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Jensen panted. Katie barely spared him a glance, her whole attention focused ahead of her. Jensen had barely been able to keep up with Katie's long, loping strides as she practically sprinted down the sidewalk, easily dodging people and bicycles. Jensen had been forced to jog after Katie after the werewolf ignored his pleas to slow down. He was glad they were here...wherever here was.
 
“Where are we going?” Jensen panted when it was obvious Katie wasn't going to volunteer any information. She didn't respond and instead kept walking. He swore under his breath and followed Katie as she crossed the street and made her way and up a driveway. Katie's feet were sure as she walked through the weed choked lawn, the grass brown and wilted from want of water.
 
Katie spoke once she reached the front door. “We're here.”
 
'Here' was a rundown house that was in even worse shape than Jensen's---And that was saying something. Where Jensen's apartment was old, and the cost of repairs too much for the apartment's owner, this house had the feel of long-term neglect leaking out of every piece of wood. Whoever lived here had let the house fall into serious disrepair, and didn't care enough to fix it. The two story house's white paint was peeling. The window shutters, once painted a charcoal gray that clashed with the white exterior, were all hanging on by one shingle. The screen door, held open by Katie, was ripped right down the middle, almost like someone had sliced it with a knife. All of the windows visible from where Jensen stood, were broken; and the roof was falling apart. The shingles looked as if a strong wind would send them flying off, and the roof had a hole in the center of it that looked to be the size of a basketball. The house gave off a strong sense of foreboding, and he did not want to go in there.
 
“I don't think there's anyone home.” Jensen said nervously. He rubbed his arms, chilled to the core by their surroundings. Katie didn't respond. Her whole attention was focused on the front door. Jensen really hoped she wasn't going to knock. He didn't think he wanted whoever lived here to answer. In fact, Jensen really wanted to leave.
 
If Katie noticed Jensen's reluctance, she made no comment. She looked over her shoulder, and seeing no one walking their way or paying them any mind, took a deep breath and with a well placed kick that would have made Chuck Norris proud, kicked the front door down.
 
“Well then,” Katie said as she flicked her blond hair over her shoulder. “We'll just have to make ourselves welcome, won't we?”
 
((((___))))
 
 There were no lights on, and Jensen couldn't see anything in the pitch blackness. Katie closed the door she'd busted down as best as she could, and what little light came in through the crack from the door not closing all the way, wasn't enough for Jensen to see by. He felt his way over to Katie, and latched onto her arm, his fingers twisted in the fabric of her sweatshirt.
 
“Are there any lights here, Katie? I can't see a damn thing.” Katie let out an annoyed huff, and Jensen felt the silk of her hair brush his arm as she looked around. Jensen followed close on Katie's heels as she moved to the left. He was grateful for her enhanced eyesight since he was totally blind in the inky blackness surrounding him. Four more steps and Katie stopped. Jensen heard the sound of a flip being switched and a kitchen light blinked to life, the weak light barely illuminating what Jensen guessed was the living room he and Katie stood in.
 
The living room was small, and almost completely empty. The walls were bare, and there were faded spots where pictures once hung. There was a giant mildew stain in the middle of the ceiling. The floor was scuffed up, from what Jensen presumed was furniture dragged along the wooden floor, unprotected by a rug. The only furniture still in the room was an oak cabinet shoved in the right hand corner, like an afterthought. Katie made a beeline for it. Her search inside turned up nothing but dust and a spider. 
 
Katie moved restlessly around the room while Jensen stood still and watched. He still had no idea where they were, and the vibes he was getting from Katie, those of impatience and anger, made him hold his tongue. He'd only known Katie for a day, but even he could tell that despite the moments of vulnerability he'd witnessed last night, she was a cold, hard woman, and not someone to mess with when angry.
 
