DISCLAIMER: I don't own B5… yet. This fic was written for amusement purposes only; no profits will be made from it and no animals were harmed in its creation.
CHALLENGE: Written as part of the 1001 Nights Challenge - the wolf at the door.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Season Two B5.

The Wolf At The Door
By Amara


"Miss Winters," Susan inclined her head in greeting, her tone warm. "Is there something I can do for you?" Surreptitiously, the second in command of the Earth Alliance station Babylon Five pressed her sweaty palms against her navy uniform slacks, trying to conceal the nervousness she felt in the blond telepath's presence. To hide her own latent telepathic abilities, Susan had been forced to keep Talia Winters at arms length. Susan had spent her entire life hiding from the Psi Corps, managing to escape their notice even after her mother had been discovered. Yet, ever since the Underground Railroad incident with Mr. Bester, the knowledge that Talia had helped an entire group of rogue telepaths escape the Corps weighed heavily on Susan's mind. The antagonist facade she had used to protect herself had crumbled into tentative friendship and attraction, leaving Susan torn between her desire to trust Talia and her mother's final warning.

"Actually yes," Talia said, her lips quirking into a flirtatious smile. Her eyes traced the captivating auburn waves of hair that Susan had decided to leave unbound today and she sincerely hoped the Commander wasn't about to put her off again. "I was hoping you would join me for lunch."

Susan's eyes darted around the Zocalo, giving herself a moment to think as she surveyed the shoppers. She was already tired from what had turned out to be a most unpleasant morning, and the day promised to be a long one. Common sense told her to turn the telepath down; Susan knew she wouldn't have the mental stamina to keep active blocks up for the duration of the meal. What she eventually decided to reveal to Talia was irrelevant; being discovered wasn't something Susan could ever let happen. Not that she thought Talia would scan her on purpose, never once had Talia tried to touch her mind, but accidents happened. Her heart, however, quickened at the chance to spend time with the blond.

"Alright," Susan found herself answering. "I'm off duty until 1300 hours. Did you have some place in mind?"

Talia's smile broadened at Susan's acceptance. "I was thinking about trying that new café in red sector, I've heard some good things about it."

"Well then," Susan tilted her head, inviting Talia to walk with her. The shyness she felt as the blond fell into step beside her surprised Susan. Resolutely she squashed it, deliberately taking Talia's arm and threading it through hers.

Talia's hand closed around the commander's elbow gently, allowing Susan to escort her. "How has your day been?" She asked, resisting the urge to increase the contact.

Susan glanced sideways at her companion. "I'm thinking about spacing a couple of the trader captains," she admitted wryly. "Except then I'd have even more paperwork to do this afternoon."

"Well, you don't want that," Talia teased as they reached the turbo lift.

They didn't have to wait long before the lift doors opened; the solo occupant stepping back to make room for them. Talia bit back a groan, she wasn't even surprised anymore.

"Michael," Susan acknowledged, stepping forward, pulling Talia into the lift as well.

"Commander," he nodded, his eyebrows rising at the sight of those two together. "Ms. Winters. Where are you two lovely ladies headed?"

Susan frowned. It was no secret that the security chief was interested in Talia and the come on annoyed Susan. "No, lunch," she said, a hint of a reprimand in her tone. "Red Four," she told the computer.

Michael Garibaldi pursed his lips in surprise but said nothing. Susan was willingly spending time with a telepath?

"Did you see the World Series game last night?" Susan asked. This …relationship she had with Talia was new, and the last thing Susan wanted was for her overly perceptive friend to ask what she was doing with the telepath before Susan knew that answer to that question herself. "I saw on ISN that the Mars team put up quite a fight."

"It was close," he grumbled. "I'm on my way to see Franklin now, I owe him lunch. Reminds me why I shouldn't be a gambling man."

Talia and Susan both smiled at the disgruntled look on his face.

"Hey," Garibaldi said as an idea suddenly occurred to him as the doors opened onto Red Sector. "Why don't we join you?"

"Another time perhaps," Talia said politely, subtly pushing Susan forward, out of the lift.

They had moved away before he could say anything, so Garibaldi settled for nodding. Then he frowned. As the lift doors closed he had thought he'd seen Talia take Susan's arm and lean into her. "Nah," he muttered. "Ivonova and Winters? No way."

Talia retook her hold of Susan's arm as the lift door closed behind them. Their eyes met and they laughed spontaneously, leaning on one another for support.

