Deception excerpt

Fighting instincts kicked into full and, in spite of the soreness in her leg, she sent him stumbling. It cost her with a shot of pain in her leg that sent her sitting against the console, while he jumped to his feet.

“Give up,” Coulter taunted. “You can’t win.”

“Yes, I can.” The woman at the doorway stayed her ground, but she held her weapon ready and hot, if the glowing end was any warning. She could have taken Anita out any time, but she waited. Perhaps she found the whole argument amusing.

Coulter sprang at her and caught her short hair. The pinch at the back of her neck was nothing, but something zinged through Anita so that her limbs fell limp and she collapsed. He held her on the way down, stopping her from slamming onto the floor, and leaned over her. Filthy, disgusting…

“Eyes closed.” His barely audible voice in her ear broke her shock from whatever he had done.

What had he done? She couldn’t move!

He rose from her, giving her a sharp look and glancing aside beyond one of the center consoles behind him. Eyes closed, he mouthed.

Why? Not that she could defend herself if he attacked—he had paralyzed her—but his insistence made no sense. Why should she obey him?

Still kneeling over her, he closed his eyes for a couple of seconds as if to make his point. “She’s still alive, Lieutenant, but I had to neutralize her.”

Neutralize? As in their stun weapons? But she wasn’t uncon—

You son of a bitch. Understanding sprang through her head, and she closed her eyes.

A small squeeze on her shoulder confirmed what she suspected.

“Watch her,” he said. “I need to speak with Prime Commander Loran.”

“Yes, sir.”

—Deception (Starfire Angels: Revelations 1.5), now available!

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