Home > Midnight Unleashed (Midnight Breed #14.7)(5)

Midnight Unleashed (Midnight Breed #14.7)(5)
Author: Lara Adrian

But Tamisia’s feelings were none of his concern. He was more interested in what she’d just divulged about the attack. He glanced at the closet and the upturned drawers and emptied backpack.

“What were they looking for?”

“I don’t know.”

Trygg walked over and moved some of the scattered clothing and other personal effects with his boot. He didn’t see anything of interest. Whatever Franco and his companion were searching for, it didn’t appear that they’d found it.

And now Trygg had another wrinkle to smooth in his already fucked-up mission.

No. Make that two.

Sirens sounded in the streets outside, growing louder by the moment. The distinctive whine signaled the pending arrival of the Joint Urban Security Taskforce Initiative Squad, a police force comprised of humans and Breed officers.

“You called JUSTIS?”

She nodded, still cradling the baby in her arms. “My friend who runs the shelter called them. I told her to when we realized someone had broken into the house.”

“Fuck.” Bad enough his best chance of getting a firm lock on Santino was currently sprawled on the floor with his head nearly twisted off like a bottle cap. Lazaro Archer would be plenty pissed off to hear that newsflash. Hell, Trygg would probably have to answer to D.C. headquarters and the Order’s founder, Lucan Thorne, too. About the only thing that would make the night any worse was having to explain to JUSTIS what a member of the Order was doing standing in the middle of a multiple murder scene.

He and his fellow warriors already had a reputation as merciless vigilantes with a habit of enforcing law and order whenever and however they saw fit. Relations with mankind in the past twenty years since the Breed had been outed to them were strained enough without the situation here adding fuel to the fire.

And besides, rumor had it that Roberto Santino had a fair share of the city’s police force on his payroll.

He could trance the human officers as soon as they showed up and scrub their minds of all memory of what they found here, but that wouldn’t work on the Breed members of the squad. Nor could he erase the record of the emergency call for help that had come from this house. The wheels were already in motion here, and Trygg was going to have to deal with the fallout as best he could.

He looked at Tamisia, standing there with a self-healed gunshot wound and palms still pulsing like embers as she held the quieted infant in her arms. Her regal, ethereal beauty called attention under normal circumstances. After what she’d done tonight, there would be no mistaking her for anything as mundane as human.

Which meant he wasn’t the only one who’d have a lot of explaining to do once the law arrived on the scene.

“The cops will be here soon. You’d be wise to avoid them. I doubt this is the way you or any other Atlantean would want to go public to the humans for the first time.”

Her face blanched. She looked at the carnage she’d left—carnage no mere mortal was capable of—and true worry flickered in her brilliant blue eyes. “What shall I do?”

“For starters, lose those ruined clothes. There’s going to be a lot of questions about what went down in here. Aside from the fact you took out two intruders single-handedly without any trace of a weapon, it’d be damn hard to explain the blood and the lack of a bullet wound where you’ve obviously been shot tonight.”

“Then what are we going to tell the officers when they get here?”

“Not we, Tamisia.” Trygg bared his fangs in a smile he knew was far from friendly. “You’re going to stay out of my way and let me handle this. That’s not a request.”

The flat line of her lips said she didn’t appreciate him telling her what to do, but he gave her points for not arguing with him. In fact, despite his general distaste for females and all the trouble that followed them, the memory of Tamisia standing over Franco’s dead body like an unearthly, avenging angel made his cock buck hard behind his zipper.

Not gonna happen.

He ground his molars against the desire that stirred, unwelcome, inside him. “Go. Take the baby out of here and keep the other women away too. I’ll go down and wait for the police.”

Tamisia stared at him, her head tilted with growing suspicion. “Tell me what’s really going on. You knew those men, didn’t you?”

“Go, Tamisia. Far as you or anyone else is concerned, this is the Order’s business now.”

At first he thought she would ignore him. But as the sirens blared in the street outside the house and flashing red and blue strobes lit up the darkness, some of her resistance ebbed.

Finally her ice-blue eyes released him. Tucking the baby against her, she strode out of the room, her spine as straight and stubborn as a queen’s.

Trygg made a focused effort not to watch the way her hips and curved backside swayed with each long stride. Ignoring the kick of his veins and the pulse that throbbed in both his emerging fangs and the stiffness at his groin was more struggle than he wanted to admit.

When Tamisia’s light footsteps retreated out of earshot, he exhaled the curse he’d been holding and rubbed his palm over his clenched jaw.

Time to get to work.

 

 

Chapter 3

 

Two hours later, Sia stood at the front door and watched the law enforcement vehicles quietly roll away from the house. The ambulances carrying Rosa’s body and those of her assailants had departed for the medical examiner a few minutes earlier.

The JUSTIS officers had stayed in Rosa’s room for a long time, talking with Trygg and processing the scene. It had taken all the patience Sia possessed to simply wait downstairs with Phaedra and the shelter’s residents while the officers did their work and carried out a bag of evidence from Rosa’s room.

Sia and Phaedra had been questioned only briefly by one of the human officers, both of them asserting to him that they had called for help as soon as they heard the ruckus upstairs and had been too afraid to do anything more—just as Trygg had privately instructed them to do in the moments before he went outside to meet the arriving squad cars.

Then Sia had dutifully kept her distance from the police and their investigation. Not out of any obedience to the Breed warrior or the Order he served, but out of loyalty to Phaedra and the rest of their people.

Trygg had been right about one thing. She didn’t want to be the one who shattered the secrecy that had kept the Atlantean realm hidden as pure myth for centuries upon centuries. She’d already failed the council and her friends in the colony once. She wasn’t about to do it again.

As distant a dream as it was that she might one day win back her place among her people, she clung to that small hope. She would never risk even deeper disgrace by giving the humans a reason to suspect she was anything other than human.

Or that there were others like her, both the ones living quietly among man and Breed, as Phaedra was doing, and the hidden populations who lived behind the veil of the colony and in the greater realm ruled by the Atlantean queen, Selene.

Mankind was quick to alarm and slow to trust. After twenty years of coexisting in the open with the Breed, war between the two races remained a constant threat. There might never come a time when the humans were ready to learn they shared their small planet with yet another immortal, otherworldly faction.

“Everyone’s exhausted and gone back to their rooms for the night,” Phaedra said as she came up beside her. Her ageless face was troubled, sober with grief. “I’ve moved the baby into my quarters for now. Poor little Angelina. Can you imagine being left without a mother at such a tender age?”

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