Read Broken Blood Online

Authors: Heather Hildenbrand

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #werewolf romance, #shifter romance, #young adult paranormal romance, #Dirty blood series, #werewolf paranarmal, #urban fantasy, #Teen romance, #werewolf series, #young adult paranormal, #action and adventure

Broken Blood

BOOK: Broken Blood
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Broken Blood

By

Heather Hildenbrand

Book 5 in the Dirty Blood series

Table of Contents

Title Page

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Chapter One

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Chapter Thirty

The End

Want MORE from the Dirty Blood series? Get it in your inbox! | Deleted scenes, hidden chapters, and extras from Tara, Wes, Alex, and the whole gang! | Sign up for Heather’s Love Birds and get FREE stories and chances to win exclusive prizes! | Sign up here and get your first FREE book emailed NOW!

Want MORE from the Dirty Blood series? Get it in your inbox!
Deleted scenes, hidden chapters, and extras from Tara, Wes, Alex, and the whole gang!
Sign up for Heather’s Love Birds and get FREE stories and chances to win exclusive prizes!
Sign up here and get your first FREE book emailed NOW!

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Chapter Thirty

About the Author

Free Stories

1
6 March

I saw her today in the window of a flower shop downtown. Tara. It almost gave me a heart attack—I mistook her for Elizabeth. She looks so much like her mother but there’s a stubborn glint her mother doesn’t have. She’s a fighter.

The visions are more frequent. I’ll have to approach her soon. Elizabeth will be angry but I don’t see another way. In order to survive what’s to come, she’ll need to understand what and who she really is.

Steppe is already aware of her and so she is in danger even now. Her journey is not an easy one. I can’t yet see the outcome. The future—her future—is liquid. She may or may not find her way. If she does, it will be the best thing that ever happened to her—to us. If she doesn’t, it will kill her. It will kill us all.

I wish I had more time.

—Vera Gallagher
, an entry from her personal journals

Chapter One

––––––––

T
he echo of the boom rang in my ears. Not loud by anyone’s standards. At least, not anyone who hadn’t been confined to sixteen days of straight silence. The grunts of Gordon’s goons as they’d handed me my ass that first day for refusing a meal—that didn’t count as sound. My own cries and screams and name-calling as I’d pounded bruised and bloody fists against my cell walls and the perpetually locked door—that didn’t count either. But this. This was bona fide noise.

Another boom. This one louder than the first.

The wall behind my head shook with a subtle vibration. A thin sheen of dust rained down on my head along with a few chunks of concrete. I sat up and shook the dust out of my face and eyes. And listened.

Far away—or maybe nearby, I couldn’t tell with the concrete walls and immovable door that separated me from them—voices shouted. A faint siren went off, drowning out everything else with its high-pitched whine. What the heck?

I should’ve cared on a deeper level than simply having my sleep disturbed. I did. I tried to. It was the first disturbance I’d experienced in the two weeks since Gordon Steppe and his men had trapped me and my friends in a warehouse and taken us hostage. Or, well, taken
me
hostage. I had no idea what’d happened to the rest of them. George, Logan, Victoria, Wes, Uncle Astor, innocent Emma. I’d like to think they’d gotten away, but I knew better. Gordon, leader of the world’s population of Hunters—a race of super humans created to protect the world from rogue Werewolves—had filled that warehouse with the one thing he knew would stop my Werewolf-hybrid friends: a rare and potent metal called Unbinilium. Basically, a hybrid’s kryptonite.

I still remembered the sickly green color George and Wes had turned when the metal’s properties reached them. They’d looked miserable. Completely incapable of defending themselves. And that’s when Gordon and his goon squad had shown up. I don’t know where the boys were taken but I knew they were here somewhere. They had to be. I didn’t believe for one second those cops had been human. No way was Gordon going to let Wesley St. John be handed over to civilians. Their rivalry was way too strong. Gordon would want Wes close.

Or that’s what I was afraid of, anyway.

Then again, after two solid weeks of solitary confinement, without a clue as to what Gordon Steppe wanted with me, I was beginning to wonder. Maybe I didn’t know what I was talking about. Maybe I was wrong about everything. Maybe he was done with me, done with all of us. Maybe he was just leaving me here to rot.

