Numbers Page 60

’’They watched you shower?’’

She nodded. ’’Yes. I wish I could have slipped down the drain to escape, but they actually acted as if it were possible.’’

That muscle in his jaw clenched. ’’Male guards?’’

’’Yes.’’

He growled. ’’Did they abuse you?’’

She knew what he really wanted to know. ’’I wasn\ force mounted.’’

’’Did you allow ’’ He sealed his lips.

’’Did I willingly allow someone to mount me? No. I\ve only been...’’ It was her turn to go silent, struggling to find the right words. The situation hadn\ been forced since she\d agreed to share se* with the feline, but she hadn\ wanted to do it either. ’’Just that once at Mercile.’’

He took a seat in a chair that was far from her. ’’That\s good.’’

’’Yes.’’ She knew what he meant. Her hell hadn\ involved physical abuse. Just silence, sleeping and fighting drug addiction. She looked at him longingly, where he sprawled in that chair. She wanted to go over and curl up on his lap and hold him close. Some of her fondest memories were of being in his arms. He wouldn\ welcome her.

He noticed the way she looked at him. ’’We shouldn\ discuss this if it makes you sad.’’

’’Who replaced me?’’

His body jerked upright and his eyes narrowed. ’’What?’’

’’Who is your female now? Is she kind? Does she make you laugh?’’

’’It\s not like that.’’

’’How is it?’’

He looked away from her, glancing at everything else. He didn\ answer. It hurt her heart. He didn\ deny that he\d mounted a female, and she knew he had from before, from his silence then. This just confirmed it all over again. He finally met her gaze.

’’You should allow Breeze to take you to the women\s dorm. You probably need sleep.’’

’’I have slept long enough. I try to stay awake as much as possible. I don\ want to miss anything.’’ She figured he might understand.

He stood. ’’I need to pack. I\m leaving for Reservation.’’

She didn\ know where he was going, but it was away from her. ’’Please don\ .’’ She wanted to beg him to stay with her. She just needed to look at him, assure herself he was real and not a figment of her imagination.

’’I must go.’’ He took a step back. ’’I didn\ expect this, and I\m having a difficult time thinking.’’ His voice rose. ’’Breeze?’’

The door opened and the female entered. ’’Yes?’’

’’Please take her to the women\s dorm and make sure she eats and sleeps.’’

Breeze glanced at her, and then walked over to him. She invaded his personal space, putting one hand on his shoulder, and tugged him down enough to put her face closer to his. The words she whispered into his ear were too soft to hear, but all Candi noticed was that he allowed that female to touch him. It tore at her. It wasn\ jealousy but pain at his rejection of allowing her to do the same.

Whatever Breeze said angered him. He turned his body, pressing closer to the female, and whispered in her ear. She caught what he said.

’’You can\ keep me here.’’

They were almost hugging as Breeze hissed something back. The tone was there, but the words lost. He growled in response. Breeze whispered again. He jerked away and stormed into another room. The door slammed. Breeze sighed and came closer.

’’Stubborn, stupid male.’’ She took a seat on the coffee table. ’’He\s scared and trying to run. That shower he just turned on isn\ going to cool his temper either.’’

’’He won\ forgive me.’’

’’For what?’’ Breeze reached out and patted her leg. ’’I got the gist of that. You had to let a feline mount you to save Hero\s life when you were at Mercile. He went insane when he realized another male had claimed what was his, and he somehow hurt you.’’ She glanced at her head.

’’He didn\ mean to. The chain snapped from the wall so there was a few feet of it attached to his arm and it whipped out, hitting the side of my head while he fought to free himself. It just split the skin and gave me a concussion. I healed fine with just a scar. My hair covers it.’’

’’He\s a good male. He feels such guilt about everything.’’

She believed that. ’’I know.’’

’’Does he frighten you?’’

She shook her head. ’’I\m just terrified he\s never going to forgive me. He\s still everything to me.’’

’’I can see that. I just told him it would be best if he remained here at Homeland to care for you. He\s the male who was raised with you. You\ e very fragile right now, Candi. The years of drugs they forced you to take and lack of regular meals has left you underweight and weak.’’

She couldn\ deny those facts. Her body wasn\ in the best shape, but her mind was solid. ’’I\m strong inside. I\ll eat lots, just the way Doc Trisha said.’’

Breeze\s phone rang and she whipped it out, accepting the call. ’’Hold on.’’ She pressed it to her ear. ’’What?’’ Silence. ’’Butt out of this. I have it handled. My female, my decision.’’ She hung up and smiled. ’’Everyone is worried.’’

’’I would never do anything to hurt 927.’’ She paused. ’’Hero.’’

’’He\s too busy hurting himself right now by being a butthead.’’ Breeze threw an annoyed look at the closed door, and then smiled at Candi. ’’Most males would have snatched you up and hugged you if they were given a female they thought they\d lost. I\d probably be trying to wipe out mental images of things I didn\ want to see right now because he\d have ripped off your clothes to reclaim you, oblivious of who was in the room.’’

She wished he had reacted that way.

’’I\ve never shared se* with him,’’ Breeze said, surprising her with that statement. ’’Just so you know. I thought about it when he and I met right after he was freed, but it just didn\ happen. I\m glad for that now. That would be awkward between us.’’

Candi wasn\ sure how to respond.

Breeze\s features softened. ’’Sorry. I\ve been around too many humans. You look like one, but I forget looks can be deceiving. You\ e more Species than not, aren\ you?’’

’’I\m more like you than a human. Does that mean I\m Species?’’


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