Chapter Fourteen

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At once, Nassor was on alert. How had the African First learned his identity? "My name is Nathan Allen," he replied, using his adopted name. Being a shifter, Zaire would be able to smell the lie if Nassor had used a cover.

"Nonsense," Akinyi chuckled. The rest of Nassor's team stopped what they were doing and listened intently to the conversation. "You are the image of your father. He's not a man I'm likely to forget. I knew who you were the moment I set eyes on you during our first meeting." Zaire's laughter sent chills through Nassor. "By the time the full moon rises, I will have your life as well."

With a flick of the wrist, the back door of the second sedan opened. A bound and gagged Ife was pulled through. That's when it occurred to Nassor that the fear he felt through the bond hadn't been for him. It'd been his mate's. Akinyi's delay in checking over the weapons now made sense. He'd needed the added time to kidnap Nassor's mate and bring her to the airstrip.

Ife was a thing of beauty, fighting and hissing at the men who guarded her. Although her hands were cuffed behind her, she hit the shifters holding her with her head and shoulders. She kicked at them with her feet. They were having a hard time keeping her subdued.

There was blood on her shirt, which was torn at the midriff. Nassor didn't know what had transpired before she'd been captured. His mind imagined the worst. A part of it whispered not to be too hasty, but it was drowned out by the pounding rage in his ears. He knew men like Akinyi and what their subordinates were capable of doing to those they viewed as weaker. He'd avenge his mate, then help her deal with what they'd done to her.

One of her guards had enough. A meaty fist quickly subdued Ife. Nassor took a step in her direction, but as she slumped in the brute's arms, Akinyi's words stalled him.  "Once you are dead, I'll take your woman," the African First announced triumphantly.

It would be a repeat of what happened to Nassor's parents. Cursing, he silently vowed he wouldn't let that happen. He'd break the sick cycle Akinyi seemed to be caught in.

Turning back to the crazy son-of-a-bitch, Nassor swore to himself he'd avenge his mate.  He'd begin with this man who'd taken so much from them both. Calling his beast to the fore, he started changing into his half-form. It was the most he could achieve with the full moon not yet risen. Over the sound of his bones rearranging themselves, he heard Jaeger command him to stand down.

With a mental shake of his head, Nassor decided to disregard his commander's order. As soon as Akinyi announced he knew his true identity, the only possible outcome to this meeting was guaranteed.  It meant death for one or the other. This time Nassor made a vow to the ghosts of his parents, it was Zaire who would die.

Akinyi drew on his links to all the African prides. The bastard was the first to achieve his half-form. A clawed hand swiped at Nassor while he was in mid-transformation. With his joints messed up, it was hard to deflect. Four, long and stinging cuts formed on his upper chest, running from left to right. Nassor roared his feelings at the African First as he clumsily danced back on the pads of his feet.

The doors of the first sedan opened and four, large men exited. They too began to shift as the ones holding Ife waited for their turn. A handful of Akinyi's men who were nearer followed their leader in calling forth their beasts. They and those too far off to lend much aid looked to be the only shifters on the First's side. 

Behind him, Nassor heard the werewolves on his team's joints pop as they dislocated to make room for the larger half-man, half-beast form. They'd meet their enemy in their more powerful builds.  They were still outnumbered, but their change meant the odds would be more evened.

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