“Thank you for catching me.” I try to smile but struggle as I address the elephant in the room. “I’m sorry you had to drag me half the way.” I can feel the heat spreading up from my neck to my cheeks.
“Don’t mention it.” He lowers his hand from my face, then a dark frown forms on his forehead, making him look dangerous again.
I notice the scar above his eyebrow again wonder how he got it. His eyes are so striking it feels like they hold the power to place you in a trance.
When I realize I’ve been staring too long, I quickly lower my gaze to his chest.
Needing to say something, I ask, “So you and Ethan are brothers?”
“Yes, and I care a lot about my brother.” I hear a warning lacing the words. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t use him in any way.”
My jaw drops to the sticky floor, and I’m in too much shock to pick it up. “Huh?”
Chance’s eyes sharpen on my face. “I know this is all new to you. Ethan saved you, and you feel grateful, maybe even some level of infatuation, but we risked everything, and he is all I have. Don’t mess with him.”
“Um…” Are we really having this conversation?
Chance’s eyes sweep over my body. “We both know you’re a rare thing in our world, and it will mess with Ethan’s head. It’s up to you to keep him at a distance. Got it?”
Somehow I manage to nod, then Chance pats me on the shoulder and leaves me in the stinking bathroom.
For some reason, I feel bruised, as if someone just punched me again.
Chance just pointed out that my behavior has been immoral, and he doesn’t want me near Ethan.
Intense shame fills every inch of my being, and I drop my chin to my chest as my lips start to quiver.
Leaving Jai in the restroom, I stalk out onto the platform and only spare Ethan and Aaron a glare. “Sleep!”
I’m pissed off because I know if the woman can stir emotions in my chest, she’ll have one hell of a fucking impact on my brother. I see the way he looks at her and every unhappy pull of his mouth whenever I help her.
He’s already possessive of her.
It sure as fuck doesn’t help, that even though Jai is small and seemingly helpless, she’s managed to keep up with us. She was terrified out of her ever-loving mind but still leaped from building to building.
It makes me admire the woman. I shouldn’t, though. She won’t be with us for long. Idris will either break her or send her to the main ward to marry some fucker that’s of use to us.
I watch as Ethan and Aaron lie down on the mats scattered across the filthy floor.
Walking to the platform's edge, I glance up and down the tunnel. Before sunrise, we’ll have to hightail our asses out of here. I plan on stealing Zane’s car. The thing is nothing more than a rusted tin can, but it might have enough power to get us out of the city. Once we’re on the open road, things should go smoother.
My thoughts turn to Jai. She’s dealt well with all the shocks she’s suffered tonight. Finding out the ecocity you grew up in is nothing but a lie is not easy.
Fuck, she’s probably never been touched before today, and I had my hands all over her.
I remember the first month after I left the ecocity. Everything was the opposite of what I’ve been taught. It took a while to wrap my head around the fact that emotions and public displays of affection were totally okay.
Damn, has it already been ten years?
The corner of my mouth lifts in a grin.
I’ve come fucking far. There’s no sign of the virtuous man I used to be. In its place is a soldier with a mission to keep his brother alive at all costs.
I notice Jai doesn’t come out of the restroom and shake my head.
The woman has a long road ahead of her, but luckily it’s not my problem. The second we get back to the ward, I’m packing my shit and taking Ethan to the main ward.
As I turn my attention back to the tunnel, waiting for the rebels to come to sleep, I know we’re in for a rough night. At the ward, I have my own bedroom, and I don’t have to listen to other people having sex.
Here it will be different, and it’s going to be one hell of a shock to Jai.
Every single time I wanted to turn my back on the woman, she stirred a protective feeling in my chest, and I ended up giving in and helping her.
Just until tomorrow, then she’ll be Idris’ problem.
As the head of the ward, he has first dips on the newbies. Kenzo and I pick from the leftovers.