Bound to Darkness(Midnight Breed,book 13)(10) by Lara Adrian
“Yeah, you are,” Rune agreed. “But this is no time to be tempting fate. Or did you forget that just last week you ran up against something none of us were prepared for?”
He was talking about Jordana’s abduction during a reception at the Museum of Fine Arts, where Jordana and Carys worked. The man who took Jordana had knocked Carys out when she’d tried to intervene and help her friend.
“I don’t know what I would’ve done if something worse had happened to you,” Rune said. “Or if those three fucks who killed Cass and Syn at the club had gotten their hands on you.”
Carys embraced him, reaching up to caress away the deep worry that had settled on his brow. “It wasn’t me they were after. The only thing that got hurt was my pride. And I was terrified for Jordana too.”
“We all were,” Nathan muttered.
He put his hands on Jordana’s slender shoulders, protective, possessive. The deadly warrior was devoted to his mate, a woman who turned out to be even more extraordinary than anyone could ever have guessed. Carys smiled to see her best friend and the Order’s most unreachable warrior so clearly devoted to each other.
“What the hell were those men?” Rune asked, leveling a hard stare on Nathan. “Not human, that’s for damn sure. Not Breed either. I’ve never fought anything like that before. No matter what I did, the bastards kept coming. Two of them got away, but the one I killed? I had to take his head off to stop him. And when I did . . . The light that poured out of his body was blinding. What the fuck are we dealing with, warrior?”
When Nathan said nothing, Carys spoke up. “Rune should know the truth. I trust him to know the truth.”
“That makes one of us,” Nathan muttered, his face impassive and forbidding.
Jordana lifted her chin, her cascade of long, platinum blonde hair shifting at her back. “I trust him too, Nathan. And Cass trusted Rune. He considered him a friend.”
Rune’s dark eyes narrowed on Jordana. “The three who came to La Notte after killing Cass . . . They said they were looking for his daughter, but as far as I knew—as far as anyone at the club knows—Cassian Gray didn’t have any family.”
“I was a secret he’d kept for almost twenty-five years,” Jordana said. “He wanted to protect me from the kind of men who came looking for him that night.”
“Immortals,” Rune guessed.
“Atlanteans,” Jordana said. “Like Cass. Like me.”
Rune shook his head. “Where did these Atlanteans come from? Where do they live now?”
“We don’t have all of those answers yet,” Nathan said. “The Order has evidence that suggests the Atlanteans have been in existence on this planet for at least as long as the Breed. Longer, in fact.”
“They’re linked to us,” Carys pointed out. “The Order has known for more than twenty years that Atlantean men fathered children with human women, and those female offspring were all born with the teardrop-and-crescent-moon birthmark.”
“Breedmates,” Rune said. He considered for a long moment, then let out a low curse. “So, if Atlantean daughters are mating with members of the Breed, why do I get the sense that most of these immortal fucks would like to kill us all?”
Nathan grunted. “That’s a discussion for another time. And a higher security clearance.”
Rune looked back to Jordana. “Cass never said a word. Never let on for a second that he was anything other than human. Everyone just assumed—”
“Which is how he intended it,” Carys added. “Jordana didn’t know any of this either, not until after he was killed by the Atlantean soldiers that day outside the club.”
Jordana nodded. “Cass smuggled me out of the realm as an infant, after my mother died. He arranged for me to live among the humans and the Breed.” She gestured to her Breedmate mark. “He hid me in plain sight as the adopted daughter of a Breed Darkhaven leader he trusted here in Boston.”
“Cass never reached out to her, never risked contacting her in any way,” Carys said. “Not until the day those men caught up to him.”
“He visited me at the museum that day, but even then he didn’t reveal himself to me as my father. I wish he had,” Jordana murmured wistfully. “Apparently, when he realized he couldn’t outrun his past any longer and that his enemies might find me, he contacted someone who could help.”
“Another Atlantean,” Rune guessed.
“Zael,” Carys said, having since been told the name of the Atlantean who’d left her unconscious from a powerful beam of light as he’d stolen Jordana away for her own protection.
Since Zael had helped Jordana escape Cass’s killers, and, together, the three of them had defeated the other Atlanteans who had pursued them, she and Nathan now considered Zael to be their friend.
“Zael wanted to bring me to a hidden colony of other Atlanteans who’d defected from the realm, where Cass’s enemies would never find me. But I said no.” She tilted her head up to meet Nathan’s tender gaze. “I chose to stay where my heart was.”
Rune cocked his head. “If others have defected to a safe colony as you said, then why were Cass’s pursuers so determined to kill him and find you?”
Jordana gave Carys a nod of permission. “Because Jordana’s grandmother is the Atlanteans’ queen.”
Rune’s brows rose. “Meaning you’re an Atlantean princess?”
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