Jensen also knew, instinctively, that despite how badly she needed his help, she needed Chad more. Jensen was expendable; Chad wasn't. Since this house was making Katie angry, Jensen needed to back off and give her space. Which he could do, now that there was light and he could see. He just needed to stand aside and let Katie do...whatever she was doing, and he should be fine. Silence was important too, Jensen guessed. If Jensen moved he was bound to make a lot of noise; Katie was much quieter then Jensen himself, though if anyone did live here, the sound of Katie kicking the door down should have alerted the occupants. Jensen watched as Katie moved around the room, marveling that her footsteps were making no noise despite the lack of carpet. Jensen couldn't help but compare how silent Katie was compared to him; she moved as silently as the predator she was, while Jensen himself made as much noise as a herd of elephants.
 
Katie seemed to have found nothing of importance, and after searching the only piece of furniture in the room, again, she motioned for Jensen to follow. Katie's search through the kitchen, which held no appliances and only empty cabinets, and bathroom were also a bust and Katie's frustration only seemed to grow with each unsuccessful search.
 
“I don't understand,” Katie said, her hand running along the wall. Jensen leaned beside her, but didn't speak. “Jeff has been keeping tabs on Alexis, and I know he mentioned that while Alexis was no longer living with her friend permanently, she still came back every other week. He mentioned here less than five months ago...could they really have left? Did she know I was coming? I would think Alexis would want to confront me.”
 
“Maybe she's not ready yet.” Jensen suggested helpfully. Katie ran her fingers over deep gouges in the wall. Jensen's stomach lurched alarmingly when he realized they were claw marks. As Katie's mood had mellowed out, and her anger appeared to have faded, Jensen finally felt safe in asking: “Who's house is this? And what exactly are you looking for?”
 
It took a few moments for Katie to find her voice“This is Liza Weil's house. She's one of Alexis' friends, and Liza is from the rival pack who planned to take over once Jeff was killed.” Katie bared her teeth in anger. “I'd been hoping to question Liza, and also hopefully Alexis. This house seems to be abandoned, though. Since no one is here, I'm hoping to find anything they left behind that may implicate Alexis in my husband's kidnapping. But I am denied even this! Alexis is nowhere to be found, and there's nothing to be seen but dust and mold.” She slammed her fist into the wall hard enough to crack the panel.
 
Jensen pointed to a staircase neither he nor Katie had noticed, the stairs hidden behind a half opened door. “Maybe upstairs will hold more answers.” Jensen followed Katie up the creaking, rotting stairs, and he prayed that this Liza wasn't hidden in the shadows, ready to ambush them. When they reached the top of the stairs, it was still eerily silent, though thankfully no one popped out of the darkness to attack.
 
There were four rooms, doors all closed, and a bathroom. Jensen took the second room, which turned out to be a sitting room, while Katie inspected the first room. Jensen wanted to stick close to Katie, but he was now filled with a nervous energy, and he wanted nothing more than to get out of the house and never return.
 
The bathroom was just as empty as the rest of the house. The medicine cabinet was empty. Someone had taken the shelves down. The mirror had been broken at some point, and shards of glass crunched under his feet, the shattered glass glittering like diamonds in the sink. The bathtub was rusty with disuse, and the green floor tiles had turned a sickening shade of yellow. Jensen found nothing worth reporting, so he went to find Katie.
 
Jensen met up with Katie just as she left the third room, and he shook his head at her silent question. Katie's shoulders slumped even further, and she seemed almost defeated as she opened the final door. He'd taken one step before the smell hit Jensen like a hard punch to the gut, and he staggered backwards and out into the hallway. Katie was frozen two steps into the room, her face twisted with horror. Jensen sank to his knees, and retched weakly, but his eyes were glued to the body on the bed, even as the smell of a dead woman's body filled his nose with its putrid scent.
 
“Is that---?” Jensen choked out, motioning towards where the dead body was. Oh, God, he was never going to get the stench of the decaying body out of his clothes, out of his hair. It was always going to be in his nose, in his throat, choking him with every breath he took.
 
