Read Annihilate (Hive Trilogy Book 3) Online

Authors: Leia Stone,Jaymin Eve

Annihilate (Hive Trilogy Book 3) (5 page)

BOOK: Annihilate (Hive Trilogy Book 3)
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The kiss deepened to the point where we had to stop or find a more private, less lab-type room. As we pulled apart, our breathing rapid, Ryder cupped my face in his hands.

“After tonight we’ll get down to business. You’ll tell me your plan in full, leaving nothing out. Then with the help of all of our people, we’ll figure out if it’s possible to pull off with no more casualties. We’ll also discuss the best way to warn the other ash and enforcers around the world about what the Quorum did in Portland.”

I nodded against his hands. “Thank you for being on my team. I wouldn’t want to do any of this without you.”

His thumb brushed across my lips, and his first genuine smile in hours emerged. “I love you, Charlie. We’re a team. We’ll do this together.”

My heart stopped beating. It wasn’t the first time those words had been uttered between us, but since the last time was when I was about to die via splatting-into-pudding-on-rooftop, this one was so much more potent. There was nothing here forcing it, nothing elevating the natural feelings we’d had since the first time we met, all the way back in the club. Just a guy and a girl. I knew it was fast, and I’d never said those words to any dude before, always shying away from a deeper commitment, but it was different with Ryder.

He was different.

“I love you too,” I whispered before raising up on tiptoes.

Ryder’s eyes softened and his hands fell from my face to land naturally around my waist. I still wasn’t quite tall enough to reach his lips, but he tilted his head down, and as our mouths met for the second time I was pulled tightly against him. Or maybe I jumped him. God only knows. Anyway, something happened and suddenly both of us were hot and heavy, and sex against the closest flat surface was totally in our future.

Panting, I wrenched my mouth from his. “Dammit, we can’t do this here. Jayden is going to be looking for me any second, and as much as I love my bestie, if he finds us like this we’ll never hear the end of it. And he’ll want pictures.”

Ryder started to shake against me and I realized he was laughing. He dropped me down to my feet. Uh, when did my legs get around his waist? Meh, the last few minutes were all a delicious, perfect blur of hotness. “Run now, Charlie, before I decide that I’m happy for Jayden to have those pictures.”

Ryder flashed me those perfect white teeth, a hint of fang actually visible. My blood called to him the same way his did to me.

With one last look I forced myself to turn and walk away, only risking the final glance back to my silent guy. He was watching me, his expression a mix of so many things. And in that moment I knew something for sure. I would die and kill for Ryder a million times over. The vampires would never stop trying to take us down, and I was going to return the favor.

 

Chapter 3
 

 

“OWWW!” Becca screamed, holding one hand over her eyebrow and the other in front of Jayden’s face.

Jayden rolled his eyes. “Girl, it doesn’t hurt that bad. You got a zoo up in here. I need a lawnmower to make these things pretty.”

We didn’t have proper tweezers so we were using the medical tweezers you would use for a splinter from the first-aid kit. And Becca probably wasn’t being dramatic, Jayden was a bit of a butcher when he attacked body hair. The look on her face had me busting up laughing before quickly stopping when she glared at me. Not everyone could handle Jayden’s special personality.

“It hurts like heck,” she said, and Jayden and I shared a look. Nope, this wasn’t happening. I refused to live in a small container house with someone who didn’t cuss.

“Fuck,” I said, and Becca’s eyes widened.

“Shit,” Jayden followed.

“Ass, bitch, douche—”

She cut me off. “Oh my gosh!” Becca covered her ears and I grinned.

Jayden pulled her hands down and met her eyes. “Come on, one cuss word, that’s all we’re asking. It’s like a test so we know you aren’t a cop.”

My body was shaking as I tried to control my laughter. He was on fire right now.

“Cussing makes one appear less intelligent,” Becca said as she crossed her arms defiantly.

Jayden looked at me. “She’s a preschool teacher.”

I nodded. “It’s kind of cute.” This bitch was growing on me.

He smiled. Opening a bag and riffling through some makeup, he inspected a tube of mascara and his jaw dropped. “Oh My God! This shit is like ten years old.”

Becca shrugged. “I don’t really have use for makeup. I’m usually here alone.”

Whoa, that was a mood kill. Aw, crap, my heart hurt for her right now. Jayden and I shared a look. Becca was like an orphaned puppy.

