CHAPTER 90

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The kiss only lasted a few seconds. At first, Jake was ridged but soon yielded to the softness of Sarah's touch...her fingers caressing his bare chest and her lips grazing over his own. Whether he remembered her or not, her direct and intimate action to convince him had to be working. A complete stranger wouldn't make a move to kiss someone she'd never met. Sarah would never do such a thing. She hoped Jake would think along the same lines. When she pulled back, his eyes widened and his chin sagged, and he let out a breath. She felt like he was looking at her with a new sense of understanding of who she was and what they meant to each other.

He stood there next to the hibernation unit, surveying Sarah as her demeanor softened, her eyes falling away from his, hoping that she got through to him. While she tried to evaluate his response, he stiffened. Sarah felt his body go ridged. She glanced up at him as his gaze hardened and his forehead wrinkled.

"Why did you do that?" he asked.

"I told you...because you're my husband."

Jake nodded slightly. "I felt it...but I still can't remember. I mean, I know you're convinced we were together. I know you believe it, but I can't..."

Sarah closed her eyes, and after a calming breath, she opened them. She hoped by some miracle, her kiss might open up a pathway in his brain, channeling synapses to jog his memory. In theory, it might have worked. But there was no such luck.

"Let's do what we came here to do," Ariel said with an air of impatience in her voice. "Heal you with the new serum. You're sick, that's why you can't remember." She gestured to Jake's side. "If we cure you at the cellular level...the DNA level, then we may be able to reverse the side effects of rationing your inhibitor meds."

Jake replied, "Okay."

Ariel's directness cut through the crap and got to the point.

Sarah expected him to put up more of a fight, considering his previous behavior, but he seemed worried about the growing infection on his left side.

"You can help me?" he asked.

"Yes," Ariel replied.

The quick response caught Sarah's attention. "We can, but I need you to enter the cryogenic hibernation chamber."

"You're going to put me to sleep?"

"Yes. You need to trust me."

"Trust someone I don't even know." Jake shrugged. "With my life on the line. Sure. Why not? Doesn't look like I have a choice."

"You don't," Ariel replied. "If you want to be cured."

Sarah inhaled a long and calculated breathed through her nose and exhaled. She swallowed the lump in her throat and allowed her nerves to settle. Then she unzipped the top of her gravity suit and pushed it down to her waist. With her gaze locked on Jake, she raised the bottom of her undershirt.

Jake's eyes grew large as she revealed a six-inch wide case taped to her stomach. Carefully, she peeled back the layers of tape...which had been stuck to her skin since before they entered the escape pods and evacuated the Titan X spacecraft. She was the first one to wake up from hibernation. As soon as she realized what was going on, she attached the case to her abdomen, helped ready the others, and then they all jettisoned from the ship to the surface of Titan.

With the case in hand, she zipped up her gravity suit and motioned for Ariel to assist her with the sleep unit.

The clear lid to the chamber slid back into the wall behind it.

Jake, now out of his thermal and underlying body suit, nestled against the bedding of the unit, a five-inch foam padding. His thin t-shirt and boxer style shorts hugged his body.

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