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Triumphant: Battle Born, #14

Triumphant: Battle Born, #14

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Triumphant: Battle Born, #14

ratings:
5/5 (1 rating)
Length:
372 pages
6 hours
Released:
Nov 5, 2017
ISBN:
9781386342137
Format:
Book

Description

(Series Finale) Sedrik, the first battle born general, is given command of the Earth-side forces just in time to face the most daunting enemy yet, the dreaded Evonti. Rebecca, a human female, holds the key to locating the Evonti stronghold and driving the insidious threat back to their own dimension. There’s only one problem. Sedrik catches Rebecca’s scent and realizes she’s his mate. Now all he can think about is kissing, claiming, and keeping her safe.

After risking her life to escape her abusive ex-husband, Rebecca doesn’t trust anyone. Then she meets Sedrik. He’s handsome, sensual, and oh so tempting. But he has ulterior motives. How can she ever be sure he wants her as his mate and not just a source of information?

Note to Readers: This book contains detailed descriptions of sizzling passion only suitable for mature readers.

From Cyndi: Battle Born is a fully integrated sci-fi series. Each romance is resolved within the given book, but many plot elements continue on from story to story. For this reason, it’s best to read the books in order. Enjoy!

Released:
Nov 5, 2017
ISBN:
9781386342137
Format:
Book

About the author

Passionate Sci-Fi with a touch of danger and a whole lot of sass. Cyndi has written about rock stars, vampires, and cat shifters, but she’s currently focused on outer space. Her stories are fun, fast-paced, and seriously hot. Her books have made the USA Today Top 100, and frequently land on Amazon Best Seller lists. She is currently working on the Shadowborn Rebellion, a spin-off series set in the Outcasts universe.   She loves to hear from readers: author@cyndifriberg.com https://facebook.com/fribergc https://twitter.com/Cyndi_Friberg


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Triumphant - Cyndi Friberg

Triumphant

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Copyright © 2017 Cyndi Friberg

Cover art by Dar Albert

Editor: Mary Moran

Electronic Book Publication, November 2017

Trade Paperback Publication, November 2017

Edition 1a

With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the author, Cyndi Friberg.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

Praise for Beyond Ontariese

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"Taken by Storm had it all—tense action, suspense, erotic sex, humor and a wildly imaginative plot."

~The Romance Studio

"Unplug the phone and put the kids to bed; once you start reading Taken by Storm you won’t want any interruptions!"

~Fallen Angel Reviews

"For a story that will delight, entertain, and keep you on the edge of your seat, I highly recommend Taken by Storm and award it RRT’s Perfect 10."

~Romance Reviews Today

Operation Hydra

"I highly recommend Operation Hydra...it’s one of the best science fiction romances I’ve ever read. Perfect 10!"

~Romance Reviews Today

"Outstanding! This segment only whetted my appetite for more. The heat between Kyrsta and Trey could cause a nuclear meltdown."

~Simply Romance Reviews

City of Tears

"WOW! City of Tears by Cyndi Friberg is one amazing blend of science fiction at its best and romance at its hottest..."

~eCata Reviews

Triumphant

Cyndi Friberg

Battle Born, Book Fourteen: (Series Finale) Sedrik, the first battle born general, is given command of the Earth-side forces just in time to face the most daunting enemy yet, the dreaded Evonti. Rebecca, a human female, holds the key to locating the Evonti stronghold and driving the insidious threat back to their own dimension. There’s only one problem. Sedrik catches Rebecca’s scent and realizes she’s his mate. Now all he can think about is kissing, claiming, and keeping her safe.

After risking her life to escape her abusive ex-husband, Rebecca doesn’t trust anyone. Then she meets Sedrik. He’s handsome, sensual, and oh so tempting. But he has ulterior motives. How can she ever be sure he wants her as his mate and not just a source of information?

Note to Readers: This book contains detailed descriptions of sizzling passion only suitable for mature readers.

From Cyndi: Battle Born is a fully integrated sci-fi series. Each romance is resolved within the given book, but many plot elements continue on from story to story. For this reason, it’s best to read the books in order. Enjoy!

Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Epilogue

Chapter One

Clasping his hands behind his back, General Sedrik Lux circled the small human female. She sat at a table in one of his ship’s six interrogation rooms. Golden hair framed her pale oval face and defiance burned in her dark eyes. She had her hands folded on the tabletop and she gazed straight ahead rather than following his slow orbit. Intimidating women was not his usual practice, but this one had information he needed badly.

The past three months had been a continual storm of conflict and unbelievable surges of progress. The battle born rebellion was closer to reaching its goals than ever before. The corrupt leaders of their world, Rodymia, had been replaced with an elected panel, giving the battle born a voice in their government for the first time ever. A process for unlocking their latent magic had been discovered and implemented, yet they’d paid a horrible price. Actually, humans had paid the price. Still, the battle born were responsible and the fact weighed heavy on Sedrik every moment of every day.

Solar Warden, the ultra-secret human force dedicated to protecting Earth, had spiraled out of control when faced with a much stronger opponent. The tiny band of humans wouldn’t even have posed a threat were it not for the involvement of the Evonti. The Evonti were a manipulative race of aliens whose purpose on Earth was still unclear. They provided Solar Warden with spaceships, which enabled humans to attack the battle born. One of the Evonti ships had crashed into Los Angeles during a skirmish with a battle born ship. Hundreds of thousands of innocent occupants had been killed and the city was decimated. If Solar Warden hadn’t been desperately trying to drive the battle born out of Earth-space, the tragedy never would have happened.

What’s in the secret room, Thea, Sedrik asked in an expectant tone. I can’t release you until you tell me.

Her dark gaze collided with his and her chin lifted in open rebellion. "You’re the all-powerful battle born General Lux, commander of the mighty Triumphant. You can do anything you want, so apparently you don’t want to turn me loose."

Battle born general. The phrase stalled out in Sedrik’s mind. Even now, the concept was staggering. The elite on his planet had always treated the battle born with disdain. He and his brethren were born of enemy females. Their mothers had been hunted down and captured in the hopes that their offspring would inherit their paranormal abilities. And the ruthless plan had worked, to a point. Battle born females often had echoes of their mother’s abilities, while sons were born latent. Mystic abilities were locked inside battle born males, a treasure they couldn’t quite reach. Until now.

Who are you protecting? His challenging tone mirrored her expression. Do you still believe Abaddon is trying to restore Earth to humans? Thea belonged to the Resistance Force, an ambitious group of humans who had gathered in the ashes of L.A. The RF desperately wanted to rid Earth of all alien influences. Only trouble was Abaddon, their leader, was actually an alien, a devious Evonti, who was using the impassioned rebels to further his own goals.

I’m not a fool, Thea snapped. I know what he is. I’m just not convinced you’re any better.

Her continual feistiness threatened to make Sedrik smile. All his attempts to browbeat her were clearly wasted. Thea Cline wasn’t afraid of him. If her bravado could be believed, she wasn’t afraid of anyone.

Then Sedrik tensed at the implications of her attitude. He’d seen this sort of thing before. When soldiers thought they had nothing to live for, some became fearless, charging headlong into battle without hesitation or regret. They usually joined their loved ones in the afterlife as a result.

Thea’s story wasn’t much different. She’d lost her husband and two small children, as well as her mother and sister during the L.A. tragedy. Her life had been obliterated, her reason for living destroyed, and now the cause that had barely begun to reignite purpose turned out to be false. She must be feeling lost and hopeless, which likely accounted for her hostility.

He pulled out the chair across from her and sat. Intimidation hadn’t worked. Perhaps she’d respond better to brutal honesty. You have good reason to mistrust nonhumans, but the Evonti are your enemy, not the battle born. We want to work with humans, form a deep and lasting alliance that will—

You want access to your magic and the only way you’ve found that gets you there happens to run through human females. Don’t bother pretending that your interest in Earth is philanthropic.

You’re right. We gain much by bonding with human females, but they gain just as much by bonding with us.

Health, longevity, access to your technology, not to mention mind-blowing sex, she listed as she stared off into nothingness. I’ve heard it all before.

Then why are you still protecting Abaddon?

She shook her head and dragged her gaze back to him. After what that bastard did, do you honestly believe I’d protect him from anything?

