She focused back on Ty’s double. The man who’d tended her face and bruises a few hours ago had murmured something important about using her split lip and ripped shirt as leverage. True, people seemed to be able to take pictures and instantly send them anywhere in this day and age, but she had a gut feeling that Jaxton was in the same facility, in a room not that far from her own. If she could get Ty’s double to leave within the next ten minutes, the start of the evening meal would give her a small window of time to escape this room and go searching.
The lookalike finally met her gaze. “I can see why my brother risked his career to fuck you. You might be on the thin side, but your tits more than make up for it.”
She just caught herself from frowning. “Ty doesn’t have a brother.”
The double smirked. “That he knows of.”
What the hell? While a small part of her wanted to know more, Kiarra noted the time and decided it wasn’t worth it. She needed to get this man to leave.
She forced a bored expression on her face. “Well, as you can see, Ty isn’t here.”
“He isn’t the one I came to see.” The man strode forward and took Kiarra’s chin in his hand. “You are.”
The look in his eyes was unsettling, made creepier by the fact that they were the same shade and shape as her former researcher’s. He leaned closer, and when he ran his hand up her arm, the first flutters of panic formed in the pit of her stomach. Only the experiences of the last few weeks, and thoughts of reaching Jaxton, gave her the strength to maintain her bored composure.
Ty’s supposed brother moved his head to the side of her face, and she felt his breath on her ear. “As much as I would love to piss off my brother, I can’t kill you.” The man brushed her cheek and it took every fiber of her being not to call forth her fire and toss him against the wall. “But, before I do the job I was hired to do, I plan to use you to make Ty lose his shit.”
She was about to ask what job he’d been hired to do, but then his hand moved to cover her breast, and Kiarra clenched her jaw. The situation was deteriorating fast. She had wanted to avoid drawing attention to herself, but if she wanted to go looking for Jaxton, she had no choice but to make a scene.
Despite being in a neutralization chamber, she’d earlier confirmed that her fire was still active. The guards had been careful, tying her hands behind her back to face north and not south, but those rules no longer applied to Kiarra. She sure as hell didn’t know if she were a Talent or not, but her unique abilities were going to allow her to stop waiting for someone else to rescue her.
It was time for Kiarra to take care of herself.
On the fourth attempt, Jaxton finally located a room with a phone. He didn’t know how closely they were monitoring the compound, and while security cameras might’ve already picked up his escape in the halls, there was also the danger that making an outbound call could trigger an alarm. Still, he didn’t have time to try and contact Neena via his dreams, so he was left with the next best thing—hoping Aislinn would answer his call.
He took out the gun he’d swiped from the guard and released the safety before positioning his body to monitor both of the doors in the room. If the guards came through one door, he might be able to fight his way and escape through the other.
He dialed the number and each ring seemed more like an eternity than mere seconds. On the third ring, a familiar Irish voice answered, “Jax, Darius is right outside the facility and I’m going to patch him through.”
Not wasting time on frivolities and getting straight to the point was Aislinn’s way. Jaxton followed the same philosophy and would worry about the “how” of the situation later.
Darius came on the line and said, “Nessa’s with me and knows the layout of the place. Just tell me what room you’re in and we’ll be there.”
Jaxton trusted Darius, but it wasn’t only his life on the line. Jaxton wouldn’t risk Kiarra or Millie’s, so he asked, “Nessa, as in Vanessa, the woman who tried to kill Kiarra?”
“Yes, I’ll explain it all later. Just know that she’ll help us, but won’t betray us.”
Aislinn chimed in, “I second that.”
Two trusted comrades outweighed his doubts about the shadow-shifter. “Fine. The plaque outside the room said ‘Research Manager’ on it. But to get Kiarra out, I need to talk with Vanessa. Put her on the phone.”
A shuffle before a condescending voice said, “Yes?”
“Are all of the exam rooms in the same wing?”
“As of last month they were.”
He pushed aside his curiosity at that statement, aware that he had been on this call too long already. “Right. Tell Darius I’ll be in the research wing, looking for the others. I can’t stay here.”
With that, he hung up the phone and strained his ears. No, he’d been right. There were definitely noises coming from behind the door he’d entered a few minutes before.
Jaxton went to the door on the opposite side of the room and swiped the stolen keycard. But the light flashed red, denying him access. Fuck.
Normally he would take a stand, but without knowing how many people could burst through that door, Jaxton couldn’t chance it if he wanted to save Kiarra or his sister. He pried open the plastic cover of the security panel and hoped like hell that he remembered enough from Marco’s lessons to get the blasted door open.
The noises from the hall grew louder as he fiddled with the wires. Finally he cut the juice and pushed the door, and was relieved when it slid open.
He stepped through the door into in a small observation room, complete with monitors, a desk, and a few chairs. His eyes went to the two-way mirror, and he froze. On the other side of the glass was a man leaning over Kiarra, his hand on her breast.