Bound to Darkness(Midnight Breed,book 13)(23) by Lara Adrian
Brynne smiled. “She left me with muffins and coffee, so I can hardly complain.”
It wasn’t unusual for Tavia to be part of patrol reviews and mission strategy meetings. She’d been involved in Order business since her mating to Carys’s father, and it was obvious Tavia was at her happiest when she was working at her mate’s side. But her impeccable manners would balk at abandoning a guest—family or not—for so long by themselves.
“Today’s meeting must be important,” Carys mused out loud.
“Must be,” Brynne said. “Lucan’s called in personally this morning, from what I understand. Something about a new lead on one of the ongoing operations.”
Carys nibbled on her muffin, her mind running a hundred miles an hour. It couldn’t be her lead they were discussing, could it? Had the information she’d found last night proven useful? Had it possibly led the Order to another Opus Nostrum member? The very idea spiked her veins with a jolt of adrenaline, the thrill of the hunt.
“Why don’t you go find out for yourself?”
“What?” She blinked at Brynne.
“If you want something, sweetheart, you have to be willing to reach for it.”
She gaped. “What are you saying? That I want to be part of the Order?”
“I didn’t say that at all. But you just did.”
Carys shook her head, but the denial didn’t quite make it to her lips. “They haven’t asked for my help.”
“Just because you don’t have an invitation to the party doesn’t mean you don’t belong.”
Brynne picked up her empty plate and coffee cup, then carried them to the sink. As she washed both, her phone chirped on the island countertop. Murmuring her excuses, she dried her hands and took the call into the other room.
No sooner had she gone, than Carys set down her half-eaten breakfast and headed for the command center.
She didn’t have to guess where everyone was because a low rumble of voices carried out from the war room at the far end of the corridor. Carys slowed her pace to a stroll as she approached the interior windows and glass-paneled door.
Her father saw her immediately. She waited for his questioning look or even a scowl, but instead, his handsome face eased into surprise. His blue eyes bright under the crown of his trimmed blond hair, he motioned for her to come inside.
She opened the door and stepped into the room.
“Carys,” he said. “Is anything wrong?”
“No, nothing’s wrong. I just . . .” She felt awkward suddenly, but would have felt even more so if she gave in to the urge to turn around and leave now that everyone was staring at her.
Seated around the long conference table with him were her mother and the Boston team of warriors: Nathan and Rafe, Elijah and Jax. Her brother, Aric, was there too. Mathias and Nova sat together across from her parents. Jordana was there too, seated beside Nathan.
And on the video wall opposite the table was Lucan and Gideon.
Her father stood up. “Come in. We were just talking about you.”
On the huge monitor, Lucan’s stern mouth curved into a smile. “Excellent work, tracking down that information on Crowe’s associate, Carys.”
Heads nodded in agreement, both in D.C. and around the conference table in front of her.
Even Aric seemed pleased and impressed. Despite their personal cold war of the past week or so, his green eyes were warm on her. As she stepped farther inside, he pulled out the empty chair beside him.
Carys sat down. It was the first time she’d seen the war room from such an angle—at the table as one of them. Part of the group. It felt surprisingly comfortable.
It felt pretty damn good.
“Gideon’s been putting Hayden Ivers under the microscope since you gave us his name last night,” her father informed her from his seat at the head of the conference table.
“That’s right,” Gideon said on the video screen. “Ivers is human. Runs a private law practice in Dublin, but for more than a couple of decades, he’s only handled confidential clients. Two, to be exact. Anyone care to guess who the second one is?”
“Riordan?” Carys’s father practically spat the name. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
Mathias Rowan stroked Nova’s hand as a murmur of outrage traveled the table. “Do you think Ivers could be a member of Opus too?”
“If he is, he’s covered his tracks well,” Lucan said. “Gideon’s hacked into his computers and found a whole lot of nothing.”
“I scoured Ivers’s computers and email accounts,” Gideon added. “I can’t find anything to implicate him in Opus or anything even remotely suspect.”
Carys frowned, finding it hard to hide her disappointment. “What about Crowe’s trust?”
“I could only find a handful of references to the trust document—all taking place after Crowe’s death. But no trace of the document itself. I couldn’t find digital files of any kind pertaining to Crowe or the trust or any other aspect of Ivers’s relationship to Crowe.”
Nathan glanced at Carys and the others at the table. “Ivers knew to leave no trail, even after Crowe’s death.”
Chase grunted. “Given Crowe’s true identity, he obviously warned all of his business associates to be meticulously cautious with his affairs.”
Aric smirked. “Too bad no one warned Crowe to be cautious with his head around helicopter blades.”
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