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Out Today!

It’s JMS Books’ anniversary month! Books are on sale! And today, Cole and Justin enter the world. It’s currently on sale directly from the publisher so you can click here.

Cole Demauro is the de facto leader of his coven and he takes that responsibility seriously. But the coven is one member short and finding a witch to fill the spot has proven difficult. It’s not easy to find a person who not only has magic that resonates with the coven, but also fits in. But there’s no doubt the coven needs another witch to bolster everyone’s magic. After all, covens work best with twelve witches.

Enter Justin Trews.

New to the area and reluctant to join a coven, Justin’s been managing on his own. But it’s no longer enough. When they meet for the first time, Justin’s magic is a mess, and Cole is determined to help. Not only is the beautiful man clearly suffering, but Cole is the type to want to fix it. His attraction to Justin only increases that need. But what neither man expects is how well their magic fits together.

Justin is cautious, but Cole is nothing if not patient. He works to coax Justin out of his shell and persistently shows Justin there’s nothing to fear. When Justin agrees to take the risk, everything falls into place. Justin is a perfect fit for the coven. More than that, he’s the perfect fit for Cole.

I was super excited to be a part of this anniversary celebration, and I fell in love with Cole and Justin along the way. Which I’m sure surprises absolutely no one. This story has magic and two men who find their way to each other. Low angst, lots of good feels, and crystals and weather magic.

When I finished the story, though, I knew I wasn’t done with these guys. This story ends with an HFN, which is great. But Justin immediately told me that not only is there more to their story, but that he was the one to tell it. The 12th Witch is told from Cole’s POV, but Justin has some things to say. So I’m in the process of writing that down now, and if all goes according to plan (because I always need to hedge my bets) you’ll be able to pick up their next installment in a few months. Tentatively titled Crystal Clear I hope to have it out in October, just in time for Samhain.

Anyway, I hope you pick this up and enjoy it as much as I did writing it. As I said, it’s on sale now if you get it directly from JMS. And it’s available at the rest of the usual places, if you prefer to read a different way. Here’s a few links!

Amazon Apple Books Dreame Kobo

Flash Fic Friday, Serial

Flash Fic Friday

**Episode 9! I’ve said before I don’t know how long this is going to be and that’s truer than ever. Even though one drama has passed…. well, let’s just say things are coming. Enjoy!**

Seeing Walker and Archer with their pack was…comforting in a way I didn’t expect. En route back to pack territory, Walker received a message from the alpha that everyone was gathering on the running grounds. I didn’t know where that was, but Walker directed me to a clearing surrounded by trees on the outskirts of town. The sheer number of cars was impressive, as was the amount of people and wolves milling about. I’d known the pack was large, but I hadn’t realized just how large. There were at least thirty beings standing around.

Walker all but jumped out of the car the instant we stopped. He quickly pulled open the back door and Archer bounded out, making a beeline for the alpha. She immediately knelt, receiving him into her arms and holding him close. Archer let out a plaintive whine, but she shushed him, rubbing his face and neck, leaving her scent on him. He laid his head over her shoulder and gave her his weight.

With tears in his eyes, Walker watched them, but he didn’t move. I slowly rounded the front of the car to stand by him, and though he didn’t acknowledge me, he took a step closer. I laid a hand on the back of his neck, though it was almost an unconscious movement from me. It wasn’t something I would normally do, but after everything that had happened, it felt right.

“Go on,” I whispered softly. 

Walker shuddered and leaned against me. “Don’t leave.”

I blinked, surprised by that. But after a second, I quickly responded. “I’ll stay if you want me to.”

Walker sucked in a breath and nodded. Then he turned his head, rubbed his cheek against my shoulder in a quick motion, and ran to his son. He dropped to his knees and the alpha pulled him into their embrace. In that moment, I envied wolf shifters and the fact that connection to the pack, and an alpha who truly cared for their wolves, was able to heal a lot of hurts.

The alpha pulled back, removed her clothes, and shifted in seconds. Then she threw her head back and howled. It was a haunting sound that filled and hung in the air. All around, shifters pulled off their clothes and changed. I watched as all the wolves converged on the trio. A mass of gray, brown, and red fur as every wolf moved in to comfort and reassure Archer.

I was so enraptured by the sigh before me, I didn’t even notice when Gareth and Aeron wandered closer, and jumped when Gareth laid a hand on my arm. So much for the situational awareness I’d had drilled into me in training.