NO! That's not...that's not Alexis!” Katie cried, and she, too, staggered backwards and collapsed beside Jensen. Her shoulder brushed Jensen's, and she shook helplessly as tears rolled down her face. She seemed so young at that moment, and so vulnerable, and not at all like the immortal werewolf she really was. Jensen wanted to pull her into his arms and comfort her, but he couldn't force his paralyzed body to move. He was just as shell shocked as Katie was, and he wished his eyes would stop being drawn to that fucking dead body. He suddenly wished he had never came with Katie, that he'd never met her, and that his life was just the same as it was yesterday. He wished he was anywhere but here, kneeling on a hard wooden floor with the cloying scent of death in his nose and stuck to the roof of his mouth like an aftertaste.
 
Katie's fingers digging into his shoulder snapped Jensen back to reality. She'd pulled herself together, somewhat, though tears still dripped down her pale face, her eyes haunted and sad. It took Katie a couple of tries to speak, and when she did, her voice was low and rough, as if she were speaking through a throat rubbed raw with sandpaper.
 
“I need to go in there and investigate,” Katie said, her voice barely audible. “You stay here.” Jensen shook his head and struggled to stand. He wanted to stay where he was, on his knees and retching. He would rather live out on the streets again than go in to the room with the poor woman's body, but he just couldn't let Katie face this alone. They were in this mess together, and he wouldn't abandon her now, even though every cell in his body was screaming at him to do so.
 
Jensen could say with absolute certainty, that the hardest moment of his life was following Katie into the murdered woman's room. Jensen's life had been anything but easy, and he'd had a lot of moments he wished he could un-live, from when Chad had left him alone with nothing but a note, living four days on the streets, homeless and scared, and the night he'd found out his sister's boyfriend was beating her...but this, this moment, right here, with death hanging in the air, and a woman's dead body lying on the bed...it was the worst.
 
Jensen followed Katie over to the bed, and covered his nose and mouth with his hand, as if that would somehow make the stench less pungent. It didn't work, and he copied Katie when she breathed through her mouth. Doing so made the smell tolerable, but only just.
 
Katie peered down at the woman's body, or what was left of it. The woman's head had been chopped clean off, and lay on the floor close to the bed. Jensen forced himself to look away from her head, but he knew the mental image was burned into his mind, forever: bugs crawling over her face, in and out of her mouth. Blood was everywhere and the sheets, once a sky blue, were now soaked a dark brown from all of the blood.
 
“That's Liza,” Katie whispered. Jensen wanted to ask her how she knew, but he couldn't bare to open his mouth to ask, afraid he'd throw up. “I recognize her; Alexis had a picture of her in her room.” Katie backed away from the bed, and she dragged Jensen with her. “Alexis, did you do this....?”
 
“Decapitation kills a werewolf, right?” Jensen choked out. The stench from Liza' body was overpowering.
 
Katie's face was grim. “Decapitation, cutting out the heart, and burning the body are the three main ways.” Jensen fell quiet as Katie resumed her search of Liza's bedroom.
 
Time seemed to move at a snail's pace, and Jensen watched as Katie searched the room, and once again, came up empty handed. Other than Liza's decapitated body, there was nothing to be found. The room was utterly bare; nothing of value to be found. There wasn't even a dresser or a bedside table to search; the only piece of furniture was Liza's bed and the rug they were standing on. Someone had taken the time to remove everything from the room, and destroy any evidence that may have been laying around.
 
“Something just doesn't make sense. Why didn't I smell the body? Even in my human form, I have a better sense of smell than humans. I should have noticed the smell the second I closed the front door. I'm missing something.” Katie got on her hands and knees and inspected the floor. Her triumphant cry a few moments later had Jensen kneeling beside her. Hidden under the rug were symbols, scratched into the floor with something sharp.
 
“What are those?” Jensen asked.
 
