Like I'd mentioned earlier last week, I'm moving this blog over to my new website. That way everything is all in one place. You can check out my blog and the upcoming books with blurbs (when I get them written...lol)
Here is where readers can come to find out about the books of T.A.Chase. Whether the books are of dragons or cowboys, they will all be about men loving men. There is beauty in any kind of love. Stop by every Monday to find out what new boundary we'll be crossing. PLEASE STOP BY AND READ IF YOU'RE 18 OR OLDER ONLY. THIS BLOG CONTAINS ADULT MATERIAL.
Like I'd mentioned earlier last week, I'm moving this blog over to my new website. That way everything is all in one place. You can check out my blog and the upcoming books with blurbs (when I get them written...lol)
The screams coming from the building where Gideon had taken Raven were like nothing I’d ever heard before, and as much as I wanted to go and make sure he was okay, I did what he asked of me.
I walked up and down the aisle way, talking to the prisoners. I explained who I was, and what I was doing there. I told them they’d be getting out soon, but I didn’t have any keys to open the cell doors yet. As I passed by one of the cells, the woman in it waved at me to stop.
“I’m sorry this happened to you,” I said as I stepped a little closer to her door, but not too close. I didn’t want to frighten her.
She shrugged, the weary motion of a person who’d gotten used to the terrible things life handed her. “Not your fault. What happened to the Opalite they dragged out of here?”
There was real concern in her voice, and it surprised me. I hadn’t thought she would have any thought for anyone beside herself.
“Do you hear that screaming?”
She nodded. “It doesn’t sound like it normally does. There’s a lot of fear in those screams.”
“Yes, there is, but I can tell you they aren’t coming from the Opalite who talked to you.” I tapped the side of my head. “We’re connected, and I think I’d know if he was hurt.”
Scrabbling sounds came from another cell, and a young man appeared out of the shadows. There didn’t seem to be one square inch on him that wasn’t bruised or cut. I clenched my hands as a wave of anger swept over me.
::Why do you think I killed Gideon instead of keeping him alive?::
Raven’s thoughts plunged into my head.
::I understand. Where are you?::
::I’m taking care of some things at the main building. I’m sending Tyler over with the key. He swears he’ll be good. He’s scared shitless, so that’s always good. Plus he knows what happened to Gideon could easily happen to him.::
Something in the tone of Raven’s voice told me I probably didn’t want to know what had happened to Gideon.
The young man cleared his throat, and the sound coming from his throat as he tried to talk caused me to cringe.
“Is he okay?”
“Yes, he is. Don’t worry. We’re going to get you out of here.”
“I want to go home,” the young man managed to whisper.
“Why don’t you talk to me using your thoughts? It would be easier on your throat.” I crouched outside his cell.
The young man shook his head. “I can’t. I’m not old enough yet to do that. As we evolve, we lose the ability to talk aloud. The Opalite who was in here is far more evolved than I am.”
I filed the tidbit away in my mind as one more thing I needed to talk to Raven about.
“Are you Anson? This might sound like a stupid question, but where do you hurt? Are there any places that hurt worse than others?”
All of my medical training and compassionate emotions wanted me in the cell, examining the young man closer.
Anson nodded. “Yes. I’m very sore and there might be some broken bones, but the Opalite healed me a little. I’m not bleeding inside anymore.”
I should have known Raven would help Anson as best he could until I could look him over.
The door shoved open, and banged off the stone wall as Tyler stumbled in. The people in the cells cried or hissed as he practically ran to me. He held out a piece of paper, which I took from his trembling hand.
“Don’t let that monster hurt me, Zach. He tore Gideon’s heart out of his chest. Literally reached in and tore it out without struggling or anything. It was like he liquefied Gideon’s body to be able to do it.” Tyler clung to me.
I tried to shake him off. “Let go of me, Tyler. As long as you do what he says, and don’t hurt any one else, you’ll be fine. Raven is reasonable.”
“Reasonable? You call what he did to Gideon reasonable?” Tyler shouted.
