Last Kiss Goodnight (Page 31)

Last Kiss Goodnight (Otherworld Assassin #1)(31)
Author: Gena Showalter

He wanted to howl as she gently tended his wounds, but once again he remained quiet. He didn’t want her to stop. He needed this. And he liked the thought of her hands on him, no matter the circumstances.

“You’ll heal,” she whispered. “You have to heal.”

As the sound of her soft voice drifted through his mind, he was able to pretend they were at his farm, in his bedroom. On his bed. They had just made love, and he was exhausted. She had loved every moment, and now, she couldn’t stop touching him, had to have more of him. But as his fellow captives marveled aloud, throwing rapid-fire questions and commands at him, he was drawn back to the present.

“Why are you just lying there?” the Mec whispered fiercely. “Kill her!”

Did he know she was deaf?

“Bob! Fred! Over here!” Criss rattled her cage door. “Fight through the pain and free us!”

“Now’s your chance,” the Bree Lian growled. “Do something!”

No. They didn’t know. They would have told him to use the defect against her. Right now they were simply desperate for action.

“Why don’t you all shut up?” the Targon snipped. “Let the girl aid the man.”

Support. From the Targon. Miracle of miracles.

Vika cast a glance over her shoulder. “Hush,” she said, and turned back to Solo.

Solo frowned. Maybe he was mistaken about her. Maybe—no. No mistake. She had simply followed the direction of his gaze. She had no idea the creatures had commanded him to end her life. Her expression was sad rather than angry, guilty rather than fearful.

He should listen to his companions and act. He should fight his way out. Now. He should do whatever proved necessary.

He wasn’t against hurting a defenseless deaf girl to save himself . . . was he? Only yesterday he would have said no, no, a thousand times no. But twice now Vika had tenderly ministered to him, and only his mother had ever done such a thing for him. Vika had given him food and earned herself a beating.

His mother would expect him to aid the girl aiding him.

Yes, he was against hurting a defenseless deaf girl. This deaf girl.

Using every bit of his strength, Solo pulled himself into a crouch. Whatever salve she had spread over his wounds seeped deep and thankfully dulled the pain. She slid an arm under his chest and applied pressure, helping him straighten.

“Can you lift the rest of the way?” she asked softly.

He opened his mouth to respond, realized she couldn’t see his lips at this angle, and settled for nodding. He lumbered to his feet, tried not to cringe. Vika urged him toward the cage; he resisted.

“I’m not going back there,” he said. New plan. He would leave with Vika and Kitten, find a hiding place, one Jecis wouldn’t be able to track, even if there was a GPS chip in the cuffs, and take time to heal. He would contact Michael. Together they would come back here and destroy the circus. Some aspects of the plans would always be the same. Vika, he would . . . He wasn’t sure what he’d do with her anymore.

After the circus was destroyed, he would hunt John and Blue if they were missing.

“Please,” she said, giving his arm a tug. The single word was drenched with fear.

“I’m not going to hurt you, and I’m not going to allow your father to hurt you, either.” He wrapped his arm around her waist and forced her into his side.

She struggled for freedom, but he merely tightened his hold. She struggled some more, but surprisingly enough, she was careful not to brush against his wounds.

“Don’t do this,” she pleaded.

“I must.”

As the otherworlders called him over—save me first, no me, please, me—she finally stilled.

“Okay,” she said with a dejected sigh, “that does it. I’m officially throwing in the wet blanket.”

Uh, what? Maybe it was his injured state, but he so did not understand what she’d just said. “Throwing in . . . the towel?” Maybe.

She must not have caught his words, because she launched into a desperate rumble of words. “I give as much as I’m able, and I sacrifice as much as I’m able, and I sometimes endanger myself, and yet no one thinks twice about ruining my life further. So, fine, whatever. I’ll go with you. I can’t stop you from escaping without using your injuries against you.”

“Thank you,” he said, and he meant it.

“But when you’re captured, and you will be,” she continued, “I’ll be sure to mention how you overpowered me. The last man who laid a hand on me lost it. Jecis chopped it right off. And then, to really prove his point, he chopped off the other one. And I won’t even mention what will be done to me!”

“How kind of you.” As she spoke, he kept a firm grip on her and ushered her to Kitten’s cage. “But nothing will be done to you. I’ll make sure of it.”

From the otherworlders, the demands for freedom became pleas for help. As loud as they were, another guard would soon be called. He didn’t want to waste precious time having Vika free them. Although . . . if Jecis and company discovered Solo’s abduction of Vika, they’d have other people to chase, other tracks to follow, buying Solo more of the time he needed.

Cruel of him? Maybe. But also a mercy. They would be free. If the situation were reversed, he would want to be released for any reason, even that one.

He switched direction, approaching the cage closest to him.

“Thank you, Blue Eyes,” Vika said, her tone dripping with relief. She must assume he intended to walk back into his own prison. “Thank you. You won’t regret this. I have plans, and if you can just hold out for—”

“My name is Solo,” he interjected, making sure she was looking up to watch his lips. She had plans? What kind of plans? And was she fond of men with blue eyes?

That last question irritated him greatly. Why should he care?

“Solo.” A grin lifted the corners of her lips. “Nice to meet you.”

He would have sworn the sun had just broken through a thick shield of rain clouds, lighting her entire face. He wanted her to smile every second of every day . . . but her soft amusement died a quick death the moment he stopped in front of the Mec’s cage.

Dread radiated from her. “You’re going to free everyone, aren’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Trust me. You don’t want to do that. Please!”

“I must,” he repeated.

Though she tugged and tugged and tugged, he forced her to place her thumb against the lock. The moment the two halves parted, the Mec burst free. As overjoyed as he was, his skin glowed a bright blue. Foolish otherworlder. He would never be able to hide that way.