Katie looked troubled. “Symbols for a cloaking spell. A really high level spell, cast specifically to mask smells in the room. Alexis must have killed Liza and than carved the cloaking spell so that anyone who decided to come in here, be it human or werewolf, wouldn't smell the body, and she'd have time to get far away before anyone found Liza's body. I don't understand where she learned the spell, though; it takes years to master magick, and it's especially hard to grasp if you want to dabble in the dark arts. It troubles me to think that Alexis has become mixed up in something so dangerous. And now she's killing? Why kill Liza? ”
 
“I guess she knew you'd come after her, and she wanted to make sure Liza didn't tell you anything.” Jensen said.
 
Katie's face was grim, and she obviously had doubts. “I guess so.”
 
((((____)))))
 
There was nothing else to do but cover their tracks and head back to Jensen's apartment. They'd hit a brick wall, and there was nothing to be found in Liza's house, except for her body. Jensen was mentally and physically exhausted, and Katie didn't look much better. It was after 10 PM, and Jensen knew that he should be starving, but his stomach lurched alarmingly at the thought of food. After seeing Liza's body, Jensen wasn't sure if he'd ever be able to eat again. They were both dead on their feet, which was why they were both taken by surprise when Katie was shoved against the apartment door, an ax pressed against her throat.
 
“Jared!” Katie cried.
 
Jensen jumped into the air like a scalded cat at Katie's voice, and backed away from where the madman had Katie pinned to the door. The fear and resignation on Katie's face had Jensen's heart clenching with sympathy, but there was nothing he could do. Jensen wanted to rush forward and try and wrestle the ax from the man, but he knew it'd be futile. The cards were stacked in Jared's favor, from the element of surprise, to the ax in his hand, and his height and strength.
 
Jensen leaned against the wall a short distance from Katie, and observed the werewolf sent to kill his best friend's wife. Jared was really freaking tall, and he towered over Katie. He had long, shaggy brown hair, and tanned skin. He looked like he was younger than Jensen, though that probably wasn't true since he was immortal; for all Jensen knew Jared could be hundreds of years old. Jared had a beautiful but cold face; his eyes were an icy blue that shimmered eerily; and his features seemed to be chiseled from stone. Jared was definitely the kind of man that you admired from a safe distance, and never, ever approached.
 
“Katie,” Jared said, his voice gruff and disapproving. “You've made me follow you a long way.” He pressed the ax against Katie's neck, both cutting off her reply and nicking the skin. A thin trail of blood ran down her neck. Katie whimpered and tried to move away from the blade. Jared tsked and wrapped his free hand in her long hair and held her immobile. “Jeff sentenced you to death, and you disgrace the pack by running away. I have Jeff's permission to spend a long time torturing you before I finally put you out of your misery. You're going to feel every minute, and suffer just as much as you made Chad suffer.”
 
Jared's words spurred Jensen into action before his brain could catch up and tell him how stupid he was being. Jensen was across the room before he'd even realized he'd moved; his hands wrapped around Jared's wrist, and he tried to make Jared lower the damn weapon.
 
Jared sneered and turned to face Jensen; the werewolf froze suddenly and inhaled sharply, and his arms went slack; the ax fell to the floor with a muffled thump; Katie wriggled free from Jared and she almost leapt across the room to distance herself from her would be killer. Jared didn't seem to notice. He was staring at Jensen with an almost dazed expression; his face was softer, more open. Jensen was seriously freaked out, but he tried to hide it.
 
“Katie didn't kill Chad!” Jensen cried. Jared seemed to rally himself at Jensen's words. He easily located Katie, huddled against the wall, shaking, but he made no move towards her. His attention stayed focused on Jensen, as if he were the only one in the room worth his attention.
 
“Is that so?” Jared's voice was like silk, sliding over Jensen's skin and setting a fire in his stomach. A fog settled over Jensen's mind, and his body leaned toward Jared's of its own volition. One of Jared's huge hands cupped Jensen's cheeks almost tenderly, his thumb and index fingers stroking over Jensen's skin, sending fire through his veins.
 
