Justice Page 38

’’Wait. Do you know what my job is?’’

He hesitated. ’’Just to be here for her. When you\ve talked to her and get her settled, I know they wanted you to introduce her to a few of the females. They just need to get her not to be afraid of them first. When she\s more stable medically she\ll be moved into the women\s dorm.’’

Great. ’’So you\ll call someone to let them know when she\s ready to be introduced to some of the women?’’

He pointed to the camera. ’’It\s got sound and they are monitoring. Talk to the camera and let them know what you need.’’ He fled.

Jessie studied Beauty closely. She looked young but they were usually older than they appeared. She\d guess the woman was probably in her late twenties. Usually she had time to study the male kidnappers involved to profile what kind of monster had victimized the women but not this time. She wondered what kind of monster had locked Beauty up. She was going into this blind. What mattered the most was getting Beauty through the shock of her drastic life change.

Beauty stirred and Jessie stood, gripping the woman\s hand a little tighter. Brown eyes flicked open and Jessie smiled.

’’Hi, Beauty. It\s Jessie. Do you remember me? I\m fine. How are you doing?’’

Fear was instant. The woman tensed and gripped Jessie\s hand hard. She stared up at Jessie with wide, alarmed eyes, before she appeared to calm. ’’I thought you died.’’

’’No. I just had a head wound. I\m fine. How are you feeling?’’

The woman hesitated. ’’I\m scared.’’

Jessie kept talking to her, soothing her, until the woman\s fear eased. She learned that Beauty had been with her captor for a long time. She couldn\ remember the testing facility and she had no clue what she was.

Jessie was going to have to explain it to her but didn\ know where to start. She didn\ want to tell her all the horrors about Mercile Industries and what they\d done.

That was a story for another time when the woman was stronger. Instead she gently explained that there were some physical differences between them and then started to tell her that people like Beauty wanted to meet her.

’’Remember what I said last night? That I was going to get you home to your family and you\d be safe? Well, you\ e here.’’ Jessie shot a look at the camera. ’’I want you to meet some of them. Some really nice women like you. They are going to come soon and meet you.’’ She gave her full attention back to the woman on the bed.

Beauty looked afraid again and Jessie tried to soothe her. ’’They aren\ going to hurt you. You were afraid of me when we met but you\ e not anymore, are you?’’

’’No. You are nice.’’

Jessie smiled. ’’So are they. They\ve been looking for you.’’ Jessie heard a soft sound and turned her head toward the door. She smiled at Halfpint, realized they\d probably been waiting in the hallway.

Jessie waved her in and studied Beauty. ’’This is Halfpint. She was just like you, Beauty. She was locked up and hurt.’’ Jessie\s voice softened. ’’She\s really nice and she knows how you\ e feeling right now. She\s been where you are.’’

Beauty looked at the short woman who timidly stepped into the hospital room and gasped. Halfpint lifted a foot to step back but Jessie gestured for her to stay. Beauty released Jessie\s hand and both of her hands lifted to her own face. Jessie understood.

’’Isn\ Halfpint beautiful? Just like you are,’’ Jessie said softly. ’’I told you that you have family here.’’

Beauty stared at Jessie with dawning understanding. ’’I resemble her and not you?’’

’’Yes. You\ e far prettier than I could ever be. I envy you. I\d love to have your cheekbones and your beautiful eyes.’’

Beauty smiled. ’’Really?’’

’’Yes. Why do you think I named you Beauty? You\ e beautiful.’’

Beauty glanced shyly at Halfpint. ’’You\ e like me? You were locked up too by mean people?’’

Halfpint blinked back tears. ’’Yes, I was. Jessie found me too and brought me home.

I\ve been free for a while and I\m so happy here. Can I touch you? I would like to hold you.’’

Beauty\s gaze flew to Jessie. Jessie nodded as she eased back and switched places with Halfpint. In minutes the women were hugging and talking. Jessie eventually eased out of the room and spotted Tiny lurking in the hallway.

’’Jessie!’’

Jessie hugged her hard. Tiny was another woman she\d saved who looked a hundred percent healthy and happy these days.

* * *
Justice turned his focus away from the camera and found Tiger standing behind him grinning. ’’I like the human. She\s really good with our kind.’’

’’Yes,’’ Justice agreed softly. ’’Jessie is.’’

Tiger\s grin faded. ’’Are you sure you want her living in our area? We\ve never had a human stay there.’’

’’I swore to her father that I\d keep an eye on her and that she\d be safe. She can\ be more protected than by living where she is.’’

Tiger didn\ look thrilled. ’’I\m glad I live a few houses down from her. I hope she doesn\ have any weird habits.’’

Justice studied his friend. ’’What kind of habits?’’

’’I don\ know. Maybe she cooks bad-smelling food or worse, she could listen to loud music that I hate.’’

Justice glanced back at the security screen. Jessie remained out of camera range now that she\d left the room Beauty was being kept in but he really wished she\d return. He longed to look at her, hear her voice, and wanted to see her in person.


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