Justice Page 25

He needed to forget about the se*y human. Jessie Dupree wasn\ someone he could afford to spend too much time with anyway. He knew the futility of their future.

He paused in front of the mirror over the dresser, stared at his slightly altered features and for once regretted being Species. He was the face of his people, the symbol the world saw and he\d never have the freedom he fought so hard to give his people.

Envy filled him as he thought about Fury, Slade and Valiant. They\d fallen for humans and kept them. The males were loved and got to sleep with their mates. They had the anonymity to do so. Justice North taking a mate would be world news and when he did, it would have to be a Species female. Not only would his people expect it but the entire population of humans would as well.

His shoulders sagged as the turned away, not able to look at his reflection anymore.

He avoided contact with human females for a reason. Plenty had hit on him before but none of them had stirred him the way the fiery redhead had. She had the courage to have such bright hair and engage in battle with males. She was fierce, beautiful and off limits.

He leaned down, removed his cell phone from his pants and placed it on the bedside table. He sat hard on the edge of the mattress, thoughts of Jessie still haunting him, and reached for the light. Forget her. You have no choice. It wasn\ meant to be and it\s best that she was called away. It would be a disaster if she became too important. It would only hurt worse since there\s no way for you to be with her without the world finding out.

He climbed under the covers and sprawled out on his back. His c**k filled with blood as he remembered the last time he was in that position on the bed with Jessie\s warm, se*y mouth on his body, her hair tickling his thigh. He groaned and rolled over.

Forget her, damn it. She\ll forget about you. It was just a one-night stand and that\s all it can ever be.

* * *
Jessie didn\ hesitate to drop to her knees and crawl into the darkness. She inched toward Trey, about ten feet to her left. He had his light trained on the floor as she moved to his side.

’’I didn\ want to scare her,’’ he whispered. ’’She\s locked up in the corner but I can\ find a light switch.’’ Trey pointed in a direction under his flashlight so Jessie knew where to look.

’’Back off,’’ Jessie urged him. ’’Get a lamp in here. Something.’’

He backed away and Jessie turned on her flashlight. Jessie slowly lifted the light until she spotted a large dog-sized cage and a thin mattress on the floor of it. A small woman huddled in the corner, wearing a long nightgown that was as dirty and dingy as the mattress cover she sat on. It looked as if neither had been washed for a while.

Jessie lifted the light a little more, careful not to flash it in the woman\s face.

’’My name is Jessie,’’ she stated softly. ’’We\ e going to get you out of here and take you somewhere safe. I\m going to come closer to you but don\ be afraid. I\d never hurt you, okay?’’ She shone the beam on her face and allowed the bright light to temporarily blind her to give the confined woman a good look at her. ’’I\m a woman too. See? We\ e not here to hurt you.’’

Jessie lowered the light and waited until the spots cleared then carefully tracked the beam back to where the woman huddled. She took in more of the woman as she raised the light to the woman\s legs. She was Species all right. Her hair was black and her features marked her as carrying primate DNA. It was obvious from her delicate features, the more rounded shape of her dark brown eyes and her cute, perky nose.

Jessie crawled closer. ’’Do you know that there are others like you? I\m going to take you home to them, to your family. They\ve been looking for you for a long time.

Can you tell me your name?’’

The woman gripped her knees tighter to her chest and her features showed her terror. Jessie didn\ blame her for the fear. ’’I\m really not going to hurt you. I\m here to take you out of here to somewhere safe. I\m going to take you to your family. They are people just like you, ones who were hurt by others and it\s going to be safe for you there. No one is ever going to lock you inside a cage again. I\m Jessie,’’ she repeated.

’’What\s your name?’’

The woman opened her mouth and whispered soft words that were hard to catch.

’’Mud.’’

Jesus! Rage tore through Jessie at hearing the shitty name her captors had tagged her with but she tried to conceal it. ’’That isn\ really your name. Do you remember what that is? What you were called before you were brought here?’’

The woman hesitated. ’’My name was Monkey.’’

Jessie counted to ten to cool down her boiling blood. Son of a bitch. Is there no end to the mean shit people do to these people?

’’I\ll tell you what. Why don\ we call you Beauty? Do you like that name? I think it fits you much better than those other ones. The men outside with me came to take you away from the men who held you here. I\m going to take you somewhere safe. You can trust me.’’

Jessie crawled closer when the Species seemed to calm as some of the fear eased from her delicate features. She switched her attention to the cage, noted the lock and the chains that ran through the squares from the woman\s ankles to a bolt in the floor feet from the container. The bolt pierced right through the floorboards and no screws showed. It wasn\ going to be easy to free this one with those heavy-duty shackles. They usually took them in chains if they weren\ able to get them free on site and that floor bolt would be hellish to break.


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