“Tyler, you have seen what Gideon did to all these people, right? I’m sure there are many he actually killed. I’m pretty sure Gideon got off light, considering how much Raven could have tortured him for what he’s done.” I yanked my arm from Tyler’s grip and went to the control panel next to the main door. “You might want to either leave or stay close to me. I’m not sure how these guys will react, being free and being able to get a hold of you.”
::I’m sending someone for Tyler. I need to talk to him some more.::
As Raven’s thought arrived, so did two large men. I studied them, and something in their eyes told me they weren’t human. More Opalites, and I was starting to realize there were far more of the aliens on our planet than we’d ever thought.
“We’re here to take this one back to the Szef.”
I frowned. “What does that mean?”
“Oh okay. Yes, please take him to the Szef. Don’t hurt him or we’ll both be angry.”
The bigger of the two Opalites met my gaze with a calm expression. “We know our orders, sir, and we are only to escort this one back to the main building where the Szef is.”
Tyler squeaked as they stood on each side of him. He looked at me with a pleading glance. I shook my head.
“They aren’t going to hurt you, so just go with them. Raven isn’t going to hurt you either, as long as you cooperate.”
“Zach, what’s going on here?”
Tyler’s heartfelt plea caused me to pause in the middle of punching the code to open the cell doors. I thought about everything that had happened up to that point, and I chuckled.
“What’s going on here is humans have completely under-estimated Opalites from the very beginning.”
“Nothing to say for yourself, huh?” Gideon’s grin was filled of sadistic joy. “They all start out quiet, but the time I break them, they’re begging me to stop.”
Well, that wouldn’t be happening with me since I couldn’t talk anymore. None of the humans realized as Opalites got older, we lost our ability to talk. Our powers developed into telepathy, so we didn’t need to use our mouths for such primitive things as speech.
Gideon gestured for two of his goons to grab my arms and drag me from my cell. I let them touch me, through my skin crawled at the feel of their dirty hands on me. Once we were in the corridor, and walking down it, I hung my head, letting my hair cover my face. I wanted Gideon to think I was defeated, but really I was contacting every person in the cellblock.
Alerting the Opalites was easy, though breaking through the walls the humans had built around their minds was child’s play to an Opalite as powerful as I was. I knew the humans wouldn’t necessarily trust what I told them, so I pushed Zach’s image into their brain as a person they could trust.
When everything blew up in Gideon’s face, I wanted the humans to get out, and Zach would help them.
::Do you know how many prison buildings there are?:: I asked Zach while be forced to leave the one I was in.
::As far as I can tell, just the one you were in. Tyler’s been bragging to me about how many Opalites they’ve caught over the last couple of months.::
I grunted silently. ::Damn it. I’d hoped they would have managed to stay hidden longer, but they got careless. It would explain why I’ve lost touch with so many over the months.::
“Strip him, and put him in the room,” Gideon instructed the men who held me. “I need to get my instruments and I’ll be back for him.”
They tore my clothes off, and groped me while doing it. I fought the need to roll my eyes. Did they really think touching me inappropriately would break me quicker? While I didn’t like being touched by anyone but Zach, I allowed it to happen. I wasn’t interested in hurting the peons yet. My eyes were set on getting Gideon within my reach, because he was the one I needed first.
Zach’s anger surged through me, but I sent out a calm wave of energy.
::Don’t do anything. I need you to head to the prison building. There are humans and Opalites locked there. When I take Gideon down, they’ll need to trust someone, and I told them you would help them.::
::Take Gideon down? I thought you weren’t going to do anything more than take control of the rebels.::
::I changed my mind when I found out what he’d done to not only Anson and the other Opalites, but to the humans as well. Humans called us monsters, but I think you have more evil in your hearts than an Opalite could ever dream of having.::
::Not all of us.:: His soft admonishment hit me.
They threw me into the room, and my knees hit the cold stone floor before I could control the fall. I grimaced at the rough material tearing into my flesh, but spilling my blood would help bring my power to heel more easily.
