Haunting Blackie Page 31

Panic set in. He was too sexy, looked way too good for any woman to resist for long and a few drinks would leave her defenses down. Danica forced air into her lungs. “Great,” she lied. “But I’m wearing the wrong shoes for that. I need to pop over to our apartment to get flats.”

He glanced down at her high heels. “Just remove them.”

“No.” She inched toward the door. “I’ll be right back.”

“I’ll escort you.”

She darted a glance at Eve and Blackie, both of them still in a lip lock, oblivious to everyone around them. “I’m allowed to walk around without a cyborg at my side, right? No one will arrest me?”

“No. You are a member of our society and everyone is aware of who you are. It is safe.”

“Great. Stay here and I’ll be back before you know it.” She hooked a thumb toward the still-kissing couple. “Make sure they don’t notice I’m gone.”

She fled before he could argue and entered the lift. It closed and she sagged against the wall, realizing by the end of the night she’d probably end up na**d with Gene if she didn’t do something drastic.

She wasn’t willing to risk bonding to a cyborg. Gene seemed interested in a relationship but he might only want her for sex. The attraction she fought when he was close set off every warning alarm inside her. She sensed that he was the one who’d be her downfall, the way Blackie had been to Eve.

Danica left the lift on the ground floor and glanced around the empty lobby as she crossed to the outside doors. The sun had gone down and the streets were mostly clear of traffic when she paused on the sidewalk. A vehicle pulled up to the curb as she took a few deep breaths and a female cyborg climbed out of the driver’s seat. She passed by and entered the building.

“Shit,” Danica muttered, moving before she gave it much thought. She rounded the machine and opened the door, peering at the controls. It wasn’t coded with a handprint pad.

“It’s a sign, right?” She climbed in and touched the engine button. It started and she grabbed the wheel as she pressed her thumb down to activate it. It accelerated. No sirens sounded and no one pursued her as she drove toward the edge of the city where Gene had brought her in earlier that morning. Guards didn’t wait near the gates to demand she stop. An automated system seemed to read a vehicle coming and the metal doors parted to allow her to drive onward. She didn’t stop until she parked next to Gene’s ship.

The Bar was an older shuttle, a transport with more engines than cargo space for quick transit between planets. It didn’t take her long to walk up the extended ramp and unleash her claws to pry open the control panel and cut the wires. It only took a few connections to bypass the lock.

Danica turned, peering back at the tall walls and well-lit buildings of Garden. Eve would realize she had gone missing soon. She knew it was a crappy thing to run out on her sister on her wedding night but Eve would eventually understand. They knew each other too well.

Part of her debated returning. She might be in some trouble for stealing a car and tampering with the shuttle but cyborgs owed them a few slips in judgment. It was the image of Gene that suddenly surfaced that made up her mind. The memory of his beautiful eyes tempted her to rush back to the party and her hands itched to touch him.

“Fuck that.” She spun and strode inside the belly of the ship. She kicked off her high heels and sealed the doors, ordering the ramp to rise.

She jogged to the command center and grinned, seeing the outdated operating system. It was programmed to respond to voice commands, old enough to have safety features embedded. “Computer? Emergency override. Imminent danger of planet imploding. Start engines. This is a life-or-death situation.”

“Affirmative,” the onboard computer responded.

The engines vibrated under her ass as Danica plopped down onto the seat, reaching for the belts to strap in. “Plot a course to Titan. Do you have that in your chart system?”


“Are there enough fuel cells to reach there?”


“Lift off now and take me to Titan!”

The shuttle thrusters engaged and autopilot took over as the shuttle rose above the planet, sending it into space. A sense of sadness crept over Danica but she pushed it back.

“The gift of freedom goes both ways, Eve,” she whispered. “Be happy. I’m going to make a new life and have some more adventures before I think about settling down. I’ll buy my own drinks at that bar.”

There was little doubt in her mind that Gene would want his ship back. It amused her, pondering if he’d be angry enough to come after her. “Game on if you dare, you poor clueless cyborg. You don’t stand a chance of tracking the best bounty hunter in the universe.”

* * * * *

Gene was furious as he glared at Blackie. “She stole the Bar.”

Eve stood in front of him with Blackie’s arms around her. “I should have guessed Danica would pull a stunt like this.” Tears filled her eyes but she blinked them back. “In a dress, no less. She never wears them. I should have suspected she was up to something.”

Blackie turned her in his arms. “We’ll get her back.”

Eve hesitated. “Don’t.”

“What?” Gene responded before Blackie could. “She stole my shuttle. She’s out there alone.”

Eve peered at him over her shoulder. “Does your shuttle have fuel, food and an active weapons system?”


“Let her go.”

Her demand infuriated him. “No.”

