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Authors: Laurann Dohner

New Species 01 Fury (6 page)

BOOK: New Species 01 Fury
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28

Fury

He needed to think, to get a grip on whatever had gone wrong inside his mind when it came to Ellie. He usually kept his reason, remained calm regardless of his circumstances, and others considered him good natured. His people depended upon him to remain that way. He’d chosen his name for what he kept in his heart but outwardly he hid it well. Usually.

He stared down at Ellie and ordered his hands to open, regardless of how his instincts screamed to keep hold of her. Fury’s grip loosened and he released Ellie as if her touch burned him then he spun around and shoved people out of his way.

Ellie lay immobile on top of the table until someone touched her leg. She was shocked that Fury had allowed her to live. Darren Artino moved next to her, his touch gentle as he pulled her into a sitting position. Ellie glanced at the stunned faces of the men who surrounded her. She quickly wiped away her tears, amazed to be alive. She searched for Fury but he’d vanished.

“Ms. Brower?”

The man who spoke stood about as tall as Fury. He had wide shoulders and his long hair had been swept back into a ponytail. His eyes were an appealing dark bluish-black and oddly shaped, similar to a cat’s. He dressed in a tailored suit but nothing could hide the dangerous vibes he projected while he remained a few feet from her.

“I apologize for Fury’s…” He paused. “Attack on you. I’m Justice North and I will make sure Fury is punished for what he’s done here. Did he harm you?” His exotic, unnerving gaze slowly skimmed down her body.

“I’m fine,” Ellie lied softly.

Her heart broke into pieces that the man she had grown obsessed with had just walked away. She resisted the urge to run after Fury, beg him to listen to her, and apologize again for what she’d once done to him. She wanted to make it right with him so badly she ached. She realized that doing that would be impossible as she stared up at the large male who blocked her path. He currently posed a threat to Fury and she needed to handle the situation before it escalated.

Ellie attempted not to openly gawk at the good-looking man with the fascinating eyes. “Please don’t punish him.” She would beg if that’s what it took. It was the least she could do to make sure Fury didn’t get in any kind of trouble. “His anger is warranted. Trust me. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he’d killed me.” Shock paled the man’s features while he blinked at her a few times. His shoulders, broad as they were, seemed to relax. “Perhaps you should be excused from this meeting. You’ve had a trauma and I’m sure someone here could fill you in on what will be discussed at your convenience tomorrow, after you’ve had time to recover.” Director Boris moved forward. “We shall remove her from Homeland immediately, Mr. North. Please accept our apologies.”

Dread spread through Ellie. She’d moved to a new state to be a part of the project to assimilate New Species into a normal way of living but now she’d lose that job. She 29

Laurann Dohner

didn’t blame Director Boris for firing her, considering the circumstances. Homeland had been given to the New Species to be a safe haven from the abuse they’d suffered.

Having a walking reminder on the premises would violate that concept.

Justice frowned as he stared down at Director Boris. “Firing her won’t be necessary.

She saved our people from the testing facilities and we won’t thank her for that selflessness by taking her away from something she helped make possible. It’s not our way to do that. This is our Homeland, is it not?” Director Boris’ mouth popped open from shock. “But Fury hates her and he’s your second in command.”

“Fury will deal with his anger.” Justice glanced at Ellie then. The harsh expression eased from his features and softened. “Go rest, Ms. Brower. Your job is secure. You can continue to run the women’s sleeping dorm. You have been quite refreshing with your candor and I appreciate your understanding of Fury’s behavior.” Ellie knew to escape when given the opportunity. She eased off the table. Her knees trembled but held her weight once she stood. She kept her head down, her gaze on the floor, and strode quickly toward the empty hallway. She paused outside the conference room, leaned against the wall and then covered her face. Her entire body shook. It took a minute to pull her frayed emotions together.

