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Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #Romance, #Science Fiction, #Space Opera, #Shapeshifter

Hyde and Seek

BOOK: Hyde and Seek
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A woman who can copy any form is rescued from her own people by a walking shadow.

 

 

Working in the Resistance, Amly Hyde has specialised in hiding other talents from notice. Now, she has been spotted, and she is hiding in plain sight until she just can’t hide anymore.

Rescued from a capture event, Amly is swept off her feet and through the floor, leaving Resicor in a way she had never really considered. Alive with her feet on the deck plates had never seemed like an option. She is destined for the Citadel and her companion is going to make sure she arrives safe and sound.

Walking Shadow has known his match was on Resicor, and the moment he saw her, he was sure that she was the one. The blue hair was a giveaway, but her strong-minded fixation on survival was a bit of a turn-on. He has time to convince her they are meant to be together but patience has never been one of his virtues.

 

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Hyde and Seek

Copyright © 2014 Viola Grace

ISBN: 978-1-77111-969-6

Cover art by Martine Jardin

 

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by eXtasy Books Inc or

Devine Destinies, an imprint of eXtasy Books Inc

Look for us online at:

www.eXtasybooks.com or www.devinedestinies.com

 

 

 

 

 

Hyde and Seek

Tales of the Citadel Book 33

 

 

By

 

 

Viola Grace

 

Chapter One

 

 

Amly Hyde walked to her day job at the Coroway Tea Shop. When she passed the first agent on the street, she didn’t flinch. She kept her mind pleasantly blank with her duties for when she got behind the counter rippling through her thoughts.

She felt the agent follow her and her heart sank. They were on to her. Today was the day. She had hoped she would have had more time.

There was nowhere for her to escape between her current location and work. They had planned it carefully. She was going to have to use her final option. This was going to happen at the shop.

Amly walked into the shop with four more agents trailing her. “Morning, Herial.”

“Morning, Amly. Have you seen all the agents around? There must be a talent in the vicinity.” Herial was serving the early-morning customers, and they were all craning their necks around to see what or whom the agents were after.

Amly went behind the counter and put on her apron after stowing her purse. She put cash in her bra and went to work. The agents wouldn’t close in on her until there was less of a crowd. She had an hour before she had to make her move.

She went about her daily task keeping the visible tier of her mind on her job. Amly smiled at the customers and poured tea and caf while she handed out pastries over and over.

It was a morning routine that her customers depended on and she needed to keep up her subterfuge. Nine years ago, her cousin had been taken to the domed city. Two years later, they got news of her death. Suicide. She hadn’t been able to live in the confinement of the bio-suit and in the environment of frustrated and depressed talents. Nola was gone now, but Amly tried as hard as she could to get others out of the path of the agents and into the relative freedom of new names in new communities or the wilds of Resicor.

Now, Amly was the one hunted, but she had planned for this. It wasn’t a great plan, but it would get her out and away from the agents. After that, running was going to be her life until she could connect with the Resistance. She was either going to get off Resicor or die trying, there was no other choice. Her talent could quickly be skewed for evil and she didn’t want it falling into the hands of those who would cull the population to suit their own ends.

After the morning rush eased, she looked to Herial. “It seems that whatever they are looking for is still in the area.”

He nodded. “I think you need to head to the back and check the inventory.” He reached out and grabbed her wrist. In all the years she worked with him, he had never touched her.

She recorded his genetic coding and looked at him with wide eyes. “The inventory?”

“The inventory. You need to check the inventory.” His eyes were blank.

Amly walked into the storeroom and closed the door. Hands grabbed her, and to her surprise, she fell through the floor.

She felt the layers of ground as changes in temperature and variations in speed. When they ceased falling, they were in a maintenance shed in the underground.

The hands released her. “Shift forms and come with me.”

She transformed into Herial and looked at her rescuer. She saw nothing but a flicker of grey shadow.

“I can’t quite see you.”

“That is the way it should be. I would hold your hand, but you don’t need to work out control of my talent.”

“I only copy a basic mental template and physical appearance.” Herial’s voice sounded strange to her ears. She rarely wore masculine bodies. Amly was never quite sure what to do with the genitals.

“Well, that said, just follow the shadow that I cast. We have miles to go before we arrive at the pickup. I intend to get you there if I have to haul you through the strata itself.”

Fake Herial nodded. “I will follow the shadow.”

“Then follow me now. It is time to get you out of here.”

She/he nodded and the shadow pulled the door open, leading her into the hall that would connect them with the platforms. She was glad that she had chosen unisex clothing that day or the bra she had on would have been causing her problems.

She followed the shadow without an owner and made her way to one of the express platforms. It seemed that Herial was about to take a trip out of town.

The train arrived and she stepped onto it, following the shadow and settling next to him as the vehicle began to move. She saw agents coming down the stairs, but her train was out of the station and they were looking down the hall in the direction of the storage room.

She sat back in Herial’s shape and whispered as casually as she could. “I wasn’t expecting to take a trip today.”

