Home > Fated (Relentless #6)(3)

Fated (Relentless #6)(3)
Author: Karen Lynch

A vampire took advantage of my distraction and rushed me. His claws scored my stomach and would have gutted me if I hadn’t spun away in time. Ignoring the burning pain, I came around quickly and took his arm off at the elbow. Before he could recover, I impaled him through the heart.

I turned to see two bodies engulfed in flames and the female vampire cowering against the far wall, her eyes darting to the sewer grate.

“Want to flip for it?” I joked to Sara.

She opened her mouth to reply but sucked in a sharp breath instead, her hand going to her chest. I knew we had more company before she got the words out.

What I wasn’t expecting was for my sweet little cousin to grab the front of my shirt and throw me toward the doorway. I hit the forcefield and fell to my knees, losing my grip on my sword. I regained my feet as another six vampires spilled from the sewer.

Before I could move for my weapon, Sara lit up like a bolt of lightning. I barely had time to make sure I was on dry ground before her power streaked through the water on the floor. Every vampire in the room screamed and convulsed before collapsing in smoking heaps.

I jerked as an errant spark of Fae magic set me back on my ass. It wasn’t enough to do damage, but it felt like I’d grabbed the end of a low voltage wire.

I let out a moan. “Son of a bitch.”

“Sorry!” Sara fell to her knees beside me. “Are you okay? Did I get you?” Her eyes widened, and she reached out to pat the side of my head. “Oops. You’re smoking a little.”

I gave her a suffering look, and her lips twitched.

“Sara,” Nikolas growled as Raoul, Brock, and Calvin arrived behind him to stare at the carnage.

She smiled at me and went to dissolve the barrier with a touch. Fae magic beat all other magic every day of the week.

In the next instant, Nikolas had her in his arms, looking like he wanted to yell at her and kiss her at the same time.

“Don’t mind me,” I called. “I’ll just lie here until my legs work again.”

Sara laughed, and Raoul came over to grab my hands and pull me to my feet. My legs wobbled a little, and I had to hold on to him for support.

“What happened to you?” Raoul asked.

“What do you think?” I grimaced at Sara. “I can’t believe you set my hair on fire.”

She looked me over. “It’s just a little charred on the ends.”


Her eyes sparkled with laughter. “Why? You have a hot date tonight?”

“Not yet.”

She rolled her eyes, and the others laughed.

Nikolas looked at Brock. “We’ll need a large cleanup team, and the human girls should go to the hospital.”

“And the mox demons?”

Sara stepped out of Nikolas’s arms. “I already called someone for them. I should probably get back to them and the girls.”

Nikolas gave her a wry smile. “Take the stairs this time.”

She laughed softly and kissed his jaw before she headed to the stairwell, leaving the rest of us with a pile of smoking vampire bodies.

I looked at Nikolas as I ran a hand through my hair to assess the damage. “Did you know she could transport?”

He rubbed his jaw in exasperation. “She and Eldeorin have been working on it, but as far as I knew, she hadn’t been able to do it since that first time.”

“Well, that should make for an interesting dinner conversation tonight.”

I’d had a few laughs at Nikolas’s expense since he’d bonded with Sara, and the fun hadn’t ended with their mating. Knowing my cousin, these two would keep me entertained for decades.

“When are you two heading to LA?” I asked him.

“Next week. Sara wants to stop by Westhorne for a few days first.”

Last year, we’d set up a temporary command center near Santa Cruz, and after we left, it was moved to Los Angeles. Now, the Council wanted to establish a larger, permanent command center there to handle the day-to-day operations in that area. They’d asked me to help get the center up and running, but I’d already committed to a long overdue visit with my parents in Germany. Nikolas had agreed to take over in my place.

We spent the next two hours working with the cleanup crew while Sara and Paulette saw to the girls we’d rescued and delivered them to the hospital. Then, we all met up again back at the safe house in Norcross.

After my shower, I found Nikolas and Sara in the kitchen, discussing dinner options.

I sat on one of the barstools. “You guys staying in tonight?”

“Yes,” Sara answered for them. “You are not dragging me to another nightclub like the last one.”

Wearing an innocent smile, I rested my arms on the granite counter. “What was wrong with Koma’s? You said you wanted to go somewhere laid-back where you didn’t have to dress up.”

She fixed me with a look of chagrin. “If those people had been any more laid-back, they would have been horizontal. In fact, some of them were.”

Nikolas chuckled, and she tossed him a half-hearted glare. “You’re as bad as he is.”

He tugged her back against him and trapped her with his arms. “How about I take you to Dominick’s, and then we’ll have a quiet night in?”

Her lips curved into a smile. “That sounds really nice.”

I laid my hands on the counter and stood. “And this is where I bid you good night.”

“You’re not coming to dinner with us?” Sara asked me.

I caught Nikolas’s eye and saw the subtle shake of his head.

“As much as I enjoy your company, Cousin, I think I’ll see if Raoul wants to go for a steak. Then I’ll probably head over to Buckhead.”

She hugged Nikolas’s arms. “I guess we’ll see you later.”

I smiled as I turned away. “Don’t wait up.”


I zipped up my weapons bag and set it on the floor next to my duffle. Straightening, I scanned the room I’d slept in since I was five. The pale-blue walls were covered in framed photos of my life here, and the shelves overflowed with books and treasures I’d collected over the years. A wave of nostalgia rushed over me. I’d had a good life here, and I was going to miss this place.

“Knock, knock.”

I turned to smile at Mason as his muscled form filled my bedroom doorway. His black hair was artfully mussed, and his blue eyes gleamed with excitement.

“I didn’t expect you until dinner. You packed already?”

He grinned and entered the room to throw his six-foot-one frame down on my pristine white bedspread. At a scowl from me, he kicked off his Chucks before he put his feet up.

“Unlike you, I don’t have a hundred pairs of shoes to pack. I figured you’d need help lugging all your bags.”

I let out a very unladylike snort. “For your information, I’m all packed, too.”

It was true I liked shoes, but I’d probably have little need for most of them on this assignment. A thrill went through me. My first assignment away from home.

He glanced at the duffle bag, and his brows rose. “One bag?”

I shrugged. “Warriors travel light. And you’d be amazed how much I fit in that thing.”

“Good, because we have a lot of traveling to do.”

Our eyes met and grins split our faces. Before I knew what he was up to, he grabbed my hand and pulled me down on the bed. We lay side by side, hands clasped and faces turned toward each other.

“This is it,” I said softly.

“This is it.”

He exhaled loudly and stared up at the ceiling. “Did you ever think this day would come?”

“Yes.” I studied his handsome face, which was as familiar to me as my own. “I always knew we’d get here, even if I had to drag your ass along with me.”

“Yeah, right.” He laughed and reached over with his free hand to tickle my ribs. “I seem to recall me kicking your little butt many times in training.”

“With a sword, maybe. But you still can’t best me in hand-to-hand.”

“In your dreams.”

I felt the slight tightening of his fingers on mine a second before he lunged. Bringing my legs and hands up against him, I twisted to the side, sending him flying over me. He hit the rug facedown, and I was on top of him before he could recover. My legs wound around his, and my hands twisted his arms to pin his larger body to the floor.

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