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"Your mother was born on the Bitterroot Reservation over in Idaho, wasn't she?"
It felt like he'd punched her. Her breath left in a whoosh of air, and for several seconds, she couldn't even breathe. Couldn't do anything more than look at him in horror.
"Did you know," he continued mercilessly, "that as a sixteen-year-old she took part in a raid of the Sinclair stronghold over there and burned it to the ground?"
"Yes." His voice was monotone. Relentless. "Thirteen people died that night, and many more were injured. Your mother was never charged because her old man paid off the right people."
She slapped her palms on the table and thrust upright. "Get out."
His smile was grim. "She's done it once, Neva. She could easily do it again."
"I said, get out." Her voice shook with the force of the fury rolling through her.
"A good investigator considers all options."
"My mother is not an option. Now get the hell out of my house."
He didn't move. Didn't even blink. Might have been made of stone, and she was certain his heart was.
"Then perhaps you should consider your father," he said, his rich voice as cold as the storm outside. "Did you know he'd been questioning Betise about who was dancing with whom up at the mansion?"
She'd been questioning Betise--and the older wolf had certainly never mentioned her father doing the same. And she would have, if only because Betise hated Neva's father. It was actually doubtful whether she'd give him the time of day. "I said get out. I meant it."
"Your days and nights are mine, little wolf. I'm not going anywhere."
"You're a..." Words failed her. Somehow, bastard justdidn't seem strong enough.
His smile contained little warmth. "So you keep saying."
She hit him. Not physically, but emotionally. Hit him with all the anger and humiliation and pain that had built up over the past couple of days. Although his shields were up, the force of her emotive blow still leeched all color from his face and thrust him backwards, off the chair and onto the floor.
"It's not a nice feeling, is it?" His voice was little more than a hoarse whisper, and beads of sweat dribbled down his face. "Having your family as suspects?"
She met his soulless gaze and wondered why in hell this man got to her so badly. Not just physically, but emotionally. Damn it, if any of the rangers had mentioned her mother's past, would they be now writhing on the floor? Definitely not. She'd be asking them to show her the evidence to prove it. Or running back to her mother to confirm what had really gone on.
But right now, that was something she could not do.
She let the power slip away and slumped back on the chair, covering her face with her hands. After a few seconds, he climbed slowly to his feet. She could feel the heat of his gaze on her, but she refused to look up.
"I'll be back at dusk," he said softly. "And I will claim what I am owed."