“He’s going to be fine,” Gareth said, his soft tone filled with confidence. “Owen explained it to me. It won’t be easy, and maybe not even quick, but Archer is going to be fine.”

“Good.” I knew it already, of course, but it was a relief to hear it confirmed. I was worried about the kid, maybe more than I should have been. But he was Walker’s son, and Walker…well, I didn’t have the words to explain how I was drawn to him. I just knew that I was. And it probably wasn’t the best to try and figure out why. To even talk to Walker about it. He had enough going on right now.

I wasn’t even really supposed to be here. All this was because after the shitstorm that went down at the MBI, and my demotion that leadership claimed wasn’t a demotion, I’d decided to visit Gareth and Owen instead of doing the reasonable thing and going home and getting drunk to wallow. Which didn’t make sense when I thought about it. They weren’t friends. Not really. I’d met them during a case and I shouldn’t be socializing. Only I’d felt drawn to them too, and gone against my better judgement to become their friend.

“Lane.” Aeron’s voice was loud in my ear, and I startled to realize he was standing right next to me. “Stop thinking so much.”

“I don’t know what you mean,” I said, fooling absolutely no one.

Aeron’s smirked. “I can practically hear you thinking. I get it. But remember, you have magic and sometimes it does what it wants.”

I squinted at him. “What does that mean?”

But he didn’t answer. Just more smirking and then he stepped back quickly. “Wolf incoming.”

“What?”

A large gray wolf inserted itself between me and Aeron, and gave a growl in Aeron’s direction before dismissing Aeron entirely. The wolf started sniffing me, my wrists, knees, and the small of my back, rubbing against me with its entire body. It took me a couple of seconds to put it together, but since the wolf was a bigger, more muscled version of Archer, I realized pretty quickly it must be Walker.

Walker sat, practically on my foot, and then shot Gareth a glare as well. Walker licked his muzzle and Gareth chuckled as he moved away from me. Owen ran over and herded Gareth even farther.

“What is going on?” I murmured to no one in particular. No one with a human mouth saw fit to answer me though. I made a mental note to make someone explain when emotions weren’t so high.

But for now, I just put my hand on Walker’s head and rubbed his ears, the way I’d seen Gareth do to Owen. A few moments later, Oscar slinked out of the car and joined us. But instead of using his claws to climb up my clothes, or meowing at my feet to demand to be picked up, the cat pushed his way between Walker’s front legs and mirrored his protective stance.

Yeah. Someone was definitely going to have to give me all the answers. And soon.

Flash Fic Friday, Serial

Flash Fic Friday

**Things are insane at the day job, and I just didn’t have the brain power last week. It’s not much better this week, but I didn’t want y’all to have to wait any longer for the next update in Lane and Walker’s story. So here we are with episode 8! Enjoy!**

It wasn’t hard to find Walker and Archer. Not only were there only so many places they could be, but my bond with Oscar led me in the right direction. The familiar was anxious, wanting me with them, but he was also doing his best to provide comfort to Walker and Archer. I headed straight for the conference room at the end of the hall, internally glad they hadn’t stuffed the Hemming men in one of the interrogation rooms. Neither one of them deserved the sterileness of one of those rooms after everything they’d been through.

This room had a couch as well as a mini fridge, and though there was a two-way glass, no one was hiding in the small room to observe. I saw that clearly as the door was open, and so was the door to the room where Walker and Archer were.

Oscar looked up when I entered, and though my familiar didn’t experience emotions the same way a human did, he was definitely glad I was back with them. But he still didn’t try to escape Walker’s arms, and I was pleased he felt so comfortable with Walker. 

I didn’t say anything when I entered, just quietly took them in. Archer was the spitting image of his father, with the same dark hair and facial features. He still had that young and gangly appearance about him, and even though they were sitting, I could see he was already as tall as his dad. Maybe he’d be taller when he finished growing. Archer had his eyes closed, and the scrubs he wore were too large for him, but he didn’t seem to care. Maybe he was even glad for it as he huddled into them, as though he was trying to protect himself, and was leaning heavily into his father’s side.

Both wolves inhaled deeply, and Walker’s head shot up to look at me. A tiny smile graced his lips, but it immediately fell when Archer pushed closer to him and buried his face against Walker’s neck. Walker finally let go of my cat to hug his son with both arms. Oscar hopped off Walker’s lap and took up residence on the arm of the sofa, keeping his bright yellow eyes fixed on the pair of wolves.

