Home > Whispers in the Dark (KGI #4)(10)

Whispers in the Dark (KGI #4)(10)
Author: Maya Banks

Whether she was real or imagined, he thanked God for her. His own personal angel in hell.

SHEA left the comfort of Nathan’s arms when the link became too much to maintain. Her body still quivered with lingering pain, but the marks on her skin were gone.

She stumbled into the shower and ran the water as hot as she could bear it and stood under the spray, her forehead resting against the cool tile of the stall.

What the hell was she doing? She couldn’t afford to weaken herself as she had done with Nathan. Just maintaining the link for so long was taxing enough, but the pain took it out of her when she had nothing to spare.

What if she were found again? Would she even have the strength to run?

But she’d made him a promise and she wouldn’t break it. She couldn’t bear the thought of him not making it back home to his family.

The only solution for her was to keep moving. Preemptive run. If she kept constantly on the move, then she would lessen the risk of her being caught at her most vulnerable.

She almost reached out to Grace. She bit her lip to prevent herself from saying her sister’s name. Her heart grew heavy until the ache crawled up her throat and into her jaw.

“I miss you,” she whispered.

Maybe it was why she’d reached out to Nathan. His desolation matched her own. They were both lonely and desperate. Perhaps she saw in Nathan someone whose situation was worse than her own and she’d been unable to turn her back even if it was what she should have done.

When she was through with her shower, she dressed and picked up the bag she hadn’t yet unpacked. She stepped from the hotel room and shivered as the cold mountain air sliced through her T-shirt.

She’d battled her decision to continue westward. But she’d already traveled extensively over the United States. Would her pursuers expect her to double back? She hoped not. She hoped she was making the right strategic choice. Wouldn’t it be the very last place they’d expect her to hide?

She climbed into her car and for a moment she sat there, hands curled around the steering wheel. She was tired. So tired. Of running. Of being separated from her sister. Of worrying that nothing would ever be the same again in her life.

At what point would it all end?

Nagging doubt crept in and her nostrils flared in anger. She’d just given Nathan a rah-rah speech about not giving up, about not being fatalistic and about having hope. She could use a healthy dose of her own advice.

She keyed the ignition, slammed the vehicle into gear and said good-bye to Colorado.

CHAPTER 5

NATHAN awoke when the door of his cell flew open and he was blinded by white light. He flung an arm up to cover his eyes but he was hauled to his feet and dragged out.

This time he took closer stock of his surroundings as they forced him into a chair and tied his arms behind his back. A chill pervaded the air, making the sweat on his body blow cold. It was damp and the scents of unwashed bodies, urine and blood made his nostrils flare in distaste.

Silver flashed in front of his eyes. One of the men waved a knife as another began shouting the same questions they asked every time he was interrogated. Maybe they meant to kill him today. Or maybe they were altering their torture methods.

Strangely, calm acceptance settled over him, and he fixed them with a cold stare.

“Go f**k yourself.”

Even if they didn’t fully understand the expression, they could certainly ascertain the sentiment.

Fire exploded down his arm. He flinched and then glanced down to see a thin cut opened, blood streaming down his flesh.

His lip curled. “Is that the best you can do? Untie me, ass**le. Let’s even the odds a little.”

This time the knife slashed across his chest in a measured cut meant to inflict pain, but not mortal damage.

He ground his teeth together and focused on breathing in and out. He could endure this. He’d suffered far worse already.

Then warmth crept through his body and he felt sunshine fill his mind. Instead of welcoming it, he screamed a silent no.

Get out, Shea! Get the hell out of my head. I don’t want you here, damn it.

Do or say nothing to further anger them, she said in the voice he’d already associated with everything good in the world.

He felt her flinch, and it took him a moment to realize that he’d been cut again. He stared down in horror as blood trickled down his chest. But he felt nothing.

She wrapped herself completely around him, holding him, offering her warmth and caring and all the while he could smell her blood from the wound given to him.

Never, never had he felt more helpless as he sat there being slowly carved up by a knife that he couldn’t even feel. He couldn’t even feel her pain. She was working hard to keep it all from him.

Tears ran freely down his cheeks, not because of what was being done to him, but because she suffered in his stead. It was more than he could bear.

His fingers dug into the ropes binding him and he clawed relentlessly, trying to break free so he could kill the sons of bitches who were causing Shea so much pain. He’d die before he allowed her to continue hurting.

Just be still, Nathan, and maybe they’ll leave you alone. Don’t do anything to anger them. Please. It will all be over soon. It’s only temporary for me. You know this.

As much as he wanted to rage, he willed himself to quell the hatred and fury that burned so hotly within him. For her, he would do it because it was she who was hurting. Not him. Not him, goddamn it.

She was slick with blood and it threatened what little control he had left over his sanity.

   
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