Valiant Page 92

Breeze laughed. ’’She\s one of yours. I would say she\s mixed with a hair dye. That can\ be natural.’’

’’Maybe the black pants and black shirt just makes her hair more striking.’’ Tammy shrugged.

Breeze smiled and shrugged too. ’’We could ask her.’’

’’No!’’ Tammy laughed. ’’Never ask a woman if her hair color is real or her age. Human women get all pissy about it.’’

’’Really?’’ Breeze let it sink in. ’’I\ll try to remember that.’’

The redhead approached. She nodded and stopped by Breeze. She lowered her gaze and her head. She waited a few seconds before glancing up.

’’I am Jessie Dupree. I wanted to personally escort your females here. I\m the human representative for the United States Government, a part of your human task force that handles search and retrievals of your lost females. I ask your permission to escort them to their new homes and stay to help with their integration into your society. They trust me.’’ Her gaze flickered to Tammy and took her in at a sweeping glance. The woman frowned slightly. ’’I don\ know you. Who brought you in?’’

Tammy blinked at her. ’’Valiant did.’’

Breeze chuckled. ’’You think she\s New Species, do you not, Jessie Dupree? She is not a recovered Gift Species. She is a human mate to one of our males. Her name is Tammy Shasta.’’

The redhead with bright blue eyes blinked and her eyes widened. ’’Oh. I apologize. I was under the impression that no humans lived on Reservation. Because of your size and your lack of facial markings I assumed you were one of the rare Gift females. Some have been recovered, and until you see their teeth or ears, you can\ really tell they aren\ fully human.’’

’’Valiant told me what was done to them. It is so horrible it makes me sick. But I\m human. Sorry for the confusion.’’

The woman nodded. Her attention returned to Breeze. ’’May I have permission to help get them settled? I\d really appreciate it. I know they are not Gift females but I have the time and I am very experienced in helping your females handle the sudden change in lifestyle.’’

Breeze glanced at Tammy, who shrugged. ’’She\s got experience.’’

A grin split Breeze\s face. ’’Sure. They put me in charge of this task and to tell you the truth, I have no idea what I\m doing. We don\ handle this kind of thing. They are usually sent somewhere else but Justice wanted them brought here. We would appreciate the help.’’

’’Thank you.’’ Jessie smiled. She was a really pretty woman in her late twenties or early thirties. ’’I\d love to do everything I can.’’

Tammy studied the New Species women who exited the helicopter. They were all tall, sturdy women. They were muscled and in excellent physical shape. Their clothes were off-white and their pants were exactly like the ones 927 had worn. She even spotted the same thick side seams of their clothing as one of the woman walked past. The woman glanced at her and Breeze but no one objected to her being there.

’’What is up with the clothes? Why are they all dressed that way?’’ Tammy kept her voice low, her gaze on Breeze.

The taller woman showed signs of anger when her nostrils flared. ’’We were restrained with chains on all our limbs. It was easier for our captors to strip us and change our clothing with seams that pull apart. They have Velcro that sticks when pressed back together. It kept them from having to pull the pants down our legs or shirts over our heads.’’

The answer sickened Tammy and she felt a whole new appreciation for the kind of hell the survivors had endured. The ugly clothing had a purpose and it wasn\ a good one, in her mind. She pushed those grim observations back and tried to appear friendly to the freed women.

Everyone fit in the van. Tammy smiled at the women but none of them returned the friendly gesture. Five out of the six New Species women openly stared at her though. A few of them looked baffled while one of them appeared frightened. Two of them completely hid their emotions. Tammy focused on the frightened woman sitting on the seat behind hers.

’’I\m Tammy. It\s safe here. Everything is going to be fine.’’

’’They are in shock,’’ Jessie explained softly. ’’It will take a few days for everything to sink in. Their entire lives have drastically changed forever in a matter of hours.’’

Tammy smiled sadly at the woman still staring at her with fear on her face. ’’It really will be okay. This is a great place to live. I live here now and I love it.’’

The woman licked her lips. ’’What are you?’’

Tammy blinked. ’’Human.’’

The woman shook her head. ’’You\ e more.’’

’’Oh.’’ Tammy moved slowly and extended her arm. ’’You smell Valiant. I\m wearing his sweater. He\s New Species and we live together.’’

The woman gave her a blank stare.

Jessie spoke. ’’New Species is what you all are called. It is the name your kind came up with since you are all different mixes of different species.’’

The woman behind Tammy nodded. She hesitated. ’’You live with one of our kind?’’

Tammy nodded. ’’We are...’’ She faulted on how to explain.

’’Mates. They exclusively breed together,’’ Breeze explained, coming to the rescue. ’’They have decided to stay with each other until death.’’

The woman appeared shocked. ’’But she\s human.’’

Breeze smiled. ’’She\s a good one who would never hurt our kind. She loves Valiant and he loves her.’’

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