“Hey Arch,” Walker said, voice soft. “This is Lane. Agent Delaney Willis. He’s been helping.”

Archer peeked out with one eye, gave me a small nod, and went back to scenting his father’s neck. I’m sure, after everything, it was a huge comfort.

“Hello, Archer. I’m glad we found you and you’re back with your dad.”

This time Archer nodded more vigorously but didn’t move from where he had his nose pressed against his father’s skin.

I had the strangest urge to go over there and wrap them both up in my arms, but of course I didn’t. Archer didn’t know me, and most likely didn’t want to be touched by strangers right now. Probably not for a while. I couldn’t blame him. Wouldn’t blame him in fact. The trauma he’d been through was enough to break older people, let alone a fifteen-year-old boy. So I stayed where I was, only moving enough to lean on the wall just inside the door.

I wanted to get them out of there. I wanted to let Archer shift, and Walker as well if he wanted, and take them both home so they could just be with their pack. But the agency needed details if they were going to prosecute the perpetrators and get justice for the victims. Sharon had told me that there was a lot of evidence on scene, and other victims willing to talk. But some of them were in far worse shape than Archer, and we needed as much information as possible.

Agent O’Neil joined us a moment later, and I respected that he moved slowly and spoke softly.

“Willis, if you’ll wait in the hall, we can get started.”

I made to move but Walker’s quick “No!” froze me in my tracks. Archer jumped at the sound, and Walker soothed his son with a back rub, even as he kept his gaze on me. “Lane stays.”

O’Neil seemed to contemplate that for a long moment, before letting out a sigh. He set the folder he was carrying on the table, sat in one of the chairs, and then set up a recording device.

“Is it okay if I record this?”

Walker stared before seemingly deciding that meant I could stay. “I’m okay with it. Arch?”

The kid mad a noise that must have meant assent because Walker motioned for O’Neil to go on. O’Niel turned on the device, went through the official spiel, then turned his attention to Archer.

“I promise you were going to do this as fast as possible, and get you home to your pack. But Archer, I need to know everything you can think of. Tell me everything.”

Archer took a several long, slow, deep breaths, and then lifted his head. He stared O’Neil down, not breaking, though his voice was shaky.

“I told the woman who got me out.”

O’Neil nodded. “I know. And to be honest, you’ll probably have to go through it a few times. But tell me again.”

“It’s okay, Archer. I’ve got you. And alpha and the pack are waiting for us.”

Archer trembled, but he controlled it quickly. “I don’t know much. I swear. I was walking home from the park, when I got this weird feeling I was being followed. I looked around but didn’t see anything, so I just sped up. But a few moments later, I was grabbed from behind. I must have blacked out, I don’t think they hit me but I woke up in the warehouse when they were ca—” His voice broke and he took a moment, pressing harder against Walker’s side. “When they were carving into my chest. I tried not to scream.”

Walker let out a whine that Archer immediately echoed. Oscar was quick to join them again, purr starting up. I couldn’t take it either and crossed the floor to stand close to them, but stayed on Walker’s side. He shot me a quick grateful look. 

“Don’t worry about that. You’re doing great.” The words were out before I could even think to check them, my training and instincts kicking in when I should be keeping my mouth shut. O’Neil shot me a glare, but didn’t otherwise acknowledge it.

He turned back to Archer. “How many were there?”

“Three.” Archer wrinkled his nose. “I think. I think there were three. It was hard to tell. They always wore robes with these really big hoods. I couldn’t see their faces. But it smelled like three different people.”

“Okay. Good. Then what happened?”

“It’s all kind of fuzzy. I felt magic all around me, all the time. It was making it hard to think. They took me in a room and chained me up. I could hear other people. Other, uh, v-v-victims. But I couldn’t really see anything. They kept us apart, and they had my neck chained, and I tried to fight but I couldn’t think and—”

“Shhh. You’re okay. I’m right here.” Walker continued to murmur and settle his son, constant touches and pulling Archer in tight so he could scent Walker’s neck and know he was safe now.

I gave O’Neil a very pointed look. After a battle of wills where we simple stared at each other, O’Neil finally gave up. He turned off the recorder and picked up his things.

“Take him home,” O’Neil said, not addressing anyone in particular. “If he remembers anything else, anything at all, let me know immediately. I’ll be in touch after he has a chance to process all of this.”

