Read New Species 05 Brawn Online

Authors: Laurann Dohner

New Species 05 Brawn (6 page)

BOOK: New Species 05 Brawn
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The bedroom door suddenly exploded open with a loud crash as
something struck it hard. Wood splintered and Becca threw her hand over her
mouth to stifle the scream. She did jump, pressed her back tightly to the wall
and managed to keep her terrified gaze locked on Brawn.

He didn’t move, the sound didn’t seem to startle him but
then something dropped on the wood floor. Whatever it was sounded metal and it
rolled—a distinctive sound. That got the big Species to move. He reared up to
his feet, spun and her eyes widened as his body hit hers before she realized
what was happening.

The air was shoved from her lungs by the force of his heavy
body slamming into hers. She hit the floor on her side and his weight crushed
her mercilessly when he covered her. A blast of painful, earsplitting proportions
stabbed through her head and bright light blinded her even though her eyelids
were closed. The floor even shook under her back and thighs from the force of
whatever had exploded.

A roar tore from Brawn, further deafening her since his
mouth was inches from her ear, and he rolled away. The weight was gone from her
body, her eyes jerked open and she fought to suck air back into her lungs. She
caught sight of him rushing out the bathroom door as the lights in the room
were turned on and smoke hovered near the ceiling. It was white and billowed

Brawn opened fire, the sound of the shots made her flinch
and she gaped at the sight of him in just a pair of dark-gray sweats, a
Berretta clasped in his hand. The muzzle flashed as bullets were discharged.
Someone screamed, barely distinguishable in the melee. Brawn roared again, a
fierce, terrifying sound, and threw his body backward into the bathroom.

Weird metal things slammed into the bathroom door inches
from him. At least six of them, a few inches long, dug into the thin wood.
Brawn lunged out of the bathroom, threw his big body at the bed and opened fire
again. He only got off two shots before the gun either jammed or ran out of

Becca panted, too shocked to move and her eyes widened as
three men in all black suddenly threw themselves on top of the New Species. He
used his legs to throw one of them up off his body as she watched in horrified
shock. The man hit the ceiling hard enough to make it rain plaster before he
crashed to the bed, hit the side of it and bounced to the floor.

! Her mind screamed and she somehow scrambled to
roll over. Her limbs felt heavy, disjointed from her brain and her ears rang
from the loud noises. She was dizzy as she pushed up and slammed her palm
painfully on the sink countertop. Metal brushed her fingertips and propelled
her to struggle harder to rise to her knees. She turned her head to stare at

Another of the attackers was thrown off him toward the
bedroom door and the hallway. Brawn twisted his body, flipped his legs and
sprang off the bed in the blink of an eye with the bed now between him and the
bedroom door. He backed up, growled viciously and roared. His fingers curled
clawlike at his sides and he bared sharp teeth. The man who’d hit the ceiling
sat up and struggled to his feet.

Becca gripped the gun, swayed on her feet and stumbled
closer to the bathroom door as she put her finger on the trigger. Brawn was
defenseless without a gun, trapped between the bed and the windows and faced
danger. She knew how to shoot and damn well would. Her father had raised her to
never fire a gun unless she was ready to kill with it. She was.

She nearly reached the door when the stupid bastard who’d
just risen from the floor tried to tackle Brawn. She froze as she watched the
Species swipe his big hand at the guy in black, hit his throat then shoved hard
with his other. The guy flew her way.

Something warm and wet sprinkled her face as the man Brawn
had slashed collapsed on to the floor between the bed and the bathroom door.
The attacker’s face was turned her way and there was no missing the horrifying
sight of his slashed open face, from his ear to his mouth. The stranger’s eyes
were wide open, terrified and he blinked. Blood flowed from the horrible wound,
pooled on the floor under his mouth and he made a hissing sound. Lifeless eyes
stared at Becca after he took his last breath.

Time froze. It was surreal, too shocking for her mind and
her responses shut down until the blood slowly spreading across the floor
nearly touched her toes. That yanked her to the present. Only seconds had
passed, but she realized the wetness on her face was blood too.

