Nathaly has been preparing for this moment for years, but she is still surprised when she is given the signal and has to run for her life. Her mother is arrested and her father is already in prison. She is the last of the line and staying free is her priority.
Rescued by the Sector Guard, Nat agrees to train to use her passive talent as a weapon and Station 13 is her training ground.
Strobe is her rescuer, and he keeps an eye on her while she is working to master her talent in new ways. When he is offered the chance to partner with her in a new Citadel, he jumps at the chance to keep proximity to the woman now known as Shiver. With her, his future is Bright.
Nathaly kneaded the bread and gasped when a handful of flour struck her cheek.
“Mom! Honestly, you are worse than a child.” Nathaly wiped the flour from her face.
“And you are too grown up for your age. You need to have a little fun.” Rema Welling snickered and flicked more flour at her.
Nathaly flicked her fingers and a glob of dough struck her mother’s cheek. The fight was on.
Ten minutes later, Nathaly tried to salvage what was remaining from her initial dough. Her mother was wearing the rest.
Rema picked chunks of dough from her hair and grinned. “Better. Your aim improved with practice.”
A rumble in the ground caused them both to still. “Nat, was that you?”
“Go upstairs, get the bags.”
Nathaly nodded and dropped her apron on the counter, working the flour off her hands with a quick vibration before heading up the stairs.
The vehicle outside her home was visible from the window. She made certain not to touch the drapes and swiftly went to her room and grabbed her bags.
As quietly as she could, she went to her wardrobe, draped the bags over her shoulders and lowered herself down the rope implanted in the wooden floor beneath her clothing. Hanging there, she slid the floor back into place so nothing was amiss.
Swallowing nervous tears, she moved down the rope, right through the center of the house and into the cellar. The tunnels that had been designed were for this purpose, for Nathaly’s escape.
* * * *
Rema brushed her hands down her gown and answered the door. “Hello?”
Rema frowned. “No. I do not know anyone by that name.”
The man who reeked of evil checked his notes. “Ah, excuse me. You are not his wife.”
“Lord Altair Newshot. You are his mistress.”
Rema inclined her head. “I am.”
“He has been arrested for treason, and we have been ordered to take you in for questioning.”
Rema heard a soft thud from inside the walls and prayed that Nathaly continued on her way safely.
“Is there someone else inside?” The man pushed past her and left her on her doorstep in the custody of two guards.
Rema held her breath as he searched and returned with Nathaly’s apron. “It looks like you made a bit of a mess.”
She waved at her clothing. “I waited too long and the dough exploded. I have never been much use in the kitchen.”
He looked at her carefully and his eyes narrowed. “Search the house. There is another person here.”
The guards shot past her and into her home. The drills she had put Nathaly through were coming to fruition. Her daughter had one way out and Rema hoped that she took it without looking back.
“What is she? Is she your maid?” The man who wore the badges of the government security force grabbed her wrist.
“Yes. I knew that Newshot’s political views would get me into trouble. When I felt your vehicle, I told her to go.”
He grabbed her arm and forced her to the transport. “An inquisitor will determine if you are telling the truth. You will learn that it is simpler to be honest the first time around.”
Rema looked back at her house. “I have found that when dealing with men, truth is the last thing that they want.”
The transport rumbled off, and she was driven toward the capitol with her soul looking back and hoping for her daughter’s safety.