Heat enveloped me. I tried to get up but there was something pressed against my side. A moment of panic washed over me until I remembered Gray. His arm was flung loosely over my waist holding me to him while he slept. I sighed contentedly before carefully rolling out from underneath him so as not to disturb him.
Light shone in from a crack in the metal shutters, illuminating the room enough for me to make my way to the lavatory. My eyes drifted to Gray as he grunted and reached out in his sleep. I smiled at the sight already eager to climb back into bed. He really was a sight to look at.
Maybe after the lavatory, we could continue where we left off last night. I took a step and hissed as my foot landed on something hard and poky. I jerked my foot away from it, but the gold glint of a badge caught my eye.
My heart skipped a beat as I stooped down to pick it up. I held it up in the streaks of sunlight filtering in through the drawn curtains. Gray was no freedom fighter. He wasn’t even a bounty hunter. He was something far worse.
He was the royal guard for Prince Kai of the Orion regime. And he knew exactly who I was. I dropped the badge to the floor and stifled a scream. I had to get out of here. I wasn’t going back, I’d die first.
Tears pricked my eyes. A few droplets escaped, cascading down my face until I wiped them away. How could I have been so wrong about him? I thought he was a good man. I thought he was different from everyone else. He was the worst kind of scum alive. He'd used my vulnerability against me. For fucks sake, he was probably planning to turn me in to his prince the moment he arrived. It had all been a ruse to not only get me but the entire crew of the Nightfall. That bastard. I would never make the mistake of trusting him or any man again.
“Aurora?” Gray asked sleepily as he stirred in bed.
I gasped, my heart thundering in my chest I was too late. He was already awake. I grabbed my clothes and started yanking them on.
“What’s wrong?” Gray was out of bed and by my side in an instant. He grasped my forearm lightly. “Aurora?”
My hand whipped upwards connecting with his face before he could stop me. “You’re a member of the royal guard. You lied to me. You used me.” I hated the way my voice trembled with my accusations. Traitorous tears pricked my eyes.
“Aurora, wait.” His other hand reached out to grab my other arm.
I yanked it away and put it on his cheek to cup it. Inhaling I let out a deep breath to center myself. “Let go of my arm.” My pheromones permeated the room as I used my power of compulsion.
Gray’s pupils dilated as he inhaled my scent. His grip loosened and he swallowed. He was fighting me. “Let go.”
He still held my arm. No one had ever resisted me before. How was I not affecting him? “Let go,” I said through clenched teeth.
His fingers trembled before they dropped away from my arm. “I…what are you doing?”
I kept my hand on his cheek and stood on my tip toes to place a chaste kiss to his lips once again pushing my pheromones at him. The moment my lips touched his I felt that spark between us again. I cursed under my breath hating that I still felt something for him when I meant nothing to him. “You used me. Why? Was this all some sort of sick game to you? Were you and Prince Kai going to have a good laugh about my stupidity when he showed up?”
My bottom lip trembled, and tears rolled down my cheeks. I didn’t really want to know the answer to my question. I’d let myself fall for him like an idiot.
“What? No. Aurora.” He went to reach out to me again.
“Don’t move,” I whispered. My emotions must be stopping me from having the effect I wanted. I could control him if I could reign in my own feelings.
“I was going to tell you.”
“Liar,” I hissed through gritted teeth. “You used me.” I grounded myself and pushed another dose of pheromones at him. “Did you know they used to have me use my skills for interrogation too? I’m able to use my pheromones to compel people. I could make you tell me anything. Make you do anything.”
Gray opened his mouth and closed it. His eyes widened slightly.
“Oh, was that not in my file?” I asked darkly as anger surged through me. He’d played me. I opened my mouth to ask him why he’d done it again but couldn’t bring myself to do it. If he said he’d used me for whatever reason it would crush me. How could I have been such a fool?
“Go back to bed, Gray.”
“Aurora,” he said his voice gravely as he tried to fight me.
I gave everything I had into one final push. “Go back to bed.”
He nodded and took a step back. I wasn’t sure how long I would have before my effect wore off. He was unusually strong and good at resisting me.
Dressing quickly, I slipped out of the room and turned on my comm to alert Echo that we needed to leave immediately. I wasn't going to allow my carelessness to get everyone captured and we needed to get out of here before he snapped out of my spell.
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Bethany Shaw writes paranormal, science fiction and contemporary romance. Vampires, shapeshifters, and good old-fashioned romances are her favorites. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she enjoys creating fun and imaginative characters and worlds.