Bound to Darkness(Midnight Breed,book 13)(2) by Lara Adrian
The move was swift and elegant, but it opened Jagger up for sudden defeat.
Rune went down, but took Jagger with him, tackling him into an impossible hold on the floor of the cage. Jagger struggled to break loose, but Rune’s spiked knuckles kept the fighter subdued.
Howls and applause thundered through the arena as the clock counted down on the end of the match, with Rune about to claim yet another win.
As Carys cheered his certain victory, she felt a prickle of awareness on the back of her neck. She glanced behind her toward the back of the club. Two of her father’s Breed warriors had just come inside.
Dressed in the Order’s black fatigues, Jax and Eli scanned the massive crowd, ignoring the spectacle inside the cage as they sought to locate her. She was getting used to seeing the Order’s babysitting patrol every night, but that didn’t make it any less annoying.
Maybe her father’s patience had finally reached its end. She knew him well enough not to put it past him to send his warriors out to collect her and eventually bring her home. By force if needed.
Ha. Let them try.
As one of the rare few females of the Breed and a daywalker, Carys was every bit as strong as any male of her kind. Stronger than most, given that her mother, Tavia Chase, was a laboratory-created miracle comprised of half-Ancient and half-Breedmate genetics.
But she didn’t need to resort to physical strength to avoid Jax and Eli. Carys had another ability at her disposal—this one inherited from her father.
As she stood among the crowd near the front of the arena, Carys quieted her mind and focused on her surroundings. Gathering and bending the shadows around her, she concealed herself in plain sight. No one would see her so long as she held the shadows close.
She waited, watching the pair of Order warriors stroll deeper into the club to scan the hundreds of humans and Breed packed inside. Carys drifted deeper into the throng, unseen by anyone. Jax and Eli gave up after a few minutes of searching. Carys smiled from within her magic as she watched them finally leave.
Meanwhile, the match in the cage was over. Rune and Jagger had taken off their metal torcs and gloves. They clapped each other on the shoulder, both mopping the blood and sweat from their faces as the announcer declared the winner.
Carys let her shadows fall away then. The hatch on the cage opened to let out the combatants. She raced to meet Rune, shouting his name and applauding with the rest of the throng as her man collected yet another victory.
Rune’s rugged face lit up with private promise when he saw her. The brutal, fearsome fighter stepped out of the cage and caught her around the waist, hauling her to him.
His dark eyes glittered with need he didn’t even try to conceal. Ignoring the cheers and applause that swelled around him, he took her mouth in a possessive kiss.
Then he scooped her up and carried her out of the arena.
Lucan Thorne jabbed the disconnect button on his video call with the human politician who’d been chewing his ass for the past half hour. Times like this, he really missed the simplicity of the twentieth century. Back then, an aggravating conversation like the one he’d just had could be punctuated by slamming the phone down and letting the person on the other end know what he really thought about their uninvited opinion.
What he liked even better back then was being able to carry out the Order’s brand of swift, effective justice in private, rather than under the scrutiny of human and Breed government types whose endless demands for meetings and board reviews only served to hamstring his efforts and waste precious time.
Lucan shoved his desk chair back on a muttered curse and began to pace across his study.
“That bad, huh?” His Breedmate, Gabrielle, stood in the open doorway.
“The Global Nations Council has called for a debriefing about the assassinations in Italy earlier this week. Apparently, more than one GNC member has petitioned for my removal from the council.” Lucan crossed the room to meet his beautiful, auburn-haired mate, unable to resist dropping a kiss on her furrowed brow. “Can’t say the council’s blame is misplaced since I’m the one who secretly arranged the meeting between the brother of Italy’s new president and GNC member Byron Walsh.”
“You were only trying to help build an important alliance between two influential members of the human and Breed races. Doesn’t the council realize the Order wants peace as much as anyone?” Gabrielle tilted her head at him as he took her hand and led her out of his study into the hallway. “Nobody could’ve predicted the meeting would be sabotaged. By Walsh’s own son, no less.”
Lucan grunted. “Derek Walsh was only part of a bigger problem. One that’s getting stronger every day the Order allows it to exist.”
“Opus Nostrum,” Gabrielle said quietly.
The name of the deadly cabal had been unheard of until just a few weeks ago, when the group stole experimental UV technology, then attempted to use it for mass murder at a peace summit gala of Breed and human dignitaries. The Order had narrowly thwarted that catastrophe, killing Opus’s leader, Reginald Crowe. But after that very public introduction, and subsequent rumors of chemical and other weapons at their disposal, Opus Nostrum was currently the most feared terror group in the world.
The assassinations of the two high-ranking men earlier this week by a fledgling member of Opus—a member who was also the son of a respected GNC official—would only add fuel to the fire.
And as real a threat as Opus Nostrum was, there was another enemy lurking in the shadows too. One that the Order was only beginning to understand.
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