1. Atty laid a hand on Yulen’s arm to get his attention. Worry and fear creased her face. “Our men are well-trained, but we’re returning with fewer troops than when we left to go to the summit in Rocky Gorge. We have no idea how many Bloods are out there. Worse, we don’t know if the person behind these attacks has divided up his numbers to make us think there aren’t that many.”
2. At the same time, the Mutah launched himself at her, thrusting his spear forward. Atty managed to leap aside a split-second before he could impale her. She managed to pull her bow over her head as the man swung his weapon downward like a club. Holding it out like a shield, she met the force of his swing, which sent hard vibrations through her arms. She heard a loud crack!, and her first thought was that the blow had broken her bow, until she saw the man raise the ragged section of what was left of his spear. He tried to knife her with the wooden shaft, but Atty rolled as he buried the stick into the ground.
3. Several Bloods stepped up to them and stripped them of their coats and jackets before turning them around to bind their hands behind their backs. Yulen could see no way he and the others could fight them and win. Not when they were outnumbered at least three to one. Neither could he expect or rely on the people of Fullmont to stand up with him to fight back. It was crystal clear the townspeople were too terrified to challenge the Bloods and Mink, which made him wonder what atrocities had occurred prior to his arrival.
4. Atty abruptly turned to confront her sibling once more, making sure Keelor saw and understood her determination. “How do we know for certain that Bloods won’t infiltrate or overtake this compound while I’m away? I have a connection with my children almost the same way I can feel my husband. I cannot be miles away fighting for him and with him, and be struck with the knowledge that my baby has been killed. Don’t think I made this decision lightly, but I trust my instincts and my abilities to protect this babe far better than if I left her here. Plus, she still needs my milk.” Atty tapped her chest for emphasis. “Not long after Mattox was born, our compound was overtaken by Yulen’s half-brother. I sent our son away, thinking it would save him, but we both suffered. I can’t begin to explain to you how much we both suffered. I will never make that mistake again.”
5. Atty. Yulen could see her face, her smile, floating before him. The love in her eyes was enough to make his heart do somersaults. Not a day passed that he didn’t wonder at the miracle that had brought her into his life. Not an hour passed that his thoughts didn’t, however briefly, touch upon where she might be at that moment, or what she was doing. “I swear to God, Yulen, one of these days you won’t act like a smitten schoolboy,” MaGrath also commented. Most of the time, Yulen answered with a snort and pretended not to hear the man. But he couldn’t deny that the physician was right.
6. “I, Yulen D’Jacques, do hereby cede this compound to Mink and her troops!”