He stopped caressing her and slid his hand down to her ribs. She knew he'd heard the seriousness in her tone. "Do you think it's the calm before the storm?"
"No. It should be a gradual drain." She stared up at the ceiling, where leaves crawled across the space. Lucas had no problem with the forest taking over his home and she was starting to accept it, too, though she did get the occasional urge to make everything spotless. "Will you mind if I go searching in our minds?" It was the first time she'd asked for that since that initial moment of utter unity.
"You know everything there is to know, kitten."
"I'm not sorry Tammy told me," she said, mutinous. They'd finally talked about his family several days ago and she'd held her Hunter as he remembered. Those wounds were scars but not the kind that twisted - his scars had a place on his soul. They were a marker of those he'd lost.
He growled against her neck and rubbed the stubble of his beard on her sensitive skin. "I didn't think so. The two of you are too damn close." There was no anger in him. "Search."
Taking a deep bream, she closed her eyes and unconsciously shifted her body until she was almost covered by him. Body and mind in tune. When she opened her mind's eye on the psychic level and peeked out, she didn't see the starry plane she was used to. Nor did she see empty darkness. Instead, she saw a web. At the center of the web was Lucas's light, so bright it was like a cardinal's but somehow more pure, more intense, hot instead of cold.
His light was being showered upon by rainbow-colored sparks and she knew that was her. She wanted to smile. She was doing what she'd always said she would if set free-infecting everyone around her. However, she now understood that the rainbow sparks healed. It was their lack in the PsyNet that had turned the Psy so cruel, so unable to see right from wrong.
Every part of the web glimmered with color.
"How can there be a web with only two?" she said out loud.
Lucas nuzzled her neck and ran his hands down her body, keeping her anchored with nothing but touch. She stroked her own hands down the heated silk of his back as she followed the strands of the web.
At the end of one filament blazed a light somehow feminine in feel, and yet, it also held hints of martial strength. At the end of another two were solid masculine stars, brilliant enough to burn.
One of those masculine stars had another strand of the web tracing out from it. At the end of that was a gentle, beautiful flame that spoke of purest love. Amazingly, that light had two small glowing beacons tracing from it. The strands from those two linked back to the male star.
Another strand led from Lucas to a light that was bruised and battered, but slowly being healed by the rainbows that crept in when the mind wasn't looking. And the last light, it was somehow unique, golden and wild, pure like Lucas's but tantalizingly different.
"You're connected to five others," she whispered.
"Of course," he muttered against her neck. "The sentinels take a blood oath."
Shock had her eyes snapping wide open. Mercy, a soldier female. Clay and Nate, pure strength. It was Nate's line that was joined by another's - Tamsyn, his mate. Dorian, broken but healing. Vaughn, jaguar not leopard. She searched more carefully for her own cardinal star.
There she was, enclosed within Lucas's light, the rainbow showers bursting through him to the outside. It didn't hurt him. In fact, it seemed to make him stronger, as if she were repairing the tiniest of fissures. It didn't mean he didn't feel negative emotions, only that he was able to see past them.
"Lucas," she said, pushing at his shoulders until he got up and looked down at her with those hunting-cat eyes.
"What's wrong?" His body tensed.
"Nothing," she whispered, starting to shudder. "Nothing. Everything's perfect!"
"Kitten, you're scaring me." He leaned down to kiss her. "What did you see?"
"You're part of a network, Lucas. The feedback you give me is bolstered by the sentinels and Tamsyn."
He thought for a moment. "The blood oath links the sentinels to me on a psychic level?"
"Somehow," Sascha said. "I don't understand how - nobody has ever seen this before - the Psy don't know changelings can link this way." Part of her wanted to share the exciting discovery, but a bigger part of her wanted to keep it secret, a weapon unlike any other. "You didn't know?"
"No. I knew the sentinels gave me their loyalty but we're not Psy."
"You have Psy potential. Everyone does. Don't forget - we all started with the same basic material." She frowned. "Sienna Lauren was right."
"Why is Tamsyn in the net?" Lucas asked, and then answered his own question. "She's linked to Nate through the mating bond. The cubs?"
"They're there, too."
"Why aren't parents and siblings?"
"I'm guessing but I'd say that parents aren't because those are bonds we break as we grow older. We love but we're no longer as intertwined. The cubs will likely drop out as they age." She frowned. "Maybe sibling bonds aren't strong enough? From what I see, it's only mating bonds and the blood oath that work."
"I can understand that. Mating is psychic on some level. The blood oath - well, I guess there's a reason it's been passed down through the centuries."
She looked again at the web and her hands clenched on Lucas's biceps. "The Laurens were wrong on one point."
"This is amazing! Though I'm the solitary Psy, there is a multiplication effect. Our web is bursting with energy." She couldn't work out how but now she had a lifetime to figure it out.