Something metal hit the wood floor in the next room and
rolled. She twisted away, hunched, trying to protect herself from the stun
grenade. She was sure that was what made the sound. Brawn roared again but then
she couldn’t hear anything over the loud explosion that tore through the
bedroom and seemed to pierce her brain. Even with her eyes tightly closed and
her back to it, she was blinded for a second by the white, searing light.

She managed to stay on her feet, recovered fast and spun
back around as she straightened. The gun in her numb hands jerked up to point
at the doorway and she gaped at the sight of Brawn sprawled motionless over
part of the bed. He’d just fallen to his knees, his upper body rested on the
mattress and his hair was spilled over the sheets. He didn’t move but she did
notice his chest moving slightly and was assured he breathed.

Someone stepped in front of the doorway, obscuring her view
of Brawn and she stumbled back. The guy wore all black, his face covered in a
mask and goggles even hid his eyes. They were round tinted ones, not night
vision gear, but smaller. Her hand shook as she remembered to keep the gun
aimed at him.

“Easy,” he demanded gruffly. His hands slowly lifted away
from his side, straight out, and she saw a strange, weapon in his hand. It
wasn’t anything she’d ever seen before. It was bulky with a wide barrel, a
longer version of a handgun, with a round cylinder at the base of it. She
glanced at the metal things sticking in the door before her attention jerked to
his covered face and eyes. That thing shot those. She knew it, though not what
they were.

“Don’t move.” Her voice shook. “I will fire.”

“Easy,” he repeated, not moving a muscle. “You have no
chance of survival if you kill me. Pull that trigger and my men will take you
out. Do you understand me?”

Terror gripped her. She knew there were more of them, that
he wasn’t bullshitting, but they’d killed Tina. They’d kill her too. They
weren’t burglars. That fact sank in fast and hard. They dressed the way her
father’s men did for covert operations. She’d seen enough of her dad’s laundry
to know military issue when she saw it.
What the fuck is going on?

“We came for the New Species.” He kept his voice low and
calm. “That’s all. Lower the gun, miss. You’re not our target.”

“You can’t have him.” Her voice came out a little stronger.
“I’m not stupid and I’m not lowering this gun. I won’t miss you.” She adjusted
the aim to make sure he knew she pointed it at the center of his skull. “Tell
your men to get the fuck out or I’ll be cleaning your brains off the walls for
weeks. I called 9-1-1. The police should be here any second.”

“Fuck,” a male voice hissed from the other side of the wall,
telling her that another man was inches from the door and within reach of the
asshole who filled the bathroom door.

“Tell your guy to back off.” Her finger tightened on the
trigger. “I’m scared, freaked the hell out, and I might shoot you if I see the
slightest movement.”

“Back off,” the guy who seemed in charge ordered. “She’s got
a Berretta pointed straight at my head.”

“And I know how to use it,” she said for good measure. She
glanced at the space between the guy’s head and the doorway and spotted Brawn
still motionless. Her attention focused on the threat. “Move real slow and drop
your weapon.”

His hand opened and the weird weapon landed on the dead guy
on the floor. “Are you a cop?”

“No, but I won’t miss you.”

He cleared his throat. “Are you his security detail?”

“No but I’ll kill you to protect him. You aren’t taking him.
Order your men to leave my house but you don’t move. You’re my insurance that
they don’t try anything stupid. They do and you’re dead.”

“Your house? He lives with you?”

“Shut up and do what I said. Order your men out.”

He hesitated. “Fine.” The fingers of his open hand jerked at
his side in a wave motion.

She relaxed slightly, a mistake on her part, thinking he’d
silently ordered his men to leave with the hand signal. Instead bullets blasted
through the walls. She pulled the trigger and threw her body to the floor.

Weight slammed down on her back. She couldn’t even scream
from the pain of being crushed and the gun was torn from her fingers. Whoever
had slammed into her shifted his weight and a hand fisted painfully in her
hair, forcing her head back. She gasped in air and screamed then.

An elbow nailed her in the back, cutting the sound off from
the fresh pain and the body lifted. She spotted her gun near the toilet, too
far to grab before she was hauled up by the vicious grip fisting her hair at
the base of her neck. She swayed on her feet, clutched at the gloved hand and
realized she’d missed killing the son of a bitch when he spoke.

