Bound to Darkness(Midnight Breed,book 13)(59) by Lara Adrian
“Gideon,” she whispered. “Can you hear me?”
The transmitter in her ear was still utterly silent.
And in the quiet that engulfed her, she felt a queer prickling of her senses.
She wasn’t alone.
Someone was there with her now.
She started to gather the shadows around her, but it was already too late. No sooner had she realized the danger, she came face-to-face with the big body and threatening stance of a Breed male now blocking the portal to the exercise room.
Oh, God. It was him.
The leader of Riordan’s thugs who’d shown up at La Notte.
Now, he wore a tailored suit and a glossy silk tie, looking every bit the gentleman . . . except for the threatening twist of his mouth and the lethal coldness of his stare.
“Well, isn’t this a surprise,” he muttered. “The Breedmate bitch from Boston.”
Carys swallowed hard, even as the blood drained from her face. She had to will her Breed instincts to heel under the freezing blast of the deadly male’s glare.
“What are you doing here?” she asked, the only thing she could think to say.
“I think the better question is, what are you doing here? Snooping around in places you don’t belong.” He reached out and snatched the transmitter from her ear, moving so swiftly even her Breed senses could hardly track him. The tiny device disappeared into his clenched fist. “You’re involved in a dangerous business, my dear. A careless girl could get killed if she crosses the wrong people.”
Carys was smart enough to be afraid, but she couldn’t worry about herself in that moment. Not when this bastard had taken the man she loved. She hiked up her chin. “Where’s Rune? What have you and Fineas Riordan done with him?”
He grinned, fangs flashing in the semidarkness. “If you want to see him alive again—if you want to leave this house with your pretty throat intact—you’ll come with me now.”
Brynne smiled and nodded, not even half-listening as one of her human JUSTIS colleagues regaled her and a few other party attendees with a long-winded account of his recent golf holiday in Scotland. Holding her warm, untouched glass of champagne, Brynne scanned the gathering for any sign of Carys.
It had been more than an hour since she’s last seen her.
Brynne had watched her slip away from Simon Fielding to escape outside alone. When Carys hadn’t returned to the ballroom, Brynne had assumed she’d begun her reconnaissance mission in the councilman’s chambers upstairs.
But even if she had disappeared into the shadows at that time, Carys was taking much too long to finish. The absence was making Brynne more than a little nervous now.
And with each minute that passed, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.
“Will you excuse me, please?” she murmured to her group of colleagues. “I just remembered I have to make a quick call.”
She ditched her glass on a passing server’s tray and already had her comm unit in hand to contact the Order’s headquarters when the phone buzzed with an incoming call. Gideon’s deep voice came on as soon as she picked up.
“Brynne, is Carys with you?”
“No.” And the fact that he had to ask made her pulse tick even faster. She stepped into a quiet corner and spoke just above a whisper. “I haven’t seen her for a while now. Aren’t you in contact with her through the transmitter?”
“I lost the connection about an hour ago, when she was inside Fielding’s chambers. The GPS signal is still reporting from the building, but I haven’t been able to reestablish audio yet.”
“Are you sure she’s here? I’ve been watching for her all this time, and she hasn’t come back to the ballroom or any of the other reception areas.”
“That’s why I called,” Gideon said. “I don’t have a good feeling, either. I was hoping you’d do a quick search for her, just to confirm we have visual on her.”
“Of course.” Brynne was already walking.
“I have your comm’s GPS signal in front of me now,” he told her. “Carys’s signal is due south of yours, moving at a good clip.”
Brynne picked up her pace, trying to walk casually, yet swiftly. She weaved through the crowd of party guests, heading in the direction Gideon sent her.
“I think the kitchens are back this way,” she told him, nearly to the tall, open doors at the back of the main reception room. She’d seen dozens of tuxedoed servers pass through those doors most of the night with food and beverage trays.
As she hurried along, someone called her name and waved to her from within the throng. The Breedmate of her supervisor, smiling and trying to get her attention. Brynne shot the woman an apologetic look and pointed to her phone as if she was on a call that couldn’t be interrupted. Which was certainly the truth.
“Carys just turned a corner now,” Gideon advised. “She’s moving away from you, Brynne.”
“Shit.” She ducked through the tall doors behind one of the exiting servers. She followed the curving corridor, which dumped her into the clatter of the busy kitchens. Catering people and servers were all over the place, hustling here and there with their trays. “Am I getting closer?”
“Yeah, you’re practically on top of her now. She should be right in front of you, not even two yards away. She’s stopped moving now.”
Brynne frowned, pivoting where she stood. There was no one near her except cooks and kitchen staff.
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