“Yes, you are. But don’t worry, Cam’s tough. She can last a little while longer.”
He knew that, but the thought of her suffering longer than necessary didn’t sit well with him. Still, Marco forced himself to become the DEFEND soldier he knew he could be and said, “Okay, so what do you need to tell me?”
“Ekstrom is going to use Cam to trade favors, and I need you to let her be taken.”
Cam hugged the pillow to her chest, thankfully, too exhausted to even dry heave. Unable to sleep last night, she’d spent most of her time thinking about the ice flower in her window.
Marco had found her.
She’d been a fool to take charge and make decisions, not even bothering to confer with him to see if he had any ideas she could use. The man was a fucking Elemental Master, and yet that hadn’t been good enough for her.
Cam was a cocky idiot.
The next time something happened, she would talk with Marco and work out a plan.
The next time? Yes, she wanted there to be a next time. Marco was smart, strong, and full of tricks. He could be fierce one moment, and able to lighten the mood in the next. Around Marco, she could almost be…playful. Not even when things had been good between her and Richard had Cam acted that way.
And considering her latent abilities were still absent, and her team members were still missing, she might need a sense of humor to face her future.
Don’t think about that. Worrying about “what if” was a waste of time. She refused to believe Zalika and Jacek were dead, and her abilities would either come back or they wouldn’t. She’d been a good soldier before they appeared. Cam had no doubt she could learn to be creative without them.
Maybe she’d even discuss working together with Marco, and lead a team. With Zalika and Jacek to help them, of course.
She was still floored by the trust he’d shown, by telling her about the Elemental Master academies. She had a feeling there was more to it, as she’d heard nothing about his family. For all she knew, his past could be as screwed up as hers.
As interesting as Marco was as a person, she was also attracted to him more than she’d ever been to another man. She decided that if she survived this, she was going to reward him with more than a kiss. After the preview of what had happened back in the park, she was curious to see what he’d do with her when she was naked.
She stopped herself from having another fantasy of Marco naked over her—she’d relived that fantasy far too often over the last few hours. It was amazing what being dehydrated and off-kilter would do to your brain.
The boat went over a rough patch of water. Cam clutched the pillow tight to her chest, breathing in and out until the water calmed.
At this rate, she’d never have the chance to help her friends, let alone see Marco again. Another few days on the water without something to help with her seasickness, and she might die of dehydration.
The locks clicked on her door, and Cam gripped the heavy-duty flashlight that she’d found inside one of the cubbyholes in her room. Her energy levels might be low, but she wasn’t about to let someone kill her without a fight.
The door opened, and Richard stood in the doorway. “Time to come out on deck.”
Before she could reply, he walked over to her bunk, pulled her up by her arm, and started dragging her.
“Can you slow down? I’ve been puking my guts out for the last however many hours I’ve been on this damn ship.”
Richard yanked harder. “We have an appointment and can’t be late.”
Asshole. But struggling would use up energy, and she couldn’t afford to spare any in case she needed it for this “appointment.”
Somehow, between Richard’s grip and her strength reserves, Cam managed to walk onto the deck without stumbling. The sudden brightness of the sun hurt her eyes, but after blinking a few times, she noticed that not only were they in the middle of the ocean, but there was a ship anchored not that far away.
She had a bad feeling about this.
Richard released her arm. “You said that you wanted to try something new since DEFEND hadn’t been able to free your sister.” He gestured toward the ship in the distance. “If you were telling the truth, then the people on that ship are your new chance.”
When she’d made the bluff, Cam hadn’t foreseen her current circumstances—mainly the lack of her latent ability and her seasickness. Her best bet was to keep bluffing and find out what she could. “How do you know that they won’t just kill both of us, and take your boat?”
“Oh, I know they won’t kill me.”
That was comforting. “Is that why you brought me on this damn boat, to make me weak so they could kill me?”
“You’ll just have to wait and find out.”