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Authors: Mike Cooley

Tags: #paranormal romance

Alpha Male (3 page)

BOOK: Alpha Male
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“So they’re government?”

“Not sure. I think they are like the CIA, only deeper underground.”

“Literally.”

“And they don’t have to follow any rules.”

“I’m going to rip their fucking hearts out for what they did to you.”

“Don’t say that, Silas. I don’t want you to die for me. I just want to be away from there.”

“It makes me very angry, Mel. And things happen when I get mad. I can’t get mad. Or—”

Mel reached out and put her hand on my arm. “It’s going to be all right, Si. I’m sorry I took you away from Suzi.”

“You don’t need to apologize, Mel. Suzi wanted me to help you. She told me to talk to you that day at the graveyard.”

“That was nice of her.”

“You think I’m crazy.” I looked over at her. Traffic was light, and the highway was winding its way up through the foothills of the mountains.

“We both are. Aren’t we?”
 

“Yes.”

“Anyway, I’ve only seen about five of them.”

“The bad guys?”

“Yeah.”

“And how did you escape?”

“You don’t want to know.” Mel looked down and put her hands in her lap.

“There’s no shame in doing what you had to do to live, Mel. You just tell me which ones raped you and I’ll rip their fucking balls off.”

“I—I tricked one of them into bringing me to his room. There’s a whole complex under the dam. Normally they kept me at the lowest level, in a cell. No way out.”

“I just need to know how to get there. Where the entrance is.”

“If you promise not to go there for revenge. Promise me. Don’t risk your life for me.”

I looked into her blue eyes and put my right arm around her shoulders as I watched the road. “I promise, Melanie. I won’t risk my life for revenge.”

“On the lower levels, inside Ice Harbor, are the generators and the turbines. It’s loud as hell. Behind the last generator is a passage. It looks like a wall, but it’s not. They get in with a handprint.”

“Cle Elum.” I turned off the highway into town. Then I turned right, onto 970 heading toward Lookout Mountain. After a short drive on 970, I turned onto Lambert.
 

They were waiting for us.
 

The Blackness

A silver van shot out of the woods from the right and skidded to a stop in the middle of the road. I grabbed the wheel with both hands and turned left, hard, while pressing both feet down on the brakes. Mel screamed. We slid sideways into the van and slammed into it. The window on Mel’s door shattered from the impact.

“This way, Mel. And get ready to run when I tell you.” I opened the driver-side door while unfastening my seatbelt and pulled her out of the car by her hands.

“Oh God, Silas. How did they know?” Mel’s eyes were wide with fright.

“I don’t know yet. This isn’t good.”

I backed away from the wreck and pushed Mel behind me. “I’ll keep them busy while you run, Mel. Run and hide. Don’t let them find you.” I felt the crackling under my skin, and my scars started to pulse. I took a deep breath and let myself feel the dark.

Three men dressed in black and wearing black masks got out of the van. They started to approach us. They were all wearing silver gloves and had guns strapped to their waists. Mel was behind me, taking steps backwards.

I extended my arms and let my fingers point toward the ground. A circular spot of black appeared to my left. It was smooth as ice and dark as midnight. “Don’t touch the blackness, Mel. Never touch it. You understand?”

“What is that, Si? How?” Mel was twenty feet back and watching the masked men with dread.

The black spot expanded as I took a step forward. Light burst from the scars on my arms and hands. “It’s something I can do. Something bad, Mel. Get away from me.” The spot grew larger as I stepped in front of it. “When you healed me, you affected it. It’s stronger now. I don’t know if I can stop it.”

“Take him down. We just need the girl.”

I recognized the low voice of the stocky man standing in the middle as all three of them advanced toward me.
 

“Give up now or someone is going to get hurt,” I said. The smooth circle expanded behind me like a pit of nothingness.

Low voice laughed. The other two men charged me. I dodged left, grabbed the first one’s arm, and threw him up in the air. He landed in the middle of the blackness and vanished. Only the tips of his fingers were outside the circle of darkness. They lay on the road, twitching. The laughter stopped abruptly.

“Run, Mel! I can take care of this.”
 

