Loving Deviant Page 55

throat. “Why wasn’t I notified? I was told it wouldn’t happen until later today.”

“Why would you be told? They wished to talk to me about Venice. That’s her name. You need to start using it.”

“Are you being disciplined in any way?”

“No.”

She dropped her hand to her desk, fisting it. “I don’t understand. You brought an Earther to Garden! You broke the rules by taking her off that Earther station and didn’t even get permission to do it—from the council or Stag. That’s his personal vessel!”

“The council isn’t as narrow-minded as you about those from Earth. They realized why my actions were necessary. They were actually very understanding.”

Her com chimed and she unclenched her fist, touching it, scanning the screen. A long minute passed then she glared up at him. “She has important medical implants?”

“That didn’t take long. Your spy isn’t totally accurate.”

She stood quickly. “What kind of medical implants were so valuable that the council allowed you to bend the rules and let you off without any disciplinary actions?”

The door chimed and opened a second later. Deviant didn’t need to turn to know his father had arrived. That was also too fast—and he suspected his father had his own spies in Bazelle’s ranks. The lack of surprise in his tone confirmed it.

“You brought our son in for a meeting. Why?”

Deviant took a few steps back. “Mother and I just had a disagreement but I’ve made my position very clear to her.”

Bazelle looked to Deviant’s left. “Look what you’ve done, Mavo! Your son brought that Earther to Garden, and now he’s refusing to be rid of her or interview with a family unit prospect. He’s also sharing vulgar Earth language that he’s obviously picked up from being around her. Talk to him.”

“Is the vulgar use of language true, son?”

Deviant faced his father. “Yes.”

Mavo glanced at Bazelle, his expression clearing of all emotion. “He is probably frustrated.” He met Deviant’s gaze again. “You knew Bazelle wished you to interview with some of her friends. Did you make it clear you no longer held an interest in doing so?”

He nodded.

His father’s features softened and he addressed his wife. “He no longer wishes to join in a family unit with a cyborg female. It will only frustrate him if you’re not listening to his wishes.”

“There is no excuse for his disrespect.”

“I see.”

Deviant glanced between his parents, noticing the rising tension between them. He didn’t want them to argue on his behalf. “Venice is mine, and the council agreed. You have no authority over me, Bazelle. I’ve made my decision. I choose to keep Venice. I never have to share her with other males, and she makes me happy. It’s nice to finally be viewed as unflawed by a female.”

Mavo blinked rapidly. “I’m so sorry, Deviant.”

“You never made me feel less than perfect.” He knew his father loved him and had done his best to make up for his mother’s lack of caring. “You are an excellent parent.”

“Mavo,” Bazelle prompted, her voice stern. “Handle this.”

Mavo regarded her. “Our son is happy. He wants to keep the woman from Earth instead of joining into a family unit with a cyborg female. I don’t see a problem.”

“What?” Bazelle gasped.

“You haven’t met her. Venice is pleasant, and I viewed real emotion from her. She’s fond of our son as well. They appear happy together.” Mavo stepped closer to Deviant. “Our son’s wellbeing is the ultimate goal we must achieve as parents, and this seems to be what he wants. I see no reason to disagree with him on the matter.”

“I require your support!” Bazelle demanded. “You will talk sense into him!”

Mavo tensed further.

“Did you hear me, Mavo?” Bazelle approached and stopped directly in front of him. “That’s a direct order issued to you.”

Deviant watched his parents glare at each other. He cleared his throat, attempting to draw their attention. “Bazelle, don’t bring him into this. He couldn’t change my mind. My father has to follow your commands as a male in your family unit, but your disagreement isn’t with him. I’m the one defying you.”

Bazelle spun, shooting him a furious look. “Your father assigns your duties. You will be refused permission to take your Earther on missions. I have changed my mind. I want you off-world for long periods of time. I will not allow your perverse relationship with her to continue!”

Rage filled Deviant. “I’ll refuse to leave Garden if that’s the case. I’ll resign my position.”

Her mouth dropped open and shock paled her features. “You wouldn’t dare!”

“He

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