Her Perfect Mate(108)By: Paige Tyler
Ivy caught his arm. “Clayne, wait. Landon and I need to talk before you go.”
Out of the corner of her eye, Ivy saw Kendra take the Russian doctor’s arm. “Zarina, can I talk to you for a minute?”
Ivy could have kissed Kendra for being so perceptive. She waited until the two women were out of earshot before turning back to Clayne.
“Are you going to tell the DCO about us…Landon and me?”
She probably could have been a little more tactful, but with Clayne the direct approach was best.
Clayne regarded them for a moment. “No. If they find out about the two of you, it won’t be from me.”
“Why don’t I believe that?”
His mouth quirked. “Because I just told you I make a habit of lying? Or maybe because I’ve been an asshole to the two of you?” He ran his hand through his hair, letting out a heavy sigh. “Look, Ivy, I did and said some things I’m not proud of. I’ve always just wanted you to be happy, and I can see Donovan makes you happy. I wish like hell he didn’t, but he does. I know what it feels like when you can’t be with the person you’re supposed to be with. I won’t do that to you.”
Understanding from Clayne? He must have gotten hit in the head during the fight. Ivy wanted to ask what he meant, but now wasn’t the time. She didn’t have to worry about him telling the DCO about her and Landon—she could satisfy her curiosity later.
“Sure. I, um, better go load up the car.”
Giving them a nod, he walked out.
Landon pulled the satellite phone from the duffel bag on the floor. “I’m going to call John.”
Ivy listened as Landon related what had happened—the fabricated version anyway. She didn’t know if she should be impressed he could lie so convincingly, but she was.
The debriefing had been hell thanks to Coleman. If the assistant deputy director hadn’t seen pictures of the hybrids’ bodies, he probably wouldn’t have believed anything she and Landon said. Ivy was just glad to be done with it.
Kendra was waiting for them outside the conference room. “Tate’s team is back. They finally apprehended the shifter that ran them all over the mountains. They’re taking him to an interrogation room.”
They intercepted Tate’s team on the way. The guys all looked like hell. It wasn’t unusual for operatives to get beat up when they went after a rogue shifter, but Tate, Gavin, and Brent looked as if they’d been through a war—or at the very least, one heck of a nasty fight. Declan was the only one not sporting cuts, scrapes, and bruises. And that was probably only because they’d already healed.
Ivy tore her gaze away from Declan to focus on the shaggy-haired, bearded shifter shuffling between him and Tate. He had the look of a caged animal surveying his surroundings, waiting for a chance to bolt. As if sensing her gaze on him, the shifter lifted his head to fix her with a piercing look. She took an involuntary step back as she caught his scent.
She leaned close to Landon. “He’s a hybrid.”
Landon stiffened and swore under his breath.
“Tanner? Oh my God!”
Ivy jerked her head up to see Zarina hurrying down the hallway. Shock flickered in the man’s hazel eyes, and he probably would have met her halfway if Declan didn’t hold him back. Tate stepped in front of Zarina, but the Russian woman brushed past him as if he wasn’t there. Ignoring the restraints on the hybrid’s wrists, she caught his hands in hers.
“I can’t believe you got away,” she said. “I was so afraid they’d catch you.”
“They tried. I was more worried about you.” He searched her face. “How did you get away?”
“They rescued me.” Zarina threw Ivy and Landon a quick look over her shoulder. “This is the man I told you about—the one I helped escape.”
“She could have mentioned he was one of Stutmeir’s abominations,” Landon muttered.
And that he was dangerous. But looking at the hybrid standing there with Zarina as if they were long-lost lovers, it was hard to picture him ripping poor innocent hikers to shreds. Ivy wanted to ask how Tate and his team had managed to apprehend him, but John showed up before she could.