“Um, yeah, sure,” Jensen said, because that seemed like the right answer. He couldn't even remember what they'd been talking about; his whole focus was on Jared, and his body wanted more, closer. All that he needed, all that mattered, was Jared. The fog settled more firmly over Jensen's mind, thoughts that weren't centered around Jared and how he was making Jensen feel, were quickly discarded.
 
“It is strange, that after all these centuries, it is you who completes me.” Jared murmured. He seemed to be talking through a tunnel, and his words were nearly impossible to concentrate on. His lips ghosted over Jensen's ear, and he licked the tip almost curiously. “You are human, pitiful and weak, and yet I burn for you. This is most distressing.”
 
“What?” Jensen mumbled, his words thick and his tongue feeling like cotton. The werewolf's words almost penetrated Jensen's murky mind. Jared noticed and the soothing touches were back, and a sinfully wicked tongue laved Jensen's throat. His head arched back, and Jensen sagged against Jared's body. He was floating, the world muted around him. All that mattered was the heat from Jared's body, and the tongue stroking his skin.
 
Teeth nipped his skin and Jensen moaned. If he were in his right mind, Jensen would be mortified with the way he was rubbing his body against Jared's like a cat in heat. Jensen was reserved by nature, he wasn't someone who danced provocatively at clubs, nor was he in the habit of picking up women at bars. He'd met all of his previous girlfriends through friends, or at dinner parties his boss held.
 
Jensen had never once been attracted to men, and that should have sent warning bells ringing in Jensen's head that something or someone was affecting him. But right now, all Jensen needed was the way Jared was licking his neck; he needed Jared's hand cradling his cheek, and the man's hard, warm body against his. Nothing else was important. The fire in his veins was reaching a crescendo; if they didn't start fucking right now, Jensen was going to burn up.
 
It took a few minutes for both Katie and Jared's voices to penetrate the lust filled fog enveloping his brain. When they did, Jensen found himself cradled in Jared's arms, his cock hard and aching, and Jared's answering erection pressing against his stomach. Jensen stiffened and tried to pull away; Jared's arms tightened around his body like steel bands. Jensen was trapped.
 
“I don't care, Jared, if you're here to kill me, but you cannot do this!” Katie was saying. She'd moved closer to Jared without Jensen noticing. She sounded really angry and Jensen wondered why.
 
“I can and I will.” Jared responded. The iciness in his tone scared Jensen, and, it seemed, Katie too. She fell silent. “It is my right to claim my mate the second I find him and this mortal is mine by our laws.”
 
Jared's words seemed to snap Katie out of her silence, though her voice trembled with fear. “That may be so, but you're going about it the wrong way. You're going to change him now? A second after you see him? He's not going to be able to accept the change! Your mate is going to go mad!”
 
“I am fully capable of protecting my mate.” Jared said, and his arms tightened still further as he pulled Jensen even closer.
 
Oh my God, they're talking about me. Jensen thought as panic filled his mind.
 
“I don't doubt that you can,” Katie said. “But you're forgetting that he's mortal and not a werewolf. You need to court him, make him love you before you go about biting him and turning him. You cannot use your pheromones to arouse him; that's cheating. It's only to be used in extreme cases such as when a particularly violent mate goes into heat and is a threat to those around him.
 
“Jensen will feel like crap the next morning if you seduce him and take away his ability to choose. He may be your mate, but he'll hate you if you make every decision for him. He needs to choose you on his own.”
 
“Like you did with Chad? Like the choice you gave him?” Jared sneered. Jensen could feel the air turn even more frigid, and Jensen unconsciously pressed closer to Jared for protection. Jensen felt lips press against his scalp soothingly.
 
