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Authors: Laurann Dohner

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BOOK: New Species 01 Fury
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“I’m Ellie Brower, house mother of the female dorm, and I come in peace.” Neither guard smiled at her attempted joke. One of the guards kept his hand on the gun at his waist while the other man came forward to yank her card from her hand. She didn’t move while he examined it and then nodded.

“Take a seat. You’re late.” He offered the card back.

Ellie took her badge and returned it to her pocket. She had to move around the guard since he decided to remain, blocking her way. She took a few steps beyond him and peered at the people standing inside the room.

Darren Artino, the head of Homeland security, and Director Boris were also present. The director frowned as he closed the distance between them. She flinched when he glared at her outfit, silently communicating his disapproval of how was she dressed.

“I didn’t have time to change,” she explained. “I had four women to settle in and less than twenty minutes to do that before getting here. I wasn’t given any notice they were arriving until they were at the door.”

The tense lines around Director Boris’ mouth eased. “Fine, Ellie. Next time, dress properly. You look as though you just walked out of the gym.”

“Close,” she admitted. “Would you like me to turn the lights up? It’s dim inside here.”

“No.” Director Boris sighed. “Some of the council members prefer it this way.” Ellie instantly understood. She’d been informed that some of the survivors had spent years locked inside darkened cells, resulting in oversensitivity to bright light.

She’d outfitted some of the apartments with those female survivors in mind, had even gone out to buy them sunglasses to put inside their rooms so they could wear them in the common areas of the dorm, and had dimmer switches added to some rooms for adjustable lighting. She spent a lot of time considering New Species feelings and needs to be good at her job, something that had become a near obsession for her.

She recognized a few more faces near her as she glanced around. She smiled at Mike Torres, from the male dorm, when he winked at her. He seemed to be a nice guy in his early thirties who had flirted with her during the first meeting, the day Ellie had arrived. The employee who’d given Ellie the rundown of her duties as dorm mother stood next to him. Dominic Zort nodded curtly. His job, in general, seemed to be keeping the departments cooperating and he did most of the hiring.

23

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Movement from of the corner of her eye caught her attention. She turned. Someone moved in her direction from across the room but being the shortest person surrounded by a group of taller men didn’t help her identify who approached.

“Ellie?” Director Boris drew her focus back to him. “We’ll sit down over there.”

“Sure.” She took a step to follow Director Boris.


You,
” a male voice snarled roughly from behind her.

Ellie attempted to spin around to see who the scary voice belonged to but someone grabbed her. She made a sound, a mixture between a grunt and a gasp, but then her body lifted from the floor. Strong arms twisted her in the air. Pain shot through her back and the air was knocked from her lungs. Her eyes widened as she stared up into the face of one enraged…416.

24

Fury

Chapter Two

416 growled at Ellie, revealing his sharp canine teeth, and she realized her arms hurt where he gripped them above her elbows. He had slammed her flat on her back on top of one of the conference tables. He bent over her, his enraged face inches above hers, and the anger poured from his dark gaze. Pure terror flooded Ellie.

Her mouth opened but nothing came out. She sucked in air. He snarled louder, held her down tighter.

“What the hell? Let her go!” Director Boris gasped.

Ellie saw movement all around her from her side vision but she didn’t dare turn her focus away from the dark, furious glare of 416. He looked as if he was ready to tear her throat out with his sharp teeth, which hovered inches from it. Her heart pounded so hard she wondered if it would explode from her ribs. He’d survived and would kill her just the way he’d promised he would if ever given the chance.

“Let her go,” a male voice demanded firmly in a steely tone.

“What the hell is going on?” That came from another man who sounded shocked and whiny.

“Fury, let her go,” another man ordered in an unusually deep voice.

Fury’s rage-filled glare shifted away from Ellie’s terrified gaze when he jerked his head to the side. He growled at someone behind him.

“No. This is between me and her. Back away.”

Ellie swiped her tongue across her dry lips, relieved she could breathe again. The hands on her arms were bruising and it hurt enough that tears flooded her eyes. Fury glowered at someone behind him who kept his focus off her. Despite being in a room full of men, she knew she’d die in front of them when his attention returned to her.

