The Profane Series Book 1: Medium Rare: Chapter 1b
July 2009 – Queen Anne Hill
The doctors had told him to take it easy and maybe this didn’t count as taking it easy—he couldn’t drive with the busted up foot or his arm in a sling so he’d had to resort to public transportation—but he had to see Vector. Had to look him in the face and ask:
“Where the hell have you been?” Lachlan demanded before the front door had even swung open. He blinked and snapped his mouth shut on a surprised noise when he looked up into the eyes not of his absentee partner but some stranger. “Who are you?”
The other man squinted those eyes—pale blue and wildly different from Vector’s—at Lachlan, nostrils flaring. Was he—Lachlan stumbled over the thought but there was no mistaking the way the other man was sniffing him.
“What do you want?” the man growled.
Lachlan firmed up his bruised jaw, trying to repress the wince. “I want Vector. This is his—”
“Vector’s not here.”
“Well, when is he going to be back?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think anytime soon.”
His stomach swooped out from under him. That wasn’t an acceptable answer. Lachlan shoved one of his crutches over the threshold before the mysterious man could slam the door in his face.
“What?” the man snapped, a subvocal growl rolling out of his chest along with the word.
The sound brought Lachlan up short. He felt his heart pick up speed, thundering painfully under his breastbone as the fearful animal in him shrank away from what he only tangentially knew to be afraid of.
“I just want to see him. I need to see him.” Lachlan swallowed around his words, never taking his eyes off the werewolf in front of him. A werewolf, fuck when had this become his life? (Eighteen months ago, a traitorous voice whispered in the back of his mind). “Just tell me where he is.”
“I don’t know. It’s classified,” the wolf said. Then he sighed and some of the bristle went out of his posture. His eyes raked Lachlan up and down. “Were you his partner? Lyndon or something?”
“Lachlan,” he said, stumbling over the other man’s use of the past tense.
“Right, Lachlan. Look, I can’t tell you where my cousin’s gone because I don’t know either. He sent Mom an email and disappeared. I’m just here to pack up his stuff.”
The wolf stuck out one tanned hand. “Patrick Clanahan.”
“Oh.” Lachlan stared at the hand but didn’t take it. “I don’t understand. He just…left?”
“Got a better job offer I guess. Something with the Feds. That’s all I know. Hey? Hey, are you okay?”
Lachlan stumbled away from the front door, nodding his head too vigorously. “Fine. Thanks for the, uh, help.”