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Caitrin MacDougall sat on the low bed, braced against the wall, eyes closed, and fought despair. The Wardens had changed their travel permit stamps only two days ago, but she was Angus's chief intelligence officer. She should have known; she hadn't, and though she'd managed to wound three of the guards, she hadn't made them kill her, either.

That was what terrified her, for the way she'd been whisked away, the crisp commands for the guards to forget they'd ever seen her, the curiosity in her "escort's" amber eyes, filled her with dread. The Shellheads had learned the value of intelligence since Lantu displaced Colonel Huark, and the way she'd been treated told her they knew who she was. What she was . . . and what might be forced from her. Her death might have broken Angus's heart; her survival might kill him.

One hand pressed the swell of the new life within her, and a single tear crept down her swollen cheek.

* * * | Crusade | * * *