Home > Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9)(8)

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9)(8)
Author: Patricia Briggs

“What’s on the bridge?” he called, but I just waved again because I was already too far to yell loudly enough for him to hear me.

But a woman stuck her head out of a car as I passed, and yelled, “Is it werewolf trouble, Mercy?”

I didn’t know the voice, but I’d been bathing in the reflected glory of Adam long enough that I wasn’t anonymous anymore, either.

“Nope,” I told her. “Fae monster, I think.”

I was sure that Tony wouldn’t have approved: I was informing the public without talking to him. But I figured that in this era of cell phone cameras, whatever was on the bridge was already due to be famous on YouTube anyway.

The bridge was visible from a long way off on both sides of the river. Something big enough to be “eating cars” was certain to attract people with cameras and cell phones. There would be no covering this up.

Up ahead, the Lampson Building came into view, as did the blue and red flashing lights of dozens of police cars. Lampson International builds the world’s largest cranes, and they’d built their headquarters right at the base of the Cable Bridge. Four stories tall, the glass-and-steel structure was distinctively odd. It looked very much as though some giant had picked up a pyramid, turned it upside down, and squished it back into the ground.

The police had set up two barricades. The first was at the last intersection before the bridge, to keep cars away from it. There were several uniformed policemen directing traffic there. The second barricade was closer to the bridge, just past the entrance to the Vietnam Memorial, which was on the edge and up the hill from the parking lot of the Lampson Building.

We ran past the first barricade without any of the police trying to stop us, though we drew sharp looks. Probably they were too busy with traffic, but it also takes real moxie to try to stop someone who is running with a tibicena and a werewolf. Maybe they recognized Adam.

The land rose gently to meet the beginning of the suspension bridge. I looked away from the police and the stalled traffic to peer at the bridge.

It arced gracefully over the river, more or less a mile across, the most beautiful of the three Tri-Cities bridges over the Columbia, and the only one that was not a highway or interstate. Drapes of thick white cable descended from both sides of the two towers on either side of the center of the bridge.

From the Kennewick shore, I could only see to the top of the arc, halfway across the bridge, about a half mile off. There were a few cars with their noses pointed (mostly) toward us in the Kennewick-bound lane, stopped and apparently empty. The nearest car, a red Buick, rested on its roof, one of the rear tires missing. It looked, to my educated eye, like something had grabbed the tire and ripped it off the car.

The Pasco-bound lane on the right side of the bridge was clear until about halfway to the center. The rest of it looked as though a five-year-old playing with his toy cars had had a temper tantrum. The illusion was enhanced by the distance that made the cars look smaller than they were, tiny and abandoned. It was a false picture of harmlessness: all of those cars had been carrying people. I’ve seen enough wrecks to know which cars might hold bodies, waiting in endless patience for us to deal with whatever had done this before we took care of the dead.

I ran into Adam, who’d turned broadside to me. In wolf form, he was tall enough that I didn’t fall when I hit and big enough that I didn’t knock him over. He waited until I recovered, then looked at the police off to our left. They’d seen us, but, except for Tony, who trotted toward us, didn’t approach. There were a few of them who looked battered, and I could smell blood from here. Theirs or the victims’ I couldn’t tell, but it smelled fresh.

“Okay,” I told Tony. “You should have two other werewolves here already. Adam’s called in the rest of the pack, but it might take a half hour or more to get anyone else here. What do you need?”

“Can you kill this thing? Failing that, we need to keep it on the bridge until the National Guard gets here—about two hours at last check,” Tony said grimly.

He leveled an opaque look at Joel. This was Joel’s first public appearance as a member of the pack. To Tony’s credit, a black dog that looked as though he’d been half formed out of burning charcoal didn’t seem to faze him long. He barely even paused before he continued to speak.

“It doesn’t seem to be inclined to leave the bridge, thankfully. At least here it’s contained, but it has amply demonstrated that it’s staying on the bridge because it wants to be there. Nothing we’ve been able to do does much more than annoy it.”

Adam gave me a sharp look.

“I’ve got this,” I agreed. “You and Joel can go find whatever’s playing Matchbox cars on the bridge.”

Adam started out, then hesitated and turned back, Joel attentive at his side. My mate looked me in the eyes, his own golden and clear.

“I know,” I said, feeling his emotions sing to me through our mating bond. He should be able to feel mine, too, but sometimes words matter. “I love you, too.”

He turned and ran, the efficient lope of the beginning of a hunt rather than a racing stride. Joel kept pace at his hip.

Tony cupped his hand under my elbow and tugged me over to the gathered police officers, some in uniform, some in business casual, and some in whatever they happened to be wearing when they got the call. I recognized a few faces, recognized more scents, and Detective Willis, who was regarding me with an expression I couldn’t read.

“Don’t shoot the werewolves and the tibicena,” I told him—because that was the main purpose of my coming with Adam. “They’re the good guys.”

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
» Fixed series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)
» Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels #1)
» Norse Mythology