Cornered by two Polars with their guns aimed, I shuddered. Was I about to meet my maker? The facility rocked while the lights flashed one last time before they went black. I dove to the ground and got off several rounds from my laser in the direction of my enemy. I was shooting blind, but I didn’t want them to ax me first. Silently, I thanked the Surpass for saving my life.
Darkness surrounded me. I clicked the light on my waist holster just in time to see the group vanish. Polars fired at them, only hitting thin air. My eyes felt like they were going to pop out of their sockets. I gasped when someone yanked me to the side and covered my mouth.
Solace filled me when Nile whispered, “Relax, it’s me. I saw you weren’t going to make it. I broke formation to come after you.”
Nile would risk his life for me? My heart expanded. This Kadanan truly cared about others. He wasn’t just about arrogance and jokes. There was another part of Nile that I was now curious about. He tugged my arm and pulled me into a room. It looked like some sort of electrical closet.
“Kill the lights on your holster,” he told me.
We both did and it was almost pitch-black. I tried to slow down my erratic breathing. We spoke in hushed voices.
“Do you think they will find us?” I asked.
“With the lights out, we should be okay until help comes.”
“Yeah. Kadeem will come back for us once they see we’re missing.” This small room veiled in darkness made my anxiety spike. I heard a noise and fumbled closer to Nile. In the process, I stepped on his foot. He grunted.
“You’re a lot heavier than you look.”
I scowled and moved away from him. But he grabbed me, wrapping his arms around my waist. I trembled uncontrollably; his arms were a comfort.
“I’m only joking,” Nile whispered. “Your shape is perfect … gorgeous. I wanted to lighten the mood because I know you’re frightened.”
Thankfully, it was dark, so he couldn’t see my blush. His presence lessened my anxiety; I had to admit. My shoulders relaxed slightly.
Nile held me tightly with one arm and attempted to get a signal on his telecom with the other. “Damn it! Why am I even bothering? All electric equipment will be dead for the next eleven hours. The only things that will work are the ones which are Gamma-cell operated, like the beams on our holsters and time bands.”
“Can you read my mind?”
“No, I can’t right now. And I’ve had difficulty reading your mind, period.” I sighed, relieved. “Why?”
“Because you said that you know I’m frightened.”
“That was written on your face. Your body is so tense.”
“Aren’t you scared?”
He was quiet for a moment and then said, “I’m trying to be brave for you.” I could appreciate a man who didn’t always have to pretend to be macho.
“Thanks for coming after me.”
“I would never leave you to fend for yourself.”
“You can be sweet when you want to.”
“Don’t tell anyone.”
We were standing by a wall. I leaned against his chest. His fragrance was soothing. He smelled of sunshine and cinnamon. It was very opaque, but I could almost sense his lips next to mine. You couldn’t have told me earlier I’d be cradled in Nile’s arms. I didn’t dwell on our lips about to touch; another noise made me whimper.