“A couple inches off your mark but you clocked my cheek.” He
sounded pissed. “You’ll pay for that, bitch.”

He shoved her hard. She slammed into the wall and groaned.
She turned, knew she would die and prayed her father had gotten lucky with his
date. He’d have heard the explosions and gunfire from the main house. The
bastards had either killed her dad before they’d attacked her house or he was
spending the night elsewhere. Otherwise he’d have come after her by now.

She glared at the son of a bitch who had her trapped. It was
satisfying to see the tear in the black material near his ear, red showed from
the bloody wound the bullet had inflicted and she hoped it left a hell of a
scar. Her chin rose as she glared at him and her fingers fisted at her sides.

“Fuck you.”

Two more black-clad figures entered the bathroom, weird
weapons drawn and they pointed them at her. One of them spoke. “You okay,

“Fine,” their leader sighed. “She nicked my cheek but I
dodged for the most part.”

She looked up and realized they’d shot through the wall
separating the bedroom and bathroom too high to have hit where she’d been
standing. It was confusing since she’d been sure they were trying to kill her.

“Who are you?”

Randy reached out suddenly and grabbed her by her throat,
yanked her away from the wall and fisted her hair again. He pulled hard enough
to jerk her head back as he pulled her tight against him. She could detect
cigarettes on his breath, which fanned through the material over his mouth.

“Is she one of them?” One of his men stepped to the side of

“Nope. Human. I’m sure. She’s not a New Species. Her eyes
are normal.”

Someone else entered the bathroom. “We’re picking up
chatter. Our second team just intercepted the cops. They are coming. We’ve got
four minutes.”

“Fuck,” Randy hissed. He let go and shoved her against the
wall. He grabbed his uninjured ear and tapped it.

“This is alpha dog. We have a female inside the male’s
bathroom. She’s obviously screwing him since she admitted it’s her house and
they are both locked in his room.” He paused for seconds. “She’s alive. I
checked and she’s not one of them—she’s human.” He paused again. “Understood.
I’ll bring her in with him.” He tapped his ear to cut the transmission.

He grabbed her hair, jerked her away from the wall and
fisted the back of her shirt too as he spun her around. “It’s your lucky damn
day. You get to live. Move. You try anything and I’ll hurt you bad. My orders
are to bring you in breathing but nobody said I couldn’t make you suffer.”

He stopped her at the bathroom door. The dead guy was inches
from her bare feet. She felt wet heat on the floor like warm syrup. She didn’t
look down to verify she stood in blood. She didn’t need to see it to know.
Nausea roiled up and she made a gagging sound.

The hand tightened on her shirt and the man jerked her. “You
puke and I’ll break your damn jaw.”

Becca frantically fought to thwart the urge. She watched
helplessly as two men lifted Brawn off the bed. They gripped him under his
armpits and dragged him toward the door.

Who are these assholes?
She was terrified. Any
law-enforcement agency would have identified themselves before attacking. That
left the opposite of law enforcement.
Maybe mercenaries?
Becca quaked at
the thought. Her father said the difference between one of them and a soldier
was that his men would only kill when issued orders.

Three more black-clad men, their faces and hair concealed,
walked into the room. One of them pulled another of the unusual weapons, aimed
at Brawn’s leg and fired. The dart embedded in Brawn’s upper thigh but he
didn’t flinch, still unconscious.

“That’s two,” the man who had shot him sighed. “Let’s keep
track. We don’t want to kill him. In fifteen minutes we’ll dose him again.”

“Fuck,” another man softly swore. “That won’t kill him?
That’s a hell of lot.”

“They have high drug tolerances from all those years of
testing and they have a fast metabolism. You don’t want this bastard to wake up
until we get him in a cage. It would be the last mistake you ever made.”

“It wasn’t so hard getting him.” Randy chuckled. “It was
easier than I thought.”

The man who’d shot Brawn with the dart shook his head. “It
was the female. He couldn’t flee so he had to fight. If it wasn’t for her we
wouldn’t have caught him. He would have been out the window and miles from here
before we reached the room. He locked the door and was waiting for us when we
attacked, to protect her. He heard us coming.”

BOOK: New Species 05 Brawn
10.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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