“Let her go, Fury.” The male voice grew deeper, to a menacing growl. “Please.”

“She’s one of them,” Fury snarled. “She worked as a tech inside the testing facility.

Back off now. It’s my right for vengeance.”

A distinctive noise cut through the room and Ellie’s eyes widened. She recognized the sound of a shotgun being pumped. She swallowed the lump that formed in her throat, afraid they might shoot him to save her.
Damn it.
She wouldn’t allow that to happen. All the terror dissipated at her concern for his life. She’d saved him once and she would do it again.

“It’s okay.” She spoke as loudly as she could. Her voice broke but she got the words out. “Don’t hurt him. Nobody shoot. Please.”

“Ellie?” Director Boris inched closer. “What is he talking about?” 25

Laurann Dohner

Ellie gasped when her tormentor turned his head to glare down at her again. A chill ran down her spine from his cold, intense gaze and the knowledge that he would definitely carry out his threat. She had no doubt that he’d kill her on top of the table in front of everyone present.

“Fury,” another male voice growled. “Release the woman. We’ll settle this reasonably.”

“Mine,” Fury snarled, obviously so angry he couldn’t talk in a normal tone. His fingers tightened even more.

Tears slid from her eyes to roll down the sides of her face but she didn’t make a sound. She feared it would upset everyone around them, especially whoever had pumped the shotgun she’d heard.

“Ellie?” Dominic Zort sounded close. “You were an informant, weren’t you?” She swallowed a moan of pain. Fury softly growled and his hands were brutal on her arms.

“Yes,” she gasped. “I know him.”

The growl deepened inside Fury’s throat to a vicious snarl.

“Fury!” A man rasped the word. “Release that woman now!” Fury’s grip eased but he didn’t relinquish his hold. He moved back a few inches though. He didn’t hover all the way over her body and his lips pressed together to hide his canine teeth. He took deep breaths through his nose but he didn’t look away from Ellie.

Fury. Yeah
,
the new name fits the look in his eyes.

“She was already on Mercile’s medical staff. She was sent undercover when rumors about the original testing facility surfaced. We tried to get undercover agents embedded inside Mercile but they were never hired. I think she was the on-site nurse at their corporate office. It took a lot of hard work for her to get transferred into that hellish place to discover if the rumors were true. She smuggled out enough proof to get us the warrants that were served on the first testing facility.” Dominic Zort spoke quickly. “I didn’t know she’d met any of your people, Justice. I wasn’t her handler but Victor Helio didn’t write anything in the file to indicate she had harmed any New Species or had interacted with them. I never would have hired her to work with your people if I thought any of them knew her personally.” Dominic Zort’s voice remained calm and cool. “Her name is Ellie Brower and she’s the one who runs the women’s dorm. She risked her life every day to spy on Mercile for us, Justice. She knew they would kill her if they realized she only took that job to gain proof of what they were doing.”

“Let her go.” Justice’s tone lightened but it held the authority of an order. “Ease up, Fury. I understand. Did you hear what the man said? She worked there to help them gather proof of our existence. She helped save our people.” Fury didn’t release Ellie and he continued to glower down at her. She stared back at him, certain he didn’t care why she’d been there. She knew he hated her for framing 26

Fury

him for Jacob’s death and she didn’t blame him for it. She had done it to save his life but that didn’t alleviate the guilt of the crime committed against him.

“Ellie?” Director Boris spoke. “What was your exact job at the research facility and what did you do to this man?”

Shit.
Ellie swallowed. She watched Fury’s eyes darken even more, turning from a chocolate brown to near black. “I just assisted when needed,” she explained softly. “I kept a lot of the charts on the test results from the blood and saliva samples they had me draw.”

“Why does he hate you so much? Did you personally hurt him somehow?” Director Boris voice rose in outrage. “Did you harm them?” Ellie stared into Fury’s tense, lined face. If she’d been sexually assaulted, she wouldn’t want it flaunted about. He had been a proud male and it probably wasn’t something he wanted to share with the entire room. She’d have to tell everyone why she’d killed the technician if she admitted what she’d done to make Fury so angry. She hesitated. His eyes narrowed to slits as the growl rumbling from his chest became louder.

