Obsession - Page 29

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A warning snaked down my spine a second before my breath puffed out in a small, misty cloud and froze, like it had the other night when Hunter had been seconds from losing control. Under my hand, the railing turned ice-cold. I jerked away from it.

Oh shit.

Adrenaline kicked in and I twisted, but the icy coating on the step caused me to lose my balance. I slipped, my knees cracking off the porch step. Hot pain shot down my legs.

A cold hand circled my bare ankle and yanked me back. I desperately tried to grasp the railing, but I lost my grip. I twisted onto my side and my cheek smacked against the board. Another burst of pain exploded across my face and lip. I sucked in a harsh breath, tasting blood.

Dark, thick tendrils of smoke wafted out, reaching me, slipping over my skin and chilling me to the bone.

I screamed.

… What the fuck could be happening now?

I had felt the presence of others seconds before I heard Serena’s shrill, panicked scream cut straight through me, triggering the part that was more monster than human. The part had been activated when I’d taken out the officers in the kitchen and it worked off the basest of instinct for my kind—the need to dominate, to kill, to feed, and to protect what was mine.

To protect what was mine… Rushing the door, I threw it open. My eyes scanned the night. Serena was nowhere, but her suitcase was at the bottom of the steps. But there were others—two of them in the driveway, one further down the road, but that was Dex, and another in the woods.

A shadow blurred across the driveway, coming to a halt at the bottom of the stairs.

Out of the shapeless mass, a form began to take shape.

Within seconds, a tall woman stood there. Her icy blond hair was loose over bare shoulders. The strapless halter she wore did very little to hide the swells of her breasts or her toned midsection.

It was Jael, one of the three that had been by the gazebo the day Serena decided to take a little walk.

Jael’s hips swayed with each step.

Her skirt climbed higher and higher, until I saw a thin strip of white lace.

“Hunter,” she purred, her bloodred lips parting as she rolled her tongue around my name. “I think it’s long past the time we get to know each other on a personal level.”


I replied.

“Where’s your boy Raz?”

She gave a vapid smile.

“He’s busy.

That just leaves me and you.”

“And Colec,” I pointed out, referencing the other one.

Jael ran a hand down the valley of breasts and her stomach. “He likes to watch.”

“Good.” I watched her prowl up the remaining steps. “I have something for him.”

“You do?” She slinked up against me. “I like where this is heading.”

I wrapped a hand around Jael’s throat. The female smiled. “I like it rough,” she whispered.

“That’s great because it’s about to get really rough.”

Jael’s eyes widened a fraction of an inch. I spun around, lifting her up in the air, tossing her over the railing. Stunned, the Arum didn’t drop the human form quick enough.

She smacked off the hood of the Expedition below.

Grabbing the railing, I propelled myself over it, landing below in a crouch.

My head snapped up as Jael rolled off the hood and fell onto her knees, gasping.

A shadow launched over the SUV, heading straight for me.

I sprung up, kicking off the grille of the car.

Spinning around, I dodged the Arum.

I jumped, catching the mass of shadows, driving Colec into the ground. Gravel spewed into the air.

“I don’t have time for this,” I growled, tightening my hold on the Arum.

Rearing up, I slammed my hand into the center of the Arum’s chest.

Colec’s eyes went wide and his mouth dropped open. A watery gurgle escaped.

I yanked my arm back and smiled. The moonlight caught and reflected off the silver handle and the deep red of the blade.


The Arum shuddered and its skin rippled like a stirred-up wave. Energy pulsed and then, as I pushed off, the Arum broke apart, shattered into a thousand fragments that floated up into the atmosphere.

“You bastard!”

Jael shrieked. “How could you kill with one of those things? Is that how you fight? You weak piece of human-loving shit.

I’m going to kill you!”

Jael slipped into her true form. I’M GOING TO RIP YOUR BALLSSS OFF AND FEED THEM TO YOUR ASSS UNTIL YOU BEG ME TO LET YOU LIVE. THEN I WILL FEED YOUR DICK TO THAT human bitch asss Raz— I threw the obsidian dagger. It spun through the air as fast as a bullet, striking true. The dagger embedded deep into Jael’s chest, cutting off her tirade. She let loose a scream that blasted my eardrums. A second later she fragmented, joining Colec in the great unknown.

Swiping the dagger off the ground, I reached around, slipping the blade into its leather holster along my back. It seared my skin when I wore it, but the pain was nothing compared to what I was going to do to Raz.

I tore through the woods.

It took me no time to find the bastard, and when I did, rage rose from deep inside me. He was on top of her and between her legs, in his true form. Her heels were digging into the dirt as she slammed her fists into his sides.

Lurching forward, I yanked the son of a bitch off her and tossed him aside. My gaze fastened on her wide eyes and bloodied face before sweeping down, seeing her torn shirt and the unbuttoned jeans.

