Authors: Laura Wright
Cruen smiled at her as she writhed in her cage, her skin glistening with sweat. For so many years, he had not believed in her existence. The rumors were strong, yes, but he knew—as their creator—that females rarely survived after their sixth year of life. It was an anomaly in their genetic structure he hadn’t been able to correct. But he would. With this female, and the Boston geneticist by his side, he would fix the problem.
She looked up at him then, her pale lavender eyes peeking out from yards and yards of wet blond hair. She was begging for relief.
“It won’t be long now,” Cruen said with a gentle voice. “His body will please you and his seed will calm you.”
Her head dropped forward and she whimpered, her hands covering her core.
Cruen nodded, smiled with the deepest of pleasure. She was the elusive diamond, priceless, and she would be the mother, the dam—the queen of a new class, a new order.
The Breeding Female and the Breeding Male: a union of purest blood. And Cruen would be their adviser, the mind behind their actions, just as he was their creator—their god.
All that remained was turning
into predator, and Lucian Roman was nearly united with his prey.
he soporific sounds of happiness and celebration dissolved inside Synjon’s head and were replaced by a hard, rhythmic pounding. Like a hammer smacking thick, steel nails, one after the other. He’d seen her go, seen her being ripped out the back door and flashed away in less than five seconds. The flash—the fucking flash, like a firecracker in the night—and Synjon had nothing on him to protect his
. No guns, no blades—nothing but his goddamn legs.
He ran at hyperspeed down the corridor, but by the time he hit the open door, there was nothing but
landscape, melting ice and snow, and night air heavy with the scent of Pureblooded
Synjon wasted no time. Once outside he flashed: to the back of the building, to one side, then the other, searching for that piece-of-shite Roman brother who had the bollocks to take someone who didn’t belong to him.
Lucian had sent his big brother, Nicholas “soon to be dead” Roman, to do his dirty work for him—Synjon just knew it. Christ, to steal away the
who’d refused him. What a sodding git. Both Romans would be husks of dried skin when Synjon caught up with them.
Again he flashed, this time to Bronwyn’s house—dark and empty—then back again to the front of the Veracou Hall. His eyes moved over every inch of the
landscape. Not that he expected that Breeding Male mongrel to be hanging around anymore, but Syn would make sure. Just as he’d make sure he flashed to every square inch of earth until he found her.
He was just about to hit the airway when his eyes skidded to a stop. Ire flared within him, and in that moment, the Boston
winter wonderland went from wide-angle-lens landscape to pinprick-hole focus. And in the very center of that hole? Leaning back against a tree that was as white as the
Lucian Wanker Roman.
Synjon growled low in his chest and flashed directly in front of the
, his arm already yanked back, his hand already clenched into a steely fist.
. Right across the
’s jaw, nothing but power and pain.
Lucian’s head snapped back into the tree and he cursed loud and dirty.
“Where is she, arsehole?” Synjon demanded.
Lucian heard nothing inside his rapped skull, but he sure as shit saw red. Blood red—and the sudden death of this vampire who had sucker punched him like a little bitch. Recovering quickly, he shoved the
back, followed up by pummeling him with a quick set
of jabs to the abdomen, then one clean, hard shot to the face.
’s dark head snapped back and he staggered a couple of steps like a drunk.
That’s right, dickhead,
Lucian mused blackly, his nostrils flaring with deep intakes of breath. Fall down, drop to your knees, and take a few more knocks to the skull like a good little bloodsucker. But the vampire wasn’t into taking. Clearly the giver, he shook the fog off and leaped in the air, just a few inches, cocking one knee back. Before Lucian could sidestep the coming blow, a foot shot straight into the flesh below his left knee.
The pain exploded inside him, and the blow sent him flying back, past the tree. He dropped like a stone on his back, disabled for a moment. But a moment was all the black-haired
needed to get down and dirty. He dropped on top of Lucian, his hand clamping around Lucian’s throat.
