Bound in death, p.21
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       Bound In Death, p.21

         Part #5 of Bound series by Lauren DeStefano
 
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Page 21

 

  The motorcycles roared away.

  The sun hadn’t weakened Jane.

  It looked like she was changing, too.

  He waited until the growl of the motorcycles died away. He’d been watching the main house carefully. He’d seen the activity there.

  The familiar human who’d been dragged inside.

  The human who hadn’t come out. He was sure that Heath had told them all of Liam’s secrets.

  Heath would pay for that.

  Liam surveyed the area. Only a few wolves remained. Alerac must think he’d need his pack’s support in the coming battle, but the alpha should have planned better.

  He should have left more of a defense at home.

  If you didn’t protect what you valued, then you only had yourself to blame when it was destroyed.

  Liam carefully worked his way to the main house, never making a sound, barely breathing.

  Then he slipped in through a back window. He knew every inch of that house. Knew which boards would squeak beneath his feet. Which doors would creak when he opened them.

  There were no squeaks. No creaks.

  He saw the human. Bound. A gag in his mouth. Heath’s eyes widened when he caught sight of Liam. The human started to jerk and twist, and his gaze darted behind Liam’s form.

  Ah, a warning. Interesting.

  He spun around just as Finn charged at him.

  But poor Finn never had a chance. He wasn’t immortal. He hadn’t been gorging on vampire blood for two lifetimes.

  Liam drove his hand into Finn’s chest. Then he pulled out the werewolf’s heart.

  When Finn fell to the floor, Liam was smiling.

  The human whimpered behind his gag.

  Liam dropped the heart. He turned back to his new prey. “Well, well…I guess we meet again. ” There was dried blood on Heath’s neck and shirt. Someone had been drinking from him.

  Taking his memoires?

  Liam already had enough memories in his head. Memories that seemed to tear him apart. Memories from the vampires. From their countless attacks. Again and again. He didn’t even dream anymore—he just saw the memories.

  Endlessly.

  Sometimes, he wasn’t sure if those memories belonged to the vampires he’d killed—or to me.

  His fingers tightened on Heath’s throat. “You were supposed to be working with me. That was why I paid you so much. ”

  Tears filled the man’s eyes. He was muttering frantically behind his gag. Liam narrowed his eyes. “If you try to scream, I’ll rip out your throat. ”

  A desperate nod.

  Liam jerked out the gag.

  “Pl…please…” Heath wheezed. “I can still help you. ”

  And he would. “Where are they?”

  “They went…after Lorcan. ”

  A foolish move. “Alerac actually took Jane to him?” After all he’d done to keep her out of the vamp’s reach?

  “Her brother is d-dying. Lorcan has a cure. ”

  Her brother. The prick Ryan. How many times did I say he needed to lose his head? But Alerac hadn’t listened to him. Alerac never listened to him.

  “Where is Lorcan?”

  “Southside of the mountain. In the blue house, the one with the windows boarded up. ”

  How like a vamp to hide behind boarded windows, cowering from the sun.

  “Is that all you’ve got?” Liam murmured.

  “I-I can help—”

  Liam snapped Heath’s neck. “No, you can die. ” Because the human had failed him too many times already.

  The he glanced around the cabin. He knew what this place was. Alerac’s home for her. Alerac thought to offer the princess a perfect sanctuary.

  They wouldn’t have that.

  He’d destroy them—he’d destroy everything.

  Chapter Ten

  The sun blazed down on them as Alerac and Jane crept toward the blue house. Heavy boards covered the windows. There were no cars outside the structure, no vehicles of any sort.

  The pack had left their motorcycles a few miles away. They hadn’t wanted to alert Lorcan to their approach. Now they closed in on the house, surrounding it from all sides.

  “Where’s Ryan?” Jane whispered as she edged closer to Alerac. She hadn’t caught sight of Ryan or Zoe.

  Alerac’s nostrils flared, as if he were pulling in her brother’s scent. “Heading to the right. Dammit, he’s getting too close to the house. He needs to wait!”

  Ryan wasn’t going to wait for anyone.

  “How many are in the house?” Jane asked. “Can you hear them?”

  “I count five. ” His gaze locked on the front door. But then he frowned. “Five, but I smell…” His eyes widened. “Back!” Alerac roared.

