Home > Midnight Unleashed (Midnight Breed #14.7)(6)

Midnight Unleashed (Midnight Breed #14.7)(6)
Author: Lara Adrian

Sia blinked slowly and shook her head, regret tight in her breast. “I’m sorry I wasn’t able to save Rosa,” she whispered for her friend’s ears alone. “I got there too late.”

Phaedra’s hand came to rest lightly on her back. “It’s not your fault, Tamisia. For pity’s sake, you weren’t the one who killed her. Those awful men did.”

Sia nodded, but her thoughts were grim, her mind troubled—not only by the death of an innocent woman, but by the fact that one of the Order’s warriors had been tracking Rosa’s attackers for some reason. She could imagine no other reason for Trygg to have been close enough to the shelter when the men broke in.

What did he know about them?

Or was it someone else that had piqued the warrior’s interest?

She watched Trygg’s immense shape moving through the darkness and across the street. Sia had kept her word to stay out of the way while the police were there, but she had questions that needed answers.

“I’ll be right back,” she murmured to Phaedra, already opening the door and stepping out after him. “Trygg, I need to talk to you.”

He glanced behind him but didn’t acknowledge her. Moonlight gleamed on the top of his head as he kept walking, his broad shoulders determined and his long, muscular legs practically chewing up the pavement with each hard stride.

When it became clear that he meant to ignore her, Sia picked up her pace, using Atlantean speed to place herself in front of him before he could take another step.

He stopped abruptly, less than an inch to spare between her breasts and the center of his sternum. She was tall, but he was enormous. She hadn’t really stopped to recognize that until now. She’d never been this close to the surly Breed male before. Close enough to feel the heat and power of his body, and to inhale the spicy, dark scent of his skin.

During her brief stay at the Order’s command center, she had been too put off by Trygg’s menacing demeanor to allow herself to truly look at him for any length of time. Now she couldn’t help but study him, realizing beneath the scowl and the severity of the shaved head and jagged facial scar, he was actually handsome. Long black lashes fringed eyes of the deepest shade of sapphire she’d ever seen. His nose was straight and regal, his mouth generously cut, even sensual.

He caught her staring, and the furrow between his dark brows deepened.

She awkwardly cleared her throat. “What did you tell the police?”

“The truth, more or less. I was on patrol, tailing a couple of petty drug pushers to this address. I saw them break into the house. When I heard a woman scream, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Not the first time I’ve had to explain a couple of dead bad guys to JUSTIS. They seemed to buy it.”

“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.”

Her jaw dropped open. No one had ever spoken to her like that in all of her immortal existence. She was an Atlantean elder, one of the highest regarded council members in the colony. At one time, she had even been a confidante to the queen herself.

Was. Past tense, all of it.

Now she was merely a foreigner dropped into the middle of a strange, violent land.

And Trygg had no reason to treat her as anything more.

Still, his heavy-handed, gruff demeanor rankled her. It pissed her off.

Even while she couldn’t help noting his unexpected comment about her ass.

She stood her ground, refusing to let him think he could cower her. Agreeing to cooperate with him for the protection of her people was one thing. Turning a blind eye to a cold-blooded murder was quite another.

“I want the answers about Rosa’s death even if you don’t, warrior.”

But Trygg did want answers. She had seen that truth in him earlier tonight and she saw it now too. No matter how hard he was trying to convince her otherwise.

He growled a low curse and took a step away from her. Sia followed him with her gaze.

“Who’s Santino?”

Trygg stopped dead in his tracks. When his head swiveled in her direction, his expression was as dark as a thundercloud.

“I heard the Breed male who killed Rosa say the name Santino. He told the other man to keep looking for whatever it was they were after. He said Santino didn’t want any loose ends.”

“Jesus Christ.” Trygg came back, seizing her upper arms in his strong grasp. “You’re just telling me this now?”

“I would’ve told you sooner, but you didn’t give me a chance before you all but shoved me out the door of Rosa’s bedroom.”

He swore again, more vividly this time. He didn’t let go of her, and despite the anger in his face, the feel of his hands on her was the thing giving her the deepest unease. She couldn’t keep from noticing how immense he was, how powerfully male. Atlantean males were strong and masculine, too, but there was a ruggedness about this Breed male that sent Sia’s pulse racing more heatedly than she cared to admit.

“Did you say anything about this to your friend Phaedra?”

“No.”

“Good. Don’t.” He released her, but his grim eyes stayed locked on hers.

“Who is he, Trygg?”

“Someone you don’t want to cross.” She didn’t expect him to offer anything more, but then he exhaled a resigned sigh. “Roberto Santino is the biggest narcotics kingpin in Europe. More recently, he’s been dealing in a drug called Red Dragon, a substance that’s only effective on my kind. It turns even the most mild-mannered Breed into a bloodthirsty animal.”

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