By Lara Adrian
Series: Midnight Breed #15.5
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: 1001 Dark Nights
About MIDNIGHT UNLEASHED
Return to New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Lara Adrian’s “addictively readable” (Chicago Tribune) Midnight Breed vampire romance series with a pulse-pounding novella of paranormal seduction and dangerous thrills, where an icy immortal beauty and a lethal Gen One Hunter must confront a powerful enemy while struggling to deny the irresistible calling of their blood.
“Tamisia, the house is completely locked down and secure. All of the alarms are engaged. No one can get in without the whole perimeter lighting up and tripping a dozen sirens.”
And yet someone had.
Sia was all but certain of it.
And then, upstairs, a sharp female shriek confirmed her fears. The scream sounded worse than pained. The quiet that followed lasted not even a moment, then a baby started wailing.
“Oh, no.” Phaedra went chalk white. “That’s coming from Rosa and Angelina’s room.”
Sia nodded, grim. No wonder the young mother had seemed so afraid when she arrived a couple of days ago. Her nightmare was far from over. By the awful sounds of it, the man Rosa was running from had decided she wasn’t getting away so easily.
Cold dread swept her, seeping into her marrow.
The whole house was coming awake now, vibrating with confusion and terror.
All Sia heard was the piercing wails of the innocent little baby she’d left sleeping so peacefully just a short while ago.
Hot rage replaced the chill and her vision blurred into a red haze.
“Stay here, Phaedra. Call for help.”
“Tamisia, what will you do?”
She didn’t know exactly. There was no time for a plan. She only knew she had to act.
Without answering, she raced for the stairs, pausing only long enough to issue a sharp command to her friend. “The police, Phaedra. Do it now.”
Sia was immortal, inhumanly powerful, but she wasn’t a fighter. Never had been. She was a politician, shielded by a contingent of Atlantean guards who would fight at her bidding. But none of that mattered as she flew up the steps and past the open doors and terrified faces of the shelter’s other residents.
“Back inside, all of you. Don’t come out until I tell you to.”
No one balked at her hushed orders. One by one, the frightened women and handful of small children retreated, shutting their doors.
Pausing outside Rosa’s room, Sia caught the muffled sound of a gravely male voice behind the door. “It’s gotta be here somewhere. Keep looking! Santino said no loose ends.”
Suspicion pricked at Sia’s conscience. This didn’t sound like a violent ex-lover coming back to harm Rosa. This was something else. And no less dangerous.
“Those men. Is that what they were—drug dealers?”
He stared at her. “You don’t need to know anything more than what I told the cops, Sia. Do us both a favor and leave it at that.”
“They were searching for something, Trygg.”
“So you mentioned.”
“Do the police have any idea what it might be?”
“I didn’t tell them that part.”
Sia gaped. “Why not? Rosa was killed for whatever it was they thought she had. If telling the police about it will help them understand what kind of trouble she was in—”
“The police can’t help.” Trygg blew out an impatient curse. “And whatever those men wanted from the woman doesn’t matter now.”
“It matters to me,” she insisted.
His dark eyes narrowed and he gave a stiff shake of his head. “This conversation is over. I told you, what happened here is the Order’s business. Go back inside and get some rest. Forget about tonight.”
She scoffed. “Forget it?”
When he started to move around her, Sia grabbed his arm. Warm, hard muscle clenched beneath her fingertips, sending a shocking heat through her body. She drew her hand away at once, trying to ignore the distressing awareness she felt for a man who infuriated her more and more the longer she knew him.
“You think I will ever forget what I saw tonight? A young woman was murdered, Trygg. A woman I liked. A woman I was responsible for keeping safe. And now an innocent little baby is without her mother. Maybe that’s something your cold-hearted kind can simply dismiss, but don’t expect me to do the same.”
“Yes, Tamisia. That’s exactly what I expect.” He scowled now, his scarred, sinister face taut with growing irritation and something more difficult to define. “In fact, I’m fucking demanding it. You do not want to be involved in this. So stow your questions and march your fine ass back into that house and stay there.”
While he’d sure as hell rather be surrounded by his tech equipment at the command center, Trygg couldn’t find much to object to as he followed Sia up an exterior staircase to a private third-floor entrance of the house. As irritated as he was after her power play in the car just now—not to mention her earlier act of defiance that had rattled him more than he cared to admit, even to himself—it was hard to think about much else except the rhythmic sway of her hips as she mounted the old iron steps.
Her long, elegant spine and firm backside were a temptation that stoked a growing heat inside him as he stalked up the climb behind her. Everything male in him burned with desire. Everything Breed in him hungered for her too. If she chanced a look over her shoulder, it would be damn close to impossible to hide the amber lighting his irises or the press of his sharp fangs as they filled his mouth.
Letting her win just now was a mistake he already regretted, but that’s where her control was going to end. He’d go inside as she insisted and they’d do a cursory look through the rest of the items they’d brought with them. He would point out something or other so she’d have a bone to chew on, then he’d take everything back to the command center and dig into the meat of the scant evidence alone.
The way he preferred to operate.
He scowled at her when they reached the top of the stairs. “Is this the way you sneak in all the men you bring home with you?”
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About LARA ADRIAN
LARA ADRIAN is a New York Times and #1 international bestselling author with nearly 4 million books in print and digital worldwide and translations licensed in more than 20 countries. Her upcoming release is FOR 100 REASONS, the third book in a contemporary romance series that reviewers are calling "phenomenal" and "one of the hottest series of the year." Learn more about the author and her books at LaraAdrian.com.
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