Home > Blackwing Beast (Kane's Mountains #3)

Blackwing Beast (Kane's Mountains #3)
Author: T.S. Joyce

Chapter One

Kiera Pierce’s heart was hammering so hard against her sternum, she was sure the shifters across the room would hear her.

Danny’s BBQ was hopping today, which was irritating because people kept walking through her line of sight, blocking out the Blackwing Crew. She liked being able see them at all times. Survivors kept their eyes on danger.

God, it was good to see Kane again. Good and emotional. And then hard and good again, on an endless loop. She’d known him very well once in a facility called Apex Genetic Testing. They’d both lost everything there, but Kane hadn’t stayed down—not like her. Kane had found his dragon again.

Kiera, on the other hand, was stuck in a spiral, like a helicopter that had been clipped in the air and was crashing to earth in an uncontrolled tailspin. She was close to impact, and desperation said that Dark Kane and his crew of monsters might be her last chance to keep her sanity.

She’d done her research before she began her steady stalk of Kane a month ago.

Registered to his crew: Winter Donovan, black panther shifter, grew up in the city so she was probably all kinds of fucked up. Killed her own dad trying to Turn him. Claimed by a panther in Red Havoc who didn’t keep her, then landed in Kane’s crew a few months ago with her new mate, Logan.

Logan Furrow: Grade-A psychopath. He was an arsenic-laced jagged pill. Former mercenary whose job was to put down problem shifters, so his bear was no doubt broken beyond repair. And Winter was sporting one gnarly bear claw claiming mark across her arm. Oh, she must be proud enough since she was wearing a tank top in the middle of winter, but it looked brutal. It was the worst claiming mark Kiera had ever seen, and by a lot.

Dustin Porter: Former submissive werewolf in the Valdoro pack. The entire pack, including his brother, were burned and turned to ashes. The dick weevils probably deserved it. God, she hated werewolves. Dustin had betrayed his pack to join the Blackwings. Right now, he looked riled up, one eye glowing blue, the other green, his lip snarled as he popped off to Logan, who also looked way too bloodthirsty for her taste. The idiots were probably going to fight right here in front of all these humans. They had brawled at nearly every place she’d stalked them.

Emma Porter, new Bride of Frankenwolf, formerly human, raised in a freaking coven of vampires, Turned a few months ago when the Blackwings went to war with not one, but three packs. Hearing impaired in her human form, but that didn’t seem to slow her at all. She was sitting right in the middle of the crew, holding her own, popping off, reading lips like a champ. Tiny foul-mouthed hellion and, from what Kiera could tell, a good match for her mate, who was now standing with his arms locked on the table as he yelled at Logan about how, “I’m not sharing my jalapeño sausages with you ever again!” He could’ve been making a dick joke, Kiera couldn’t tell. He made a lot of them.

Last but not least, the dragons themselves. Kane Reeves, aka the End of Days, aka Dark Kane, aka The Darkness, aka The Motherfuckin’ Apocalypse. Geez, just from that list of names, she would’ve tucked tail and run, except she’d known him once. He’d been soft-spoken, protective, and kind—at least when his dragon wasn’t trying to burn down the facility with everyone in it, including her. He probably wouldn’t even recognize her now. The years had changed her infinitely.

Rowan Barnett rounded out the crew. Second in the Blackwings, proud mate of Dark Kane, sweet, but she was no pushover. She was equally dangerous but had better control. Kiera could tell from her calm demeanor. Currently, Kane looked like he was about to throttle Logan and Dustin, who were arguing even louder. Something about the best flavor of sausage. Dustin had flipped Logan off twice, while Logan had a vein throbbing in his beet-red forehead. Yep, they were definitely going to fight. And what were the girls in the crew doing? Laughing. Way to go Kane. Steller crew you put together.

But wait. A tall man with massive shoulders strode from the counter directly to the table where the Blackwings sat. She’d never seen him before in all the time she’d spent stalking Kane and his merry band of lunatics. There was no one else registered to the crew, but this one was obviously a shifter. Even with her weakened senses, she could feel how heavy his dominance was. It lifted the fine hairs on the back of her neck. She only got his profile as he pulled a chair loudly across the wood floor and spun it backward, then sat, plopping his mountain of barbecue on the table. His face was perfect—beautiful really. Flawless and symmetrical, high cheek bones, eyes large but slightly slanted. Feline perhaps. A short beard, reddish blond, covered his chiseled jaw and moved as he cursed Logan and Dustin out. “Sit down,” he barked out, jamming a finger at Dustin. “This is why I never want to fuckin’ hang out with you. You’re all exhausting.”

“But you love us,” Winter said with a mushy smile.

“Why do you keep saying that?” the man asked, looking pissed.

Kiera cocked her head and studied him. If he was a Blackwing, he hadn’t registered yet. And if that was the case, why not?

He was tall with powerful legs and a short, blond crop of hair on his head. Despite the early January chill, he wore no jacket, only a tight black sweater with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. Tattoos covered his hands as he slapped a pound of brisket between two pathetically small slices of bread. He was snarling loud enough that the humans at the table behind him scooted farther down the bench seat away from him.

Surprised, Kiera huffed a soft laugh at the looks on their concerned faces. Laughing felt good. She hadn’t done that in… God, when was the last time? She barely recognized the sound coming from herself. It was hard not to find the humor in this effed-up crew of monsters, though, because clearly this muscled-up, pissed-off behemoth was the cherry on top of Kane’s Psychopath Sunday. This crew wouldn’t make it a year without killing each other.

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