“We are not talking about Chad and the mistakes I made concerning my own mate. We're talking about you and Jensen, and how you almost seduced and turned him, without allowing Jensen to decide if it's what he wants for himself. I want Jensen's experience to be better than the one I gave his best friend. I messed up so badly. He needs to choose you by his own free will, nothing more, nothing less.”
 
Jared snorted derisively. “Of course Jensen will choose me. We're destined to be together.”
 
Katie paced the room nervously while Jared leaned against the wall with Jensen held tightly in his arms. Her voice was challenging as she spoke to Jared. “You've been away from humans too long, Jared. Humans pride themselves on running their own lives. This isn't the medieval times where a man can just swoop in and take over a woman's life. Jensen may be destined from his birth to be your mate, but unless he decides for himself to be with you, he'll hate you forever for taking him from the life he's built. It shouldn't be that difficult for you to make Jensen fall in love with you...Or are you afraid that you're not capable of winning his heart?”
 
Jensen huffed indignantly into Jared's shirt. “Hey! I'm not some damsel here!” Jared and Katie laughed, and Jared finally allowed Jensen his freedom. Jensen felt oddly bereft once Jared stopped touching him and he was across the room from the werewolf.
 
Katie pushed on, relentless in her attempt to keep Jared from making a mistake and hurting Jensen. “You can turn Jensen and begin the physical bond, but unless Jensen accepts your claim, the bond will dissipate over a couple of days. Should you force the mental bond on Jensen, along with your claim, Jensen will go insane. And that's if Jensen doesn't outright reject your claim. It is within Jensen's rights to reject you. So what you have to look forward to, Jared, should you continue down this path is either Jensen going crazy from a mental bond he doesn't want, and his mind won't accept, or him rejecting you. Is that really what you want?”
 
“Stop trying to distract me, Katie,” Jared growled. “I'm here for a reason. Finding Jensen is merely a happy coincidence.”
 
“I didn't kill my husband.” Katie said sadly.
 
“The evidence says otherwise.”
 
“The evidence is wrong.” The quiet fury in Katie's voice seemed to take Jared by surprise. Jared huffed out a laugh and bent down and picked up the ax. Katie backed away but didn't run, though she obviously wanted to.
 
“What would you have me do, then?” Jared asked. “I am here to deliver Jeff's sentence, and that is torture and death. I have no choice but to deliver that sentence.”
 
“You bastard!” Jensen whispered, outraged on Katie's behalf. Jared's eyes, when they met Jensen's were cold and dead. There wasn't one ounce of remorse in them. It sickened Jensen. This killer actually thought Jensen would want to drop everything and live happily ever after together? There wasn't a chance in Hell Jensen would give him anything.
 
“I have a theory about who may be responsible.” Katie said desperately, breaking Jensen from his thoughts.
 
Jared sighed and propped the ax against the wall. “You have ten minutes to plead your case, Katie.”
 
((((((____)))))
 
Jared looked less than convinced. “You really expect me to believe all of this?” Katie shifted uncomfortably, but her face remained determined. Jensen, sitting beside Katie at the kitchen table, felt like he was going to leap out of his skin at any moment. Jared sat as close to Jensen as physically possible without sitting in Jensen's lap. And the smoldering looks he kept sending Jensen's way set an answering fire blazing in Jensen's stomach and pinpricks of desire dancing across his skin.
 
“I speak nothing but the truth.” Katie snapped, defensive. “This is my life on the line, and Chad's, too.”
 
Jared remained unconvinced. “You killed Chad.”
 
Katie shook her head, though she paled at Jared's words. “No. You want to believe I killed my husband. I didn't. Alexis took him, in an act of revenge for what I allegedly did to her.”

“You have said nothing to convince me.” Jared said dismissively.

“You weren't there, though,” Katie rushed on, desperate. “Jensen and I went to Liza's house. She'd been killed. Alexis cut off Liza's head.”

Jared waved his hand, as if brushing away Katie's excuses. “It is possible you killed Liza before you came to Jensen, and merely brought him to the house and acted surprised at finding her dead.”

