Deadly Game(4)

By: Christine Feehan

"What the hell is his wife's name?" Jack asked. "You don't suppose she's one of us? A GhostWalker?"

They both studied the tall blonde carefully. She had walked away from the senator into the next room, where she caught up several weapons, handling them as if she knew what she was doing.

Ken took a deep breath and let it out. The senator's wife? A GhostWalker? What was her name? Violet Smythe. Little had been in the report about her life before marrying the senator. Violet. The name of a flower. When they'd been briefed on Whitney's psycho experiments with children, the orphans he worked on had all been female and he'd given them the names of flowers. "Violet." he said aloud.

Where did she fit into all of this? How could a GhostWalker betray her fellow soldiers? She knew what they'd all been through. He peered through his scope again, taking a bead on the senator's left eye. All he had to do was pull the trigger and it would be over. No one else would get killed. One shot and the man who had delivered him into the hands of a madman would be dead.

I know what you're thinking, Jack said. God knows that if anyone has the right to kill the son of bitch, it's you. If you want it done. Ken, say the word and I'll take him out now.

Jack would do it in a heartbeat. Ken touched his scarred jaw. There was little sensation on any part of his skin, and little that remained of a once-handsome face or body. A tremor went through that body, and for one moment, rage boiled over, hot and pure and not covered up by the glacier of ice he usually wore. He hesitated, knowing he could just nod his head and Jack would pull the trigger. Or, better yet, he could do it himself and have the satisfaction of knowing he'd removed a traitor. He inhaled deeply and breathed away all emotion. That way lay insanity, and he refused to follow the legacy he was born into.

He felt Jack's relief and realized just how close a watch his brother had had on him lately. I'm fine. Of course Jack knew he was sweating bullets and hearing screams. Jack and Ken lived in each other's mind. Jack knew. And the knowledge ate away at him that he hadn't been able to get to Ken before Ekabela tortured him. Never mind that, in the end. Jack had pulled him out and been taken prisoner. Jack believed he should have prevented it. I'm fine. Ken repeated.

I know.

But he wasn't fine. He hadn't been born fine, hadn't been fine as a child, or in his early military career. He was worse after his capture and torture in the Congo, demons riding him hard, day and night. And now, with the senator needing protection—probably from the very man who had been paying him for years—Ken knew the dangerous shadow inside him had grown into an all too real threat to his sanity.

We have company, Kadan announced telepathically. Be alert. I'm hustling the senator into a safety room.

Kadan. Watch the wife, Ken warned. We think she may be one of us. She's armed to the teeth and she felt the presence of intruders the moment we did.

Kadan never expressed surprise. No one was ever really sure if he felt emotions at all. He seemed a machine, matter-of-fact, simply doing the job. And he was good at it. Copy that.

Ken settled into position. Kadan's life would depend on him. Jack would keep the senator alive. If Violet made a move against Kadan, she was a dead woman. He kept his focus on his primary objective. Kadan moved through the shadows. It was nearly impossible to see him. A blurred edge sometimes, a perception of movement, only because Ken knew where he was going to be. They'd gone over his route several times. Ken kept it clear, sweeping the surrounding area with heightened awareness.

An assassination squad was moving into place, and they would be trying to reduce any numbers against them. Neil Campbell and Trace Aikens were impossible to spot, but they were out there. Martin Howard had fallen back to help Kadan secure the senator.

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