"I can't wait to see the look on his face," Susan muttered, thinking about the flummoxed expression Garibaldi would have once he realized that she and Talia were together. Her eyes widened when she grasped that she was thinking of her and Talia as a couple, which they could not be if Susan wanted to keep her secret, and she stumbled as they stepped up the short ledge into the restaurant.

"What look on his face?" Talia asked. She turned to look up into Susan's turbulent blue eyes which darted away from her gaze. From the other woman's sudden nervousness, Talia abruptly realized what that comment was about and a spike of adrenalin shot through her system.

Susan opened her mouth and shut it, realizing she was in no way prepared to define their relationship. A look of relief swept across her face as the hostess came up to them, granting her a reprieve.

"Two?" The portly woman asked respectfully as she noted the Psi Corp badge and the command level Earthforce insignia on the two diners. Susan nodded an affirmative. "This way please."

She led them over to a small round table on the other side of the restaurant and waited until they had seated themselves. "Your waiter will be with you in a moment," she advised them.

Susan fidgeted with her menu, flipping it open. Taking a double take, she ceased her nervous motions and stared at the page. The expense of shipping perishable items this deep into space combined with the limited space on the station for hydroponics made fresh food a luxury. The owner of this little café must have had some pretty good connections to be able to offer fresh fruits.

Talia watched Susan open her menu, wanting to press about the earlier comment. She scarcely dared hope that Susan meant it the way Talia thought she meant it. Talia had been instantly attracted to the woman seated across from her, but had lost hope that Susan would ever get past the fact that Talia was a telepath and return her affection. The friendship that had developed between them was more than Talia had thought possible and she tried to be content with that, but Talia was never one to hide her feelings. Susan was intriguing, beautiful, and watching her now, Talia knew that her desire was evident on her face. But she wouldn't press; whatever Susan was ready for, Talia would have to be content with.

Looking up, about to comment on the menu, Susan caught the look on Talia's face. The telepath was watching her with open adoration and affection. Instead of making her feel uncomfortable, the affection coming from a woman that could literally destroy Susan's life caused a warm feeling to grow in her belly. She caught Talia's eyes and smiled.

Talia was stunned as the Commander held her gaze. More than anything she wanted to reach across the space that separated them.

Susan and Talia both jumped when an unobtrusive waiter coughed to get their attention.

"Hello, my name is Ben and I'll be your waiter this afternoon. Are you ready to order or do you need a minute?"

The moment was broken as they both turned back to their menus and made a quick selection.

"So," Talia said, as Ben left and returned almost instantaneously with their orders. "What was so horrible about the trader captains today? I thought the problem with the docks was taken care of?"

Susan blinked, having completely forgotten about her horrible morning. "Well, we are always a little pressed for space, but this was the regular monthly meeting where the captains are encouraged to share any concerns they may have; meaning it's one endless session of complaints and demands. Captain Sheridan feels that part of my promotion entails 'learning the fine art of diplomacy' and gave me the duty of overseeing talks like these. Personally, I think it was just an excuse for him to get out of these meetings."

Talia laughed at the Commander's petulant tone. "Well, there's nothing wrong with a bit of diplomacy."

"Tell that to the Drazi," Susan said, recalling her first 'diplomatic' assignment, which had turned from one large brawl into a kidnapping into attempted mass murder. She had only gotten the cast off her ankle a few weeks ago.

"Beg pardon?" Talia asked, not following the reference.

Susan elaborated on the 'green' 'purple' feud, glossing over how easily she had been captured and playing up the absolute absurdity of the conflict.

"So you dyed their sashes?" Talia asked in disbelief, laughing as Susan reached the end of her story.

"Hey, it worked," Susan said. Talia held up her hands in surrender. "So what was your worst assignment since coming to B5?" Susan inquired, turning the tables.

"Sitting in on the Narn-Centauri negotiations for Commander Sinclair easily," Talia grimaced in remembrance. "Ambassador Mollari didn't show up for days because he had taken up with this dancer."

"You're kidding!" Susan took a large sip of her water, picturing the Centauri Ambassador doing just that.

"No," Talia shook her head vigorously. "And then Ambassador G'kar got insulted and refused to show. So, Sinclair left to go track the both of them down, leaving me alone in a room with Vir and Na'toth," she said, naming the Aids of both governments.