Ellie finally moved, dropped her hands to her sides, and exited the outer door. 416

had survived but now he had taken the name Fury. Worse, he had to be Justice North’s second in command. She shivered when she stepped outside. The armed guard frowned at her but didn’t say anything as she moved toward her golf cart.

Justice headed the New Species Organization. His people had voted him to lead them, the face and voice of New Species as a whole, but they’d also appointed council members to represent groups of the survivors, thus helping him do his new job. One survivor from each of the four testing facilities had become a member. The NSO as they titled themselves, had proclaimed their own government order when they’d been assured the United States would back them on having free rein to structure their independence.

The fact that the government had unknowingly funded those testing facilities with large research grants had gone a long way to make Uncle Sam bend over backward to be accommodating with anything they asked for. They’d used taxpayer’s money to help create New Species and continue the horrific research that had been done on them for decades in the name of perfecting prescription drugs and vaccines. A lot of money had exchanged hands at the expense of the suffering of New Species. The newly built military base had been gifted to them as their Homeland, rumored to be the government’s grand gesture to save face and garner favor with public opinion overall.

Ellie parked the golf cart in front of the dorm and climbed out. She rubbed her aching arms and hurried toward the front doors. She had nearly reached them when the hair on the back of her neck prickled. She stilled after she pulled out her ID card and slowly peered over her shoulder.

30

Fury

A man lurked under the shadow of a tree across the street, just a dim outline of a figure, but Ellie sensed him watching her. She knew it had to be Fury. She stood there staring at him. She held her ground and he held his while neither of them moved.

Ellie bit her lip, wondering if she should approach him. She could apologize again for what she’d done to him and maybe explain in more detail until he understand her actions fully that day inside his cell. Indecision kept her in place while she struggled with the need to talk to him and the fear that he hadn’t calmed down.

He didn’t move and she couldn’t make her legs respond to go to him. The memory of his rage, of his hands squeezing her flesh, changed her mind about talking to him at that moment. Fear motivated her to face the door, swipe her key card, and hurry inside the dorm. She made sure the locks slid into place before dashing for the elevator.

An eerie silence settled into the dorm late at night. She entered the elevator with the sensation of being watched. With walls of glass, she knew he could see her from where he stood outside. The doors shut firmly to put her out of view of the street and Ellie sagged against the wall. Would he let it go? She didn’t know but now he knew where she lived. He also worked at Homeland and probably lived in one of the housing units built just blocks away for the council and high-ranking members of the New Species.

Damn.

The elevator dinged when it opened on the third floor where she currently was the only resident. Once more women were transferred to the dorm, the rooms would fill up until the building would be full of life on every level. She suddenly minded being alone up there a lot.

The building was secure, she reminded herself. The only people who had access to the building were the women living there and the security guards assigned to guard it.

Not even a member of the council had access. Fury wouldn’t be able to get in. She unlocked her door.

She’d left the lights on inside her small apartment and her balcony doors still stood wide open. She moved toward them quickly to close the doors firmly and locked them for the first time. No one could reach her balcony but she didn’t care about logic. She looked down at her arms after she undressed—verifying both were red and bruised from Fury’s hands—and then stepped into her bathroom to shower.

Fury survived!
That thought kept circling inside her mind. Hot tears spilled down her cheeks. If that day had never happened she would have had a chance to get to know him.
He may have…
Her eyes closed in pain.
What?
Fallen in love with me the way I’ve fallen
for him?
It was insane to even consider that possibility. They didn’t really know each other but she wanted to change that.
He hates me.
That had been clear when he’d slammed her onto the table and rage had poured off him.

Ellie reached up and wiped at her tears. What she’d done to him couldn’t have been avoided. She could only hope that one day he’d forgive her for leaving him inside the cell to take the blame for her crime.
Then maybe…

“Damn it, don’t do this to yourself,” she whispered aloud, shaking her head.