Lucian mused, recovering quickly and reaching up to lock his right hand around the other male’s thick neck. Grinning, he squeezed with all the built-up rage he had inside himself for this pretty-boy vampire who had claimed his princess.
Both breathing heavy and feral into each other’s faces, like animals after a hunt, the blue-eyed
chose to speak first. “You know who I am.”
“Got a good guess,” Lucian uttered, his chin hard as he fought the
’s grip. “But since your dick is pressing against mine, maybe we should introduce ourselves proper-like.”
The grin Synjon Wise flashed him had all the charm of a snake. “Where is she?”
“Don’t play games with me, Frosty.”
“Are we talking about Bronwyn?” Lucian laughed darkly. “You lose your
already, Brit Boy?”
who lost something today, and I’m looking at him, mate.”
In under a second, Lucian released Synjon’s throat and shoved the base of his hand up and straight into the
“Ahhh, fuck you,” the male cursed.
“Another time,” Lucian said, grabbing Syn by the arms and rolling them both over. He had the black-haired bastard on his back now, blood streaming out of his nose like water from a hose.
Synjon glared up at him. “That was a mistake.”
“Maybe so, but I don’t really give a shit at this point.”
“Tell me where she is and we can end this play.”
“I don’t have your precious mate,” Lucian returned with ice.
Synjon’s tongue emerged and swiped at a pool of blood near his upper lip. “Your brother showed up a moment ago inside the hall. Bronwyn went to have a bit of a chat with him.” His brow arched. “She never returned to me.”
“Maybe she ran back home. Maybe she had second thoughts. Maybe it’s all that cologne you’re wearing.” Lucian said the words with all the sarcasm he could muster, but something inside him started to churn at the words Brit Boy had just uttered. It wasn’t anxiety, but it was close.
“She’s not at her home,” the
said, his eyes serious as a heart attack to a human now. “I checked. Your brother took her—flashed her away. I saw the bloody sparks.”
“Not possible.” But he pushed off the Pureblood and stood up. He was antsy now—like he hadn’t had blood in a week.
“Where is your brother?” Synjon asked, snapping to his feet too and meeting Lucian eye to eye, grave stare to grave stare. “Where is Nicholas Roman?”
“None of your motherfucking business,” Lucian snarled as his brain squeezed inside his skull and his ears rang with bells that clanged the march of death.
“If you care for Bronwyn at all, you’ll answer me,” the
said with controlled venom as he wiped the last drops of blood from his nose.
Lucian wanted to tell the guy to fuck off and die, wanted to tell him he didn’t give two shits about Bronwyn and never would—but those words wouldn’t come out easy or true.
“Nicky’s in France, all right?” he said tightly. “Has been for three weeks.”
Lucian barely had the last bit out before Synjon grabbed him, hauled him into a tight embrace, and flashed him from the cold, hard ground outside the Veracou Hall.
As soon as her feet hit sand, Bronwyn screamed and started flailing her arms, punching at anyone or anything that held her. But nothing did. She was alone. On a beach—the sun setting impossibly and beautifully all around her. From cold, snowy Boston to gentle breezes and warm sand—it was a complete shock
to her system, to her mind, and she couldn’t catch her breath.
Where was the
? she thought, panic clinging to every cell, every inch of her skin as she turned in circles, making herself dizzy. Where was the monster who’d abducted her?
Her eyes scanned a section of beach, the water, then darted right to a stand of palm trees and beyond that a hill, green and lush, its very top kissing the sky.
Perhaps it should have calmed her. Perhaps that was what it was designed to do. But she just stood there in her Veracou costume and felt the salty breeze caress her terrified features. What the hell had happened? Where was she?
She heard something behind her. Or was it in front of her? To the right? Damn it! A rustle.
Maybe just the wind tossing the palms.
Her feet dug into the sand and she ran. She ran hard and fast down the water’s edge until her lungs ached, until her body forced her to stall.
. At first, seeing his frame in the hallway, she’d been so sure. But it wasn’t Nicholas. It was something wrong and unearthly.
Her chest hurt, struggled for breath, but she couldn’t get the air in.