Susan reached across the table and gripped one of Talia's gloved hands in sympathy.

"The whole time Vir sat there playing this little digital game that made the most annoying beeping noises while Na'toth was all of two feet away radiating hostility so strongly I thought it would melt the bulkheads. And Vir didn't even seem to notice." The telepath shook her head. "I had a headache for weeks!"

Susan retracted her hand so she could spear a piece of pineapple with her fork. "You know," she said, looking at Talia's beautiful face, flushed with laughter. "I'm really glad we're doing this."

"Me too," Talia said, pausing reflectively. "It's hard to believe it's taken us so long to get to this point; two years!"

"Well," Susan said calmly, the sparkle in her eyes betraying her mischievous intent. "You didn't exactly make it easy for me."

"Me!" Talia exclaimed, gesturing with her knife. "What about you!" The blond recalled all of her spurned advances as she tried to get close to the Commander. She would have given up, but Susan had relented at the most unexpected times, showing compassion when it mattered most to Talia; like after the Psi Cops had burned through her mind. Then she caught the teasing expression on the Commanders face.

Susan pretended outrage. "I'll have you know I have been nothing but compassionate and understanding. All you had to do was admit you were wrong and I was right and everything would have been fine."

"You are the most stubborn…." Talia shook her head.

The chime of Susan's link interrupted them.

"Ivonova here," she said into the link, smiling at Talia over her hand. The smile faded at Lt. Corwin's reply.

"You're need in C&C Commander," he told her. Susan grimaced and looked apologetically at her dining companion as Corwin finished his report. "A ship came through the jumpgate fifteen minutes ago, but now it's just sitting there."

Susan sighed. "I'm on my way." She tapped the link closed and looked regretfully at Talia. "I'm sorry," she said, rising to her feet.

"That's alright," Talia said, pushing back her disappointment. It was Susan's job, Talia would have to get used to it, she hoped. "I was finished away." She stood as well, and ran a hand through her hair in agitation as the problems of the day returned to her. "I have to find a place to stay tonight, so I better get to it."

That brought Susan up short. "What's wrong with your quarters?" she asked sympathetically.

"Some sort of problem with the air recycling unit," Talia shrugged. "I called around but practically every place on the station is booked up." She crossed her arms defensively. "I could try Brown sector but…"

"Nah, not a good idea," She said, shaking her head at the idea of the fragile blond in that part of the station. Susan looked down then back up into Talia's face. She was surprised at how badly she wanted to spend time with the telepath, how much she enjoyed just talking, like they had been doing. Talia had made it clear that whatever happened with their relationship was up to Susan, and, in a moment of truth, Susan knew she wanted Talia to be a lot more than a friend. "Look," she began, pushing back a sudden bout of nerves. "If you want, why don't you just come over to my quarters tonight?"

Susan tried not to fidget as Talia's jaw dropped slightly.

"Oh, I couldn't," Talia demurred, knowing Susan wasn't sure enough of her feelings to be offering this, that she was just being a friend.

"It's not a problem," Susan said. "I'd like the company," she added in a softer tone.

"You're sure?" Talia offered one last chance for Susan to retract the offer, her voice unintentionally deepening seductively.

"What did I just say," Susan chided, her heart jumping at the telepath's tone.

"Alright, alright." Talia tilted forward like she was going to cross the two feet between them before she stopped herself. "Thanks."

"I'll see you tonight," Susan said, letting her eyes drift over the golden hair to focus on Talia's lips.

"Okay," Talia forced herself to turn and walk away before she did something she'd regret. The feeling of the Commander's gaze, burned on her back, made it difficult not to turn around.

Knowing what she knew now, Susan almost wished she had ordered Corwin to destroy the unidentified vessel. The woman they had rescued claimed a Psi Corp plant had infiltrated Babylon Five. Susan wasn't sure what to believe; if Lyta was telling the truth then she would have no choice but to submit to a telepathic scan. Did the expression 'no way in hell' ring any bells?

After getting out of Captain Sheridan's office that evening, Susan went directly to the babcom in her quarters. She just wanted to see Talia's face, hear Talia's voice. The irony that she was looking to a Psi Corp telepath for comfort when her secret was in danger of being exposed did not escape her; she was Russian, she understood such things.

"Susan?" Talia's face appeared on the screen. The blond took a step closer to her own panel when she saw the worn expression on the other woman's face. "Susan, what's wrong?"

