Harley Grant ran her hands down her little black dress as she climbed the steps in her surprisingly comfortable platform heels and walked into the crowded nightclub. The throbbing techno beat immediately made her sensitive ears ring and she winced. She’d have a splitting headache in five minutes. Loud noises always did that to her, which was one of the many reasons she hadn’t been to places like this since turning into a werewolf eight years ago, when she was a junior in college.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her STAT teammate and fellow werewolf Caleb Lynch glance at her with concern on his face. Tall and muscular with brown eyes, his dark blond hair always looked like he was running his hands through it. “You okay?”
“Yeah, I’m good,” she said, raising her voice a little to be heard. “I hate loud music, that’s all.”
Caleb nodded, clearly not as bothered by it as she was. Then again, Caleb was an omega werewolf. While he might be as big as a house and as strong as a bull, his senses weren’t anywhere as sensitive as an alpha’s, like she was.
“It’s not the music I’m worried about,” he said, taking in all the people around them with a frown. “I’m not a fan of big crowds. Being packed into a place like this when the shit might hit the fan at any second makes me twitchy.”
Control and temperament were another thing that differentiated alpha werewolves from omegas. Harley had dealt with some anger management issues right after her change, but Caleb would have to deal with them for the rest of his life. When he lost it, he really lost it. As in people ended up bruised and bloody—or dead. It was something everyone on the Special Threat Assessment Team was helping him work on, but it wasn’t easy. The list of things that could set him off seemed to grow by the day. Apparently, crowded nightclubs were the newest trigger.
“I think you can relax,” Harley said as they moved deeper into the club, the music getting louder with every step until she could practically feel her body vibrating. “You’re menacing enough that most people will be more than happy to give you space. And if the vague intel we got is any indication, I doubt we’re going to run into any trouble tonight. More likely we’ll walk around for a few hours, then head back to the hotel in time for the jet lag to catch up to us.”
Caleb looked skeptical at that. She supposed they’d know soon enough.
“Okay, Jake,” she said, hoping the support techs had been right about the tiny microphone concealed in her necklace working in the loud club. “We’re in.”
“Roger that,” Jake Huang, their pack alpha/team leader murmured over the radio. “Jes and I are heading toward the private rooms upstairs. Misty and Forrest are near the band, trying to work their way backstage. That leaves the dance floors for you and Caleb, as well as the lower levels, if you can figure out how to get to them.”
“Copy that,” Caleb said, then looked at Harley. “I gotta admit, wandering around looking for something suspicious that’ll lead us to the kidnappers or their captives, both of which might or might not be supernatural, isn’t much of a plan.”
Harley would like to say he was wrong, but Caleb had hit the nail on the head. Twelve hours ago, she and the rest of the team had been back home in Washington, DC, hanging out at Jake’s place, enjoying some downtime after their first mission together, when their boss had called about a possible human-trafficking ring operating out of Paris that might involve supernaturals. With little more than that to go on, they’d immediately caught the next flight to France, where a support team met them with weapons and other equipment.
But going into unknown—not to mention possibly dangerous—situations was what being part of STAT was all about. She and her teammates ran around the world sniffing out threats to see if they were common everyday bad guys or scary things that went bump in the night.
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