logan's choice (dark hollow wolf pack #3) Page 19
“What do you want?” he mumbled, then his eyes adjusted a bit, and he saw Logan, his hands tied behind him and a gag in his mouth. “What the hell?” He took a closer look at the guards, and a huge grin lit up his face. “My God, Nicky! Rory! What on earth are you doing here?”
Nicky and Rory both rushed over to him, pulling Logan along with them. Nicky, ignoring wolf law, hugged Ian, running his hands over his shoulders and arms, checking for injuries. Rory slapped him on the back. They were speaking in hurried, excited whispers.
“We came for you, Rory and me.”
“Good Lord! Marco and Caseyaren’t with you?”
“No. They wouldn’t have let us come. We’re the only ones who had any chance of sneaking inside the compound. You wolves are much too big. We were extra lucky by findingLogan’s room on the roster thing they had in the guardhouse to speed things up.”
Logan hated to think how long it would have taken to locate either one of them without that and cringed even before Ian cut his eyes up at him, his face bitter and unsmiling. He looked away quickly as Rory continued the story and fumbled with the keys to find the one to take the collar, chains, and cuffs off Ian.
“We got him to tell us where they were holding you and here we are.”
Ian chuckled, but he had a look of pure disgust on his face as he kicked the chains away from his feet where Rory let them fall.“That simple, huh? Well, I’m impressed boys, I really am. Now what’s your plan for getting us out of here?”
“We’ll just walk out the same way we came in. If anyone stops us, we say we’re taking you for interrogation.”
Logan made a sound and shook his head. Rory impatiently pulled down the gag. “Won’t work. This is where prisoners are interrogated. Theydon’t take them out of this building. They would know you’re lying.”
Nicky bit his lip and looked at Rory. “Think he’s telling the truth?”
Rory shrugged, but Ian said, “The last time I saw him, his father ordered him whipped. Is his back marked?”
Logan twisted away when Rory moved to work his shirt up, hurt that Ian wouldn’t believe in him. He ordered Rory to put hands on him too, a sure sign he didn’t consider him his mate anymore. What would it prove if he had been whipped? Only that the general didn’t tolerate backtalk any better than Ian did.If they wanted to see his back, they’d have to fight him for a look.
“Just another game they played,” Ian said with a snort, motioning Rory to leave him alone.“Don’t believe a word he says. He’s a fucking liar.”
Logan knew his expression registered a direct hit before he could stop his reaction, and Nicky shuffled uncomfortably. He turned and looked directly at Logan. “Are you telling us the truth?”
“Yes. That’s not the way out. The best way—the only way is to take the tunnel.”
“What tunnel? You never mentioned a damned tunnel before!” Ian’s voice dripped with sarcasm and anger. “You’re lying again. It’s what you’re good at.”
“I forgot before.” At Ian’s scoffing noise, Logan insisted. “I did. You know my memory was bad for a long time. I didn’t think of it anyway until just now when I saw it as we came down. The tunnel is old, andwe didn’t use it for fear of cave-ins. It’s part of an old mine and not safe in places, but it’s the only way out. It goes under the compound and comes out beyond the fence. I’m telling the truth.”
“Just where is this tunnel?” Rory asked.
Logan jerked his head. “At the end of the hall. The small door marked Danger—Keep Out.”
“Let’s try it, Ian. It might be our best shot.”
Ian considered for a moment and then nodded. “Let’s go.”
Nicky pulled Logan’s gag back over his mouth and took his arm to pull him behind him, but Ian growled, “Leave him!”
Logan closed his eyes against the sound of hatred in Ian’s voice. Nicky said, “No, Ian. He’s your mate. No matter how angry you are at him, you have a responsibility to him. He has to feed. You’re sentencing him to death—and worse—if you don’t take him with us.”
Ian hesitated, not looking at Logan and biting the inside of his mouth. “Bring him along if you want to, but I want nothing to do with him. Someone else can feed him.”
Rory and Nicky looked at each other and pulled Logan along with them. They’d both been on the receiving end of a wolf’s rage at one time or another. Logan had only heard the stories but could believe how bad it was when each sympathized with Logan for the first time that night.
They moved quietly down the hallway to the door Logan had mentioned and opened it with one of the keys after a few minutes of fumbling with the large key-ring. They slipped inside and closed it behind them. It was utterly dark inside. Ian, the beta, took charge.
“Rory and I will shift. We see well in the dark. You can take hold of our fur and follow along.”