“Si. Oh God.” Mel took another step backwards.

I caught the second masked man on the chin with an uppercut and then ducked as he shot over me, flailing with both fists. The blackness cut him off at the knees as he fell across it. There was no blood on the stumps that remained; they were sealed over like wax. The huge scar on my chest was glowing red hot, and the world was spinning around me. My ears felt like they were stuffed with cotton, and my skin was burning up.

“Oh, a tough guy, huh?” The low-voiced, masked man pulled his gun. “Let’s see if you can stop bullets.”

I dodged to the right as he fired. The first bullet caught me in the left shoulder, spinning me around. The circle of blackness flickered on and off and then vanished. Pain erupted throughout my brain. The second shot hit just above my right hip. I dropped to the ground on my back.

“Silas!”

“Run, Mel. Run!” I clutched my side as blood poured out.

Low voice walked over and looked down at me. “Nope. Not bulletproof.” He pointed the gun at my head and kicked me in the side.
 

“Stop!” Mel’s face appeared above me, and her hands searched out my wounds. “If you kill him I’ll never help you. Ever. I’ll die first.”

Low voice hesitated. Then his trigger finger slowly relaxed, and he holstered his Beretta.

“I told you to run, Mel. I told you. I—” My voice was a whisper. She leaned down to hear.

“Shut up, Si.” It felt like she was covering me with warm butter on a tropical beach. The sharp pain and feeling of blood pumping out of my body turned into a dull, throbbing ache.

“We don’t have time for this. His life isn’t important. Not by comparison.”

Low voice grabbed Mel’s arms and pulled her away from me. “Not yet. Not yet. He’s bleeding too fast.”

I could hear her crying and struggling. Then I heard doors slamming and the van’s engine roar. I struggled to get up so I could get to the car, and then everything went black.

Silas

Either there was absolutely no traffic on Lambert Road or I had only been unconscious for a few minutes. I sat up in a pool of my own blood and looked around. The silver van was gone and Mel with it. Some fingertips and the bottom half of a pair of legs were on the road behind me; those body parts were all that was left of the two terrorists that had attacked me. In front of me was Mel’s car. The engine was still running, and it was sideways across the road. The passenger side was bashed in and the passenger window was shattered.

“Mel.” My heart lurched inside, doing a painful twist as I thought about what would happen to her.
 

“I said I would protect you. Look at me now.” I felt the wound in my shoulder. It was oozing blood, and it felt like the bullet was still inside. The hole in my side was bleeding freely, and a trail of red wound across the asphalt toward the edge of the road.

I pushed myself off the ground and stood, swaying like a tree in a windstorm. The darkness was broken by the silver light of the moon through the clouds. The sky swirled around me as I moved my feet further apart and lifted my arms for balance. I knew I had to get to the cabin and patch myself up if I had any chance of finding Mel in time.

I lurched forward a step at a time until I reached the driver’s side of the red Neon. The door was still open. I bent down and pulled myself into the car, using the steering wheel to steady myself. The gas gauge was on low, but it looked like there would be enough fuel to reach the cabin.

“Fuck, Mel. I’m sorry. I blew it.”

I put the car in gear and turned right, heading in the direction we had been going when we got cut off by the Daelius hit men. My vision was fuzzy, and my mouth was dry. I wondered how much blood I had lost. If Mel hadn’t tried to heal me, I would have died right there. I owed her my life…twice.

I spotted the dirt road after ten miles. It looked overgrown and unused since the last time I had been there. Images shot through my mind. Two years ago. Suzi had been with me. It was before her diagnosis. Before everything went to hell. I gripped the wheel tighter and banished the memories. Then I slowed down and turned right, onto the driveway.

The cabin was intact. No windows were broken, and it hadn’t been vandalized. I parked and got out of the car; then I got the duffle bag out of the trunk. I limped to the front of the cabin, favoring my right side, where pain was shooting up and down my leg from the bullet wound just above my waist. I reached up above the door and felt around for the key, groaning in pain from the stretch. The key was still there. I slid it out of the gap between boards and used it to unlock the door.

