Anarchy (Hive Trilogy Book 2)(4)

By: Jaymin Eve & Leia Stone

The last part startled me. Sam snowboarding? Who knew?

“Jared?” I asked next. I loved the way that Ryder’s entire face changed when he talked about his best friends. I wanted more of this openness.

Ryder startled me with a bark of laughter. “That’s a crazy story. Let’s just say we met at an annual enforcer conference in Australia. I nearly lost my arm and Jared is no longer allowed in his home country.”

I raised an eyebrow and nodded. Okay, I would need to hear the rest of that story another time.

“And lastly Markus, with his pretty little man bun.” The Scottish enforcer was one of my favorites. He was a massive monster but funny as all hell. And kind. Most importantly he was kind.

Ryder leaned back a little, that damn half-smile on his face. I loved that smile. “Markus made it his life’s mission to bring me down a few—”

He was cut off by the sound of glass shattering behind him.

The enforcers around me acted immediately, tables upturning and weapons drawn. Ryder was already out of his seat and had me yanked to the floor by the time a projectile flew through the smashed window and clanked against the hardwood floors. Chaos broke out, and the enforcers closed quarters around us. No more than a few seconds had passed as I leaned forward to see better. Was that a gas canister?

Just as I had that thought, we were moving. Two of the guys had me under each arm and were practically lifting me off the floor and floating me across the room. Seriously? Okay, I might have a little trouble taking orders, but there was no need to manhandle me. I was not some damsel that needed to be carried out by her brave knights. I had two freaking feet and I could use them just fine.

It was extra annoying that in the crazy chaos I couldn’t even tell who was holding me. At least I could sense Ryder was close by. Smoke began filling the room, and as the vapor hit, my lungs burned and I started coughing and spluttering. What the fuck? We were in Portland, not exactly a war-torn city. Who was attacking us and where the hell had they gotten this type of weapon? It had to be Sanctum. It was too much of a coincidence that the very restaurant we were in just got randomly attacked.

My eyes were streaming tears as our group zipped through the restaurant and out into the back kitchen. Everyone was screaming and I could hear what sounded like gunshots outside—five or six pops in a row. Shit was getting serious now. As soon as we cleared out of the main room, I realized Ryder was on my right, pressed closely against me.

“Sanctum?” I shouted at him, before dissolving into another coughing fit.

We finally reached clear air near the open back door, but the longer we stood there the more the damn smoke followed us. Sucking in as much of the fresh Portland air as I could, my cough started to subside, but I could already feel the roar of pain in my throat. Ryder hadn’t answered me yet, and before I could ask again he let me go and withdrew the gun he always carried.

“Stay here,” he said, his tone firm. He turned, and with Kyle on the other side of him, the pair slid out the back door—probably checking to see if it was safe for us to leave.

I glanced back to find the smoke still billowing out of the main restaurant and surrounding our group. Had Ryder seriously warned me to stay put? I was so totally ignoring the bossy enforcer, because really, who the hell did he think he was ordering me to do anything? He could be in danger out there. It was that thought more than any other that propelled me forward.

Oliver, who had been standing beside me, made no real objections when I followed the rest of the enforcers into the alley. I noticed Ryder, Kyle, Markus, and Jared near the main street. The lights were filtering across their faces. Oliver and I strode closer.

As I neared the group I heard Jared call out. “It’s the damn Bible thumpers again!”

Markus, who towered over the other men, was looking uncharacteristically serious as he turned to face Ryder. “They’re gone. Sam went postal on them, shot up their vans.”

“Bible thumpers?” I asked as I stepped into their inner circle. Ryder didn’t seem overly surprised to see me, but still gave me a bit of a deadpan glance. He’d totally known I would not stay put, but still had to issue the demand. Men.

Before they could answer, my eyes were drawn to a nearby wall, which was plastered with government issued “Are you an ash?” posters, the ones which listed the symptoms and had the hotline number at the bottom. All of them were defaced with red spray paint, so fresh it still dripped from the posters. It took me a second in the dim light, but then I finally realized what had been tagged on them. One word: Evil. I shivered. Okay, now I was more than creeped out—standing here in the dark streets after having just been smoke-bombed out of my dinner date.

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