Haunting Blackie Page 13

She nodded. “Yes. I always want to be at your side.”

He pondered if she meant that in a literal sense. Some cyborgs might not accept her in the command center during his work shifts but he’d deal with their protests. He’d do anything to make certain she was healthy and happy, including keeping her within a few feet of him at all times if she required it. “Do you mean that literally?”

Eve grinned. “I can handle you going to work without me but I want to share your bed every sleep cycle.”


“What will happen to Danica? She’s my littermate. I can’t just abandon her but you’re my mate. You’re my priority.”

He appreciated her candor. She cared about her sibling, a trait he admired, but he liked it more that she’d pick him above all others. “She will be safe on Garden. Do you wish her to live in our quarters?”

“We don’t have to live together but I just want to make sure she’s okay.”

“I believe a cyborg has taken an interest in her. He’s a good male.” Gene had seemed very protective.

“The one with his arm around her?”

“Gene. Yes. He is a close friend of mine. He’d never harm her and I suspect he’d enjoy asking her to share his quarters on Garden. I noticed his protective and possessive gestures toward her while we were in the hallway.”

“He was cute. Danica will appreciate that and she did want a man. He looks capable of handling her.”

Jealousy was an emotion he didn’t enjoy as it worked through his system. The tightness in his chest eased when he realized she held no personal interest in Gene. It took effort to separate their bodies, something he regretted, but her shoulder needed to be tended.

“Let me see to your wound.”

“It will heal fast. You don’t really need to do that. My immune system is rock solid so it won’t get infected or anything.”

“I wish to care for you.”

She watched his every move as he retrieved the med kit from his cleansing unit. Her smile melted parts of him he hadn’t known existed as she sat up eagerly when he approached her again. His dick remained hard, the desire to take her was strong, but he controlled the urge.

Chapter Five

“Mated.” Danica looked at her with astonishment and reached across the table to hold her hands. “That’s wonderful.”

Eve noticed the way her littermate trembled when they touched. “I know what you’re thinking.”

“You read minds? I’m impressed. When did you get that ability and do I get it too? ‘Cause it would be totally cool.”

“You’re not going to lose me.”

Danica shrugged. “I had wondered. You’re all I have. We’ve always been a team but now you have a mate. I know I just became number two on your list of importance.”

One glance around the small cafeteria assured Eve they were still alone. Blackie had arranged for them to eat together while he attended a meeting. She wasn’t invited and knew it probably involved their new relationship. Her focus returned to her sister.

“You know I love you.”

“I know. I’m a bit jealous but worried about you at the same time, okay? Tell me about him.”

“He’s wonderful and sweet. I can’t believe Handsome survived.” She paused. “Blackie. I need to keep correcting myself. Who gave him that name? Were they blind?”

“He does have black hair.”

“It’s not a suitable name for him. Mine was much better.”

“Perhaps he will change it.” Danica released Eve’s hands, picked up her fork to stab at her food and took a bite of breakfast. “Of course, then you’d have to agree to being called Hellfire. That’s the name he knew you by though it was just a code word to protect your identity. Fair is fair.”

“True. I’ll adjust. I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable or that everything about his life has changed just because I’m his mate.”

“A cyborg mated to a canine unit.” Danica chuckled. “Who’d have thought? And you were all afraid he’d run.”

It was a reminder of the betrayal she felt. “You had no right to tell him.”

“I’m so sorry. You were wrapped around him as if he were a life buoy in a sea of acid. It just spilled out of my mouth before I could think about what I said. I’m really sorry. Chalk it up to being rattled around in that freighter and the shock of finding out they survived. My mind has been in a spin.” She paused. “There’s an upside. You’re always looking for those. You didn’t have to break it to him. It cut right through the bullshit fears.”

“It did.”

“Right.” Danica took another bite of her food. “Gene said they’ll take us back to Garden. It sounds beautiful.”

“I haven’t really talked much to Blackie about it. What have you been told about their home world?”

“They built a city on a lush planet similar to Earth. It is still pristine, unlike Earth. Lots of water and there are aquatic life forms that were the dominant species.”

“What are they like? Are they intelligent?”

“Yes, from what Gene said. They don’t get along with them though. Their few interactions weren’t friendly. The natives are aggressive. It’s why they built walls around the city.”

A sick feeling pitted inside Eve’s stomach. “Have they enslaved them?”

“No. Cyborgs respect their culture and try to interfere as little as possible. I was told that’s why they enclosed their city. They wanted to limit the exposure of the inhabitants to anything that would impede their natural evolution.”


“We know what it’s like to be under the control of others and so do cyborgs. Does it really surprise you that they’d leave the planet’s population alone?”

“I was hopeful we’d have the same views on less evolved life forms.”

