Valiant Page 39

He shook his head. ’’I do not know exactly what DNA I was changed with. It might have been multiple large feline species from my looks and abilities but we guess the lion is most obvious. Their records having to do with how we were created were destroyed. Mostly our experimental prototypes were changed with species known for tracking, hunting, strength and fighting. Canine. Feline. Primate. We discovered that some of our females were mixed with weaker animal DNA strains to make them smaller and less aggressive. They were sold to provide funding to continue the research.’’

’’Sold to whom and for what?’’

Valiant looked furious. ’’Sold to whoever wanted to make large donations to Mercile Industries. They called them Gift females and in exchange for large sums of money and for helping them cover up what they were doing and to avoid being caught, they handed them over to humans. They were giving our women to those bastards as se*ual slaves. We have recovered some bodies and some living females.’’

Tammy swallowed and tears filled her eyes. ’’I never heard any of that on the news. My God. That\s terrible. Those poor women.’’

’’You won\ hear it on the news. Justice thinks, if the press takes it public, that the men holding our women will kill them immediately to destroy any evidence that they ever had them. Justice and your government are tracing financial records and serving warrants to search for our missing ones. We don\ know the numbers with the records being destroyed but we find another one every few weeks lately.’’

She reached out and her fingers traced the back of his hand. ’’That\s horrible. It just is sickening, isn\ it? Those poor women.’’ She paused. ’’I hope that all of them are found.’’

He nodded grimly. ’’We do as well. We\ e free and it bothers us that some of our people are still being tormented and imprisoned.’’

’’There\s no way to recover all the information to find them?’’

’’When the testing facilities were breached by your government law enforcement it triggered alarms where we were hidden. The staff started fires in the record rooms and destroyed the computers holding the information. They started killing our people too. Some died but most of us lived. Very few records were salvaged.’’

’’I hate to say this but it\s probably a good thing. You know how information goes. Someone could get hold of it and use it start all over again. You guys are pretty impressive. I\m betting that company would be tempted to start new testing facilities with new people to experiment on.’’

He shivered. ’’We were told by a doctor who was arrested that the leading researcher who created us destroyed that information. She didn\ agree with what Mercile planned to do with us after she succeeded in creating us and she disappeared, taking that knowledge with her. That\s why they began to try to breed some Species to create more. I hope no one could ever replicate what was done to us. It\s enough to give us nightmares. We\ e trying to financially destroy Mercile Industries. We\ve won in your courts often on financial matters and your government has put a lot of them in your prisons.’’

’’It is your government too. You\ e Americans, aren\ you?’’

He nodded. ’’We have always been separate. It\s hard to try to think any other way. It\s why Justice and our council fought so hard for our independence by acquiring Homeland and used some of the money from the lawsuits to buy Reservation.’’

’’I heard you guys kind of have something close to diplomatic immunity on your own Homeland and here too. A news guy said it was similar to a consulate and you have your own laws and justice system.’’

’’I assume so. Your government can\ breach us or force us to comply with your laws. Not on our lands.’’

’’So I\m kind of in another country right now, huh?’’ She suddenly grinned. ’’And I don\ even have a passport. How cool is that?’’

He fought a smile. She was adorable when she smiled and he resisted the urge to reach up and cup her face. He studied the bruise on her cheek and fought back anger at what had been done to her by humans. ’’Is it cool?’’

’’Kind of.’’

His gaze held hers. ’’I want to kiss and touch you. Let me, Tammy.’’

Her grin faded as she stared at him, chewing on her bottom lip. ’’I don\ know.’’

’’What don\ you know? Did I hurt you last time? Did you not enjoy my touch? I know you did.’’ Hope flared inside him that she\d be tempted. He longed to touch her again.

Tammy couldn\ deny it. The time she\d spent in Valiant\s bedroom had haunted her for five weeks. He had turned her inside out. When he touched her, she lost the ability to think. He seemed to take her silence for agreement when he slowly leaned closer. His hand reached out and caressed the uninjured side of her face.

’’I would never hurt you.’’

She believed him. He\d terrified her when they had first met but after what he\d just told her about New Species, she understood he hadn\ meant to. He had instincts and urges that most people didn\ . He\d wanted her and he\d taken her. It was kind of se*y.

Valiant\s hand eased away and he stood to kick off his shoes. He reached for the front of his jeans next. Tammy didn\ protest as she watched him strip out of them. No underwear again. She stared at a na**d Valiant with a little fear. The guy was so big. Her eyes lowered. All over. She forced her gaze to his face.

Valiant bent, gripped the blanket covering her, and yanked it to the foot of the bed. Tammy tensed but didn\ try to use the pillow to hide her body. Valiant\s gaze raked down every inch of her exposed skin, which was all of it that she wasn\ lying on. He suddenly growled viciously. It made her eyes widen and her heart race.

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