Shifters' Captive:Magical Menages 1(10)

By: Bonnie Dee

The little girl lying under the flowered quilt moaned and shifted. Her lips moved and her eyes continued to move rapidly beneath her closed lids.

Mrs. Cox hurried over to the bed. “Did you feel something?”

“N-no. I’m sorry, but I’m no healer. There’s nothing I can do for her.” Sherrie wasn’t about to say she thought she’d tapped into the girl’s mind. She could barely fathom the unbelievable experience and sure as hell didn’t want to give false hope that she could solve anything for these people. Better to keep what had happened to herself.

“Please, will you lay your hands on her for a few minutes? Maybe your touch will wake her up. If Anna says there’s something special about you, it must be true.” Sherrie had never felt so useless in her life. She knew her touch couldn’t heal, but if it would help this woman feel better, she’d do it. Bracing herself for another influx of sensations, she clasped the child’s hand again.

Again she was walloped by thoughts and visions not her own. Filtered through a child’s mind, and a non-human child at that, the images reflected her good and bad experiences. She was mad at her brother for borrowing her bike. He was way too big to ride it. He’d broken it and Daddy hadn’t had time to fix it yet.

Suzanne’s bike was cooler anyway. Maybe Liberty could use this as an excuse to get a new one.

As Sherrie sifted through the girl’s consciousness, she skirted the memory of The Bad Man—a big, black cloud that overshadowed all other thoughts. But if there was a psychic component to the child’s illness, it was rooted there, so at last Sherrie pulled back the veil and glimpsed the face of evil.

He wasn’t human or shifter, but something else, a powerful entity which wanted even more power. He was siphoning off Liberty’s energy even now while keeping her imprisoned in unconsciousness. What The Bad Man was doing to her mind hurt, and she couldn’t tell her daddy so he could stop it.

Sherrie couldn’t stand the overwhelming feelings anymore. She broke contact, setting Liberty’s hand back on the bed and patting it gently, hoping no one noticed that her own hand trembled. She didn’t want to tell these people what she’d felt, at least not until she’d sorted through the experience herself. Perhaps later she’d tell John, but not the Coxes, not now when she scarcely had words to describe what had happened.

“I’m sorry. Like I said, I can’t help. I wish I could.” Why was this happening to her? She wasn’t part of their world. Their savior should come from among them.

Mrs. Cox nodded. “Thank you for trying.”

“There must be something or why would Anna have sent us for her?” Brian Cox glared at Sherrie as if she was holding back on purpose. Her cheeks burned.

“We’ll figure it out,” John said. “It might just take some time.”

“Time is something we can’t afford. Liberty is getting weaker every day.” Sherrie pressed her lips tight. She wasn’t good at keeping secrets. If she could reveal anything that would help the child, she’d tell them. But she needed time to sort it all out. The experience was too strange and surreal—much like the rest of this crazy day. And if she told anyone about her experience, it would be John, because Cox made her too nervous.

“You’ll stay for dinner.” Mrs. Cox offered her hand to Sherrie. “I’m Lydia.”

“Sherrie. Pleased to meet you.”

Dinner with the Cox family was awkward and uncomfortable. She found it hard to make small talk when their little girl struggled for life upstairs, and Sherrie had been kidnapped, not invited. It had been easier to question John about what it meant to be a shifter than to ask banal, non-intrusive questions about the Coxes’ lives. “What do you do for a living when you’re not a wolf?” and “Do you enjoy hunting little animals?” didn’t seem appropriate.

Their son R.J. and his friend Spud stared at her with curiosity for only a few minutes. Then they wolfed down their food with teenage unconcern for something not directly affecting their immediate interest, which was getting back to their video game.

Sherrie found herself talking faster and faster about her life, how she’d gone out to L.A. and ended up here in Colorado. Didn’t they always tell a victim to make herself more personal and therefore harder to kill? Not that she believed John would kill her any longer. She’d spent only one very bizarre day in his company and yet felt a strange connection that assured her he was safe to trust.

Brian Cox with his constant glare she wasn’t so sure about.

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