Unremarkable (Anything But #2)(10)By: Lindy Zart
Hands up, Christian slowly stood. “What did you do to Jax and Dominic?” Keep her talking, just keep her talking.
Natasha snorted. “I knocked them out. You guys need better training.”
His jaw tightened. “We have no training. All we know, all we learn, we figure out on our own. We’re the garbage, remember? We don’t exactly get the same privileges as you.”
An indecipherable gleam entered her eyes. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Why are you here?” he demanded.
“Christian, you’re wasting your breath trying to talk to her. She’s toying with us, and when she’s done, she’s going to shoot us,” Juli said from behind him.
The gun wavered.
Christian’s eyes narrowed as he watched Natasha’s shaking arm. “Are there even bullets in it?” He took a step toward her and the gun swung to his head.
“I don’t think there are. What is your motive?”
Natasha’s throat worked as she tried to swallow and Christian could smell her fear, potent and bitter. “I said, stay back.”
“Christian!” Panic raised Juli’s voice.
“Or what? You’ll shoot?” He stopped when the barrel of the gun was touching his chest. “Go on then. Shoot.” Christian stared into her eyes. “Only you watch me while you pull the trigger.”
“You won’t die, if I shoot you,” she whispered. “You’ll heal.”
“So what’s stopping you then? Give it a try.”
“You’ll only die if you’re shot in the brain.”
The gun lifted to his forehead and Christian tried not to flinch. It clicked, his eyes watching hers widen in horror, and he moved. One hand grabbed the gun and twisted, the other slammed into her chest with enough force to send her into the wall a few feet away. Natasha slid to the dirty, damp ground, her head bowed as shivers swept through her small frame. She didn’t look brave or vindictive anymore; she looked like a lost, scared little girl.
“Next time, make sure it has bullets.” Christian put the safety on the gun before shoving it into the waistband of his pants.
His eyes found Brett and Dylan Roth, brothers both turned UDs, a rare occurrence. The odds of two siblings having the disease were almost unheard of. “Tie her up. She’s coming with us.”
“Tie her up? We can’t have her with us, Christian. It’s too dangerous,” Juli argued.
“What’s the alternative?” His eyebrows lifted as he waited.
She sighed, rubbing her face. The alternative was death. Juli knew it. Tenderhearted, there was no way she would allow that if given another option.
“Can’t we just knock her out and leave her here?”
“She can help us. We need training.”
“She tried to kill you!”
“She didn’t succeed.”
Confusion marred Juli’s features. “What? You’re not serious. She’ll try again. You know she will. Look at her. She hates us.”
“She can help us, or she can die.” He caught Natasha stiffening out of the corner of his eye. Looking around the bedraggled group, he said, “Pack up. We’re leaving.”
On his way past Jax and Dominic, he kicked their legs and they began to awaken, blinking at him as they sat up. He glared down at them. “You two are sorry excuses for guards, you know that?”
Jax’s shoulders slumped, but Dominic argued, “She came out of nowhere! I didn’t even know what was happening until it was too late.”
Christian held up a hand. “We need training; that much is clear.” He glanced over to a trussed up Natasha. Hands bound before her, she stood straight, her eyes telling Christian how much she loathed him. “And now we have someone who can train us.”
“I’d rather die first,” Natasha spat out.
Rubbing his mouth, he shrugged. “That can be arranged.”
“You’ll find out soon enough, Natasha; I don’t lie.”
He didn’t smile. There was his public face—the one he had carefully honed for years—confident, arrogant, carefree, grinning Ryder. Then there was the real Ryder—the one who never smiled. You would think it would be hard to pretend everything was okay when it wasn’t, but actually, it was easy. The UDKs had a system: you began as a recruit, advanced to an officer, then an agent, and few became superiors. There were a handful of them acting as superiors at any one time throughout the United States.