“Cyborgs are really smart. Gene said they like to study them from a distance but it’s hard since they mostly live underwater.”

“Do these aliens appear humanoid?” Alien cultures always fascinated Eve. They’d come across a few of them over the years but they were rare. Most avoided Earthlings, finding them to be too brutal. Of course, most species’ first interactions had taken place with pirates. It wasn’t a surprise they avoided humans. “I’d like to see them.”

“Gene said they are humanoid looking but with gills and webbed digits to help them swim. How cool is that?”

Eve grinned. “Gene is cute and you’re quoting him often.”

“He’s hot and we’ve been spending a lot of time together. I’m staying in one of the cargo holds with him.”

It didn’t surprise Eve. “How is the sex?”

Danica blushed. “I wouldn’t know. I’m resisting.”

“Why? All you talked about was wanting to go to Titan and find a man. Now you have one sharing the same space with you.”

“He’s way too intense.” She licked her lips. “Not the type of guy to nail and walk away from. I can’t see him allowing that.”

“When has that ever stopped you?”

“Have you seen him? He’s huge and a cyborg. Plus we’re stranded. It’s not as if we’re going to undock our ship and fly off once I climb out of his bed. We no longer have a ship. It’s space junk now.”

“You think he wants more than a one-night stand?”

Danica shrugged. “I’m not sure, but maybe.”

“Would that be so bad?”

“Yes. I’ve seen what happened to you. No guy could compare to your cyborg. What if Gene isn’t serious and I get that mate thing going on? They are dominant enough to trigger our instincts. I’d be hung up on him for life. No thanks. I won’t risk it no matter how horny I get or how hot he makes me.”

“What if he wanted to be hung up on you for life too?”

“It’s not happening. It’s too scary to even think about. It’s the what-if-he-isn’t part that messes with me. No offense but you were never the same after you walked into that room and saved your cyborg. I’m keeping my heart safe and no one will ever own me.” She glanced around before lowering her voice. “They didn’t know about canine units or how we played a big part in rescuing so many cyborgs. Do you know what that probably means? Their council can’t be trusted.”

“I’ve been thinking a lot about that myself.”

“We need to find out if Freedom survived. I’d love to spend five minutes alone in a room with him. Can you remember what he looks like? You’re the only one he’d meet with in person.”

Eve nodded. “I’d never forget his face.”

“I can’t get over it. He betrayed us. We pledged fidelity to cyborgs but they didn’t even tell the others about us. They left us to die, didn’t they? I keep thinking about it and I’m getting a sick feeling in my gut that they didn’t ever plan to take us with them.”

“Blackie believes you might be right.”

“Son of a bitch.” Danica clenched her teeth. “I’ll never trust another cyborg. We should steal a life pod if there’s one aboard.”

“I’m mated.”

Misery dominated her littermate’s face. “We could kidnap him. Take him with us, you know? He’d make a kickass bounty hunter.” Her expression brightened. “I bet he could repair a lot on our freighter too, if we can locate it. They are excellent with machinery and hell, he can just download the operating manuals into that super brain of his to figure it out if he doesn’t know already. Think of the credits we’d save on mechanics.”

“I can’t do that to him. He seems to like his life, Danica.” Eve wanted to change the subject. It hurt too much. “We can’t blame all cyborgs for what happened to our littermates if they weren’t aware of our existence. Blackie said he wouldn’t have left us behind if he’d known. I believe him.”

“You’re biased.”

“He was really pissed, Danica. I mean, enraged to the max.”

“Yeah. Gene kind of reacted the same way when we briefly spoke about it. I was getting upset so he let it drop.”

“The responsibility rests squarely with Freedom. He’s the one I dealt with and he was in charge of mission 895589. It was his plan. He is the one who promised they’d take us with them in exchange for our help.”

“I’m going to rip off his nuts if he survived.”

“Stand in line.”

“How about you remove the left one and I’ll take the right?”


They regarded each other for long moments. Danica was the first to break the silence.

“So we’re going to the cyborg planet. I hope they are more relaxed than they used to be. I worried about that when we signed up to leave Earth with them. Those guys were pretty solemn. Of course they looked really good compared to Cameron and everyone else at the termination center.”

“Blackie told me most cyborgs have shut off the chips that kill their emotions. They won’t be as reserved as we remember. My mate is very warm spirited.” She smiled at the memory of the night they’d spent together. “Passionate.”

“That would explain Gene’s odd behavior.” She smiled back. “He’s kind of a sweetheart when I let him talk.”

“We’ll have a home again.”

“We had one.”

“A planet instead of a freighter. It’s got to be prettier than staring out into dark space.”

“Yeah. I hope so.” She peered at her. “What if we hate it there? Can we kidnap your mate and steal a ship then? I’m still thinking about that bar on Titan. I wanted to go dancing.”

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