Bound in sin, p.5
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       Bound in Sin, p.5

         Part #3 of Bound series by Lauren DeStefano
 
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Page 5

 

  Malcolm Douglas. Another one of Gabe’s henchmen.

  Guess you couldn’t run fast enough.

  The wolves had caught him, and now they were making him pay.

  “You shouldn’t be here. ” Drake grabbed her arms and turned Paige away from the sight of Malcolm’s bleeding body. “Dammit, I told them to keep you away. ”

  “You also told them not to touch me,” she said, lifting a brow, “so it’s not like they could really stop me. ” Not unless they’d wanted to fight the alpha.

  A muscle flexed in Drake’s jaw. “You don’t need to see–”

  Malcolm started to laugh. “Fool. What you’re doing to me…we’ve done so much more…to her. ”

  Oh, crap. Ice flooded through Paige’s body. Malcolm shouldn’t have said–

  “We sliced her open…” Malcolm snarled out. She glanced over and saw the wildness in his eyes. “Drained her blood while she screamed–”

  Drake lunged for him. His claws wrapped around the vampire’s neck and ripped the skin. “I won’t make death easy for you. ”

  Malcolm just smiled. His fangs were stained with blood. Despite his screams, she knew he didn’t fear death. The guy probably welcomed it.

  Hell…had he been screaming just because he knew that she was in the compound? Had he been trying to draw her down here? So that I’d suffer…and Drake would suffer.

  “Want me to tell you…” Malcolm muttered, “all that we did to her?”

  No. She’d never wanted Drake to hear that story. “Drake!”

  “Get out of here,” Drake ordered without looking at her. His claws sank deeper into Malcolm’s throat. Pretty soon, Malcolm wouldn’t be able to talk at all.

  Paige didn’t move. The screams had pulled her in, but she was staying because… “I can help you!” If Drake would just give her the chance.

  Malcolm was the one still doing the talking. “She was…waiting,” he said, “for you–”

  “Take her out, Heath! Now!” Drake snapped and a fair-haired wolf came her way. His hands closed around her arms, but she jerked against him.

  Paige wasn’t going anywhere. Not yet. “Dammit, Drake, let me–”

  “She was near the lake when we found her…” Malcolm’s blood dripped onto the floor. “You were supposed…to meet her. ”

  Why couldn’t the vampire shut the hell up?

  Drake stiffened at the vampire’s words. “I went to the lake. ”

  Lost Lake. A fitting name.

  She’d lost her own life at that lake.

  “You went later. ” Malcolm’s eyes were bright. He liked power. Craved it. Always had, always would. Right then, despite the claws at his throat and the blood around him, Malcolm had the power.

  And she had a stake in her boot. So if she could just get away from Handsy Heath, she’d use it and make sure Malcolm never hurt another human again.

  The way he hurt me.

  “Your alpha…” Malcolm growled, “he made sure you went late…to that little rendezvous…”

  His words caused Drake’s hold to loosen, just a bit, but the Malcolm’s revelation didn’t surprise Paige. She’d learned this truth long ago.

  The old alpha, Jeremiah Quintock, hadn’t wanted a human in his pack. He’d thought wolves were far too superior to humans. But Drake had wanted her to be his mate, and he’d been determined to bring Paige into the pack, and it hadn’t mattered to him who he pissed off.

  Drake had thought he was safe because he was the next in line to be alpha. One day, he’d lead the Alaska wolves. He’d known that, even when they’d dated. So he hadn’t thought anyone in the pack would deny him the mate he’d chosen.

  But Jeremiah hadn’t wanted the next alpha to have a human at his side.

  So he’d sent me to die.

  She saw the shock on the faces of the wolves around her. Even Heath eased his grip on her. What? Had they all really not known that old jackass Jeremiah had been dealing with the vamps for years?

  Because Jeremiah had a taste for blood, too. A taste for blood and death and screams and pain. Not the best image when the werewolves in the pack were trying to show that they were more than beasts.

  But Jeremiah had sure liked to play with his prey.

  The vamps had gotten rid of the bodies for Jeremiah, and he’d gotten to pretend he was an evolved, strong alpha.

