Numbers Page 90

Justice nodded. ’’They sure do. Jessie throws a mean right punch to my gut when I make decisions for her. That\s what I get for mating with someone from Tim\s team. She\s sneaky and waits until my guard is down. One second I\m standing there, and the next I\m doubled over and she begins to yell about how she hopes that hurt, like I hurt her feelings.’’

Fury laughed. ’’Ellie just yells at me and slams things around.’’

’’Trisha has threatened to slip sleeping pills into my meals and swears one day I\ll wake up with my pen** glued to my stomach.’’

Everyone gaped at the male.

He shrugged. ’’She said it would be the kind that will melt off if I soak in a warm tub so there is no lasting damage but it\s an effective threat. I don\ ever want to discover how uncomfortable that would be.’’

’’You have a mean mate,’’ Hero assessed.

He shrugged. ’’She\s a doctor. There are a lot worse things she could threaten. My Trisha has a temper, but she gets over things quickly. She hasn\ actually done it.’’

’’Just tell your mate what is going on and ask if she wants to speak to the humans.’’ Fury sighed. ’’Females like to make decisions, and you\ e newly mated. You have a lot to learn. I\m certain she will agree with you. Humans have never done anything but harm her.’’

Hero nodded and left Security. He decided to walk, thinking as he made his way to the women\s dorm to pick up Candi. He reached the front door and knocked. One of the females let him in and led him to the conference room where a group of females were talking with Candi. They were laughing and seemed to be having a good time. Conversation stopped as he hesitated just inside the open doorway. She spotted him and stood to rush toward him. She looked happy to see him, and he didn\ detect any stress.

’’Hi. Is everything all right? I wasn\ expecting you for a few more hours.’’

He nodded. ’’How was your day?’’

’’Great. I\ve learned a lot.’’

’’We\ e telling her all about the NSO,’’ Kat stated. ’’The history of it and what has been accomplished. We\d just reached the part about how Reservation is being expanded.’’

’’And all the rescue animals we accept from all over the country,’’ Bluebird added. ’’It gives the Wild Zone residents a purpose to help those poor creatures adjust to freedom. They have a lot in common with animals who\ve been caged and abused by humans.’’

’’Thank you.’’ Hero made eye contact with all the females seated at the table. ’’I appreciate you taking care of my Candi.’’

’’It gives us something to do.’’ Kat stood. ’’You\ e on duty tomorrow, right?’’

Hero nodded. ’’Noon.’’

’’We\ll see you then.’’ Kat smiled at Candi. ’’We\ll teach you about the world outside the NSO gates.’’

Hero took Candi\s hand and they strolled outside. He took one of the carts parked for general use and drove her to the men\s dorm. They didn\ speak until they were closed inside their home. She turned to him, studying him with a frown.

’’What is wrong?’’

’’Tell me about your day first.’’

’’I had fun. Now what is wrong?’’

’’I was called to Security. The FBI has requested to speak to you. I told the males you aren\ interested.’’

’’Why do they want to speak to me? Are they planning to arrest me for killing Penny?’’

’’I don\ know what they want, and it doesn\ matter. They can\ do anything to you. You\ e Species, and they have no jurisdiction on NSO lands. They can request things but that doesn\ mean we have to submit to them.’’

She bit her lip and turned away, walking to the window. She crossed her arms. He clenched his teeth, regretting informing her of what had happened. He shouldn\ have listened to the males. She\d endured enough upset. He stalked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist.

’’There\s no reason to worry. You\ e safe here. Humans can\ harm you ever again.’’

She leaned back against him, allowing him to hold her. He followed her gaze out the window. There wasn\ really anything to hold her interest. She took a few deep breaths and finally spoke.

’’I want to talk to them.’’

He stiffened. ’’What?’’

She turned her head to peer up at him. Their gazes locked. ’’I tried to tell all the staff at the asylum the truth, but they ignored me. They didn\ want to hear my words or believe them. Someone is finally ready to listen. I want to talk to the humans.’’

’’No.’’

She wiggled and faced him completely, gripping his forearms. ’’Yes. I need to do this.’’

’’They will upset you and possibly make threats.’’

’’I understand that, but they are at least willing to hear me, Hero. I was locked away to keep me silent about what was done to my mother. She deserves justice too. Dr. C killed her. I know he can\ pay for what he did now that he\s dead, but the truth should be told. She had people who cared about her. I remember some of her friends coming over, and she talked to them on the phone. They deserve to learn who took her away from them. I want everyone to know what kind of monster he really was. I also want them to know what Penny did to me. Humans shouldn\ think she was a good person.’’

’’You told Breeze everything, and allowed her to take videos to give to the humans. That\s more than enough.’’

She rubbed her palms against his skin. ’’I need to do this. It matters to me to look a human in the eyes and tell them my story. Maybe the staff working at the asylum will learn the truth and possibly listen to a patient in the future if they are locked away because someone is paying to keep them there to hide their crimes. I can\ be the only one admitted to a hospital to hide secrets.’’

’’It\s not your job to educate humans.’’

’’Who does it fall to then? This was done to both of us. Have you thought about what might have happened if just one of them had listened and believed me when I was taken there? You would have been freed long before you were. We wouldn\ have lost so many years.’’

He was torn, and hated the anguished sound of her voice and the haunted look on her face. ’’I won\ allow them to upset you, and humans will. I don\ trust them.’’

’’Some humans freed Species and helped establish the NSO. I heard it was a rocky start, but a lot of them cared enough to make this possible. They wanted to do right by Species.’’


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