Protector: The Elect, Book 1

Read Protector: The Elect, Book 1 for Free Online

Book: Read Protector: The Elect, Book 1 for Free Online
Authors: Loribelle Hunt
stick your nose in it.”  
    “I’m not leaving my sister alone with some delusional nutcase!”
    Esme barely got between them in time. She poked her brother in the chest until he stopped snarling and glared down at her.  
    “First of all, no one is crazy here. Second, in case you missed it,” she said snidely, “I’m a grown woman. I’ll make my own choices about where I sleep, little brother.”  
    She gave them both a disgusted look and stalked off, fuming under her breath. Obstinate, obnoxious, bossy men. She could hear the low argument continue behind her. She wouldn’t sleep with Brax because he ordered it, anymore than she’d stay away from him because Carter ordered her to. And if there was bloodshed over it, she had a few things to say to both of them.  
    She returned to the lab. She needed to focus on something pure and calm. This was why she’d kept her distance from people for so many years. Emotions were messy.  
    Zach was bent over a computer reading some of her notes when she walked in.  
    “Find anything of interest?”  
    He leaned back and gave her a sympathetic smile. The cold, reserved scientist who’d met her when she arrived in the compound was gone, replaced by the guy she remembered from years ago. He looked like that rumpled-if-brilliant grad student. “How are you doing, sweetie?”  
    She shrugged one shoulder, choosing to ignore the annoying endearment. He’d always called her that just to get a rise out of her. Funny, she didn’t mind it from Brax. “Ask me tomorrow.”  
    She glanced at the screen. It was the information she had on Kaden. She nodded at it. “Do you know what’s wrong?”
    He sighed. “Not yet, but I’d guess it’s some kind of infection.”  
    “That can’t be right. Every test imaginable has been run on this kid. An infection this severe would have shown up.”
    “But he does get sick a lot, right? Pneumonia, bronchitis, whatever. Stuff you treat with antibiotics, he’s fine a couple weeks, and then there’s something new.”
    “Yes, but the underlying problem can’t be an infection. We’d have killed it by now.”  
    “I knew you’d say that. Come look at this. We see it in some of our kids, but I don’t think this is Kaden’s problem.” He led the way to a microscope, pulled a slide from his coat pocket and inserted it under the lens.  
    She looked. “I don’t see anything. This is a normal blood sample.”  
    “Right.” He reached over and turned a spotlight on. She sucked in a breath as the squiggly bacteria showed up.  
    “Why have I never heard of this?”  
    “As near as I can determine, humans are immune to it.”  
    “You think something else is wrong with Kaden? Why?”
    Zach looked grim. “The kids that get this start experiencing organ failure after a few months.”
    Okay, Kaden wasn’t that bad, but… “He’s been sick off and on since he was born.”  
    Carter announced his presence with a knock on the door frame. “What’s wrong with him?”  
    She turned to meet her brother’s worried gaze. “We don’t know yet.”
    “His white cell count is higher than I’d like, so I want to start him on antibiotics tonight. In the meantime, we’ll be testing his blood sample against diseases that are specific to the Elect. Anything else should have shown up with his other tests.”
    Carter huffed. “Y’all really believe you aren’t human. I’ve landed in the Twilight Zone.”  
    Zach moved to a wall cabinet and pulled out supplies for taking blood. “We know it. I need a blood sample from you and your sister.”  
    Esme didn’t protest when he took two vials from her, but Carter looked suspicious when Zach approached him.  
    “Why do you need my blood? I’m not sick. And I’m human.”  
    “Are you sure about that? Your son and your sister are Elect. What makes you think you’re different?”  
    Her brother’s jaw clenched, but he submitted to the needle. Two vials later, he left with Zach

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