Anarchy (Hive Trilogy, #2)(5)
Written By: Jaymin Eve & Leia St
His voice was calm, serious. “Do you trust me?”
“Yes.” There was not an ounce of hesitation in my reply. I trusted Ryder to the same level as my mom and Tess. Family level. Sure, he had electrocuted me once, but I had pretty much let that go.
The hardness he’d been shrouded in since our date had been interrupted, finally started to ease. My trust meant something to him. His grip tightened as he pulled me close and turned to lead us through the trees. The rest of the guys flanked us as we walked for a few minutes away from the car and into a wooded green space. Portland was full of government-protected greenspace forests, which I loved; it felt like home when I was surrounded by nature.
As we crunched our way through the woods, I wondered how the rest of the sexy six would react to the fact that I was some sort of vampire cure. I was nervous. Even though I knew these guys deserved to know the truth when they had to risk their lives for me, I still wondered if we were doing the right thing spreading this information.
Eventually Ryder stopped and we all huddled in a circle. The rain had thankfully eased, but the cold was still prevalent. Ash genetics could only do so much to keep us warm.
Jared was the first to speak: “What’s up, mate? Must be some serious sort of news to drag us out into the ass-end of the city?” I took a moment to appreciate the Australian enforcer’s accent. Man, I was a sucker for accents, and we had a sexy mix of them in this group.
Ryder’s voice was low but clear, and I took some reassurance in the way he seemed completely unworried.
“Charlie is more than just a female ash…”
My focus, as always, was on the lead enforcer, but for some reason I felt the scrutiny of one of the others. Sure enough, as I shifted my gaze, I realized Sam was eyeballing me. Hard. I shivered a little. He was the toughest of all the enforcers to read, and even an idiot would see he was filled to the brim with secrets.
“Remember that vamp in the club who bit her…?”
I realized that Ryder was still explaining, and unable to stand the tension any longer I had a brain-to-mouth-filter malfunction.
“I’m the cure for vampirism,” I blurted.
There was dead silence for a few moments after that—wide eyes and slack jaws. Yep, that was not what most of them had expected the news to be.
Oliver, who was as manly as they came, decided now to channel his inner Jayden as he threw out a few flamboyant hand gestures. “Excuse me? What did you just say?”
I exhaled loudly. “Like Ryder was saying, that vamp asshole bit me at the club and then you all threw him in the pit...”
“We went down to free him,” Kyle said, “as per Quorum orders, and imagine our surprise when he turned up as a human.”
Most of the boys still looked shocked, but Sam’s face was a mask of calm. I was getting a feeling about him, like he knew more than he was saying. Of course, before I could press him, the others distracted me with a bunch of curses and angry exclamations.
“Well, shit, looks like our little unicorn is dipped in gold,” Markus finally said, his brogue deep and smooth. “What’s the plan?”
Ryder took a moment. I could almost see the tumult of thoughts flashing through his mind. “I got rid of the human. No one knows about Charlie.”
Sam’s growl cut him off. “You can’t know that.” His voice was dark, ominous. The man of few words looked fired up, which had more alarm bells ringing in my head.
Ryder’s brow furrowed at his mysterious best friend. “You’re right. I don’t know for absolute sure that this information is not in the community. And the timing of the Sanctum and Deliverance attacks are suspicious to say the least. The truth is, it’s only a matter of time until someone comes for her again, so we have two options. Stay and play good boys at the Hive—use that time to tap into our resources and try to find the mole, try to find who hired the Sanctum, and see if we can discern any connection between Sanctum and Deliverance. Then when the shit hits the fan, I take Charlie and run.” Clearly he’d had the same thoughts as me outside the restaurant. “Or … I can just take Charlie now and run.”
Whoa. Run where? Survive how? The fact that Ryder was willing to drop everything and run away to protect me did crazy fluttery things to my insides. I understood why we had to run. Not even Ryder could take on the entire vampire population, yet I hated the thought that anyone would give up their life for me. This was bullshit, the entire thing.
“We run.” Markus said with force.
“Huh?” I said, furrowing my brows.
Kyle nodded. “We stay in the Hive, gather information, and when the shit hits the fan, we run. Together.”
He put his fist in the center of the circle, and each of the sexy six followed suit. After their macho fist bump, Ryder tucked me closer to his strong frame.
“I’ll start planning for that day. Until then, we tell no one.”
As we turned to start back to the car, Sam, who had still been staring at me the entire time, growled through clenched teeth: “This can never be mentioned inside the Hive. If her secret is found out by the humans, she will be experimented on and drained to distribute the cure and end the virus. If her secret is found out by the vampires, she will be decapitated and then burned for fear of her taking away all their power.” Since he rarely spoke in full sentences, we all knew he felt strongly about this information.