Wes sent me a chiding look. "It's no different than what we did in the past."

"Except the past Initiative involved a lot more killing," Eva muttered.

Heart thumping, I clenched my hands on my thighs. "What the hell is your deal? You can't act like a grown adult for five seconds?"

"Aria!" Wes barked. "Chill."

"Fuck that," I replied through clenched teeth. "I refuse to be a part of a team that accuses me--"

Eva stood. "It's not an accusation. I'm stating facts. And the fact is that you're single-handedly responsible for the dea--"

I slammed my hands on the table. "Finish that sentence and die."

Eva laughed. She gestured at my frame. "You're literally walking irony."

"Why don't you just come right out with it then?" I gave her the 'come on' symbol.

She narrowed her eyes. "Fine. The truth is I have a hard time sitting here looking for a murderer when we've been sitting next to one the whole time."

Marlee sucked in a breath. Brayden's pen fell.

"And you act like you're some great power. Like you're better than us because you broke the law and walked away free. Leonger couldn't stop talking about how great you were. We put our mission on hold until you came back, and you can't even get through a fight without self-destructing. Truth is, you're just like the rest of us and are too prissy to admit it."

I laughed humorlessly. "I have never said I was better than you."

Eva shot me such a heated, angry glare that I knew it was a good thing she was across the table. Her hair was slowly starting to stick up as the electricity ran along her skin. "No, you just act like it. Meanwhile, you and Wes are sitting on information the rest of us deserve to know. Why don't you tell us, Aria? Go ahead." She opened her arms, "tell us why you were in that tank."

"That's enough." Wes stood. "Eva--"

Eva scoffed and waved him away. "Of course you take her side. What else would you expect from someone's mate?"

Brayden brought his chair down to all four legs. It hit the floor with a painful screech. "Shit," he breathed.

When Wes and I said nothing, Eva shook her head. "Whatever. I'm out."

We all watched her march from the room.





I had a weakness for cinnamon rolls. And someone in the Initiative knew that. The fridge in the kitchen had a small stack of prepackaged roles in one of the drawers.

After morning training, I twisted a package until it opened with a loud pop! And okay, I flinched a bit at the sound. The anticipation of the package bursting open got me every time.

A lot of things had changed since I'd gone under. Fortunately, cinnamon rolls weren't one of them. Within 12 minutes the warm, sweet smell of cinnamon and icing permeated the room.

A shoe scuffed in the doorway. "I wondered when you'd find them." Wes, a mug of coffee in hand, sat at the island.

"My senses never fail me."

I put two soft, gooey rolls on a plate and slid it across the counter to him.

He chuckled low--a sound that woke my insides-- and took a bite of one, the icing oozing down his fingers.

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