Bound in sin, p.3
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       Bound in Sin, p.3

         Part #3 of Bound series by Lauren DeStefano
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Page 3


  “Fire!” Someone shouted even as she caught the scent of smoke drifting in the air.

  Then they were shoving open the front doors and hurrying into the darkness that waited outside of the main house. She saw the flames then, rising quickly, burning right up that thick wall that surrounded their compound. Red and gold flames, burning in a world of snow.

  Paige stumbled to a stop even as the wolves fought the blaze. They had buckets of water. Hoses. The water blasted at the flames, but the fire kept attacking all around the compound walls. To the left. To the right.

  “You can’t escape me. ” Gabe’s words rang in her ears. He’d warned her of this, so many times. He’d said, “I’ll find you and destroy anyone who gets in my way. ”

  Someone bumped into her and Paige jerked, then she realized–I can’t just stand here. She’d seen this type of attack before. It was Gabe’s specialty. Distract and conquer. He’d been using this technique for centuries.

  Gabe…or rather, Gabriel, had been born long ago, in the midst of battles and carnage. War was what he knew, what he craved.

  When it came to fighting strategies, he liked to think he was a master. The pureblood vamp was always plotting and planning.

  The wolves didn’t realize that this was just a trick. They were scattering. Each going to a different spot to fight the flames. Each–vulnerable.

  “Stop!” Paige screamed.

  No one listened to her.

  More water. More fire.

  “Stop! They’re coming for you!” An attack that had been planned for far too long. She ran forward and grabbed the arm of one woman, a chick with long red hair. “They’re coming!”

  The woman spun around and her eyes widened. “Vampire. ”

  Yes, she was. “And more of my kind are coming. Move away from the walls! Get ready. ”

  Because Gabe didn’t fight fair. He never had.

  Thunder rumbled. Someone screamed. No, no, that wasn’t thunder. In the wild confusion of the fire, that was someone shooting. A man fell to the ground as blood covered the snow behind him.

  Gabe always planned so well.

  She looked up, her gaze flying along the length of the burning walls. There, to the left. Covered in darkness, she could just see the outline of the shooter.

  Only…he wasn’t the only one up there.

  Paige pushed the woman away. “Get back!” Paige yelled because she knew those guns would be loaded with silver bullets. The fire was just the bait. Carefully placed and targeted to draw out the wolves…

  So they could be taken out easier.

  She raced forward and leapt up that wall. As a human, she never would have been able to make that climb. The wall was at least fifteen feet high. As a vamp–

  Two seconds. That was all it took.

  The gunman turned on her. Fired.

  The silver bullet tore right through her shoulder. She gasped at the pain, and, somewhere below her, she heard a roar. “Try…harder,” Paige gritted out to the shooter as she snatched the gun from him. Then she shot him, right in the heart.

  He fell off the wall, tumbling down below.

  The vamp wouldn’t be dead, not from a silver bullet hit. He’d just be stunned for a while.

  More gunshots. More screams.

  She whirled around, balancing easily on top of the wall. More vamp shooters had positioned themselves, carefully hiding away from the flames. But the wolves were seeing them now. They were launching at the vamps, trying to take them out.

  They just had to take them out faster.

  Because there was blood on the ground. Injured shifters crying out in pain. And vamps were always attracted to that blood…

  Her fangs burned in her mouth as they stretched and sharpened. An instinctive response to the scent of blood. She hurried along the wall’s edge, being careful to stay away from those flames. She had her eyes on another gunman. That jerk waited just five feet away, aiming down below. Her gaze darted to the right as she tracked his target. The vamp was–

  Aiming at Drake.

  No! Drake was rushing toward her, not even looking over at the gunman. “Get down!” She yelled at Drake, and she slammed her body into the vamp’s.

  His gun fired. The bullet thundered as it exploded from the weapon.

  The vampire laughed. “Got the alpha. Fuckin’ got him in the heart!”

  She drove her fist into his jaw. She heard bones snap and wasn’t sure if that snapping was from the breaking of her own fingers or his jaw.

