"You can take whatever supplies you can carry then leave." The woman informed us. She sounded like an older woman, but she also seemed tired.
"Do you think she sounds pretty?" Grace asked Megan in a whisper.
"Doesn't matter, we are keeping Daryl away from all of them." Megan replied with another whisper.
Ignored the pair of them then scanned the area again. "Derek I don't sense anyone else in the building, but there is a large group of twisted heading this way."
Derek groaned. "Can we take them?" Derek asked.
"I can." I replied.
"Don't get overconfident." Derek told me.
I ignored him again. "Don't forget what I said earlier. You deal with the survivors I will take my girls and start loading up the supplies and handle the twisted." I told Derek.
"Why don't you handle the survivors, don't you have a way with women?" he asked me.
Megan laughed. "One to the father-in-law." she laughed.
"Over my dead body." Derek replied irritably.
"Don't tempt him." Megan retorted, "he still hasn't paid you back for that double cross with the scientist."
I saw Derek actually flinched.
"Fine, Daryl, Derek, and that saucy girl can come up. But behave we aren't pushovers." the female said from the room above.
"How much time till the twisted arrive?" Derek asked.
"Ten to twenty minutes, they don't seem to be in a hurry, besides they probably won't get too close once they can sense our auras. It depends on if they have a gold among them." I replied.
"Let's go then. The faster this goes the sooner we can head back." Derek said.
I agreed then led the way with Megan right behind me. Obviously she didn't trust me with a bunch of new women. Given my recent track record I could hardly blame her.
We walked up a stairway beside the room. The door opened as I reached the landing. A older black woman with a large pistol in her hand was waiting for me. Given the caliber of the gun I increased the thickness of my wind armor. I felt Megan doing the same behind me. A light appeared from inside the door blinding me for a moment before it moved off my face. It was a flashlight and a bright one. I regained my sight in time to block the black woman's hand as she reached for me.
"Dinner first." I told her.
"Since when?" Megan retorted.
Derek snorted behind her.
"Come in then." the black woman said stepping back into the room.
I followed her in keeping myself between the gun and Megan. I knew she had wind armor up but I didn't want to risk it.
The room turned out to be larger than I had expected, however it was still cramped with thirty four women inside it. Worse though was that several of them were obviously injured. Several of the women with no injuries were standing with guns pointed in our general direction. Though there only seemed to be four guns in total between the women.
"Caly, can you come up here." I called back down the stairs.
"That isn't what we agreed!" the black woman said angrily.
"Caly has a healing ability." I replied.
The black woman seemed a bit startled but didn't continue complaining. Though she still looked angry.
Caly appeared at the door a moment later, took one look inside then moved to the closest woman with an injury. A pale white light emitted from her hand as she went to work.
"Thank you." the black woman said a note of relief in her voice.
I took the time to really look around. As Nala had said they were dirty and needed a wash, almost half of them, if not more had some sort of injury, though most of them seemed like small wounds that wouldn't affect them much if they were properly cleaned and bandaged, which they were. Only a handful were worse and Caly was now handling those.
They were all slim, but given their state of cleanliness and the darkness in the room it was hard to tell if they were attractive. The black woman who was the leader was to a degree, but she was clearly a lot older than I had initially thought. Probably in her forties, if she had awakened her physical ability she might be even older.
"So?" she asked me giving me a weird look.
I turned my head to Derek who was frowning as he looked around. "What happened to the men?" Derek asked.
"They got what they deserved." the black woman replied a hard glint in her eyes.
That wasn't ominous. Then again I could guess what had happened from the injuries I could see. However it was best that I confirmed. 'What kind of injuries are they?' I asked Caly mentally.
"Exactly what you think they are." Calidia replied aloud glancing back to me then went back to work.
I nodded. "We aren't from here. We can travel long distances as we need to. We came here for supplies. Given those of us who are here we can probably empty this place." I told the woman. "If you want to, you can join our group." I told them.
The black woman frowned and Derek hissed angrily but didn't argue with me. Instead he gave me a glare. I am sure he wanted to have some input but I didn't care.
"Will we be safe?" the black woman asked me.
I shrugged. "Hard to say." I replied honestly. "I can not guarantee anything as I can not be everywhere at once, and our male to female ratio does favor the men. However anyone who takes unwelcome liberties will be punished." I replied.
The black woman frowned at me but shook her head. "We will stay here." she told me.
I nodded and didn't argue with her. I wasn't actually sure if I wanted them or not. We did have too many males and throwing a group of abused women into the mix was just asking for trouble. Not that I didn't want to help them, but unless I put all of them under my protection it would be hard to ensure their safety.
Derek and I decided to leave the room leaving Megan to watch over Calidia. I wasn't thrilled with the idea but I could see that our presence was making the women in the room uncomfortable.
