“You’re clear, the database just refreshed but the screen won’t update for another five minutes.” He zoomed out on the virtual live map to see if there were any cars but didn’t see anything heading their way. Ash wished they would update the damn software and give live feeds instead of this every four-minute frame shit he had to work with. At the bottom corner, it said the time and how fast the frames lapse, but the live view gave a countdown timer to the next frame.
“Twins, you’re clear to go in. Make it quick,” Jaiden said over the slight static.
“Don’t worry your little heads, we have Virgo here ready to be calm and precise.” Leo chuckled on his end. The screen to Ash’s right changed from black to the view of the warehouse on the edge of the Denver pack borders. Jackson had a body cam strapped to his chest giving Ash the perfect view of the place.
“Lobby is clean and clear. But this side looks like they left in a hurry.” Jackson or as his brother liked to call him, Virgo- scanned the open area, shattered glass littered the floor and a smashed machine sat on the counter.
“Is that a computer on your left?” Ash asked and Jackson turned his head. His mind raced at the possibility of digging through all their shit and finding an unbreakable lead. He was good at computers, he could break through firewalls and sniff out dirt with ease. Excitement bloomed in his chest even after seeing the monitor in pieces.
“Yeah, but the screen is shattered.” Jackson’s discouraged voice didn’t dim his enthusiasm. The display was replaceable, he needed the tower intact and everything would be freaking golden.
“And the hard drive looks wet,” Leo pitched in as he tipped over the large metal box holding all the goodies a computer had, fluid rushed out of the holes for the fan. Ash’s heart sank. He cursed at their use of liquid to fry their evidence so no one else could retrieve it. Come on, we need a lead to catch the hunters! He wanted to be the one who finally caught the bastards taking the pups and killing their parents. The whole situation reminded him of a show, but he was stuck in the shitty ongoing investigation with nothing to show for it.
“Bro, look at this,” Leo said and the camera turned to a clawed-up wall. “These aren’t from a full-grown wolf,” he growled.
Ash had received information about kids going missing in Colorado Springs and they were found dead after being missing for almost eight months. The pack needed to believe they were keeping the pups alive and so far nothing contradicted this thought. But Ash had a sick feeling the hunters wouldn’t raise them to adulthood. The timeframe put even more pressure on Ash since the first kiddo from their pack had been missing for almost six months this week.
Jackson lifted up a tag to fill the camera screen. “Test back to human?” Jackson asked and Ash stared at the tag.
“Wait, did you say back to human?” Jaiden asked.
“Here’s the damn DD symbol again.” Leo held up a sheet of paper, the bottom half had been shredded but the logo rested at the top. The same one Zac drew when he helped rescue his daughter, Annmarie. Well, they should be in the right place then, with the DD paper drawing strong connections to the tiny cabins where Cora and Annmarie were found.
“Come on, we still have two more rooms to search.” Jackson handed over the tag and Leo shoved the items in his pocket. They turned and strolled toward the first closed off room.
“We’re still clear on this side,” Jaiden announced and Kirk agreed a few seconds later. The picture on the map flashed bringing up the most current up-to-date image. Ash ignored it, keeping his gaze on the live video instead. Instead, he scanned the screen hoping for a strong clue to bring them closer to the hunters.
Leo opened the door to find a stainless-steel medical-type bed, dried blood on the floor, and a large burgundy stain rested in the corner sending anger through Ash’s soul like fire consuming a forest. What did they do, bleed a pup dry? His stomach hardened at the thought.
“This spot was definitely from an adult human but the spots on the floor are from a wolf.”
“What’s your best guess?” Ash asked while Leo rocked on his toes.
“Seems like one pup bled on the table, he struck back and managed to get the fucker to bleed a good amount but there isn’t a decay scent. Just dust and old blood.” Leo pointed to the large spot and Jackson nodded.
“Shit, did I hear tires?” Kirk asked and Ash glanced at the screen, at the very edge he caught the front end of a pickup truck.
“Fuck, you might have company!” Ash yelled. The live video jostled around as the twins ran toward the front lobby.
“Two are in the truck,” Jaiden hissed.
“Don’t shift! Make sure you know who they are because once you shift, you’ll lose the damn mics. Jackson, stay in your human form. I’ll lose my visual if you don’t listen,” Ash warned the twins.
Jackson and Leo ran out the front and turned to hide in the brush near the front doors. The sound of tires filtered through the video and mics but the brush covered the camera.
“When did you find this place?” A female’s voice called out and two doors slammed closed in quick succession.
“A few weeks ago. The back’s all fucked up but the front is ready for us.” The new male’s voice had a seductive side to it and Ash smacked his forehead. That’s all I need to see now, two humans fucking. He wouldn’t say he was lonely but the idea of finding a mate always gave his beast an odd sense of peace. We don’t have time to find a mate right now, he reminded his beast who just shook his head. Jackson stood as the two slipped into the front door. Through the window, they were caught stripping off their clothes.
“Lucky bastard,” Jackson hissed, and his brother chuckled.
“It’s all clear. Just two horny teens,” Leo spoke and Jackson shook his head. “Come on, let’s go.”
“Do you think we’ll find anything else?” Kirk asked.
“Doubtful. Most of the shit was cleared out, they left a few clues but nothing major leading to their new base of operation.” Leo sighed and Jackson turned off the camera. Ash did a search of the property to three months back but the place had been inactive even then. He pressed his tongue against his cheek to keep himself from cursing the damn universe. Nothing to follow up on which put him back to where they were before the team entered the building.
“All right, come on back.” Ash snatched up his phone and texted the alpha about what they found, but he left out the teens interrupting their search.
Raymand responded quickly. ‘Do you think it will lead us anywhere?’
‘Doubtful but I’m going to do some searches of the area as far back as I can.’ He added the task to his enormous to-do list. Ash knew the hunters would strike again and he wanted to find them before they took another pup. He stood and paced in the office needing to move. His beast pushed at the edge wanting to go on a run but Ash kept him in place. Ash hoped to the goddess above the wolves would catch a freaking break. The race to keep the pack safe was on and so far Ash felt like he was hundreds of miles from catching the fucking hunters.