With that, O’Neil swept from the room. Walker stared after him, mouth hanging open, before he shook that thought off and looked up at me.

“That’s it?”

I wouldn’t lie to him. “For now. There will be many more questions in the days and weeks to come. But for now, you can go and get Archer the support of the pack he needs.”

“You too?” 

I blinked, sort of surprised. “Yeah. Me too. I’ll take you home, if you want. Or I can arrange a ride. And if Archer wants to shift, we can accommodate his wolf.”

“Please, Dad.”

“Yeah, honey. Go ahead.” Walker kissed Archer’s forehead then pulled away, picking up my familiar as he stood.

“I’ll just step out,” I started to say, but Archer didn’t wait. He was apparently unconcerned about being naked, because he practically tore off the scrubs he wore, dropped to his knees, and changed. Within thirty seconds, a gangly, somewhat scrawny gray wolf with white markings sat panting on the carpet. He was still bigger than a wild wolf, and I could see he still had growing to do. He’d be a big wolf once he reached adulthood.

Walker took a long moment to rub Archer’s ears and scruff, and Archer let out a low, content sounding grumbly sort of growl. He leaned against his father and absorbed the attention. I didn’t know what it was like to be a shifter, but I knew that their animal form went a long way to healing hurts, both physical and emotional. I knew he’d do even better when he was with his pack, surrounded by them all and having his alpha right there.

Walker took a breath, and then handed me Oscar, and offered me a tremulous smile.

“Please take us home.”

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Flash Fic Friday

**And now onto episode 7 for Lane! Emotions are still high. Enjoy!**

Walker didn’t say a word as I broke about seven traffic laws to get us to headquarters as quickly as possible. Oscar was in his arms, though, and Walker seemingly mindlessly rubbed the cat’s ears while Oscar purred as loudly as possible. I’d have to remember to give my familiar extra treats for trying to calm the worried wolf.

I parked—badly, but I didn’t care—and raced around the front of the vehicle in time to catch Walker before he strode off. He still had Oscar firmly in his hold, and since Oscar didn’t seem to care, I didn’t mind. Instead, I led Walker to the front doors and right to the reception desk. Then staunchly ignored the strange looks John shot me as he signed Walker in and passed over a visitor badge. I had every right to be in the building, and since Sharon had requested I bring Walker in, I even had the right to bypass protocol and take him straight to the tenth floor and her office. No one tried to stop me.

Until I hit the hallway leading to the conference room and Chad Toddington stepped in my way.

The agent was a no neck bull shifter with a chip on his shoulder who very much liked to throw his weight around. He was broad enough to take up at least half the hallway, and he planted himself firmly in our path, his gaze fixed firmly on me.

“You can’t be here. I’ll take this one.”

Walker’s hand shot out lightning fast to grab my wrist, and that was all that stopped me from exploding. I was done with the bullshit, and my usual even temper was at its end. But Walker’s touch soothed me, gave me a second to think, and instead, I was able to pull in a breath.

“AIC Wright requested that—”

“I don’t give a fuck,” he snarled, and I swear, if he’d been able, smoke would have curled out of his nose.

“He stays with me.” Walker’s voice wasn’t loud, but it was firm. I snapped my gaze to Walker, but he was staring down Chad. “I need him.”

Chad was going to refute that. Red crept along his neck, snaking up his face, and his gaze narrowed. But before he could speak, Sharon stepped into the hall.

“Willis.” It was all she had to say.

I gently broke the hold Walker had on my wrist, only to then wrap my fingers around his. Walker took a breath, and when I stepped around Chad, Walker moved with me. We hurried down the hall and into Sharon’s office.

“Your son is all right,” Sharon said quickly and without preamble. “He’s just finishing up with medical now, and he still needs to be debriefed, but you can see him in just a few minutes. You can be with him throughout questioning, and I’m sorry to say that we need to do that quickly. I just want to fill you in, give you what we know so you can be prepared before we start. So bear with me for just a few minutes and we’ll bring your son to you. All right?”

“But Archer’s okay?” Walker’s voice was high and tight, his eyes a little wild. I intertwined our fingers—because Walker hadn’t let go of my hand—and Oscar pushed his face against Walker’s neck. Walker took a breath, but it had little effect.

“He is. I promise. Fortunately, he was only held for a few hours.” Sharon gestured toward the chairs on the public side of the desk and took her own seat. I had to coax Walker down, and even then, he was still rigid with tension. “He is not unscathed, and your son is a fighter. Which is both good and bad in this situation. He held his own, but he did suffer from bruising and lesions. Medical assures me it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a shift or two.”

