Deeper than midnight, p.42
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       Deeper Than Midnight, p.42

         Part #9 of Midnight Breed series by Lara Adrian
Page 42


  Tegan eyed him grimly. "How long do you think Chase would have been able to keep his Bloodlust at bay? Whether he's in human custody or loose on the streets, his thirst owns him. He's lost and he knows that. He knew it when he walked out that door this morning. He had nothing left to lose. "

  Lucan grunted. "And now he's sitting in police custody somewhere, surrounded by humans. He might have spared us from discovery today, but what if his thirst gets the best of him and he ends up exposing the existence of all the Breed? One moment of heroism could undo centuries of secrecy. "

  Tegan's expression was coldly sober. "I guess we'll have to trust him. "

  "Trust," Lucan said. "That's a currency he's come up short on more than once lately. "

  Unfortunately, right now, they didn't have a lot of choice in the matter. Dragos had demonstrated quite effectively just how far he was willing to take his enmity toward the Order. He had no regard for life, human or his own kind, and as of today he'd shown that he would take their power struggle out of the shadows and into the open. It was dangerous ground, with impossibly high stakes.

  And it was personal now. Dragos had crossed a line here, and there would be no going back.

  Lucan glanced to Gideon. "It's time. Hit the detonators. Let's get this done. "

  The warrior gave a slight nod and turned his attention back to his handheld computer.

  "Ah, fuck me," he muttered, the traces of his British accent punctuating the curse. "Here we go then. "

  The three Breed males stood side by side in the crisp, cold darkness. Above them the sky was clear and cloudless, endless black, pierced with stars. Everything was still, as if the earth and heavens had frozen in time, suspended in that instant between the silence of a perfect winter night and the first low rumble of the destruction unfolding roughly three hundred feet beneath the warriors' boots. It seemed to carry on forever, not some great bombastic spectacle of furious noise and spewing fire and ash, but a quiet, yet thorough, annihilation.

  "The living quarters have been sealed," Gideon reported somberly as the thunder began to ebb. He touched the screen of his handheld device and another series of deep growls rolled from far below the snow-covered ground. "The weapons room, the infirmary . . . both gone now. "

  Lucan didn't allow himself to dwell on the memories or the history that was housed in the labyrinth of rooms and corridors being systematically exploded with a touch of Gideon's finger on that tiny computer screen. It had taken more than a hundred years to build the compound into what it had become. He couldn't deny that it put a cold ache in his chest to feel it being pulled down so neatly.

  "The chapel has been sealed," Gideon said, after pressing the digital detonator another time. "All that remains is the tech lab. "

  Lucan heard the slight catch in the warrior's low voice. The tech lab was Gideon's pride, the nerve center of the Order's operation. It was where they'd assembled and strategized before every night's mission. It took no effort at all for Lucan to see his brethren's faces, a fine group of honorable, courageous Breed males gathered around the lab's conference table, each one ready to give his life for the other. Some of them had. And some likely would in the time still to come. As the soft percussion of explosives continued to rumble belowground, Lucan felt a weight settle on his shoulder. He glanced beside him, to where Tegan stood, the warrior's big hand remaining a steady presence, his cool green eyes holding Lucan's gaze in an unexpected show of solidarity, as the last of the thunder faded into silence.

  "That's it," Gideon announced. "That was the last one. It's over now. "

  For a long while, none of them spoke. There were no words. Nothing to be said in the dark shadow of the now-vacant mansion and its ruined compound below. Finally Lucan stepped forward. His fangs bit into the edges of his tongue as he took one last look at the place that had been his headquarters - his family's home - for so many long years. Amber light filled his vision as his eyes transformed in his simmering fury. He pivoted to face his two brethren and when he at last found the words to speak, his voice was harsh and raw with determination. "We may be done here, but this night doesn't mark the end of anything. It's only the beginning. Dragos wants a war with the Order? Then by God, he's damn well got it. "

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