Two weeks went by and Jez tried all he knew, which wasn’t very much, to win Anna’s friendship. The thing that actually won her over was his ability. He stood out at every discipline and she warmed to him because of it; for her, anyway, the term “friend” had become reasonably accurate.
Another intensive day finished and Nikolas called her to his quarters. For five minutes, then ten, Jez lay on his bunk and anger festered. It wasn’t his business, he knew. So he couldn’t intervene, or Colonel Petrichova would finish him. No, there was nothing to be done. But career or no, if Nikolas laid a hand on her he’d kill him, he thought.
His mind was still in a red haze when she stormed back into the dormitory, head bowed, rubbing her face with the back of her hand.
“Anna,” he said, jumping to his feet, “that’s it.” He turned towards the door.
“Whoa,” a few of the cadets chorused.
“Jez is going to sort Nikolas out for screwing Anna,” a boyish girl called Popov yelled.
They all laughed, Jez glowered, and they laughed the harder. He tried to push past, but Anna grabbed his arm roughly, stopped his progress.
“No, Jez. I can look after myself,” she said, and then she glared at the other cadets. Under her gaze, they all seemed to notice that their bunks were untidy.
“Your lip is bleeding… he can’t…”
She nodded. “You’re right, he couldn’t.”
Jez lowered his shoulders and tried to relax the stiffness. “What happened, Anna?”
She guided him to his bunk and ordered him, “Sit. He tried to grope me, but I got my knee to his balls before he had a chance to do too much. He did manage to backhand me in the mouth before I left. But it’s over, leave it, this is my worry…” She smiled, “but thanks.”
Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense
Rating – R
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