The door opened with a creak, and I walked into the dusty main room. It was an old cabin with a few small windows on the back and a large window facing Big Lake. I sneezed, and thick dust flew into the air and swirled around me. I kicked the door shut behind me and set the duffle bag down on the kitchen table. Then I found the candles and matches and lit a few so I could see what I was doing.

“I hope to God he takes you back there, Mel. Back to the dam. If he doesn’t, then how will I ever find you again? Stay strong.” I looked around the cabin. Everything was in the same place as I had left it.
 

I sat at the table and pulled my blood-soaked shirt off. The bullet hole in my side was deep and ugly. The one on my left shoulder was oozing blood but looked better. I pulled the bottle of alcohol out of the duffle bag along with the small medical kit and went to work, cleaning both wounds. I hissed in pain as the alcohol soaked into the bleeding holes, then drank some of the 151 to take the edge off.
 

“I’m coming for you, Mel. I’m not coming for revenge. I know I promised. I’m coming for
you
.”

Caged

I recognized the padded room as low voice—the others called him Drake—shoved me inside. My hands were duct-taped together, and a grey strip covered my mouth so I couldn’t scream. He pulled out a blade and cut the tape binding my wrists, then pulled the tape off my mouth. Then he grabbed my arms and cuffed me against the wall using the familiar restraints that hung from cables attached to the ceiling.
 

“Silas is going to
kill
you.”

“Your boyfriend? He’s already dead.”
 

“He doesn’t die easy.”

“That’s why I sent some more guys out there to make sure.”

I tried to keep the dismay and pain off my face. “What are you going to do with me?”

Drake came close and pushed me against the wall with his body, then reached up and squeezed my breasts painfully. “Whatever. I. Want.” He was strong, olive skinned, and six feet tall with dark hair spiked straight up. His eyes were brown and malignant.
 

I said nothing and closed my eyes. He pushed his sweaty lips against mine. I turned my face away in disgust. I wanted to raise my knee and make him feel pain. I wanted to bite his face and rip a chunk off. But that wouldn’t keep me alive until Si came—if he came. So I held still until he let go. And then I waited until he left and the stench of his breath dissipated.
 

Once the door clicked shut and locked behind him, I allowed myself to shudder and cry.

I had fallen asleep, with my arms numb and hanging outstretched above me, when I heard the door open again. I didn’t know how long it had been; there was no clock in the room, and there were no windows. Just white padded walls and floor, and the single, bolted door.

“Heal her.” Drake’s voice was evil thunder in my ears. He unfastened my arms from the cuffs and pointed at the cameras in the corners of the ceiling as two masked men threw the girl’s naked body onto the floor. “And don’t try anything. We’re watching.”
 

It was the first time they had brought a girl for me to save. I choked as I approached her. There were whip marks across her back and breasts and burn marks all over. All of the openings in her body were bleeding. Her face was beaten and bruised. Her breath was shallow, her skin was pale, and she looked like she was dying.

“You people are animals!” I looked up at the cameras.

I knelt down and placed my hands on her. She flinched away, expecting pain. “I’m here to help you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what they did. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop them. What’s your name?”

“L—Lissa.” Her voice was barely a whisper. She coughed up blood and gasped.
 

I willed the healing energy down my arms, through my hands and into her skin. “You should tell them what they want before they kill you, Lissa.”
 

I leaned close to her mouth so I could hear her without the mics in the ceiling picking up her words. I blocked her lips from the camera so they couldn’t see that she was talking.

“They want to know about—” Lissa contorted in pain and blood flowed out of her nose. Her eyes rolled back in her head, exposing the whites.

“Come on Lissa. I’m sorry but I need to know.” I held her head with one hand as my other hand felt her injuries.
 

“—about a virus.”
 

“Virus?” I moved my hands along her wounds, as the energy field built up. She was barely alive. I could feel the broken bones in her face and under her skin. And the internal bleeding from how they had ravaged her body.
 

“I don’t know.” Lissa gasped for air. “Anything.” Tears rolled down her bruised cheeks.
 

“Oh fuck Lissa. I wish you knew something. Anything.” I cried as I healed her the best I could. “Maybe if you did they would let you live. Maybe—”

BOOK: Alpha Male
12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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