Play Of Passion - PSY Changeling 9 By Nalini Singh

"Indigo wiped therain off her face, clearing it for a split second, if that. The torrential downpour continued with relentless fury, slamming ice-cold bul ets against her skin and turning the night-dark of the forest impenetrable. Ducking her head, she spoke into the waterproof microphone attached to the sodden col ar of her black T-shirt. “Do you have him in your sights?”
The voice that came back was deep, familiar, and, at that instant, lethal y focused. “Northwest, half a mile. I‟m coming your way.”
“Northwest, half a mile,” she repeated to ensure they were both on the same page. Changeling hearing was incredibly acute, but the rain was savage, drumming against her skul until even the high-tech receiver she‟d tucked into her ear buzzed with noise.
“Indy, be careful. He‟s functioning on the level of a feral wolf.”
Under normal circumstances, she‟d have snarled at him for using that ridiculous nickname. Tonight, she was too worried. “That goes double for you. He hurt you in that first tangle.”
“It‟s only a flesh wound. I‟m going quiet now.”

Slicking back her hair, she took a deep breath of the watery air and began to stalk toward their prey. Her fel ow hunter was right—a pincer maneuver was their best bet of taking Joshua down without damage. Indigo‟s gut clenched, pain blooming in her heart. She didn‟t want to have to hurt him. Neither did the tracker on the boy‟s trail—the reason why the bigger, stronger wolf had been injured in the earlier clash.
But he‟d have to if they couldn‟t bring Joshua back from the edge; the boy was so lost in anguish and torment that he‟d given in to his wolf. And the wolf, young and out of control, had taken those emotions and turned them into rage. Joshua was now a threat to the pack. But he was also their own. They‟d bleed, they‟d drown in this endless rain, but they would not execute him until they‟d exhausted every other option.
A branch raked across her cheek when she didn‟t move fast enough in the stormy weather.
Sharp. Iron. Blood.
Indigo swore low under her breath. Joshua would catch her scent if she wasn‟t careful. Turning her face up to the rain, she let it wash away the blood from the cut. But it was stil too bright, too unmistakable a scent. Wincing—their healer would strip her hide for this—she went to the earth and slathered mud over the superficial injury. The scent dul ed, became sodden with earth.
It would do. Joshua was so far gone that he wouldn‟t detect the subtle undertone that remained.
“Where are you?” It was a soundless whisper as she stalked through the rain-lashed night. Joshua hadn‟t taken a life yet, hadn‟t kil ed or maimed. He could be brought back—if his pain, the vivid, overwhelming pain of a young male on the cusp of adulthood, al owed him to return.
A slashing wind . . . bringing with it the scent of her prey. Indigo stepped up her pace, trusting the eyes of the wolf that was her other half, its vision stronger in the dark. She was gaining on the scent when a wolf‟s enraged howl split the air.
Growls, the sickening clash of teeth, more iron in the air.
“No!” Pushing her speed to dangerous levels, she jumped over fal en logs and new-made streams of mud and water without real y seeing them, heading toward the scene of the fight. It took her maybe twenty seconds and a lifetime.
Lightning flashed the instant she reached the smal clearing where they fought, and she saw them framed against the electric-dark sky, two changelings in ful wolf form, locked in combat. They fel to earth as the lightning died, but she could stil see them, her eyes tracking with lethal purpose.
The tracker, the hunter, was bigger, his normal y stunning silver-colored fur sodden almost black, but it was the smal er wolf, his pelt a reddish hue, who was winning—because the hunter was holding back, trying not to kil . Aware her drenched clothing would make stripping difficult, Indigo shifted as she was. It was a searing pain and an agonizing joy, her clothes disintegrating off her, her body turning into a shower of light before forming into a sleek wolf with a body built for running.
She jumped into the fight just as the red wolf—Joshua—slashed a line into his opponent‟s side. The bigger wolf gripped the teenager‟s neck. He could‟ve kil ed then, as he could have earlier,
but he was attempting only to subdue. Joshua was too far gone to listen; he reached out, trying to go for the hunter‟s bel y. Teeth bared, Indigo leaped. Her paws came down on the smal er wolf, holding his struggling, snarling body to the earth."

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