Melting Iron Page 6

Dawn admitted to being a realist. She’d had to become one in her lifetime, never having a privileged life, having to help support her large family from the time she was twelve when she’d ditched school to work with her father fixing hovercrafts in the shop he owned. She’d enjoyed fixing things, liked to get her hands dirty, and she was more about life lessons than schoolbooks any day.

Her father, Sean McShay, hadn’t been a big man but he’d been tough and had swiftly kicked the ass of any boy who looked twice at any of his six daughters. She’d had to move off a planet to get laid the first time when she was twenty. Her first post had been on a garbage crawler, a big beast of a ship that hauled trash from Earth to dispose of it on Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede. While onboard she’d had to watch her back with the mostly male crew, sticking with Mack Thomas who didn’t share what was his, protected her, and kept other men from even thinking about touching her. He’d taught her about sex, how to fight to defend herself and she’d fallen head over heels in love with him.

That seemed like a lifetime ago. Bitterness still burned in her heart when she thought of Mack. For two years they’d been lovers and in all that time he’d never mentioned the wife or five kids he had back on Earth until they were days from returning home. He’d wanted to keep her on the side, continue their relationship when he came back for duty with her. Worse, he’d broken her young, foolish heart. She’d learned to never let her emotions get involved again.

She’d changed posts then and had taken a job for Earth Government to avoid Mack. She’d heard about the Arian Nine project, wanted on board the Vonder Station and had hired on while it was still in space dock being built. She’d cut her teeth as a mechanic on space stations there under the careful watch of four female mechanics who had taught her everything she needed to know. Eight years ago the Vonder had been put into orbit around Arian Nine and Dawn had been assigned as the lead mechanic. It was her baby to keep it and the planet’s machines going. It was also a totally female crew, her dream place to be, and it kept her from making the same mistake twice. No men meant there was no one to fall in love with.

The times she’d hooked up with guys on leave had left her unsatisfied. She’d used men for sex and had climbed out of their beds the second the panting was over. It had been decent sex sometimes but nothing close to the quickie she’d shared with Iron the night before. She took a deep breath. Maybe it was the bondage thing. Maybe I’m twisted that way and that’s why I got so turned-on. Those thoughts comforted her because the sex with the big cyborg had been the best she’d ever had.

The door suddenly opened and Iron stepped in carrying a tray of food. Her stomach grumbled loudly at the smell. She lunged forward and just tore it from his hands. She saw surprise raise his eyebrows but she didn’t care. She turned to present her back to him as she stormed for the bed.

“If you’re going to own a person, you should remember to feed her. I’ve been starving, damn it.” She set down the tray and collapsed on the bed next to it and scanned the food. “Thank God you bastards eat meat. I was afraid I’d get more bread like you brought me this morning.”

“You are welcome,” Iron growled. “Hello to you. My work shift was fine. Thank you for asking.”

Popping a piece of stripped meat into her mouth, Dawn turned her head. Iron stood leaning against the door with his arms crossed over his chest. The annoyed expression on his face amused her a little. She knew she was being rude but damn, the man should feed her if he was going to lock her up. She chewed, savoring the good steak flavor and then swallowed.

“Feed me more often if you want me polite.”

“I express my regret. I didn’t mean to be gone for so long.”

She was surprised he’d apologize. She hesitated. “Have you ever owned someone before?”

“No. You are the first.”

“I see.” She really didn’t. “So I take it humans are possessions to your kind?”

“We were possessions on Earth so it is fitting, now that we are free, that we apply your laws to you.”

“Ah.” She nodded. “I’m a revenge slave. Great. I wasn’t responsible for that shit. It’s damn hard to find out much about that part of our history but I know you were mistreated. I didn’t do it though.”

“Mistreated?” His tone lowered in anger. “We were used, ordered around like robots and when we said no to their demands, they slated us for execution.”

Dawn swallowed another bite, eating quickly. “That was f**ked up. Don’t take it out on me though, okay?” She shifted her gaze to his hair, fascinated with how red and bright it was. “Take your hair out of the braid.”

“Why?”

“I want to see it. Are you part Irish or Scottish?” She touched her hair. “I get my red hair and green eyes from my father. He’s pure Irish, one of the remaining last few whose bloodlines weren’t mixed. He met my mother though and fell in love so his family disowned him. They were purists who believed you should stick to your own kind and she wasn’t a hundred-percent Irish. Her mother was French.”

“I have no idea what kind of heritage my donors were who gave up their DNA for my creation.” He paused. “Nor do I care. I rarely unbind my hair other than to free it every day when I get clean. I then braid it again. I like to keep it under control.”

“Well, take it down and show me before you get clean. You just got off work and you didn’t use the foam cleansing unit this morning when you brought me breakfast so do it now.”

“I did cleanse but not here. I keep another room down the hall.” He paused. “Stop giving me orders.”

