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“My name is Isabella,” she bit out slowly.

“Okay, Isabella,” he stressed her name, further pissing her off. “Why don’t you tell us what you were doing hanging out at a park at three in the morning?” he asked casually, but she couldn’t help but notice his jaw clench almost as if he were pissed. What the hell business was it of his what she did?

Oh, that’s right. The hot psycho cult member thought they were married, she reminded herself with a mental groan. Even though his little claim really irritated the hell out of her, she knew she may have to play along at some point if it meant escape.

“Shopping,” she said, biting back a smile when both men’s eyes narrowed on her.

“At three in the morning?” Ephraim asked, arching a brow in question, somewhat reminding her of the FBI agent she spoke to the other day. The man had authority written all over him in a bad ass kind of way, much like the jerk she couldn’t stop drooling over.

“No crowds,” she simply said, biting back a smile when both men glared. She really shouldn’t find their expressions amusing, but for some reason she did and she had to wonder again what long term affects the drugs were going to have on her system.

Chris sighed, rubbing his hand over the angry patch of scar tissue on his neck, almost absently. “I sense you’re determined not to answer our questions.”

She simply shrugged, hoping they were annoyed enough to let her the hell out of here.

“Then perhaps we should explain to you who we are,”

Chris said, sounding almost reluctant. “It might help you understand what we’re up against and why it’s so important that you talk to us.”

“Do whatever you want,” she said in a bored tone. She really couldn’t care less who they were. Besides, she was too tired and aggravated to pretend that she cared at the moment.

Chris looked at her for a long moment as if trying to figure out where to start. Letting her go would be a nice start, she thought, wondering exactly how many games they were going to try and play before they just got to the damn point and demanded her program so she could tell them to go to hell.

“What I’m about to tell you is probably going to scare the hell out of you,” he said, pausing to gauge her reaction. There was none other than annoyance. She really couldn’t think of any bullshit line that he could give her that would convince her to give him her program and she had absolutely no doubt that’s what this was about.

“There’s more to this world than you know, Isabella.”

He paused, probably for drama, she thought as her eyes drifted towards the partially open door, wondering if she could make a run for it. “I’m sure you’ve realized by now that you’re different than everyone else,” Chris said, drawing her attention back to him.

She just barely stopped herself from rolling her eyes when she realized what he was doing. Of course he was giving the “Join our cult” speech. What better way to get their hands on her program and probably her money as well than to have her join them?

They’d probably orchestrated this entire thing, she thought bitterly as she ran her fingers over the two pin size scabs on her neck. Part of her felt flattered that they went through so much just to get her hands on her and her program, but the other part of her was pissed to be played with.

“There’s a good explanation for the way you feel, because you are different,” Chris said. “What I’m about to tell you is going to sound crazy, but please hear me out.”

“Sure,” she sighed, gesturing lazily for him to get on with it. The sooner he was done the sooner she could get some sleep, she hoped, so she could clear her mind and figure out a way to get herself the hell out of this mess.

“Look, I know you’re probably really pissed about being here and scared,” he said, licking his lips, “but you don’t need to be. The first thing you should know is that I will never let anything happen to you. You’re safe.”

Because he thought she was his wife, she reminded herself, wondering if she could use that against him.

“I know this is going to be a lot to take in at once and I wish there was a better way to do it but right now there’s no choice in the matter, Izzy,” he said and she just barely stopped herself from correcting him about her name. If she wanted to get some time to clear her head then she needed him to hurry the hell up with his little sales pitch.

“The first thing you need to know is that you’re not human,” he said, sounding so damn serious that she had the hardest time not rolling her eyes at him.

“You’re a Sentinel,” he announced, giving her an expectant look.

She carefully blanked her expression as she stared back at him. When she didn’t react in any way he shared a look with his “father” before proceeding. “I’m sure you’ve noticed that you’re faster and stronger than the people around you,” he said and Isabella couldn’t help but wonder if the man was high.

Stronger? Her?

Um no, she thought. If anything she’d always thought of herself as weaker than most people. She’d always been smaller than everyone else, even as a baby. When her mother had been pregnant with her and her brother the doctors expressed their concern that she was too small and probably wouldn’t survive. After a second and third opinion her parents had resigned themselves to her loss.

They hadn’t even bothered buying a crib or clothes for her. All of their focus went to her unborn brother. Her father had decorated the nursery into a boy’s dream room with exotic animals painted all over the walls, dinosaurs toys and sports memorabilia. Her mother filled the drawers and closet full of little boy clothes and actually started a pregnancy journal for him. She wasn’t even mentioned in the book.

When her brother hadn’t survived the birth her parents had been distraught. She knew they’d never expected that outcome and that her brother’s death had hurt them because they’d fallen in love with him the moment they found out about him. When she came out kicking and screaming they’d simply resigned themselves to her existence. Not that they’d ever have to say it, but she knew they blamed her for her brother’s death.

She knew it in the way they looked at her and pretty much ignored her. They provided her with the basics, roof over her head, clothes and food and minimal care until she could start doing things for herself. They hadn’t cared what she did just as long as she stayed out of their way. The only times they concerned themselves with her was when the police or FBI came knocking on their door because she may have hacked into one or a few hundred companies. Of course she knew there was nothing to worry about since she’d covered her tracks.

It also helped that her parents had no clue about what she was up to. Not that they tried to help her or were even upset when she was dragged out of the house in cuffs, but then again what parent was going to think their eight year old daughter was really responsible for crashing a large company’s server? She hadn’t been worried that the charges would stick. Even then she knew she had a special touch with computers that no one else could understand. She’d covered her tracks well. If it hadn’t been for the damn dial up connection (which she thanked god every day that she no longer had to use) they wouldn’t have had anything on her.