“He is a pretty one. I bet Gideon fucks him to break him. Pretty ones like him are used to being treated nice. Gideon will teach him the only thing a hot mouth like his is good for,” one of the men taunted me as they stood by the door, waiting for Gideon to get back.
I glared at them while crawling to the far wall, sat cross-legged, and rested my hands on my thighs. I focused on the door between them, and meditated, slowly gathering my power into myself. When I had enough, I slowly let it leak out, and directed small tendrils of it out toward my jailors.
The little strings of power wrapped around their ankles, and anchored themselves into the concrete. When I attacked Gideon, they wouldn’t be able to move from where they stood.
::I don’t want you any where near here, Zach.:: I ordered my lover to stay away.
::While you accepted my wings without hesitation, if you were to see what I truly looked like, you wouldn’t be so accepting of my differences.::
Zach’s thoughts were puzzled, and I remembered there weren’t any pictures of what my people had looked like when they landed. For some reason, all of those had either been destroyed or the government had taken them all. Yet it was our true appearance, which convinced the humans, we were there to attack, not to talk.
::All right, but at some point, you’re going to have to show me.::
I knew that, and just the thought of Zach turning away from me in fear and disgust hurt my heart. Yet I couldn’t keep my true self hidden any more. To complete my mission, I had to show what I really was.
The scrape of the door warned me my time was up. It was time to shot the opening salvo of the true rebellion, and Gideon would realize he’d subjugated Opalites at his peril.
“Well, I’m glad to see you’re not crying or pleading all ready. Makes it so much more fun for me.”
Gideon stepped into the room, and shut the door behind him. I ducked my head to hide the grin as I noticed he was dressed in black leather. Did he really think the whole evil ‘Dom’ thing would frighten me? Though I amended that thought. If I was young and powerless, I probably would be afraid of the man, but that moment all he did was make me want to laugh.
He stalked across the floor, reaching out for me as he got closer. I let him wrap his fist in my hair before I exploded off the floor. Horror filled Gideon’s face as I let my true form take over. I shoved my hand into Gideon’s chest, and tore his heart out, holding it up as his body crumbled to the floor.
::No mercy for any who harm my brethern.::
Her eyes widened, and I could tell she was surprised I admitted it to her.
“Why would you tell me that? For all you know, I could be a spy and I’ll run to Gideon with this information.”
I shrugged. ::Go ahead and tell him. He won’t believe you. The power hungry and arrogant never believe those they perceive as weaker than them can hurt them.::
She tilted her head and studied me. “Why can I hear you? I thought Opalites could talk. At least most of the ones the bastards drag in here can.”
::They are young. I’m looking for one in particular. His name is Anson.::
The woman frowned as she thought. After a minute, she shook her head. “I’m sure he’s probably here, but I don’t know anyone’s name. He wants us friendly, but not that friendly.”
I snorted silently. Gideon was racking up the check marks against him in my mind. Maybe I’d take him out when it came time to leave here. He wasn’t really worth much, and while a man high on drugs could be manipulated, he was also unpredictable. I didn’t want to risk the rest of my mission by things going wrong with Gideon.
::Thank you. Don’t worry. I won’t leave you here.::
She nodded and moved back to her bed. I strolled to the opposite side of my cell. I peered into the dimly lit space in front of me. At that moment I wished I could speak, but instead I reached out with my mind, hoping to touch someone in there.
The low moan of pain I heard when my thoughts did encounter someone caused me to ease the force of them. I stroked along the ragged edges of the person’s mind, and I bit my lip when I realized it was the very Opalite I searched for.
::Anson, I know it hurts, but I need you to talk to me. If you can’t speak aloud, talk to me with your thoughts. I can hear you, and I’m here to get you out of here.::
Another whimper, but also the scrape of something moving across the floor. I crouched and reached between the bars. A hand emerged from the shadows, broken, bruised, and torn. I swallowed the bile threatening to escape my stomach, and I tamped down on the rage surging through my body.
::Are you all right?:: Zach’s inquiry brought me back to focus on Anson and not my own anger.
