Read Alliance Online

Authors: Lacy Williams as Lacy Yager,Haley Yager

Tags: #Romance, #Paranormal, #Vampires, #Teen & Young Adult, #Literature & Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Paranormal & Urban, #Teen fiction, #YA fiction

Alliance (12 page)

I can’t call the cops. If E.W. House has done a room check, which I have to expect by this point, they’ll have noticed Rachel is missing. And relatives are the first ones suspected when someone disappears, which means we can’t stay here long either.

“Are you sure she was with you when you got to the mall?” I ask, frustrated beyond belief. Rachel should
know
better than to let Chloe out of her sight.

“Of course I’m sure.” Rachel stands in the doorway with arms crossed. Her voice is defensive. “The mall was busy, so I thought we’d be safe. I just wanted to go in this one store—they had a cute—”

“I don’t want to hear about some skirt or shirt you thought was ‘cute.’ Chloe is
lost
, maybe dead.”

Rachel flinches, but I refuse to soften my tone.

The worst part is, I’m at least as much at fault as Rachel is. It was laughably easy for Rach to get out of E.W. House tonight. If I hadn’t been distracted by Maggie and her dress and her skin under my hands… I would have caught up with my sisters before they got to the mall anyway.

“I guess I can’t do anything right.”

“Save me the pity party,” I grouse, tired of Rachel’s theatrics. “Let’s find Chloe and then we’ll talk.”

If Chloe’s still alive to be found…

My cell phone peals in the silence of our apartment. I grab it, not even taking time to look at the display.

“Chloe?”

It sounds like whoever’s calling is inside a car. I hear muted voices but no one speaks into the phone.

“Hello? Chloe?”

“Shane? It’s Maggie.”

Her voice hits me in the solar plexus. I experience a sharp flare of hope—I’m not sure if it’s about Chloe or just from hearing Maggie’s voice—and barely have time to wonder why she’s calling when she says, “I’ve got Chloe.”

Relief threatens to send me to my knees, and I sit down on the rickety dining chair. Funny how I don’t question Chloe’s safety with this particular vampire.

“You do? How? Where are you?” I wave at Rachel; she seems to understand Chloe’s been found, her face is vulnerable and open for once.

Maggie doesn’t answer my questions; what she says instead threatens to unman me. “I need to know what Chloe’s medical condition is. She’s had some kind of seizure and—”

There’s a muffled curse.

“Lily, you’ve got to keep pressure on the bite.”

“Who’s Lily? What bite? Did you bite Chloe?”

Rachel’s head comes up she mouths ‘Lily’? I shrug and she pantomime’s something, but I don’t get it

“Of course not,” Maggie snarls into the phone. Is she vamped out right now? If so, then Chloe’s
not
safe with her. “I can’t tell if anything’s wrong with Chloe because she’s unconscious. She has no visible injuries.”

Exhaling a relieved sigh, I precede Rach down the outside stairs and sprint across the parking lot to my truck.

“There is no medical condition,” I say into my phone, juggling my keys and finally jamming the right one into the door lock. “Chloe’s—”

“Supernatural,” Maggie finishes for me. I shouldn’t be surprised that she’s figured it out, but I am.

“We don’t know what causes the seizures. If it’s one of her usual ones, she should come to in a few minutes.” I throw the truck in gear and skid out of the apartment parking lot. “Where are you?” I ask again.

“We’re on our way to Logan International.”

Airport? Guess Maggie wasn’t joking around about getting out of town.

“I’ll meet you there to pick up Chloe,” I tell her, and pull a u-turn in the middle of the street so I’m going the right direction. Rachel clings to her seatbelt and yelps.

“Fine,” Maggie says in a clipped voice. She hangs up on me without saying goodbye.

She doesn’t sound too happy about seeing me again, but what can I expect? I deserve her hatred, but it bothers me more than it should.

~o~

I’ve got a really bad feeling as I take the exit ramp to the private hangars, where Maggie’s text message instructions said to come. I’ve never been to this part of an airport before—it’s usually reserved for the rich and famous. So what’s Maggie doing bringing me here?

I can’t protest though. I’ve got to get Chloe.

It’s close to five a.m. now, but the sun will be up shortly. The darkness feels oppressive, and I can’t wait for dawn.

I drive the truck over to hangar F, just like Maggie instructed. She’s waiting, standing outside an enormous corrugated metal door, half raised.

