Haunting Blackie Page 22

Blackie rose, giving her his back and went to inspect the doors Danica and Gene had welded down the seam, sealing them together. “Nice job.”

“I can’t monitor where the crew is or what they are doing any longer.” Gene set down the welder and turned it off. “I had to destroy the panel where I’d hacked into the system. We’re blind unless you established a direct link to the computer.”

“Fleet locked me out. Fall back and prepare for a breach in case they are able to blow a hole through the doors.” He retrieved his weapon and Fleet’s.

Danica held out her hand. “I’ll take that.”

Blackie ignored her and strode to Eve, jerking his head in the direction of the crates. “Fall back or I’ll carry you there, mate.”

She winced. He was definitely furious with her.

“What about Fleet? Should we drag him to a safer location?” Gene hesitated next to the male.

“No.” Blackie glared down at Eve. “Let him remain there. He deserves to have the damn doors fall on him if they blow them.”

Eve turned, limping to get behind the crates. Blackie kept close enough that she could almost feel him right on her ass. She was pretty sure he wasn’t about to let her pull another stunt. It was tempting to point out that her plan might have saved him from having to blast it out with the crew but decided to remain silent. She’d pushed him too far.

Danica crouched down and Eve took a position next to her. Blackie and Gene kept them between them. It was quiet in the cargo hold, their breathing the only sound.

Her sister bumped her arm and she looked at her.

“He’s pissed,” Danica mouthed.

“I know,” she responded in kind.

“You’re in deep shit, even if you did save his ass.”

Eve frowned.

“See why I don’t want a mate?”

“Fuck you.”

“Knock it off,” Blackie grunted.

“We’re not doing anything,” Danica protested. “As a matter of fact, what are we doing? Are we just going to stay behind these boxes until someone attacks us again?”

“We’re waiting for the Vontage,” Gene responded. “They should intercept this shuttle in a few minutes. The commander of that ship will have a team search the Bridden until they find us. They are under orders to protect both of you until we reach Garden.”

“So the cavalry is coming? Cool.” Danica turned, sitting on her butt with her back to the crates. “Wake me when they arrive. I’m still tired.”

Eve envied her sister at that moment for her ability to relax. She lifted her chin and watched Blackie’s face. He concentrated on the doors, not sparing her a glance. She reached out and covered the back of his hand, which was resting on the floor where he crouched. He tensed but didn’t pull away. He also didn’t acknowledge her by meeting her gaze. She closed her eyes and leaned against the crate.

I’m in deep shit.

Blackie was furious. Eve should have taken orders from him and kept out of harm’s way. He’d seen her limp. Her foot was injured. No blood stained the floor so it wasn’t an open wound. He’d have the medic check her over after the crew of the Vontage arrived to take charge of the Bridden.

He would make Fleet and Parlis pay for attempting to kill Eve. Suspicion was one thing but it had become fact. A plan started to form. He didn’t want them to die quickly. He needed them to suffer first.

The warm hand resting over the back of his kept him from storming across the cargo hold and stomping Fleet into a bloody pulp in a fit of rage. Eve had survived the attempt on her life but he wasn’t going to ever forget the way she’d stood her ground to shoot that cannon. Her plan had been brilliant since no one had attempted to breach the cargo hold a second time but he refused to admit that to her. Maybe, after some of his fear at the danger she’d been in eased, he would give her a compliment.

He glanced across the room at the scar on the floor. Fleet had almost managed to shoot her. A few feet to the right and he’d have succeeded. She wasn’t as sturdy as him. Her bones would break instead of stopping a projectile. It could have penetrated her vital organs, damaging them to the point that her enhanced healing couldn’t have prevented her death.

The thought of losing her hurt inside his chest. He turned his hand under hers and clasped it. It helped ease some of the pain but not much. He’d see Fleet and Parlis were stripped of their honor, their status, and finally, their lives. It was a promise he intended to keep.

He didn’t know how long they’d been waiting when something hit the doors. He tensed, released Eve and glanced over at Gene, who aimed at the doors as well. A line appeared as a hole was cut through the metal. He waited as it was kicked in.

“Blackie? Gene?” The voice didn’t belong to any crew member of the Bridden. “It’s Volt. The Vontage has control of the shuttle. Don’t shoot me.”

The male moved into sight. Blackie relaxed, lowering the weapon. “It is good to see you.”

The cyborg turned sideways, crouched and inched through the opening. “What a mess. We had to suck out foam to reach you. That was genius.” He rose to his full height, studying the cargo hold until his gaze halted at Blackie’s right. “Well, hello.”

Blackie moved in front of Eve, blocking the male from flirting with his mate. “Status?”

“Part of your crew is being treated by having their eyes washed of chemicals.” Volt chuckled. “The rest have been secured. We’ll escort Fleet there as well. Commander Steel sent Nile and me over with a security force to assess the situation and fly the Bridden to Garden. I take it the women are fine?” He craned his neck a little to get another look at Eve.

“They are unharmed.” Blackie glanced over to see Gene shielding Danica as well. “Thank you for coming to our assistance.”

