wanted a couple, obviously. Rowan could be breeding and  vulnerable soon, and it'll only be the dark dragon protecting the crew.  I think they picked a mated pair to recruit because Kane's looking for  protective brawlers who care about breeding, too."

"What about your fool-proof way in?" Jace, Second of the Valdoro pack,  asked in a bored voice from where he leaned on Axton's truck.

"Look, Dark Kane knows who I am."

"How do you know?" Axton asked. "And why the fuck didn't you keep from being made?"

"He knew from the moment I walked into his house, Ax. I could see it in  his eyes. Could smell his hatred. It'll take time to earn his trust. He  knows I'm Valdoro pack. I don't know how he does, but trust me, that  dragon has me figured out."

Axton paced away and yelled "fuck!" into the woods. And then he began  talking to himself. Or his wolf? "He's made. What do we do now? We could  go in there hard, bring the medicine to suppress the dragon, keep him  chained up and make him tell us everything about Harper's weaknesses,  then kill him. But what if he escapes? What if his mate defends him? We  could kill her, too. We're already going to kill them both, but we need  information first. They aren't our target. The Bloodrunners are. Can't  get close enough to Harper. We keep trying but she's too wary. She won't  let us near her. Want to hurt her first anyway. Kill her and we'll be  okay again. Take her mountains. It's my territory. Pack territory. Gotta  be careful of her fire. Fire. Fire." Axton squatted down and gripped  the back of his head. "We'll rip the fire from her belly and kill  everything she loves. Hunt like a pack. Work in from the outside. Kill  her pets. Learn her weaknesses. Kill the Blackwing Dragons. Kill her  crew. Kill her mate. That baby. That dragon baby. That baby."                       
       
           



       

Dustin frowned at Jace who was watching Axton's conversation with  himself with as much worry on his face as Dustin felt. Axton smelled  sicker than the last time Dustin had seen him.

Well, at least Dustin understood the plan better now. Axton had been  pretty damn vague when he'd ordered him to apply for the Blackwing Crew.  Honestly, Dustin had been on this little suicide mission thinking he  was just supposed to kill the dragons, not get information about Harper  from them first.

"You said you almost killed them," Axton said, standing and slinking closer, insanity in his bright silver eyes.

"Yeah, when the A-Team came after them. I almost had a chance. Kane and  Rowan were pumped full of drugs and their dragons were suppressed."

"Who's the A-Team?" Jace asked.

"Oh, that's what me and the D-Team named the asshole shoo-ins for the  crew. Except they weren't really there to join. Somebody sent them after  the Blackwing Dragons."

"You ain't no D-Team, you dumbass!" Axton barked out. "Don't lump  yourself with them. You're pack. You're Valdoro. You're mine. Don't you  grow sympathy for those shifters. They're cannon fodder. They're already  dead."

Dustin dipped his gaze to Axton's work boots as the faces of the D-Team  flashed across his mind. Logan, Winter, Beast … Emma. She was just a  helpless human. He didn't like Axton's threat. "What did they do wrong?"

"Weak!" Axton yelled, spittle flying from his lips. "You're so fuckin'  weak. You stink of it. Dad was right. Fucking submissive werewolf, what  good are you? No good to me. You fail and fail and fail. Where were you  when we tried to kill that Bloodrunner bitch, Lexi? Huh? I didn't see  you hunting. I looked around and, poof, my own flesh-and-blood brother  has tucked tail and run like a coward."

The heat of fury blasted up Dustin's cheeks. He hadn't run away. He just  hadn't hunted the human because Axton had been wrong to order the pack  to murder her. Axton had brought the wrath of the Bloodrunners on  himself, but Dustin could never, ever say that out loud if he wanted to  stay alive.

Jace stepped closer and ran his hands through his spiked hair. "Look,  Dustin, you said they were looking for paired-up shifters. I can get you  a female."

"Won't work. They closed down applications."

"Okay," Jace said, "then pair up with a female already up for consideration."

"Emma is the only girl, and she's human."

"Perfect. Manipulate her. Use her. Fuck her, I don't care. Get in the  fucking crew so we can move onto the next step of this plan. Look at  your brother." Jace gestured to where Axton had wandered off to the edge  of the tree line. He was taking a piss and talking to himself. "Losing  the pack was hard on him. The loss is too much on his wolf. If he's  going to be okay, he has to have vengeance. His wolf needs it to steady  out so we can start rebuilding Valdoro."

Dustin didn't like this at all. He'd always gone along with his  brother's decisions because he was the dominant sibling. And when Axton  took alpha of one of the biggest packs in North America, Dustin had been  there to watch him rise, backing him every step of the way. But this?  Going against the dragons to get to another equally lethal dragon? And  it wasn't Jace or Axton taking the risk. They'd put it all on his  shoulders.

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