Bound to Darkness(Midnight Breed,book 13)(39) by Lara Adrian
Carys went to take another nonchalant bite of her apple, but Jordana snatched it out of her hands on an exasperated laugh.
“Stop eating, and spill the details, woman!”
“He took me to Ciao Bella—”
“Only the most popular place in town,” Jordana informed Nova, who was also listening raptly. The tattooed Breedmate’s pale blue eyes were lit with interest under the asymmetrical fall of her ebony-and-sapphire hair, her pierced lips curved in a smile. Jordana took a bite of Carys’s apple. “You can’t even get near the door of that restaurant without reservations three months in advance.”
Carys gave a mild shrug. “Rune said he pulled a few strings, and the owner was a fight fan, so . . .”
Nova arched a brow. “I guess he wanted to impress you.”
Jordana nodded. “I think it worked.”
“He did impress me,” Carys admitted. “But it wasn’t because of the dinner or even the incredible time we spent together afterward. And I do mean incredible.”
“Don’t think we’re going to let you skimp on that part either,” Jordana warned around another bite of fruit.
Carys shook her head on a laugh. It wasn’t long ago that she’d been the one prodding for all of the romantic details about her best friend and Nathan. The steamy parts of Carys’s time with Rune had been beyond amazing, but this morning she was floating on air for another reason as well.
“Last night, Rune opened up to me like never before. About his past, his life, a lot of awful things he’s survived.” Her heart tightened now, just recalling all he’d shared with her. “I needed him to let me in, and he did. It was a really big step for him. For us.”
Nova studied her. “Sounds like he probably needed that talk as much as you did.”
Carys nodded. Rune hadn’t trusted her with all of the secrets and demons that still haunted him, but in time, she hoped he would. After last night, she felt confident there was little that could stand between them now.
“I’m glad it’s working out,” Jordana said. “It’s good to see you like this, Car.”
“I’ve never been happier,” Carys admitted. “Now, I only hope nothing goes wrong tonight.”
As she said it, her mother breezed outside accompanied by Brynne. “What’s going on tonight?”
Not exactly the way she wanted to announce the news, but what the hell? “I’ve invited Rune to come to the Darkhaven tonight before the club opens. It’s time that you all meet.”
“Tonight?” An uncertain look swept over her mother’s face. “Your father may not be ready for that, with so much going on in the command center and at headquarters now that Zael has arrived there to meet with Lucan.”
The newsflash about Jordana’s Atlantean friend was a surprise. Carys turned a questioning glance on her friend. “You were able to locate him, after all?”
“Yep. I think I’m starting to get the hang of this thing.” Jordana held up her hand and the center of its palm flashed with a soft glow, then went out again. “Zael says my control over its power will keep improving over time.”
Carys wanted to hear more, but it would have to wait. She clasped her mother’s hands in hers. “This is important to me. Rune is important to me. I want him to know my family. And I want all of you to know him. I want you all to like him.”
Tavia gave her fingers a reassuring squeeze, love shining in her eyes. “How can anyone argue with that?”
“Thank you.” Carys wrapped her in a hug. “I told Rune to be here at nine tonight.”
“I’ll make sure your father is aware. And I’ll tell him I expect him to be on his best behavior too.”
“That goes double for Aric,” Carys added. “I want them both to be nice to Rune. Give him a chance.”
Tavia nodded and hugged her close.
Carys breathed a bit easier, knowing her mother was on her side. Now, she just had to trust that her father and brother wouldn’t greet Rune at the door with the rest of the Boston warriors, armed to the teeth and fangs.
She wanted nothing to ruin what she had now with Rune.
And she could only hope that nothing went wrong.
At the D.C. headquarters, Lucan sat across from Zael in a conference room usually reserved for visiting statesmen and other diplomats.
In the past two decades, the sumptuous, yet comfortable, chamber had hosted presidents, prime ministers, decorated generals, religious leaders, world-renown scientists and countless other important guests. But Lucan was hard-pressed to name a single meeting that had carried the same weight and potential lasting consequences—good or bad—as the one taking place with this immortal today.
Darion, Gideon and Brock had joined them a few minutes ago, after Lucan and Zael had gotten acquainted and decided if the visit should proceed beyond cursory introductions and politely couched mistrust. Lucan had since put out calls to each of his district commanders to report to headquarters later that evening to meet the Atlantean in person and hopefully set a path toward a mutually beneficial alliance between Zael and the Order.
So far, he had been forthcoming and engaging, answering all of Lucan’s questions about Jordana and her Atlantean father, Cassianus, AKA Cassian Gray, as well as another deceased immortal, Reginald Crowe. His azure gaze was shrewd and measuring, but not unfriendly, as Lucan and the other Breed males studied him from around the big table.
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