Haunting Blackie Page 24

“Abuse of power,” Zorus cursed. “How dare he?”

“You mean he lied?” Eve snorted. “Imagine that. Handsome, I’m getting a kink being bent in half. Can you please ease up?”

He gentled his hold and turned her, giving her his lap to lie across. “Better? Stay down. The glass is intact but I’m not sure it could withstand much more abuse.”

“I know the feeling,” she muttered.

He looked down, staring into her pale features. His stomach did odd things when he identified the fear she couldn’t hide. She was his to protect and he didn’t feel as though he’d done a good job.

“I’m sorry.”

“For what? Turning me into a pretzel? It’s okay.”

He wasn’t sure what the term meant but her gaze held his and she reached for his shirt, fisting it.

“I’m breathing still. Don’t look so grim, sexy.”

He clenched his teeth. She seemed unaware of the rage that had him wondering if his body temperature had risen as much as he suspected. The blood in his veins should have been boiling. No one attempted to kill his mate without paying for the offense.

The vehicle came to an abrupt halt and he braced, cradling her in his arms to prevent her body from flying forward to slam into the front seats. He tore his focus from her to assess the front of the building. Three guards waited, men he knew and trusted.

“Go,” Zorus ordered. “We’re behind you.”

“Clear,” one of the guards shouted, their weapons raised, prepared to take out snipers from windows facing the front of the council building.

Fear wasn’t an emotion he dealt with often but he experienced it as he shoved open the door and grabbed hold of Eve’s waist. He nearly dragged her out of the vehicle and pulled her close, facing him to make sure his body blocked her from the opposite building. His free arm hooked her legs, lifting them to the side. Any weapons fire would have to tear through him to reach her upper body. He even tucked his chin over the top of her head. He ran.

Another security guard had been stationed inside at the doors and pushed one open at his rapid approach. He entered the building and glanced around as he paused, more than aware that she wasn’t safe yet. Zorus and Krell rushed in after him. The scarred male got ahead of Blackie.

“Stay close.”

“We’re right behind you,” Zorus assured Blackie. “No one stray from the plan.”

“I know,” Krell grumbled. “I’m the one who thought it out. This way.”

The male turned left, throwing open the doors that led to the council chambers. Blackie followed.

The doors slammed behind them and Blackie glanced back. Zorus bolted them from the inside to prevent anyone from sneaking up behind them to attack.

Eve remained oddly still in his arms but he was aware of her breathing. He glanced down to check on her. She was taking in the details of the room they passed through. Her fingers clutched his shirt and he was relieved she didn’t protest being carried in such an awkward position. He raised her higher against his chest and released her lower body in an attempt to make her more comfortable.

She actually made walking easier when she drew her legs up and hooked them around his waist. Her arms slid around his neck in a hug. He blew out air hard, clearing away some of her long hair, which impeded his vision. He needed to stay alert.

“It should be soon,” Zorus whispered. “We’re getting close.”

“What should be soon?” Eve whispered back, probably sensing the danger.

“Just trust me,” Blackie stated. He kept one arm free to reach for his weapon if the need arose.

“I do. I’m not fighting, am I?”

He almost smiled. Even under stress, the woman knew how to affect him in odd ways. “Thank you.”

They made it to the last corridor that would take them to the chambers when Krell halted. His sword flashed as he withdrew it, the scrape of metal loud in the confined space. Blackie stopped, forcing Eve to let go, and put her on her feet. She was a little unsteady but stood without assistance when he shoved her behind him. He reached back, keeping her protected with his body.

“Stay there.”

She didn’t protest but he became annoyed when she leaned a little to the side and peered around his arm to see what they faced. Parlis and Jazel blocked the doors. Both of the council members held weapons.

“Drop the sword,” Parlis ordered.

Krell refused. “You’d shoot me?”

“You pose a threat.” The male cleared his throat. “We only wish to speak to both women.”

Zorus strode forward to Krell’s side. He halted there, a scowl on his features. “I am disappointed, my old friend.”

The weapon in Parlis’ fingers wavered. “Why?”

“You nearly killed us but failed.”

“I had nothing to do with that attack.”

Blackie didn’t believe it for a second.

Zorus barked out a harsh laugh. “You lie as well as you succeeded in committing murder.” Zorus’ tone deepened. “You will lower your weapons.”

“I want both women. Move out of the way and allow me access to them.” Parlis craned his neck, attempting to get a look around Krell and Zorus. “I need to speak to them.”

Blackie shoved Eve completely behind him. It was clear that Parlis couldn’t see her with both of the cyborgs in his way. It was possible he’d shoot her if given the chance. She wiggled but stopped when he glanced over his shoulder with a stern look. She bit her lip, clearly angry, but gave a sharp nod. He returned his attention to the danger.

“The solution here is compromise.” Zorus paused. “Hand Krell both weapons and allow him to search you for more. He’ll take them and leave us alone. I’ll permit you access if you just wish to speak to them. Pass your weapons to Krell. The Cyborg Council will wonder why we haven’t entered their chambers. I let them know when we reached the gates.”

