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Rebel heart, p.13
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       Rebel Heart, p.13

           Lizzy Ford
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  Thoughts and emotions scattered, Lana watched him secure the vault in the safe and then leave. Her body shook with need. She meant what she’d said: she did trust him. She would’ve let him do anything to her on the couch. Her body wanted to feel his bare skin again, and aching desire pooled in her lower belly. She’d never thought desire could conquer her normally rigid self-control. With him, she had nothing to fear. He spoke like a rebel leader, but he touched her like she imagined the Guardian would: with tenderness and restraint.

  She wanted to show her Guardian what he’d come to mean to her, before she thought him dead. Because he meant a lot more than she thought he should. Her skin burned from where he’d touched her, and her lips were plumped by his kisses.

  Pacing, she tried to reclaim her composure. There were many things about him she couldn’t reconcile. The Guardian had some code of honor that seemed at odds with Brady’s quick trigger finger. If he wanted to kill her, to rape her, he could have done it with impunity many times over. But the same man who killed in cold blood had reassured her every day for over two weeks that he’d protect her. The man was more complicated than she liked.

  And he’d walked away from her, even though she was serious about sleeping with him. Lana paused in her pacing, wondering if she’d done something wrong. Maybe he was only pretending to be interested in her. She’d thought him beyond the duplicity that made up the actions of the elite class. Maybe he feared his punishment would be worse when she told Mr. Tim what he did, for Mr. Tim would surely crush Brady’s PMF militia once he found out his friend was a traitor.

  “Think of something else, Lana,” she ordered herself.

  Elise would be horrified. Again. The look on Elise’s face when she realized that Lana had known something was wrong at the Peak. She didn’t expect it to happen as it did, and the accusation of slaughtering a thousand lives made her feel ill. There was been nothing she could have done, even if she knew when it would happen, even if she trusted her instincts enough to warn people without any proof to back her words!

  Her gaze went to the safe where her vault was locked. Brady read her like a satellite image of his house. She’d never learned to lie; in fact, she would never dare lie to Mr. Tim, not with his rigid sense of integrity. She’d never purposely disappoint him. Yet, for the first time in her life, she wished she knew how.

  She needed her micro and the vault. If someone was able to track her, she needed to flee, fast. The keypads had to be delivered somewhere safe, though she began to wonder if anyplace really was safe. Greenie had destroyed the Peak from the inside out. Was the Peace Command Center also at risk?

  Restless, she rose and paced in front of the safe. She’d already tested the lock and found it to be beyond tampering. He’d all but rejected her deal to sleep with him and wasn’t about to hand her equipment over to her. She needed another plan.

  She gazed at the safe again. She must access its contents! Desperation made her want to cry. She refused, knowing there was too much at stake for her to dwell in her emotions. Her gaze settled on the trunk where Brady kept extra equipment.

  She knelt beside it, looking hesitantly at the dangerous weapons within. She doubted she could ever kill anyone, especially her Guardian, after seeing Donovan shot. She moved the guns and knives out of the way, unsettled by the thought of blood. He had a crowd control baton the size of her hand that expanded with a touch to the thumb pad.

  She tucked it at her waist and rose, closing the trunk. The safe required the code from a key fob, which was probably in one of his pockets. He wasn’t the kind of man to leave it lying somewhere. No, he’d keep it with him.

  If she could get the micro and the vault, she could escape. The micro would allow her to map a route west, and she could put on his tactical clothing and mask and leave the tent. Her thoughts came rapidly, and she refused to think twice. She’d escaped Greenie despite all his layers of security; she could escape him.

  She sat down to plot, not wanting to think what would happen if she failed to deliver the Horsemen somewhere safe or how much her Guardian would despise her once she acted. She touched her lips, unable to shake the desire still running through her body.

  The Horsemen were priority. She had to see them safe. Everything else, she’d deal with when the time came.

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