Annihilate (Hive Trilogy #3)

Annihilate (Hive Trilogy #3)

Leia Stone & Jaymin Eve

Chapter 1

What the actual fuck? I sat inside of the shipping container house that was now our new home and stared at Rebecca … the other unicorn ash. She was gorgeous in that nerdy adorable way and I was pretty sure she didn’t know it. Her black and silver eyes were hidden behind dark-framed hipster glasses and her blond hair was in a tight braid with an actual scrunchie holding the end. Yes, a scrunchie. I didn’t know they were still being made.

“I’m sorry,” I huffed. “I…” What the hell was I supposed to say? My glare turned on Sam; no doubt my eyes were screaming at him “You sneaky mofo. Liar extraordinaire!”

He had the decency to look nervous and I decided that I very much wanted to lash all of my anger out on him. Now.

Standing, fists balled, I let him have it. “I thought I was a freak. It’s been a struggle since day one trying to figure out what was so special about my blood before someone decided to kill me over it. You watched me get attacked and bitten by a vampire. And the entire time you knew! Or at least had some answers.”

Ryder and the boys were silent. They knew he deserved this.

Sam was now in his quiet, stoic mode, no expression, although his eyes did look a little turbulent.

“Are there more, Sam? Are you hiding an entire fucking army of unicorns? What else are you hiding?” My rage was starting to wane; I was really hoping he’d fight back with me. He was just standing there not saying shit. Just taking it.

Becca stood timidly. “Don’t be mad at Sammy. He was trying to protect me, and he tried to get you out of there loads of times, but the timing wasn’t right.”

The boys and I shared a look. Sammy? I suppressed a grin. Sam was totally riding this unicorn.

Sam turned his unreadable expression on Rebecca and there was a softness there for a split second, but when she looked back at him it was gone. Replaced with his cold hard stare.

Finally, he decided to engage with me, stepping closer and holding both hands out to the side. “I’m sorry, Charlie. But how safe would this place be if it were crawling with vampires? I did what I had to do knowing that in the end both you and Becca would be safe. Hate me if you want, I don’t care. At the end of the day I’d never have let anyone hurt you. I always planned to get you out, it just wasn’t that easy.”

Then he stormed from the room. Dammit!

With a shuddering breath I faced Rebecca. She had taken off her puffy winter coat. The inside of this building was surprisingly well insulated and she was wearing a white lab coat beneath. Okay, so the cool nerd girl thing she had going on was starting to make sense. She was a scientist or something.

Time to cut the bullshit. “I don’t want to be lied to any longer. There’s some seriously bad shit going on back in our world. Ash are dying every single day, so I think you better explain exactly what this place is, and how you and I even exist.”

Her very dark, thick brows rose up and scrunched on her furrowed forehead. Her eyes, which were far less silver than mine, widened. She wasn’t used to anyone coming at her so bluntly. Well, get used to it, scientist princess.

She recovered quickly though. “I will tell you everything I know,” she said matter-of-factly. “My name is Dr. Rebecca Leander and I hold a PHD in genetics and molecular biology. I have been studying my own blood for many years, trying to work out what it is that created such an anomaly as a female ash. Was it a gene sequence? Was it an immune system response using the pathway—”

“Whoa!” I held up my hand to halt her. She was getting into some smart girl stuff here, which was awesome, but I needed other details first. “Maybe start at the beginning. Your life before being an ash and then how you got to here.”

Her expression morphed into something more human then, less robotic. “Oh, right. Of course. I forget sometimes how to talk to people, I’m so used to my computers.” She gave a laugh and I was having a hard time being mad at her. She was so damn nerdy and adorable.

I saw some of the enforcer guys exchange smiles. Jayden’s eyes were flat-out laughing. Clearly she amused them. But for the most part the males remained silent, letting me lead the questioning. My eyes locked onto Ryder, the only one not smiling. That one look was enough for my heart to clench tightly in my chest. His eyes were blazing silver, his dark gaze stormy. He was angry with Sam, and so much more, but for now he was containing that fury.

I spun back to Rebecca as she moved toward a large sofa. The room we were in was near the front of the strange square shipping container that made up this scientific research center. Or at least that’s what the logo on the side of the building said it was.

This particular space was set up as a living area, with a few sofas scattered around, and some other miscellaneous furniture. Everything looked cozy; a heating panel along the far wall was the reason for the warmth in here.

As Rebecca sat, she patted the seat next to her, inviting me to sit also. I cautiously made my way over to the sofa, leaving about a foot between us. The guys straightened and stepped closer. Their protectiveness was a little amusing considering Rebecca looked about as scary as a skittish bunny.

“So, I grew up in a small town in the countryside of England, born in 1964.” She had taken me seriously, starting her story right at the start. And considering she should be over fifty now, she didn’t look a day above early twenties. Got to love ash genetics. “Life was normal. Both of my parents were academics, and they worked in the local university. I was homeschooled and ended up finishing high school at fifteen, and by the time I was twenty I already had my PHD. I was going to be a leading researcher into genetic anomalies, and the way we are shaping our genome through the viruses which have swept through our world.”

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