He did have all the caged hybrids an evil dictator bent on torture could want...

Another boom shook the walls. This time, the vibration knocked a large square of plaster loose from the corner. It fell in a pile near the small sink across the tiny room. I debated whether to get up and inspect the damage. I could see well enough. The lights were always on in here, making it impossible to tell what time of day or night it really was. But the drugs from dinner were still circulating and I couldn’t be sure my legs would work properly even if I tried.

For lack of anything better to do, I swung my legs over the edge of the bed. They were pale under the bright fluorescents. Vitamin D would be nice right about now. UV rays—natural lighting—wouldn’t be so bad either. My toes touched the cold, dust-laden floor, and I pulled them back with a sharp breath.

From somewhere down the hall, a deep voice full of bass cut through the high whine of the siren. My entire body stilled—and jumped and danced and yelled and froze.

“Alex?”

My voice cracked, no more than a whisper. Out of practice. I cleared my throat and tried again.

“Alex?” I called.

I knew better than to think I’d be heard over the alarm. I stood and half-ran, half-hobbled to the concrete door. I hit it with open palms, willing it to be enough, and called out again. “Alex? Can you hear me? It’s Tara! I’m in here!”

I pressed my ear to the cold surface, straining to hear something meaningful over the song of the alarm.

Shots fired in staccato sequence. One, two, three, four. An automatic weapon being fired. I jerked back and winced, pressing my teeth together to keep from calling out so I could hear what came next. But nothing else sounded over the screaming of the alarm. A moment later, that went quiet too. My breaths were either magically quiet or I’d forgotten to take them.

I ordered my lungs to work and swiped my hand down my itchy cheeks. They came away wet. I stared at the moisture like I’d never seen tears before. Is this what it felt like to go crazy? Your entire body feeling like a foreign object in your possession? Like I’d left my luggage alone with strangers and come back to find all sorts of extras thrown in; I had no idea what was me and what was a product of my environment.

And, most importantly, I had no idea what’d just happened out there. Had Alex really been there or was I so far gone, I didn’t know what was real? I hoped, for his sake after hearing the shots fired, it was more the second. I didn’t want to think about what it meant that whoever had been firing had already stopped.

Up in the corner, a buzzing whine sounded. I looked up as the tiny black camera shifted, tracking me and settling on a direct shot of my face as I stared, wide-eyed, at the little red dot behind the lens.

They were watching me, I realized with a fleeting sense of discomfort. They’d been doing it so long, I could barely care. I didn’t even both covering my torso with my arms to hide the fact that my undergarments had been taken and never returned upon arrival. Relieving a girl of her bra, the vulnerability and sense of exposure it caused, was its own kind of torture, but I cared less today than I had yesterday. And the day before that ... and the day before that.

My reality was becoming more and more normal.

I shuffled back to the thin cot and pulled the blanket over my head. 

The only way I knew the drugs had worn off was the smell. I hadn’t showered in—Okay, I couldn’t think about it without my stomach rolling sideways. I knew they drugged me to keep me compliant. Or at least lethargic and weak. But I was grateful for it in moments like this, moments during which my hyper-aware senses couldn’t help but point out the drawbacks of long-term confinement. You know, the little things that no one ever mentioned. Things like personal hygiene. I would seriously kill innocent people for a toothbrush right now.

And a shower? Entire villages. The odor coming from my body right now—Trust me, the ends would totally justify the means.

I had a suspicion my bodily functions and hygienic standards would be way easier if I shifted. But I’d been trying to do so every day for two weeks. I hadn’t been able to shift into a wolf since day three. Maybe Unbinilium affected me after all. There wasn’t a whole lot of exposed metal to be seen inside my cell, but I had a feeling it was here somewhere.

Astor De’Luca, my mad-scientist great-uncle, had said I was immune. A gift of sorts from my dad before his early death at the hands of his deranged brother back when I was a baby. Leo and Gordon Steppe would’ve been great friends, except for the whole race divide.

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