Home > The Hunt (Devil's Isle #3)(3)

The Hunt (Devil's Isle #3)(3)
Author: Chloe Neill

   The man who’d left.

   Then he took a step forward. Memory faded, putting another man in the doorway. Similar to the one who’d left, but not the same.

   “Gavin,” Moses said.

   This wasn’t Liam, but his brother. But it was still surprising that he was standing here with Malachi. I hadn’t seen him since the battle.

   “Claire. Mos.”

   “What are you doing here?” I asked.

   Gavin didn’t waste any time. “Jack Broussard is dead.”

   Broussard was a Containment agent, and a generally despicable human.

   “No loss there,” Moses said.

   “Maybe not,” Gavin replied. “But they’re saying Liam killed him.”




   “Liam’s not in New Orleans,” Malachi said simply. “He couldn’t have done it.”

   “There’s supposedly physical evidence he did,” Gavin said. “And Liam and Broussard had a bad history. That seems to be enough.”

   Liam was a bounty hunter, or had been, and Broussard had been his handler before their relationship had soured. Because Liam understood Paranormals weren’t all our enemies, Broussard believed Liam was a traitor to humankind. That was the kind of attitude Delta was fighting against.

   “Tell us what happened,” Moses said, crossing his arms.

   “Broussard didn’t show up for a shift at the Cabildo,” Gavin said. Containment headquartered in the historic building on Jackson Square. “Containment sent someone to take a look, and they found him in his house. It was bloody. His throat had been slit.” He paused, seemed to collect himself. “The knife was one of Liam’s—a hunting knife I gave him. Had an engraved blade. And ‘For Gracie’ was scrawled on the wall—in Broussard’s blood.”

   The silence was heavy, mixed with eddies of horror and fury.

   Gracie was Gavin and Liam’s late sister, a young woman killed by wraiths. Her death had haunted them, and that was one of the obstacles that had stood between me and Liam.

   Moses narrowed his eyes. “Someone’s setting your brother up.”

   “That’s how it reads to me.”

   “Bastards,” Moses spat. “Scum-sucking bastards for using your sister like that.”

   “Yeah,” Gavin said, running a hand through his hair. “I can’t argue with that.”

   “Why set Liam up?” I asked. “Containment doesn’t have anything against him—or didn’t. Do they know he has magic?”

   “Not that I’m aware of,” Gavin said.

   “Maybe Containment didn’t arrange the frame-up,” Malachi said. “Maybe the killer did. He or she could have a vendetta against Liam, or may not care who’s blamed, as long as it’s directed away from him or her.”

   “Yeah,” Gavin said with a heavy sigh. He looked tired, I realized, his skin a little paler than usual, his eyes shadowed with fatigue. “I lean toward that. Containment’s issued a bounty for him.”

   “Gunnar wouldn’t do that.” Gunnar Landreau was second-in-command at Containment, and one of my best friends.

   “He wouldn’t have a choice,” Gavin said. “An agent’s been murdered, and the evidence points to Liam. Gunnar’s hands are tied. Containment’s already been looking for him. Now that the bounty’s issued, the search is going to get more intense. Containment is also looking for Eleanor.”

   “For leverage,” I said, sickness settling in my belly.

   “Probably,” Gavin said. “I hear they’ve been through her place in Devil’s Isle, tore up what wasn’t already torn up after the battle. I haven’t been to Liam’s, but I imagine it didn’t fare any better.”

   “How do you know all this?” Moses asked. “You talk to Gunnar?”

   He shook his head. “I just got back into town, had a drink with a source at the Cabildo. That’s where I got the details.”

   “You’re here to warn us,” I said. “Because now they’ll want us for another reason—to find Liam.”

   Gavin nodded. “Containment’s been looking for you, but they haven’t been looking very hard. They know you helped in the battle; Gunnar knows you helped. But with this, they’ll double their efforts to take you in.”

   Moses snorted. “They can try.”

   “We’ll be careful,” I said. “What are you going to do about Liam?”

   “We’re going to warn him,” Gavin said. “Me and Malachi. That’s the other thing we wanted to tell you. We’ll be gone for at least a couple of days, more likely three.”

   “You know where Liam is?” Moses asked. “I mean, specifically?”

   The bayous and marshes of southern Louisiana covered thousands of square miles. They were also isolated and difficult to get through.

   “We know where they were,” Malachi said. “Erida checks in when she can.” Erida was a goddess of war and one of Malachi’s people. She’d accompanied Eleanor into the bayous. But to make it harder for Containment to find them, Erida, Eleanor, and the other Paras moved frequently. “I received a message three days ago. By the time we get to that location, she’ll have moved again.”

   “It’s a place to start,” Gavin said with a nod. “That’s all we need.”

   “They could follow you back to him,” I said. “That might be their plan—to send you running to him, to Eleanor. And if they find him, they might find the others.”

   I didn’t know how many Paras lived in the bayou, but I knew their existence needed to remain a secret. Given the smile on Gavin’s face, he wasn’t very concerned about that.

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