They Walk Among Us
I convinced Zach to tie me up. I made him do the restraints twice, since the first time he tied the knots, a child could have gotten out of them.
::If the ropes are this loose, they’ll never believe you. While I might doubt their intelligence, I’m pretty sure they aren’t dumb enough to think I’d have sat around waiting for you to return.::
“You would if you were unconscious,” Zach commented.
Thinking for a moment, I finally shook my head. ::I’m afraid your human drugs don’t work on me. My blood burns through them too quickly. They have no time to actually affect me before they are out of my system.::
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Zach muttered. “But you could at least act like you’re unconscious or groggy when I bring them back. I can tell them I injected you with a short-term drug, which rendered you incapable of defending yourself. That’s how I managed to tie you up, and dump your ass here while I went to get a bigger vehicle.”
::I can do that. Now rip my shirt and jeans. Rub some dirt on my clothes and hands. We need to make it look like I fought a little bit when I realized what you were doing.::
Zach did what I told him, but his unhappiness shined through. I rested my bound hands on his shoulder before he straightened from his crouch. He met my gaze, and I leaned forward, pressing our lips together. I put all my feelings for him into the kiss. Did I really love him? I didn’t know, but I cared far more deeply for him than for anyone else I’d ever known.
I was willing to risk the failure of our mission to keep Zach with me. At any time, he could report me to the government or even truly hand me over to the rebels. Just because I could easily free myself from either faction didn’t matter. What mattered was I trusted Zach with secrets no other human knew about Opalites and about the ones left behind.
He eased away from me, and touched his hand to my cheek. “I’ll be back as soon as I can. I don’t want you out here on your own. It’s really cold out here. I should leave my coat with you.”
::No. It doesn’t matter. You won’t be gone for long, and I’ll be fine until you get back.:: I shivered, even though I wasn’t as affected by the cold as he was.
“I still don’t understand why we can’t just walk in there, and rescue this kid without you having to be a prisoner.”
::Gideon would never let me close enough to save Anson. Tyler must have told him what he suspects about me. By coming in as a prisoner, I have a better chance of getting to Anson without anyone knowing better.::
“Anson? That’s the kid’s name?”
Nodding, I pointed down the road toward the rebels’ compound. ::You need to go, Zach. We can’t waste any more time.::
“Right.” Zach straddled the motorcycle and turned it on. He gave me one last look before he sped off into the night.
I laid my head on the rough bark of the tree trunk Zach had propped me against. Closing my eyes, I focused my power and, instantly, the link I had established with Zach flared. I couldn’t see or hear anything through the link, but I sensed where he was in relation to myself.
::Is this the best idea, Raven?::
Rissia’s question came through, but it was faint, telling me I wasn’t close to her.
::Possibly not, but it’s the best I can do. Anson must be saved. We can’t lose any more of our brethren, Rissia. They have as much right to see our home planet again as we do. None of us are more worthy than any other.::
::I know, but I fear you take on too much responsibility. There are others who could free Anson without you being involved.::
::They’re too far away. He won’t last much longer. Anson hasn’t come into his full powers, Rissia. He is still a child, and has no way of healing or protecting himself from what these humans are doing.::
Rissia’s surprise rippled through him.
::I didn’t know there were any so young left. I thought we’d all come into our powers.::
I gave a mental shrug. ::I’ll find out the reason for it after I save him.::
::You’re sure it’s not a trap, set to lure you in?::
::Of course, it’s a trap, Rissia, but what they don’t realize is I know it’s a trap, and I’ll counter it, no matter what. I can’t let these rebels gain any more power, and you have to figure out how to get free from the government. We must find the jewel, and go home.::
Rissia faded away with a little mental hug. I hated having my sister so far from me, but while getting captured by the government hadn’t really been part of her-or my-plan, it worked for us. If she could free herself without needing my help, I could turn to finding the jewel. But I would go to her side in a heartbeat if she needed me.
Zach’s link flared briefly with a deep red rage. Something had happened in the compound, and Zach was in danger. I had a decision to make. Free myself from my ropes and go look for him, or stay where I was at, waiting for the rebels to come and get me?
::Zach, are you okay?::
I cringed as Zach shouted in my head.
::Stay where you are. We’re coming for you, but when you get ready to free Anson, give me a signal. I’ll kill Gideon with my bare hands.::
::Breathe, love. What has he done?:: Well, besides the obvious capture and torture of fellow Opalites.
Zach’s next thoughts were much calmer like he’d gotten a hold of his murderous rage and channeled it. ::He has more than just Anson here as prisoners. Also, I believe he’s doing drugs, and so are a lot of the rebels.::
I wrinkled my nose in disgust. I hated drugs more than any other thing on the earth. They took the best in people, and destroyed them until there was nothing left but an empty shell of self-loathing and hate.