"I just," Susan crossed her arms protectively. "It's been a really lousy day. I was wondering if you wanted to come over early and have dinner with me?"

"Of course," Talia agreed instantly. "I'll be right over."

As Talia's face vanished from the screen, Susan mechanically moved to straighten out her quarters, her thoughts too muddled to make any sense.

The chime of her door startled her, and she turned to face it, dropping the pillow she was holding absently on the couch. "Enter," she called.

The door slid open and Talia took a few hesitant steps into the room, her gaze focused on Susan. A slim duffle was draped over one shoulder and Susan stepped forward to take it.

Talia halted her progress by placing a hand on Susan's arm, her light touch freezing the woman in place, less than a foot away. Slowly, the blond moved her hand up to cup Susan's cheek, tracing the commander's face with her eyes. "Are you alright?" she questioned, her eyes searching Susan's face for answers. Even this close, with their breath mingling, she didn't try to scan Susan.

"Fine," Susan said, sharper than she intended. Her voice softened as Talia's hand dropped from her face. "I'm fine, just stressed."

Talia made a humming sound in the back of her throat that inadvertently caused Susan to experience a rush of desire. "I can relate," Talia said.

"So," Susan took a step back out of the telepath's space in order to get her emotions under control. She pivoted to face her quarters. "Would you like to get settled?"

Talia smiled sexily and tilted her head in wordless consent.

Susan led the way across the short distance of her living room and slid open the frosted glass doors that separated it from her bedroom. Her queen bed, taking up most of the space, held both their attention as the reality of the situation set in.

Susan turned and caught Talia's arm as the telepath moved to follow her into the space. "I feel I should warn you," Susan said in a serious tone. "That if you steal the covers I will not be held accountable for my actions."

Talia laughed richly, finding nearly as much humor as the ease in tension as in the tease itself. Relaxed, she dropped her bag where Susan indicated.

"If you wanted, you could go ahead and leave your toothbrush and stuff in the bathroom," Susan offered, opening the door.

Talia froze, gazing into Susan's bathroom. "Is that?" she asked almost reverently.

Susan looked puzzled for a moment, and stepped beside Talia so she could follow the blonde's line of sight. Realizing the object that held the telepath's interest, Susan grinned. "Yep," Susan said smugly. She continued in a tone more inviting than she realized. Of course, with what she was offering she could have been singing Narn opera and still held Talia's breathless attention. "All command personal and VIP quarters get a real, honest to god, shower. Unfortunately the water reclimators can't handle much more than that." She nearly laughed at the fervent expression on Talia's face. "Can I temp you?" she offered.

Talia ran her tongue along her lips, moistening them. "I'm certainly not going to turn that down."

Susan's eyes darkened as she focused on the pink tip of Talia's tongue. She ripped her gaze away, mentally shaking herself. "Would you like to shower now, or wait until after dinner?"

Talia pursed her lips thoughtfully. "I'll wait," she decided, finally turning from the shower to look at Susan.

"In that case, what would you like to do for dinner?"

Talia shrugged and smiled. "I'm open to suggestion."

Susan paused in thought for a moment. "I know of this great Chinese place," she offered. "As long as you don't look too closely at the food, you'd swear you were eating at an authentic restaurant back on Earth."

Having lived on Mars before coming to Babylon Five, Talia had learned to recognize the value of not looking too closely at what she ate. Heck, anything but Spoo right?

"That sounds delightful Commander," Talia said, this time offering her arm to the woman. "Shall we?" She gestured with her free hand as Susan laughingly wrapped a hand around her elbow.

During dinner, Susan managed to push the problems of the day into the back of her head, captivated by her dinning companion. It was only after they returned to her quarters and the telepath slipped into the shower that Susan's problems came back to haunt her. She rubbed her bare arms and tugged on the lightweight robe that matched her royal blue, silk nightgown, which Talia had insisted she change into before the blonde hogged her bathroom, seeking comfort in the additional fabric. Logically Susan knew she should worry about making it through this night without being scanned before she worried about tomorrow, but the prospect of Talia being in her head wasn't nearly as frightening as the rouge telepath. That fact, in and of itself was enough to frighten Susan, though. She had spent her entire life hiding from the Corp, but now she found she wanted Talia's mental touch as much as she feared it.

