The Power of Three(10)By: Kate Pearce
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Private Soreya Lang closed her eyes and leaned back against the rough wall of her cell. She might as well get comfortable. The guards had finally left and she had time to assess the new damage to her body. They weren’t complete idiots. They’d been careful not to break anything, but she ached all over, and her head was throbbing from the tests their so-called scientist had run on her.
It was obvious the facility guards had strong opinions on females in the military and considered it their duty to show her why she should’ve stayed home. She shivered and carefully drew her knees up to her chest. If no one took any notice of the ransom demand they’d sent to the ship, she could count on their behavior deteriorating. And no one would take any notice. She was a Class Six, the scum of the Etruscan universe. They’d be more likely to rescue a pet fish than her.
So, she was going to die horribly.
A commotion outside her locked door made her heart race and she skittered further along the wall into the corner. If she were going to be executed, she’d take as many of them down with her as she could. She braced herself as the door opened and something was thrown in.
Dead bodies for dinner?
She wouldn’t put it past them. Except that this one groaned. She remained where she was as the male uncurled from his fetal position and came up on one elbow.
In the dim lighting she noticed he wore the uniform of the Pavlovan military and that he was a big guy. Like all the Pavlovan males his size and telepathic abilities made her instantly wary.
He groaned and rolled onto his side, his head turned toward her dark corner.
“Private Lang?” His voice was low and rough and carried an unmistakable air of authority. She immediately wanted to snap to attention and salute him. “I’m Esca.” And then his voice added in her head. “I’ve come to get you out.”
“By getting yourself captured?”
“That wasn’t part of my original plan. That idiot Wassain knocked me out, bolted like a scared wrazen back to the shuttle and left me for dead.”
“That’s because you’re a telepath. He believes you have no value.”
“I got that.” He sighed. “Damn.”
She cleared her throat and spoke out loud. “They sent a ransom note to the ship earlier. I don’t expect it will do much good.”
He slowly sat up and inched backward toward the nearest wall. Echoes of his pain floated through Soreya’s mind.
“Are you injured?”
“Do you want some water?”
“Yes, if there is some.”
She came out of her corner and crawled over to the far wall where the guards had left her rations. The water bottle was still almost full. Despite her reservations as to his size, she crouched down beside him and handed him the container. “Help yourself.”
He sipped a little and then a little more and then gave it back to her.
His shoulder bumped against hers and she jumped. It was intoxicating to be so close to a male empath, to hear the rhythm of his thoughts moving alongside her own. And despite his ordeal, he even smelled good. She had the absurd desire to press her face against the crook of his neck and simply inhale him.
Maybe her government had a point about keeping male and female telepaths strictly apart. She felt quite unlike herself, all needy and—
“You’re hurting, too.”
She glanced up at him and then wished she hadn’t. This close, his eyes were a deep warm brown, his military short black hair fighting a curl and his hard mouth was…
“I can help you with that.”
He reached for her hand and she snatched it away.
“What’s wrong?” he hesitated. “Did those bastards touch you, hurt you?”
She shrugged which brought her even closer into his shoulder. “Just a little welcome-to-our-facility party. I don’t think they appreciate female soldiers or telepaths.”
He reclaimed her hand. “Then let’s do our best to heal each other.”
“I don’t know how.”
“It’s easy. Just let down your shields a little.”
She looked at him. “Easy? To do that?”