  Her gaze lifted and flew to the area below. “Drake!” He was on the ground. Not moving.

  The vamp’s gun had fallen into the snow near the bottom of the wall. Didn’t matter. She could deal with this jerk. He’d shot Drake. She grabbed for the stake that she kept in her left boot, strapped to her ankle. The vamp was twisting and fighting, and the ledge of the wall was barely a foot across and–

  They both tumbled off the wall–falling not toward the inside of the compound, with the werewolves, but back outside.

  When they hit the ground, Paige landed on top of the vamp. Even with the snow to cushion them, the thud of the impact shook through her body.

  When she sucked in a deep breath, the vampire drove his knee into her stomach.

  “Bitch,” the vamp snarled. But he wasn’t just any vamp. Henry DeVeau. She knew him. Had always hated the prick. He liked to torture his victims. The way he’d tortured her. Henry was Gabe’s number one attack vamp. A sadistic bastard who deserved to burn forever.

  “You thought you’d be safe,” Henry spat the words at her as he punched out with his ham-like fists. “You thought he’d save you, but–”

  “No,” Paige gasped out because, what did she have to lose now? No one else would hear what she said to Henry. The wolves were too busy fighting the flames and the other shooters. “I thought I’d save him. ” Because she’d known that Gabe’s attack on the wolves was coming. She’d known that he was going after Drake.

  So I wanted to be at Drake’s side, to keep him safe.

  The bargain she’d made hadn’t been about her protection, not really. It had been about his.

  But she’d failed him. After only a few damn minutes, she’d failed.

  Henry’s thick brow lowered in confusion. “What? You–”

  She had the stake in her hand. She rushed forward–and drove it into Henry’s heart. “I loved him,” she whispered as she twisted that stake. She had once loved him more than anything else in this world, but Henry and Gabe had taken Drake from her. Then, and now. “So you burn, asshole, burn. ”

  Blood dripped from Henry’s mouth, and she saw the light fade from his eyes as the bastard took his last gasp of breath.

  And she smiled. A cold puff of air appeared near her face. She was still breathing. Henry would never breathe again.

  The other vamps were racing away now, disappearing into the surrounding woods as quickly as they could–and vamps could run so very fast.

  Time to chase.

  She’d shown her true allegiance, and if she didn’t give chase, they’d all be coming for her head–or her heart.

  Paige yanked up her stake. Barely glanced at the blood on the wood and–

  Hard arms wrapped her around. She lifted her weapon, ready to take another heart herself.

  But Drake stared down at her. His face was stark white, and his eyes glowed with the power of his beast.

  His wolf wasn’t the only one straining for freedom. Some of the others had already shifted. Paige could hear wolf howls now as the beasts hunted the vampires. Big, furry beasts raced over the snow.

  When had they shifted? She hadn’t even noticed. She’d been too intent on killing Henry. On getting vengeance because he’d shot Drake.

  “Got the alpha. Fuckin’ got ‘him in in the heart!” Henry had been so certain of his hit. Unlike vampires, wolves couldn’t survive a shot
of silver to the heart.

  So how was Drake still alive?

  Her gaze dropped to his chest. A chest he’d clawed open–to get the bullet out.

  Oh, damn. That was just brutal.

  “I thought you were dead. ” His voice was guttural. His hands locked around her shoulders and pulled her against him. “I saw you go over the wall…”

  She shook her head. Her body was trembling. He’s alive. “I-I was just trying to stop him. I didn’t want him to–”

  Drake’s lips took hers. Not gentle. Not soft.

  Hard. Wild. Rough.

  There was desperation in his kiss, and so much lust.

  The sounds of the wolves were all around them. The thudding of their paws on the snow. The howls that broke the night.

  It was cold out there, bitterly cold, but she barely felt the ice around her. Right then, she was burning hot.

  Drake lifted his head. Stared down at her. “Don’t ever do that again. ”

  Um, that wasn’t a promise she could make. She’d keep fighting, until the threats to him were gone. She wasn’t the running type, not anymore.