Walker nodded jerkily. “He’s a tough kid. Sweet as hell, but he doesn’t back down from bullies. He’s okay?”

I slid my chair closer. Walker wouldn’t believe his son was okay until he saw the kid for himself. I got that. But it would still be a few minutes, and until then, I was the only support he had. I was happy to provide it.

“Mr. Hemming, I know this is hard to hear. But your son was taken, along with several others, were marked for sacrifice to an old god. We’re still gathering evidence, so we don’t have all the details.” Sharon took a breath. “The symbol was carved into Archer’s chest.”

Walker let out a high-pitched whine that sounded more wolf than human. Oscar echoed the sound. I pulled them both close, since Walker was still holding Oscar in one arm, and Walker pushed his nose right against my neck. He was breathing too fast, and I gripped the back of his neck tightly, letting out a little magic filled with calm to help him get himself under control. It took a moment. But when he was able to breathe without hyperventilating, he turned his head to look at Sharon without pulling away.

Her smile was full of understanding. “He’s going to need therapy after this, someone to talk to. And my guess is he’ll want to spend time as a wolf?”

“Yeah. The pack has a counselor.”

“That’s good.” She looked up, and that drew my attention to the door, where another agent had appeared. The agent said nothing, but Sharon nodded. “If you’ll follow Agent Collins here, she’ll take you to your son.”

For just a split second, Walker looked torn and by the way he gripped me, I knew he wanted me to come. But I needed to debrief with Sharon first, tell her all that I had seen. I dipped my head so I could speak directly in his ear.

“Take Oscar with you.” I gave my familiar a quick scritch on the ruff. “He’ll stay close by and I’ll come find you in a few minutes, after I speak with AIC Wright.”

Walker nodded, took another deep breath, and I sweat I felt the barest hint of his lips on my skin before he pulled away completely. When he stood, Oscar crawled up onto his shoulders and settled in. I shot Oscar a quickly looking, hoping the cat didn’t claw Walker as he sometimes did me, and that my familiar knew I wouldn’t be far behind. Normally, Oscar didn’t like being out of my sight, or rather me being out if his, but the implacable stare I got back told me it would be find.

I watched until Walker disappeared with Collins, then turned my attention back to Sharon. Her mouth was turned down, her eyes squinting a little as she stared at me.

“What’s with you and the wolf?”

I waved that away, because I didn’t have an answer. I just knew that from the moment I laid eyes on him, despite his panic, I’d wanted him. But the fact that Walker seemed not only comfortable in my presence but sought out my touch, warmed my insides. And I was pissed I hadn’t been the one that had ridden in on a white horse and rescued his son.

I wasn’t sure what that said about me.

Sharon let the subject drop, and for that, I was grateful. She pinched the bridge of her nose, breathed deeply, and then focused all her attention on me.

“Tell me what you know.”

Without hesitation, and as quickly and succinctly as possible, I did. I needed to get back to my wolf.

Flash Fic Friday, Serial

Flash Fic Friday

**Episode 6! Prepare for action, because hoo boy. Enjoy!**

Before the mages could fill me in, the wolves turned as a unit toward the door. Human growls weren’t as chest rattling as in wolf-shape, but were terrifying enough. Especially in unison. Marco moved like a flash, putting himself between Aeron and the door. Owen took up a defensive posture as well and stalked toward the door. I raced to keep up.

“What is it?”

“Fox,” Owen growled. 

I almost asked whether it was a shifter or an animal, but I caught myself before it escaped. No one would be reacting this way if it was simply an animal. I quickly put a hand on his shoulder, trying to temper his reaction. I knew everyone was on high alert and with good reason, but I was pretty sure the person on the other side of the door was the agent we were waiting for.

Owen, it seemed, trusted me enough to curb some of the obvious aggression, though he was still tense with it under my hand. He took another deep breath through his nose, shot me a look, and then opened the door. Owen made sure to keep himself between the door and everyone else in the house.

The agent was at least smart enough to have his badge on prominent display. We technically didn’t have to wear it out, as long as we had it on us, but O’Neil had it on a chain around his neck. His nostrils flared, taking things in, but otherwise didn’t move. He rather looked like prey caught in a predator’s gaze. Which wasn’t inaccurate.

