Chapter 5

Max

A body lay at his feet. The coppery scent of blood drifted up to his nose. Max gulped as his inner wolf paced in the back of his mind, itching to get out and fight. He did everything in his power to calm the beast. His eyes focused on the fair-haired man’s face. This should never have happened, he thought. His arms shook, still outstretched and holding his gun. Max couldn’t put it away. Something inside just wouldn’t let him. He imagined the guy jumping up and trying to spring on him, but he shook his head to get a grip on himself.

Max glanced up at Cassie. She looked tired after everything that had happened. Blood was splattered across her front from the bullets hitting the leader. Her lips were parted in a frown while she took in people running every which way. There was chaos as far as she could see. Cassie’s eyes finally locked with Max’s and something inside him tried to digest that the danger was over. His wolf lunged forward to force him to shift. Stop! Stop it now! We can’t shift in public. He gritted his teeth—the smell of blood was fueling the beast deep within him. He closed his eyes and tried to push the creature back down. Footsteps clambered across the stone floor. His gun was still pointed at the man when a hand touched his. Max wanted to sink his teeth into the person who touched him, but he pushed down the impulse. Slowly, he opened his eyes. Cassie’s hand embraced him, bringing calm to the wolf within. He looked at her, allowing his hand to shake. She pushed his hand down and took the gun from his grip.

“It’s over,” Cassie said in a soothing voice.

Max breathed in deeply then took in the surrounding scene. Over a dozen cops were in the room now. Three stood around the leader as he thrashed around on the floor. They worked together to cuff him and drag him to his feet. The leader yelled the entire time. God, you’d think he’d died or something. Such a boob—he couldn’t even take a gunshot wound without blubbering. EMTs ran over to inspect and treat his wound. Max no longer cared—the guy got what he deserved. His wolf thought the leader rolling away from the EMT was funny and wagged his tail. Max rolled his eyes as he took in a hot blonde cop walking by with a camera. She snapped pictures of the crime scene, bodies, and all the people involved. Max’s eyes trailed down her body as his mouth began to water with excitement. Wow, I could just eat her up. His wolf barked in union with his thoughts, liking the idea.

Cassie cleared her throat. “You okay?”

Turning his attention back to Cassie, he gulped. “Yeah, I am getting there.”

She smiled. He looked out across the lobby, noticing how everyone seemed to blur together. His eyes jumped from person to person until they rested on Sergeant Murphy. Murphy barked orders right and left, pointing in each direction. The coroner came in moments later to view the bodies and to eventually remove them from the scene. Max still couldn’t believe they’d made it out of the situation alive, let alone uninjured. He looked back at Cassie once again. How in the world did she pull this off? It couldn’t have just been dumb luck, or intuition…could it? She was definitely someone who was going to be hard to figure out.

“Armel! Vincent! Get over here,” Murphy barked above the noise.

Max couldn’t help but notice a hitch in Cassie’s shoulder. She must be dreading the backlash from the serge. As they walked over together, Max finally felt his wolf recede to the back of his mind. About damn time you calmed down. Can’t take the chance of acting out because you get so wound up over the smell of blood. Standing before Murphy, Max waited to see what he was going to say. He hoped it was going to be good. But the way the serge’s eyes narrowed told him nothing but an ass chewing was coming their way.

“Let’s step outside.”

Max arched an eyebrow and opened his mouth. Murphy raised his hand to silence him and motioned to the front door. Cassie stepped away from them, leading the way outside. The sun was now shining high in the midday sky. She couldn’t believe how much time had passed since everything had started several hours ago. Murphy pulled the door closed behind him, making sure no one else was in hearing range before letting out a big sigh.

“How are you two holding up?” Murphy asked sincerely.

Max was taken by surprise.

“Close your mouth before bugs fly in, Vincent,” Murphy snapped. “I want to make sure you two are sound of mind before I chew you a new asshole.”

Yep, should have figured, Max thought.

“I’m good,” Cassie piped up.

Murphy’s eyes narrowed in on him, waiting. Max shrugged.

“Dandy I guess.”

Murphy snorted, letting a smirk play across his smug face. 

“Wouldn’t believe that considering how long you took to walk away from your perp, kid.”

Crap. Damn wolf, now the serge will think I’m soft.

“Doesn’t matter, anyway. I want to know why the hell you were inside this damn bank to begin with.”

Max started to reply, but Murphy silenced him with a hand gesture. His eyes were on Cassie. She looked him directly in the eye. Max couldn’t help but notice she was struggling—like there was something she didn’t want to share with the rest of the group. What the hell happened in there before I showed up? He sniffed the air, smelling fear mixed in with her scent. Her eyes showed the gears turning while the silence drew out longer.

“Well, Armel, you going to answer or stand there staring?”

“It was just a case of being in the wrong place at the right time, Serge,” she said, panicked.

Hmm…seems like more than luck to me. It could be something else, but what? 

Murphy glared at the duo then crossed his arms over his chest. He stood in thought for what felt like an eternity to Max, even though it was really only a few seconds. The silence was too much to bear. He started to feel his wolf pacing in the back of his mind. I’m thinking you’re going to be a pain in the ass when it comes to obeying the orders of the sergeant. The wolf howled in laughter. Max shook his head to get back to reality.

“You two are off the streets for the next two days. I want you back at the office to write up your reports and then go home. You two were put through enough for one day.”

Max stood in shock. If getting involved in a bank robbery gets me a few days off from work, then I should do it more often. But Max had the feeling Murphy was thinking more about Cassie. There was something in his eyes as he looked at her. This guy was hard to read. Something tells me he has feelings for Cassie, but I wonder if they are romantically inclined?  

Without another word they were dismissed. Cassie turned back to the bank entrance, muttering about having to get her shirt. Max turned around and saw Murphy watching Cassie’s every move with dark, lingering eyes. The look on his face made Max’s skin crawl like something sinister was on the guy’s mind. Murphy’s eyes darted to Max looking him up and down. He frowned then turned and headed toward the street where his police car was parked. Max didn’t know what to think, but there was something the sergeant wasn’t saying and he was going to figure it out.

Moments after Murphy got into the patrol car, Cassie stepped up beside Max. She was clasping the last button on her uniform shirt. A sigh escaped her lips as she looked him in the eye.

“Well, let’s go get started on that dreaded paperwork.”

She turned away from Max, making her way down the stairs before banking right to head toward the hidden parking lot around back. He lagged behind for a second. As her scent hit his nose, it seemed familiar to him. It almost reminded him of the lavender scent witches had. But Cassie wasn’t a witch as far as he knew. Besides, he’d never seen a witch become a police officer before. They kept to their secluded side of the city, playing with their potions and herbs. He couldn’t put his finger on why her scent would smell similar yet different at the same time. Max was contemplating the possibilities when he heard her yell at him.

“You coming or what?”

Jerking back to reality he ran down the stairs. Max caught up to her in a few long strides and they walked in silence down the alley. When they reached the police vehicle she threw the keys at him. Without another word she slid into the passenger seat, leaving him standing there dumbfounded. She is letting me drive? Huh. Guess she trusts me now after I had her back in there. A smile spread over his face as he climbed into the vehicle and put it into drive. Cassie crossed her arms, hiding a smirk from him as she looked out the window. Perhaps this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, he thought. Turning onto Main Street, he headed back towards the precinct, happy with the way things were progressing.


Thank you for reading chapter 5 of my Vortex Series: Book 1. Want to keep on reading? Click here for Chapter 6.

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Disclaimer: You are reading the first draft of this book. When the book is finished it will go through an extensive edit. It will also have a read through with my beta team. Then once completed ebook copies will get sent out to all members.