  He grabbed Jane and began running with her.

  Just as the blue house exploded.

  The blast lifted Jane and Alerac both into the air. It tossed them, and then they slammed down into the hard earth.

  She glanced back at the house—only there was no house. Just flames.

  “Ryan?” Jane whispered her brother’s name.

  Zoe ran from the flames. Her clothes were smoking. Blood dripped from a gash on her forehead.

  “Ryan?” Jane jumped to her feet. Alerac tried to stop her, but she wasn’t in the mood to be stopped. “Ryan!”

  Zoe grabbed her hands. “I’m sorry. I tried to pull him back—”

  No, no, this couldn’t happen. They’d gone there to save Ryan.

  She tried desperately to use the mental link that was supposed to be between them.

  But Jane’s mind touched nothing.

  Then she heard laughter. Sick, twisted laughter that seemed to come from the very flames.

  The red and orange flames stretched into the sky. They burned white-hot. She could feel the lance of that heat against her skin.

  She yanked free of Zoe’s hold and followed that laughter. It wasn’t coming from the flames, but from the woods that were behind the house.

  Lorcan stood there. Arms crossed over his chest. A dead werewolf at his feet. And a pale, scared blond woman at his side.

  Though the sun was out, Lorcan certainly didn’t look weak, not in any way.

  “Lorcan. ” Alerac snarled his name with fury and hate.

  Jane could only stare at him. This man—with his perfect looks, his too pale skin, and his icy eyes—he was the one who’d wreaked havoc on her life for so very long.

  Alerac charged toward him.

  “Make the wolf hurt,” Lorcan ordered.

  The blond woman lifted her hand. Then she clenched her fingers into a fist. Alerac fell down, howling as he clawed at his chest.

  Alerac’s men—those still alive—were gathering around them. She could hear bones snapping, and Jane knew they were shifting in preparation for an attack.

  The blonde’s gaze found Jane’s. I’m sorry. The woman mouthed the words.

  “Don’t be,” Jane shouted right back. “Because Lorcan is going to die!”

  She wasn’t going to let Alerac be in pain. She wasn’t just going to stand there. Jane leapt forward, feeling her own claws break from her fingertips even as her fangs burned in her mouth.

  For his crimes, Lorcan would die. And as for the blonde—you’re his witch, aren’t you?—she’d be joining the vampire in hell.

  Lorcan smiled at her. “Want me? Then come get me. ”

  She was.

  She raced toward him, going faster, faster, faster—

  And he was waiting. Not even trying to back away. Grinning and waiting for her attack.

  The witch still had her hand clenched into a fist. Jane didn’t know what kind of spell the woman was working, but—it ends.

  At the last second, right before Jane would have collided with Lorcan, she whirled and took that witch down.

  Because I won’
t let Alerac suffer.

  Jane drove her claws into the woman’s chest. The blond screamed, and her hands opened as she tried to fight Jane.

  “You don’t hurt him,” Jane said as she shoved the woman back into the woods. “No one does. ”

  Then she turned on Lorcan.

  That smile was still in place on his face. Wrong expression, jerk. Didn’t he realize this was when he was supposed to be afraid?

  There was no more snapping of bones behind her. No more howls. A fast and frantic glance showed her that the wolves had shifted, and they stalked forward quickly, surrounding Lorcan.

  No escape.

  Alerac rose from the ground. His breath heaved out as he lunged forward and put himself right next to Jane.

  This was it. The end.

  So why wasn’t Lorcan afraid?

  “You think you’re going to take my head?” Lorcan shook the head in question. “You do underestimate me. ”

  “Your death has been a long time coming,” Alerac told him. “So let’s not wait any more. ”

  His claws flew up and went right for Lorcan’s throat.

  There was still no fear in Lorcan’s eyes.

  Alerac sliced his claws across Lorcan’s neck.

  And Jane fell to the ground. Blood poured from her neck, from a wound that she shouldn’t have. From a wound that matched Lorcan’s.

  Lorcan’s throat was bleeding, but he was still on his feet, and his eyes gleamed with an unholy light.

  “Jane? Jane!” Alerac rushed to her.

