Rebel Heart (Chapter Eight, page 1 of 9)

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"We're leaving in forty-eight hours." Brady's voice awoke her from her uneasy doze a few hours later. Lana straightened in her seat on the couch, eyes following his powerful stride across the tent. He didn't look at her.

"To where?" she asked.

"Not your concern."

"Is Elise coming?"

"Yes," he replied. "Everyone is going."

She watched him to see if she could see where he kept the key fob she needed to enter the safe. It was near midnight. Her hands felt clammy, her nerves fluttering. He peeled the tac suit down to his waist, revealing a snug T-shirt beneath whose sleeves were tight around bulging biceps. He wore identification tags, and she looked closely without seeing the key fob. He'd changed since their incident on the couch, grown more distant. He was once again the rebel commander and not her Guardian.

"I'll need the locations of all the emerops facilities in the morning," he said.

"Very well," she replied. She went to the kitchen to get a meal bar, nibbling on it as he settled near the trunks containing his gear. His back was to the living area as he pulled off every one of the dozen weapons he wore on his body and lined them up in front of him to start cleaning.

One of his knives had blood on the hilt.

"You killed someone," she said in a hushed voice.

"That's what happens when someone tries to kill me," he said in bemusement.

"Doesn't it bother you?"

"The choice is between him or me," he glanced at her. "I don't expect someone like you to understand."

She frowned.

"Don't look at me like that," he said without looking at her. "You killed a thousand people. I might be close, but I think you beat me."

"I didn't kill them. I couldn't have known what was in his head," she replied, agitated by his harsh words. "Or how far he'd go."


She didn't answer but returned to the couch, perching on the edge. She reached down with one hand to retrieve the baton.

"Not sure I believe someone like you. For all I know, you stole something that'll cause your enemies to destroy my people," he said. "You knew enough to escape."

"Someone like me? Your performance on the couch makes me think you're not above taking what you want, either," she reminded him. Her face flamed with hurt anger. She'd thought the couch incident meant something to him, like it did her. If nothing else, she wanted to correct him about the Peak, to tell him she'd thought she'd been saving everyone on the mountain by taking the very keypads that might kill them in the hands of a traitor. Her mistake was not realizing Greenie had a back-up plan.

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