Pagan's Plight (Assassin's Loyalty Book 6)

By: Stephani Hecht

Assassin’s Loyalty #6

Chapter One

His body was one entire ache. One entire, mind blinding fucking ache. The kind that made it impossible to think of anything else, except how much it hurt and how he was never going to feel better. How his entire life had become nothing but a cloud of pain. How there was never going to be an ounce of relief. Most of all that he was in hell and there was no getting out.

Every time he took in a shuddering breath pain lanced through his ribs. Plenty of experience told him they were broken, but it wasn’t as if he could do anything about that. Human hospitals had little use for shifters and there weren’t any doctors around who could help him. It wasn’t the first time he’d take such a bad beating and he knew it wouldn’t be the last, either. Which just showed how much his life sucked.

There was a nearby feline Coalition. One that Pagan knew had a top-notch infirmary. But, he couldn’t go there, either. They would only ask too many questions. Ones Pagan wasn’t interested in answering.

If they knew anything about what kind of life he led, they would be just as likely to throw him into a cell as a hospital bed. While Pagan may not be exactly dangerous enough to end up on America’s Most Wanted, he did skirt the law every single day.

Mostly, he stuck to the type of crimes that wouldn’t hurt anyone else—at least not in the physical sense. Now, if one wanted to talk about the financial end that was a whole different story. But, he tried to stick to those who were loaded and not those who were poor like him. It was bad enough his own life was FUBAR, he didn’t want to bring misery on others. But, there were a few times where he didn’t have any choice.

Unfortunately, last night had been one of those times. It had started out normally enough. Pagan worked the streets, trying to pick up a john. When a Weasel shifter had beckoned him over, Pagan thought he’d struck some good luck. The guy may be old, but his car looked expensive. If Pagan worked things perfectly, he might get enough out of the one job to get something to eat. It’d been three days since he’d had a decent meal and he was starting to feel light-headed and shaky. How he’d managed to fall so far since he’d left Wayne County was a joke. Yet, he didn’t dare go back. Not after he’d snitched on Rand and told about the attack. Now Pagan was a known rat and even though Rand was dead there were still plenty of others who would love to take Pagan out for what he’d done. So, that gravy train was over and now Pagan was having to make do with the scraps he could get in Flint.

Maybe that’s why he wasn’t as careful as he usually was. Whatever the case, Pagan missed those little red flags that would have normally sent him running the other way. Like, for example, how the john had a driver. One who was a lot bigger than Pagan and he was weaponed up too. Pagan may not be a soldier, but he knew how to look for the outline of a gun better than most street rats.

The driver was a Raven, which should have been another warning. Everybody knew you couldn’t trust those birds worth shit. But, once again, Pagan had stupidly let it go. Just like he’d agreed to get into their car and go with them. He normally did his business in a nearby alley or in a hotel that he’d paid for and knew was safe.

As soon as he climbed into that car, they were on him. Yet another Raven had been hiding in the back. He and the Weasel attacked, pinned Pagan down and slapped him into some zip ties.

The only satisfaction Pagan could take was he’d fought like hell and hadn’t made things easy for them. He’d managed to punch the Weasel in the face, leaving behind a nice red mark on the asshole’s jaw. Plus, he’d bitten the Raven on the arm. Hard enough to draw blood.

All that had gone down hours before, but Pagan could still taste the awful flavor of the Raven lingering in his mouth. Even if Pagan had a gallon of mouthwash he doubted he’d get rid of it. Sad thing was, that wasn’t the worst thing they’d done to him. Not by far.

They’d driven him to some swanky home. One that Pagan knew he’d never be welcomed in on any other normal circumstance. It was a mansion and made for rich bastards. Not poor hood rats like him. He dwelled at the bottom of the barrel and that would never change.

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