Born of Night (Page 57)

Born of Night (The League #1)(57)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

So be it. Kiara was all that mattered to him. To hell with anything else.

Nykyrian clicked his blaster setting to kill and held it under Jullien’s chin. “Answer me, or the next sound you hear will be your brains hitting the wall behind you.”

Sweat covered Jullien’s pudgy jowls. “Aksel has her. I don’t know where he’s taking her.”

Shock at Jullien’s unexpected answer was the only thing that saved his life. Numb, Nykyrian released him.

He fell to the floor coughing and wheezing.

The room seemed to tilt as he took a step back to regroup.

Aksel has her. Those words echoed in his mind like a stinging nightmare.

His father reached out to touch him. Nykyrian moved away with a snarl. He glared at his father with all the hatred he had scorching his soul.

“She’s the only reason I came here tonight. If something happens to her, I want you to know I’m coming back for Jullien, and when I finish with him, there won’t be enough left to flush.”

“Nykyrian . . .”

He ignored his mother’s plea. She meant nothing to him. No one did except for a tiny dancer who was now depending on him for her life.

He would not let her down.

Nykyrian pushed the bell at Jayne’s house. His hand was shaking and it was getting harder to hold it together.

Emotions are your enemies. They would weaken him.

Yet it was hard when all he wanted to do was scream and beat on Aksel until he had satisfaction. The pain of losing Kiara, of knowing what could be done to her—it was more than he could bear.

He truly understood Syn now. If something happened to her because of him . . .

I’d rather be dead.

As bad as losing Syn had hurt, it was nothing compared to this.

Jayne opened the door, then stood back, her mouth falling open as she saw him and his ragged breathing.

Nykyrian disregarded her shock, no longer caring who saw how much Kiara meant to him. Jayne let him into her house and pushed him toward the kitchen table. Dazed, he sat down in the first chair he reached.

Nothing seemed real. It was all like a terrifying nightmare.

“Aksel has Kiara.”

Darling and Caillen stood up in front of the couch where they’d been sitting.

Caillen moved to join him in the kitchen. “How the hell did that happen?”

“It doesn’t matter. We have to get to her.” He looked at Caillen. “Did you find out anything more about Syn?”

“He’s with my sisters, but I don’t know where.”

Nykyrian nodded, wishing Syn were there to help plan this damned thing. His emotions were too tangled. He couldn’t think straight.

All he could think of was Kiara.

He ran his hands over his face as he pushed his raging emotions down. “What are you two doing here so early, anyway?”

“We got some bad news earlier.”

Just what the f**k he needed. “And . . .”

The bell sounded again.

Jayne opened the door and for the second time that night, Nykyrian’s world spun. Driana stood outside, supporting Thia by one arm. The side of Driana’s face was swollen and red, but it was nothing compared to his daughter’s.

“That would be it,” Caillen said under his breath. “She called on the link I had an hour ago, trying to reach you.”

Driana stumbled toward him. “He’s gone crazy.” Her eyes were wild as tears streamed down her face.

Nykyrian shot out of his chair and crossed the room to see if his daughter was still alive. Every fear imaginable tore through him as he carefully lifted her in his arms and carried her to the couch.

Thia was covered in even more bruises than her mother. She turned her head toward him, but couldn’t open her eyes for the injuries.

Nykyrian cursed.

“I didn’t think he’d stop beating her,” Driana broke off into heavy sobs. “I tried to protect her . . .”

Gingerly, Nykyrian touched his daughter’s damaged cheek. He was going to kill Aksel tonight—tear him limb from limb and take pleasure in every scream of pain he wrung out of the bastard’s worthless hide.

“It’s all right,” he whispered to Thia. “No one’s ever going to hurt you again. I promise.”

Hadrian, Jayne’s husband, came out of the back of the house to tend to Thia. “I’ll take care of her. I already have a doctor coming.”

Nykyrian was immobilized by the turbulent state of his emotions. As much as he had hated in the past, nothing had ever prepared him for this burning ache in his soul that begged for appeasement.

Reluctantly, he stepped back from the couch. “Where’s Aksel?”

“He’s gone to his base on Oksana. He thinks he’s safe there.”

“And Kiara?”

“She’s with him.”

Nykyrian’s lip curled into a snarl. He motioned for Darling, Jayne, and Caillen to come with him. They would get Hauk, and before the end of the night, he would put an end to Aksel, one way or another.

Kiara strained against the manacles holding her hands above her head against the wall. She had to get free.

She met Aksel’s gaze from where he sat across the room with two of his men, gambling to see who would be the first to rape her. A knowing smiled curved his lips before he doubled his bet.

She looked away from them. Her heart pounded as she struggled against the chains. There had to be some way to get out of this.

Aksel looked up once more from his card game and again leered at her, seeming to delight in the way she fought helplessly against her manacles.

Kiara shivered. She prayed for release, but she also prayed for Nykyrian not to come near this place to save her. One too many times, Aksel had told her what he wanted to do to her husband.

If Aksel captured Nykyrian, he would torture him to death. Slowly and with relish.

Kiara couldn’t understand such an intolerable hatred, and after being with Aksel, she was sure she would never ask him to find out why. The man was totally bended.

The door behind Aksel opened.

Kiara looked up to see Driana entering, her face red and swollen. Driana met her gaze and Kiara saw the sympathy in the blonde woman’s eyes.

“Aksel, I need to speak with you. Alone.”

Aksel curled his lip. “Can’t you see we’re in the middle of a game here?”

Driana moved forward with determined steps and upturned the table. She leveled a rifle at Aksel’s head. “Tell them to leave.”

Aksel’s twisted laughter filled the room. “Sure. Boys, if you’ll excuse us, my wife,” he sneered the title, “would like to say a few words to me.”

