Bound to Darkness(Midnight Breed,book 13)(54) by Lara Adrian
Fineas Riordan swiveled his head away from a pair of armed Breed males who were watching the combat along with him. When his dark gaze met Rune’s eyes, a brittle chill seeped into their fathomless depths.
“It has been quite a while, son. I have to say, I was very disappointed when you left.”
Rune couldn’t curb his sharply exhaled breath. “You must’ve been bored without me here to provide your entertainment.”
A thin, evil smile spread across his lips. “Oh, I managed to find other diversions.”
Rune’s guards guided him out onto the viewing gallery. In the dirt-floored, stone enclosure below, a pair of Breed males were engaged in a tremendous fight.
Sweat-soaked, bloodied, with flesh torn in numerous places, the two combatants fought with fists and fangs. Their eyes blazed with hot amber, and their pupils were so thinned, the vertical slits were hardly discernible. The males’ dermaglyphs churned like tempests on their bruised and lacerated bodies as they crashed into each other in a blur of gnashing teeth and punishing blows.
The fight was brutal, animalistic. A feral display of Breed strength and savagery.
Worse than anything Rune had experienced in that hellish circle of granite and sand.
It was . . . unnaturally violent.
Rune’s question must have shown in his eyes, because when his father glanced over at him, a broad smile broke across his face.
“Exciting, isn’t it? Talk about performance enhancement.” He glanced back down into the pit. “The drug was only a prototype until a few weeks ago. Soon it will be in every major city across Europe and the United States. How long do you think it will take the humans before they beg for someone to make the madness stop?”
Rune stared at him, abhorred. “About as long as it will take them to declare war on the entire Breed population.”
His father shrugged, thoroughly unfazed. “Ah, well. Either way.”
He laughed, and was joined by Ennis and the rest of the guards.
Rune’s veins throbbed with disgust. He had always suspected Fineas Riordan was insane, but now he realized it was something even worse than that. He was psychopathic. “You really wouldn’t care, would you? Not so long as you can get off watching others in pain.”
Riordan stared down at the worsening combat below. “You always did have a weak stomach when it came to these things. I blame your mother for that.”
“Is that why you killed her?”
He glanced over, brows raised in surprise. “I didn’t realize you knew that.”
Hatred seethed in Rune. “I didn’t until you just confirmed it.”
Riordan waved his hand as if to dismiss the whole idea as he returned his attention to the pit. “She was a bad match from the start. I should’ve known better than to take her to mate. The bitch could take a punch, I’ll grant her that. But raise a hand to anyone else and she crumbled. She never approved of my . . . inclinations. Eventually, I simply got tired of her judgment.”
Rune listened in simmering fury to his father’s admission. He thought about the gentle woman who’d borne him. Her unique Breedmate gift for withstanding extreme pain had been passed down to him. As a boy thrown into the pit, Rune had leaned on that ability to endure his father’s training. Over time, he’d learned to fight without calling upon it, and hadn’t used it once since he’d left his father’s domain.
But his mother . . .
Rune had been too young, too blind. He had no idea she was being abused, as tortured by Riordan as he was. The realization now made a growl boil up the back of his throat.
“You sick bastard. I should’ve killed you back then.”
The guns held at Rune’s spine and the back of his head inched closer at the threat, but his father only chuckled. “Don’t be such a pussy, son. Life is pain. I’d have thought I taught you that, if nothing else.”
“You taught me a lot of things,” Rune muttered.
Riordan looked over at him. “Good. That training will pay off for you even more lucratively than it has in Boston all these years now that you’re home again. You’ve been building your little empire over there, but I’ve been busy building too. My comrades and I have been laying the foundation in secret for years. Now, we’re nearly ready to put our plans in motion.”
“What comrades?” Rune asked. “What fucking plans?”
His father studied him for a long moment. “You really don’t know?” A wicked glint shone in his dark eyes. “Opus Nostrum, boyo. You’re looking at its new leader.”
His sick fuck of a father was the current head of that terror group?
Did the Order know? If not, he needed to get that information into their hands as soon as possible. What’s more, he needed to get as much intel on his father as he could before he murdered the bastard with his bare hands.
“Congratulations,” Rune gritted out tightly. “You must be very proud.”
“Oh, I am. But I’ll be even prouder once the world understands that Opus is the only true power. If they want peace, the world will come through us to secure it. If not, we’ll be ready to deliver a war like no one has ever seen.”
“How do you intend to do that?”
Riordan wagged a finger. “Patience, son. We’ll have time to talk about all of that later. Right now, I want to enjoy the match.” He bared his teeth and fangs in a sadistic smile. “We’re just getting to the best part.”
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