Obsession - Page 27

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If someone within the DOD had told the senator where she was, that meant the senator would send another to silence her. The only way to stop this was to take out the senator, and I doubted the DOD would support that idea.

And this letter? Even if it contained a shit ton of information, would it set Serena free of all of this? I didn’t think so. So what did that mean?

Things weren’t looking good for her.

A strange unacquainted pressure settled in my chest like a large stone. I wasn’t sure what to think about all of this, but as I lay there, I didn’t close my eyes. I did what I always did.

I watched her.

Chapter 17

I didn’t realize I’d fallen asleep until something stirred me awake.

I opened my eyes, my senses quickly spiraling to full alert. When I inhaled, it was Serena’s scent that invaded me. Peaches. It made me crave sweets… and her.

At some point in the night, Serena had flipped onto her other side and her body was curved against mine. Namely that lovely, curvy ass of hers was pressed against my groin.

I was hard.

No surprise there, but what was shocking was the arm that was draped over Serena’s waist, holding her securely against me. That was my arm and unless she grabbed it in the middle of the night and forced it around her that was all my doing.

Well, shit.

Even more outrageous was the fact that I actually liked this—whatever this was. Cuddling? Oh hell, this was cuddling.

Spooning to be exact.

I was fucking cuddling.

Slowly removing my arm, I sat up, running a hand through my hair. My gaze crawled over the dark bedroom as I leaned forward, rubbing at the skin under my anklet. Then I heard it—the ring of my cell phone, all the way downstairs.

Cursing under my breath, I eased off the bed. Careful not to wake Serena, I bent and slipped on my jeans. Doubting it was Dex, unless something crazy had gone down, it only left two options.

DOD officers or my brother—the one I claimed.

There was no way that Sin could’ve figured out where Lore was, but concern rapidly grew within me. Picking the cell off the desk, I cursed when I saw the number.

“Do I even want to know why you’re calling me at…”

I turned, finding the wall clock, “After two in the morning?”

There was a pause and then Zombro’s gravelly voice rolled through the cell. “We’re pulling up outside.”

I became very, very still.

“Thanks for the heads up.”

Zombro said nothing and then the call was disconnected. A second or two passed as I stared at the phone. A cold, hard understanding evolved.

There could only be one reason why the officers would show at this hour.

Calmly placing the phone on the desk, I looked around my study. It was sparse—like most of my house. A couch. A smaller TV. Bookshelves filled with historical text that bored the shit out of most. A pile of carved wooden animals.

How long had I lived here?

Since I was twenty-five— for the last six years this had been home.

Leaving the study, I closed the door behind me and went to the entrance. I didn’t give the officers time to knock and wake Serena.

This would be better for her if she just slept through it.

The coldness I’d felt in the study unfurled, spreading like sheets of ice.

Part of me had expected this from the moment the officers had dropped Serena off, had known this was coming.

I held the door open for the officers. “This couldn’t have waited until the morning?”

Richards, the younger of the two, passed Zombro a look that I immediately did not like. I never had a problem with Richards.

Between the two officers, I preferred him, but the man was nervous, especially nervous tonight. The air around him practically bled anxiety.

“Have there been any issues?” Richards asked.

“There’ve been a few, but nothing major.”

I watched Zombro out of the corner of my eye as they walked into the kitchen.

The pockmarked bastard was a problem. “Why right now when neither of you have been in contact with me since I got here?”

Zombro glanced at the stairwell. “We’d figured if you gained any useful information, you would’ve contacted us.” He looked at me, eyes sharp. “Have you?”

I folded my arms. “About what that girl overheard?”

The officer nodded.

Thinking back to the mailbox and what Serena had remembered, I shook my head. “Nothing that would be considered useful at this moment.”

“That’s what we figured,”

Zombro replied. “We’ve come to the conclusion that whatever Miss Cross learned from her friend, it isn’t enough to be useful.”

Oh, it was useful. I just didn’t trust these two douches. Time to cut through the crap. “I’m assuming the DOD has decided what they’re going to do with Serena?”

“Yes.” Zombro frowned as his gaze settled on the two wineglasses in the sink from the previous night.

“She is to be taken care of.”

I took up the space in front of the entrance to the living room, which inevitably led to the stairs…and to Serena.

“And how is that going to play out?”

Richards shifted his weight as his gaze darted around the kitchen nervously, reminding me of a scared squirrel. “Officials have met with the senator, and even though the DOD does not agree with the senator’s actions, there has been an agreement reached.”

“Is that so?”

Zombro smiled tightly.

The gray at the man’s temple had spread, it seemed, since I saw him last. “It’s an unfortunate situation with Miss Cross, and although she hasn’t been a true security risk yet, we cannot chance any knowledge leaking out into the public.”

