Jason felt a presence in the room as he awakened. He wondered which of the team would be sitting in the recliner next to his bed this time. In the past, their presence would have bothered him, but this time he was glad for it.
It’d been a week since his rescue and he was still too weak to be discharged from the medical wing of Center Neptune. The doctors said it would take a while for him to get his strength back, even with his implant having been reset to correct the damage done by the Spectran probes.
He cracked his eyes open and looked. Sitting in the recliner was a tall woman with long blonde hair.
Jason’s stomach clenched painfully, suddenly afraid she was Mala and he was back in the Spectran base, that his escape and reunion with the team had been a dream, a delusional, dying dream, but then bright blue eyes looked up from the magazine she was holding, not icy, cold blue ones.
“Hey. I was wondering if you were going to sleep all day.” The voice was familiar and sounded like Rachel, but the hair…
The young woman smirked at him.
“You do remember we’re blondes, right?” she asked. At his wary look, she huffed. “I know it’s been years, but jeez.”
Jason’s sudden fear dissipated as fast as it had formed and was replaced with relief, until his mind registered the red leather vest covering her white blouse. He pictured her straddling his hips on the bed in her penthouse, her naked breasts only inches away. No way.
“Jason?” Rachel asked unsurely as his eyes widened and his face began to flush. “Are you okay? Should I get the doctor?”
He began to laugh. He couldn’t help it. Then he buried his head under his pillow and laughed even harder. Of all the crazy things to happen…the night of the Terrapin’s attack, he’d almost had sex with her. Rachel!
“What’s so funny?” she asked. Jason poked his head out, his still too long hair mussed by the pillow, wiping at his streaming eyes.
“I can’t get that vest out of my mind,” he said and promptly cracked up again.
Rachel closed the magazine she had been reading and frowned at him in concern. She knew they had given him a helluva drug cocktail to fight the Spectran drug still in his system, his pneumonia and to keep him calm. Were the drugs too strong? Making him delusional?
“What are you talking about?” she asked warily.
“It’s okay,” Jason said, starting to get control of himself. He slowly rose to a sitting position, moving the pillow up to support his back against the headboard. “I know you don’t want the Chief to know.”
Rachel’s frown deepened. “To know what?” What the hell was he talking about? Jason punched at his pillow to make it more comfortable and then leaned back, his bluish-gray eyes still filled with humor.
“The Chief was pretty mad when he found out I was street racing,” he told her, “but then the Terrapin’s attack kind of took center stage.”
“Street racing?” she asked, her eyes narrowed in confusion. “Red leather vest? Please tell me what you’re talking about,” she pleaded, laying the magazine down on the nightstand.
Jason’s brows rose as he wondered why she was playing dumb.
“The night the Terrapin attacked - your penthouse, the red leather vest…” He spread his hands expectantly.
Rachel continued to frown at him. “You’ve been to our penthouse? "When?” she demanded. There was no way he could have been there.
“You took me there.” Jason’s voice was starting to rise with exasperation.
Rachel shook her head. “The base was the first time I’d seen you since we were kids. You must have been dreaming.”
Jason shook his head at her denial and told her the penthouse’s address. Her eyes bugged.
“How do you know that?” she demanded, leaning towards the bed to get closer to him.
“Because you took me there. You don’t remember racing me and the cops showing up and you said you had Sanctuary and led me to your place.” As Jason spoke, he could see no comprehension in her eyes, but the moment he’d mentioned racing her, her ivory features began to redden with anger.
“I’ll kill her.” Rachel’s eyes were spitting fire. “She wasn’t supposed to attract attention to herself when we were on Earth on Mala’ business. She could have blown our covers!”
It took Jason a moment to realize what she’d said. The woman hadn’t been her. It had been Rhiannon.
Jason suddenly felt ill. He’d almost had sex with Rhiannon, not Rachel.
Rhiannon. He hadn’t liked her when they were children and the little time he’d spent with her over the past eight days had only reinforced the feeling. He couldn’t believe he’d almost had sex with her.
He let Rachel rant about her sister, keeping track of what she was saying to use as future ammunition. When Rachel stopped, he couldn’t help but smile. Rachel saw the smile and practically growled.
“I haven’t had any luck with blondes, in case you haven’t noticed.”
Rachel stared and then stood, marching out of the room with continued ranting. Jason sighed and settled back down into the bed. He wished he could witness the fireworks, but he was sure someone would tell him about it.
His implant induced him to return to sleep and he did, with a mischievous smile on his face.