As though she had any intention of obeying any command Kane Tyler gave, Sherra thought, still more than furious later that night after joining the mountain patrols above the estate. He hadn’t ordered her back to the house. Not that it would have done any good, and he appeared smart enough not to try. She was thanking God he hadn’t. Her body was rioting, the very fact that she now knew he was aware of the physical arousal seemed to only make it worse. Too many celibate years, that was all it was, she assured herself as she moved among the trees, aware of the soft silence of the night, the caress of it upon her senses. It reminded her of Kane. Everything reminded her of Kane.
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Touch me, Sherra.His voice had stroked her like the softest breeze as her hand gripped his erection, causing her flesh to electrify with pleasure. He had been iron-hard, hot and thick. A c**k that would have pleased even the most discriminating woman. And it had more than pleased her. She shivered, her pu**y clenching at the thought of how well he had pleased her in the labs. Moving inside her, his body had been tight with the effort to control the need to rush to his own release as he drove her higher in hers.
Stop, she ordered herself as she breathed out roughly. Remembering would do nothing but make her weaker, hungrier. She couldn’t afford to get any hungrier.
“Sherra, we have undeclared movement coming in east of you. Are you secure?”
Tamber Mason, a small, shy female Lion Breed, spoke over the communications link with an edge of tension as Sherra stilled against the broad base of a tree.
“How close?” Sherra kept her voice low as she checked her watch. It was a little after one, hours after having slipped away from Kane’s threat.
“Less than a quarter-mile, moving in a diagonal line along the three o’ clock marker to your location. A slow progression on a current heading that leads them directly to the back gates of the main compound.”
The link clicked several times as the channel continued to update to assure security as Tamber spoke. Sherra pulled her weapon easily from its holster, checking the clip quickly as she moved into a stalking position. Her body fluid, ready for whatever threat she would come across, she began to move quickly to the location.
“Keep me updated on heading and distance,” she murmured into the link. She pulled the night field goggles over her eyes and slid the transparent radar display into place. Two small dots popped immediately into a small map on the peripheral of her right eye. Her own in blue, the undeclared heat source in red. She eased along the mountain, keeping low, easing through the dense underbrush and thick foliage as she headed for the intruder.
Undeclared meant Tamber had checked each link taken out and locations of the Breeds that were supposed to be on the mountain. There was one more pinpoint of movement than there should be, with no confirmation of the same location from the guards she had hailed before checking with Sherra.
“All I’m picking up at present is the one anomaly,” Tamber said quietly as Sherra moved in closer, keeping a wary eye on the green fluorescent display of the goggles that now shielded her upper face.
“But this one showed up out of nowhere. One minute we were clear, the next he was there.”
Trusting the other woman to watch her back, Sherra noticed several blue displays moving in from other locations as well. Skirting a stand of shoulder-high boulders, she continued to move toward the anomaly, keeping a careful eye on the small red point as it slid along the map, coming ever closer to the gate that led into the main compound. It, too, was heavily guarded, which made no sense. It would have been easier for an intruder to gain entry from many other points rather than the back gate. As light as a breeze, she slid through a thick stand of foliage, ducking easily to escape the upper branches which would have alerted an experienced tracker to the fact he was being stalked. Council or fanatic, it didn’t matter, they just kept trying. The attempts to gain entry into the compound seemed to worsen with every news report that slammed the airwaves. Some of the insinuations in those so-called reports were more than insulting, they were downright dangerous. Keeping up with them was next to impossible and counteracting them was becoming harder by the day. And they kept trying. The attempts to kill the new human species seemed to grow daily. Moving slowly closer, Sherra eased past a stand of young pines and moved behind the intruder slowly. When she had him in sight, terror slammed hard and heavy in her heart.
“I wouldn’t.” She aimed the automatic weapon as he was preparing to lift the long, cylindrical missile launcher to his shoulder.
He froze for a long second. She smelled the fear radiating off his body just as she could sense his determination for murder.
“So much as shift and your head comes off,” she snapped. “Tamber, alert the f**king house. We have a missile launcher.”
She had no idea if she could take him out before he shot that missile off. His hand was on the trigger, the weapon nearly in place for a direct hit at the house.
“Evac, Tamber. Evac.” Sherra gave the order to evacuate the house, listening distantly as chaos erupted in the control room.
“Is it worth dying for?” she asked the assailant, seeing his hand tighten on the trigger. “I can arrange it, buddy, if you don’t lay it down now.”
“Abominations…” His hand tightened.
Sherra fired immediately but the missile’s trigger caught before he went down, causing the missile to launch.
“Incoming! Incoming!” she screamed. “God, clear that house out now! Now!”
She knew there hadn’t been time to evacuate the house, no way to get everyone to safety. She ran to the fallen man, aware he wasn’t quite dead. Instantly straddling his back, she ignored the blood dampening his shoulder and his scream of pain as she wrenched his arms back and secured them with the steel cuffs before jumping to her feet.
“Get that bastard,” she yelled at two of the men as she heard the explosion farther down the mountain.
“The rest of you are with me.”
“Tamber, report,” she yelled into the link as she raced down the mountain. “Goddammit, report!”
She could hear screaming in the background as orders were relayed, but no Tamber.
“No strike,” a voice suddenly called out in her ear as she nearly stumbled down the slope, coming in view of the house. “We have no strike. No strike. Missile fouled.”
Or something had fouled it. The heavily forested mountain with its thick-trunked trees had saved their hides. Two wide, centuries-old oaks flamed at the base of the mountain from the impact that had triggered the explosives in the missile. Breeds were rushing around the yards, pulling hoses from the hydrants located around the property to put out the flames before it set the entire mountain on fire.