Abaddon had kidnapped Thea’s grandmother, using her to control Thea. The battle born had rescued the elderly human and their search led to a nondescript house in Riverside, California. The house had been protected by an Evonti disruption field, so the house had been thoroughly searched. They discovered a locked room only accessible through a passage in the back of one of the closets. They had tried for the past three days to bypass the biometric lock, but nothing worked. And without knowing what was inside the room, Sedrik hesitated to use anything destructive on the door.

He narrowed his gaze, irritated yet fascinated by his uncooperative guest. Is someone else endangered by whatever is in that room?

Thea’s gaze darted away again, but she said nothing.

Who are you protecting? he persisted.

She scoffed, not loudly, just a soft abrasive eruption of sound. I wouldn’t be a very good protector if I told you, now would I?

Sedrik pressed back into his chair, determined to find a way past Thea’s defenses. She was clearly protecting someone, but whom? She’d accepted that Abaddon was not who he pretended, and it was highly unlikely that Big Jim and the other RF leaders had been duped. They were accomplices not victims. So who else, within the organization, would require protection? Who would— His thoughts came grinding to a halt as a fabulous possibility surged to the surface of his mind. Did Thea know Rebecca Dayton, Big Jim’s estranged wife? Rebecca had been missing for weeks and Sedrik was intent on finding her for a myriad of reasons. Was it possible that this stubborn female held the key to both mysteries?

You know where she is, don’t you? He said nothing more, just watched Thea closely.

Tension rolled across her shoulders and her nostrils flared. She inhaled slowly through her nose, then her lips parted and she exhaled through her mouth. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Color spread across her cheeks and her pupils dilated. She was lying. He’d bet his command on it.

If we find her, she’ll be questioned. If Big Jim finds her, she’ll be killed. Do you understand that?

Rebecca has nothing to do with any of this, Thea stressed. She just married the wrong man.

Thea had just confirmed his suspicion and revealed her loyalty to the elusive fugitive. Excitement built like a gathering storm, but Sedrik kept his expression blank and his tone conversational. You helped her escape. It wasn’t a question. He already knew the answer.

If something weren’t horribly wrong, why would she need to ‘escape’?

She had a point. A female should never feel threatened by her mate. Males should cherish their mates, defend and provide for them. I can protect her, Thea. Tell me where she is.

She’s safe. That’s all that matters.

He shook his head and his foot began to bounce as frustration threaded through anticipation. I will not harm her. You have my word as battle born. I will protect her from anyone threatening her.

Thea stared back at him, defiance simmering in her gaze.

Digressing just a bit, he approached from a slightly different angle. How does the locked room in Riverside fit into all this? I know damn well it’s all connected.

I don’t know what’s in that room. Her expression softened and a defeated sort of sadness crept into her gaze. I’ve heard them talk about it, but I have no idea what they’re hiding.

Does Rebecca know?

Thea hesitated, then made a noncommittal gesture. I asked her about it once. All she said was I was better off not knowing.

Her words rang true. Thea was still harboring secrets, but he no longer believed they had anything to do with the house in Riverside. What must I do to earn your trust? Your hostility is getting us nowhere.

Thea made an abrupt humorless sound. You think I’m hostile? Wait until you meet Rebecca. She doesn’t trust anyone—for damn good reason.

She trusts you.

Which is why I can’t tell you where she is.

They were so close. He couldn’t back down now. So many of his plans hinged on information he believed Rebecca possessed. And Thea clearly knew how to find her. Rebecca was the secret he’d sensed in Thea from the start. Have we lied to you? Have we failed to do anything we promised? He hated to be such a bastard, but he needed this badly. We rescued your grandmother.

That’s not fair. Thea scooted back from the table as if preparing to stand.

I can’t afford to play fair. Too much depends on my finding her.

She shook her head as hurt and anger warred within her eyes. I promised not to tell anyone. She’s safe as long as Big Jim doesn’t know where—

She isn’t safe and never will be as long as her husband is out there.

Thea shuddered. "Her ex-husband. Big Jim is so evil he defies description."

Which is why you need to tell me how to find her. He wasn’t sure why he needed to know, but something instinctive made him say, Tell me what happened. What did Big Jim do to her? It will help me interact with her if I understand what she’s been through.

Thea’s gaze narrowed and she looked as if she’d refuse. Then she sighed, shook her head, and reluctantly began to speak. For nearly an hour, Thea described the abuse and humiliation to which Rebecca had been subjected.

