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Savage Hunger

By:Shelli Stevens



Chapter One

Screams ripped through the hallway of the deserted lab. The not-quite-human sounds bounced off the walls of the dark corridor, reverberating through Sienna Peters’s skull and all the way down to her high-heeled toes.

Stop. God, she just wanted them to stop. But the feral screams continued, shaking her resolve almost as much as they did the building. The raw, guttural cries implied something primitive. Something filled with rage.

Frozen in place, her heart pounded a furious tempo as she pressed her palm against the wall to orient herself, struggling to control her erratic breathing.

She glanced around the building she was in. It was unmarked, far from the rest of the structures on the institute’s property, and strictly off limits. The outside of the lab had been littered with Keep Out and Private Property signs, the inside dusty enough to tickle her nose, while cobwebs stretched across darkened corners to increase the creepiness of the place. The few ceiling lights that still worked flickered and wheezed with the effort to stay lit.

From its appearance, the building owned by Feloray Laboratories hadn’t been used in years, but anyone who could get close enough could plainly hear otherwise. Or, if they got inside, they’d spot the sparkling state-of-the-art computers and digital cameras mounted to the walls that recorded every move. Those cameras weren’t recording right now though, she’d personally seen to it.

Sienna’s hand trembled as she bunched the blue chiffon of her floor-length evening gown up her leg, baring her thigh. She pulled the knife from the sheath hidden beneath the elegant gown, then let the fabric drop back to the floor in a billowing drift of silk.

She’d chosen her attire for tonight’s charity gala carefully, so she’d be prepared when she finally got the chance to slip away from the formal occasion. The full skirt of her dress hid the weapon in case she was discovered, because getting caught would be epically bad.

Resolutely she continued down the hallway. With the screams echoing around her it was all too tempting to turn and head to the safety of her car a mile away. The logical side of her brain demanded she do so. But something inside her was fiercely determined and wouldn’t let her turn tail. There was no option but to help these creatures, especially since, despite all her years studying to be a biochemist, she couldn’t help them in the way they needed.

Until this afternoon she hadn’t even known of their existence. Logic and science should’ve ruled out the possibility. Even now, had it not been for the ungodly screams from the room down the hall, she might not have believed it.

The cries died out again, leaving a sudden silence that felt every bit as alarming and frightening as the cacophony of screams had been.

“Keep moving,” she whispered steadfastly to herself. “You will do this.”

Sienna wiped a trickle of sweat off her forehead; the lab was sweltering without air-conditioning in the midsummer heat.

Another howl pierced the air. Lingering. The anguish in the owner’s voice made tears of empathy prick at her eyes.

She really had no choice.

Sienna drew in an unsteady breath and moved down the darkened hallway toward the screams, the knife clutched in one sweaty hand.





“Donovan, can you confirm hostage location?”

“Affirmative.” Warrick Donovan touched the button on his earpiece while one hand rested on his weapon. He stared down the dim passage of the building and took in another lungful of musty air. Keeping his voice quiet, he replied, “Seven hostages, secured in one large holding cell.”

“Taking down all cameras in five,” Nathan Larson, the commander of the op, said through his headset. “Stand by and avoid surveillance in section four—it isn’t networked and won’t go off-line with the others.”

The communication device in his ear went silent as the agent on the other end hacked into the Feloray computer system.

Warrick stroked the butt of his Glock as adrenaline rushed through his blood. Stand by? Easier said than done. Especially with the screams of pain that continued to shake the walls of this run-down, mildew-infested hellhole. This building was the secret bastard child of Feloray Laboratories.

Damn it. Let’s do this already.

Another agonized shriek split the air. The sound sent a frisson of unease down Warrick’s spine and made the hair on the back of his neck raise. God only knew what the hell was being done to the guys locked up in the cell. But whatever it was, it stopped tonight.

Anger brewed, making his blood pound and his jaw clench as he waited for the go signal. Though nobody would ever claim Warrick to be a patient guy.

“We’ve got a problem.”

Besides the obvious? He didn’t say the words, knew they had to keep chatter at a minimum. Instead he waited for Larson to continue.

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