Bound in death, p.5
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       Bound In Death, p.5

         Part #5 of Bound series by Lauren DeStefano
Page 5


  If Jane left, she’d be dead.

  But she wasn’t running. She was staring at Alerac with horror filling her eyes.

  “Jane, come on!” Heath jerked her toward the door.

  Wrong move.

  The guy had probably just bruised her.

  Alerac slowly pulled the knife out of his chest as the smoke drifted from the wound. “You don’t know anything about my kind,” he said to the doctor. The knife hit the floor. He didn’t need that weapon. Razor sharp claws burst from his fingertips. “But you will, human. I promise, you will. ”

  Heath dragged Jane through the broken door. She’d caught sight of Alerac’s claws. And, judging by the fear flying across her face, she hadn’t been prepared to see them.

  The woman looked as if she’d never seen a werewolf’s claws before.

  Fuckin’ Lorcan. He’d done this to her. Taken away her past. Destroyed her memories.

  “Run, Jane, hurry!” Heath’s shout.

  Alerac followed them to the doorway. The sound of approaching engines could be heard clearly now. Those growls were too close. “Go with him,” Alerac called, “and he’ll turn on you. ”

  Jane’s breath panted out, but she pulled away from Heath. Whirled back to face Alerac.

  “Trust me. ” He wanted her to come to him. To take that step. Willingly.

  But Jane shook her head. “I don’t know you. ”

  Then she jumped into her truck. Heath was already inside, sitting next to the passenger door. Jane floored the vehicle. It lurched forward.

  Heath glanced back. Flipped him the middle finger.

  A low whistle came from the Alerac’s right. “I guess we get to kill that human, huh?” Liam. Alerac had known that the wolf waited just outside the building. Liam hadn’t attacked because Alerac had told him to stand down.

  But now…that human…

  “He’s a dead man. ” Alerac lifted his hand to his chest. His heart hurt, but it would heal.

  With his shift.

  The shift that was already pulsing through him.

  Jane wasn’t getting away, and he wouldn’t fight the men who thought to take her in human form.

  No, for their crime, they’d face his beast.

  And they’d all die.


  “Turn left,” Heath’s words snapped out, and Jane automatically yanked the wheel to the left. The truck heaved, then jerked into the narrow gap between two buildings.

  Her white-knuckled grip on that steering wheel never eased as Jane spared a fast glance for Heath. “Did you see his hands? And why was he burning when you hit him with the bat?”

  “Because it was silver. And because he’s a freaking werewolf. ”

  A werewolf. “What?” She slammed on the brakes. The pick-up shuddered to a stop.

  “Don’t stop! Keep driving!” Heath glanced over his shoulder. “He’s going to come after us. I heard that once a werewolf gets your scent, he doesn’t lose it. He’ll track us—now shove down that damn gas pedal!”

  No, she wasn’t moving. Wasn’t going anywhere. “How do you even know about werewolves?”

  Vampires were real. Okay, they had to be real. Because she was a vampire. But werewolves?

  Her head was throbbing, the temples feeling like they were ready to burst.

  “I know because after I found you, I did some checking. ” He was sweating. And she could see the pulse beating frantically along his throat. “I was trying to help you, Jane. That’s all I’ve ever wanted, since the first moment I found you. ”

  She stared at him as the truck’s engine idled. Heath. Her only real friend in this messed up world. “You’re the first thing I remember. ” She’d been walking, lost, slipping and falling her way through the swamp. The sun had been rising. She’d been so weak that her whole body shuddered.

  I’ve got you.

  He’d been there. Wrapping a blanket around her skin. Protecting her. Helping her

  A doctor. Out in the swamp on his afternoon off from work. Poor guy. He’d probably never expected to find someone like her.

  Someone who’d been starving. But not for food.


  He’d given her transfusion after transfusion in his small, isolated office. He’d realized she was…different.

  Heath had protected her before she’d even realized that she needed protecting.

  He’d even been the one to get her the job at Wylee’s. She didn’t have any paperwork, no Social Security card or driver’s license—Jane had nothing. Hell, she’d even had to pick out her own name.

