I woke up in Jake’s arms to the smell of roasting flesh – my flesh. I was back cuffed between the guys.
“Is that me I smell?” I asked.
They didn’t answer. Jake was grinding his teeth so hard I was afraid he would break them.
“Lighten up Jake,” I said. “Hopefully, I’ll bleed to death,” I offered. At this point it hurt so bad I wished I could.
“He’s got a fuser,” Jake said drily.
“Damn, I hate a prepared monster,” I said sarcastically. At this rate he could cut me and tissue fuse me back together for weeks. Not my idea of a way to die. A shiver went through me.
“Arr?” Jake asked.
Arr nodded and Jake slipped me over into the henu’s lap. Arr held me with his good arm and started to purr. Not only was the sound soothing, but his body immediately went up at least ten degrees. I cuddled up closer to his chest.
“I think I love you,” I said.
Arr smiled down at me and squeezed my hand.
“What about Kayo?” Arr whispered. “He’s still trailing us.”
“They seem to be taking us back toward the crash. When we get close enough we’ll leave him there,” Jake whispered back. “I don’t want Klaid and his buddies eating him and if we stay planet bound he can track us for whoever finds him if they have the sense to command him.”
My sense of the passage of time was poor, but I figured we had been at this for close to two days. “Ma-rye-a will get worried when she doesn’t hear from me. She will alert Sam and they’ll call the authorities. We just have to hold out until they find us.” Me, Miss Optimism.
Jake leaned over and kissed my brow. “I promise you,” he breathed into my hair, “I’ll kill the bastards.”
“I’ll hold you to that promise.”