“Don’t,” Fury ordered.

“Fury?” Justice spoke. The man had an unusually deep voice. “What did she do to make you want to hurt her so much? Did she force you to take their drugs?”

“Ellie, tell us now,” Director Boris demanded.

“I had to do tests,” she lied. “I had to inflict pain on him.” That part was truthful.

She knew what she’d done had to have caused him emotional distress on top of what Jacob had done to him while he’d lain helpless on that floor of his cell. “He also didn’t like me taking samples from him.”

He snarled at her in response.

She didn’t look away from him once, her gaze locked with his. “I’m so sorry but I didn’t have a choice. I knew help was coming if I could just smuggle out the evidence. I did what I had to do to rescue you. You were so close to getting a chance at freedom.” More tears spilled down the sides of her face. “I am so very sorry. I just wanted to save you.”

Fury had the woman who had betrayed him in his grasp. He couldn’t believe he had found Ellie again, she worked at Homeland, and his hands were actually on her. He had his freedom now, was no longer helpless, and he battled with himself over what he should do to her. A small part of him wanted to snap her neck while the rest of him wanted to pull her against his body and hold her. Either way, he didn’t want to release her. Self-disgust welled at his conflicting emotions after what she’d done to him inside his cell. He’d never forget that day or the one that followed.

Justice demanded again that he release Ellie but his hands refused to let go. That she’d dare be where New Species were supposed to be safe from their tormentors 27

Laurann Dohner

enraged him. She’d been the worst, with her pretty blue eyes that had lured him into a sense of trust that she’d never do him harm. His fingers flexed on her soft skin as he inhaled her scent that had haunted him many nights.

Her pale-blue gaze seemed more beautiful than he remembered and he inwardly flinched while he watched tears pool inside her eyes and slip down the sides of her face, knowing he hurt her. He battled with the knowledge that he had the right to get revenge but at the same time hated to cause her pain. When she spoke up to tell everyone not to hurt him, it confused him more. Ellie had to be his enemy so why did she attempt to protect him?

“Fury,” Justice whispered. “She’s a woman.”

No one needed to tell him Ellie’s sex. Her sweet scent of strawberries and vanilla made him want to groan, to bury his nose against her skin and investigate exactly where it originated from. He wondered if her hair products or her body wash gave off the tempting smells. It angered him more that he wanted to find out.

It stunned him to learn she had been working against his enemy. It did matter to him why she’d been at the testing facility but he couldn’t let go of his sense of betrayal over her leaving him inside that cell to face the consequences of her actions.

Didn’t she realize what she’d done or how he’d been harmed? But he didn’t want her to tell the truth about what she’d done to anger him so much. Too many questions would be asked. He had enough shame. He didn’t want anyone to know how deeply his humiliation ran when it came to feeling helpless all those years he was locked up and the abuse he’d suffered in his lifetime.

He was New Species, in control of his mind and body, though he’d been a prisoner.

He couldn’t have prevented the technician from attacking him but as he’d lain there helpless, still traumatized from what had been done to him, and his body had responded to Ellie being so close to him. She’d turned him on despite the horrible situation. He had not wanted to react to her that way. It only made her betrayal even more unforgivable. He’d lowered his guard and then she’d harmed him. He acknowledged that he’d lost control again when he’d mindlessly grabbed her and now refused to release her.

The pain revealed by her features finally made him understand how strongly he gripped her arms and it horrified him, realizing he’d bruised her tender skin. He should want to kill her but instead he wished to massage out the pain, even apologize, and it disgusted him. He had earned the honored job of being second in command of his people, an example to Species of how they could live in peace with humans, yet he stood over a terrified small woman who had haunted him since he’d been freed.

He’d always wondered what had become of her. He’d even used his new authority to read through the list of Mercile employees arrested. He’d fantasized about walking into her cell and…watching her, just to see her again. A snarl tore from his throat and he knew he needed to get away from her before he lost what little control he’d regained.

BOOK: New Species 01 Fury
2.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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