SHEA Peterson’s eyelids flew open as she came instantly and fully awake. Her breath escaped in soft pants as agony crushed through her body. She went tense and her fingers curled into the tangled sheets at her sides.
She heard him again. Felt his despair in black, suffocating waves. She closed her eyes as his pain mingled with hers, lacing intricate patterns through her veins until they were merged, she a part of him.
Tonight more than any other time she felt his will to live dissolve. She felt his shame. The thought that he was a coward and didn’t deserve to die with honor.
Tears burned her eyelids. How long had she felt him suffer in silence? His strength had always amazed her, and now she could feel it crumbling under the weight of his despair. She hurt with him. She hurt for him.
She could no longer remain still. She could no longer remain silent despite the awful risk to herself and her sister, Grace. She couldn’t turn her back on this man. Not when his need was so great.
She drew in a deep breath, afraid and yet determined. She closed her eyes and reached out, following the trail of pain until she became hyperaware of the hell that he lived in.
The smell was pungent. She sucked in her breath as the scent of blood, dirt, sweat and death filtered through her nostrils.
Her instinct was to flee this place, break the link between her and the suffering man. Fear lodged in her throat, and pain was raw, sawing over her nerves.
In the distance, cries, grunts, muttered curses, a foreign language indecipherable to her. The man put a hand to his head. He knew something was different but he put it off as evidence of a losing battle for his sanity.
She huddled there, completely still in his mind, cautiously examining the surroundings through his senses.
He was imprisoned. A soldier. She caught fleeting images as they flas
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