Snyder sat on the double bed. From the HV window, Zircon Defoe fired a round of machine guns into the criminals and laughed. “A whole lot cheaper than court.”
Snyder leaned back. Darn right.
Amanda came out of the bathroom. “Hey, let’s hit the casino again.”
Snyder yawned. “Maybe we could just watch HV.”
Amanda stared at the screen. “Oh, you can’t be watching that crap.”
“Hey, it’s real action. You know, the type that we never get to see? Somehow, I think the most excitement some people are going to get is cardiac arrest.”
“If boredom is the price of peace, so be it. Now, give me the remote, I want to watch the Native American Cultural channel.”
Snyder laughed. “Oh come on, I mean I know you’re Native American—”
“So are you!”
Three eighths didn’t sound like a heritage, it sounded like a wrench measurement. Besides he’d never known about it until McGraw told him. Plus he didn’t take after that side. “Those professors are pompous and boring. I’d rather have my eyes ripped out.”
Amanda purred. “I can arrange that.”
Snyder ignored the crazy gut feeling she meant that and laughed. “Good one.”
“Now give me the remote!”
No way. Once she got watching that stuff, there was no stopping. Though, it did beat hitting the craps table. “Oh, come on, you can watch it after the movie, the same boring crap will still be there.”
A firm right cross knocked him off the bed. He held firmly to the remote.
Bad move. She jumped on his chest and slammed her fists into him repeatedly.
This is not happening! I’m a gangbanger turned army Intelligence serviceman. I’ve carried out executions in defending my turf from criminal scum. I am not getting beat up by a chick!
Whatever was not happening made watching a Native American Antiques expert groan on for seven hours seem like a pleasant experience. All he needed to do was to release the remote.
His hand wouldn’t cooperate. He could say he gave, but his mouth wouldn’t cooperate. She ripped the remote from his hands and sat down on the bed.
A warm river of blood trickled down his cheek. She just sat there. How had this happened? How could he have gone so soft? He hadn’t dodged the noose by joining the knitting corps; he was a trained soldier. He should have put up a fight. He should have—something.
Kinda like I thought Donovan the Martial Arts Master shouldn’t have taken repeated beatings from his sensei lying down even after he got shipped out to African warlords for putting the old Steward’s arm in a cast.
That interview had revealed a side of his hero that he would rather have not ever seen, but the stupid media forced it into the light of day by griping about the Steward’s role in toppling his corrupt predecessor.
Now he knew just how embarrassing coming out as a child abuse victim must’ve been for the Steward. Snyder would much rather hang than anyone find out about this.
Amanda’s eyes remained fixed on the TV. “Hey Snyder, take a look. This is from the eleventh century.”
Snyder leaned up and bit off a groan.
Amanda glanced over and laughed. “Oh, looks like I got a little carried away. You’ve got to be careful, Snyder. I’ve got a bit of a temper.”
“Oh, really? I hadn’t noticed.”
She paused the HV with the remote. “That looks nasty, let’s go to the bathroom and clean it up. We’ll apply healing balm when we get back to base. After we clean you up, we can watch the rest of the film.”
In a sultry voice, she added, “And then afterwards, we can have some fun.”
The cleaning up seemed more for her benefit, and there wasn’t any compassion in her eyes. But given where he’d landed a few minutes before, he wasn’t going to argue. Even if he’d been minded to try and get out of the relationship, that wasn’t an option, unless he’d rather die than be in it.
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