Logan crouched at the back of a small alleyway. Darkness closed in on him from all sides. His enhanced wolf senses rose to the surface, and his grin turned wicked. He loved hunting, especially deserving prey.
Lifting his head, Logan breathed in the night air. Information blossomed in his mind. Someone had eaten pizza for dinner. Someone else used a very citrusy bodywash that almost made him sneeze. But there, in the distance, was the faint hint of fire.
He kept to the shadows, his movements quiet and sure. His black T-shirt and cargo pants helped him blend in, but Logan understood the power of his prey. It thought he was an easy target, and under normal circumstances, a lone wolf would be.
But Logan was not alone.
He raised his hand and gestured behind him. Aleron, his teammate and a very powerful griffin shifter, moved ahead of him silently. Logan waited for Aleron to get into position, then crept forward himself. Silent movements drew them closer to their prey.
The slightest scrape of a shoe on the concrete ahead alerted him to his prey’s location. Logan froze, his hackles raised, ready for a sneak attack. Instead, their prey darted away, seeming to sense the trap they’d laid.
It moved more quickly than a human, and like them, kept to the shadows. Their target wouldn’t make this easy for them, but that was okay. They didn’t like easy.
Logan again raised his arm, giving another signal. The swish of metal let him know Gideon, the vampire warrior also on their team, was in position. Logan grinned, his fangs lengthening as his wolf sensed victory. Their prey thought it had escaped their trap.
The beast they hunted terrified humans and shifters alike. Deadly and stronger than any shifter had a right to be, it had become a true apex predator to their kind. That didn’t mean Logan and his team couldn’t take the beast down. They’d spent months training for this. Now they had to prove themselves.
He caught a flash of movement before the beast struck. Logan spun away. Air brushed his face, but the beast’s fist missed his nose with millimeters to spare. Logan continued to circle, using his extensive martial arts training to his advantage, and swept their prey’s feet out from under it.
But this creature wasn’t lacking in training of his own. He went down but used the momentum to roll backward and flip to his feet. The beast immediately leaped forward, its powerful legs and supernatural strength allowing it to plow into Logan.
They went down in a tumble of arms and legs. This time, Logan used the beast’s attack to his advantage and flipped him to the side. He added a punch to the ribs for good measure before diving away from the beast’s deadly claws.
Aleron moved in and mimicked Logan’s earlier move. He swept the beast off its feet once more. It landed on its back with a thud. Gideon’s sword pointed at its throat less than a second later.
“Fuck,” the beast growled before it slapped the ground, signaling its defeat.
“Break,” Logan yelled.
The overhead lights came on, and he rose before holding out his hand. Their prey, also known as Vice, a hellhound who’d trained with them on numerous occasions, took his hand and let Logan pull him to his feet.
“How long did I last?” Vice asked.
“Four minutes and twelve seconds,” Scout replied, speaking through the earbuds they all wore.
Scout watched from the control room above, recording the mission on the many video cameras situated throughout the warehouse. Logan looked at them later, and each and every session helped them improve their process. They’d been training together for months, ever since the mysterious oracle plucked them all out of their normal lives and set them up as a team.
“Did I beat Callie?” Vice asked.
Logan snorted. “No one will beat Callie’s time. She kicked our asses.”
Vice laughed and clapped Logan on the shoulder. “I only hope to ever be half as good as my pack’s second.”
“Then you’d better keep practicing,” Gideon said as he slid his sword back into its sheath. “She took us out in… what?”
Gideon glanced up at the control room, seeking the answer.
“A minute forty-five,” Scout replied. “Nobody fucks with Callie. I think we should try to gain on her, though. Maybe see if we can get past the two-minute mark before she hands us our asses.”
Vice groaned. “I clearly need more training, but damned if I’m going to tell her that. I can only handle so much ass kicking. It’s not