In an effort to distract herself, Susan hunted through her cabinet for a tea she thought Talia might like. Equal parts frustrated and afraid, her hunt was careless and she angrily flipped her hair over her shoulder, kicking the cabinet door closed as she hauled the kettle out.

"That's one cabinet that will never threaten us again," Talia said from behind her, startling the Commander.

Susan spun to face the telepath, exhaling in embarrassment. Taken in the sight of Talia's silk clad figure, her wet hair dripping, Susan quickly turned back to face the neutral wall. "I'm sorry. It's just… It's been one of those days," she chickened out, avoiding the real problem. "Did you like your shower?" she asked hoping to distract the telepath as she ran water into the kettle and pressed the red button on the handle.

"It was glorious," Talia said, letting Susan avoid whatever it was, knowing she would talk about it if she wanted to. She ran thin fingers through her damp hair. "I haven't had a real hot water shower in ages."

"Want some tea?" Susan asked. She could sense Talia was waiting for her to open up and it occurred to Susan that the commercial telepath might be able to answer some of her questions.

"I'd love some," Talia said, watching Susan as she poured the steaming liquid into two blue cups.

"Talia," Susan asked hesitantly, as she led the woman back into the living room. "Did you ever know a telepath named Lyta Alexander?"

"Ah," Talia prevaricated. She sat heavily on Susan's desk chair and absently accepted the steaming mug Susan handed to her. She recalled the redhead vividly but was shocked to hear Susan ask about a former lover. "Yes," she answered minimally. "She was a year behind me at the academy." Talia dared to glance up into Susan's eyes, seeing that they were troubled, but not the way she would have expected, and curious, urging Talia to continue. "We," Talia paused trying to figure out what Susan wanted to know, but unable to bring herself to talk directly about a dead relationship with another woman. She kept her eyes fixed on Susan's face as she continued. "Spent six months together in an intern program, working for different parts of the Corp. Why?" Talia asked finally.

Susan dropped her eyes. "Well, do you think," she began, ignoring Talia's question. "Do you think she is someone you could trust?" Susan lifted her head to meet Talia's confused gaze.

"I guess so," Talia said, shrugging.

"But you're not sure?" Susan questioned. She didn't want to trust the rogue, because if Lyta was telling the truth, they were all in danger. The only way to find out would be to let the woman scan her and that was not something Susan was prepared to do.

Talia shook her head in confusion. "Susan, it was a long time ago. She was very nice, very," Talia paused, finally settling on 'sweet.' "We were close at one time." And that was as close as Talia could get to saying it before switching back to Susan's final question. "And I supposed people can change, but Lyta?" Talia shook her head. "No, I just don't see it happening."

"You said you both interned with the Corp?" Susan asked. Talia nodded, unable to read the expression on Susan's face. "What part did she intern with?"

"Psi Cops," Talia responded succinctly, knowing they were a touchy subject with the Commander. "When she found out she didn't like it, she switched departments and because a commercial teep like me."

Susan's eyebrows rose and she looked at Talia questioningly.

"Oh," Talia waved her hand in a dismissing motion, realizing what the problem was. "Teeps. It's sort of an in joke around the Corp: Teeps for telepaths, teeks for telekinetics."

When Susan didn't smile like Talia expected, instead turning away and pacing a few steps, Talia frowned. "What's wrong Susan," she asked softly. This weird half interrogation, half conversation was making Talia uncomfortable; she felt like Susan was pushing her away again. Beyond that, it was obvious that something was really bothering Susan and it hurt Talia to see it.

"Damn it, Talia," Susan spun around to face Talia, her voice angry but her face a mask of emotional pain. "I don't know who I can trust anymore."

Talia set her mug down on the desk. "It's funny, I've felt the same way lately." Her whole life she had been brought up to believe that 'the Corp was mother, the Corp was father,' and now, after seeing what the Corp really was, she couldn't trust the organization that had raised her. But she did know one thing and she wanted Susan to know too. She stood up and moved to stand face to face with Susan, deliberately stepping into the woman's personal space. "So I've come to the decision that there's only one person on this station I can trust implicitly: You." Talia told the commander, trying to put as much sincerity as she felt into her words. She swayed towards Susan, her eyes briefly fluttering closed, before she caught herself and turned away. She had ended up being much bolder about her feelings than she intended to be, to a woman who had hurt her so many times and was just as likely to lash out in anger as to respond. Or worse, to accept the comfort Talia was offering, not because it was Talia that was offering it, but because she just wanted comfort. Talia wouldn't take advantage of Susan like that. She took a few steps away.

