Touching Eternity (Touch Series 1.5)
    “I need you to do something for me.”
    Isaiah straightened. “Yes, sir?”
    He took a moment to sip the drink that had gone cold. Not enough sugar. He set the cup down once more, leaned back. His gaze lifted to search the eyes watching him, waiting. Honest eyes, he mused. They hadn’t always been. It had taken years to earn the trust the boy guarded greedily, but he had known that once he did, the boy would prove to be very useful. His unfaltering loyalty would become a great asset.
    A handy trait in a solider. He just needed a small push.
    “What I’m about to ask of you, I need you to give me your solemn vow you will not divulge to anyone.”
    A crease appeared in the center of Isaiah’s brow, but he answered firmly, “Yes, sir.”
    Garrison paused, not out of hesitation, but to be fully prepared for Isaiah’s reaction when he finally said the words. “I need you to take care of a problem I’m having with a colleague.”


Chapter 5

    Amalie opened her eyes to a mouthful of gritty sand, a head full of angry hornets and a devastating drum of pain throbbing down her spine. Her vision swam as she parted her lashes. Sharp spears of light stabbed her straight through the skull, infuriating the irate buzzing resounding between her ears. She started to raise her hand, needing to wipe away the tears blinding her, when her wrists caught on something, jerked and were yanked back down to her sides. The familiar clang of metal clattering against metal resonated like thunder through the room.
    Amalie willed herself not to panic. She begged herself not to make a sound. But they knew she was awake now. The maddening hum of whispered voices had begun to rise over her labored breathing, overpowering the stench of antiseptic.
    “Lay still, Amalie.” Her father’s face appeared above her, half of his face covered behind a white mask. His hair was tucked beneath a white cap. His crisp suit was hidden beneath a white smock.
    Her disorientation ceased smothering her. She became painfully alert. “Wha—”
    Cold rubber grazed the curve of her neck as he checked her pulse. He studied his watch as he counted her heartbeats.
    “Just a test.” Her father said. Then, to someone over her head, said, “Two CC’s then get the tank.”
    Everything inside her liquefied in terror. The sheet of metal piercing her spine dropped below zero in temperature and the sweat now dampening the paper gown thickened on her skin. The shackles around her ankles cluttered as she tried to sit up.
    “Don’t start that again,” her father retorted sharply, knotting a pinching rubber band around her upper arm. “I won’t hesitate to sedate you if you don’t calm down. Do you understand?”
    “But I don’t…” She dampened her lips. Her neck twisted on her shoulders as she tried desperately to find the source of the voices, to find a single friendly face to help her.
    “Just lie still and it will be over before you know it,” her father suggested, turning his body to accept the syringe another man in a white robe presented him.
    Amalie was squeezing her eyes closed and turning her head away even before the first sharp tap of her father’s fingers against the crook of her arm, before needle even touched her skin. A small whimper escaped her before she could stop it. Her jaw creaked beneath the pressure of her clenched teeth.
    “Nearly finished,” her father assured, switching the crimson-filled vial for an empty one.
    It seemed to take years before the needle was ejected from her body. The area was dabbed with cotton, but left unaided. Amalie opened her eyes at last, turning her head to search her father’s masked face for signs of what he would do next.
    The examination room was a room designed to instate calm. The once concrete walls were plastered over and painted a jarring white. The floors were white. The ceiling

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