It had given her nothing concrete, nothing she could share with Brenna, but it did serve to back up her instincts about what the other woman had told her on the phone. Hugging Vaughn, she returned to the topic at hand. "Do you think I should contact the NetMind about the Ghost?" A sentience that was at home in networks of minds, the NetMind was the librarian and some believed, the policeman of the PsyNet. Faith, however, knew it to be so much more.
"This guy seems to be working fine alone. You sure you want to mess with that?"
"I should've known you'd take the side of the lone wolf," she teased, delighting in being able to do so.
He growled and she felt the vibration against her cheek. "Don't compare me to those damn feral things."
Tilting up her face, she smiled. "Damn wolves." It was an imprecation often muttered by DarkRiver cats.
"Too right." He kissed her. Hard. Fast. Vaughn.
"I'll take your advice - I don't want to inadvertently trigger something in the NetMind." Though the developing sentience was good, it wasn't completely free of the Council. "You know, I think the Ghost is going to be important to DarkRiver as well. Not now. But one day."
She shook her head. "Not even a knowing, really, more of a - " The words wouldn't come.
"A gut feeling."
"Yes." No wonder she'd been blocked - admitting to such a thing would've gotten her medicated in the PsyNet. "Oh, and, my darling cat, we're going up into SnowDancer territory tomorrow morning for a meeting."
"Who?" He fisted her hair in his hand, but she knew it was a gesture of affection.
"Brenna Kincaid." She decided not to mention that Judd Lauren would also be present. Vaughn had a decidedly negative reaction to the tall, dark, and very dangerous Psy. Judd...no, she saw nothing about him. Of all the people she had ever met, it was Judd who was the most opaque to her foresight. So dark. So brutally alone.
Twenty-four hours after she'd bowed to Judd's demands, Brenna still wasn't sure about meeting with Faith, but it was too late to back out. They got together in a small clearing about twenty minutes from the den. Despite her misgivings about this, Brenna had to admit the DarkRiver pair had picked a beautiful spot. The snow was soft underfoot and a frozen waterfall glimmered a few meters away, the ice glazed to an almost painful brightness by the midmorning sun. Faith's dark red hair appeared aflame against all that white.
Then there was no more distance between them. "Thank you for coming."
Faith smiled, but Judd spoke before the F-Psy could respond. "You chose a location extremely close to the den. Why not somewhere nearer your pack?"
Brenna had wondered about that, too. The cats might be their allies, but the two packs were not yet friends. And the males of predatory changeling species' were notoriously protective of their women - mates, daughters, and sisters. She should know. Drew and Riley were driving her to madness. It had reached the point where she knew something had to give. She just hoped they all survived the explosion.
But Faith seemed happy with her overprotective male. "Vaughn finds it amusing to get past your patrols without detection."
Vaughn looked unrepentant. "They're getting sloppy. Even with Red here stomping away, I had no trouble getting in." He grinned when his mate gave him a warning look.
Brenna felt something clutch in her stomach at the easy intimacy between the two, at the grin from a cat she'd never before seen smile. That was what she should be seeking - a sensual, affectionate changeling male. They didn't bother to hide their emotions, touched as easily as they breathed, laughed with their mates even if they didn't with anyone else.
The problem was that these days, only one man seemed to register on her feminine senses and he was a Psy who could give her nothing of what Vaughn gave Faith...even if he were interested. Which he clearly wasn't. Then why did she keep going to him, expecting him to fight her demons, to keep her safe?
"So" - Faith looked at her - "let's talk about your dreams."
They were nightmares, not dreams. "Do you think we could do it alone?"
Flickers of light came and went in Faith's cardinal eyes - white stars on black velvet. Sascha was a cardinal, too, but Faith's eyes were different from the other woman's, quieter, less open, touched with a stroke of darkness. Faith saw the future and her eyes said that that future wasn't always something good.
Glancing over her shoulder to her mate, Faith inclined her head in a gentle gesture. Brenna was fascinated by the Psy woman's interaction with a cat who had always struck her as wilder, more animal than most. Maybe she could learn something from Faith about managing unmanageable males.
Turning herself, she looked up at the profile of a man so lethally cold, she should have been too terrified to approach him. "Please."
Judd's hair lifted in the slight breeze and she had to curl her fingers to fight the temptation to touch. Because, rather than being crushed under the ice of his personality, her fascination with him continued to grow.
"I'll make sure no one gets to you." A promise so absolute, she felt it in her bones.
His gaze flicked to Vaughn. "I'll take the south."
"I've got the north."
With that, the men were gone, shadows that blended into the trees ringing the clearing. Brenna waited until she could no longer scent Vaughn, trusting that he'd hold to the changeling code of honor and go out of earshot of normal conversation. "I don't know where to start," she found herself saying.
"You said you've been experiencing what might be called visions." Faith had a very clear voice, hauntingly so. "Tell me what you see and when it began."