As always, Jayden was the first to break the mood with something inappropriate. “Except when Sam comes in to town, and you guys hang and … stuff.” He wiggled his eyebrows.

Becca smiled but said nothing. Dammit! She wasn’t going to talk. Didn’t she understand girl code? Jayden grabbed the tweezers again and went at her as she tried to protest.

Twenty minutes later I was staring at a blonde bombshell.

“Becca, you’re a knockout!” I told her and she blushed, trying to cover her tummy, but Jayden slapped her hands away. We had taken one of her shitty, tight white undershirts and cut it off right under the boobs. Coupled with some kickass vintage 50s rockabilly jeans that were high-waisted and buttoned just above her bellybutton, she looked amazeballs. She had this closet full of vintage clothes – although Jayden said they smelled like ass and prayed they weren’t from a thrift store – and they totally fit her personality. Topped off with red lipstick and a pin-up hairdo, this chick was ready to party.

Becca covered her stomach once more. “I feel stupid. There’s no occasion for this.”

Jayden looked offended. “I’m throwing a party! That’s the occasion. Don’t be insecure. You look hot. If I wasn’t gay, I’d hit that.”

I nodded in agreement, but Becca’s eyes widened in horror at the casual way we spoke about sex.

Oh man, maybe Sam hadn’t tossed in the sheets with this one; she was two seconds away from being a nun. I officially made a pledge right then to take her under my wing. She’d be cussing and screwing Sam’s brains out in no time.

 

As we neared the common room, I could hear dance music blasting out of the speakers. There was laughter and I recognized one of the laughs as my man. It was good to hear him laugh again; this was a good idea. Tomorrow would probably start operation kill or cure every vampire alive, but tonight we would have one last night of lighthearted fun.

When we reached the doorway, Jayden made us pause for dramatic effect. We waited as slowly all of the guys turned in our direction. Ryder gave me a heated stare that made me think of our passionate display in the lab. Jayden’s smile was pure happiness when Oliver strode across to him and pulled him into this arms.

And Sam … oh boy. His eyes were practically bugging out of his head. His breathing was labored and I was pretty sure he was very, very happy to see Becca. Even Markus and Kyle were checking Becca out. Jayden and I exchanged grins. Mission accomplished.

Becca stood there awkwardly while I moved into Ryder’s arms, our kiss just short of being indecent. I did notice, though, that Kyle was heading in Becca’s direction, but Sam put a hand on his chest to stop him. There it was. In the subtlest of ways, Sam had just claimed Becca as his to all his friends and she didn’t even notice. Kyle simply nodded and stepped back, busying himself with setting up the pool table. Guy code. These enforcers never messed with it.

And I was sure of one thing: Sam was totally in love with Becca.

Sam picked up two glasses of blood wine that had been poured and were waiting on the table and brought one over to her.

“Drink with me,” he said, and I raised my eyebrow at Ryder. We were totally all listening in and I didn’t care, no shame. There wasn’t a lot of entertainment out here, so this would be my soap opera.

She took it and looked unsure. “I don’t know. Remember that one time in the hot tub?” She smiled and it was a gorgeous white-toothed genuine smile.

Sam actually chuckled out loud and it scared me. I legit just realized I’d never heard Sam laugh. Becca was like the Sam whisperer. She had him acting all out of character.

“I promise you’ll not encounter any dead rats tonight,” he told her, clinking the rim of her glass. She laughed this time, still looking nervous.

Jayden changed the song to some Britney Spears. Oh hell yeah. Brits was just what we needed to forget for a few hours about all the problems in our lives. Then Jayden flipped his queen switch and transformed into one of Britney Spear’s backup dancers. Hands and legs were flying everywhere in perfect rhythm to the song and Oliver was watching him with a sexy grin. Boy had some moves.

Jared put a hand on Ryder’s shoulder; his gun was tucked into the back of his pants. “I’ll take first watch. You have some fun,” the Australian enforcer said.

“You sure, bro? I don’t mind joining you,” Ryder replied.

Jared looked at me and smiled. “You’re one of the few guys here in a relationship. Have some fun. I got this. Sam has all the gear here already, so I’ll suit up and see you in a few hours.”

I smiled at Jared. “Thank you!” I called out after him and settled into Ryder’s arm, wiggling my butt to the music.