A new feeling assaulted me as I realized what Raz had been trying to do.

Turning to where the Arum picked himself up, I knew I was going to thoroughly enjoy killing him.

I was right up in his face, grabbing him around his inky black throat. I threw him into the nearby tree.

The resounding crack sent birds shrieking into the sky.

Shooting forward, I slammed my fist into Raz’s face, but the fucker recovered, pushing me back several feet. Edges began to blur as tiny wisps of black smoke inked out from his shoulders, spreading behind it like wings. He rushed me like a missile, and then I jumped, letting the change take over. Arms out to my side, I spun and my body morphed, my mass expanding and spreading.

Shit was about to get real.

Branches shook and stretched toward where I was, and Raz came straight at me. We twisted in the air, slicing through the branches.

We hit the ground, both in our true forms, exchanging blows like we were in a cage match. This wasn’t just about killing Raz.

This was about obliterating him for daring to touch Serena.

An animalistic, brutal fury had taken hold in me.

I punched Raz, snapping his head back. He fell but quickly regained his footing. Then he charged me once more. Grabbing hold of him, I took him into the air, but at the last moment, he twisted and we went flying back to Earth. Taking the brunt of the impact that was so fierce that it knocked Serena onto her ass, I was momentarily immobile as we skidded across the ground, digging up dirt and bushes.

Soil flew everywhere, thickening the air. When we came to a stop, we had dug a ditch several feet long.

Raz sprang off me, heading for Serena again. I powered to my feet, but before I could reach the jackass, Dex shot out from the stand of trees, slamming straight into him.

Dex took Raz across the clearing, impaling him into a tree.

But Dex backed off, because he knew somehow. Maybe it was the instinct of our kind. He left Raz for me.

I stopped in front of Raz and a moment passed. He lifted his head and roared.

I struck like lightning. My fist hit Raz’s chest and then went through it.

Yanking my arm back, something long and inky came with it. I ripped his spine straight out from him and watched as Raz folded into himself like crumpled paper. No more than a second passed before the body shuddered and broke apart, pieces floating into the sky and then fading out.

In the silence that followed, I staggered a step back, body aching from the fight and the need that always seemed to follow something so bloody. Usually I needed a woman or my hand, but not now.

I needed Serena.

Turning to her, lust punched me in the gut harder than any blow Raz managed to land. Getting to her and then getting inside her was all I could think about.


Dex’s voice whispered.

I really didn’t understand him, or I didn’t care, because I took a step toward Serena. When I got to her, I was going to— Serena took a shaky step back, her hands spasming around the edges of her torn shirt. I moved closer and the color of panic swirled around her. She careened around me, her eyes darting from Dex to me, and it was in that moment that I realized I was still in my true form and was probably scaring the ever-loving crap out of her.

The lust eased off, surprisingly, as another need rose swiftly: a desire to comfort her. It seemed too little too late, because Serena took off running toward the cabin.

I caught sight of Dex and he nodded.

Cursing myself, I tracked her easily, finding her on her knees near the edge of the woods. The lights of the cabin flickered between the thick branches.

I stopped and took my human form.


She lifted her head, letting out a shaky breath.

“I think I might have lost a little bit of my mind back there.”

I knelt, close but not touching.

“That’s understandable.”

Sitting back, she eased her legs out from underneath her. “Aliens.”

She laughed. “I think it’s finally really sinking in.


“I prefer the term extraterrestrial,” said Dex from behind us.

Serena scrambled to her feet and stumbled.

I caught her around the shoulders, steadying her before she hurt herself further.

“He’s not going to harm you.” There was an odd gentleness to my voice as my hands trailed off her shoulders. “He’s a friend.

This is Dex.”

She seemed to relax a little, but didn’t say anything.

Dex slipped his hands into his jean pockets and rocked back on his heels.

“Extraterrestrial just sounds cooler.”

“Yeah,” she whispered, and then said louder, “you guys are like the friendly neighborhood alien watch around here?”

Dex laughed.

“No,” I said, completely serious. “We’re usually the opposite.”

She stared at us. “That’s reassuring.”

“That’s Hunter,”

Dex said, smiling. “A pillar of support.”

My eyes narrowed and then I turned to Serena.

“Remember how I said shit was about to get a lot crazier? Well, it did, and that’s not even what I was talking about.”

Chapter 19

I was marginally surprised when Serena seemed to pull herself together. Then again, I wasn’t giving her enough credit. The female was tough as tungsten, but given how quiet she was as the three of us walked back to the cabin, which was so unlike her, I half expected her to freak out and start running again. So I kept an eye on her, and something about the way she kept her arms wrapped around her, making her appear smaller than she was, more vulnerable and fragile, made me want to hold her close.

Back in front of the cabin, I took in what Dex had brought me. “I thought I told you something inconspicuous?”

Dex smirked as he ran his hand over the hood of the midnight blue Porsche.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Romance
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