::I will be once I rip Gideon’s throat out.::
::I take it you found Anson.::
::Yes. I must talk to him, but be prepared to leave at any moment. I won’t remain here any longer than we must.::
Zach’s assent chimed through our link, and I smiled at how willing he was to accept my leadership without question. Oh, I knew the time would come when he forced me to sit down and tell him everything, but at the moment, it wasn’t important. The most important thing was to free all of these people from Gideon’s rule.
::Anson, show me in your mind where you’re hurt.::
Our fingers touched, and the images flooded my brain so fast, it almost overwhelmed me. Yet instead of telling him to slow down, I managed to corral and organize them. As I identified each spot, my healing power flowed from me. A soft blue glow surrounded Anson and me. His pain eased as I mended broken ribs, and a fractured leg. His internal injuries I healed the best I could. I needed more hands on to do anymore than take care of the immediate danger.
I separated our minds for a second to take a breath and center myself. ::I can’t do any more for you at this time, Anson. I need to be able to put my hands completely on your body to do more.::
::You’ve done more than I ever thought would be possible. I heard you tell the woman you were here to free us all. How can you do that?::
::Don’t worry about that. Just be ready to go. You’ll be able to move pretty fast now. I have to check with the others.::
::He tore out my wings.::
The anguish in Anson’s emotions brought tears to my eyes. An Opalite, even one as young as Anson, needed his wings to function normally. A wingless Opalite was half a person, and it was hard for them to continue on.
::Don’t give up, Anson. Gideon will pay for every wrong and hurt he caused you. Trust me, the time is coming when you won’t have to worry about your wings. I’ll tell you a secret. They will grow back.::
Excitement shot through Anson at my pronouncement. His wings would grow back once we’d left Earth and headed back to our home planet. The entire purpose of the mission I was on was to ensure we all went home. Yet I thought about Zach, and knew the time would come when I had to make a choice.
I shook myself. I couldn’t let my attention wander like that. The time hadn’t come for a decision yet, and I needed to get the jewel first before anything else could be decided.
I threw my thoughts out into the energy, hoping others would latch on to it. A riot of noise arose, filling my head with thoughts and pleas. I allowed it to go on for a few seconds before I asked for silence. It was quickly given to me, and I began to explain my plans for getting everyone out of there.
I’d just finished when I heard the door to whatever building I was in open. I settled back against the stone wall of my cell, not wanting them to see me talking to the human or Anson. I had checked for cameras before I even approached either of them. Not that I wouldn’t have been able to cause the equipment to malfunction. I didn’t want to bring Gideon to me any sooner than necessary.
“Well, it looks like the drugs have worn off.” Gideon propped his shoulder against the bars of my cell. “Too bad because it might have made what’s going to happen easier.”
I merely looked at him and blinked. ::He’s going to wish he had been drugged when I’m done tearing his heart from his chest.::
Of course, I wouldn’t let Zach kill Gideon or any of the rebels. If it came down to killing, I’d do it. Having blood on my hands meant nothing to me.
::Keep your cool. I’ll deal with Gideon when the time is right.::
To be honest, I wasn’t ready to take Gideon out of the picture. The rebels had a role to play in my mission, even if I didn’t want them to do anything yet. If Gideon was truly using drugs, I’d take advantage of his addiction. Again, I wasn’t above using any means necessary to achieve my goal.
::We’re leaving the compound now. You should be hearing us soon.::
I leaned my head back against the tree, and closed my eyes, not wanting them to know I wasn’t completely knocked out. I needed to hear what Tyler and Gideon had to say. Even when humans had the upper hand, if their opponent was awake, they kept secrets. By pretending to be out, they would talk freely around me.
The roar of a vehicle alerted me to their arrival, and I managed not to cough when the cloud of dust from the road enveloped me. Doors slammed, and their auras brushed against mine. I was barely able to keep from gagging at the darkness surrounding two of the men. Those auras had to belong to Gideon and Tyler.
“I thought you were running when we came back and you were gone from the safe house,” Tyler spoke. “Do you know what he is?”