She’s alone. Something’s wrong.

I tense. She waves me to drive the truck right inside, and I have no choice but to do it. I crane my neck as we pass through into the hangar. Was that someone hiding under the eaves of the roof? Surely not. I look back and it just appears to be shadows.

“I don’t like this,” Rachel mutters beside me. She holds a dagger in each hand and twirls them, a nervous habit.

I park next to a glossy black SUV with windows tinted so I can’t see inside. Across the way is a sleek silver jet. A man in jeans and a leather bomber jacket checks something under the wings. The pilot?

In the rearview mirror I see Maggie hesitate outside the hangar before she darts in and jabs a button on the wall. The big corrugated door rolls down just like a garage door on a house.

When it’s closed, the bright lights from the tarmac are muted and any visibility I just had is gone. Crap.

“This doesn’t feel right,” Rachel whispers.

“I know. But we gotta get Chloe.” I keep my knife sheathed, but put my hand to my waist as I reach for the door handle. “Wait here,” I tell Rachel, and jump out of the truck.

“Yeah, right.” I hear the quiet words behind me and the slam of another door.

Why can’t my sister ever
listen
to me? “Rach!”

“I’m not leaving you alone with her. This could be a trick.”

Maggie laughs, but it echoes in the large, open building and I can’t tell her location. The hair on the back of my neck stands up.

“It’s not a trick,” Maggie says, closer now. “And we have a major problem.”

I edge around the side of my vehicle and try to be stealthy as I push up on the side of the truck bed and hop into it, dropping into a crouch.

I’m reaching for the lock on the toolbox behind the cab when something goes
cshh
and there’s a bright flare of light.

Maggie steps to the side of the truck, holding one of those safety flares like you see policemen using to block off lanes of traffic if there’s a wreck at night. Her eyes are black and I wonder if I my previous feeling that Maggie was safe is going to –literally—come back and bite me.

“Where’s Chloe?” My feeling that all isn’t right keeps intensifying and all I want to do is get out of here. I fumble the lock open, wanting to be armed with more than a blade.

Maggie motions behind her, and I see she has fresh blood on her neck. “In the SUV. She’s awake now. You can start explaining why they’re coming after her on the plane. Let’s go.”

“Whoa, wait—”

“We’re not going anywhere with you, bloodsucker.” Rachel’s hiss interrupts me. She’s taken a fighting stance but luckily she and Maggie are on opposite sides of the truck.

“Yes, you are, unless you want them to kill all three of you. I think we’ve got about two minutes lead time right now.”

“Want
who
to what?” I ask. She’s not making any sense.

“Maggie!” A male voice calls out—the guy from under the plane. How is he getting around in the near-pitch black?


Cataratoares
,” she says. I imagine Maggie’s Romanian is perfect; I’ve never heard the word before, only seen it in some of the older books my parents showed me before they died and all our belongings disappeared. A chill runs down my spine and even Rachel is silent.

“What the—” The man says a foul word and steps out from behind the stairs connecting the plane to the ground. That’s when I see he’s not a man at all. He looks about eighteen, and he’s a vamp. He’s got his head turned toward the SUV and even with only the flickering light from Maggie’s flare, I see his nostrils flare. “Maggie, what do you have in there?”

Maggie stalks over to the SUV, taking her light with her and leaving me in shadows. I prop open the lid of the toolbox and reach for my own personal version of a room broom.

“Just stay back, Daniel.” Maggie says. “Lock yourself in the cockpit and I’ll get everyone on board. Don’t come out until we get to London.”

London? What?

“Heck, no. I didn’t sign up to ferry a bunch of–”

“Daniel…”

“It’s not possible,” Rachel says to me, eyes on the byplay of the two vamps in front of us. “She’s bluffing.
Cataratoares
are extinct.”

So we think. There haven’t been any reports of the winged, mutant vampires in about a century, but has there been actual proof that they don’t exist any longer?

“You can believe me or not, but they’re going to be here in about…”

Something large bangs into the metal door that Maggie closed only moments ago.

“Now!” Maggie yanks open the SUV’s back door, yelling, “Lily, help me get Hannah!”

A window near the roof busts, sending shattered glass down on our heads. A nasty-looking half man, half bird swoops down and I get a flash of two-inch fangs, plus green, leathery skin and evil yellow eyes before I flop flat on my stomach in the truck bed. The air above my head whistles, but I don’t feel any pain. Maybe it missed.