  An agreement, of sorts, had been reached between Jeremiah and the vamps. But, sooner or later, all good and evil deals came to an end.

  Jeremiah was dead. The old truce was gone. Now the vamps were looking to take back what they thought of as theirs.

  Their land. Their power.

  “You’re lying,” Drake snarled at the vamp. He’d yanked Malcolm right off the table, easily snapping the restraints that had held the guy. Drake lifted the vamp into the air, and Malcolm didn’t even try to break free. He just hung limply, laughing.

  “Ask her…” Malcolm said, choking a bit on blood. “She begged…for you. ”

  Bastard.

  He’d enjoyed it so much when she begged.

  I stopped begging. Stopped crying. Stopped letting him enjoy her pain. In the end, she’d been the stronger one. Damn him, she’d been stronger.

  Heath’s hands slackened even more on her. She yanked away from him. “Vamps use distraction as their number one attack method. ” That’s what Malcolm was trying to do then. Why didn’t the wolves realize what was happening? “He wants to buy time, to give the others a chance to regroup and come in again for an attack. ”

  Paige inched forward as the wolves glanced around the room. She just needed to get within striking distance. Almost…there.

  Drake swung his gaze back to her. “You weren’t at the lake. ”

  Paige could still smell the lake. That long ago day, the polar night had ended. The darkness had faded and the sunlight had just been about to come her way. Everything had been fresh. New.

  She and Drake had wanted to see the sun together.

  Then start their lives together.

  She’d gone to Lost Lake early because she’d been so excited. She hadn’t cared about what Drake was. She’d just loved him.

  When she’d heard the twig snap and the rustle in the bushes, she’d thought it was him. She’d spun around with a smile on her face.

  Hello, little wolf whore.

  “No,” she whispered through numb lips as the past and the present fought in her mind, “I wasn’t at the lake. ”

  Drake’s claws dug into Malcolm’s neck. More blood flowed. “I waited for you,” Drake told her, sounding lost. She’d been lost, for so long. His eyes were still on her as he said, “I waited for hours. But you never came. You left me. You couldn’t stand what I was. ”

  A few more steps, and she’d be at his side. “I left,” Paige agreed softly. Wasn’t that what she wanted him to know?

  “She screamed,” Malcolm gasped out the words. Damn him. Shut up. Only he wasn’t shutting up. He was saying… “Jeremiah had taken you too far away…and you couldn’t hear her. We cloaked our scents, so you never knew we were…at that lake. Then the old alpha came…because he wanted to make sure…she died…”

  You won’t tempt the boy again. Jeremiah’s vow to her. He’d met up with the vamps. In some God-forsaken cabin. A place that had reeked of death and fear.

  But by the time he’d gotten there, she’d stopped screaming. She’d realized her screams were only building the excitement for the vamps. They got off on her pain.

  So the tears had streaked silently down her cheeks, but she’d stopped crying out. Her lips had clamped together. She’d bit through them to hold back her cries.

  Jeremiah had come to kill her. She’d understood that instantly. He’d wanted to be the one to send her to the grave. Personally. Because she’d dared to try and taint his pack with her human blood.

  But Gabe…oh, Gabe, he’d alw
ays been so smart. He’d known that Jeremiah wouldn’t be around forever, and with Drake growing bigger and stronger every day…

  A new alpha’s taking over. When he rises, I’ll have what he wants most. Gabe had whispered those words to her. Then kissed her tears away. Don’t be afraid, love. You’re not dying…yet.

  “I wasn’t at the lake,” she said again as she tried to push the past back into the dark hole in her mind. Drake needed to remember her leaving him. He had to be strong. He couldn’t have a weakness.

  Gabe was counting on his weakness.

  She blinked. Why were her cheeks wet? Dammit, she was crying, and the wolves were all staring at her, dead silent.

  As silent as she’d been when Jeremiah had raked his claws down her arm. Then her side.

  But Gabe had stopped him before the bastard could rip out her heart.

