RawHeat by Charlotte Stein Read Free Book Online

Book: RawHeat by Charlotte Stein Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charlotte Stein
wasn’t dressed for the outside, wasn’t aware
of the throng of frantic people around her. She was only aware of Connor, and
what the wolves would do to a human-lover, if they found one.
    She pretended she couldn’t hear the shouting as she pushed
her way through the stream of bodies. The stream was getting thin, however—much
thinner than it had been the last time the alarm sounded—which was both good
and bad. Good because it meant she could get through easy enough.
    Bad because it meant their numbers were dwindling. And also
bad because Tara would absolutely know she was ignoring her, while going in the
wrong direction. Her friend couldn’t fail to spot it. She’d just shoved a guy
against the sandy wall to get through faster, for God’s sake.
    Though while doing so she hadn’t considered one important
thing. What if the wolves were coming in from the direction of the labs?
    It seemed like a reasonable assumption, considering everyone
was running away from that place. And she’d left her only weapon back in her
room too—though doing so was an easier thing to fathom. Her weapon was a
silver-striped machete that cut through werewolf flesh and bone like a sizzling
hot poker through ice.
    And when she thought of it now, all she could see was Connor
without an arm. Connor without a leg. Connor chopped into two pieces like she’d
done to the wolf who’d cornered her and the little girl whose name she’d never
actually found out.
    You had to, that was the thing. You had to when they were
coming at you, because they wouldn’t stop. They wouldn’t stop, the way Connor
had. The way he absolutely had even though he’d been given every reason to bite
down hard.
    Was he just different? Different, like Reddick claimed? She
didn’t know, and now Tara was shouting and shouting after her and any second
she was going to follow her to the labs and—
    “Fuck you then, you maniac!”
    Or maybe not. Thank God, maybe not. Weird, that she couldn’t
stop thinking thank God over her best friend leaving her to die and
calling her a maniac, but there it was.
    Only Connor mattered now.
    She wrenched open the door to the lab thinking two terrible
things—the first being, It’s been shut and locked, as though there are
already things in there, waiting for me . And the other was just the image
of Dr. Philips using his tranq-gun to put a dart in Connor’s eye. Like a final
fuck you to the wolves, before he fled his lab forever.
    Would a dart kill him? Loaded with nightshade, most
probably. And when she did get in there, heart trying to rip out of her body
and everything in her screaming run , run , it was so dark she
couldn’t tell a thing. She couldn’t tell if she was going to get a wolf to the
face any second. She couldn’t hear anything because of the alarm that hadn’t
stopped wailing and wailing.
    All she knew for certain was the sound of her own panicky
breathing and the smell of horrible things burning and darkness, darkness
everywhere. She stepped forward and knocked into something loud and clattering,
then slapped her hands tight over her mouth.
    If anything was in here—anything that had escaped or
breached its way in—it wouldn’t do to scream. The stench of blood and sweat and
burned flesh in here might keep a wolf off her scent.
    But a scream would surely draw it.
    God, how she wished she’d brought her machete. Not bringing
it just seemed so soft-hearted and ridiculous now. Connor would probably call
her soft-hearted and ridiculous, for God’s sake. She’d seen him tear apart
another wolf when it threatened him. He knew the score.
    Even while probably full of nightshade and likely dead, he
knew the score.
    She tried not to sob into her hand, but several things made
it hard. Like trying to remember if she’d ever felt this strongly about anyone
in her entire life, so strong it was making her weak and flail-y in the
darkness. She couldn’t recall ever feeling this way about her mother, and

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