Haunting Blackie Page 30

“What does that mean?” Fusion backed away from Zorus enough that she almost bumped into a wall. She was unusually pale. “What are you saying?”

“You go too far, Fusion. I would never willingly hand another male over to you to torment. Certainly not one I consider a friend. I’m also going to make certain the two men in your family unit are assigned missions that keep them far out of your reach. You are no longer permitted to leave the planet.”

“You can’t do that!” Fusion stumbled until she bumped the wall.

“You want me to give you what you deserve. So be it.” The coldness in Zorus’ voice gave Eve chills. “I can’t free your males from your family unit without their permission or yours but I do have the authority to assign their missions. Perhaps working in maintenance on the walls that surround our city will teach you some humility. I’ll deny any application you put forth to join with another male. You’re also ordered to seek immediate mental evaluation. You have one hour to present yourself to them or I’ll have you taken there by force.”

“You are a disgrace!”

Zorus shrugged. “I’ve been called worse.”

“You owe me!”

“No.” Zorus seemed to sag a little. “None of us asked to be created but we attempt to be the best we can become. Your continuing insistence that a debt is owed to you for my stolen DNA is insulting to us both and demeaning to you. Go from my sight or I’ll have you taken away by force. I will have you arrested if you stay.”

Eve watched the woman storm out of the room without another word. Blackie eased her down his body until her feet touched the floor. Her claws retracted as Zorus turned to give them a grim frown.

“I apologize for the interruption.”

“That one is pure bad news, isn’t she?”

The tall cyborg flinched as he lowered his gaze to Eve. “That is an understatement.”

“It isn’t your fault, Zorus.” Blackie kept Eve in the circle of his arms. “She should have been glad to have a biological association but instead she chose to use it as a means to make demands.”

“You’re really her father?” Eve liked Zorus but hated Fusion.

“Of sorts. My sperm was used without my consent when I was on Earth and she is one of the results. My son is the other. I was aware of his existence though. I didn’t learn of Fusion until she’d already reached adulthood.”

Eve was aware of how evil Cameron and some of the other project leaders could be. “I’m sorry.”

He walked around his desk. “I apologize that she attempted to go after Blackie because he’ll be joining the council. It’s the highest status on Garden. My son had it after he joined a family unit with Jazel. I will assume she believed I’d agree to her scheme.” Zorus seemed eager to change the subject. “Tell me the names you want on your invitation list for tonight and I’ll notify them.”

“Just to be clear, I’m removed from my breeding pact, correct?” Blackie tensed.

Zorus smiled. “Yes.”

“That was a given.” Eve growled. “I’d hurt any female who tried to touch my mate. I’m the only one you’ll be making babies with.”

Blackie chuckled. “I only want you, gorgeous.”


Danica peered at Eve with a leery expression. “So you’re really going through with this marriage thing, huh? Gene said there is branding involved. They use magnetic ink to hold the shape of whatever tattoo they want until the skin heals around it to make it permanent. They kind of burn it in.”

Eve stepped closer and put her hands on Danica’s shoulders. “We decided not to get markings. Blackie doesn’t want my skin marred. You’re not losing me.”

“That’s kind of sweet that he’s not asking you to do that. I’ve been scoping out some of their designs on the married men. They aren’t too bad but, for all I know, they could say super-lame things. It’s written in some cyborg language that is probably difficult to learn. The script is pretty badass. I’m glad you didn’t agree to that though. The mate thing is solid enough without having some guy’s name on your bod too.”

“Danica, stop ignoring what I’m trying to tell you.”

She took a step back and broke the connection. “I’m a third wheel.”

“You’re my sister.”

“You have a mate and he’s some big deal now that he agreed to join the council. Gene said you were talking about having babies, for crying out loud. Is that true?”

“We talked about starting a family but nothing is set in stone yet. I’d like to spend a little time with Blackie before we take the risk of adding a litter to our family.”

“Oh geez. Do you really think that’s possible? Just because two of our line had a couple of babies at once doesn’t mean we will, right?”

“It’s certainly a good possibility. Their pregnancies were healthy and so were the babies.”

“Look how well that turned out for them. They timed the births right before the big cyborg escape from Earth, thinking they’d be freed too. You might want to wait awhile to make sure it’s safe here on Garden before you test out the theory of having one baby or more at a time. It’s much easier to escape with only one little one attached to your hip.”


“I know. I’m being negative and you hate that. Sue me for being paranoid.”

“Let’s talk about your fears and I’ll try to set you at ease.”

“You don’t have time for that. Your guests have arrived. You’re in that beautiful dress and your groom is going to break down the door soon if you don’t get your ass out there to marry him.”

“He can wait a few minutes. What is really wrong? Do you think you’ll never see me? You and Gene were assigned to the building next door. I bet if we have the computers make the windows totally clear, we could play charades since we’re on the same floors. Blackie’s job is going to keep him busy and we’ll hang out often.”