“Agent Willis?” O’Neil kept his tone low, and though he spared me a glance, he kept most of his attention on the pissed off wolf standing between us. “AIC Wright sent me.”

“Agent O’Neil,” I greeted. “You’ll have to cut the wolves some slack. As you can imagine, everyone is on edge.”

“Understandable.” His voice was deep, and he had that no nonsense tone many field agents possessed. Being on Sharon’s team, it wasn’t a surprise. “Read me in.”

“Owen, let the agent in,” Gareth called.

Owen grumbled, a rumble of noise in his chest, but then he stepped back. Agent O’Neil entered but kept his guard up. He only went as far as the entrance to the living room, not encroaching too far into the territory. I wasn’t sure if it was his training or his instinct as a shifter, but either way, it was a good call.

I took point, because emotions were running high. As quickly and as concisely as possible, I filled O’Neil in on all we knew. Gareth chimed in with what he and Aeron had seen in the scrying glass, and Aeron made a pained noised when O’Neil turned his attention to him. Silence reigned for a moment, and I cleared my throat.

“Agent O’Neil, I believe our problem is even worse than first suspected. Archer had a sigil on his chest.” I glanced at Walker, hating that I was dropping this on him. I turned my attention back to O’Neil, giving him a meaningful look, so he’d know it wasn’t just drawn there. “While I didn’t recognize in its entirety, it was similar to ones I’ve seen in worship to Crom Cruach.”

O’Neil let out a curse, vehement and with feeling. He whipped out his phone, pressed the screen, and lifted it to his ear. Within a second, he spoke. “Collins, we have confirmation. Yes, credible. Move in. Now!”

“What’s happening?” Walker’s voice was high and panicked.

“Stay here,” O’Neil barked, racing for the door. “We will get your son back.”

The wolves moved, but O’Neil was faster, out the door and gone. The car peeled away from the curb a second later. Marco yanked off his shirt, then dropped, and I knew he was prepared to shift and follow.

“Hold!” My blood raced, and I knew I had seconds, maybe less, to get this situation under control. “Please, just wait.”

No one wanted to, I knew that. But we didn’t have enough information to go tearing after O’Neil.

“Explain,” Marco growled, fangs pressing against his lips.

“If the agent was prepared to move this fast, they already knew more than they’ve given us. Sharon hinted something more was going on, and if O’Neil didn’t have time to explain, time is of the essence.” I blew out a breath. “I’m not privy to details, and I’m sorry about that. But what I do know is that the MBI had a team in place, ready to move in as soon as they got the go ahead. That means they’ve had the situation under surveillance and were getting everything in order. This is the piece they needed to take the perpetrator down.”

“You trust this woman?” Gareth asked, not unkindly.

“I do.”

Owen snarled. “But the MBI fucked you over.”

That was true. 

“But she didn’t. She wouldn’t. Especially not with a kid involved. I know you all want to race in.” Hell, I did too. I looked straight at Walker, wanting nothing more than to be the one to rescue his child and give him back. I shook that thought off. Now was not the time. “But in this situation, it’s better to wait.”

Walker took a shaky breath, then walked over to me. He wasn’t entirely steady, stumbling the last step, and I caught him. He clutched my shirt. “Please, tell me what’s…. I need to know what’s going on.”

I cupped his cheek, not caring that it was completely inappropriate. His big brown eyes were wet and fearful. And as much as I didn’t want to scare him anymore, he deserved the truth.

“Archer has been marked for sacrifice.” I kept my voice low and soft. “My guess is he’s not the only one, which is why agents were ready to move.”

“My kid is—”

I cut him off before he could complete the sentence. “Don’t think about that.”

“How can I not?” The growl was fierce

I didn’t have a good answer, and I held Walker tighter because the way he sagged made me think his knees were about to give out. I caressed his cheek with my thumb.

“I know. I’m sorry.” I had no words to make this better. I wasn’t even going to try. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what he was feeling.

Then my phone rang, and I only let go of Walker enough so that I could pull it from my pocket. Sharon’s name flashed across the screen. I nearly fumbled it in the haste to answer it.

“We’ve got him.” Sharon said quickly, before I could even get a word out. “He’s doing okay, as are the others. Bring the father to HQ.”

I didn’t need to relay the message to Walker. With his ability, he had no trouble hearing. He sagged against me, and I nearly stumbled under his weight. The he buried his face against my neck and sobbed his relief.