  But Heath had called in some favors that Hannah owed him, and she’d been able to get paid under the table. And been able to survive.

  “You trust me, don’t you, Jane?” He asked her. Heath’s hand rose. He brushed back the hair that had fallen over her left eye.

  His hand was slightly cool. Not as hot as the—the werewolf’s had been.

  “Do you trust me?” Heath pushed.

  She nodded. “I do. ” As soon as he’d realized what a freak of nature she truly was, Heath could have turned her over to the cops. To the government. But he hadn’t. He’d said others would hurt her. That they had to find a way to protect her.

  Hiding in plain sight had been that way.

  He smiled. “Good. Now slam your foot down on that gas. You can’t ever let that werewolf take you. Not ever, do you hear me, Jane? He’s too dangerous. ”

  She put her foot down on the gas.

  “His name is Alerac O’Neill. ”

  Yes, he’d told her that.

  “He’s a killer, and his prey of choice? The prey he takes down the most?” Heath swallowed. She heard the small click of sound easily in the truck’s interior. “According to the stories I’ve heard, the guy always hunts vampires. ”

  Like he was hunting her.

  The truck lunged forward. But before she could make the next turn up ahead, two big SUVs shot out, and they blocked her path.

  “They’re here. Hell, yes,” Heath muttered, sounding incredibly relieved.

  She didn’t exactly feel the same relief. “Who is ‘they’? Tell me, now. ”

  Alerac had told her that others were coming. He’d said that she needed to run from them.

  “These guys can help you,” Heath told her as he reached for his door. “I told them to meet us back there at the old bar. But he got there first. ”

  Men were climbing out of those SUVs. She counted at least eight of them. They were big, tough-looking. All wore black. All also had fierce, hard expressions on their faces.

  A shiver slid over her.

  No weapons. They don’t have weapons.

  But one man was holding a duffel bag.

  Before she could stop him, Heath jumped from the truck. He rushed toward those men. “She’s here. ” He pointed back toward Jane as she sat, motionless, behind the staring wheel.

  She forced herself to climb from the truck. Jane stared at those men as her stomach twisted. Were they human? It was strange that she should even have that question. Before that night, she’d thought that she was the only paranormal out there.

  Before a werewolf came to her and changed the world around her.

  “We have to hurry,” Heath said as he glanced nervously around the area. “The alpha wolf is on her trail already. ”

  Alpha wolf?

  Two of the men shared a hard share and a nod. Then, as if the others had been waiting for that small signal, they all pulled out weapons—guns.

  Jane grabbed tightly to the truck’s driver-side door. It was open, and it was a shield for her body, in case those men decided to shoot her.

  “Come on, Jane!” Heath was already climbing into the SUV on the right. He’d snatched up the duffel bag.

  What was in that bag?

  “Why are you pointing your guns at me?” Jane shouted to the men,
not about to “come” any place then without an explanation. “What’s happening here?”

  The men didn’t speak. They also didn’t lower their weapons.


  “They aren’t pointing them at you. At least not yet. ”

  His voice. The werewolf.

  Then she felt his hand on her shoulder. A warm weight. She’d never even heard Alerac walking up behind her.

  “They’re aiming at me right now. ”

  The breath left her body in a hard exhale. Yeah, vampires still breathed. At least, she did. She breathed. Her heart beat. And she feared—fear seemed to be consuming her.

  “Get away from the woman!” This shout came from the man in black who’d just hurried forward. A man who spoke with a clipped British accent.

  A man who’d just flashed fangs.

  “Now you know that’s not happening,” Alerac shouted back. The werewolf’s arms wrapped tightly around her. He’d been stabbed in the heart moments before. How was he with her now? How was he just walking around? “But if you and your little gang of bloodsuckers don’t get out of here, you’ll all be dead in the next minute. ”

  He pushed her behind his back.

  Protecting her?

  No, surely he wasn’t.

  Yet it seemed he was.