“It won’t be the same as living with you.”

“Do you want to move into one of the guestrooms?”

Danica shook her head. “No.”

“You could live here with us, if you want. Just say the word.”

“No. I appreciate that but listening to you two have sex doesn’t sound like fun. Besides, Gene made it damn clear we’re going to be roommates. It was like yelling at a wall when I tried to tell him why that wasn’t a good idea.”

“How goes that?”

Someone knocked on the door. “Eve? It’s Charlie,” the woman married to Zorus called out. “You about ready?”

“Give us a few more minutes.” Eve frowned at Danica and lowered her voice. “Are you okay living with Gene?”

“He’s demanding, pushy, and he walked around our apartment in nothing but a pair of tight black shorts before we got ready to come over here to your wedding. It was totally an obvious play to get my attention and, boy, did he.”

Eve’s eyebrows lifted in surprise.

“He’s got a bod that doesn’t quit. I mean, hell, I could eat off him. He looks that good.”

“You are lonely and he definitely is interested in you.”

“He doesn’t dance.”

“Ask him to learn. I’m sure he’d be willing to give it a shot. Blackie is really trying to be more open with his emotions for me and he’s doing everything he can to make sure I’m happy.”

“Blackie loves you.”

“Give Gene a chance to fall in love with you.”

“I don’t want a mate.”

“It’s pretty fantastic.”

Danica glanced at Eve’s dress. “You look beautiful. Let’s get this show on the road, sister. I’m giving you away to a mate who can’t wait to own you lock, stock and barrel, in every way possible. I have no doubt you’re going to be happy and well taken care of.”

“I know. He’s amazing. I never thought I could be this happy.”

“Geez. It’s getting too mushy in here. Let’s go make this official. The only thing that should be on your mind is the honeymoon. Stop with the twenty questions and have some faith that I can find my own happiness.”

Danica stepped forward and embraced her. “I love you. Be happy and know I will be too. That’s my gift to you. I’m setting you free from always looking out for me. Blackie is your first now. That’s your gift to me. I no longer have to be your second and follow all your crazy orders while you drag us around the universe playing superhero by taking on bad guys.”

Eve laughed, hugging her back. “Okay.”

“Take my arm and please let me give you away. I’ve always wanted to do this,” Danica teased. “You can be Blackie’s pain in the ass from now on.”

Eve hooked her arm in Danica’s and they walked to the door. Her sister opened it. A small group waited in the large living room. Councilmen Zorus would officiate the wedding with his human wife at his side. Gene was also present in his black uniform. Her focus fixed on Blackie, though, in his uniform. He’d pulled his hair back into a ponytail and his smile broadened as he studied her from head to foot.

“Eve,” he rasped, taking a step forward to meet them. “You are a vision right out of my greatest dreams.”

“She’s all yours. Good luck,” Danica said and chuckled.

They unlinked arms and Eve reached out to her mate. He clasped her hand in his and pulled her to his side and turned to face Zorus. “We are ready.”

Zorus wore an official red robe. “We begin.”

“We begin,” both Blackie and Eve repeated.

Zorus took their linked hands with one of his. “I represent the council today as one body,” he announced. “Blackie and Eve have been granted permission to join in a family unit. If any here protest that decree, step forward to challenge.”

Blackie chuckled. “Gene wouldn’t attempt to take Eve from me and that’s why I only invited him. Proceed.”

Zorus smiled. “With blessings, the council now decrees this union solid. There’s no need to kneel. Congratulations.” He released their hands.

Blackie grabbed Eve’s waist and lifted her off her feet to press his lips against hers. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back.

“That’s it?” Danica whispered. “No boring droning on forever about the seriousness of the matrimonial union? No swearing a ton of promises to each other?”

“No,” Gene responded in a soft tone. “We keep it simple.”

“Shocking but cool.”

Charlie clapped. “I love weddings. Who is ready to cut the cake and dance? I even brought alcohol. Cyborgs don’t know anything about how to throw a wedding reception the right way but I figured we’d do this Earth style since it’s just us.”

Danica tensed. “Music? Booze?”

“Oh yeah,” Charlie vigorously nodded, heading in the direction of the kitchen. “Trust me when I say regular cyborg wedding receptions are boring. They eat a meal and then leave. I actually baked a cake and had Zorus pull some strings to get us a few bottles of whiskey. I wanted champagne but they didn’t have any.”

Zorus shrugged. “She insisted the couple needs to slice the cake and each feed the other a slice of it. She said they need to dance and we’ll have to join in.”

“Shit,” Danica muttered, staring at Gene in horror. “You won’t drink or dance, right?”

He stepped closer, looking back at her in a way that made her forget how to breathe. “I’m willing to do both with you.”

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