Long fingers swept past Dharma’s limbs as the entity unbuckled the straps around her ankles and wrists that held her bound to the bed. As her vision came into focus, a brief flash outside illuminated the room and she saw a figure standing next to her bed. His skin was a warm blue and he seemed to tower over her in one long, sinewy stroke of leanness.
Dharma had an innate sense of fear bubbling up inside.
After releasing the buckles, his fingertips brushed across her cheek, sending a few tiny sparks popping off her skin and around her periphery.
He was here to save her? But save her from what? She began to panic.
Another explosion rattled the window and drew their gazes outside. While bright lights flashed, the sinewy figure's attention was brought back to her and she took him in. His irises flared of orange, red and yellow. His gaze danced up and down her unclothed body as if searching for something, and her lower lips began to swell. His attention came to a screeching halt—right there—and his fingers parted her labia. With laser precision, he honed in on something lodged in her skin. Pain sliced through her as he slowly tugged at the object embedded in her swollen, sensitive flesh.
She screamed and tried to push his hands away. But his arm swept upward and his palm softly landed on her chest, keeping her pinned to the mattress as he continued to pull out whatever was stuck inside of her.
Arching her back, she whimpered as the pain spread like fire, consuming every cell in her body. Pushing through the agony, she lifted her head and glanced down at him. Within seconds, the pain subsided and he held up a small piece of metal. His fingers were covered in her blood.
“What is that?” Dharma cried. “And who are you? What are you doing here? What am I doing here?”
“There’s no time to explain anything. We must leave now. Get dressed. Quickly," he ordered in a deep, gravelly voice.
“Where’s my protector?” Dharma protested, frightened by the growing sense of danger. At 19 years of age and ownerless, Dharma lived with her protector, as all unattached girls in the 22nd century must.
"I’m taking you to the Leadgate. … And I’m your protector now,” he growled. “Get dressed and let’s go.”
Whoa! The Leadgate? It was where females who had lost their protectors would sometimes be taken — many never to be seen again.
No way in hell was she going to the Leadgate!