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Jared (River Pack Wolves 3)

By:Alisa Woods

Jared (River Pack Wolves 3) - New Adult Paranormal Romance - Alisa Woods

Jared had killed men before.

One more shouldn’t make a difference.

He sighted down his scope, peering through the darkness at the tremendously lit-up house of Senator Krepky. The good Senator had a palatial estate on top of a mountain above Bellevue. It was beautiful—Jared could tell precisely how opulent the interior was because he could see everything. The exterior walls were mostly comprised of glass. The floor-to-vaulted-ceiling windows revealed the natural woods, polished granite surfaces, and sophisticated decor inside. With all that light blasting out, it was a good thing he’d brought his day scope and not just his night vision optics. But it was an easy target from his position across the ravine—he was lying on a bed of ferns under the drooping boughs of a pine tree with his M40A6 sniper rifle, complete with tripod mount and suppressor. Jared’s skills were sufficient to achieve the kill, even at nearly a thousand meters to target. The 50mm bullet would not only travel the distance, punch through the plate-glass window, and vaporize the Senator’s skull—it would finally bring Jared a kind of redemption. Or, if not that, at least an end to the meaningless days and tormented nights.

He wasn’t a Marine anymore, and this wasn’t Afghanistan: he would go to jail for this. And killing a sitting Senator? Death penalty for sure. Probably lethal injection, although Washington was the only state where hanging was still legal. But that didn’t matter—he would find a way to die before he was locked up, waiting for his executioner.

One of the Senator’s two personal security guards looped to the back of the estate, glancing over the expanse of lawn between the house and the forest. Jared flicked a glance at the guard, but the man just returned to the front. The wind gusted slightly, bringing up a fresh whiff of the creek at the bottom of the ravine. Updraft. About every three to five minutes. Avoiding that would keep his shot true.

Jared had been lying under his tree for an hour. The deed would have been done already, except the Senator was arguing with a young woman in his living room. She was a willowy, almost painfully thin girl, with long brown hair that fell in waves to her waist. Jared couldn’t hear their argument, but whatever it was, the girl was giving the Senator hell. Jared stretched his leg muscles, relieving the cramping while still keeping his eye firmly on the target. He was really just watching them now—he had already decided the girl was the Senator’s daughter, and Jared wouldn’t kill him in front of her. It was one thing to hear the shot and find the body. She could choose not to look, if she wished. She might agonize about their last conversation being an argument—probably something pointless like the boys she was dating or the size of her trust fund or whether she could take out one of the five Jaguars the Senator kept on display out in front of the estate.

It was another thing entirely to watch her father’s head explode.

Jared was a stone cold killer—he knew that, and there was nothing he could do to change the things he’d done in the service—but he sure as hell wasn’t going to make a girl watch her father’s brain splatter all over the living room. He knew the kind of nightmares that induced, the dead emptiness it settled deep in your bones, and he wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Even the pampered princess of a senator who needed to die.

And Senator Krepky definitely needed to die.

The girl threw her hands in the air and turned on her heel. Jared held his breath, thinking she might leave, but she just whirled back again, having another go at the old man.

He let out the breath, slow and measured, just like he would when it came time to take the shot. He could wait. Waiting was all he did these days, one hollow day after another. The world kept buzzing around him, relentlessly moving on while he stood still.

And lately, all that activity had taken a turn for the dangerous. Shifters being kidnapped off the streets of Seattle. Assholes in the government conducting medical experiments. Men like Senator Krepky who didn’t blink at the lives they wasted in pursuit of their wet dreams of power. Jared and his brothers, Jace and Jaxson, along with the rest of the River pack, had done what they could to stop it. They’d managed to liberate a ton of shifters from the horror show that was their government-sanctioned medical prison. In the process, Jace’s mate, Piper, had discovered the Senator’s plan for a new registration law for shifters... this was the same government that had already authorized medical experiments upon them.

It didn’t take a genius to figure out where that was going. Not only would it be stupid-easy for the government to round up shifters, but shifter-owned companies like the private security firm Jared owned with his brothers, Riverwise, would go out of business. The public feared and hated shifters, which was why most stayed undercover, hidden just under the skin of Seattle. The military had discovered Jared was a shifter when he enlisted, but they kept that shit private precisely because they wanted shifter talent in the armed forces. And getting a job after the service would be next to impossible if they were outed as shifters. For most civilians, no one outside their family and their pack knew. And their lives would all be ruined by Senator Krepky’s new law. Even proposing it would declare open season on shifters everywhere.