Beneath the Broken Moon: Part Five
Carmela Santiago has no idea that she's about to become the cause of a truce between two races that have feuded for centuries. If she makes it out alive, she may finally have the life she didn't know she wanted--one filled with both love and power.
Devastated by Carmela's kidnapping, Derek Ashmore will wade through vampire and werewolf politics--something he loathes--to bring back the one person he's ever truly cared for. But the vampire can't do it alone.
Alpha werewolf Brendan Kelly must put aside his anger and focus on what needs to be done if he hopes to ever see his mate again. The two men in Carmela's life must rely on each other and join forces against an unknown enemy bigger than what any vampire or werewolf could face alone.
After Carmela told me to go away, I came to the mostly unused bathroom down the hall. What would I say to the others downstairs? I needed to collect my thoughts before I rejoined them. Regardless of my concern for Carmela, Elliot was counting on me to rescue him. I had to get my act together.
Unease trickled along my spine. I scanned the bathroom’s tight confines, confirming I was still alone. Suddenly fear exploded in my chest, but the emotion wasn’t mine. My mind drew back to the way I’d felt the night Carmela came to my home after her father abused her. I darted through the hallway toward the spare room where I’d left her.
Something wasn’t right. I could sense nothing but utter stillness from inside. I tried the doorknob, but it was locked. “Carmela? Open up.” I listened, but she didn’t reply. “Love? Are you there?” Silence.
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The sound of footsteps and a crutch tapped up the stairs. “Everything okay?” Brendan asked from behind me.
“No, I don’t think it is.” I jerked the doorknob to the right, breaking the lock. My gaze whipped around the room—Carmela was gone. My heart raced in my chest. The curtain billowed in the gentle breeze, bringing my attention to the open window. Had she run again? “Damn it!” I slammed my fist into the wall beside the door.
Brendan stood in the doorway, just inches from the spot I’d struck. His eyes widened, and he stepped away from me as he checked for himself that Carmela wasn’t here. A harsh growl rumbled up from deep in his chest. He pushed further into the room, heading toward the bed where we’d made love to her a little less than an hour ago. His shoulders slumped forward as if hit by a wave of emotion.
I looked away. I knew about pain all too well, but time was of the essence if we were to figure out where she’d gone and why before she got into even more trouble. But why had she run? I walked toward the window, and a strong, chemical scent seeped into my nostrils. Something like what I’d smelled before.
No! She hadn’t run after all. Someone took her from under my nose, and the noses of the dozen or so vampires and werewolves downstairs. That bastard.
“Carmela was kidnapped.” Brendan’s gaze rose to meet mine, and he hobbled over. He sucked in a deep breath, only to end up coughing and pinching his nose. “Shit. I can’t believe this is happening. Someone should’ve stayed with her.”
“What is it?” I asked, not really sure I wanted to know the answer.
“The chemical has elements of a drug that’s been tested on werewolves as a temporary paralytic. The Cazador concocted it.” Brendan sniffed around the window, then raised his face to an area where the intruder’s scent was strongest. His eyes narrowed. “The Cazador...but somehow, this guy is different. He exudes death.”
The necromancer. It had to be. I scented the air, confirming it for myself.
Several footsteps thumped on the stairs. “What’s going on in here?” Neal said from the doorway.
I frowned, searching for the words tell him.
Neal glanced between me and his son. When neither of us spoke, he glanced around the room. Confusion creased his forehead for a split second before realization set in. “Damn it! Those bastards.” He strolled into the room, sniffing the spots that Brendan and I had discovered moments before. “We should’ve taken out that lab when we had the chance.” He frowned at the burgundy-haired female werewolf standing near the door.
I caught Prescott’s eye as he joined us. He nodded toward a corner of the room, furthest from the window where Carmela had been taken.
An unfamiliar handkerchief lay abandoned on the floor. I crossed the room to investigate, then picked it up and sniffed. It had the kidnapper’s scent, and only a trace of the chemical. Heck, this whole area carried his scent, as if he’d been hovering here for a while. “Found something,” I said, lifting the cloth for the others to see.
Neal snatched it from me, holding the fabric near his nose. He winced, but quickly seemed to brush off any discomfort. “Let’s get some trackers on this.” He held the handkerchief out to the female werewolf he’d looked to moments ago. “I want you searching the rest of the room, top to bottom. Report anything you find.” The Alpha werewolf paused, then turned back to me. His lips tightened. “Thanks.”
“Anything to help find Carmela and the others.” I retreated to the hallway as the burgundy-haired werewolf began her search of the spare room.
Prescott leaned against the wall beside me, shrugging a shoulder as if to say, What did you expect? Two vampires lingered nearby, waiting for instructions. “Timothy and Jane, join the werewolf in investigating the room,” Prescott said before slipping back down the stairs.
The look on their faces showed their displeasure before they could censor themselves. Horror came over Jane’s, while Timothy wrinkled his nose as if the task was distasteful. I couldn’t blame them; they weren’t used to being around wolves.
Brendan and Neal talked further along the hallway in harsh whispers. I didn’t envy the young werewolf. When this was behind us, I’d probably be getting the same treatment from my leader.COLLAPSE
What a great finish to the series. Sarah has taken a figment of her imagination and made it into an extraordinary five-part series. ... If you are looking for a series that will keep you on pins and needles from start to finish, then this is the one for you.