Each story infuriated Sedrik and made him more determined to find her and protect her from further harm. Where is she, Thea? She’s in more danger than she knows. Let me go get her. I’ll keep her safe.

She’ll never forgive me if I tell you.

Knowing the battle was won, he just waited.

After heaving another frustrated sigh, she said, She’s working at a bar in a backwater town not too far from Sedona.

Arizona?

She nodded.

What’s the name of the bar and which town?

She closed her eyes and surrendered. The South Street Pub in Rowville. Her eyes flew open and she glared at him. If you hurt her, I’ll kill you.

Sedrik knew she meant every word, but he couldn’t help but smile. She was basically his prisoner and still she issued threats. Your friend has nothing to fear from me and neither do you.

I’m not sure Rebecca will see it that way. Her voice sounded soft and distant.

Rather than argue with her, Sedrik moved on. Consider yourself my guest. I’ll have one of my assistants assign you to a guest suite until we’ve apprehended Big Jim.

Thanks, but no thanks. Thea waved away the suggestion. All I need is a ride back to Earth.

I would rather you remain on—

There are two security teams tripping over each other already. You will never convince me Lenore’s house isn’t safe. Am I free to go, or not?

She was right. Human and battle born security officers were patrolling the house where Thea had been staying. The location should be secure. Rebecca was much more of a target than Thea. You’re free to go. Linton, my head of security, will arrange transportation back to Earth.

He paused long enough to tell Linton what he’d just promised Thea, then left the detention area. Sedrik contacted Tyrale, his first officer, and explained that he would be unavailable for the next four-to-six hours. Tyrale was experienced and competent. Sedrik was comfortable leaving the Triumphant in his hands for limited periods of time. With the detail resolved, Sedrik headed for flight deck four.

Zilor Nox had arrived that morning to join the search for Rebecca. Sedrik confirmed that Zilor had yet to depart and asked him to wait. He didn’t offer specifics and Zilor didn’t ask. They’d known each other most of their lives and trusted each other implicitly.

It was unusual, even discouraged, for a commander to personally participate in field missions. However, Sedrik was about to break that fundamental rule. Rebecca was crafty and desperate to evade capture. She had been spotted by three different search parties and each time she’d managed to slip away.

Thea’s information could be a lie, but Sedrik didn’t think so. His instincts told him this was it. If the mission was managed correctly, Rebecca Dayton would soon be his guest aboard the Triumphant. The only way to ensure that nothing went wrong was to oversee the mission himself.

With purposeful strides and squared shoulders, Sedrik hurried along the flight deck of the Triumphant. Or actually, along one of the flight decks. The ship had eight. With a total of nineteen decks and over six thousand crewmembers, the Triumphant was one of the largest and most technologically advanced vessels Rodymia had ever produced. And this colossal ship, and everyone aboard, was under his command. The realization was exhilarating, and humbling.

Activity ebbed and flowed around Sedrik. Maintenance and repair teams performed myriad tasks assisted by various droids and autobots. Different size ships were dispatched to, and launched from, separate areas of the Triumphant, maintaining a smooth flow of traffic. This flight deck served small fighters and shuttles. The ships were arranged in twelve neat rows with wide walkways in between.

Many of Sedrik’s men offered greetings, but no one questioned his presence on the flight deck. No one dared. Sedrik ran a tight ship and tolerated insubordination from no one. Strict discipline was imperative in an operation this large, so he demanded order and respect from each member of his crew and offered consistency and fairness in return.

He quickly spotted the seven new Hunters. Like all Rodyte ships, the Hunters appeared sleek and aggressive. Slightly larger than the covert class shuttles known as Phantoms, the Hunters were designed for midrange operations and required a minimum crew of six, though they could accommodate as many as twelve.

Approaching Hunter Three, Sedrik paused at the foot of the stairs descending from the hatchway and called out, Permission to come aboard.

Zilor Nox appeared at the top of the stairs, a friendly smile on his handsome face. I didn’t realize generals needed permission to go anywhere. Gods know Garin doesn’t bother asking anymore.

Sedrik took the response as consent and climbed the stairs. Your brother has been a general a lot longer than I have.

