“Dammit, Kane, I’ll shoot you, too,” she threatened fiercely as he started up the steps. “Put me down before you drop me.”
“Not a chance,” he promised, glancing down at her, loving that dark little frown on her face as he headed for their bedroom. “I’ll never drop you, baby, and I’ll never let you go. Never again, Sherra.”
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She touched his face and heat exploded inside him. A touch, given freely, a mate’s caress, as he had come to call it when he saw it between Callan and Merinus.
“Never again, Kane,” she agreed before she rested her head against his shoulder, her arms wrapping around his shoulders as she held onto him. “Never again.”
Kane massaged his neck tiredly, the ache from the debilitating blow the day before still smarting. The blow to his pride was worse, though. When he had walked into the guesthouse, he just hadn’t been prepared. Which was no excuse.
The guards had been outside the guesthouse, relaxed and comfortable. The chauffeur had been cordial as he opened the door. There had been no warning of what awaited him inside. A second later, blinding pain had rendered him unconscious. As unconscious as Callan, Taber and Dawn were. The assassin hadn’t wasted any time. The house guards had been systematically tranquilized, then bound hand and foot before he began to make his way to his victims. He had found Roni first, taking her with him. Cassie had left her room by then, foiling his attempts to get to her. As he made his way to Merinus’
room he had heard something along the other hall that had sent him scurrying into that spare bedroom. Likely little Cassie’s knock at Sherra’s door.
The assassin had been hired by Aaron Lawrence to help kidnap his daughter. But he had been approached later by the Purist Society to kill her instead. He had used the elder Lawrence to gain his way into the compound and to carry out the plan the Society had laid out. A society backed by the remaining, secretive members of the Genetics Council. And he had almost succeeded.
“This has to stop.” Callan stood at the window of the office, his shoulders thrown back, his long mane of hair held back by a leather strip at his nape. He looked just as wild as his nature. “One of these days, they’ll succeed.”
Kane ran his hands over his closely cropped hair in frustration as he stared at his quiet sister. Merinus had said little since coming into the meeting. She had been crying, though. Her eyes were red and swollen from those tears. Dawn was still in the medical facility downstairs. She had taken the brunt of the injuries. She had been the first one the assassin had attacked. After taking out the other two guards he had tortured both her and Seth Lawrence as he repeatedly hit her, threatening to rape her as he demanded the locations of the rooms inside.
“We enact Breed Law,” Sherra snapped then. “We have it for a reason.”
“If you enact the Law, you lose the majority of public support.” The government advisor, Senator Samuel Tyler, Kane’s uncle, watched them all sympathetically. “You’ll also lose support within the government. Things could go from sugar to shit fast, Sherra.”
“And it’s not now?” She turned on the distinguished politician furiously. “That was your niece he nearly killed, Tyler. Would you have approved it if he succeeded?”
“I would have killed him myself,” he snapped back, just as angry, his brown eyes darkening further as she confronted him. “I’m not telling you what to do, Sherra, I’m warning you that no matter who dies, that’s what will happen. An act of aggression from the Breeds will only fuel those like the Purists further. In turn, the propaganda could destroy any chance of acceptance that you could have.”
“Well, hell, let’s just let them pick us and our children off one by one,” she argued back at him. “You and your people let that pimply faced bastard who fired the missile at the house off no more than a week ago. The son of a bitch is already free and another takes his place. Where does it stop, Senator?”
“Enough, Sherra.” Kane came tiredly to his feet, unwilling to see the danger they faced turning into a battle between the Breeds and the government. “This isn’t the way to do it.”
He wrapped his fingers around the nape of her neck, massaging the tense muscles there as she leaned into him comfortably. Her expression was tormented as his other hand covered her abdomen. Their child rested there. Another child in danger.
“We fight back.” Callan’s voice stilled them all.
“Callan, think about this…” Sam Tyler spoke up.
“Shut up, Sam,” John Tyler, the patriarch of the family ordered coolly. “I know your stand. If you don’t want to hear what’s about to be said then go back to Washington. I’ll be damned if I’ll stand behind you on this one.”
Kane turned back to his father. Surrounding Merinus were the Tyler brothers. All of them. The meeting room was nearly filled to capacity. Kane knew what was getting ready to come. He knew, because it was a suggestion he had made himself more than a month ago.
Callan moved back to the center of the room. “We strike back at the Purists and the Council members attempting to move against us.”
“Strike back?” Sam was about to have another of his political seizures, Kane could see. Thankfully, he might be an uptight bastard, but when it came to his family, he was a loyal one.
“Merc will put together two teams,” Callan said coldly. “They want to send in assassins? Let them see what happens when they’re faced with the people trained to take out men like that on a daily basis. We were trained to track, hunt and kill. Tanner and Merinus, along with John and the paper, will keep propaganda in force. But our people will now enact Breed Law. Silently. Eventually, they’ll get the message. No more calls will be made to Washington after an attack. No more pleas for justice. We’ll take care of our own.”
Sam gazed around at the men and women facing him. Kane could see the resignation, even the shuttered agreement in his gaze.
“Tell me what you need,” he said then. “I’ll make sure you get it.”
“We’ll turn this one over to you. It’s too late to hide it,” Callan said, his voice unemotional. “If he’s freed by your so-called justice system, within a month, he will meet a very unfortunate end. From this day forward, we will make certain Breed affairs stay just that. Breed affairs.”