“Rach!” I yell.

“I’m under the truck!” she cries out.

“We gotta get Chloe out of here!”

Just then, the giant garage door gives with a metal groan, and flies inside, barely missing the vehicles.

 

 

16 - Maggie

Daniel isn’t arguing with me anymore, so that’s one positive.

It’s about the only one I can find in this situation.

I hear his footsteps clang up the plane’s stairs and a moment later the engines start humming.

I’ve known Daniel long enough to understand I’ve got about thirty seconds to get everyone on that plane before Daniel takes off to save his own hide.

More
cats
have flown inside the hangar after the first two. Ducking to avoid being decapitated by one of them, I catch a whiff of death and decay. Gross.

Get the girl. Leave me.

I ignore Hannah’s impassioned plea; she’s stupid if she thinks I’m going to let her be the sacrificial lamb here. I block most of the open doorway with my body and reach in to slide my arms under Hannah’s arms and knees.

“We’re all going.” And I make my tone so there’s no question about it.

Something slams against the roof of the SUV, denting it inward. There’s a sound like metal tearing and I realize the thing must be trying to claw its way inside the SUV.

Lily shrieks. She’s huddling almost completely in the floor and I’ve got to say I’m impressed—I didn’t think one person could fold into quite that small of a pretzel.

Chloe stares at me, wide-eyed. I try to smile reassuringly at her, but I’m feeling a little shaky myself.

“Lily. We’re going to get out of here but you have to get on the airplane, okay?”

“I c-can’t.”

“Yes, you can. Just run for it.” I don’t say that these monsters aren’t that interested in her since she’s human but I don’t want to frighten Chloe.

Something slams into the body of the SUV next to me and talons rip through my upper chest all the way through to my collarbone, causing me to drop Hannah into the seat. She grunts, but makes no other sound to show her pain.

“Get away!” a female voice screams. Rachel. The
cat
releases me. A gunshot sounds, so loud and close that it rocks my chest. The bird-thing doesn’t fall, just flies away, screeching loudly.

The front door of the SUV is yanked open. “Chloe, get up here!”

The little girl responds instantly to her sister’s command, crawling over the center console. She wraps arms and legs around Rachel in a piggyback hold, so Rachel’s got her hands free for the two large guns she’s holding.

I heft Hannah, having to use a little more effort this time thanks to additional injuries, and maneuver her out of the vehicle. The fresh blood flowing from her wounds threatens to make me lose my tenuous hold on my control.

“C’mon, Lily!” Rachel’s terse command snaps me out of the moment.

I turn to the plane, concerned at how we’re going to cross the twenty feet or so to get there. Daniel’s already started taxiing, albeit slowly, so we’ve got to get on now.

Except Shane’s standing a few feet away, covering us with a… blowtorch and a soda dispenser?

“What—” I don’t get the question out before the
cats
are swooping towards us. I try to turn and spare Hannah as much of their attack as possible, and that’s when I see Shane start spraying liquid from the soda dispenser. He holds the blowtorch’s flame to the mouth of the soda canister and a huge flame engulfs the nearest monsters.

Almost as one, they shriek and it’s an awful sound—worse than nails on a chalkboard. They bank sharply upward to avoid the flames, although it doesn’t seem to have done them permanent damage. It buys us enough time to get to the plane.

Rachel and Chloe are the first ones up the steps, Rachel’s earlier protests apparently forgotten. Lily’s right behind them and I’m behind her, with Shane bringing up the rear.

I stumble on the last step and for a moment I’m afraid I’ll fall backward, but Shane gives me a shove into the sleek interior of my brother’s jet. I fall to my knees and Hannah gets dumped on the floor.

Lily helps pull Hannah out of the way; I stay where I am, almost too weak to move, even in my vampire state. The jet accelerates and I feel the change in the air. We’re out in the open air now, but we haven’t escaped yet.

Sure enough, a couple loud thuds shake the jet’s cabin. Several of the
cats
have landed on the wing just behind the still-open cabin door.

“Maggie!” Daniel yells my name, and I look up to see the door to the cockpit is open a crack. I hope he can control himself enough not to succumb to Chloe’s delectable smell, but at this point he’s Shane’s problem because I’m done in.

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