Lie Close To Me (Lazarus Rising Book 5)(7)

By: Cynthia Eden

He let her go.

She stared at the exam table, transfixed. Broken straps hung from the table. She counted six straps. They appeared to have been torn in half. Blood soaked the table. Blood dripped on the floor. It smeared across the old tile, heading toward the door.

But there had been no blood in the hallway. Or on the stairs. All of the blood was in this one room.

“It’s your fucking blood.” Anger hardened Maddox’s words.

Luna flinched. “H-how can you tell?” She didn’t have any cuts on her body. She didn’t feel hurt anywhere.

“The smell.” He advanced toward the table.

Um, okay.

Maddox stopped near an instrument tray, one that had been upended and tossed onto the floor. A bloody scalpel was on the tile, along with tweezers, a long syringe, and a few items that Luna really didn’t want to know what they were.

Her legs were rooted to the spot. Had she really been strapped to that table? “I’m not bleeding.”

“No.” He’d crouched near the discarded tray. Maddox picked up the syringe, sniffed it. “Tranq.” A low snarl. “At least they had you knocked out so you didn’t feel the pain.” He dropped the syringe. “Doesn’t make me want to fucking destroy them any less.” Maddox surged back to his feet.

She hurried toward him. “I’m not bleeding,” Luna said again. “There is no blood on me. I couldn’t have been in this room.” I don’t want to be in this room any longer. I need to get out. I’m having a hard time breathing. “You’re wrong.”

He stared at her. “You heal faster than any Lazarus subject I’ve ever seen. One of your gifts. Whoever had you in this room—they hurt you. But you healed. You got away from them. You ran—” He pointed to the trail of blood on the floor. “You got upstairs. You were trying to get out, but—”

“There’s no blood on me,” Luna repeated.

“Because someone must have cleaned you up. Put you in that gown.”

And what? Just left her, unconscious? “I woke up in one of the rooms upstairs.” His coat was the only thing keeping her warm. She felt absolutely ice cold. “And you are the only person in this building with me.”

So if she’d been hurt, it didn’t take a genius to put together the puzzle pieces in order to figure out who’d been the one making her life a living hell.

His shoulders straightened. “Luna, no.”

She backed up a step. “You scare me.”

A furrow appeared between his dark brows.

“I don’t know who I am. How I got here. But I took one look at you, and I was afraid. You know what that tells me? Some part of me recognizes you. Some part of me knows you’re a threat to me.”

His lips thinned. “You don’t understand.”

No, she didn’t. And that was part of the problem.

“I’m taking you back, Luna,” Maddox told her. “You need to be examined. We have to find out what happened here.”

Her heart was racing again. She needed some kind of weapon to fight him, but there was nothing in the room to help her because she was not picking up a bloody scalpel. And being in that place was making her chest feel too tight. “Where,” she managed, “is ‘back’ exactly?”

He stalked toward her. “I’m not picking up any other scents here. Maybe your blood is just too strong, and it’s messing up my head.”

That made no sense to her.

He kept advancing. “But we’re getting out of here. I’ll come back with the rest of the team, and we’ll tear this place apart.”

He still hadn’t told her where ‘back’ was. But since she was only too happy to get out of that particular room, Luna didn’t argue as they hurried up the stairs. He led the way, keeping a hand curled around her wrist. She wished like hell that she could find a weapon, but there was nothing in the stairwell or the hallway. And the guy was big.

He took her out via a broken window, making sure that she didn’t cut her skin on the jagged glass. When she eased away from the shadows of the building, the sunlight was almost blinding. Too bright. Bright, but it was still cold out there. A small puff of fog formed near her mouth.