Oret stepped forward as he always did, his hulking body looming over her. It reminded Elisa of the brief moment they’d been pressed up against each other when Remington had thrown her into the cell. She had given much of her daydreaming this afternoon to remembering that delicious contact. It was too bad she hadn’t had the presence of mind to enjoy it at the time it was happening.
The Nobek asked, “You have no guard this evening?”
Elisa rolled her eyes. “It’s Coombs. You know how he is.”
She turned from Oret and picked up the first dish. His gentle snarl of a voice was casual as he asked, “That’s his field disruptor you’re using, isn’t it?”
Elisa set the harmless plastic utensils in their slot on the tray. She wallowed in her enjoyment of the moment. She was alone with the Kalquorians, alone and able to chatter as much as she liked as long as she didn’t stay too long. “I lost mine. I can’t find the darned thing anywhere, and I had to report it to security. Boy, didn’t I get an earful over that. I hope they track it down, because I’ll be in trouble if we don’t find it.”
She turned around with the tray and performed the same task she had dozens of times in the last three months. She slipped it through the opening in the containment field, handing it to Oret.
His grabbing her arm instead of the tray was so unexpected that Elisa didn’t credit it as happening at first. Nor did the sight of her field disruptor in the Nobek’s hand alarm her. She simply stood there, smiling up at him, waiting for him to take the fried liver and onions dinner and inspect it before handing it off to Miragin.
Oret’s harsh but pleasing features looked at her with a sense of sadness. Regret, even. His growling voice was soft as he said, “Consider your disruptor found, poor girl.”
Elisa’s happy mood stilled as she realized what was happening. The room around her tilted as Oret clicked her disruptor. The tiny slot of an opening between them bloomed wide open, big enough that she could have dived through to the other side of the field. Electric alarm slammed in her gut, driving a gasp from her lungs.
Oret dropped the stolen disruptor and reached through the opening. Elisa’s heart took off at a gallop, trying to pound a hole through her chest in the sudden panic that drove it. Her mouth dropped wide open as she stared up at the Nobek, still not quite believing what he’d done. He grabbed Coomb’s disruptor off her belt and dialed it to the 100 percent setting with his thumb.
Oret pressed the button to collapse the entire containment field as Elisa’s scream tore loose from her throat. The wall disappeared and he pulled her hard, swinging her around to be caught in the waiting arms of Dramok Zemos. The Kalquorian captain’s hold was like steel bands, pinning her arms to her body, rendering her helpless before she remembered how to struggle.