Valiant Page 75
The attorney gave the address of the house but paused. ’’But they have moved her by now. The sun was going down when your men found me.’’
’’What were they going to move her in? Did you see the other car?’’
’’It was a large white van without windows. It wasn\ marked and I didn\ look at the plates. These aren\ guys you want to be nosey around. The back two doors had no windows either. It\s all I can tell you.’’
’’You do not know where they were taking her?’’
The man hesitated for a second too long. ’’No. I don\ .’’
Valiant growled. Justice glared. ’’You lie again. You stink of dishonor. Tell me where they took her or I will let him hand you your guts.’’ He glanced at the officer by the door. ’’Tiger? Have you scoped out a good location to bury the human\s remains if we have to kill him?’’
Tiger smiled coldly. ’’Of course. It\s smack dab inside the Wild Zone. He will never be found.’’
’’I really don\ know,’’ the attorney nearly sobbed. ’’I just know it was close to where the house is. Yesterday I took Zenlelt information and one of his men left to go feed the beast. He was only gone about twenty minutes. I swear, God as my witness, that\s all I know.’’
Justice relaxed. He turned and met Valiant\s gaze. ’’Let\s go.’’
Outside the door someone handed Justice a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. He\d asked for clothes to be brought to him before he\d entered the room. He nodded his thanks as he accepted the clothing and studied Valiant.
’’Well, she was alive when he left her. She is strong, Valiant. She threatened that man to the point he felt terror the second you walked into the room.’’ Justice smiled. ’’Where did she think up tearing out his guts?’’
Valiant shrugged, too worried and angry to be amused. ’’I don\ know but that\s my Tammy. She\s smart.’’ His voice broke.
Justice reached out and gripped his arm. ’’We will find her.’’
Tiger nodded. ’’We\ll get her back, Valiant. The SUVs are ready. Let\s go.’’
Valiant buried his face against the mattress of the small bed. He inhaled deeply, growled, and fought the urge to roar. ’’My Tammy was here. They had her chained down and she was very frightened. I\m also picking up a strange smell mingled with her sweat. They drugged her with something. It\s faint but there.’’
Tiger examined the handcuffs still attached to the metal frame of the headboard and foot rail. He didn\ see or scent blood on either set. ’’We\ll find her.’’
Justice nodded. ’’We hiked in from the woods so we wouldn\ be spotted. The upstairs bedrooms are currently lived in. Someone will return. Their things are still here.’’
Tiger nodded at the five men inside. ’’We watch and wait.’’
Valiant moved, climbed up on the bed, and pressed his nose against the mattress again. Tammy\s scent lingered there. The smell of her terror was strongest there. He didn\ want to move for fear it would fade away. He had to find her. He sensed Justice and Tiger watching him.
Justice sighed. ’’Does it help?’’
’’A little,’’ Valiant admitted softly. ’’I do not want to live anymore if we don\ find her.’’ He turned his head to stare at them.
Tiger cringed and Valiant understood why. They all knew it happened sometimes with New Species inside the testing facilities. They gave up hope and just stopped eating. They allowed their bodies to die. He never thought he\d be one to release life once they were freed. He refused to regret falling in love with his Tammy though.
’’I hope I never fall in love if it means losing a woman makes me want to give up my hold on life,’’ Tiger muttered.
’’Hopefully the male she\s been taken to won\ hurt her,’’ Justice said. ’’He will scent you on her unless she showered and changed her clothing after you left her.’’
He shook his head. ’’She did not. She\d already changed into her clothing when I left. I held her and my scent is all over her. He won\ be able to miss it.’’
’’Good.’’ Justice turned his attention on Tiger. ’’There are more of Species still imprisoned by Mercile. We need to find them and we\ll be able to if we find her.’’
Tiger lifted his cell phone. ’’I\ll go upstairs and let the others know. We will try to find out who bought or rented this house. Maybe they are using the same name or funds to pay for wherever Tammy is being kept. I doubt that Zenlelt is a real name. They set Charlie Artzola up to die. They\ve been dealing with New Species who\ve never known freedom. I\m sure they assumed we\d behave the same and kill him instantly. They gave him the weapon that took Flame down and had to know he\d survive. I can\ figure out why they didn\ just shoot the attorney instead of sending him back to us alive.’’
Justice growled. ’’Mercile enjoys trying to make us appear dangerous and unstable to humans to justify what they did to us. They probably thought we\d murder the bastard with humans around to witness it. That or they just think we\ e stupid and it was worth the risk of leaving him alive on the chance of keeping an insider in place if we believed everything he tried to lie about. I dread trying to discover how much he\s betrayed us and what information he\s passed to them.’’
Tiger glanced at Valiant. ’’I\m sorry, man. We\ll get her back.’’
Valiant couldn\ speak. Emotion choked him. Justice turned away to whisper to Tiger but he still heard the words.