The two soldiers walked from the room, their own laughter trailing behind them as they said something in a language Kiara couldn’t understand.

Aksel leaned back in his chair, arms crossed over his chest as he watched his wife, his confidence all too apparent. “What is it you want, dumpling?” Despite the endearment, Kiara didn’t miss the raw hatred and threat in his voice.

“No one hurts my baby and lives,” Driana snarled. “I’m going to kill you, you giakon.” She clicked back the hammer on the rifle.

Aksel moved so fast, Kiara barely saw his arms uncoil from his chest before he had the gun out of Driana’s hands. “You stupid harita.” He jabbed the stock into her stomach so hard, it knocked her straight to the ground.

Kiara cringed in reflex.

Driana slumped to the floor, clutching her middle as she cried out in pain.

He pulled Driana up by the hair. “Where’s Thia?”

Driana glared at him and, even from her distance across the room, Kiara recognized the hatred burning in the blue eyes. “I gave her to her father.”

Aksel’s chest pulsated with his deep, angry breaths as he looked up at Kiara.

“The hybrid?” he screeched.

Kiara winced at the tone, unable to believe a man could make it.

Driana smirked at him. “Yes. He was a better man and lover at seventeen than you’ll ever be.”

Aksel lifted the stock up and brought it down across Driana’s back with a dull, heavy thud.

She screamed, collapsing to the floor.

Kiara buried her head in her arms and tried to block out the sound of the blows that followed in rapid succession.

Finally, Driana’s screams stopped completely.

Kiara raised her head and saw Driana lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Her stomach twisted. For a moment, she thought she’d be sick.

Aksel walked toward her like a prowling lorina. He tossed the blood-covered rifle onto the overturned table.

His eyes were a stormy gray as he raked his gaze over her body and curled his lips as if the sight of her disgusted him. “Did Nykyrian ever tell you how they train assassins for The League?”

He was insane. She stared at him in disbelief, unable to comprehend his friendly tone after what he’d just done to his own wife.

Aksel reached out a cold hand and touched her cheek. “They take you for three months and keep you completely isolated.” He disregarded her attempts to pull away. “You’re sent into holo-rooms where they play your worst fears over and over again until you no longer fear anything.”

His fingers traced the line of her chin. Kiara shivered, wishing she could do something other than stand before him in helpless expectation.

Having no other recourse, she spit at him.

A smile curved his lips at her reaction. He wiped his cheek, his eyes never wavering from hers.

As if she hadn’t done a thing, he continued talking in that eerie, dead voice. “They only feed you raw meat and while you eat it, they play tapes of dying victims begging for their lives.”

He held his hand out in front of her face.

She took a step back, the wall blocking her retreat.

“With this hand, I could rip your throat out.” He snatched her closer to him and placed his hand over her neck. She waited for him to demonstrate his point.

But he didn’t.

Instead, his cold voice droned on. “The hybrid could tear out your heart with his bare hands. Does that excite you?”

“You sicken me.”

Aksel gave her a twisted smile, his hand stroking her cheek. “Did Nykyrian tell you he killed two instructors before he finished training? He did, you know.” His hand fell away and he turned her to face him, his hands resting on her hips. “He was always better at killing, but I was the one who enjoyed it the most.”

His laughter rang out, chilling Kiara.

“Nykyrian would sit for hours after a mission, staring into space, feeling guilty,” he sneered the word like it was the worst thing imaginable. “I was a true warrior. I went out afterwards, celebrating my glory.” His hands tightened around her waist.

She bit her lip, wanting some way to strike out at him.

“So why did my father brag about his half-breed foundling?” Aksel snarled, his face a mask of contorted rage. “It wasn’t my kills he talked about with pride. It was always Nykyrian’s. Always Nykyrian’s!”

Kiara cried out as his hands bit into her flesh.

Aksel shoved her back against the wall with a solid thud that knocked her breath from her. He leaned his body against hers and she could feel his desire bulging against her stomach. Sweat beaded on her body as she feared his next move.

He ripped the top of her dress open.

She screamed, struggling against him in desperation.

“I should take you now,” he said in a ragged whisper, running his hand over the top of her bra, oblivious to her cringing. “But I won’t. That wouldn’t be any fun.” He stepped back and smiled at her. “When the hybrid comes for you, I have a special place for him to watch me rape you. Then you can watch me cut off pieces of his body until there’s nothing left but his ear, which I shall gladly give to you as a token to remember him by.”

“You’re insane!” Kiara kicked out at him with her legs.

He slapped them aside. “I’ve never known an assassin who wasn’t.” With an evil laugh, he strolled casually out of the room.

Sobs racked her body. She pulled against her chains, but all she succeeded in doing was tearing the flesh off her wrists. There had to be some way she could escape. Some way she could warn Nykyrian.

Because if she didn’t, they were both going to die, and it would be all her fault.

CHAPTER 30

Nykyrian and Caillen sat in the council room of The Sentella’s base, reviewing data about Oksana. Hauk paced the floor behind them, his boots clicking an eerie beat against the porcelain floor that ate at his tolerance. Jayne and Darling sat across the room, listening to him and Caillen argue battle plans.

He clenched his teeth in frustration as he stared at the statistic sheets laying in front of him. A frontal assault would end in complete annihilation, and a covert attack was almost as risky. Aksel’s men knew each other well enough to spot a stranger immediately.

At this rate, they’d never get Kiara out alive.

Caillen leaned back in his chair, a smile spreading across his face as he drummed his fingers against the table. “You know, I’ve been making deliveries to Netan Raananah. If I were to fake a shipment to him, I could smuggle you guys into Aksel’s base.”