Savage Redemption - By Alexis Morgan
“Yes, Joss, for the last time, I’ll be there.”
Not that he wanted to be. Conlan kicked back in his chair and propped his feet on the scarred top of his desk. “I said I’d come, and I will. Heck, I even put on a clean shirt.”
He pinched the bridge of his nose and grimaced as he cradled the phone against his ear. Although Joss was his closest friend, she was married to Rafferty O’Day, his boss. All three of them knew that the only reason Conlan had a job at all was because Rafferty didn’t like to refuse his wife anything.
Conlan owed Joss big-time and would do anything in the world for her, including having dinner with her vampire husband and his relatives. That didn’t mean he looked forward to it. He’d rather stay in his quarters out at the edge of the estate with a bottle of scotch and a good book. Knowing Rafferty wasn’t any happier about the evening ahead was the sole bright spot in the whole affair. With that happy thought, Conlan listened impatiently as Joss described the menu and pretended he actually cared.
If he didn’t know better, he would’ve thought Joss was actually nervous. Hell, he’d seen her face down stone-cold killers without blinking an eye, but something about this dinner party definitely had her spooked. Probably something to do with Rafferty’s distant relatives, who’d arrived right before dawn, given they were wealthy purebred vampires while Joss’s veins held the mixed blood of chancellors.
Her human half only made her stronger, but they wouldn’t see it that way. As a chancellor, Joss had all the power of a vampire and came equipped with fangs. But just like Conlan himself, she didn’t need blood to live and could move about freely in sunlight.
The bottom line was that if Joss needed to babble, the least Conlan could do was hear her out. In desperate need of some fresh air, Conlan dropped his feet back down to the ground and headed for the door while she continued to ramble on.
As soon as he stepped out onto the covered porch, he froze. What the hell was that? He lowered the phone and closed his eyes, listening hard. There—he heard it again.
Shots fired. Lots of them, all coming from outside the electrified fence that encircled the entire estate. They weren’t expecting any new arrivals today, but that didn’t mean much. Rafferty maintained an open-door policy when it came to anyone who deserved a fresh start
Besides, if trouble was headed this way, Conlan needed to put a halt to it before it got as far as the gate. His primary duty was to protect those whom Rafferty had already claimed as clan.
“Joss, I hear gunfire. I’ve gotta go.”
He disconnected the call before she could do more than sputter. Back in the office, he grabbed his rifle, a box of ammunition and three extra clips for his sidearm. Meanwhile, he radioed his assistant, who was out patrolling the fence.
“Finn, get your butt back here and call for reinforcements. We’ve got a firefight going on. Sounds like it’s coming from outside the gate, maybe half a mile down the valley. I’m heading out to investigate.” He stopped to listen again. “One more thing. When you catch up, don’t do Rafferty any favors by shooting my ass. I’ll aim for being on the east side, but no guarantees.”
On his way out the door, he hit the button to open the gate and programmed it to close behind him. The gunfire might be a distraction to draw him out, and he wasn’t about to leave the estate vulnerable to invasion.
As he took off down the road, still barking orders to his men over an open channel, he realized he’d found one hell of an alibi for skipping out on Joss’s dinner party. With luck, eventually she’d forgive him.
Conlan paused to catch his breath and listen as another volley of gunfire rang out. Just ahead, the road wound through a narrow valley between rocky hillsides that were covered in scrub bushes and trees. The dirt road was the only way through it, making it the perfect spot to stage an ambush. From the sound of things, several shooters were scattered along the ridges, with only intermittent return fire coming from the valley floor. He couldn’t help wondering who posed the most
danger—the men on the high ground or the poor bastard pinned down on the road?
Only one way to find out. Conlan slowed down to consider the