Home > Fated (Relentless #6)(2)

Fated (Relentless #6)(2)
Author: Karen Lynch

Lucky for me, gulaks were known more for their brute strength than their skill with a blade, or I might have been relieved of a few favorite body parts before I was done with them. With the three of them disarmed, it was easy enough to dispatch them back to the hell they came from.

Too easy.

I looked at Nikolas, who was wiping his blades on the pants of a fallen gulak.

“You’d think a slave-trafficking operation as big as this would have a lot better security.”

He nodded as his gaze swept the basement. “I was thinking the same thing.”

“How’s it going down there?” Sara’s voice came over the comm she insisted we wear on jobs now. She could talk to Nikolas through their bond, but she liked us all to be in contact. He and I had never used communication devices, but Sara felt better with us wearing them.

“We’re good, boss,” I retorted.

“How are the humans?” Nikolas asked as he stepped over a gulak body.

We’d entered the four-story building from the roof, and the first thing we’d done was take out the guards on the top floor and free the captives up there. Once the floor was secure, Sara stayed behind with Paulette to reassure the terrified humans while the rest of us cleared the building.

“Few cuts and bruises, but alive.” Her voice sounded a little breathless, and I knew she was moving around checking on her charges. “We have fourteen human girls and three mox females up here. One of the demons needs medical attention… Hold on.”

She went quiet for a few seconds. “One of the girls said five more were taken away before we got here. They could still be in the building.”

“We’re on it,” Nikolas said. “Raoul, you copy?”

“Copy,” Raoul replied. “Three is clear, and we’re doing a sweep of two now.”

“We’ll work our way up to you,” Nikolas said.

Sara cut in. “Be careful. Don’t make me have to come down there and save your sorry asses.”

Nikolas smiled and shook his head, and I was struck by how much he’d changed in the year and a half since he’d met Sara. Dedicated to his warrior lifestyle, he’d been the last person I’d expected to settle down, but one look at my little cousin and my best friend had fallen hard.

He used to almost lose it when Sara was in any kind of danger, and I’d often wondered how he was going to deal with her being a warrior. Now they worked together, and he’d finally accepted that his mate could take care of herself. That didn’t mean he didn’t worry, though.

We moved silently through the basement until we came to a utility room. Nikolas reached for the knob and stopped, sniffing the air.

“You smell that?”

I sniffed and nodded grimly as the coppery scent of fresh blood hit me.

“Human,” I said in a low voice.

We positioned ourselves on either side of the door, and Nikolas turned the knob, easing the door open to reveal a dead girl inside. One look at her ravaged throat told me no gulak had killed her.

I crouched and touched the body. “Still warm.”

“We have a fresh vampire kill,” Nikolas barked to the team. “Stay sharp.”

“I’m not picking up anything,” Sara said.

No one questioned her because her “vampire radar,” as she called it, was never wrong. She could sense any vampire within a quarter-mile radius and even tell what direction they were coming from. Pretty useful skill to have in our line of work.

Nikolas and I left the room and continued our search of the basement. It didn’t take me long to find the open sewer grate in the boiler room where the vampire had exited the building.

I peered through the hole at the blackness below. “What do you think?”

“If Sara can’t sense him, he’s long gone,” Nikolas called from the hallway. “Let’s finish down here and head up.”

I headed for the door and let out a grunt when I walked straight into an invisible wall as I tried to pass through the doorway.

I rubbed my nose. “What the hell?”

Nikolas tried to enter the room, coming up against the same barrier. He pushed at it with his hand. “Force field. My guess is it’s warlock made.”

“Nice,” I groused. So much for the lack of security. “What now?”

He smirked as he spoke into his comm. “Sara, it looks like you have to save Chris’s ass after all. He got himself stuck behind a warlock barrier.”

Sara laughed. “I’m on my way. Give me a minute to –” She gasped loudly. “Five vampires, coming fast!”

No sooner had she spoken than the first vampire leaped through the sewer grate. Nikolas battered the magic barrier, and I heard Sara say something, but I was too distracted to listen.

I brought my sword up as the vampire rushed me without waiting for his backup. He screamed as my blade sliced him from navel to shoulder, and he fell backward onto the second vampire coming through the grate. His brethren threw him aside, and he slammed into a pipe, sending water gushing everywhere.

The newcomer snarled at me but kept his distance as three more vampires jumped through the hole in the floor. I quickly sized up the situation. These were not young vampires, judging by how fast they’d gotten here after Sara had detected them. That didn’t bode well for the good guys – namely me.

“I don’t suppose you guys are up for a fair fight?” I asked as they spread out in a semicircle. “You know, one-on-one?”

The only female in the group looked me up and down lecherously. She was blonde, and she’d been in her early twenties when she was changed.

“I’ll do some one-on-one time with you when the boys have had their fun.” She licked one of her fangs. “I’ll even let your friend watch.”

I shook my head. “Sorry, I have a rule. No sex with people I have to kill. It puts a real damper on the romance.”

Behind me, Nikolas snorted.

One of the male vampires snarled. “Enough playing around, Jen. Let’s do this.”

She huffed and tossed her hair over her shoulder. “Fine. You want him, he’s –”

A white flash lit up the room. Out of nowhere a slender brunette girl appeared, sprawled on her back between me and the vampires. I couldn’t tell who was more shocked to see her there.

She sat up and looked around in wonder. “What do you know? It worked. Sort of.”

“Sara, what the hell?” Nikolas shouted at his mate, who had apparently added transporting to her ever-growing list of Fae powers.

She tossed a sheepish smile over her shoulder at him. “Surprise.”

“Who the fuck are you?” demanded the female vampire from the other side of the room. She and the others had been driven back by Sara’s arrival, but they were inching forward again.

Sara stood and dusted off her jeans. “I’m here to rescue him.”

The female stared at her.

“It’s our thing. He gets into trouble, and I save him.” Sara lifted her hands and let them fall back to her sides. “Men. What can you do, right?”

“Sara,” Nikolas ground out.

One of the males barked a laugh. “She’s wacko. Look, she doesn’t even have a weapon.”

I moved swiftly to Sara’s side. I’d seen enough of her power in the last year to know what she was capable of, but there was no way I’d let her face five vampires alone.

“New trick? Impressive.”

Her green eyes gleamed with excitement. “I can’t wait to tell Eldeorin I finally did it.”

I smiled at her. “Maybe we should deal with our little problem first before your mate loses it.”

“Oh, right.”

We sized up the five vampires watching us with a mix of confusion and malice. I was pretty sure they’d never encountered someone so wholly unfazed by their presence, and they had no idea what to make of her.

Sara looked at me. “I’ll take the three on the right. Can you handle two?”

I met her smirk with my own. “Try to keep up, little girl.”

I was on the first vampire before he knew I was coming. My blade severed his head, and his blood sprayed the shocked faces of his friends. To my right, another vampire screamed, and I glanced that way as he burst into flames.

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