Bound to Darkness(Midnight Breed,book 13)(3) by Lara Adrian
For millennia, the Breed had believed they were the only preternatural beings on the planet. Now they had irrefutable proof of another. And this other alien race of immortals calling themselves Atlanteans were apparently plotting a war that would make Opus Nostrum’s efforts seem like child’s play.
To say the Order had its hands full was beyond understatement.
They had to stop Opus Nostrum and eliminate the deeper, hidden threat posed by the Atlanteans, and Lucan had no intention of doing so with one arm tied behind his back by the GNC or any other meddling entity.
Fortunately, the Order had acquired a few helpful leads and unexpected allies in recent days. For each setback and disaster they narrowly averted, it seemed they were given a small glimmer of hope. Which was a damn good thing. Lucan had a feeling they were going to need all the luck they could get.
Absent of luck, he wasn’t opposed to crushing anyone who stood in the Order’s way.
As he and Gabrielle turned a corner toward the headquarters’ conference room, Lucan heard their son, Darion, talking with Gideon and that warrior’s mate, Savannah.
Dare wasn’t officially part of the Order yet, but Lucan had to admit the twenty-one-year-old had proven himself an asset both intellectually and in the heat of battle. Tonight, he and Gideon were chasing down a lead on a Breed male in Ireland with apparent ties to Opus.
Lucan and Gabrielle paused to find Gideon seated in front of a wall of computers, with Dare and Savannah poring over reports and schematics on the conference table.
It was a familiar scene that brought back old memories, yet the addition of Darion to the picture made Lucan’s chest swell with pride. Gabrielle squeezed his hand lovingly, no doubt feeling the surge of his emotion through their blood bond.
Lucan cleared his throat and Savannah smiled in greeting. Dare’s face was intense, all of his focus centered on his work as his parents stepped inside the room.
“We tapped in on Riordan yet?” Lucan asked.
Gideon blew out a curse and tossed his ever-present silver shades onto the workstation. He scrubbed his hand over the top of his spiky blond hair. “Aside from grabbing several hours of basically useless security camera footage of traffic in and out of the place, I haven’t been able to find a way into the core of his network yet. The son of a bitch lives in a bloody twelfth-century castle, for fuck’s sake. He’s got some kind of communications equipment in there, but the connection protocol is closed. I haven’t been able to exploit any kind up uplink.”
Lucan stared. “Which means?”
Darion was the first one to answer. “Unless we can find a crack in Riordan’s communication network, we’re at a dead end on hacking into his location.”
There was a time—as recently as a few weeks ago—that Lucan would have been surprised, even shocked, at the depth of Darion’s knowledge and the breadth of his interests. Add to that his tactical and combat skills, perfected under the tutelage of Tegan, and once Darion was seasoned in the field, he would have few equals. Although Lucan and his son had clashed more than once on the subject of his readiness as a true member of the Order, those concerns were becoming a thing of the past.
“I take it those are Nova’s sketches of the Riordan place.” Lucan gestured to the hand-drawn blueprints spread out across the conference table.
Darion nodded. “As best she as could recall. Nova said she hasn’t been near her family Darkhaven for more than ten years.”
Savannah’s dark brown eyes were sober as she glanced at Dare. “Calling it a Darkhaven is being too generous. The same goes for calling Riordan her family. Nova didn’t have to tell us everything she suffered at her adoptive father’s hands, but it’s obvious her treatment there was nothing short of brutal.”
Nova was Mathias Rowan’s Breedmate of a few weeks now. The couple had met while the Order’s London-based commander had been investigating a string of murders in his city and a missing shipment of Russian arms.
The tattooed, blue-and-black-haired young woman—whose given name was Catriona Riordan—had been instrumental in providing the Order with most of the intel they currently had on the Breed male who’d raised her. Because of Nova, they had learned that the black scarab tattoos on the dead men had marked them as Fineas Riordan’s thugs.
But the Order had no evidence to link Riordan to Opus Nostrum until Derek Walsh’s confession about the assassinations in Italy. Derek’s boast of his plans to impress Opus’s inner circle through the shocking murders was made even more significant for the fact that he also bore the black scarab tattoo.
Lucan glanced at the sketches of the Riordan stronghold and shook his head. “We need something solid to tell us what this bastard is up to now, or what he might’ve wanted with that container of weapons his thugs tried to collect for him in London.” Lucan glanced at Gideon. “How long before we send our little drone out for a fly-by?”
“It went up a couple of hours ago.”
“And got shot down only a few seconds into its surveillance,” Darion finished, his face grim. “We didn’t get any data.”
“Jesus Christ.” Lucan swung his scowl on Gideon. “Satellite images?”
“We’re working on it.”
“Work faster. In the meantime, I’ve got to go assure the GNC and all of the other whining armchair quarterbacks at the Capitol that the attack in Italy was an isolated incident orchestrated by Walsh’s mentally unstable son. The last thing we need is word getting out that Opus was even loosely connected to those killings. All that’ll do is fan the flames of public hysteria, and we’ve got enough of that shit to deal with as it is.”
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