Numbers Page 79

’’That\s bullshit.’’ Hero snarled.

Fury nodded. ’’We know that, but the human authorities don\ . They only have the information that was given to them, which came from where she was being held. We need to clear this up fast before someone innocent is injured.’’

’’I\m not allowing humans near my Candi.’’ Hero wouldn\ let them upset his mate.

’’They won\ be allowed to interview her directly. The NSO is going to handle this, but we need more details from your Candi. It will help us give them all the correct facts.’’ Fury softened his tone. ’’We\ e going to protect her. She\s one of ours. We just need specific details the police will ask about. That\s all. We\ e going to go out of our way not to upset her. It\s the last thing we want.’’

Breeze nodded. ’’We\ll make this as easy as possible.’’

’’Mate papers are being drawn up right now and postdated to when she stepped through our gates.’’ Fury paused. ’’Sign them and get her to. We need the paperwork in case this gets messy. It covers our asses. Breeze will question your female, and I need to sit down with you. I need details about when you were held with her at Mercile in case the humans want to establish why we\d accept her as one of our own, and that she was yours long before she made it safely to Homeland. We don\ want this to become a publicity nightmare with our enemies accusing us of shielding a murderer behind our gates.’’

’’I won\ let them take her.’’

Fury reached out and gripped his shoulder with one hand. ’’We wouldn\ allow that to ever happen. Human authorities don\ have the right to storm our gates to try to take her away. They\d be met with force if they did. We\d just like to avoid that. Our entire task force and legal department are on this. They are just waiting for us to fill in the blanks.’’

Hero nodded. ’’Let me go talk to her. Give me a few minutes.’’

Everyone moved out of his way and he entered his home. He located Candi in his bedroom. She wore one of his shirts and smiled at him. ’’You took a long time.’’

He placed the condoms on the nightstand, snagged her hand and pulled her onto his lap. ’’Species are waiting in the hallway. They need to ask you questions. You\ e not in any trouble or danger. It\s just that the humans found the body of the female you killed.’’

He hated the fear he saw in her expression.

’’No. Don\ be afraid. There\s no reason to be. Breeze just needs to ask you questions. The NSO is behind us, Candi. They aren\ going to allow anyone to take you from me. Humans have no right to come here. The human police might want to question you, but I said no. You won\ have to talk to anyone but Species.’’

She took a few breaths. ’’I\m not sorry I killed Penny. She planned to kill me.’’

’’I know. I would leave out the part about it feeling good to do it.’’

A smile played at her lips. ’’Okay.’’

’’I understand. Are you okay? I can stay at your side while Breeze talks to you.’’

’’I feel safe with Breeze.’’

’’I have to tell the NSO all about our history. Are you comfortable with that?’’

’’I don\ mind. Do you? You said you\d never told them anything about me. Don\ say anything if it\s going to get you into some kind of trouble.’’

’’It won\ .’’

’’Let\s just get this over with.’’ She scooted off his lap.

He snagged her hand and stared down at her bare legs. ’’Let\s find you more clothes first.’’

’’It\s just Breeze.’’

’’There are more males in the hallway. I don\ want any of them to see so much of you.’’

She grinned. ’’I\m yours.’’

’’You\ e mine.’’

While she dressed, he thought back to their childhood. She\d always been strong inside, but there had been some things he couldn\ protect her from...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When they returned Candi to their cell, her expression was solemn as she took a seat next to him on the mat. ’’Teach me how to fight so I can be like you.’’

927 scowled. ’’No. You are too little.’’

’’I\m growing.’’

He stood and yanked her to her feet. The top of her head only came to his shoulder. ’’I seem to be the one growing. You are getting shorter.’’

She laughed. ’’I am not!’’ She made fists of her hands and threw a punch, catching him in the stomach. ’’Did that hurt?’’

He shook his head. ’’No.’’

Her good mood disappeared. ’’I\m ten years old now, not a baby. I need to learn to protect myself. The technicians don\ go near you unless they drug you first. They just grab me and drag me down the hallway because they know I can\ hurt them.’’

’’You want them to drug you?’’ Sometimes she made no sense to him.

’’Well, no. But I need to learn how to fight.’’

He pulled back his upper lip to show her his sharp fangs. ’’They fear these.’’ He reached out and gripped her chin, forcing her mouth open. ’’You don\ have them. You couldn\ tear their skin with those smooth little things.’’

She jerked out of his hold and threw another punch. That one caught him in the ribs and he took a step back. ’’Don\ do that.’’

’’It hurt, didn\ it?’’ She grinned. ’’Teach me.’’

He shook his head. ’’It would only get you drugged and hurt more when you fight.’’

She grew solemn again. ’’They had a female in the place where they take me for checkups.’’

He cocked his head, curious. ’’A human?’’

She shook her head. ’’They beat her, 927. She is about your size and she was so hurt. The technicians did that to her.’’ Tears filled her eyes. ’’Worse than I\ve ever seen them hurt you when you fight before they take you away for their tests. She probably didn\ know how to fight when they attacked her. I don\ want that to be me.’’

Fury filled him. ’’Scream for Dr. C if they start to hit you.’’

’’I don\ think he\ll protect me.’’

’’You are his daughter. The tests said so. He didn\ kill you so he must want you alive. You wouldn\ survive a beating, Candi. He must know that.’’

’’I\m not supposed to tell anyone that I\m his daughter. He said only a few people know. Evelyn and a few of the ones who watch our cell.’’

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