  “She’s not yours to kill, Jeremiah. ” Gabe’s taunting voice still haunted her mind. “She’s ours now. ”

  “We didn’t turn her right away. ” Malcolm’s body trembled and his voice shook. “She…got away from us…gave us quite a chase…”

  Didn’t Drake get it? Malcolm was wasting time with this story. Distracting them all.

  Making Drake weak.

  Because Gabe wanted Drake to be weak, distracted…broken when the real attack came.

  She remembered the desperate time she’d spent running. She’d fled through the snow. Hitchhiked. Gotten as far from Alaska as she could.

  Hello, Florida.

  But Gabe had always been chasing her. He hadn’t planned to let her go. Not when she could be such a valuable tool in his battle.

  She’d never called Drake after she escaped. Never so much as spoken his name again. Why? Because Jeremiah had still been there, still wielding his power, and if she’d tried to get close to Drake again…

  The old scars on her body seemed to burn.

  Her heartbeat thudded in her ears. Fast. So fast.

  “All vampires aren’t sick pricks like him,” she spoke quietly, but her voice filled the room. “There are others out there who are different. They’re good. ” They’d found her. Hurt. Wild. So desperate after her change. And they’d helped her.

  I won’t drink from a human. She’d been starving because she refused to drink. But she hadn’t wanted to attack another person, hadn’t trusted herself to stop once she sank her teeth into prey.

  Gabe had told her that she wouldn’t be able to pull back after she had her first taste of blood.

  “Once you taste the blood, it’ll drive you wild. You’ll do anything to get more. You’ll drain humans, one after the other, and leave their bodies in your wake. ”

  His promise to her, right after he’d turned her. He’d leaned close, pressed a kiss to her cheek and said, “Then you’ll be just like me. ”

  Never.

  Drake had dropped Malcolm. The vamp lay sprawled on the floor while her werewolf stared at her with a face gone white. No, he shouldn’t be like this. She hadn’t ever wanted him to know all the secrets she carried.

  “Paige…” Her name was a ragged sound of pain, torn from Drake.

  And Malcolm–his eyes were on her. On her, then Drake. No, not just on Drake…on his neck.

  Malcolm’s smile said he knew what she’d done.

  After resisting for so long, she’d broken down and taken blood from a live source, from him. The one who mattered the most.

  “Guess I am a monster,” she told Malcolm, then she lunged forward. No one tried to stop her. They couldn’t. She was too fast then.

  In an instant, she had the stake out.

  And Malcolm was attacking, too. Not an attack at her, but one aimed at Drake.

  He was distracting you. She’d tried to warn him, but Drake had been too busy listening to Malcolm’s twisted tale. The vamp slashed out with his claws, going for Drake’s back.

  Only she got to Malcolm first. Paige shoved the stake into his chest. “Go to hell, bastard,” she snarled. He’d sure done his best to drag her there and–

  Malcolm ripped the stake right out of his chest. “Missed…heart…bitch…”

  Oh, crap.

  “I won’t miss,” Drake promised as he yanked her back. Then he attacked, slamming his body into Malcolm’s. And, no, he didn’t miss because one powerful swipe of the razor sharp claws that sprang from Drake’s fingers–well, one swipe took Malcolm’s head.

  And the vampire went to hell.

  The silence in the room was deafening then. All the wolves stood, as still as statues, watching her. Waiting.

  After one glance, she didn’t look at Malcolm again. Her stomach was twisting, her hands shaking. She wanted the nightmare to just end, but for her and for Drake, the end was still too far away. The nightmare wouldn’t stop, not yet.

  Not until Gabe was the one on the floor, stone dead.

  She should say something. Anything. But…

  Her shoulders hunched as Paige turned away. The scent of blood seemed to burn her nostrils, and she just needed to get out of there.

  Away from the blood and death. Escape. She hadn’t known real freedom in so long, and she was so tired of being surrounded by death.

  Constantly.

  Paige shoved the shifters out of her way. Drake called out to her. She didn’t glance back, and she sure as hell didn’t stop. She’d talk with him–later.

  Not now.

  I wasn’t at the lake.

  Her words had been so hollow because, yes, she’d been at Lost Lake. She’d kept her promise to Drake.
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