Katie flushed angrily at Jared's words. “You truly think me capable of doing something so terrible?”
 
Jared hummed absently and leaned against Jensen, his head rubbing against Jensen's shoulder like a cat's. Jensen's mind turned hazy, and he remembered, through the fog invading his mind, that he'd felt the same way earlier when Jared had been rubbing against him.
 
It was happening again Jensen thought. In an extraordinary feat of strength, Jensen shoved his body away from Jared's. Jensen forgot, unfortunately, he'd been sitting in a chair, and he would have crashed to the floor in an undignified heap, if Jared hadn't moved with supernatural speed and wrapped an arm around Jensen's shoulder and hauling him back onto his seat.
 
The fog dissipated when Jared moved, and Jensen's mind remained blessedly clear. He was still enveloped with Jared's body heat, which was bad, and still made Jensen's stomach flutter with butterflies, but he could at least think. Sort of. Jensen would take what he could get.
 
“Stop doing that!” Jensen snapped, angry with Jared for trying to manipulate both his mind and feelings. “You're not making yourself any more appealing!”
 
Jared pulled away from Jensen. “So I am appealing?” He sounded amused, which set Jensen's teeth on edge.
 
“No!” Jensen denied. And if he crossed his arms like a petulant child, then who cares? His home had been invaded in the last twenty-four hours by both his best friend's wife and the werewolf who'd been sent to kill her, and who was also, apparently, his mate. His life was so beyond messed up at this point.
 
“You really do.” Jared stated, pleased. A wide grin spread across his face, and under his stoic mask was a handsome man, hidden from the world. Jensen's breath caught, and his denial stuck in his throat. Jensen swallowed as his eyes danced away from Jared's.
 
The smile slipped from Jared's face as he reached for his ax leaning against his chair. The young boy disappeared, replaced by the seasoned killer. Katie shifted nervously in her seat. Her shoulders slumped, and Jensen felt his stomach drop, Katie hadn't managed to convince Jared of her innocence. She was going to die.
 
Through the roaring in his ears, Jensen knew he needed to act. He couldn't let Katie die. He had to save her. Jensen didn't even have to stop and think. He was talking before Jared could move from his seat. “If you agree to help clear Katie's name, than I will, of my own volition, accept your claim.” Jensen pushed on and spoke over Katie's protests. He had Jared's full attention, if he stopped, than he wouldn't be able to continue and Katie would die. “If you kill Katie now, or at any time before her name is cleared, than I will reject your claim, and you will leave me alone. Forever.”
 
Jared's eyes were smoldering with a barely repressed fire. Jensen shivered; he felt like a mouse being eyed by its prey. “And if Katie is indeed guilty? Is my claim rejected?”
 
Jensen swallowed. “If we indeed find evidence that Katie is guilty beyond any doubt, than no I don't reject you. But as of right now, you don't do anything until we find the person responsible for taking Chad and framing Katie.”

Katie was crying. “Jensen, no, please, you don't have to do this-”
 
“Yes I do,” Jensen said sadly. He wiped his eyes furiously. “You've been framed, and Jared's going to kill you. I want you to get Chad back, I want to see my best friend, I miss him. This is the only way either of those will happen.”
 
Jared's face was a blank unreadable slate to Jensen. The werewolf's eyes, on the other hand, were burning like coals. One huge hand cupped Jensen's cheek, and his thumb stroked heat through Jensen's blood. His voice was like velvet, caressing Jensen's skin.
 
“I accept your conditions. Just know, Jensen, that it is within my rights to protect my mate. Werewolf's are territorial, and while you are unclaimed and not officially mine, I can and will act in my best interests to protect my property.” Jensen flushed as Jared pressed a hard kiss to his cheek before leaning back. Jensen's hand pressed against the tingling flesh.
 
“I don't understand...” Jensen whispered. He turned to Katie for an explanation.

Part Three
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