Blackie was prepared to turn, grab Eve and run if Parlis opened fire. Parlis’ features darkened. He glanced at the woman at his side and gave her a sharp nod. “Do it.”

Blackie relaxed when Krell sheathed his sword, accepted the weapons and patted both members down. He glanced to Zorus for orders.

“Wait outside and guard the doors at our back. Parlis wants privacy and we’ll give it to him. I keep my word.”

Krell left, his features unyielding. Blackie kept Eve behind him and waited while the male unlocked the doors and left the room.

“Where are the women?” Parlis glared at Blackie, then at Zorus. “You were a decoy?”

“One of them is here. The other one isn’t on Garden.” Zorus coldly smiled. “You will keep a five-foot distance from her at all times or face violence from him.” He glanced at Blackie. “Step away. He wants to speak to the woman.”

Blackie hesitated. It might be painful for Eve to be confronted by the past but it needed to be done. There wasn’t a chance she’d be harmed. He didn’t plan to let her out of his reach. Violence was a certainty if Parlis or Jazel attempted anything. He moved to her side.

He watched Eve’s expression as she came face-to-face with Parlis. When she paled, his chest tightened until breathing became difficult. She wobbled a little on her feet and he reached for her. She waved off his offered hand, never taking her focus from the council member.

He had a part to play and his control had never been tested as much as it was about to be. The plan needed to work in order to ensure Eve’s future safety.

Chapter Ten

“Freedom.” Eve recognized the cyborg. She’d met him dozens of times on Earth when they’d plotted her missions to locate and free cyborgs.

His gaze widened. “Hellfire. I wasn’t told you were one of the two survivors. It is good to see you again.” His cold tone didn’t sound sincere.

“You do know her. What is going on, Parlis?” Zorus stepped forward, anger clear in his voice. “Is what I’ve been told true? They were allies who helped our race escape from Earth? You never mentioned the canine units or how many lives they saved.”

The other cyborg hesitated as he regarded the angry cyborg. “It was classified information. Myself and two others were behind mission 895589.”

Blackie drew closer, his hands fisted at his sides. “You left those women on Earth to die. They helped us but you betrayed them. You gave your word to take them with us when we fled but you left them behind.”

Councilman Parlis glanced at Blackie before returning his attention to Zorus. “It was a difficult decision but we made it. There was no need to burden others with the information. The results were all that mattered.”

“You dishonor all cyborgs.” Blackie lunged, grabbing the lapels of the red uniform the cyborg wore. “They were our allies, yet you abandoned them. You had to have calculated their odds of survival once we were gone. They were slaughtered by the government in retaliation for our actions.”

Eve tensed, wanting to attack the son of a bitch too. She held still though, too shaky to trust her current ability and coordination in a fight. Her mate seemed more than ready to inflict some bodily harm on the bastard. She’d settle for watching Freedom bleed. Blackie could do some serious damage.

“Release him.” Zorus gripped Blackie’s shoulder. “Please.”

Blackie resisted. “They left them to die and knew it would happen. It’s the only logical conclusion. Do the calculations yourself.”

“Release him,” Zorus firmly urged again.

Blackie shoved Parlis and stepped back, standing next to Eve. She took his hand. He glanced at her, his rage still evident but his fingers curled around hers. Zorus crossed his arms over his chest, focused on his fellow council member.

“Explain the logic to me of allowing them to die after promising to take them with us.”

“I don’t have to.”

Zorus’ dark eyebrow lifted. “We were grown in the same cloning laboratory and served together. I have considered you a friend, Parlis.” He paused. “I am asking you to tell me how you justified your actions of leaving the canine units behind when we fled Earth. I expect an answer.”

He didn’t respond.

Zorus softly swore under his breath. “Who were the other two cyborgs assigned to mission 895589?”

Parlis blinked but said nothing.

Blackie shot a heated stare at the female cyborg wearing the red uniform. “Jazel, you were a part of it.”

Zorus glanced at Blackie. “How do you know?”

“She was there when I was freed. She forced a link with my mind to show me information. I didn’t possess memories of our plight.”

Zorus addressed her. “Is this true? Were you part of the mission?”

“I was.” She didn’t deny it.

“Who else?”

“You don’t have to tell him anything,” Parlis snapped.

The woman spoke. “Fleet was the third member of our group. We were the organizers of the mission.”

“What exactly was the nature of that mission?”

“To free cyborgs before Earth Government annihilated our entire race. We overheard that we were slated for termination but escaped together from one of the mining facilities we had been assigned to. But it wasn’t just certain groups of cyborgs that were targeted. Earth Government came to the same conclusion we had—they couldn’t continue to control us. We were too dangerous for them to allow us to live. We discovered that all cyborgs were scheduled for mass destruction, which meant the extinction of our species.”

“Don’t,” Parlis demanded.

She ignored his order. “There is no reason to classify this information any longer. Relevant facts,” she darted a curious glance at Eve, “have become known. You wished to speak to the canines to make them understand our decisions and why it is important they keep their silence.” Her gaze returned to Zorus. “Ask your questions.”

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