Over the next hour we danced and played pool and gave Kyle shit for how bad he was at the game. There were only a couple of bottles of blood wine, so no one really got wasted, just took the edge off. Sam and Becca were in the corner of the room laughing and talking all night. They had barely left that space and I was about to call them over to play pool with us when Jared’s voice came over the walkie-talkie. It was muffled and the music was loud. Ryder immediately called for someone to shut off the sound system.

“Repeat?” Ryder said, his voice a harsh whip of command.

“There’s a female approaching the facility on skis,” was the low reply. “She looks about twelve or thirteen years, ethnic and crying.”

Becca jumped to her feet, and by the time I got a good look at her she was as white as a ghost.

“Lupita!” she said as she took off, heading toward the door which led to the outside.

The rest of us followed, only stopping long enough to grab coats before we reached the main exit. I was halfway out the door when Ryder put a hand on my shoulder. “No, Charlie, this could be a trap. You can’t be seen.”

I literally growled, so close to a dog growl it was kind of impressive. “Ryder…”

No more words were needed, the lead enforcer just clenched his jaw and continued with me out of the house. I’d rather die than be kept prisoner and hide.

We made our way outside, and I could see that in the distance an orange fire was blazing. It looked too big to be a bonfire. Smoke was billowing into the sky.

Becca was up ahead; she’d ran to meet up with the young female, who was crying and out of breath.

By the time we reached her side, I could hear her asking, “What is it? What happened, Lupita?” She had already taken the girl into her arms.

“The barn is on fire! Mama and the others are in town late, cleaning a house. Papa’s still in there. He’s too heavy for me to lift.” She trailed off as her tears overwhelmed her.

That was it. The one sentence was all it took and Ryder and I were sprinting toward the flames. The other enforcers had fanned off around us earlier, checking the perimeter, so I wasn’t sure if any of them followed.

How fast could I run two miles? Maybe seven minutes? Ryder was faster than me. He could get there in five.

The snow was kicking up in my face as Ryder booked it in front of me. I tapped into that special place I went when I ran, striving for the most speed, trying not to worry about how I was ass-deep in some snowy wilderness, hoping I wouldn’t fall and break my neck, hoping that a little girl’s father wasn’t possibly burning alive right now.

Shit, it was impossible to navigate this route in near pitch darkness, across these snowy plains. Even with advanced senses, I kept stumbling into large piles of snow. If Ryder hadn’t been close enough to yank me free, I’d probably have frozen to death by now.

I tried following his path directly. He seemed to have a sixth sense about where to step. Dammit! This was too slow. I needed a snowmobile or something. My frustration must have ignited some of my energy, and as heat unfurled in my center I remembered a very important point. I was no longer a human who needed a snowmobile. Nope. I was Charlie, the ashpire, and I could tap into my levitation abilities.

Flinging free the burning energy, I jumped. I rose off the ground, and unlike the last few times it was relatively smooth. I was getting better, more comfortable with the power. I was starting to learn how to place my feet, rotate arms to keep balance, and tuck my body up for maximum speed.

“Charlie!” Ryder looked pissed as I passed by him; his speed seemed to increase crazily. I also noticed Jayden was sprinting after us, tapping into his house’s power of speed, to make it to the fire. Oliver was close by, the two of them helping each other stay out of the massive snowdrifts.

The view was really great from up here. “See you there,” I yelled as my power sent me gliding across the sky toward the huge blaze. It was so large I could already feel the heat. The snow was slush in a hundred-foot radius around the place, the silence of the wilderness broken by the roaring inferno. Fire, in all its deadly glory, was not silent. It was big, and powerful and absolutely mesmerizing. If only there wasn’t a man’s life at stake, I’d have made Becca find me some marshmallows. Or make some. She could probably whip anything up in her lab.

The distance passed by in a rush, and with a bit of a panic I had to halt myself before I ended up face-planting against the burning barn. Okay, so stopping was harder than starting. Just when I was sure that I wouldn’t stop in time, my feet lowered and I came to a running halt about twenty feet from the house.

I didn’t stop though, sprinting again, past the small, dome-shaped house, moving toward the large, rundown looking barn. The blaze was thick and heavy as I tried to figure out how to get inside.

BOOK: Annihilate (Hive Trilogy Book 3)
3.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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