“I can do it, but I need you to help me focus.”
“Tell me what do you need me to do.”
“I need physical contact. Pull me close.”
Despite the odd request, he didn’t hesitate. Jaxton placed his hands on Kiarra’s hips and pulled her back against his chest. “Like this?”
A heartbeat passed before she answered. “Yes.”
He kept an eye out for anyone else, but was soon distracted by a tingling sensation on the back of his neck. A quick sweep confirmed that no one was behind them or on the fire escape, but then the tingle started to spread. Soon there were flames dancing along his arms, moving down in a continuous stream until they collected in Kiarra’s palms; the more the flames moved down his arms, the stronger her flame grew.
Holy shit. This wasn’t normal. The fire didn’t hurt him, and while Kiarra had successfully surrounded the fake plant last night without damaging it, at least until he’d distracted her, he didn’t think she was consciously covering him with fire.
So this was the power of a Fire Talent.
Something slammed against his back right before fire shot out from Kiarra, igniting an eight-foot dancing wall of flame. Kiarra leaned against him for a second before standing on her own without help. Adrenaline was probably the only thing keeping her conscious.
Jaxton raised his gun and stepped around the skip to look for enemies. The way was clear. Jaxton took hold of Kiarra’s elbow and guided her toward the left and said, “Head down that street and turn left. If we get separated, I’ll meet you at the second safe house.” Kiarra’s wall began to flicker. He gave Kiarra a push. “Now go.”
/> She hesitated a second, but for once didn’t argue. The wall of fire started to die down, and was now only a foot or two high. One of the men near the van was staring straight at him.
Fuck. Now he needed to distract them long enough to let Kiarra get away. He knew Edinburgh well enough that he could find an alternative route to the safe house.
Jaxton headed right, in the opposite direction of Kiarra, and fired off a shot to ensure that the people in the van would follow him. Careful to choose the path with the most obstacles to act as cover, Jaxton picked his way to the street on the far side. A quick check over his shoulder and he saw that the three people from the van were following him with their guns drawn.
Gio studied Millie’s face, relaxed in unconsciousness, and noted the bruise on her cheek and the cut on her swollen bottom lip. By the time Gio had arrived, the interrogation had been over. The specialist, Ramirez, had extracted little from the woman, but had assured Gio that the first session was usually the least productive. He’d be back in a day to try again.
Something had to be done. Gio couldn’t stomach the thought of Ramirez hurting the young woman again. Her records showed nothing illegal, or even dangerous, about her. She just happened to be related to the wrong person. There was nothing to justify this kind of treatment.
That put Gio in a conundrum, because he couldn’t give his father cause to dismiss him, yet he wanted to help this innocent woman. In order to do that, he was going to have to find a way to fool everyone.
He turned, headed out into the hallway, and stopped in front of the nearest com unit. He pushed the button and a male voice answered, “Yes?”
Gio leaned in to the speaker and said, “No one is to enter Room 5 without my permission.”
“Get word to Ramirez that I plan to take over the next round of interrogation with the prisoner. I’ll give him the details later. Relay all communications to my office.”
“Is that all, sir?”
“Yes.” Gio released the com unit’s button and walked to his office. Not only did he have to think of how to appear like he was interrogating the woman without hurting her, but he also needed a plan to get her out of the building and stash her somewhere until it was safe to let her go free. If he could clear those hurdles, he had someone he’d met at university who owed him a favor and would keep watch over Millie Ward until she understood the necessity of living under a new identity. Even if it took some convincing, a few verbal threats were better than torture any day of the week.
Then there was the problem of Kiarra. If he wanted to continue his research on the pediatrics facilities and the experiments being conducted inside the AMT compounds, as well as keep his access to the AMT database, he needed to please his father. James Sinclair wouldn’t tolerate failure.
It was a good thing Gio enjoyed a challenge, because scheming all of that wasn’t going to be easy.
Something was wrong.
Kiarra paced the room and resisted looking out the window for the fifteenth time. She’d made it to the safe house nearly an hour ago, but Jaxton had yet to arrive.
Leaving him behind had been one of the hardest things she’d ever had to do. She knew her fire had started to dissipate the instant she ran, leaving Jaxton with nothing but the weapons strapped over his chest to defend himself. She’d seen Jaxton in action before and knew he wouldn’t give up easily, but he’d still been outnumbered. That may not have been a problem, but Kiarra had a feeling that the three people near the van had also been carrying tranquilizer guns. All they needed to do was injure or stun Jaxton and fill him full of drugs, and he’d be done for.
But even if she knew where to find him, she could barely stand on her own two feet. The adrenaline that had kept her going was slowly fading and exhaustion was setting in. She and Jaxton hadn’t spent much time sleeping before the visitors had arrived, and creating a wall of fire had sapped the last of her energy. Right now anyone could attack, and she wouldn’t be able to defend herself.
So much for finally being useful.