Iggy fled his nest of bat shifters, leaving his family behind to tell the Gillham pack alpha the pack is in danger. He has a hard time believing Kameron can trust him enough to make him his bodyguard, but he accepted the job, hoping to show his new alpha that he can be useful.
Zane has been a recruit since he was a teenager. His goal was to become a pack enforcer, but Kameron decides to put him in charge of Malik’s protection instead, giving him the opportunity of a lifetime.
Neither of them expected to meet their mate when they accepted the job, and it couldn’t have come in a worst moment. The rival council wants the Gillham pack erased, and Tom isn’t going to back off. Will the fight ahead of Iggy and Zane separate them? Will they both come out of it alive, or will they lose each other?
Iggy leaned against the wall of what he now thought of as his spot in Kameron’s office. It was where he always stood when they were there, close enough to Kameron to intervene if something happened, but not close enough to bug the alpha when he was working. Iggy hadn’t been a bodyguard for long, but he knew what he was doing. He had the training, which was the only thing he was glad his old alpha had given him.
Kameron nodded at something Zach said in a voice soft enough that Iggy didn’t understand it. Not that he wanted to—his job was to make sure neither Kameron nor Zach got hurt, nothing else. He didn’t have a say in the pack’s business, as it should be. He was still amazed that they’d given him such a prestigious job. He might have run from his nest and told Kameron everything he knew about Tom’s plans, but how could Kameron believe and trust him without reservations?
Iggy’s old alpha certainly wouldn’t have, but then the man was an asshole, so that wasn’t surprising. Iggy was happy he wouldn’t have to deal with the man anymore.
Someone knocked at the office door and Iggy tensed, even though he knew it had to be either a pack member or a council member. No one could come as close as the door to Kameron’s office without having been checked on by the pack’s enforcers, and they’d have told Kameron someone was coming if that was the case. Still, better safe than sorry, and Iggy wasn’t about to relax just because he was in pack territory.
Kameron chuckled and shook his head at him before saying, “Come in.”
The door opened and a guy Iggy didn’t know walked in. He was tall, taller than Iggy, and more muscled, but Iggy was a scrappy fighter, and he thought he could probably take on the guy if he needed to.
“Zane, thanks for coming,” Kameron said, and Iggy finally allowed himself to relax. “Sit down.”
Zane obeyed, looking a bit uncomfortable. He looked around the room, smiling at Zach, who was curled in his armchair behind Kameron’s desk, close enough that he and Kameron could touch if they wanted. Zane’s gaze lingered on Iggy a bit longer than a guy would normally look at another guy before he turned to look at Kameron again.
Kameron leaned back in his chair. “I asked you to come because I need you to do something for me. You can say no. If you say yes, you’ll be paid for your time and work, of course, but it could be dangerous.”
Zane leaned forward in his chair. “What is it?”
Kameron gestured at Iggy. “As you may know, I decided having a bodyguard would be a smart thing. This is Iggy.”
Zane nodded at Iggy, and Iggy nodded back before Kameron continued, “I’m not the only council member in Gillham at the moment, so I thought it would be a good idea to assign bodyguards to Malik and Quinn, too.”
“And you want me to be one of them?” Zane asked, looking surprised.
“Yes. Simon asked for Malik’s bodyguard to be someone he knows and is comfortable with. I’m not sure how friendly you two are, but I do remember you grew up together, at least until Simon was kidnapped.”
Zane nodded. “We did. We’re the same age, and our mothers were friends, as much as one could have friends in the pack back then.”
“What do you say, then?”
“What would the job entail?”
“The usual protection. You need to stick by Malik as much as possible, especially when he leaves his house. You’ll probably have to move in with him, but that shouldn’t be a problem.”
Iggy swallowed. He hadn’t officially moved out of the house Malik and the others lived in, but he might as well have. Mihaja had emptied his office so Iggy could have his own room, and Iggy had wanted to live there, to feel part of a family, but he was living in Kameron’s house now.
