Bound to Darkness(Midnight Breed,book 13)(71) by Lara Adrian
Aric smirked. “Got a feeling my sister won’t have it any other way.”
Now Lucan strode over and introduced himself. “I don’t know whether to thank you or offer condolences that things had to go this way.”
Rune shook his head. “This was the only way it could go with my father. I have no regrets, other than the fact that I didn’t end him a long time ago. Before he had the chance to hurt so many other people.”
Lucan grunted, his cool gray eyes thoughtful. “You and I have more in common than you know, Rune.” He turned that contemplative gaze on Carys. “And you deserve more credit than anyone has been willing to give you, myself included.”
“Thank you,” she murmured, both humbled and proud.
Rafe came over and began working on the worst of Rune’s injuries as the other Boston team members came forward too. They all greeted Rune and Carys with praise and genuine interest, falling into an easy camaraderie with both of them.
It felt good, being accepted by all of them. Oddly, it felt right. She didn’t know exactly what her future was going to look like after she got home to Boston, but she couldn’t help thinking that as much as it would include Rune, it was going to include the Order as well.
She had a feeling no one in the room with her now was going to tell her no again.
A couple of hours after Rafe worked his magic, Rune was cleaned up and seated in the great hall with Carys, feeling as if his multiple gunshot wounds and broken bones had been nothing more than bee stings.
His body was healed and he was breathing a hell of a lot easier knowing Carys was safe and sound. She was nestled against him now, speaking on the phone to her mother who was waiting not so patiently for her family to return to the Order’s headquarters in D.C.
As Carys ended the call, she glanced up at Rune. “Yes, of course. I’ll tell him for her. We’ll see you soon. I love you.” She murmured a tender goodbye, then put the comm unit away.
“You’ll tell me what?”
“Nova wants you to know that she’ll be waiting to greet us as soon as we arrive, no matter what time it is. She’s very excited to see you.”
“Nova,” he said, testing out the name his sister had been using since she fled this place to begin her new life in London years ago.
Carys had explained what she knew of Nova’s journey from Dublin to London, and the circumstances that had brought her into Mathias Rowan’s orbit.
It seemed both Rune and his sister had wanted to deny where they had come from—to hide from the monster who’d terrorized their past. They had both learned the hard way that some monsters couldn’t be outrun. They had to be confronted and destroyed in order to truly break free of their hold.
“Are you nervous about seeing her?” Carys asked, softly caressing his bare chest.
Rune nodded. “I’m not sure how she’ll react to seeing me after all this time. I’m different now. I’m not the brother she remembers.”
Carys smiled. “I think you’ll find Nova to be something of a surprise too. A good one, though. Just as you’ll be a welcome surprise to her.”
Mathias Rowan had been a welcome surprise as well. Rune and the London commander for the Order had been introduced when the group came down from the tower. He seemed to be a good man. A Breed male who loved Rune’s sister with the same depth of feeling that Rune felt for Carys.
He wanted that for Nova. God knew, she deserved some kindness and decency after the hell she had endured in this place.
He glanced at the bloodstained floors and bullet-pocked walls of the room. The battle was over at last. The monster was dead. The bodies of the fallen had been cleared away to the courtyard where the sun would claim them. Now all that was left to do was take stock of whatever intel Fineas Riordan might have left behind.
Rune told the Order where to find the storage chamber of UV weaponry and narcotics his father had showed him. The warriors were busy assessing that cache and combing through all the other chambers for further evidence of his Opus Nostrum ties.
“Are you okay with all of this, Rune?”
He glanced down at her, idly stroking her arm as he held her. “I am. I feel freer than I ever have, knowing my father is gone. His evil can’t touch me or anyone else I care about. Now, we need to make the same thing true of Opus Nostrum.”
He considered all of the terror the organization had caused. All of the misery they could still deliver if they had arms and chemicals like the ones his father was stockpiling. He considered the war his father had boasted about, yearned to make happen.
“I’m ready to fight that battle,” Rune murmured. “Whether it’s as a part of the Order, or in any other way they can use me. All my life, I’ve been fighting inside a cage. Fighting for survival, then fighting for nothing because it was the only thing I knew how to do. I can still fight. Now, I just want it to mean something.”
Carys’s gaze was soft on him, but lit with a shared fire. He felt her flare of agreement through his bond to her. It sparked bright, then burned hot and unwavering. “I want that too, Rune. I can’t walk away from this fight now either.”
God, he loved her. He was proud to have her at his side and in his arms. In his corner, fearless and ready to stand with him against anything or anyone.
He bent his head to hers and claimed her mouth in a hungry kiss. His body stirred on contact, his arousal impossible to hide. She sat up, taking in the sudden churning of his dermaglyphs, and in the crackling heat that warmed his irises.
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