Semper Mine (Chapter Four: Katya, page 1 of 11)

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Captain Mathis is an asshole with awesome biceps. I'm normally a thigh girl, but I have to admit - I could be swayed, if he wasn't such a dick.

I want to think I'm old enough not to mope, but well, I'm pissed. This is my world, my brother, my retreat! When he's involved, members of my family die. It's taken every minute of every day to help get Petr healthy again, and I'm still scared that something might go wrong, that he, too, might be taken from me.

"Seatbelt," Captain Mathis directs.

I pull it on.

Damn Marine. Not satisfied with killing people. He's gotta kill the environment, too. I'm reduced to being a silent prisoner in the back of one of the eco-unfriendliest vehicles on the road.

No one speaks for a few minutes. It's tense again, the way it was when I confronted him in Petr's room.

My brother clears his throat. "It's a beautiful day," Petr says. "Will be fun getting back into the forest. Always loved it there." By the smile on his face, I know he's thinking about how he and Mikael built an insane obstacle course in the forest and would race each other through it every time they were home. "I'm definitely testing out the new leg this week," he adds.

I open my mouth to protest, knowing the brutal, three-mile course is the last thing he should do before his final tests next week.

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