The officer went down first, a gurgling sigh filling the air as he sank to his knees, face hitting the pavement with a wet, sick squelch. The man holding her legs stumbled, dropping her. As he righted himself, Lill got her balance on her left foot, kicking hard with her right. She caught him in the ribs with a satisfying crack.
The man holding her upper body had a moment to prepare. Letting go of her, he grabbed his weapon, aiming around her at Tab Stevens. Lill reacted instinctively, slamming her small body into his raised arm. The weapon fired and a focused beam of energy bounced around so much she lost track of it. He squeezed off two more shots before she got the gun away from him.
Whirling, she kicked him in the midsection. Her hands slammed into the back of his head, driving him face first into the ground. A heel to the back of his head assured he wouldn’t get up again. The man she’d kicked in the ribs groaned, moving to his knees. She kicked him in the head. His neck snapped back at an unnatural angle. He didn’t make a sound as he fell.
“Lill,”Tab’s voice was faint, weak.
“Tab!” She found him in the shadow of the building. “What happened?”
“Random blast. I caught one.” There was blood on his face, a wound in his chest. “I’ll be okay. Get me up.”
She put her shoulder under his, raising him with her legs. He weighed nearly twice as much as she, but was partially able to hold himself up. They were nearly to his quarters when his body lurched away from her. He fell in slow motion, right hand grasping her clothing as he died. It was then she saw the wound in his back. He’d been shot at fairly close range. She shook him, but knew without checking his pulse that he was dead.
A man stepped out of the shadows, holstering a weapon. “Time to go, little girl,” he said calmly.
His face was wickedly handsome, his body lethal. Dark, fathomless eyes riveted hers, halting movement. As if hypnotized, she was unable to react. Lifting her like a sack of potatoes, he carried her to the unmarked building. A medical team met them at the door.
“Is she injured?”
“Check for yourself,” her abductor replied. “Next time, do your own dirty work. She killed two of my team and incapacitated the rest.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant. We’ll see to her now.”
“Make sure she doesn’t remember,” he said softly. “I don’t want her to recognize me when she wakes up.”
Lill woke the next morning with a terrible headache, feeling that something important had happened during the night. She didn’t recognize her surroundings, but a doctor explained she’d suffered a head trauma the night before.
“You must expect some memory loss,” she explained. “It’s natural under the circumstances. Let me introduce you to the rest of the squad.”
One of the men stepped forward. He was tall, dark haired with piercing black eyes. She had a flash of deja vu before convincing herself she’d never seen him before.
“Hello, Lillian.” His smile was somewhat chilling. I’m Wil VanLipsig.”
“Pleased to meet you. Call me Lill.”