Susan exhaled, feeling bereft as Talia moved away. She looked down guiltily at her bare feet as she realized the blonde was struggling to regain her composure. Susan forced her feet to move forward, and reached out to touch Talia between her shoulder blades, laying the flat of her hand against the same silk. Talia turned into Susan touch, so they faced one another. Instead of letting her arm drop, Susan kept her hand on Talia's back, holding her in a loose, one armed embrace. Gently she raised her left hand, and used her thumb the wipe the moisture from under Talia's eyes. Keeping her movements deliberately slow, Susan leaned forwards and lightly pressed her lips against Talia's, feeling the blonde immediately respond to the kiss. Talia's hands came up to grip Susan's waist, crushed the silky nightgown in her fingers. Their lips parted and Talia's tongue danced daringly into Susan's mouth as the hand on her cheek moved to tangle itself in blond hair.

"Come to bed with me," Susan invited as their kiss broke, the blue of her eyes submerged in the black iris that threatened to engulf Talia.

"I can't," Talia murmured as their lips brushed together again. "I can't keep my shield up," she panted.

Susan pulled back slightly but did not release her hold on the blonde. Fear warred with desire in her eyes.

Talia brushed a lock of russet hair back from Susan's face tenderly. "It's okay to be afraid, but you don't need to be," Talia murmured. "I won't hurt you, I could never hurt you. It's beautiful, Susan, to be inside so completely, to know every little piece of your lover." She kissed Susan again. "But you aren't ready," Talia realized, seeing the fear begin to take over Susan's eyes. She pulled back slightly. "Maybe it's best if I stay on the couch tonight."

Susan's eyes softened. "Don't," she whispered. "Can I just hold you?"

Talia leaned forward to rest her forehead against Susan's. "Okay."

Talia gathered Susan's hands in hers and backed slowly into the bedroom, stopping when she felt the back of her calves brush the bed. She bent to pull back the covers and slid under them, scooting over for Susan. The Russian crawled in after her and Talia curled herself around Susan's back, spooning her from behind. Gently she pressed a kiss to the back of Susan's neck and murmured a soft 'goodnight' into her ear.

Susan's rubbed the arm Talia had draped across her stomach. "Night, Talia," She whispered.

Eventually the arms holding Susan loosened with sleep, but even the comforting presence against her back could not lull Susan's mind. Oblivion eluded her, her fears coming to forefront of her mind. Before she realized it, it was the Hour of the Wolf; an old Russian myth about the hour between night and dawn, where the sleepless are haunted by their fears and demons are at their most powerful. Easing out of Talia's arms, Susan quietly slipped on some clothes and slid the bedroom door shut behind her. It was useless to try to sleep now. She wasn't really thinking; Susan just felt the urge to walk, to try and get her thoughts moving. Her feet carried her to the hydroponics garden as she wandered through the dim light of Babylon 5's 'night.'

The lights had begun to brighten on the station before Susan returned to her quarters. She would have to break her cardinal rule, Susan realized, as she could never allow a strange telepath in her mind. But she was surprised to find she wanted to break it twice. Susan stripped off her clothes and pulled the abandoned nightgown over her head. She gazed down at Talia's slumbering form, following the vague curve of her body to where the sheet had slipped off one shoulder, exposing creamy white skin. Talia's lips where parted and she made a soft whistling sound as she breathed. Susan's chest felt too tight and she realized, in that moment, she wanted to trust Talia with everything, all that she was.

Hoping for at least an hour of rest, Susan slid back under the covers and curled against Talia's cool body. She trailed the back of her hand along Talia's cheek and smiled. Knowing what she would have to tell John tomorrow was harder than knowing the same conversation awaited her and Talia. In some ways Talia was safer than Sheridan; Susan knew the blonde telepath would never betray her, and unlike the Captain, no one could pry that information from Talia's mind. Once this whole mess with Lyta was over, Susan could explain everything to Talia; tell her how much Susan loved her. Some how, knowing that made the ugliness tomorrow was sure to bring easier to bear. Susan appreciated the irony of her timing, though: She had decided to trust Talia in the sleepless hour of the wolf. Talia, a Psi Corp telepath; Susan's deepest fear, her demon, her wolf.

The End

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