Even while he shook Brynne’s hand in appreciation, Chase couldn’t help thinking that she was wrong about Opus. They weren’t the biggest threat.

He wasn’t ready to share the real headline with his sister-in-law just now, but Chase and the rest of the Order knew all too well that there would come a time—and soon—when the threat of the Atlanteans and their vengeful queen would eclipse anything Opus could possibly dream up.

He only hoped the Order would be ready when that time came.


The elevator slowed to a stop at the penthouse of the Back Bay apartment building. As the polished doors started to slide open, Carys took a step forward to disembark—only to be dragged back into Rune’s arms for another bone-melting kiss.

“Why don’t you come in and spend the night?” she murmured against his mouth. “Jordana’s living at the command center with Nathan now anyway. We’ll have the apartment all to ourselves.”

Rune groaned, amber light still glowing in his dark blue eyes from the hours of lovemaking back at his quarters at La Notte. “I’ll come in, but I can’t stay. I have things to do back at the club.”

“You mean feeding,” she murmured, knowing he took his regular nourishment from human blood Hosts, like most other unmated Breed males. Carys’s unique metabolism allowed her to eat and drink for sustenance, but she occasionally fed from Hosts too. Still, it was hard not to be jealous of the human women who knew the bite of Rune’s fangs and the suction of his mouth on their veins as he drank from them.

“I do need to feed tonight, love.” His fingers were tender on her cheek, soothing her sullen mood. “And then Jagger and a few of the other fighters have asked me to meet with them about some club business.”

“All right, I’ll let you make your escape.” She gazed up at him and slowly shook her head. “I hate that we hardly ever wake up together.”

He grunted, one dark brow rising. “Waking up together implies we’d let each other sleep.”

She laughed. “Well, that’s true. We don’t even go on proper dates because we never make it out of the club. Or rather, out of your bed.”

His mouth curved, a sensual bow of his full lips that barely hid the points of his fangs. “Are you complaining?”

By way of answer, she grabbed the back of his neck and pulled him down for searing kiss. Rune growled with pleasure, his strong arms wrapping around her as his tongue pushed past her lips to tangle with hers. Instantly, her blood roared in her veins, rekindling her desire and hunger for him. She tilted her hips and ground against the rigid bulge of his cock.

Rune drew back on a low curse. “Christ, you are dangerous, woman.”

She grinned. “Would you have me any other way?”

“Never.” He stroked her face, his eyes crackling with fiery embers. “Let’s get you inside the penthouse before we give the old fella down in the lobby a show on the security cameras.”

She glanced up at the small monitor in the corner of the lift and laughed. “I have a feeling we wouldn’t be Seamus’s first peep show from in here. Jordana and Nathan will have already broken him in.”

“I’m sure we could shock him even more.” Rune smirked. “Come on. Before you give me a lot of bad ideas.”

Lacing his fingers through hers, he stabbed the OPEN button on the now-closed elevator doors. They exited together and walked through the iron gate to the vestibule of the elegant penthouse. Carys’s high-heeled boots echoed on the polished marble tiles as she and Rune entered the living area of the expansive apartment.

Her steps stopped short an instant later, when she found Jordana and Nathan waiting inside. It didn’t look like they planned to stay long.

No, from the serious looks on their faces, it appeared they’d come there on a mission.

“Let me guess,” Carys said. “When Eli and Jax reported me MIA to my father tonight, he sent the captain of his top team and my best friend out to drag me home.”

Jordana’s mouth twisted in a wry smile. “Not quite as bad as that.”

“But don’t think it won’t come to that eventually,” Nathan added, his deep voice low with warning. “Everyone is only concerned with your wellbeing, Carys.”

Nathan glanced at Rune as he spoke, giving the other male a curt nod that almost passed as friendliness for the lethal warrior.

Rune flashed a bit of fang, granting Nathan an equally reticent greeting. Not surprising, considering the last time the two Breed males had met in this apartment, Nathan had come right out and threatened to kill Rune if his involvement with Carys ended badly.

Jordana stepped between the two big men. “Your parents would feel much better knowing you were somewhere they could be certain of your security, Car. Things have gotten so dangerous lately, it would be one less worry for everyone while the Order is dealing with everything else right now.”

Carys crossed her arms over her chest. “And if I move back home, my father hopes it will minimize the time I spend with Rune.”

Jordana gave her a sympathetic look. “I’m not going to deny that’s part of it too. You have to know that when you dodge your father’s attempts to protect you, it only makes him grip the reins that much tighter.”

Nathan grunted. “He wasn’t happy to hear you pulled that disappearing act tonight at the club.”

Rune glanced at her now, his dark brows furrowed. “What happened?”

Carys shrugged. “Jax and Eli came in during your match. I didn’t feel like having my father’s watchdogs breathing down my neck all night—”

“So you bent the shadows and avoided them,” Rune said, shaking his head. “Jesus Christ, Carys. They were only trying to look out for you.”

Her temper flared at all of them now. “I’m a grown woman, for fuck’s sake. I’m also Breed.”

“Yeah, you are,” Rune agreed. “But this is no time to be tempting fate. Or did you forget that just last week you ran up against something none of us were prepared for?”

He was talking about Jordana’s abduction during a reception at the Museum of Fine Arts, where Jordana and Carys worked. The man who took Jordana had knocked Carys out when she’d tried to intervene and help her friend.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done if something worse had happened to you,” Rune said. “Or if those three fucks who killed Cass and Syn at the club had gotten their hands on you.”

Carys embraced him, reaching up to caress away the deep worry that had settled on his brow. “It wasn’t me they were after. The only thing that got hurt was my pride. And I was terrified for Jordana too.”

“We all were,” Nathan muttered.

He put his hands on Jordana’s slender shoulders, protective, possessive. The deadly warrior was devoted to his mate, a woman who turned out to be even more extraordinary than anyone could ever have guessed. Carys smiled to see her best friend and the Order’s most unreachable warrior so clearly devoted to each other.

“What the hell were those men?” Rune asked, leveling a hard stare on Nathan. “Not human, that’s for damn sure. Not Breed either. I’ve never fought anything like that before. No matter what I did, the bastards kept coming. Two of them got away, but the one I killed? I had to take his head off to stop him. And when I did . . . The light that poured out of his body was blinding. What the fuck are we dealing with, warrior?”


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