Home > Midnight Unleashed (Midnight Breed #14.7)(3)

Midnight Unleashed (Midnight Breed #14.7)(3)
Author: Lara Adrian

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.

Sia lifted her foot high and kicked the panel so hard it blasted off the hinges.

She’d anticipated one man when she came upstairs, but inside the room were two. One was crouched inside Rosa’s closet, hastily tossing her scant belongings. The contents of her small bureau were already dumped on the floor near him.

The other intruder, a massive male dressed all in black, stood beside Rosa’s bed, his back to Sia. Rosa dangled from his grasp around her neck, her bare feet hanging several inches off the mattress. Her petite body was limp, lifeless. Her gentle brown eyes gaped open, blank and unseeing.

“No!” Sia roared, even though she realized it was already too late to save her. “Let her go!”

Grief swamped her along with her rage. She’d failed Rosa. She could not fail Angelina too. The baby’s unrelenting cries pierced the room. Sia threw a quick glance to the crib where Angelina writhed and flailed.

At least the child was unharmed. Her wails had been torture when Sia heard them from outside the room. Now they gave her strength and a deadly, furious resolve.

“I said put her down.”

Rosa’s attacker grunted, swinging his dark, shaggy head around to look at Sia.

Fiery amber eyes glowed like lit coals in his skull. His chuckle was inhuman, unearthly, his lips peeled back in a profane imitation of a smile. And within that smile, enormous fangs glinted in the darkness of the room.

Breed.

Sia swallowed as he pivoted around to face her head-on.

“Okay,” he snarled. His rough growl was the voice she’d heard on the other side of the door. “If that’s what you want, bitch, I’ll put her down.”

Barking out a coarse laugh, he threw Rosa to the floor, then kicked her out of his way as if she were nothing. His glowing eyes were wild and unfocused, his body trembling from head to toe. Something about him wasn’t right. A strange odor emanated from him, something sickly sweet that made her stomach turn.

She didn’t have time to contemplate what her instincts were trying to tell her.

He lowered his head and charged her.

Sia felt a great wave of energy rise up from the pit of her being. It exited through her raised hands in a powerful burst of light and strength. The force of it collided with the Breed male’s massive body, sending him crashing against the far wall.

“What the fuck!” The human who’d been preoccupied with Rosa’s personal belongings now scrambled to turn around in the open closet, his skinny limbs refusing to cooperate. Planted on his backside amid the contents of Rosa’s drawers and handbag, his bleary eyes bulged as he looked from Sia to the behemoth Breed male she’d just knocked cold without laying so much as a finger on him.

Power still thrummed deep within Sia, fueled by her fury.

“Wait!” The man held up one hand in surrender. “None of this is my fault! The bitch should’ve known better than to run from Santino. Should’ve known she’d get caught eventually.”

As he spoke, Sia saw him fumble with his other hand to grab something from beside him.

She didn’t realize it was a gun until he aimed it at her with trembling fingers. Without hesitation, he squeezed the trigger again and again and again.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

Son of a bitch.

It was supposed to be a recon mission, nothing more. Now Trygg was cooling his heels in an alleyway across from an old three-story house near the train station, waiting for the two assholes he’d been tailing to wrap up their apparent breaking and entering so he could resume his surveillance of them.

Or, rather, he had been waiting.

Until the moment one of the windows on the second floor lit up with what appeared to be a cosmic explosion of pure white energy. Followed by gunfire.

A lot of gunfire.

“Fuck it.”

He emerged out of the shadows and headed for the house.

The Order had specifically instructed him not to do anything to alert Roberto Santino or his crew to his presence during this intel-gathering mission. Trygg had been following Santino’s muscle, a Breed male named Franco, for the better part of a week now. In the process, Trygg had two of the three set points pinned into the triangulation formula he’d mapped out and was only a couple more data points from being able to nail Santino’s lair down to a quarter-mile radius.

Which meant the Order was as close as they’d ever been to locating and taking down one of the most dangerous drug kingpins of Europe.

That mission was a must-do. There were thousands of garden variety narcotics dealers in the world, both human and Breed, and although the Order would never be able to stop them all, Santino was different. The human made no secret of his hatred for the Breed, and he was indulging in that sentiment by dealing in Red Dragon, the worst thing to hit Trygg’s kind since its predecessor, Crimson, some twenty years ago.

Secretly manufactured and only effective on the Breed, Red Dragon was a problem nobody needed. Not when relations with the human population in general were already strained. Add in persistent, growing problems with terror groups like Opus Nostrum, and more recent conflicts with the Atlanteans and their unpredictable queen, Selene, and the dead last thing the Order wanted was an epidemic of blood-crazed Breed civilians raising hell—and inciting panic—in all corners of the globe.

In a word, this situation with Santino was war. And collateral damage was to be expected in any war. Not what the Order wanted, but there were times it couldn't be helped. Trygg knew his mission. His commander, Lazaro Archer, had spelled out the rules of engagement for him in no uncertain terms: Anything that jeopardized the prime objective was verboten.

Too bad following rules wasn’t Trygg’s strong suit.

He stalked across the street, certain this was a bad fucking idea. The cries of a baby that had been faint even with his preternaturally sharp hearing intensified tenfold as he leapt to a small wrought-iron balcony on the second story of the house. Over the wailing of the infant in the next room, sounds of a struggle continued. And as troubling as the racket was, the putrid stench of a Breed male high on Red Dragon made Trygg’s own blood boil with rage.

The point of entry he stood at was equipped with a remarkably sophisticated alarm system, but it was no match for his Breed ability. With a silent command, he disabled the sensors and cut the heat registers on the glass before mentally freeing the lock on the balcony doors.

It was the same method Santino’s Breed thug had used to let himself and his human companion inside a few minutes ago.

What the hell business did they have here?

And where had that blast of white light come from?

He’d have to sort all of that out later. Right now, he needed to neutralize the situation inside the house before things went any further sideways.

A fresh chorus of screams went up as he pushed open the glass doors and slipped inside what he realized now was another bedroom in the house. One occupied by three women of varying ages, all of them clad in nightshirts or robes, huddled together and shrieking at him in terror.

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