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Kingdom: (Caedmon Wolves) by Amber Ella Monroe (1)

Chapter One

Tristan

I smelled the bloodshed from the lot of the old abandoned factory, but none of that fazed me. This wasn't the first time I'd seen or smelled spilled blood, and it certainly wouldn't be the last. I hadn't even stepped foot inside the building, but the whole area reeked of the dead.

"How long has it been?" I asked Mitchell, the human soldier to the right of me. He'd been the one to call me about the incident which then led to my driver re-routing me to the area.

Three full grown shifters fell into step beside me, but of course, they were all in human form.

Mitchell quickened his pace to catch up with my long, hurried strides and then replied, "A day or two. I won't know until we order the full investigation. Stewart found them. They were supposed to make the drop you ordered here and when they didn't return…"

"Fuck!" I growled out in frustration.

Not only had I lost Elite soldiers, I had also lost property and money. Time was also wasting away.

I looked down at my wrist watch. The Caedmon wedding that I was supposed to attend was scheduled to begin in less than fifteen minutes, yet I was more than a half hour away dealing with dead bodies instead. But this was my life. Unexpected fucking detours were always getting in the way of my plans. But this was the life I'd chosen.

I loosened my tie and pushed forth into the factory. The scene was just as gruesome as Mitchell had described it to me. Three bodies lie on the floor in a puddle of their own blood. All of them were Elites in my unit. Two shifters and one human. From the looks of things, the killer seemed to have caught the men off guard. There were no signs of a struggle. None of the work tables or furniture pieces were misplaced. The kill shots were clean. All of the deceased were hit once in the face. The bloody bits of shattered teeth and brain matter decorating the wall behind us told me they were shot at close range in quick succession.

"Have you ordered a cleanup yet?" I asked, bending down and using a cloth handkerchief to retrieve a slug from the floor.

"Not yet. We couldn't find the package anywhere. We assume the killer took that," Mitchell exclaimed. "And the buyer has backed out."

I grimaced and clenched my jaws just as my canines distended. Turning away from Mitchell, I focused on the gruesome scene again.

"Have you heard from Brandon? About the Zovics? Have they been spotted again?" I inquired.

"Brandon says his crew's got nothing," Mitchell confirmed.

I kept my growl low and my wolf in check. Just the thought of knowing that the family I had once worked for was behind this shooting fueled my rage even more. This wasn't random. This was personal.

"Call our coroner and order the cleanup," I told him between deep breaths, willing my wolf to reign himself back in.

"I'm on it now." Mitchell pulled out his cell. "Should I call a crew in to hunt down any leads?"

"No." I unfolded from my crouching position and rose. "I'll take care of that part." I slipped the slug into my back pocket and threw the handkerchief to the ground. "There was a tracking device in the bag. I'll need the coordinates by the time I get back from my event."

"I'm on it," Mitchell said, and then bowed his head and punched some buttons on the keypad of his cell phone.

I exited the abandoned factory building more aggravated than I was when I first learned that the deal had gone all wrong. My suspicions about someone trying to tear me and my unit down had just been elevated.

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