Born of Night(4)

By: Sherrilyn Kenyon

As well as how to beat an attacker into the ground.

A determined grimace settled over her face as she headed toward the door on unsteady feet. True, it’d been years since she’d bypassed the intense security and picked the locks on her house to sneak outside and meet her friends after curfew, but she was sure she would remember how.

She had to.

Besides, the chance that this rusted-out junker had the latest in security was slim to none. If they couldn’t afford a clean mattress and repairs, they surely couldn’t pay the exorbitant fees a security company charged to update their systems.

Reaching the door, Kiara ran her hand over the smooth keypad. Very old indeed. How quaint. It reminded her of the locks on her grandfather’s house from twenty years ago.

She looked around for anything that might give her a clue about the key code, but there were no numbers listed anywhere. Nothing personal about her attackers other than what they ate and how filthy they were.

Ugh! There was no use in simply guessing random number sequences since that could very well lock her out completely and trap her here. It might even gas her back into unconsciousness.

Or death.

One could never be too sure what tricks a lowlife might use.

“I’ll have to rewire you.” If she could find a means of unbolting the lock from the wall . . .

With a sigh, Kiara glanced about the room, noting the inordinate amount of garbage strewn across the floor. She wrinkled her nose in distaste of the disgusting odor. The thick, steel walls were covered by huge spots of rust and corrosion. How in the universe had this craft ever passed space inspection? It wasn’t fit to carry the stinking garbage offending her, let alone human occupants.

They must have greased a major palm.

“Suck it up, baby,” she said under her breath. “You have to find something for that lock and get out of here.” Surely there was an escape shuttle or pod she could find and launch.

Heck, at this point, she’d be willing to eject herself into space and float home—at least if she could find a suit that would protect her from the vacuum of space.

She curled her lip at the nastiness as she kicked at a pile near her, looking for something she could use on the door. I’d rather be eaten alive than call this place home . . .

There was a pile of half-gnawed food under a small towel. “Ah, gross.”

One would think the sheer disgustingness of this mess would kill them. Where were flesh-eating parasites when she needed them?

Suddenly she heard footsteps approaching in the corridor outside. Even more determined than before, she cast her gaze around, searching for a weapon.

Nothing but the wilted garbage met her sight.

Kiara growled deep in her throat. The only help the garbage offered was the possibility her kidnappers might faint from the stench.

If only she were so lucky. They probably smelled worse than the garbage did.

Clenching her teeth, she pressed herself against the wall by the door and waited to attack them when they entered.


“I can’t wait to get some pleasure out of this,” a man said, his voice slowly drawing near her room. “Did you see her? That tight body is the stuff of legends.”

Kiara narrowed her gaze as rage and fear consumed her. No one would ever make her feel powerless again.Ever.

“I don’t know, Chenz,” another man spoke. “I think we oughta wait till we get further out. I keep thinking about Poll’s message that Nemesis is after us. We need to take that seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I want a piece of her too, but I’d rather wait until we’re safe.”

Her vision dimmed with fury. They might kill her, but she intended to take a large piece of them with her on her way out the door.

Chenz’s laugh echoed in the hallway. The arrogant sound sent a shiver down her spine. “Nemesis ain’t nothing to fear. We done been paid, I say we ought to enjoy every minute of this.”

The gears hummed in the door as it slowly slid upward.

Kiara tensed, waiting to pounce.

Two of the nastiest beings she’d ever seen walked inside. Yeah, their stench beat out the garbage and then some. Why did she have to be right on that point? It was enough to make her gag. Had they never taken a bath in their putrid lives?

She conceded they were human, though neither did honor to her race.

Kiara curled her lip at the shorter one, wondering how he could stand to look at his ugly, warted face long enough to shave. But then, by the amount of stubble on his pudgy jowls, she could tell he didn’t look too often.

The man at his side was only a few inches taller. His long, sharp, angular features reminded her of one of the beasties her nurse used to frighten her with when she was a child.

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