Zeno (Luna Lodge #8)

By: Madison Stevens

Zeno’s satisfied being a grunt among the super-soldier hybrids of Luna Lodge. He’s never been a deep thinker, but he respects his leaders and is happy to be the guy they drop in when they need trouble shut down with a little muscle.

He’s annoyed when he’s ordered to accompany another team on a mission to Peru. The main mission’s fine, but he doesn’t like the idea that he’s also being sent to check on Ava, the flighty sister of the mate of another hybrid. As far as he’s concerned, it’s a waste of his talents to check on some grown woman on vacation.

Ava thought she’d found true love with Antonio on a cruise. Now she’s the prisoner of a dangerous criminal. As far she knows, no one is coming to check on her, so it’s up to her to get away from him before her captor tires of her.

When Zeno and Ava cross paths, they both realize Antonio is far more than he appears. If they are going to escape with their lives, they are going to have to remain focused. Unfortunately, their burning attraction for each other is more than a little distracting.

Chapter One

Fucking meetings. That’s all they did anymore, sit in meetings. The hybrids of Luna Lodge had been created as super-soldiers, not super-managers.

He bit back a laugh and did his best to ignore the buzz of mild conversation around him, waiting for Titus to just get on with things.

They’d had so many plans before the public learned their true nature: for a different life they had under the thumb of the Horatius Group. Back then, they’d assumed the same government that rescued them would help them out. Hope some might call it.

Zeno rolled his neck and tried to stay awake. He ran a hand through his close-cropped blond hair on his way to scratching the back of his neck. He’d suffered through two other meetings that day, and when they called him to stay for the last meeting of the day, he had been less than thrilled.

Dinner would be served soon, and he hated to be the last in the chow hall. Being the last one in meant he would get what was left, and it was never much. He’d already missed lunch because of an earlier meeting.

He glanced around the table, an odd bunch for him, high-ups like Titus, Lucius and Sol. Not exactly his normal crew.

It wasn’t that he didn’t work on occasion with any of the leaders of their group, but he was a grunt, the guy called in to make sure shit wasn’t going down and stayed that way.

Varius, the hybrid he’d become the closest to, had been absent for a number of recent meetings and briefings. The two were normally paired off for crap like this: Zeno for his muscle and Varius for his keen senses, and that was saying a lot considering how good all hybrids’ senses were compared to normal humans.

Zeno wondered what was going on with the Varius but didn’t push. He’d found that his quiet friend would talk when he was ready and not sooner.

He liked Varius. The other hybrid seemed to get him. He understood Zeno was satisfied being the guy other people told what to do. There were perks to being the muscle with no chance of promotion. It meant he had more time to spend on working out or just enjoying all the little things they hadn’t been able to when the damned Horatius Group controlled their lives.

He flexed the muscles across his chest and liked that the t-shirt he was wearing stretched across the wide expanse. Some people were just meant to be certain things, and he was most certainly meant to be a grunt for his leaders.

Titus cleared his throat. “Most of you already know what I’m about to say, but for those who don’t, pay attention.”

The room grew silent. Zeno looked around the table as several people watched him. He rested his gaze on the new nurse, Paige. He was just thankful he didn’t have to be locked in another meeting with their doctor, Rachel.

She’d been the object of his desire for some time before she bonded with Marius. The sting of being pushed aside for some computer geek still burned him a bit. It wasn’t that he really wanted Rachel but more that someone like Marius could get a woman, and he couldn’t.

Zeno worried it said something about him more than anything. Maybe guys like him never got a Vestal, a special woman compatible with and drawn to hybrids, and their only chance at truly being complete.

The whole process involved far too much science for him to understand, but the one thing he did know was that people around him were falling in love, and he remained alone.

Fuck it. He didn’t need a woman complicating his life. Things were just fine without one.

His gaze slid past the nurse to her bonded, Justus. The dark and mysterious man he’d guarded as a potential spy just months before was now a trusted member of their group.

Justus narrowed his eyes at him and scooted closer to Paige. Zeno rolled his eyes.

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