Valiant Page 93

The women kept staring at Tammy as if she were something they couldn\ figure out. She tried not to allow it to bother her. She was something they didn\ expect.

’’Do you feel as if you are an occupant of a zoo?’’ Breeze asked and chuckled.

Tammy grinned. ’’Just a little.’’

The rest of the ride to the hotel was silent.

* * * * *

The lobby of the hotel had been cleared. Tammy was relieved that the males were gone, not wanting to risk another confrontation. Jessie and Breeze talked softly about the accommodations the newly arriving women were given. Tammy noticed the six women were still watching her. In the elevator they all pressed together and they sniffed at her. She tried not to let it bother her. She was a little more than relieved though when the elevator doors opened on the fourth floor.

Tammy, Breeze and Jessie showed the women to their separate rooms and demonstrated how to use everything inside. They had no idea how to turn on the shower or run a bath. They didn\ know how to use a phone, how to open the windows or how to lock a door. Hours later Tammy, Breeze and Jessie left the fourth floor, tired but satisfied that everyone was settled.

’’Wow,’’ Breeze sighed. ’’I didn\ realize how little I knew when I was first released.’’

Jessie nodded. ’’At least they all can read and write. Some of the Gift females were never taught. I\d say only about half of them were. It depended on how old they were when they were given away.’’

’’That\s so horrible,’’ Tammy sighed, remembering what she\d learned about those poor women.

’’Yes,’’ Jessie agreed. ’’It is. I\m the one who goes in every time. There are two Special Forces teams that make up the task force that was put together solely to work with the New Species Organization. They are all men. At first they didn\ realize they really needed a woman to go in with them when they recover New Species females. The first two times they went in without a woman they highly traumatized the recovered females more than necessary. Think about it. It was just stupid. They just didn\ think about how that would affect a female who has been abused, locked up for years, and suddenly she\s surrounded by two-dozen men dressed in full assault uniforms who are armed to the teeth.’’ Jessie clenched her teeth and shook her head. ’’They brought me in finally. The guys kick ass and I handle the females.’’

’’How did you get the job?’’ Tammy glanced around the cafeteria as they walked into it.

Jessie laughed. ’’My father, actually. He\s a senator who was appointed to represent the New Species issues in Washington. He volunteered me when they realized it might be smart to have a woman present who was nonthreatening to the females they found. The first woman they hired was a shrink. That didn\ go over well. After that, my father got his way and I ended up with the job. I was a little pissed at first since he didn\ ask me but I love what I do. Unfortunately, there\s a lot of down time. I wish more of them could be found. I wouldn\ mind working eighty hours a week if it meant we were rescuing more of them.’’

’’Do you find them often?’’

Tammy grabbed a plate and started to fill it with food from the buffet. She grabbed some donuts and a muffin. Not much was out in the early-morning hours. The cook hadn\ started preparing breakfast and wouldn\ until six, according to the wall schedule. The other two women filled their plates as well.

’’They are hard to find. In all, we\ve recovered twenty-three. We were able to track some of the Gift Species who were unaccounted for, but most hadn\ survived.’’

Tammy cringed. ’’That\s so sad.’’

’’They are not like us,’’ Breeze stated softly. She met Tammy\s curious gaze. ’’They are small and unable to defend themselves. They were severely abused, comparable to kicked puppies.’’

’’Oh.’’

Jessie sighed. ’’It\s hard for the New Species to accept some of them because they are so traumatized that they can\ be around men at first. Several churches with secluded women\s retreats were nice enough to take some of them in. We send them there when we find an especially fragile female.’’

’’They cry and shriek around men. They jump and shake.’’ Breeze\s voice sounded upset. ’’And it makes us very angry to see that.’’

Jessie clenched her teeth. ’’It\s not their fault they are that way.’’

Breeze frowned. ’’We are not angry at them. We get angry that this happened to them and that they were made weaker and taken from our men who treated our females well. We feel rage that they were completely alone. It was rare that we saw other Species unless they were breeding us but we could scent them on the humans who came into our cells. It was comforting. They didn\ have that. It angers all of us.’’ Breeze stared at Jessie. ’’Our anger is never directed at them. Never.’’

’’I\m sorry.’’ Jessie sighed. ’’I have seen the reactions of your kind when I take the women in. I just assumed the rage was directed at the Gift females because they are crying and very frightened when they see others of their kind. I know you really respect strength and courage.’’

’’We do but we want to protect the weaker. We understand they need our compassion most.’’

Tammy finished her breakfast. ’’Wow. The sun is out.’’ Her gaze drifted away from the window at the back of the cafeteria.

’’You should get some rest before Valiant returns.’’ Breeze chuckled. ’’He will want to take you to bed but he will not allow you sleep. You need all the sleep you are able to get while you can.’’


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