What did that
want from her? Why had she been taken from her home, from her Veracou—from Synjon?
Oh, God—Syn—he had to be losing his mind right now. She belonged to him, and he was old-school protective that way.
Something flashed directly in front of her, dark hair, diamond eyes that lifted at the corners like a cat.
She knew it was him. God.
she silently begged no one in particular, but anyone who might be listening. As her feet refused to move, her manic gaze ran up and down him, taking in his thickly muscled frame. Back in the hall he’d looked exactly like Nicholas, but now…Now something had changed—something had changed him. Morphed him into this half vampire, half monster. He was male in form, yes, but his face was covered in scars and had an animal’s shape to it—almost like a lion.
He reached for her. Bronwyn screamed and tried to turn around and run again. But he had her now, held her to face him, made her look up into his ruined face.
Breathing heavily, forcing her mind to calm down and think of a way out, a way to claw and kick and bite herself to freedom, Bronwyn stared into diamond eyes and the scared, ravaged skin of an animal, a monster.
,” he said, his voice low and gravel-like. “We want no bruises on you.”
Bronwyn found her voice through her fear and whispered, “Who are you?”
“A Beast,” he uttered. “A defender and servant to my father, and the
of your Nicholas Roman.”
As soon as they landed, Lucian smashed his elbow into the
’s neck and pushed him off. “You are a motherfucker.”
“No. I am Synjon Wise, Bronwyn’s true mate. And I will have her returned.” He said the words with deadly calm. “Now, your brother? He in Paris, then?”
“No,” Lucian said, glancing around at the city lights
against the night sky. “But we are, and I’m about to stick the Eiffel Tower up your ass!”
Synjon ignored him. “Where is he?”
“My brother’s been in France for days,” Lucian countered, despising this
and the power play he was working on Lucian’s body and mind. But he couldn’t shake the fact that Bronwyn was gone, taken—in the hands of someone who wouldn’t treat her kindly. He may have been the biggest asshole on the planet, but he wouldn’t have that. Wouldn’t ever have that. “It’s impossible that Nicky took her. He’s with his mate, and has no interest in yours.”
Synjon snorted, uttered a terse, “Well, at least that’s one Roman brother not interested in Bronwyn.”
Lucian snarled, his blood reacting with anger. “Whoever you saw was not Nicky. Just another vein for your new bride to suckle at.”
Synjon moved so fast Lucian didn’t have a second to block the punch to his neck.
“Fuck,” he gasped, tasting his own blood, dislodging his fangs from his tongue. “You are going to pay for that, you piece of
Lucian’s voice trailed off, his words and his threat too, because in that split second of time, of pain, it hit him—it hit him hard and sick.
Who might have Bronwyn.
He looked up at Synjon and the dread in his eyes must’ve been blatant. “Wasn’t Nicky.”
Synjon cocked his head to the side and said slowly, “Bronwyn said—”
“She didn’t know.” Lucian spat blood. “Wouldn’t know. Not until she got close up anyway.” His gut clenched and rolled. This was serious now, not just busting the balls of Bronwyn’s mate.
“What the bloody hell are you going on about, Frosty?” Synjon said with harsh impatience.
“Call me that again and I will gut you,” Lucian spat back. He needed to think, to plan—to get to his brothers. Shit, Bronwyn had to be scared to death. Why would that
“Wake up!” Synjon glared at him. “Do you know where Bronwyn is, or not?”
“I know who she’s with.”
“Share with the class, please,” Synjon said through gritted teeth. “How big of a problem are we talking?”
“We need to get to my brothers. Now.” Lucian stepped right into the
’s face. “They’re in Provence. Touch down near the center of Lorgues. Go!”
“You’d better have answers as soon as we drop.” Syn’s arms wrapped around Lucian and they were gone from Paris, the Tower, and the blinking city lights in a flash of time and color.
Shaking, sweating, and terrified, Bronwyn stood with her feet buried deep in warm sand, facing the Beast who had ripped her away from her Veracou. “You’re Nicholas’s twin.”