Book 7 Deleted Scene #04
“Grab that dog!”
Tonya knelt down and picked up the cute puppy as Jennifer ran into the lab. “Oh, good! You got him before anything was broken.”
Tonya gave the squirming pup to the teenager and went to the small deep sink to wash her hands. “No problem. Still in training?”
“Yes.” Jennifer spotted the cat too late. The dog leapt from her arms and chased the thin cat from the lab and down the tunnel.
Jennifer sighed tiredly. “I’m sorry.”
Tonya shrugged. “Cats and dogs aren’t friends by nature. They may adjust as long as she doesn’t scratch his eyes out.” Tonya gestured toward the bubbling and boiling beakers. “She’s already got a big strike against her survival.”
Jennifer realized the cat was ill. She glanced down at the book Tonya had opened on the desk. “Cannabis Oil Concentrates in the Use of an Effective Cancer Treatment. Wow. Nice.”
Tonya smiled. “Thanks. I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Jennifer spent a moment scanning the redhead’s mind to check for trouble, but she didn’t need to dig far to discover that Tonya was doing this from the good of her heart. “Can I help?”
“I don’t believe so,” Tonya denied. “This stuff has to cook for a long time. I’ll be here all night.”
Jennifer moved toward the exit calling, “I’ll send you some coffee.”
“That would be great!”
Jennifer tiredly tracked her puppy to the ladder, following the noise. When she got there, she was glad to see the cat climbing the ladder. It was slow, but it was successful, disappearing over the edge of the hole.
The cat, Maybelle, stumbled down the cold stone and wandered into the living quarters. She twined around the legs of Samantha, who was sitting on a stool next to Cynthia.
Sam smoothed Cynthia’s wild hair down and tugged the blanket up to her shoulders. She’d been here for half an hour but the reporter hadn’t spoken once despite her eyes staying wide open.
“I’ll come visit you tomorrow. Keep fighting. This mountain sickness can’t be worse than facing down Cesar.”
Sam stood up. Cynthia’s hand wrapped around her wrist, focusing with ugly intensity. “Tell him I’m calling in my marker.”
Cynthia let go. “Tell them both they owe me for her life. I’m calling in the marker.”
“What do you want?” Sam asked nervously.
“Freedom. I want out of here, alive.”
“We all want that,” Sam patronized, but Cynthia’s expression blazed with diluted madness. “They’re going to kill me.”
Sam began to say that was the mountain sickness messing with Cynthia’s mind, but the cat ran across the floor and tripped Stanley. He fell awkwardly, slamming into Daryl, who had been making his cot.
Daryl landed on the floor as Stanley landed in his bed.
Daryl glared up at the klutz. “Should I read you a story?”
Stanley struggled from the bed, tipping it over. As the cot collapsed on Daryl’s leg, the cat trotted from the chamber with its tail up.
Samantha joined in the laughter, forgetting Cynthia’s words. When she looked down again, the reporter was asleep.
Sam left the living area, and moved into the corridor. She felt her stomach drop as she saw Neil coming toward her.
“What is it?”
“We need you to run the weather post for the next shift.”
“Okay. Wait. Jeremy has it right now.”
Neil leaned down to whisper, “Jeremy threw up all over the bathroom stall and called off.”
Neil shook his head. “I need to tell you something. Please try not to be mad.”