Home > Blood Bonds (The Bonds That Tie #3)

Blood Bonds (The Bonds That Tie #3)
Author: J. Bree

 


Prologue

 

 

Oli


The hospital is loud and cold.

My bond is quiet in my chest, as though the surge of it coming out to protect me has sated the constant thirst for blood it seems to have for now, but I already know it won’t last long. The craving, the wanting, the overwhelming need to consume… it never goes away for long.

“Oleander? Oleander Fallows? God, you look like a pretty little thing sitting up there in that big bed. All of that long, blonde hair, your Bonds are going to be so happy to know that you made it out of that car wreck unharmed.”

I can’t look up at the nurse who is speaking to me, her tone warm and kind, and instead, my eyes focus on the long tendrils of my hair that are over my face. Blonde, it’s not though. It’s silver now, but yesterday it was black. Whatever happened in that car, it had bleached the color from my hair.

I struggle not to let the tears brimming in my eyes fall.

The nurse clicks her tongue, perching on the bed beside me and gently patting the back of my hand. “It’s okay, I spoke to the head nurse, and she said your Bonds are on their way here. It’s all very secret and hush-hush around here, so they must be important. I know that at least one of them is old enough to sign for your care, he’s the one who got you moved into this big, private room, so he must be from one of the upper society families. Don’t be scared, with a Bond like that, you’re going to be okay.”

The more she talks, the more furious my bond gets.

I didn’t understand it then, but the woman is trying to get me to talk to her, to figure out who it was that I belong to, so she could sell me out. My bond knew it, and so it urged me to keep my mouth shut, and even though I hate it most of the time, I listen when it tells me something like that.

“Belinda? What are you doing in here? Leave Oleander alone!”

I glance up to see Nurse June scowling in the doorway, one fist propped on her hip like she’s ready to drag the other woman out of here at a moment’s notice. When I woke up in the emergency room, she was the first person I’d seen, and she had been the person to tell me that my parents were killed in the accident. I’d already known, but the way that she had broken the news and treated me ever since, it made me like her and, more importantly, trust her.

Her eyes soften a fraction when they land on me and she says, “Your lunch is on its way up now, and the counselor will come in to speak with you as soon as you’re done eating. He took a little while to get here, but he’s the best in the city. Your Bond made sure of that.”

Belinda’s eyes snap over to me again but when she opens her mouth, Nurse June steps into the room and cuts her off. “I will be writing you up with a warning, now get out of this room, and stop sticking your nose in where it doesn’t belong!”

With a huff and mumbled complaints, Belinda gets up from the bed and stalks out of the room with a sneer at Nurse June, who barely bothers to glance her way.

I tip my head back finally and look at the older woman, my words stilted and faltering, “I don’t want to talk about my Bonds.”

She nods and pulls the curtains open a little wider, the midday sun bright as it streams into the room, “It’s for the best if you don’t, not until they get here. Too many prying ears and eyes in this place. All you need to remember is that everything is going to be okay once they get here.”

I nod and watch her fuss with things a little more, hoping she’ll stay here until the food arrives. I want to speak to her, to tell her what the hell is going on right now, but my tongue is frozen in my mouth. After another moment of checking over my paperwork, she smiles at me and leaves without another word.

My eyes squeeze shut the moment the door closes, terror racing through my veins when the voice in the corner starts to speak again, “I thought they’d be in here forever, deadly little Soul Render. Now, where were we? Ah, of course… I was telling you about all of the things you’ll do to your Bonds if you stay here with them. All of that pain and suffering, all of the destruction, just for being with you. It’s much safer for you all if you come with me.”

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

North


Bodies fall to the dirt around us in unceremonious heaps, limbs torn away and chunks missing from their torsos, thanks to the hundreds of nightmare creatures roaming the camp.

All three of the TacTeams working with us today are forming a perimeter, careful not to move in while the carnage is taking place because the infamous Draven nightmares don’t distinguish friend from foe when they’re in a feeding frenzy like this. No, there’s only bodies to consume and tear apart until blood and gore is dripping from their jaws as their eyes shine with an eerie and unnatural light.

The camp is an older one, more established and full of heavily brainwashed Gifted who’ll take months to process and deprogram. I want to be noble and say that we’re here to save them, that we’ve watched this camp for months and planned out this rescue to bring these people home to their families, and on paper, that’s all true.

But as an older camp, it’s also full of records, and Gryphon has become obsessed with sifting through Resistance data. It’s not hard to figure out his motives. There’s something he knows about our Bond that he’s choosing not to share, but when he finds whatever he’s looking for…

We might all finally get some answers.

There’s a static sound in my earpiece and then Gryphon’s voice comes through, “Prisoners are in the biggest tent on the east side. Bravo team, move out.”

I unholster one of my guns and then hold my palm out to call my nightmare creatures back into myself now that the majority of the Resistance here have been dealt with. There’s still a chance that we’ve missed some, thus the gun, but the risk of killing innocents is too high to keep them out and consuming.

Most of the creatures melt away back into me as though they’re obedient, others go back in snarling and screaming. The biggest of them all, the one that I refuse to call August, stops short to stare at me with it’s glowing void eyes.

It stares at me like it is the docile puppy Oleander seems so intent on it being. It stares at me like it’s pissed off she’s not here, dropping to her knees to shower it with love and affection.

It stares at me like it knows something is wrong.

“Is he still giving you shit thanks to Oli?” Gryphon says as he walks up behind me, bolder and less cautious now that he’s seen the creature heel to our little Bond.

“It is, yes. There’s something… off about the camp. Keep your eyes peeled, and stick close.”

He smirks at my distinction of the creature, enjoying riling me up on Oleander’s behalf, which is both new and completely typical of him.

He’s going to be a nightmare going forward, especially if he stays the only Bonded of us all.

I have to wrench my mind away from that particular path, something that could occupy me for days if I really wanted to follow that thought process. Maybe being stuck in council meetings has been a blessing in disguise, keeping me distracted and busy so that I don’t have to think about our little mysterious Bond, who might just have had a real reason to run from us after all.

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