Home > Fated (Relentless #6)(16)

Fated (Relentless #6)(16)
Author: Karen Lynch

“Are you hurt?”

The edge in his voice surprised me. I’d never heard him speak that way, and it took me a few seconds to respond.


Something unreadable flashed in his eyes before he looked at Nikolas. “Our guys are a few minutes out. No one’s called the police yet, but there are two men with cameras by the main gate.”

Nikolas nodded grimly. “Paparazzi. Just what we need.”

He turned to Jordan, who was coming toward us. “Sara texted me an hour ago to let me know you were going to a party at some celebrity’s house. Next thing I know, she’s calling for a cleanup crew. What the hell happened tonight?”

Jordan rolled her shoulders. “We were at Lure, and Brent Lassiter invited us to join him in the VIP section.”

“Who is Brent Lassiter?” Chris asked, his brows drawn together.

“He would be Hollywood’s newest golden boy.” Jordan waggled her eyebrows at me. “Who totally has the hots for our girl Beth.”

As if on cue, the blond man I’d been tending to on the couch pulled himself into a sitting position and looked around in confusion. “Beth?” he said groggily and grimaced. “Who are these people? Why does my head hurt?”

Raoul headed toward him with a can of gunna paste in hand. I turned back to Nikolas, deliberately not looking at Chris, who had come to stand beside him.

“Brent invited us back to his place for a party,” I said. “We were here about twenty minutes when some of his friends showed up with the vampires. I don’t think his friends knew what the vampires were. And the vampires were not expecting to find us here.”

Jordan grinned. “Sara felt them coming, so we were ready for them. You should have seen those vampires’ faces when they realized what we were. Priceless. We took care of them, but it was a little messy, as you can see.”

Nikolas rubbed his jaw. “Yes, I can see that. Did we lose any humans?”

“No,” I said proudly. “But some of them might need medical care.”

I felt Chris’s eyes on me again, and I had to resist the urge to look at him. There was something different about him tonight, and I could almost feel the tension rolling off him. Was he angry at me? Did he think we could have handled the situation better?

Uncertainty gnawed at me as I waited for him to say something. In spite of everything, the thought of him being disappointed in me caused a tiny knot to form in my stomach. Damn him. Why did I care what he thought of me?

The door opened again, and eight warriors filed into the room. Chris and Nikolas started issuing orders, and I put thoughts of Chris out of my mind as we set about taking care of the humans and removing all traces of the vampires. Disposing of vampires wasn’t nearly as much fun as killing them.

Everyone worked with quiet efficiency, and two hours later, the house looked like it had been vandalized instead of having been a battleground. The humans were tended to and given a dose of gorum, the drug we used to modify short-term memory. Most people weren’t ready to learn about the real world, so part of our job was to keep it hidden. The humans here would think they were the victims of a home invasion and never know how close they’d come to a gruesome death.

Even the two paparazzi at the gate were given gorum to make them forget the large vans coming and going in the wee hours of the morning. No one liked drugging humans, but it was a necessary part of our job if we were to remain hidden. That wasn’t to say no humans knew of our existence. The Council worked with the highest levels of government and law enforcement in every state, and the humans knew it was to their benefit to keep us a secret.

The vans left, and I walked into the living room to retrieve my shoes. I’d kicked them off in the fight and left them off during the cleanup. I picked them up as Jordan and Sara walked into the room.

“I’d say that was a good night’s work,” Jordan declared.

Sara gave her an eye roll. “That had to be wild enough, even for you.”

I nodded in agreement. From partying with celebrities to saving a houseful of humans from vampires, this, by far, had been the craziest night of my life. Not to mention Chris’s odd behavior. We hadn’t spoken during the cleanup, but I’d sensed his eyes on me more than once. I had no idea what his deal was, and I didn’t want to know.

I glanced down at my ruined dress. “I don’t know about you girls, but I’m ready for a long hot shower and a soft bed.”

“I bet Brent has a very soft bed,” Jordan said.

I laughed at her suggestive smile. I’d flirted with Brent at the club because it was fun and harmless, and really, how often do you get to party with a hot young movie star? But I’d had no intention of taking it beyond that, even before things had gone to hell.

“Are you girls ready to leave?”

The three of us turned to face Chris, who stood by the door, his brows pulled down in a scowl that looked out of character for him. I wasn’t the only one surprised by his expression or his brusque tone.

“Whoa, Blondie. We keeping you up past your bedtime or something?” Jordan quipped.

“We need to clear out so we can alert the authorities.” Chris’s green gaze locked with mine. “And I think you’ve had enough fun for tonight.”

My lips parted, and I’m pretty sure my eyebrows touched my hairline. Oh, no. He did not just say that. He’d given up the right to have any say in my life a long time ago.

“I’m a big girl now, and I can decide when I’ve had enough.”

He crossed his arms. “Judging by what’s left of your dress, I don’t think you can.”

I gaped at him, at a loss for words.

“What the…? Does he remind you of someone we know?” Jordan asked Sara in a stage whisper.

“Uh-huh,” Sara murmured.

I turned my head to ask what they were talking about and found them staring at Chris like he was about to sprout wings any second. What was up with all of them? They were acting crazy.

I heaved an angry sigh. “I need some fresh air. I’ll wait for you girls outside.”

Chris stepped into my path as I walked to the door. His scowl was gone, and he looked as confused as I was. He opened his mouth to speak, but I was done talking.

I moved to go around him.

“Beth, wait.”

Warm fingers wrapped around my wrist, and I gasped as a tingle shot up my arm and straight to my chest. My heart began to pound as if it had been hit with a jolt of electricity. Then a storm of emotions erupted inside me – longing, love, joy – until I was almost dizzy from them.

The strange tingling sensation faded, but the emotions in my chest only intensified until my heart was ready to punch through my ribs.

I put a trembling hand to my face. What’s wrong with me?

I turned my head toward Chris. Our eyes met, and his darkened to a bottle-green, the heat in them sending a thrill of fear and excitement through me. His hand tugged me toward him, and I took a step in his direction.

And then, amidst the clamor in my head, a small desperate voice cried out.


Chapter 6



My Mori’s growl filled my head as a fierce surge of joy and possessiveness swept over me, almost rocking me back on my heels. Deep inside, something shifted and clicked into place, and a new awareness blossomed as my Mori tethered itself to its mate.

My mate.

Beth turned her head, and the sight of her pale cheeks and confused eyes made me forget everything but the need to comfort and reassure her. I gently drew her toward me as I fought an internal battle with my demon that strained to get to her.


Beth’s choked cry came a second before she yanked out of my grasp. I saw the panic in her eyes as she spun and ran outside.

Stunned, I stood unable to move as the reality of what had just happened settled over me. I had bonded…with Beth. My Beth.

I looked at Sara and Jordan, who stared back at me with wide eyes and slack jaws. I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out.

The rumble of an engine coming to life shook me from my stupor. I raced outside, nearly running over Nikolas as he entered the house. I was in time to see the taillight of a motorcycle as it passed through the open gates and disappeared from sight.

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