“My sister obviously didn’t want to stay here. She doesn’t trust cyborgs and all she ever wanted to do was return to Titan. She loves it there.” Her chin lifted and her tears disappeared. “I’ll pay you for the shuttle. Somehow, some way, I will. Just let her go.” She returned her attention to Blackie. “Please? I want her to be happy and forcing her to come back would make her miserable.”

Blackie frowned. “She knows the location of Garden. It makes her a risk to all of us.”

“She’d die in a heartbeat to protect me. Do you really think she’d give up the location of where I’m at if she’s ever arrested and Earth Government discovers what she is? I’ve trusted you from the beginning but now I’m asking you to trust me. She’s never going to tell anyone about cyborgs or about this planet. We’re safe.”

Blackie’s nod angered Gene. “Don’t agree with her.”

“It’s logical. They are sisters and I believe Danica would never reveal the information she has. It would endanger Eve.”

Gene fought the urge to punch his friend in the face. “She stole my shuttle.”

“You stole it from someone,” Eve pointed out. “It was obviously commissioned for use on Earth, judging from the name of it. I highly doubt you named it Bar. Think of it as ‘karma is a bitch’ and call it even.”

He fumed. “It isn’t relevant how I came to own my shuttle.”

Eve wiggled out of Blackie’s arms and glared up at Gene. “You’re just pissed that my sister got away from you. She’s my blood and I’m not angry. I wish she’d said goodbye but bottom line, I want her to be happy. That means letting her go. She’s smart, she’s tough and I have faith that she’s going to do fine.”

“She’ll be traveling through pirate sectors to reach Titan.” The thought of the mutated humans capturing Danica made Gene’s blood run cold.

“What is the top speed of the shuttle? Enough to outrun them?”

That didn’t ease his fear. “Yes but—”

“She’s good at running. Point of fact, she’s not here.”

“What will she do once she reaches Titan?” He took a step forward, not backing down. “Who will care for her? It is extremely dangerous for a woman to be alone in space.”

“We were bounty hunters. My sister can handle herself. She doesn’t need a keeper.”

Gene glowered at Blackie. “I’m going after her.”

“Gene,” he warned, “perhaps it is best to listen to Eve.”

He spun and stormed toward the lift. “Enjoy your honeymoon. I’m going to retrieve her and my shuttle.”

“She won’t thank you if you find her,” Eve called out. “She’ll be pissed!”

“That will make two of us and we’ll have something in common.” Gene stepped into the lift and sealed the doors, ordering it to take him to the lowest floor. He would locate Danica and he’d—

Images flashed through his mind, of him tying her to his bunk and making her pay for every moment he suffered worrying about her. His anger burned and so did his desire to get his hands on her as quickly as possible.

He strode out of the building and entered the one next door. He contacted Sky as soon as he reached his quarters. “I need a favor.”


“You’re assigned to the Bridden, correct? I saw you listed as the commander when I went off mission.”

“Yeah. So?” The male sounded suspicious.

“My woman stole my shuttle and left Garden in it.” He hated to admit those facts. “I need to go after her. Can you add me to the crew list when you leave tomorrow morning?” The silence through the link irritated him when there was no response. “Please?”

“Where do you think she is heading?”


“We don’t go that close to Earth on these fact-finding missions. I’ve been assigned to search for Markus Models and any information leading to any sightings of them.”

“There will be other human women where she’s heading. I know you have a soft spot for them and it’s no secret you wish to find one for yourself. I’m hoping we can overtake the Bar before it reaches that solar system but we’ll pass plenty of space stations. You will technically be following orders and I can get her back.”

Long seconds ticked by. “Damn it. Fine. I’ll contact the crew now. Grab a bag and head to the shuttle. I received a report two hours ago that all the repairs have been completed. I know the council did not order you to go after her since you’re coming to me. We need to be gone before they know what you’re up to, don’t we?”

“It would be advisable.”

“Fuck. Don’t tell me any more. I don’t want to know.” Sky sighed. “Let’s do this. What the hell. Rules were made to be broken.”

“Thank you.”

“Just remember your best buddy is the newest council member when we return and they haul our asses into their chambers. You take the heat, okay?”

Gene clenched his teeth. “Agreed. I’ll accept full responsibility.” He’d do whatever it took to get his hands on Danica. She’d pay for stealing his shuttle and effectively blocking him from claiming her as his woman. She’d learn he didn’t take “no” for an answer.

He glanced down at his palm, imagining turning her over his knee and spanking her for misbehaving. His dick responded by growing uncomfortably engorged and he hissed a curse as he entered his room to gather his belongings. He’d been too considerate of her feelings but no more.

What is it they like to say? It came to him as he sealed his travel bag. “Game on. I’m coming after you and you’ll regret running, Danica.”

Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies