His stare softened somewhat although his mouth remained a white slash. “I want the repairs completed before you turn in,” his eyes stayed on hers as he spoke. “You are to report in on time tomorrow morning. Get out.” He sighed. “You can inform the pack that I will take personal responsibility for the female.”
What the fuck.
Although his decision was the right one, he didn’t have to like it. Truth was, he didn’t trust anyone else with her. A vampire female? In the middle of his pack amongst women and children? The weak were his to protect. Yet, it was important that nothing happened to this female either. She was in danger. His wolves didn’t take kindly to bloodsuckers. The pain from the loss of one of their own still fresh.
They were at war.
Their alliance with the elves was in tatters, it looked more and more like those bastard vampire kings were going to retain their dominance over the rest of the species. A bitter taste filled his mouth.
Turning his eyes on her, he looked at her properly for the first time since walking into his cabin. Her wounds were minor and already healing. Tall, although his first thought was skinny, it was incorrect; she was lean, athletic even. Covered in dirt, blood and grime from head to toe. She wore what looked like had once been a business suit. Her sheer stockings were torn. Her blouse gaped, her breasts concealed in a thin fabric casing. Definitely female. Of that there was no mistake.
Ward grit his teeth forcing his gaze back to her large, blue eyes. The female was a sorry sight yet she still stood tall, a slight lilt to her chin sparking an instant respect.
“What are you going to do with me?” her voice was parched. Her lips dry. Her demeanor was unflinching, even when he narrowed his eyes at her. In fact, she squared her shoulders and stood even taller.
“Right now…tend to your wounds, get you cleaned up and fed. What is your name?” Ward snagged a bottle of water and handed it to her. The vampire opened the lid and drank her fill using the back of her hand to wipe her mouth.
Her eyes narrowed in distrust. Ward waited patiently, keeping his eyes locked with hers the whole time. She finally sighed softly. “I suppose it won’t make any difference if you know…I’m Stephany.” She paused as if she expected it to mean something to him. “My wounds are almost healed. Though if you are going to insist on holding me prisoner then a bath would be appreciated.” Her eyes drifted around his small space, landing on the two doors on his back wall.
Despite himself, he felt his lips draw into a smile. His personal lodgings were not meant for non-shifters. “I’m Ward. It’s the one on the left. Wait a moment while I fetch you a towel.”
The female took a step towards the exit but halted at his bidding. He rummaged in a cabinet, hoping he still had a clean one…thank hounds. He grabbed the fabric, stepping in front of her in order to open the door.
She made a sound of disgust. Ward had to work to keep from chuckling.
“It’s an outdoor shower. Cold water only I’m afraid. I would’ve lit the fire that heats the tank for it if I had known I was going to be having a guest.” Ward had been a part of the team that had breached the castle earlier today. In what was an attempt to get their hands on the future vampire queen. His blood ignited at his knowledge of their failure. In the end, the elves had run. Yellow-bellied cowards. The wolves had been forced to flee. Somewhere in the chaos, Hayden had taken this female. He suppressed a sigh. As if he didn’t have enough to deal with.
She shook her head, stepping into the small space outside. It was closed in with a seven foot makeshift fence made from fine, stripped branches tied tightly together to form a screen. He had made it himself.