  “She’s mine, and I’m not letting her go. ” His strong voice carried easily in the night. “So run to your hole and tell Lorcan to back the fuck off. ”

  “We do not run!” The man yelled.

  “Fine. ” Alerac shrugged. “Then you can die. Because my pack has you surrounded right now. ”

  And, as if on perfect cue, a series of howls filled the night. Bloodcurdling, fierce, terrifying.

  The men—vampires—began to edge back toward the waiting SUVs.

  “Want to see who wins in this fight?” Alerac asked, the words a dark taunt. “Because I’m betting my wolves can take out you and your new bloods in less than five minutes. ”

  She peered around Alerac. The, ah, new bloods, were definitely backing up. Some had already jumped into the SUVs.

  But that one man—the guy who seemed to be the leader—he hadn’t moved. He was still standing there, aiming his gun at Alerac.

  “I’m not supposed to return without her. ” She could see more of his face now. Hard edges, but a weak jaw. His hair was thick, pushed back from his high forehead. His gaze—it looked as dark as the night—turned to her. He stared at her, then said, “Attack. ”

  The word was low, and it took her a few seconds to realize that the British guy—the guy who Heath had said was there to help—had actually just given the order for his men to attack her.

  Lucky for her, only half of the men attacked. Half ran. The running half jumped into the SUV, the one already occupied by Heath, and they tore out of there.

  Alerac spun toward her. He wrapped his arms around her and shielded her with his body. The bullets started flying. Jane could smell his blood. Could hear the impact as the bullets hit him. Sank into him.

  “Wooden,” he muttered. “SOBs were plannin’ to use wooden bullets on you. ”

  And she also heard growls. Howls. The fast thud of—of—

  Alerac released her as men screamed.

  She looked over and saw that the vampires were under attack. Wolves, giant, hulking wolves, had gone after the vampires.

  Even as his blood dripped onto the ground, Alerac headed into that fray. “You’re dying, vampire. ”

  As she watched, Alerac fell to the ground. But when his hands hit the pavement, they weren’t hands any longer.

  They were paws. Long, dark, sharp claws sprang from those paws.

  Bones snapped and popped.

  The vampire leader tried to fire at Jane again, but his gun just clicked. The vamp spun away, rushing for the closest SUV, but he never made it.

  A big, snarling black wolf launched at him.

  The vamp screamed.

  The sound was cut off.

  More howls filled the air.

  She wanted to cover her ears. Wanted to pretend that a massacre wasn’t happening just feet away from her.

  Humans had to be close enough to hear those sounds. Those howls. The screams. The police would come. Right?

  She stumbled back. Her hip hit the metal of her truck. Get in. Get away. She started to climb inside.

  “Sorry, love, but you aren’t leaving him again. ”

  Another man was there—another man who’d moved too dang quietly. He grabbed her arms, pulled her close. Thanks to her enhanced senses, she could see him clearly in the darkness. She stared into his eyes. Golden. Angry. “He’s killing for you. The least you can do is hang around and watch the blood. ” His smile was cruel. “I thought your kind liked the blood. ”

  Her stomach was cramping. Nausea rising in her throat. No, she didn’t like the blood. She hated it. The first time she’d actually tried to drink it, she’d vomited. She craved the blood and despised it at the same time.

  Yes, she was screwed up. She knew it.

  “Please,” Jane whispered. “I just want to go home. ”

  His eyelids flickered. The man before her was handsome, far too perfect, with even features. He had thick brown hair and angry eyes. Such incredibly angry eyes. His rage seemed completely directed at her. He scared her. They all did.

  What was new?

  She was a vampire. She should have been able to make others fear. She couldn’t.

  “Don’t worry. He’ll take you home. ”

  The words sounded like a threat.

  Probably because they were.

  There were no more screams then. The silence penetrated her awareness. She looked back over her shoulder.

  The wolves bent over their fallen prey. The vampires were dead. So much blood soaked the pavement.

  And the black wolf, the biggest beast there, was stalking toward her. His green eyes glowed—glowed with that same startling intensity that she’d seen back at the old bar.
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