Zach grunted. “I had my suspicions, but he’d convinced me to leave before you got back. When I realized he was using me to get away for the government, I thought you might want him. I don’t have any real idea what he is besides strange.”
“You haven’t noticed anything odd about him?” The harsh ruined voice had to be Gideon speaking.
I focused a little bit of my power, reading the nuances of his mind and soul. There wasn’t much I liked about what I found. Gideon wasn’t interested in freeing the country from the government, he wanted the power for himself, and he was willing to use the rebels to get it.
::Watch Gideon, Zach. He’ll sell you all out if he got the power and money he wanted.::
Zach grunted again, his way of telling me he understood.
“Once I realized he used me, I told him we were driving out of the city to get away from the agents. I got him this far, drugged and left him here, so I could go and get you.”
I mentally wrinkled my nose as Gideon crouched next to me. God, the man reeked of drugs, stale sweat, and fear. I couldn’t tell if the fear was his, or from someone else. He grabbed a fistful of my hair, and yanked my head back. I yelped groggily, letting them know I was sort of awake.
“Looks like he’s coming around.”
Gideon’s foul breath washed over my face, and it took all my control not to shove the man away from me.
“He’s a pretty one, but I’ve found all the Opalites I’ve run into have been remarkably good-looking.” He leaned in close to me, and whispered, “I think I’ll enjoy having you share my bed.”
::Over my dead body.:: Zach’s thought shot into my brain.
::Don’t do anything yet. Trust me. I won’t let it get that far.::
I wasn’t just saying it to ease Zach’s anger. I would never be sharing a bed with Gideon. The only man who would be my lover from now on would be Zach, if he stayed with me. Before Gideon could do anything to me, I’d take his mind and make it mine. It was one of the powers I had that made me the person in charge of the mission to get the jewel.
“Put him in the trunk. We need to get back to the compound. You’ll join us for drinks, Zach, and we’ll talk about what we’ll be doing with this Opalite.”
Someone picked me up, and dumped me in the trunk of the car. I winced at the bruises created as I landed on something hard, but I didn’t moved beyond that.
::Are you okay?:: Zach sounded concerned.
::Just a few bumps and bruises. I’ll be fine. Gideon isn’t interested in doing anything to me yet. I need to be put in the cells where they’re holding Anson and the others.::
I have no idea how long it took us to get back to the compound, but finally the vehicle stopped, and the trunk popped open. Again someone lifted me out, and I was carried inside. They sat me down on something hard and cold. My hands were untied, but it was the sound of a door shutting that caused me to open my eyes.
Glancing around, I noticed I was in a cell with walls of bars on three sides. The fourth wall had to be an outside wall because it was built of stone. I stood, shaking my arms like I was trying to get the circulation back into them. I wandered the cell, learning the dimensions and examining any weaknesses it might have.
“Are you an Opalite?”
I swung around to see a young woman sitting in the cell to my right. I studied her for a moment, and she blinked when I nodded.
“I thought so. The bastard never looks happy unless he’s bringing a new victim in.” She shook her head. “I’m sorry you got caught. This is a hell on earth for Opalites, and some humans for that matter.”
After edging closer to her side of the cell, I reached out to touch the bars. They weren’t electrified or anything like that, which seemed odd to me.
“Gideon wants us to develop relationships. Makes it easier to break us if we see our friends being tortured.” She touched the top of my hand with her fingers. “There’s something different about you. You don’t seem scared. In fact, you look rather smug about getting in here. Why are you here?”
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.
We left the safety of the warehouse, and I oriented myself to the beacon of pain coming from the young Opalite. Zach was heading in the right direction so far.
::How do you want to play this out?:: Zach’s question filled my mind.