"My men would never…" Derek started to tell me angrily.
"What of Jessarn or Michael's people?" I asked before he could finish his thought.
"We know little of Jessarn and his family, and Michael's group are a bunch of college students given superpowers." I added when Derek hesitated.
Derek closed his mouth then nodded. "We will have to discuss this later Daryl." he told me.
"Of course, though I hope to create a haven tonight so we can start shifting our people out of the hotel." I told Derek. "Whether I like it or not, I will be able to banish people from my haven if I need to."
"Like Marshal?" Derek asked.
I sighed. "If I have too, but that was just a fight between ex's, unless Marshal becomes and actual problem I will not kick him out." I replied.
Derek nodded. "You do know they have a chance of making it work, don't you?" Derek asked.
I shook my head. "Not anymore. Rebecca is mine now." I replied. "She agreed and accepted the bond this morning."
Derek looked over at me as he gestured for his men to get moving. They broke up into six teams of five and went to search the building. "You didn't coerce her?" he asked me.
"Of course not!" I replied irritated. "The bond puts them in my head Derek, I don't want a pissed off woman constantly in my head. Forcing the bond will give me just that, a incredibly pissed off woman in my head all the time. No thank you!"
"How many is that now?" he asked me.
"Ten." I replied. "Not counting the twins or Tracy." I lied. He didn't need to know about Monica, the Void girl, or Emy. Not yet.
"And you wonder why I don't want Jessica and Jamie to go back to you." Derek commented.
"I've never wondered Derek, I just know it isn't your decision. Most of the girls like the security that comes with the bond." I replied. "I won't force it onto any of them, but I will welcome them if they want the bond back. It might have been brief but it left a strong impression on all of us."
"What about new girls?" Derek asked.
I shook my head. "The rest of the girls get veto rights, special cases or really exceptional women might have a chance, but I doubt they are going to approve anyone else." I replied.
"You say that but didn't you just add that Trill girl?" Derek asked.
"Special circumstance and an exceptional woman. She is a beast empress, we could use her help but taking her as my woman was the only way she was staying with us." I replied. "Something to do with the way the beast society works." I added before Derek could ask.
Derek frowned but didn't argue with me. "Despite that, I will continue to discourage them from joining your harem." he told me.
"I would expect nothing less. Just shows you care about them." I replied.
"And the others?" Derek asked.
I shrugged. "As you know Momma, Karen, and the twins are looking into Michael's group. We aren't sure if the problem is Michael, Courtney, someone else, or if we are just jumping at shadows." I replied.
"Jessarn," I said then paused. "I don't trust him. He is Tracy's family though and he seems to know some things that I want to know."
Derek frowned. "Is it important?" Derek asked.
I shrugged. "I hope not. If I never need the information it would be best, but I have a feeling I will need to know as much as I can." I replied.
Derek nodded. "Knowledge is power." he agreed.
I checked the status of the twisted, they had stopped a few hundred feet from the building and weren't getting any closer.
"The twisted?" Derek asked as if he knew I had checked on them.
"They stopped a few hundred feet from the building. I think they can sense our auras and are hesitating." I replied.
"What does that mean?" Derek asked.
"Nala, Megan, and I are all gold cores, emperor tiered, we give off a aura that scares the twisted and other beasts. Especially Nala's." I replied.
"Me too!" Dena protested.
"Sorry, it got so busy this morning I didn't confirm it." I apologized to the mini elephant then stoked her back and confirmed that she had advanced to gold core. I guess being reassured that she was one of my women was that important to her. I really couldn't understand how all of this worked, even with Emy's explanation.
One of the teams came back, the soldier in the front had an opened box of oatmeal cream pies. When he offered the box to us I grabbed one hurriedly then unwrapped it at the speed of a starving fat kid before stuffing it into my mouth moaning as I tasted the wonderful treat.
"You really like those." Derek commented a bit surprised.
I nodded, "I love creampies." I replied.
Grace and several of the soldiers snickered. "We do have a pool going to see which of us gets pregnant first." She commented.
Derek's glared was fierce enough that I wondered whether I should leave if I wanted to keep my life.
'Daryl!" Karen called out to me mentally.
'What is it?' I replied back.
'Trouble, get back her ASAP!' she told me.
"Megan, Caly, we got trouble at home, we gotta go!" I yelled up towards the room.
"I'm not done yet!" Caly yelled back sounding tired.
I cursed. "Nala, Grace stay will Caly. Megan I need you with me!" I gave orders quickly.
Megan hurried down the stairs as Grace and Nala rushed up past her. Once Megan was by my side I opened a space tunnel back to the hotel. Dena went through first then Megan and I followed. I hoped leaving Derek and his troops with the women wasn't a mistake but Karen sounded panicked.
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