Home > Midnight Unleashed (Midnight Breed #14.7)(4)

Midnight Unleashed (Midnight Breed #14.7)(4)
Author: Lara Adrian

He scowled at the fearful gaggle of females, a response that only made them scream louder. Shit. He knew he was a frightful sight just based on his size and width alone. With his shaved head and the jagged scar that dug deep into the flesh of his left cheek from below his eye to his squared jaw, his looks bordered on nightmarish.

His fangs didn’t help, he was sure. The points dug into his tongue as he glowered at the trembling women. “Be quiet. I’m not here to hurt you.”

It was a feeble attempt to reassure them, but they were beyond reasoning anyway. And he had neither the skill nor the time to try.

On a snarl, he touched the forehead of the woman nearest to him. “Sleep,” he commanded her, putting her into an instant trance.

The two others went down just as swiftly.

Of all the weapons at his disposal, using his Breed ability to manipulate someone’s mind was the one he employed the least. In fact, he hated having to use it. As a former Hunter, raised in captivity and trained to kill by a madman named Dragos, Trygg knew what it was like to be controlled, to be forced into doing something at another’s will.

For the first fourteen years of his life, he’d been enslaved to the brutal program, compelled to obey through ruthless conditioning and an ultraviolet collar that would have obliterated him if he’d refused any command.

But Dragos was only the first of Trygg’s masters.

The last of them had sliced his face wide open—just before he killed her.

Trygg shook off the old memories as an animal roar shook the walls from the room next door. Franco was a sadistic individual in general, but if the Breed male was hopped up on Red Dragon tonight, Trygg hated to think of the violence he was capable of now.

Death and gun smoke clung to the air in the hallway. There was something else in the air too. Something peculiar, like the scent of a recent thunderstorm.

The door to the neighboring bedroom had been smashed off its hinges. From inside, the infant continued to cry. Trygg leapt over the broken panel and into the midst of a scene he never would have imagined.

Three unmoving bodies lay on the floor. A human woman, crumpled like a broken doll beside the narrow bed. Another human, a scrawny male with greasy hair and the sallow face of a crack addict, sprawled in a dead slump inside the open closet as if a great gale force had blown him there.

And the third—the biggest shock of all—Santino’s man Franco, lying prone on the floor where he’d been taken down by the woman who stood over him, her long legs straddling his body from behind. The tall, slender blonde held the immense Breed male’s head gripped between her hands, giving his neck a final crunching twist just as Trygg stepped inside the room.

“Holy fuck.”

She whirled around at the sound of his low voice, her beautiful face a mask of fury, sky-blue eyes fierce with killing fire that all but dared him to test her. A bullet had grazed her shoulder during the struggle, opening a tear in the thin material of her light gray T-shirt. Bright red blood stained the fabric, making his fangs throb in Pavlovian response as he watched the wound slowly heal itself.

His stunned gaze traveled downward, to where the centers of her palms held an unearthly glow. Energy pulsed there, banked but unmistakably strong. He supposed that explained the lightning blast he’d witnessed from outside.

Trygg’s mind reeled at the evidence of her unleashed power. But equally astonishing was the fact that he knew this woman.

“Ah, Christ,” he snarled as his irritated gaze lifted once again to her face. “You gotta be shitting me.”

Tamisia the Atlantean.

Her expression registered recognition too. And plenty of haughty disdain. “What are you doing here?”

He grunted. “I could ask you the same thing.”

“I work at the shelter. I live here.”

This was where she’d ended up? Working at a women’s shelter in one of the roughest areas of the city? Trygg wouldn’t have guessed that of the elegant, icy immortal in a million years.

She looked different from when he’d last seen her. Slimmer, her golden skin more pale than luminescent. Her eyes, despite being filled with battle rage, seemed even more haunted than before. Most of her white-blonde hair had come loose from a long braid at her back. It hung in a wild tangle around her, its distinctive single streak of iridescent gold along the left side of her face hanging limp and dulled.

Not that any of these changes diminished Tamisia’s otherworldly beauty.

Trygg hadn’t cared enough to ask for details about her at the time she’d arrived in Rome, but rumor had it that she’d betrayed her own kind, causing the death of a fellow Atlantean council member. A month and a half ago, he’d helped Lazaro Archer bring Tamisia to the command center as some kind of diplomatic gesture between the Order and her people, but that was as far as Trygg’s interest in her had gone.

Or so he’d told himself for the two weeks the female had been underfoot at headquarters.

She’d been a distraction to him from the moment he first set eyes on her. A nuisance he’d been eager to lose when she abruptly left the Order’s safekeeping a month ago to make her own way in the city. Trygg hadn’t asked where she had gone. He hadn’t wanted to know.

He sure as fuck didn’t want to be standing in front of the female now, in the middle of a surveillance mission gone all to hell.

Thanks mostly to her.

She seemed anything but concerned with the fact that he was even in the room. Hurrying over to the crib, she collected the squalling baby into her arms. Holding her like precious, fragile glass, she quieted the worst of the infant’s cries with soft murmurs and gentle strokes along the child’s trembling back.

Trygg ran a hand over the stubble on his shaved head, then exhaled a gruff curse as he assessed the damage to his night’s objective. Franco was as dead as he could be. Trygg should have forgone the tail tonight and simply squeezed the Breed male for information. Now Franco was useless to anyone. The Order would have to start all over with a new mark inside Santino’s operation. It could take weeks, even months.

“Do you have any idea what you just did, female?”

“Yes.” When he glanced at Tamisia, her chin hiked up a notch. “I dispensed justice. Unfortunately, not quickly enough to save Rosa.”

Trygg followed her sober gaze to the strangled female near the bed. Rosa looked to be barely out of her teens and no threat to anyone, least of all the pair of assholes who’d broken into the house tonight. He could hear the grief in the Atlantean’s soft voice when she spoke about the young woman, but Tamisia didn’t shed a tear. In fact, she straightened her shoulders, looking even more determined as she gently stroked the baby’s back.

“Tell me what happened.”

“The human male was searching her belongings when I kicked in the door. The other one, the bloodsucker, had a hold of her by the throat. He’d already wrenched the life from her in front of her child by the time I got up here. Then he threw her down over there as if she were rubbish.”

Her voice shook a bit, not with fear or shock, but with loathing. Trygg only had to look at Franco’s big, broken body and snapped neck to understand that her fury tonight must have been off the charts. The Breed and the Atlanteans had been enemies for the longest time, and this brutal attack on a young woman only seemed to fortify Tamisia’s animosity toward Trygg and all of his kind.

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