Bonded (Dual Realm Novels 1)

By: Kyra Dune
(A Dual Realm Novel) (Book One)

CHAPTER ONE





Trey blinked against the dusty light permeating the back room of the abandoned clothing store. At first he wasn’t sure what had woken him, until he heard the sound of nearby voices. They came from outside, which made them no concern of his, and yet curiosity drove him up to his knees where he could peer through the cracks in the boarded over window.

Three young men stood in the alley, smoking cigarettes and talking. Two of them had their blonde hair spiked, while the third sported a full on Mohawk dyed an obnoxious shade of green. They all wore faded jeans and black leather jackets emblazoned on the back with a flaming skull.

The guy with the Mohawk dropped his cigarette on the ground and snuffed it out with the toe of his boot. “They better hurry it up,” he muttered. “I don’t plan on hanging around here all day no matter what Jace said.”

“Yeah, sure, Burk.” One of the others laughed. “I’d like to see you say that right to Jace’s face. You’d look real pretty with no teeth.”

Burk snorted. “I ain’t scared of Jace.”

Trey, quickly losing interest in this less than sparkling conversation, started to turn away from the window. He paused as two boys, decked out like the first three, entered the alley with a teenage girl between them. Each of them had a firm grip on one of her arms.

“About time you got here,” Burk said.

“Hey,” one of the newcomers said, “you try kidnapping a girl and dragging her down a busy street and see how easy it is.”

“I ain’t got time for excuses. Bring her over here.”

Trey sat down with his back against the wall and his legs stretched out in front of him. He wasn’t going to watch. He wasn’t going to see. Whatever was happening in the alley was none of his business. Getting involved would only lead to trouble. And trouble was one thing he’d had more than enough of in his lifetime.

Not seeing was easy. Not hearing was impossible.

“Where are they?” Burk asked.

“I don’t know.” The girl’s voice wavered on the edge of tears. Her reply was followed by the unmistakable sound of a slap. The girl cried out. The boys laughed, a mean sound full of bad intent.

Trey stared at his reflection in the only broken shard of glass remaining in the frame of a full length mirror. Leave it alone, the voice of his reflection said. You don’t want to play hero.

His reflection was right. Playing hero never worked out well for him. But the girl cried out again and the boys laughed again and the two sounds strummed across Trey’s nerves. He ran a hand back through his shaggy, dark blonde hair and sighed.

You’re not the white knight, his reflection said. The girl would be no better off with you than those boys.

Again, Trey’s reflection was right. And yet he found himself rising to his feet anyway. It was sure to be a mistake, but it seemed to be one he couldn’t help making. As he turned toward the door, his reflection laughed.

Trey stepped into the alley through the store’s side door and instantly became the focus of five baleful stares and one look of desperate hope from a pair of bright blue eyes behind a curtain of dark hair.

“Let her go,” Trey said, his voice low and measured. He was aware he didn’t cut much of an imposing figure in his shabby trench coat and worn sneakers, but he was hoping the lack of fear in his eyes would give them pause.

“Get lost loser,” one of the spiky haired ones said. “This ain’t none of your business.”

“I’m making it my business,” Trey said.

“We got no fight with you,” Burk said. “Walk away like you didn’t see nothing and you won’t get your head busted.”

Trey didn’t want a fight, but he knew this guy. He used to be this guy. The kind of guy who could only be communicated to with violence. Heat rose in his veins, eager to be unleashed. But he didn’t need the fire to deal with these thugs.

Shifting his feet slightly, Trey lunged at Burk, grabbing the shorter man around the throat and lifting him off his feet. He could have broken the guy’s neck no problem, but he hadn’t killed anyone in a long time and he didn’t want that to change today.

He slammed Burk into the wall, knocking him unconscious, then dropped his limp body to the ground and turned in time to catch hold of the wrist of a man coming at him with a knife. A quick twist and the man was howling in pain as his wrist bones snapped.

The injured man stumbled back into his friends, who seemed to be considering taking Trey on in force. But with their leader down and one of their number already injured, they must have thought better of it. They turned and fled the alley.

Trey watched them go, his hands flexing and clenching. He took a low, easy breath to calm the heated adrenalin coursing through his veins.

“Thank you. You saved my life.”

He turned toward the girl, having momentarily forgotten she was there. “Anybody would have done the same.”

“No they wouldn’t. Most people would have walked away. But then, most people can’t fight like you can. You were so... fast.” She glanced down at Burk. “Is he dead?”

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