"I've prepared a file on Kaleb." He showed her the point in the vault where it was stored and she downloaded the information into her roaming mind. "He's dangerous and has certainly killed, notwithstanding the lack of evidence."
"I'll take care to ensure I don't become the victim of an unexpected accident."
"It's not clear which of the Councilors are backing you and which favor Kaleb, so don't let your guard down around any of them."
"They're not Psy I'd ever let my guard down around."
"Who approached you?"
"What was your impression?"
"That she hadn't made any firm judgments." Except for the blood on her hands. Faith crushed that thought as soon as it awakened. It could not be allowed to color her Net presence. "I'm assuming I'll be contacted by the others in due course."
"If you need to speak to me at any stage, don't worry about formalities. 'Path."
She nodded, cognizant it was a privilege. Anthony might be her father, but only a select few had the right to initiate telepathic contact with him. "Of course. Thank you for the file. I'll study it carefully." She meant that. Her mind might be starting to spin out of control, but it wasn't yet gone and neither was she. Maybe she could still salvage her sanity and her life as a Psy, the only life she knew how to live.
What she refused to think about was the inevitable consequence of achieving that goal - never again being able to experience the exquisite agony of emotions that pleasured as well as hurt... never again tangling with a jaguar.
After spending all day on the sculpture of Faith, Vaughn met up with the other sentinels and their alpha pair late that night to work on shielding. The location was a glade close to Lucas's lair, not far from a small river that bisected the area and turned the air damp. Tamsyn, their healer, was also present.
Sascha ran them through the drills over and over, merciless in her drive to make them invulnerable to Psy attack, only calling a halt when they started to snarl at each other. "Given your psychic blindness, you're doing far better than I expected. You're actually learning to shield on a level beyond the normal changeling defenses."
"Which are pretty damn strong." Nate threw an arm around Tamsyn's shoulders. His mate smiled and laced her fingers through his hand.
"Yes." Sascha nodded. "Soon you'll be close to invincible."
"We already are, Sascha darling," Dorian said from where he was sitting with his back against a tree.
Sascha walked over to the blond sentinel and tugged him to his feet for a quick hug. Dorian was no longer the open wound he'd been straight after his sister Kylie's murder at the hands of serial killer - and former Councilor - Santano Enrique, but he remained badly damaged. The violent loss had done nothing to affect his abilities as a sentinel, but they were Pack. And Pack didn't look the other way when one of their own was hurting.
Dorian's needs made him no less respected in a pack where touch-hunger was accepted and fed. Sascha's empathy in particular seemed to reach the latent male far deeper than anyone else. Now, she leaned her back against his chest, his arms around her waist, and closed her eyes. "Let me check the Web to see if any of these changes are manifesting there."
She opened her eyes a second later and looked straight across to where Vaughn crouched. But she didn't say anything of what he knew she wanted to say. "Everything looks good."
"Then school's out?" Dorian asked. "Anybody got detention?"
"Go before I change my mind." Sascha kissed him on the cheek, laughing at his attempt to steal a more intimate kiss. "Vaughn, could you stay? I want to talk to you about something."
Mercy made a sound of doom. "In trouble with Teach, cat. Didn't do your mental exercises, did you?"
"He's been distracted," Clay murmured, a shadow almost invisible in the darkness.
"It speaks!" Mercy threw up her hands into the air. "How many words does that make for today. Ten?" She was still kidding the silent sentinel as she walked with him and Dorian out of the training area.
Tamsyn hugged Sascha good-bye. "I think my sons are in love with you. You should hear what they're like when they get home - Sascha said this and Sascha said that." The healer shook her head. "Lucas had better watch out."
Wrapping an arm around Tamsyn's waist, Lucas dropped a kiss on her hair. "Tell your damn brats to leave her alone."
"Lucas!" Sascha sounded shocked.
Tamsyn laughed. "Don't take him seriously. He took my adorable brats out for a run yesterday with Kit and some of the others."
"Sorry, I'm not completely used to the way you interact."
Coming around to hug his mate from behind, Lucas began nibbling on her neck.
"Don't worry, honey." The healer smiled at Sascha's attempts to make Lucas behave. "You've only been cat for a few months. Give it time."
Nate took Tamsyn's hand. "We'd better go pick up Roman and Julian before Lysa decides she's no longer our friend."
Lucas waited until Tammy and Nate were out of earshot before saying, "Why don't we head home to talk? It won't take long if we run."
"What about me?" Sascha asked, looking from one to the other. Honestly, they kept forgetting she couldn't go furry.
Lucas gave her his back. "Hop on, darling." His smile was this side of sinful, reminding her of the very first time he'd offered her a ride.
Later. It was a mind-to-mind warning that turned into a promise.
Seconds later she was on his back and they were running. She trusted him absolutely, even at this breakneck pace. The changelings could move in either form. Holding on to the muscular body of her panther, she considered what she'd learned tonight. Only one thing was certain - Vaughn's life was about to become very, very complicated.