“Huh,” I murmured, and that iciness was in every limb now, seeping into the room. “So you’ve decided to let the Luxen silence her? Seems like a waste of time to even hide her if the government was just going to bow to them anyway.

You should have let me know that before I killed the Luxen they sent yesterday.”

Richards visibly swallowed. “I thought there weren’t any major problems?”

“It wasn’t major,”

I replied evenly, sliding each man a cool, calculated look. “Luxen came. Luxen died.”

“We are not bowing to them,”

Zombro said, cheeks darkening. “They had a good point. It was the method in which they sought to carry it out that was wrong.”

“Yeah, in other words, the DOD is losing control of the Luxen every day.

Before you know it, Earth will be their bitch.”

Zombro’s eyes narrowed. “That is not the case.”

I smirked. “So, you guys are here to take care of her?”

“Yes,”

answered Zombro.

“That’s kind of fucked up, don’t you think?”

“Kind of an odd comment coming from you.” Zombro’s chin went up a notch. “Since when did Arum think anything is fucked up?”

I slowly unfolded my arms and shrugged.

“Or do you want to finish her off?” Zombro sneered.

“I know humans don’t do much for you, but you can get something off her.

You’d probably even enjoy it, right?” His revolted gaze did nothing for me. “Have at her.”

“Thanks for the offer.”

Richards cleared his throat. “It’s not anything personal. And either way, she won’t feel a thing. It will be over before she knows it, and her family and friends will be advised of her untimely death.”

“And her death will ensure that the truth of alien races inhabiting Earth remains a secret and blah, blah bullshit?” I laughed.

“You guys have no idea.

Every time the Luxen flex their will and succeed, it’s one more nail in your coffin.”

“Enough of this.”

Zombro’s hand went to his hip—to his service gun.

Lead bullets wouldn’t kill me, but it would most definitely slow my happy ass down. “Where is she?”

I thought about Serena, upstairs sleeping in my bed, wearing my shirt, hair spread across my pillows, lips parted, and blissfully unaware that her fate had just been sealed. She had no protectors now.

Smiling, I glided to the side.

Casting a look at the other officer, Richards stepped forward, keeping his eyes trained on me. I didn’t hesitate. When I’d been in the study, I knew what I would do. Maybe I’d known before then. It didn’t really matter.

I moved—faster than Richards could react.

Slipping up behind him, I grabbed the arm reaching for the gun and spun Richards around so he faced the other officer. I grabbed a fistful of Richards’ hair, pulling him back as I slammed my knee into the man’s spine.

The resounding crack shuddered through the kitchen. Richards’ grunt of surprised pain was lost in the clanking of the gun knocking off the tile.

With a quick jerk of my arm, I snapped Richards’ neck. The officer’s body hit the floor. There was no twitching. I tolerated the man, so the death was quick.

My eyes met Zombro’s.

It wouldn’t be for him.

Zombro raised his arm, hand trembling around the service gun as he fired off a shot, but I darted to the side. He kept firing, one after another, as he backed up. I dipped and shot forward, knocking the gun out of his hand with a broad swipe of my arm.

Without a gun, Zombro was defenseless. Hell, with the gun he hadn’t been a threat. Zombro hit the island, trapped.

His throat worked and the superior attitude gave way to stark fear. “Don’t.

Please. Don’t—”

“I’m sorry. This isn’t personal. You won’t even feel a thing.” I paused.

“And I’m sure your family will be notified of your untimely passing.”

Zombro’s mouth opened, but my hand snaked out. I grabbed the man’s throat, ending his scream in a gurgle as I crushed his windpipe. Letting go, I watched Zombro slide down the island, grasping at his throat as his eyes bulged.

I stepped over the legs sprawled at an odd angle and knelt so we were eye level. “I might have lied just a little. Your death isn’t going to be quick. And it most likely will be painful.”

… Jerking up in bed, my heart thumped heavily as the gunshot echoed in my head. At first I thought I was having a nightmare, but Hunter wasn’t in bed beside me. I swung my legs off the bed and yanked on my jeans.

Hurrying to the door, I stopped to listen.

There was nothing—and then a fleshy crunchy noise that caused my stomach to roil, followed by a low gurgle, and then the sound of a body thudding to the floor.

Common sense dictated that I stay upstairs, but fear— fear for Hunter— seized my chest. Had more Luxen come for me?

Icy terror clawed at my insides as I slipped out into the hallway.

Heart pounding, I crept down the two flights of stairs, wanting to call out for him, but I knew on an inherent level that something bad, something terrible had happened in the middle of the night. It was the same feeling I’d had when I spotted the man in the hallway outside my apartment.

My mouth opened, my tongue forming Hunter’s name, but no sound escaped my suddenly dry lips. I moved forward on numb legs.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Romance
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