“I wasn’t expecting any of this, but here we are. When we head through the tunnel, can you do a quick shift and move over to the front seat on the far right?”

“I can.” She braced herself for the coming darkness and shifted into her cousin’s form. Nola lived again as she moved through the darkness to sit in the designated seat.

She felt the press of a thigh next to her, and she looked up with surprise when the light returned and the shadow was the image of a handsome man in a casual assemblage of clothing suitable for a day on the train in Resicor.

Surprised, Amly stared at him.

He looked at her and cocked his head. “The features are similar to your normal ones.”

“My cousin’s features. She has been dead for seven years.”

“Accident?”

Amly swallowed. “No. No, she meant to die so she did.”

He paused. “I see.”

She folded her hands together in her lap as they flicked from station to station, bypassing all the stops and continuing on into the countryside, emerging out of the underground and into the light.

“We will need to appear to be a couple out for a romantic interlude. Can you manage that?”

“I can try.”

“There will be agents waiting for us to leave the train. They are expecting you to be alone and so you won’t be.”

The final stop of the express was appearing in the distance, and she linked her arm with his, resting her head on his shoulder.

He shifted toward her and kissed her, stroking her cheek lightly as the train pulled into the station.

She pushed aside her astonishment at the surge of loneliness that struck when he leaned back. When the train stopped, they got up, kept their arms around each other and walked out onto the platform. Her mind replayed the kiss over and over, and aside from a sly smile from an agent, they let her go on her way with her companion.

They headed down the steps and a vehicle was waiting for them. Without a word, they were tucked into the back seat and whisked toward the hills.

Another silent stop and she was scooted out of the transport and led up into the trees, climbing upward and into the mountains. She resumed her normal appearance and hiked with her companion until she could not see the town they had stopped in.

She walked with complete faith that he wasn’t taking her to be experimented on, that there was hope in the direction he was leading her.

When he ducked into a cavern and she followed, she found that her faith was being rewarded. The sleek silver ship gleamed in the darkness and he led her inside the ship.

“We have to stay in until the meteor shower, but you are off the grid now. We have psychic scrubbers working on your trail.”

She smiled. “The driver.”

“You are good.”

“I have spent a lot of time playing spot the psychic.” Amly smiled and looked around the interior of the ship.

Her companion set some illumination around the interior of the shuttle and sat down. “We need to keep a low profile for the day. Do you have any questions?”

She sat on a fold-down bench and kicked her feet. “One. What is your name?”

He sat back and started to laugh. It rang in the ship and the green glow of the lamps shifted as his shadows flared around him. “Call me Shadow. I have another name, but I do not want it spoken on this world.”

Amly snorted. “I can understand that.”

He offered her a canister. “Hot tea.”

She settled in and opened it. After a few hours of weirdness, she was delighted to be back in the realm of the familiar. The unfamiliar would commence at nightfall.

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Only one monitor was active, and it was watching the sky. Amly had learned the ins and outs of the ship and was comfortable with moving around in the near darkness.

“The shower is beginning. Strap in.” Shadow beckoned to her.

Amly settled in the second seat, and she slipped into the harness that she had learned by the pale glow of the globes scattered around the ship.

The moment she locked in, the ship powered up and rose a few inches upward while gliding out of the cave. The moment that the ship was completely free, they tilted upward and the escape began in earnest.

Amly sat quietly and watched her world fall away beneath her. A tear tracked down her cheek when she saw the dome where so many of her people had met their ends.

Flickers of light were within the dome, and that puzzle made Amly wipe at her tear with a smile. Something was going on in the prison for talents, and the more they could get riled up, the better.

“I am taking you to Sector Guard Base Morganti. If you are amenable, they would like to understand how your body works.”

Amly laughed. “Good, I would like to know how it works myself.”

“I think that is the greatest punishment that the government of Resicor has inflicted on its talents. Ignorance. If you do not know how your talent works, how can you gain the control you need to master it?”

“Good point. My lack of control caused me a lot of issues when I was maturing.”

They were talking calmly but flying through the incoming meteors.

Amly observed, “This is the third meteor shower this year.”

Shadow grinned at her. “You don’t say.”

That one sentence let her know that something was up. “The showers are arranged somehow?”

“So I have heard. All I know is they tell me where they want me to be and I go there. I have been watching you for two weeks, but this is the first time they told me to go in.”

“That isn’t creepy at all.”

“It is what it is. I hide in plain sight and so do you.”

She couldn’t argue with that. She sat back and watched the stars. She had never craved them as other talents did. She just wanted to get through her life without hurting anyone or being hurt by them. It was a small thing that had been made impossible by the ruling body of Resicor. For that alone, she wanted to punish them, but to gain the strength to help restore balance to her world, she needed to get away where she could learn what her body was completely capable of. She knew she had only scratched the surface and she wanted to do more. She
knew
she could do more.

BOOK: Hyde and Seek
9.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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