He didn’t want to give up his room, but it looked like he might have to, and he hated that. It was ridiculous, because he hadn’t been with the pack that long, not even a month.
“And you chose me?” Zane sounded like he couldn’t believe it.
“Simon did, but I wouldn’t have been okay with it if I didn’t know you were good enough for the job.”
“I’m still just a recruit.”
“You’re a good one, and we both know you’d have been promoted to pack enforcer soon. It’s not the same thing, but it does mean you’re not a recruit anymore.”
Zane slowly nodded. “Yeah, okay. I’ll do it. When do I have to start?”
“Malik and the others should be here soon.”
Sure enough, there was another knock on the door, and when Kameron called out, Kir came in. He sat by Zane on the other side of Kameron’s desk, and Iggy finally pushed away from the wall and went to stand behind Kameron.
Everyone in the office was a pack member, but he didn’t want to get too comfortable. Kameron needed him for a reason, and no one knew when and if someone would attack, or who an eventual attacker might be. If Iggy had been able to betray his nest and fly to Gillham to tell Kameron what was happening with Tom’s council, then someone could betray the pack, no matter how much Kameron hated the idea.
“I already talked to Simon,” Kir said.
Kameron grinned. “I had no doubts. He told me why he came up with this idea.”
Zane frowned. “I thought you decided the council members need a bodyguard.”
“I was already thinking about it, but Simon was adamant, so I accelerated it.”
“And you assigned me to Quinn,” Kir added.
“It’s a coincidence.”
Kir snorted. “As if Quinn will believe that.”
“I’ll deny anything else.”
Someone knocked on the door again, and this time Malik and Quinn came in. Quinn froze for a few seconds as he took in everyone in the room and his gaze stopped on Kir, then he shook his head and shifted his expression into his always present scowl.
“Sit down,” Kameron said, gesturing at two free chairs.
To Iggy’s surprise, they obeyed. Malik rolled his eyes at Quinn when he chose the chair furthest away from Kir and rudely asked, “What do you want?”
“You both know Iggy is my new bodyguard,” Kameron said, and Iggy looked at Zane again. He was too far away for Iggy to smell him, but he’d bet he smelled like something good, maybe cookies, or vanilla. He looked like he would, and Iggy kinda wanted to taste him.
Zane was blond and golden, even though it was the middle of the winter. His hair was cut short, but that wasn’t surprising since he’d said he was a recruit and wanted to be a pack enforcer. Iggy wasn’t sure what color his eyes were, but he thought probably brown, and he wanted to get closer to check.
Quinn scoffed. “He’s not really doing a good job right now.”
Iggy startled. Quinn was right—he wasn’t doing his job. He’d lost himself in observing Zane, and it wasn’t for security reasons. His distractedness could be fatal to Kameron, and he couldn’t afford it. He blushed and looked down. “Sorry.”
Kameron cleared his throat. “We’re not here to talk about Iggy or the way he’s doing his job.”
Quinn crossed his arms on his chest, and dang, he already looked pissed. Iggy would have rather been far away from the office when he found out what Kameron wanted than in the same room as him, but hey, at least there was a desk between them.
“Why are we here, then?” Quinn asked.
“I’m an alpha as well as a council member, just like the two of you,” Kameron said, his voice calm. “I think, and I’m not the only one, that both of you need a bodyguard.”
Quinn snorted. “Please. Who had this brilliant idea?”
“I did,” Kameron said in a no-nonsense tone.
“And you came up with Kir being my bodyguard too, right? I don’t believe that.”
“I don’t care what you believe. The fact is that by calling you and having you trying to talk to Tom, I put a target on you, and I’m not stupid enough to think Tom won’t try to hurt you, or worse. I want you to have a bodyguard.”
“I don’t need one. I can defend myself.”
Iggy really wasn’t surprised by Quinn’s answer, and he wondered how Kameron would deal with it. He couldn’t use his alpha power, since Quinn wasn’t a pack member, and they both had the same rank on the council. He couldn’t force Quinn to do anything, so he’d have to find another way. Iggy wasn’t sure he could.