Bound to Darkness(Midnight Breed,book 13)(47) by Lara Adrian
She had been home nearly twenty minutes with no word from her father, Mathias, or any of the Boston warriors who’d gone with them.
“Why haven’t they called in yet? They must be there by now.” She pushed herself up from the sofa with a moan. “Dammit, I can’t sit here any longer. I need to know what’s going on.”
Aric’s strong hands were firm, but gentle, on her shoulders as he guided her back to her seat. “Listen to me, sister. You’re tough and you’re Breed, but it would’ve been suicide if you’d escalated things with those men. You saw the scarabs on them. You know what they mean.”
Nova’s gaze was as grim as Aric’s. “It would’ve been worse than death for you, if my father’s men had gotten their hands on you, Carys. Don’t think you would’ve been given any mercy.”
Aric hissed a curse. “No matter how I feel about you being with Rune, the best thing he did was make sure you got out of there safely. For that, I owe him. We all owe him.”
“I know he did it to save me. He let them believe I was a Breedmate, not Breed. He tried to make them think I worked in the club, instead of revealing who I really am.”
Beside her on the sofa, her mother blew out a shaky sigh and hugged Carys close. “My God . . . Knowing what we do about Fineas Riordan, do you realize how close you came to falling into Opus Nostrum’s hands tonight? I don’t even want to consider what they would do to a family member of the Order.”
Carys didn’t really want to think about that either, but what would they do to Rune?
“I never saw fear in his eyes until tonight. He knew those men and what they were capable of. They knew him too—apparently, they know more about him than I do.”
“You’re saying he’s one of them,” Aric said, not a question. “Rune is one of Riordan’s thugs.”
She gave a weak nod. “I think he might’ve been at one time, yes.”
She didn’t want to admit it, but after tonight it was hard to deny that it was possible. The realization was still cold inside her. It was hard to process the fact that some of the secrets Rune had kept from her had materialized as a pack of terrifying thugs bearing the mark of the very criminal the Order was trying to destroy.
“They knew him,” she murmured again. “They said his name was Aedan. He didn’t deny it.”
Nova went suddenly still, almost wooden, where she stood next to Jordana. Her face lost its color and her mouth fell slack. “Aedan?”
“What is it?” Jordana asked her. “Nova, what’s wrong?”
“Aedan is my brother’s name. Aedan Riordan.”
Carys’s stomach bottomed out at the airless revelation. “Oh, my God. He told me there was a little girl . . . that he had a sister. But he said her name was—”
“Kitty,” Nova said. “That’s what he called me. Not Catriona. Kitty.”
Gasps traveled the room. Aric ground out a harsh curse.
As for Carys, she could only close her eyes as the reality sank in.
Rune wasn’t merely one of Riordan’s men.
He was his son.
~ ~ ~
“Not counting the debris and the dead scarab behind the bar, there’s no lingering imprint of violence here,” Mathias said from beside Chase in the vacant arena area of La Notte. “My guess is that they took Rune out of here without a struggle.”
“What about duress?” Chase knew his old friend’s unique extrasensory ability would be able to pick up on psychic echoes of aggression the way other people would notice a bruise on flesh.
Mathias shook his head. “He went willingly from what I can tell.”
“Shit.” About the only thing worse than Carys’s all-too-close brush with some of Fineas Riordan’s men was the possibility that her lover was actually familiar with the son of a bitch too. Familiar enough that he’d walked out of this club with Riordan’s thugs on his own volition.
Chase had been staving off his fury and suspicion from the moment Carys called him for help. Part of him had wanted to believe her, that Rune was in danger—in real fear for his life. It was better than the alternative, at least. But even as she’d told him, he’d had his doubts.
That Rune had given Carys a chance to get away was the only thing that had kept Chase’s rage in check as he’d assembled his warrior team and raced down to La Notte. Now, even that small consideration for the fighter was beginning to dim under the weight of what they’d found here tonight.
In frustration, Chase raked his hand over his jaw. His gaze connected with Nathan’s grim stare where the warrior captain stood with his team.
“If he’s got active ties to Riordan, we can’t afford the risk. There can’t be any mercy for Rune when we catch up to him.”
“Yeah,” Chase agreed. Nathan wasn’t telling him anything he didn’t already feel in his gut. As much as it would destroy Carys, the fighter was a dead man if it turned out his loyalty belonged to Riordan.
Even worse, if that loyalty should extend to Opus Nostrum.
To think he’d almost welcomed the bastard into his house earlier tonight.
And Carys . . .
Christ, what would he have done if anything had happened to his daughter? She was terrified and heartbroken now, but if the night had ended differently, she might have been taken along with Rune. She might have been killed—or worse if Riordan’s men had realized who she was.
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