They Walk Among Us
Zach blinked at my sudden personality change. Usually, I tried to hide behind a placid facade, but when it was one of my own in danger, I’d face any danger to save them.
“You’ve been using me this whole time,” he muttered as he stood and got dressed.
I grabbed his arms, and jerked him close to me. ::I didn’t even know who you were when we met in the hospital. I’ve spent my entire life avoiding the son of the man who helped destroy my people. I’ve always thought you would be willing to continue your father’s legacy.::
“Now that you’ve met me and know I loathe what my father did, what do you think? Obviously I’m not too repulsive since you slept with me.”
Resisting the urge to shake Zach until his eyes pop out of his head, I yanked him tight against me and kissed him. I put all my frustration with him, and need for him into the kiss, hoping he understood by actions what I wasn’t able to get him to understand through my words.
It was only the sudden stab of pain that broke us apart. I groaned as it tore through my side. Zach studied me as I bent over, trying to breath.
“What’s wrong?” The doctor in him wanted to help me, but he wasn’t sure if he could.
::They’re torturing the Opalite.::
“You can feel his pain?”
Nodding, I slowly straightened up. ::I can feel the pain of all of them. I’m connected to all of the Opalites left on earth. We need to go, Zach. I promise you, when we are safe, or as safe as we can be at the moment, I’ll tell you everything.::
“Then you’ll kill me,” he quipped with a slight smile.
I wasn’t sure if he was joking or if he really did believe I’d kill him once I revealed all my secrets. He gathered his jacket and helmet while I waited impatiently by the door. I’d already grabbed my stuff. Before we left the apartment, I cradled his face in my hands and looked into his eyes.
::I won’t be the one to kill or harm you, Zach. It’s your own people you’ll have to worry about. They aren’t interested in you as a person. They want what you can give them, but in the end, they will sacrifice you for their own ends.::
“You won’t sacrifice me, if it comes down to it?”
I hoped it didn’t come to the choice between Zach and the rest of the Opalites. If it did, I would do what I’d been trained to do since I was a child. Yet as I watched Zach walk toward me, I vowed never to leave him behind. No matter what came to be in the coming days, weeks, and months, I would never give this man up.
In the few days we’d known each other, Zach had come to mean so much more than a human I could use to reach my end goal. He’d come to be a part of myself, and knowing it scared me far more than anything else I’d have to do to achieve my goals.
::No, I won’t sacrifice you. No human has to die for us to obtain our goal. I must free the young Opalite from the rebels’ hands. Then I must find my sister. Once I have Rissia, we must continue with our mission. I can’t abandon it, Zach. Too many of my people depend on me to make everything right.::
“You’re the only one who can make things right? There isn’t anyone else of your kind who can do it? Not even your sister?”
Something in Zach’s tone told me he believed me. Maybe it was our skin touching, forging a connection between us, but Zach wasn’t going to question me anymore at the moment.
::No. Not even Rissia can do what I can, and I wouldn’t ask her to do it either. It’s too dangerous, and she doesn’t have the training.:: I changed the subject. ::Can we go now?::
“Are you sure Gideon and Tyler have your friend?” Zach opened the apartment door and led the way down the stairs to where the motorcycle was parked.
::Yes. I saw a fleeting glimpse of them through the captive’s eyes. I’m not sure how they found him or even figured out what he was, but I do believe they took him to draw me out.::
Zach whirled to look at me. “You’re kidding? You think they’re doing this to get you, but you’re still going into the lion’s den to free that kid.”
After I slid on my jacket, I shrugged when I noticed Zach still stared at me. ::I can’t leave him there, Zach. You’re a doctor. If you saw someone injured, you wouldn’t hesitate to help him, and that’s what I have to do. Besides, your rebels think they know all about Opalites, but there are so many things they don’t know about us, and those things could get them killed.::
“By you?” Zach put his helmet on, and started the motorcycle after straddling it.
I climbed on behind him, wrapping my arms around his waist. I rested my head on his back. ::By him, if they push him too far. But also by me, if I’m given no other option. Believe me, Zach, I don’t relish taking life, but to protect those I claim as my own I’ll go to any lengths.::
::I believe you.::
I could only hope Zach realized I now included him as one of my people. He wasn’t born an Opalite, and his father was the one who assassinated the Opalite leaders. I should want nothing to do with him, and should be willing to throw him to the wolves the first chance I got. Yet something told me he wasn’t like his father.
Zach had learned about my people, and he didn’t see us as alien invaders intent on taking earth away from humans. I was a hundred percent sure how he saw us, but as long as he continued to stay with me where I could protect him, I wouldn’t question his beliefs too closely.