A snippet to wet your appetite.
“Cyd, we have a problem,” Stihl said into his ECD. With Marohka in his arms, he dropped into the hard seat of the IPT car.
“What happened? Marohka skipped out on you again?” Cyd answered with a laugh.
“No.” Stihl shook with fear. “I think she’s been poisoned.”
He stroked her hair where she lay on his lap. “Her tongue has several green spots like Dusty’s. Call Harrigun. Get him over there right away with the antidote.”
“Right, how long until you arrive?”
“We’re on our way. We’ll be there in a few itons,” Stihl grumbled, “if this car would travel a little faster.”
“Harrigun will be here by the time you arrive,” Cyd ended.
A cold sweat dripped down Stihl’s back. He debated whether to take her to a medical facility. He didn’t believe they’d be able to diagnose her problem. When his dog, Dusty, got sick, they figured out what happened after he died. Better prepared this time, Stihl felt confident he could arrange the right kind of help.
A warning? Or did someone miss the mark, and he should be the one out cold?
He scanned Marohka, and a strange emotion bloomed inside him and poured through his cells. He wanted to identify the gut-wrenching pain.
Yes, but it didn’t explain the ache around his heart. Outside of beating someone senseless in some barroom brawl or fighting with his father, Stihl rarely experienced this type of deep twisting reaction. And he disliked the feeling.
Why would someone wanted to hurt her?
He knotted his hands.
Maybe, a part of what he was feeling was that he should’ve shielded her from any type of attack. The fear, which had consumed him when she’d fainted in his arms, still rumbled through his nerves like sharp knives. He’d admit blending with Marohka offered a certain level of excitement. And she might prove to be useful for his new adventure, but any deeper feelings like fear or grief were unrealistic.
A means to an end, a useful partner, a possession, nothing more could exist. Nothing more was feasible. He lacked the time for the love and commitment routine.
The twitch of her hand against his forced him to question his callous thoughts. A beautiful person with feeling and desires he’d only just begun to understand, she’d won his respect. Devoted, she’d fought to protect her family and also to maintain her career.
As his responsibility, he sought to secure her safety and convince her, their marriage could work. But . . .
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