::You’re going to tell Tyler and Gideon, you’ve decided to turn me over to them. I’ve become more than you can handle on your own. If they tell you to leave, you leave. Don’t argue with them, or give away the fact you might like me.::
::Might like you? If I didn’t like you, I wouldn’t be helping you like this. I don’t like the idea of leaving you there by yourself.::
Sighing, I tightened my arms around his waist for a quick second before loosening my grip. ::Trust me, Zach. I can protect myself. There isn’t anything Gideon or Tyler can do to hurt me.::
::But they’re hurting the other Opalite they have. And you said they’re doing it to draw you out. Don’t you think they’d be prepared for you?::
I chuckled, and while there wasn’t any sound, I thought Zach got the picture of what I was doing. Annoyance drifted through our link, because he didn’t think I was taking the threat seriously.
::You are the leading authority on Opalites, Zach, and there were things about me you didn’t know. Those men have no idea what I’m capable of. They can hurt the young Opalite because he hasn’t come into his full power yet, but even if he had, he’d still not be as powerful as I am.::
If it was the truth, then I wasn’t bragging. Because of my ancestry, I was the strongest Opalite left on earth, and it was my job to keep the others safe until our mission came to an end. The way things were moving, the end was coming a little sooner than I planned.
Yet we were as ready as we were ever going to be, and we had humans to help us as well. I hoped Zach would continue to travel with me on my journey as far as I had to go.
::Are you like the de facto Opalite leader of the refugees?::
I shrugged. ::No. I don’t see myself as that. Maybe the others do because of my power, but I think we are all equals.::
A faint derisive snort in the back of my mind told me what Rissia thought of my statement. She had been very vocal about her thoughts on my position in the mission. All I wanted was to find the jewel, and get the hell off this godforsaken planet. I might have grown up on earth, but I held no emotional attachment to it.
I’ve always dreamed of a home I’d never seen. I was born while in route to earth, and all the images of my home planet came from my parents before they died. It was a place I longed to see before I died, and with our mission in motion, the possibility of being able to see it was getting closer every minute.
::Some instinct tells me you’re downplaying your position in the Opalite community. If you’re so sure you can save this youngster all by yourself, you shouldn’t need anyone else’s help.::
::No matter how powerful, no one is an island unto himself. I’ve learned that the hard way, and I’m willing to admit there are things I don’t know how to do like drive.::
Zach jerked his head like he wasn’t expecting to hear that. ::You can’t drive?::
::No. I never learned how to do it up in the mountains where I’m from. My foster family was extremely poor, and a car was a luxury they couldn’t afford. We walked wherever we needed to go.::
I shook my head, even though Zach couldn’t see me. ::No flying. Too easy to be spotted, and the government would swoop in like a giant carnivore to eat those people alive. I wouldn’t have risked it.::
::But you can fly?::
::Get me to the rebel’s headquarters, Zach, and you’ll see what I can do.::
I wasn’t interested in talking any more. We were getting closer to where the Opalite was being held, and I needed all my concentration not to get overwhelmed by his pain. Also, I had to fight down my own rage at the thought of humans treating my fellow Opalites like monsters or criminals when we’d done nothing wrong.
Zach pulled the cycle to a stop at a fork in the road an hour or so later. I hadn’t been paying attention to where we were, needing to focus on calming the other Opalite. Looking up, I saw we were in the backcountry, surrounded by a forest. Perfect place for a rebellion to hide out.
He shut off the bike, and removed his helmet. I climbed off, and took mine off as well. Zach turned to look at me.
“How do we arrive? I can’t have you riding on the back of my bike, because if I tied you up, you could still overpower me and escape.”
::Leave me here. Go and talk to Gideon and Tyler. Tell them you have me tied up outside the compound, but you need a vehicle to collect me. I’ll take care of the rest.::
“Are you completely sure about this, Raven? I don’t feel right about just leaving you to their tender mercies.” Zach cupped the side of my face.
I pressed a kiss to the palm of his hand. ::If it makes you feel better, you can hang around. Just not where they can see you, because they’d get suspicious of your motives then. That way if I need your help for a quick getaway, you’re around to help me.::
He still didn’t look convinced that my plan would work or was even the best way to handle it. Zach wanted to bust in there and demand the release of the Opalite, but that way wouldn’t work. In my life, I’d learned sabotage from within worked best to bring down an enemy.