Very true. Zilor was half a head taller than Sedrik and had the sort of face that drew attention wherever he went. The reflective rings in his eyes, known as phitons, were silver rather than purple, which was the most common color found in the battle born. Wavy dark hair brushed his shoulders and at least three days’ growth of beard shadowed his jaw. If Zilor had been part of Sedrik’s crew, he would have insisted that the younger man conform to military standards. But Zilor was a special operative who answered directly to Apex General Nox, aka big brother Garin.

So what can I do for you, sir, Zilor asked.

I’m not here as General Lux. I’m here as Sedrik, longtime friend of the family.

Zilor’s brows arched and he motioned toward the interior of the ship. Either way, you’re welcome on my ship, but I’m about to join one of the search parties.

They walked toward the cockpit, which was separated from the main compartment by a narrow hallway. I haven’t seen one of these babies in action yet. Thought I’d tag along. Zilor shot him a suspicious look but didn’t comment. The Hunters had been delivered three weeks ago. If Sedrik’s interest were real, he would have asked for a test flight long before now. As the humans would say, I can’t bullshit a bullshitter?

Zilor laughed. I’ve known you too long. Even as a child, every move you made had purpose. What’s really going on?

Rebecca Dayton is making fools of us all and we need her too badly to allow it to continue. I just received a new lead that looks very promising, so I’d like to oversee the mission myself.

Zilor slipped into the seat behind the master control matrix, but pivoted the chair around so he faced Sedrik. If it was anyone but you, I’d be insulted. Tracking down elusive prey is what I do best.

I’m aware. That’s why I’m here. But this female is like smoke. My men have had her cornered three different times and she still managed to slip through their fingers.

I love a good challenge. Zilor accented the claim with a grin. You don’t need to abandon your ship. If this lead is legitimate, we won’t return without her. I guarantee it.

All three team leaders were just as confident and all three came up empty, Sedrik warned.

With a thoughtful nod, Zilor turned back around and pushed his hands into the holo-matrix, continuing his pre-flight checks. I might not be part of your crew, but you still have rank over me.

I don’t want to order you to do this, Sedrik stressed. I’m asking for your help.

Zilor paused and looked back at Sedrik. You have it, of course. You’re like a brother to me.

Thank you.

Sedrik felt awkward standing there with nothing to do, so he sat in the second row of seats. A few minutes passed as Zilor continued to ready the ship for departure.

"Will this be the first time you’ve been off the Triumphant since she was assigned to you?" Zilor asked.

No, but close. She’s a demanding mistress.

I can imagine. Zilor’s hands flew through the matrix, creating colorful patterns and launching holo-screens that displayed various functions. Are you sure your second can handle her while you’re gone?

I wouldn’t have chosen Tyrale for the position if I didn’t. Besides, we should only be gone a few hours. If all goes well.

Finlott, the navigator, walked into the cockpit a few minutes later. He greeted Sedrik, clearly surprised to find a general aboard their ship, then took his place in the tall-backed seat beside Zilor.

They lapsed into silence as the pair continued preparations. Then Zilor told his navigator that the mission parameters had changed and Sedrik was now in command.

So what’s so special about this female? Finlott wanted to know once they had been given permission to launch. Half the fleet is searching for her.

Zilor shot him an irritated glance. You didn’t read your mission brief, I take it?

Finlott cringed. I might have overindulged at Lunar Nine last night.

That’s not an excuse for dereliction of duties, Zilor insisted as he set the ship in motion.

Sedrik suspected the reprimand was for his benefit, so he put them both at ease. We’ve all been there. We’ll catch you up.

Rebecca Dayton was named in one of the human propaganda videos, Zilor told the navigator. The narrator claimed that Rebecca underwent our transformation process and ended up horribly mutated because of the procedure. The entire transformation is shown in gory detail, so the video is extremely convincing.

Or it was until we learned that Rebecca Dayton is still alive, Sedrik explained. If we can find her, we can prove the tape was faked, or that it didn’t happen the way the humans claimed it did.

You’ll have to explain about her connection to the RF, Zilor said. I’m not sure I understand all the ins and outs.

The Resistance Force is led by someone calling himself Abaddon, Sedrik explained. We have strong indications that Abaddon is an Evonti or at the very least is working for them.

Perfect, Finlott grumbled. Those bastards are becoming a real pain in the ass.