  She tried to put her hand over her neck, to stop the flow of blood.

  “Kill him!” Alerac ordered his men. “Do it, now!”

  The wolves leapt forward to attack.

  One wolf sank his teeth into Lorcan’s forearm.

  Jane screamed as phantom teeth tore into her arm.

  “What the hell…?” Alerac stared at her wound with desperate eyes. Then he whirled toward the swarming wolves.

  Phantom teeth sank into her leg. Tore muscles.

  “Stop! Stop the attack!” Alerac bellowed.

  The wolves froze.

  Jane couldn’t get off the ground. Blood soaked her.

  Lorcan was on the ground, too. Covered in just as much blood. His head was turned toward Jane. He was…smiling. Still.

  “I’ve linked us,” he said, the words little more than a whisper, yet she heard him clearly. “You don’t remember, but you accepted the bond. You won’t ever be his, not really, because you are mine. Body and soul, forever. ”

  No, no, this wasn’t right.

  “My pain…is yours. Your life…is mine. ”

  She wanted to deny it, but Jane couldn’t. Not when her injuries were a perfect match to his.

  “Go get that witch!” Alerac pointed to the woods.

  She’d tossed the witch that way, hadn’t she?

  Darkness thickened around Jane.

  “If your wolf, kills…me. Then he kills you…too. ”

  Sick bastard.

  She turned her head. Saw the flames, still shooting into the sky. Her brother had gone into those flames.

  I didn’t get to know him.

  Her heart ached.

  “Jane, it’s going to be all right. ” Alerac was before her. He’d slit his lower arm, and he pushed the blood offering toward her lips. “Just drink from me. ”

  She was hurt badly, she knew it. The wounds should have killed her—and Lorcan.

  Without Alerac’s blood, she would die right there on the ground. So Jane drank. And as she drank, Alerac’s powerful blood healed her.

  It also healed Lorcan.

  Soon he was on his feet, no wounds on his body. Healed too fast, from blood that he’d never tasted.

  “Amazing, isn’t it?” Lorcan murmured. “How some bonds can cut through flesh and be buried in the blood? And that is our bond. Through blood and pain…until death. ”

  Two wolves broke from the woods. The blonde woman was in front of them. She was bleeding, stumbling, but she didn’t look in immediate danger of dying.

  Zoe hurried toward the witch. “You try a spell on me, and I’ll knock your ass out. ”

  The blonde’s head was bowed. “You are already under one spell. Mine will not weaken you anymore than you are—”

  “Did you just say I’m weak?” Zoe leapt for her.

  “Don’t kill her, Zoe. I need the witch alive. ” Alerac’s voice. Flat. Alerac pulled Jane to her feet, then he wrapped his arm around her. Wolves still circled Lorcan, trapping him with their bodies. “You sonofabitch, you think you’ve won, don’t you?”

  Lorcan smirked. “Unless you’re planning to kill the vampiress there, then, yes, I have. ” He rubbed at his neck, at the wound that wasn’t there any longer. “You see, you can’t kill me—not fucking ever—not if you want the one you call Jane to keep walking on this earth with you. ”

  How had he done it? How?

  Magic, witchcraft, terrified Jane.

  And Lorcan pissed her off. “You killed my brother. ”

  A shrug. “He was going to die anyway. The poison had eaten up his insides, and it was starting to play with his mind. ” Lorcan tapped his forehead. “The mind is the weakest part, you know. Once it breaks, there’s no saving the body. Or the soul. ”

  “You don’t have a soul,” she whispered.

  “And you don’t have a life,” he fired back, “not without me. ”

  Alerac’s body felt like stone against hers. She knew he wanted Lorcan’s head. But if he attacked Lorcan, then Alerac would hurt her.

  “You had men in that house,” she said, her mind struggling desperately to find a way out of this nightmare.

  “I had bait in that house. They were expendable. ”

  So cold. Callous.

  “I also have men coming from the woods now. I’d say, Alerac, that you have about one minute to get your pack to safety, and then the silver bullets will start flying. ” Lorcan’s lips twisted. “Ah, didn’t I tell you? I planned for that stupid human to tell you my location—and to tell you about the so-called cure for Ryan. I needed you here. I needed you to bring me Jane. ”
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