“I’d like introductions to the women.”

“There’s no need. Eve is mine and Danica belongs to Gene.”

“I do no—” Danica’s voice was cut off. “Ouch.”

“Silence,” Gene demanded.

“Grumpy ass**le,” she hissed. “You didn’t have to elbow me.”

“Trust me.”

“Fine,” she muttered. “But keep your elbow to yourself.”

Volt frowned. “Is there a problem?”

“No.” Blackie holstered his weapon and stepped away from Eve. “I’m taking Eve to my quarters and Gene will need to be assigned a room of his own for him and Danica since the cargo hold is no longer private.”

“Sure,” Volt agreed, openly studying the women with a smile. “I’ll give them anything they request. Anything at all.”

Irritation flared inside Blackie. Cyborg males who were not in a family unit were going to be interested in both women but it made it worse that one of them belonged to him. “We’re returning to my quarters now. Thank you.” He reached back and took Eve’s hand. He managed to avoid punching Volt as they passed, the male taking in every inch of her body with a grin of appreciation for her looks.

Chapter Nine

Eve itched for a weapon but Blackie was the one with one strapped on his hip instead. The exterior doors slid open and she clutched his hand as she prayed they wouldn’t be shot or otherwise attacked when they exited the shuttle that had just landed on Garden. Six big cyborgs stood before them, all wearing weapons holstered to various body parts. The tall one with the facial scars and really long hair had a sword strapped to his hip. He had to be the scariest of the bunch.

The handsome guy in the lead spoke first. “I’m Zorus.” His gaze traveled over her face then Danica’s, before addressing her mate. “It’s good to see you, Blackie. I take it there were no other incidents after the Vontage arrived? Will you introduce us?”

Blackie didn’t release her hand. “We were left alone. This is my mate, Eve. She’s the first in her canine line. Danica is her littermate.”

The cyborg didn’t offer to shake hands or otherwise advance. He did closely study them. “It is good to meet you, despite the tense circumstances. Krell handpicked these men to assure your safety.”

The tall, scary male with the sword nodded. “I’m Krell.”

“Excuse me,” a feminine voice called out. “Move your oversized bodies and let me pass.”

The scarred male growled and turned, reaching for the handle of his weapon. “Damn it, Cyan, I told you to stay home.”

The human woman who stalked closer wore tight black leather and her protruding stomach was clearly outlined by the outfit. Two weapons were holstered to her thighs. Her black hair fell to her ass in a braid as she wiggled between the cyborgs to reach the front.

“I’m pregnant, not useless. I told you I wanted to come but you refused to consider it. I had to sneak out after you were gone.”

He released the handle of the sword and gently took her arm. “You should be resting at home.”

She leaned against him and smiled at Eve. “Hello! I’m so excited to meet you. I had no clue about the canine project. Those bastards were super sneaky since they hid it from me. I was sure I hacked into all their databases. I’m Cyan.” She grinned at the irritated cyborg at her side. “This is my very overprotective husband, Krell. He’s going to make sure nobody f**ks with you. Aren’t you, sexy?”

“You should be at home,” he repeated in a stern tone.

“Yeah, I know.” She rubbed her rounded belly. “Your son won’t exactly let me sleep. He kicks like a mule.” She stared at Danica. “I totally got screwed.”

Danica snorted. “It appears so. When are you due to have the baby?”

Cyan laughed. “Any day. That wasn’t what I meant. They stuck me with this body. I prefer your shape. You’re compact but without the major boobs.”

Eve frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“It’s a long story but I was kind of built by the same people who created you. They stuck me with the body of a sex bot because they didn’t want anyone to be able to guess I wasn’t human. They should have given me your body type.”

“You’re a cyborg?” Eve was confused. “Your skin color and size is wrong.”

“I’m something else but I can’t discuss it without getting a major headache. My husband can clue you in when I’m not around. Longer story. So what cool features did you get? Zorus said something about fangs and claws. May I see? I’m curious.”

Danica held up her hand, showing off how her fingernails extended. She also growled low and displayed her teeth.

“That’s soooo cool!” Cyan glanced at her husband. “I bet you’re happy I didn’t get those. I’d shred your back.”

The male didn’t look amused. “Cyan.”

“Fine. I’ll behave.” She held out her hand to Danica. “It’s really nice to meet you. I told my husband that you’d probably be more relaxed if I came along. It’s easy to feel a little intimidated when you’re surrounded by cyborgs. A friendly face is always more pleasant. Some of these guys couldn’t crack a smile to save their lives.”

Danica shook her hand and Eve followed suit. The woman had a firm grip.

Krell pulled his wife in front of him, one arm wrapping around her rib cage. It was a protective stance that didn’t go unnoticed.

“We’re no threat to your wife,” Eve swore, making direct eye contact with the male.

“It’s not that. Rumors have circulated about your origins. We’re on high alert and I want my wife close to me in case of trouble.”

“What kind of rumors?” Blackie’s hand curved on his weapon but didn’t remove it from the holster.

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