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broke and Lex pulled her to his side.
Megan stood discreet but alert at their back.
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 No ma am, the place was empty. Can you wait over there please? The
firefighter pointed at the corner.  I m sure the police and the investigators
will want to talk to you.
Numb, Nina let Lex guide her to the corner to wait. She had to let the grief
wash over her so she could get to the mad. Instinctively, she knew the mad
would save her, help her get through.
Lex stood next to her, rubbing small circles over her back. She d noticed that
the wolves liked to touch at times of stress. She also realized that she d
have to stop thinking of it as things that happened to them because she was
one of them too.
 When this is all over, I m going to check myself into a hospital and have a
heart attack, she said tiredly.
 I m so sorry, beautiful. We re going to find who did this, I promise you.
 Carter did this, Lex. Come on! You know it and I know it, she hissed as she
saw someone come over from the scene. It was the man who was investigating the
fire at her house.
 Ms. Reyes. I wish I could say I was happy to see you. Do you happen to know
anything about this? Detective Stoner came to a stop in front of them.
 I wish I did. I was coming to my shop for the first time in a week. Nina
felt the anger and the frustration at not being able to tell this man the
whole story. Lex had asked her to leave the details to the Pack and she d
agreed. She had serious misgivings at that point in letting the Pack handle it
all, but she d given her word so she kept the details to a minimum.
 No? No enemies? Someone you may have offended back in Ohio? The detective
asked the question with forced casualness but Nina had dealt with enough
social workers and cops to know fishing when she saw it. She could also smell
something acrid about him.
While Nina felt Lex s arm tense slightly, she knew he d not appear any
different to the man questioning her.
 My crimes were stupid and petty and are over a decade old. I m sure you also
saw that other than juvenile records, I ve been clean. Someone I cheated in
some street dice game back when I was seventeen is not going to burn down my
house and shop.
 Pardon me for doing your job and all,
because you re not was the unspoken part,  but this is something a hell of a
lot bigger than some crap I did a stint in juvie for a decade ago.
 Hey, no need to get defensive. I was just trying to figure out who did this
and why. Obviously whoever did this knows you or has some personal issue with
you. It s only logical to ask you if you had any information.
 Do you think I would hide information for fun? That it s so enjoyable having
my entire life burn down around my ears, threatening my employees? You ve done
Lauren Dane homework so you know I came from nothing. I worked hard to build
my business up, I
want to catch who did this more than you do I promise you that.
Stoner held his hands up in surrender in the face of her anger.  I ll be in
touch. I
take it you re still staying with Mr. Warden here? He nodded his chin toward
 Yes. Ms. Reyes and I are engaged to be married. Our home is her permanent
address. You can reach us there day or night. You also have my cell phone
number. As you can see, Nina is stressed out and upset. May I take her home or
is there anything else you need?
 Nothing further for now. I ll be in touch. The way he said it made it sound
like a threat and Nina sighed.
 Thank you. Nina tiredly leaned into Lex as he led her back to the car. She
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let him help her inside and put her head back and closed her eyes.
 Don t. Just don t, Lex, because you and I both know this is Carter and if I
think about it any more right this moment I m going to hunt him down and kill
him. She said this with her eyes still closed.
 Okay, I know why think it s Carter. Tell me why you do.
 I don t think Melissa is the shooter. She seemed quite genuine with me and
while she showed interest in the laptop, her interest didn t seem out of
bounds for the situation. She seems happy with being ranked where she is,
ambitious but not ruthless.
 Okay. Lex s voice was noncommittal.
 Eric is a tricky one. He pretends to be the man about town with the ladies
and yes, he s a bit smarmy.
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