31

Laurann Dohner

Chapter Three

Ellie watched the New Species women with frustration. She knew making friends with them would be a difficult task but she’d had no idea how hard a time they planned to give her. Not one of them had been friendly toward her. They were a tight group but not with Ellie. She hoped she hid her hurt feelings. Helping them had become her mission in life, her sole purpose, and they had refused to allow it so far.

“Would any of you like to learn how to cook? I can teach you or I’ve acquired a ton of cooking DVD’s to show you.” She glanced from one face to another. “I’m sure some of you are tired of the meals provided by the main NSO cafeteria. I enjoy cooking. It’s good to learn and everyone loves food.”

No one spoke as three dozen pairs of eyes watched her. Ellie sighed. “I swear, I’m not the enemy. I’m here to help you learn living skills and to help you integrate into society. I want to help you in any way you need. I really wish you would allow me to do that.”

Their silence stretched to an uncomfortable length. Ellie’s shoulders slumped in momentary defeat. “Fine. Maybe you need more time to get to know me. If you need anything, please just let me know. That’s why I’m here. Oh, I baked a few cakes I put inside the fridge so please eat them.”

Ellie fled the room before she allowed them to see her depression. As soon as she moved out of sight she heard female voices, reinforcing her urge to cry. Everyone became silent when she walked into a room but conversation returned as soon as she left. She couldn’t ignore the possibility they might hate her. They refused to talk with her except when they had to and they didn’t seem to want her help. She’d had to hold mandatory class sessions just to teach them basics such as how to use the appliances in the house. The questions were few but then again, she’d noticed that some of them had amazing memories. They would retain the information and then help the other women who struggled.

She’d considered quitting but she’d been assured by one of the council members that the women would shun anyone holding the position. She was an outsider, it was that simple, and being just plain ole human made the New Species not trust her. She’d been advised to give it time and reminded that it had only been two weeks.

Two weeks of hell
, she silently grumbled, and headed for her apartment. If she left though, she had nowhere to go, no life to go back to, after cutting all ties with her past.

The very idea of asking her parents to live with one of them until she got back on her feet threatened to give her a migraine.

Her parents argued about everything, regardless of living apart, and then asked her to referee their asinine fights. Both of them had been bitterly opposed to Ellie’s own 32

Fury

divorce, the
only
thing they agreed on, and they remained in contact with her ex-husband. They’d make her spend time with him with their misguided and annoying attempts to get them back together. She’d rather jump into a pit of snakes than ever return to the life she’d once had. She didn’t call home for a reason and she sure didn’t want to go back to it. Both her parents were angry at her, which meant they finally gave her peace, something she hadn’t had from the pair since their divorce when she was ten.

Her new life consisted of moving forward and helping people with real problems, two things she wanted to do with the New Species. They were important to her and they needed people who cared on their side. She definitely cared.

Ellie changed quickly, put on a pair of sweats, a tank top, and running shoes. She needed fresh air and time away from the dorm, certain she wouldn’t be missed. She tried not to feel self-pity. She’d assumed the job would have kept her busier and maybe have been rewarding. Instead she suffered loneliness and depression. She tucked her MP3 player into the front of her bra and shoved her ID card there too since she didn’t have pockets. She left her room and started to jog in place while she waited for the elevator.

Ellie glanced at her watch when she left the dorm building and took note of the dark sky outside with only a few stars twinkling above. She turned and faced the windows to peer inside at the women who sat on couches laughing together in the living room area. She couldn’t hear what they said but the dozen women she spied on seemed happy.

Happy I’m not there
, she thought grimly. She muttered a curse as she turned her back on the sight. She’d never been a jogger until she’d moved into Homeland. Physical activity helped her deal with her boredom. She broke into a slow run along the sidewalk. The park-like area extended for a great distance along the guarded walls.

Ellie reached into her bra to turn up the volume on her MP3 player until music pounded in her ears. She went through phases with types of music and recently she’d been into heavy metal to fit her mood. She traveled steadily along as the path turned away from the walls and toward the park that contained a large pond. She enjoyed running next to the water.

BOOK: New Species 01 Fury
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