Agreed, Sedrik said. Abaddon’s second-in-command is called Big Jim, and it just so happens that he is married to Rebecca Dayton.

That got Finlott’s attention. He pulled his hands out of the navigational matrix and turned toward Sedrik. The female we’re hunting is mated to one of the RF leaders?

Sedrik nodded. Needless to say, we’d like to question her.

Finlott whistled through his teeth as he turned back around. After outwitting three capture attempts, she’s likely to bolt as soon as she sees anyone in a Rodyte uniform.

I’m counting on it, Sedrik said emphatically.

Zilor glanced at him and laughed. I know that look. General Lux has a plan.

I have a plan, Sedrik agreed. He leaned forward and told the others what he had in mind.

TWO DRAFT BEERS AND a shot of top-shelf whisky. Rebecca Dayton twirled her pencil between her fingers as she watched Rick, the bartender, to make sure he heard the order. It was barely nine o’clock and already the South Street Pub was teeming with rowdy patrons. The bar was small, and served a steady clientele of regulars, which worked to Rebecca’s advantage. Once the customers adjusted to the presence of a new waitress, no one paid her much attention or asked questions about her past.

Rick laughed, making his round belly jiggle. This is Rowville, missy, not Sedona. Only got one shelf. He pointed to the cluster of bottles behind him. If they don’t like Jack Daniels, they can find another bar.

Not about to argue with him, Rebecca set the drinks on her small tray and headed back to the table in the corner. She’d been slinging drinks at the Pub for the past three weeks. Rick paid her in cash and continually called her missy. Many of the customers had picked it up and now most believed that was her name. She showed up on time, worked hard while she was there, and walked to her studio apartment four blocks away when her shift ended. She only used her car for emergencies, didn’t use credit cards or go near social media, and only accessed the internet at the Rowville public library. The precautions made her life tedious, at times, but they’d kept her ex-husband from finding her.

The battle born, on the other hand... Her entire body tensed. When and how the persistent aliens had found out about Big Jim, she wasn’t sure, but she had no doubt the only reason they wanted her was to get to her ex-husband. And she was just as sure that they would keep trying. Her only hope was to stay one step ahead of them, which was becoming harder and harder to accomplish.

She passed out the drinks with a faint smile. This is all we have, she told the particular frat boy, who barely looked old enough to drink.

He rolled his eyes and looked at his friends, I told you we should have gone somewhere else. Sedona is only forty minutes farther. This place is a dive.

His companions laughed and mocked him, but Rebecca didn’t stick around to enjoy his reprimand. She had to keep the regulars satisfied. They were the lifeblood of this place, and this job was the backbone of her existence. She turned to her left and walked toward the row of booths against the far wall. The occupants had yet to be served and were getting restless.

The hairs on the back of her neck prickled and her steps faltered. A noticeable hush fell over the crowd and she immediately changed direction. Turning in a wide arch, she headed toward the back room, avoiding the main door and the Rodytes she knew she’d find there. They always seemed to hunt in packs.

What do they want? one of the customers muttered as she passed his table.

"What they always want, women."

The exchange confirmed her fear without her needing to see the ruthless trackers. Somehow the battle born had found her again. Her pulse raced and she sped her steps, moving as fast as possible without drawing attention to herself. She reached the back room without incident and set down her tray, pad of paper and pencil. Reaching into the pocket of her jeans, she retrieved a small device she prayed she wouldn’t need, then rushed out through the back door.

Why wouldn’t they leave her alone? She knew the answer. Big Jim must still be on the loose, which meant she still had value. The thought of her ex spiked her smoldering emotions and she began to run. Four years under that man’s control had left her demoralized and despondent. She’d just about given up hope of ever escaping his abuse when Thea Cline joined the Resistance Force.

The alley ended and Rebecca emerged on South Street, the busiest street in town. She slowed her steps to a brisk walk, looking around with as much subtlety as possible. Small town nightlife was in full swing. There were only three bars in Rowville and they were all located on South Street, so the area became almost impassible once the sun went down.

Rodytes were easy to spot. They generally stood head and shoulders above the crowd. All she saw were rowdy humans in both directions. Apparently, the battle born trackers were still in the pub, likely harassing the customers and questioning Rick.

Thrilled with her clean getaway, she rushed in the

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