The werewolf elder was a tall man, in his mid fifties, wearing a heavy waterproof coat and emanating an almost palpable aura of power, perpetual rage seething just below the surface.
Olivia swallowed, pushing her fear down deep. He’s not going to just arbitrarily kill us. He’s not going to just arbitrarily kill us.
He looked at Shen and Olivia in turn, listening to his earpiece.
“Greetings to you… kindred.”
“Good evening.” Shen smiled. “You’ve heard our request, for spiritual assistance?”
The werewolf tilted his head. “This is not an easy thing you ask, to speak with the spirits of the land. And the price might be higher than you’re prepared to pay.”
“What’s your price?”
The elder turned to Olivia. “You have a company in the city, I believe.”
“I do.” Olivia frowned.
“My people are seeking to re-establish themselves in Devon,” said the elder. “We need a foothold in the city, and we understand that you are recruiting indiscriminately. If you could see to it that candidates we sent to you were suitably placed, this could act as some measure of goodwill.”
Shen looked to Olivia. “You ok with this?”
Not like the tower wouldn’t be full of spies anyway. Olivia nodded. “Sounds reasonable.”
She registered surprise on the elder’s face. “Well then,” he said. “It sounds like we have a deal.”
Cynthia was waiting for them when they returned to the van. She was talking to the two security guys, a rucksack slung over her shoulder.
Olivia looked her up and down. “You’re hitching a lift back with us, then?”
Cynthia flipped her hair out of her eyes. “Well, I wasn’t going to be as obvious about it as that, but, since you asked, yes. That is, if you don’t mind.”
Olivia gestured to the van’s door. “Be my guest. But you’re going in the back with the dogs. They smell terrible.”
“Ugh,” Cynthia wrinkled her nose. “When did they last bathe?”
“C’mon guys,” Shen shook his head. “They can’t smell that bad.”
Cynthia gave Olivia a sympathetic look, but said nothing more.
It hadn’t been hard for Jack to track down the source of the chill; a convoy of trucks from the docks, scent of rubber and diesel fresh and sour on the roads. The nosferatu had been no help, Cain sounding surprised when he’d asked for their intelligence on the situation. He followed from the shadows, shoulders hunched, his palms bare against the tarmac, eyes attuned to the night. Catching his reflection in a window pane, he resembled a huge, black, red-eyed dog. Well, all the better to scare my enemies with. Jack grinned wolfishly to himself.
The convoy was larger than he had expected, vans and police cars driving escort. One of the vanguard peeled off, pulling towards him, and Jack darted into an alleyway, pulling his phone from his pocket.
You guys back in town yet? I could do with some backup.
Olivia’s reply was fastest.
We’ll be there in half an hour, if you can wait. What’s up?