Jana and Nathan return from their consultation with Scoop at The Club.
One advantage to slicing is you can do almost everything you want to do from the comfort of your home. Or secret lair, in our case. That wasn’t the case for Kelly, Tilly, or Mark. Our three friends had been gone for less than thirty minutes when we returned from The Club.
“It’s going to be hours before any of them get back,” Nathan said. He gave me a sidelong glance and asked, “Whatever shall we do to occupy the time?”
I rolled my eyes, “Why does potential danger make men so horny?”
Nathan surprised me with a serious answer. “I suspect it’s an evolutionary impulse to extend our genetic line before risking our lives.”
“Okay, except I’m the one who will be risking her life.”
Nathan’s eyes widened, “You’re not planning another run on the Star Stone, are you?”
I shuddered, “Hell no! But I will have to go with Tilly when she breaks into the Palace tonight.”
“Why? What can you do there that you can’t do here?”
“Connect to the Palace’s internal network. That’s the only way I can help Tilly.”
Nathan nodded his understanding. “I should go instead of you.”
I bristled, “Why, so you can be all manly and protect li’l ol’ me from danger?”
“No.” Then his lips turned up in the ghost of a smile, “Well, yes, but not just for that.”
Crossing my arms, I glared at Nathan, “Then that other reason had better be a damned good one because I will not be anyone’s damsel!”
“It’s because Fox is a better slicer than Dreamwalker, especially when it comes to security systems.”
Ouch. That assessment stung. My face must have shown some of that because Nathan reached over and caressed my cheek.
“Hey, beautiful, you’re one of the absolute best slicers in the galaxy, but your specialty is data retrieval. And if this was a data mission, I’d unhappily stand aside and let you take it. But it’s a security job, and that’s my specialty.”
I nodded in reluctant agreement, “I’ll concede your point, but what if there’s a data retrieval element to the mission? I think the royal family has more information about the Star Stone than is available to the public and was going to search for it while also keeping an eye on Tilly.”
Nathan shook his head, “Security requires constant attention. Once you got into the system, you’d realize you couldn’t split your attention like that. You can help us best by staying right here and doing what you do best — searching the net for any hint that Tilly and I are in any danger.”
I did the same thing when Jeanine and Olivia were captured and even intercepted a clue to their whereabouts. We didn’t find them from that clue, but that wouldn’t be the purpose of my search this time. I’d just need to alert Nathan and Tilly if I discovered anything.
“Fine. I’ll stay here and play nursemaid. But this whole job was my idea, so you’d better not get caught! I don’t think I could stand the guilt.”
Nathan raised his right hand, “I solemnly swear I shall do everything in my power to avoid capture.”
“And keep Tilly safe, too.”
Keeping his hand raised, he repeated, “And keep Tilly safe, too.”
On a whim, I added, “Or you will never get laid again.”
“Whoa,” Nathan protested, lowering his hand, “that’s going too—”
“Say it,” I growled, grabbing his right hand and pulling it up again.
“Or I will never get laid again.” When I released his right hand, he reached around me and pulled me close. “To make sure I appreciate the gravity of my oath, don’t you think you should give me a taste of what I’m putting at risk?”
He kissed me and I felt the passion building in him. Apparently, women also have an evolutionary impulse to grab one last chance to extend their genetic line with the man of their choice because an answering passion welled up inside me. Nathan must have felt it, too, because he picked me up and carried me to the bedroom.
Then the galaxy went away, and we were as one.
As our heroes prepare for their mission, what is happening with Princess Olivia? Find out in Chapter 41 of The Recognition Resistance, coming Wednesday!