Rory quickly stripped, and Nicky took his clothing. Rory turned to Logan, untied his hands and pulled off the gag. “Take hold of me, Logan, and Nicky can grab onto Ian.”
Logan heard some sounds beside him in the dark, then a wet muzzle pushed against his hand. He closed his handon the fur at the back of the wolf’s neck and held on tightly. Beside him, he was aware of Nicky doing the same with Ian. From that point on, it was almost too simple. They followed the tunnel for what seemed like a very long time. It was dark and damp, and the air was stale. A couple of times Logan heard the scampering of rats by his feet, but the pathway was pretty clear of rocks and debris. The wolf beside him walked slowly so he could easily follow and catch himself whenever he stumbled. After about twenty minutes, Logan could smell fresh air. In another few minutes, they came out into the crisp, cold air and a bright moonlit night beyond the tunnel.
Before Rory and Ian shifted back into human form, Logan gaped at the huge black wolf that was Ian. He’d never before seen him in wolf form, and in the moonlight with his Werekin enhanced vision he was fascinated by what he could see, and even more fascinated to see how quickly the two of them shifted back.
Ian stood quietly, getting his bearings. “This brought us out on the wrong side of the compound from the highway,” he told Rory.“I’m assuming that’s where you parked.”
“Inside the park at a camp area,” Rory told him.
“We’ll have to circle around then. Barefoot and naked, I’m going to my wolf.”
No one seemed to care anymore if Logan was tied. Whywouldn’t he go with them? He still had to have wolf blood to live. Only Nicky hesitated to see if Logan was going to follow. As far as Logan was concerned, he didn’t have any choice.
Ian transformed. The huge black and,to Logan’s eyes, beautiful wolf silently and swiftly headed north, going down the mountain slope, from the compound, and then straight up the mountain on the other side of a gulley. Rory followed Ian’s wolf trot easily.
Logan and Nicky soon found themselves struggling to keep up even as weak as Ian had to be.
They had to stop frequently for them to catch up on the climb up the steep and heavily forested mountainside. At one such stop, Ian turned, transformed to human form, and frowned at Logan. “If you can’t keep up, you can stay behind. We can’t afford to wait on you.”
Logan tried his best to stay calm, but he’d almost had enough.He wasn’t any further behind than Nicky. “Don’t worry about me. Look out for yourself.”
Ian took a few quick steps back, grabbed his shirtfront, and hauled him up on his toes. “You being smart with me, boy?”
Logan held his ground. “You don’t frighten me. If you got a problem with me, go ahead and bring it!”
Ian snarled and tightened his grip, pulling back a fist, but Nicky pushed his way between them, shoving Ian away from Logan.“Ian, stop! You’ll hurt him in a minute and never forgive yourself. Now stop it!”
Ian gave Logan one more dark sneer, turned away, and took off up the mountain, transforming back to his wolf as he ran. Rory stayed back with Logan and Nicky. They climbed for another hour and Logan was ready to drop from exhaustion. Nicky seemed to be nearer the end of his resources than Logan. Even with Logan’s training and their enhanced strength, neither of them could keep the pace the wolves set.
Finally, Ian transformed and called a halt. “We’re far enough away now to stop for a while and get some rest.”
He fell down in front of a huge, old oak tree and lay flat on his back, breathing hard. The long days of enforced captivity and the wounds had taken their toll on his body. From what Logan understood, the shifting had helped him heal, but he hadn’t stayed in his wolf form long enough yet with the added exertion of the climb to completely recover.
“No fire,” he called out. “We’re still too close to their camp.”
The cold night had Nicky and Logan both shivering. Rory sat down near Nicky, and they talked so quietly Logan couldn’t hear what they were saying. He was cold, tired, and heartsick, and all he wanted to do was sleep. He fell down on his side, and tried to rest, but it was too cold. Miserable, he sat up and wrapped his arms around his knees, shivering.
Rory raised his head and sniffed the air. “Casey’s coming.”
Nicky gasped and even Ian sat up, paying attention.
“How do you know?” Logan asked.
“Wolves can sense their mates. It’s usually a one way communication, but Rory and Caseyare both wolves,” Nicky explained quickly. “Rory, is Marco with him?”
“You know he is, Nicky.” Rory answered.
Nicky moaned. “We’re both in for it. How did they get close enough to sense us so soon?”
“Did you put the maps up?” Rory asked.
Nicky got one of those blank, oh shit looks on his face.
Rory tried to look disdainful, but Logan could see he was worried too. Nicky moved over to sit down close to Ian. “Don’t let him kill me, Ian.”