Taken by Midnight (Chapter Nineteen)

Consciousness returned in the form of dull pain traveling through her body. Jenna's reflexes came online in a blink, as though a switch had been thrown inside her. The instinct to wake up kicking and screaming was strong, but she tamped it down. Better to pretend she was still laid low from the taser, until she could assess the situation.

She kept her eyes all but closed, lifting her lids only a fraction to avoid tipping off her captors that she'd awakened. She fully intended to fight the sons of bitches, but first she had to get her bearings. Determine where she was and how she might get out of there.

The first part was easy enough. The smell of seat leather and faintly mildewy car mats told her she was in the back of a vehicle, sprawled on her side, her spine resting against the cushioned squab of the wide backseat.

Although the engine was running, the car wasn't moving yet. It was dark inside the sedan, nothing but the flicker of a dim yellow light sputtering from outside the tinted glass of the window closest to her head.

Holy shit.

Hope flared inside her, bright and strong. They'd brought her to the parking garage across the street from the federal building.

The garage where Brock was waiting for her, even now.

Had he noticed what had happened to her?

But she dismissed the thought as soon as it occurred to her. If Brock had seen she was in trouble, he'd already be there. She knew that with a certainty that rocked her. He would never let her meet with harm if he could help it. So, he couldn't know that she was there, being held just a few yards away from the Order's black Rover.

For now, unless she could find a way to draw his attention, she was on her own.

Lifting her eyelids another small degree, she saw that her two captors were both seated up front–Cho behind the wheel of the federal fleet Crown Victoria, Green on the passenger side, the business end of his FBI standard-issue Glock 23 pointing over the seat in line with her chest.

"Yes, Master. We have the woman in the vehicle now," Cho said, speaking into a hands-free phone. "No, there were no complications. Of course, Master. I understand, you want her kept alive. I will contact you as soon as we have her secured in the warehouse to await your arrival this evening."

Master? What the hell?

Dread trickled along Jenna's spine as she listened to the robotic obedience in Cho's odd tone of voice. Even without the strangely subservient exchange, she knew that if she permitted these men to take her to another location, she was as good as dead. Maybe worse, if they served the dangerous inpidual her instincts told her they did.

Cho ended the call and put the car into reverse.

This was her chance–she had to make her move right now.

Jenna shifted carefully on the seat, soundlessly bringing her knees up toward her chest. Ignoring the slight twinge of her healing thigh, she kept coiling her legs by fractions, until her feet were in position near the middle of the split bench seat in front. Once aligned, she didn't hesitate to strike.

She kicked out with both feet, her right slamming into the side of Green's head, her left catching him in the elbow of his weapon arm. Green roared, his chin snapping up as the hand holding the Glock jerked toward the roof of the sedan. Gunfire cracked loudly in the car as a bullet shot through the upholstery and steel above his head.

Amid the chaos of the surprise attack, Cho's foot came down heavy on the gas. The sedan clipped the side of a thick concrete pillar in the row behind them, but Cho recovered quickly. He threw the vehicle into drive and stomped on the pedal again. Rubber squealed as the car lurched into acceleration.

Where the hell was Brock?

Jenna grabbed for the door handle in the backseat. Locked. She kicked at the door on the opposite side, driving her boot heel through the window.

Pebbles of safety glass rained down onto her legs and the leather seat. Cold air rushed inside, carrying with it the stench of motor oil and fried food from the deli just around the corner.

Jenna scrambled for the gaping window, but came up short when Green pivoted around and shoved the muzzle of his gun against the side of her head.

"Sit the fuck back and behave, Ms. Darrow," he said pleasantly.

"You're not going anywhere until Master says so."

Jenna slowly eased away from the loaded Glock, her gaze rooted on the chilling, emotionally vacant eyes of Special Agent Green.

There was no doubt in her mind now at all. These FBI agents–these beings who looked and acted like men, but somehow weren't–were part of Dragos's organization. Good God, just how far did his reach extend?

The question put a cold knot of fear in her stomach as Cho floored the sedan and sent it peeling out of the garage, then into the busy afternoon traffic outside.

Brock had crossed the sunlit street in mere seconds, using the speed of his Breed genetics to carry him through the afternoon daylight, to the door of the tall federal building. He was just about to enter and make another swift dash, past security, when his keen hearing picked up the muffled pop of a gunshot some distance behind.

The parking garage.

He knew it even before he heard the crunch of shredding metal and the shrill squeal of tires spinning on pavement.


Although he had no blood bond with her to alert him that she was in danger, he felt the certainty of it clawing at his gut. She was no longer in the federal building but back in the garage, across the sunlit street.

Something had gone terribly wrong, and it had everything to do with TerraGlobal–with Dragos.

No sooner had the thought formed, when an unmarked gray Crown Vic burst from the garage exit. As the sedan roared away, he saw two men in the front seat. The passenger was pivoted around to face a single occupant in back.

No, not men–Minions.

And Jenna in the backseat, sitting stock-still, held at gunpoint.

Fury rolled through him like a tidal wave. His sights locked onto the car that held Jenna, he tore past crowds of milling humans on the walkway below the building, moving faster than anyone could track him.

He leapt across the hood of a standing taxi at the curb, then dodged a delivery truck that came up out of nowhere and would have run him down if he hadn't been propelled by his Breed ability and fear for what might happen to Jenna if he didn't reach her in time.

Heart hammering, he raced into the parking garage and jumped into the Rover.

Two seconds later, he was rocketing out into the street, defying the blaze of ultraviolet rays that poured in through the windshield as he sped off in Jenna's direction, praying like hell that he could reach her before Dragos's evil–or the baking afternoon sun–cost him the woman whose life was his to protect.

His woman, he thought fiercely, as he dropped his boot on the gas pedal and took off in pursuit.