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The Demon Within (A PeaceKeeper Novel Book 1)(62)

By:Stacey Brutger

Despite his fear, that was not what had him on edge. He could manage and beat CreedMark by sheer will and simply refuse to fall to the disease. No, what had him perched at the edge of the seat like some virgin at her first bedding was Victor's apparent fascination as he stared out the window. The paper slowly shredded under his hands as every instinct howled at him to protect the girl.

"It's practically morning. I wanted to warn you Dame Judith will be attending the meeting. She wants an answer to her proposal." Victor took his time as he turned away from the window as if bastard didn't know it irritated the shit out of him.

"A partnership with the clans." Leo studied the paper, his mind on the girl, worried if she found enough food, if she was warm enough with the nights getting colder with early frost, and now how to keep her hidden from his own clan.

Victor snorted and took a seat in front of the desk. "You in her bed more like it. She's been chasing you for years. Now that she has you where she wants you, she's not going to let you go."

"Then we'll have to convince her otherwise. I'm not available."

"Hell, Leo, as of two months ago, you kept a harem of women at your beck and call. What's the harm in adding one more?"

He lifted his attention from the mangled paper, the hackles at the back of his mane rising. "She has no intention of being one of many. She wants to be the only one."

All humor vanished from his second in command. "People are asking questions about your ability to lead."

"There is nothing wrong with my leadership abilities." Frustration twisted through Leo at their ungratefulness. He'd been in charge of the clan for over twenty years when it was only a few of them, taking them from a pack of strays to one of the most powerful clans in the northern region. He'd devoted his life to bringing the pack back to the grandeur of their grandfather's era. Since he'd been injured, a subtle shift had rippled through the pack.

"They're just concerned."

But neither of them believed that. There had been rumblings long before he'd been injured, discontent about his iron fist and demand for absolute obedience. "Find me someone strong enough to rule, and I'll step down." Both of them knew that there was no one else. Without him as leader, the pack would slowly disintegrate from within.

Victor didn't say anything for a moment, all the good cheer he hid behind gone. "Maybe it's time to let them find that out for themselves."

"Pull back the pride?" Leo yearned for that very thing for a long time. They were so close, but he shook his head. "We're not strong enough. There are too few of our kind to survive an attack from neighboring clans or the vampires. We can't chance it."

"Can't we?" Victor stood and started pacing, his movements sharp, agitated. Light tinged the skyline and the city in the distance, heralding a new day. "The meeting starts in an hour. Tell her yes. Hell, tell her no, but you can't keep hiding behind these walls."

Leo glanced at the clock, then ran a hand over his buzz cut, absently noting that his hair needed to be trimmed again. He would love to be able to go outside, but without the use of his cane, each step would be agony. He couldn't stand long without its assistance. Pack wouldn't tolerate any show of weakness from its Leo.                       


So until he was healed, he was trapped in this house, in these room, caged like an animal. He was slowly going insane. The only distraction from his problems was the mysterious woman who had moved into his shed two weeks ago.

He watched her sneak past his security system and guards time and time again, using different methods. Each night brought something different.

He envied her the freedom and the thrill of adventure.

His fascination with her was a danger for both of them with the leadership of the pack so unsettled. Without his full strength, he wouldn't be able to protect her. He had to be content to watch.

At least for now.

He purposely turned away from the window, a little disturbed to catch Victor staring at the shed. Protective urges roared through him, prodding him to give the boy a swipe for daring to look at what was his.

Instead, he tucked the anger away, not questioning his ownership of his unexpected houseguest.