  He kept a tight hold on her, smearing his blood over her clothes, and he turned to face the wolves who’d gathered around them. Smoke drifted in the air, but most of the flames were out, for now.

  “Find them,” he shouted. “Hunt them!”

  Some wolves were already in the woods, hunting. But vampires were good hunters, too.

  “Find them,” Drake said again, and his voice cut through the night, “and kill them. ”

  The wolves howled.

  Paige knew that the final war between the vampires and werewolves had begun.

  Chapter Four

  She could have fucking died.

  Drake pulled Paige through the main house, making sure not to let her go, not even for an instant. The woman wasn’t getting away from him, hell, no.

  When he’d looked up and seen her on that wall, with that vampire bastard attacking her…

  He’d roared her name.

  Then the vamp had shot him. The silver had burned, ripping and tearing through him as he fell to the ground. When Drake had looked up again, it had been to see Paige tumbling right over the edge of the wall.

  Drake rounded the corner and shoved open the door that led to his quarters.

  “Drake, look, I–”

  In an instant, he spun on her. “You knew they were attacking. ”

  Did she look paler than before? It seemed so. Even the red of her lips had faded to a light pink. She stared up at him and gave a slow nod.

  Shit. Why couldn’t she have lied? He didn’t want to know that she’d set him up.

  Because then he’d have to punish her.

  He headed to the left. He had blood on his hands, and he’d already smeared that blood on her. When he touched her again, he wanted his hands clean.

  All he could smell was blood. His blood. The blood of the wolves who’d been attacked. The blood of the bastard she’d staked. And…

  Her blood.

  She’d seemed paler than before.

  He whirled back to face her. As she stumbled, he picked her up and held her close against his chest. She’s a vampire, but she can still die. The scent of her blood was too strong. “Where’s the wound?”

  She lifted her arm to her shoulder. Her hair had fallen forward, covering the injury, and he swept the mane back, then cursed at the sight of her flesh.

  A bullet had torn through her shoulder.

  Why the hell wasn’t she healing? Vampires usually healed fast enough when they were injured.

  She wasn’t healing.

  He took her into his bathroom. Put her down next to the shower that could easily hold three people, though he only preferred an intimate two. Then he tore open her shirt and tossed away the scraps of material so that he could see her wound.

  But…it wasn’t the only wound that he found on her body. There were faint white lines on her flesh, snaking up her stomach. Sliding down her left arm. Scars. Old injuries.

  Vampires didn’t scar. Those marks…she must have gotten them while she was still human.

  He knelt on the marble tile so that his eyes were level with hers. “What happened to you?”

  She bit her lip and glanced away. Then, voice whisper-soft, Paige said, “Nothing that matters now. ”

  Every single thing about her mattered.

  He put his hand on her shoulder, being careful not to touch the bloody wound. She still flinched.

  Because he’d hurt her…or because he’d touched her? She’d once begged for his touch. But that had been long ago.

  Another damn life.

  Locking his back teeth, Drake gritted, “Why aren’t you healing?”

  She shrugged and still didn’t look him in the eyes.

  He reached behind her and yanked on the water in the shower. The water thundered out in a hot rush and steam began to drift in the air. He didn’t worry about another attack interrupting them, not then. He’d put extra guards on sentry duty. The vamps wouldn’t be getting close again.

  They’d just be dying soon.

  “Too much blood loss can kill a vamp. ” He knew because he’d killed his share that way before. A slow, painful death. Some folks deserved that kind of death.

  Some didn’t.

  The vamps who’d killed his family? They’d deserved every single moment of agony that he’d given to them.

  “It’s almost stopped bleeding,” she told him. “I’ll be all right. ” She glanced toward the water.

  He put his hand on the curve of her waist. “You need blood. ” No way to get around that. She’d been hurt, and she’d bled too much. For a vamp to get her strength back and heal, she’d need to drink.

  “Yeah, well…” She gave a rough laugh that was nothing like the light, happy peal she’d once had, “Something tells me that wolves don’t exactly keep extra blood bags around for the vamp company that comes calling. ”
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