Invasion of Justice (Shadows of Justice)(4)

By: Regan Black

"'Course he is. She woulda killed him next," one of the others muttered.

Petra kept her eyes on the chatty guard. "Then I guess I owe someone my thanks. Who?"

"W-we don't know. She stormed in, took my weapons and tased me. When I c-came around we were all t-tied up."

Gideon coughed into his hand, but the expletive was clear enough.

"Think you coulda done better?" said the biggest thug, challenging Gideon.

"Yeah, I believe I coulda done better than the sorry group of you three, combined."

"Awright. Come prove it." The third man surged to his feet, snagged Petra's arm and spun her so her back landed against his hard chest. His thick forearm clamped over her throat, locking her in place and allowing her just enough air to stay conscious.

The instant, unexpected physical contact provided a connection Petra never risked without preparation. She wasn't anywhere close to prepared for the onslaught of this criminal.

It felt like being sucked into a whirlpool. His memories circled her, recent and not, and drowning seemed preferable to the rush of anger and fear washing off him and over her.

She heard strident male voices, but Petra couldn't sort out any actual words. If only she could latch onto one specific memory amidst the torrent and gain control. As if her thought and his actions summoned it, she seized on his recollection of the Amazon's last battle.

Here too was a strangulation–the Amazon had the neck of a smaller blond woman wrapped in the chain of her handcuffs. Petra watched, then mimicked the blonde's escape by pushing her fingers under the man's arm and letting her legs give way. The upward push combined with her suddenly dead weight threw her attacker off balance and she dropped to the floor and rolled out of the way.

Gulping air, leaning against the wall of the engine, Petra waited as the rest of the memory played out–all the way through the victorious slide of the blonde's dagger into the Amazon's ribcage.

When the blonde turned to the man who owned this memory, Petra saw through the bravado to the pain hidden deep in the woman's green eyes. Here was the face that matched a dream she'd been having since childhood.

A sister. My sister. The knowledge bubbled up from a depth of awareness Petra had never known–not even with Nathan.

"Hey? You okay?" Gideon asked.

Petra shut him out, curling into a tight ball. She wanted to remain with the memory, to explore all she could of this new connection before dealing with the reality at hand.

"Stay back," Kincaid demanded, entering the engine. "Don't touch her."

Gideon sneered. "What if she's hurt?"

"I'm not," Petra said, putting an end to yet another pissing contest. They seemed to be Gideon's specialty.

"Can you lift your head?" Kincaid asked.

Petra obliged, raising her chin for his visual inspection, but keeping her eyes closed.

The men made noises about bruising and soft tissue damage, but Petra wasn't worried. "I'm fine." She'd learned years ago how best to heal herself. Opening her eyes to ease their concern, she asked about the status of the guards.

"All on their way to the city lockup," Kincaid replied. "Want a hand?"

"Thought we couldn't touch her."

"Actual contact is possible if I'm prepared," Petra explained.

Gideon's eyes narrowed. "Prepared for what?"

Oh, the temptation to shock him with his own ignorance. She managed to control herself. Barely. "Touch enhances my ability to read emotion." And memory, she left unsaid.

Gideon leveled his sharp gaze at Kincaid. "You hired an empath? It was bad enough when I thought she was psychic."

"She's been of great assistance to the CRIA–"

Petra gained her feet and gave up on them both. "I'm going to the hotel to write your report, Kincaid," she called on her way out.

"Wait!" Kincaid jumped out of the engine after her. "You get anything on the victims?"

"They're safe. Escaped on a ferry headed up the Michigan coastline."


Petra just shrugged.

"And the Jane Doe?"

"That was self-defense, not murder." Petra shook her head. "Jane was one scary woman."

"What about those arm bands?"

Petra sighed. "I don't know. Things went haywire before I could prod that out of them. If I'd been alone maybe I could've gotten more." She refused to look at Gideon.

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