“Why do you have another room? I thought this one was yours.”

“It is but I decided to take one of the empty quarters for sleeping and cleansing.”

“I thought you were working last night and then again today.” Her mind went into overdrive. “You didn’t just pull two full shifts, did you?”

“I slept down the hallway.”

“I see.” Her temper flared. “I’m good enough to f**k once but I’m not good enough to sleep with? This damn room is like a tomb. I froze my ass off last night since that thin cover doesn’t do shit and you’re telling me I could have used your body heat to stay warm? Nice.”

“The room temperature isn’t to your liking?” He pushed away from the wall. “Why didn’t you say something?”

“Would you have cared?”

The frown was instant. “What is your preference for the temperature? I’ll set the control to that.”

She was surprised that he’d care if she was chilled in his room and a little touched that he was willing to adjust the controls to her specification. She told him what she preferred. He nodded, cocked his head, and closed his eyes. In seconds his blue eyes opened back up.

“Done.”

She swallowed her surprise. “You just remote-accessed the room controls with your mind?”

“Yes. With your talent for opening doors, I assumed you could do other things so I have deactivated everything in the room but basic things like the foam cleanser and the lighting controls. All other functions are remotely controlled by me.”

She bit her lip and then stood, inched closer to him. She hated to admit it even to herself but she was fascinated. “What do you have under your skin?”

Iron’s eyes narrowed as he stared down at her. “Why do you want to know? Are you seeking weaknesses to attack?”

“Man, are you paranoid. No. I’m a mechanic. What are you running under your skin?”

He paused, studying her carefully. “I have enhancements.”

“I get that.” She rolled her eyes and stopped feet from him to stare up into his handsome features. He was good-looking. “What kind?”

“I have several chips embedded in my brain that were implanted to help me control my body functions and a processor to calculate and store information.” He paused. “I have a limited range for sending and receiving signals but that ability was given to me so I could pilot a shuttle faster.”

“Shit. You can access everything aboard a shuttle without moving to different stations, can’t you?”

“Yes. I was one of the first prototypes in the pilot program on Earth.”

Shock tore through her. “That’s impossible.” Her gaze swept over him from head to foot. He looked maybe thirty-eight years old, tops. Closer to thirty-five, actually. “You’d be old if that were true.”

“Just my donors were human. Cyborgs were designed to age slower. I have no reason to lie. I was a pilot prototype on Earth.”

“Shit!” She took a step back from him. “That means you’re as old as my father.”

He shrugged. “What is the relevance?”

“We had sex.” She made a face. “I did someone my father’s age. That’s just wrong.”

A spark of some emotion flashed in his eyes. “I bet I do not look like your father.”

Her gaze slowly went over him this time, taking in his broad shoulders, the massive leather-clad, thick biceps, his firm, flat stomach, his tapered hips, and down his thick, muscular thighs. “No. You sure as hell don’t. Even in his prime, my father wasn’t built like you. He’s small and wiry.”

“Is he still alive then?”

“Yeah. My folks live on Earth. I go visit them every time I’m off duty and take the shuttle to Earth. I paid for some medical enhancements for them so they are in decent shape for their age but damn…” She moved closer to him, her attention locked on his body still. “For an old guy, you have it going on.”

“What does that mean?”

She looked up into his face. The sex between them had been damn good and she was curious. “Take off your clothes. I can totally mind-wash the thought of how old you are when I see you naked. You look my age and you’ve got the best body I’ve ever seen.”

His eyebrows rose. “What did you say?”

“I said take off your clothes. I’m your sex slave, right? It’s damn hard to have sex if you’re dressed.” She reached for her jumpsuit, opening it up. “I spent two years alone with a vibrator I could barely use. Do you know how difficult it is to find time alone with a bunch of women clambering all over a space station? Forget doing it in my bunk. The crew was all together in a long damn hallway. If you sneezed everyone heard it within twenty feet down on either side. The only real offers of sex I got were from a few other women I work on the station with but I don’t swing that way. I’m here, you’re here, and it was great last time so let’s go for it.”

He didn’t move, just stared at her, looking a little stunned. Dawn stripped na**d and moved toward him. “Activate your sex drive. You can do that, right? Get hard for me, big guy. We’re here, I’m a prisoner, and I’ve spent the day bored as shit. You can at least f**k me and make it up to me.”

He opened his mouth and then slammed it closed. His dark blue eyes narrowed. “You’re ordering me to have sex with you? You’re my slave.”

She grinned and reached for the front of his pants to unfasten his belt, amused when he kept his arms crossed over his chest, unmoving. She’d always loved a challenge.

“You’ll learn some things about me if you plan on keeping me locked in your room.” She let his belt hit the floor and started to open his pants. She saw his reaction as his c**k started to fill out under her hands, the outline of thickening male flesh obvious to the eye. “I have a temper. I also have a twisted sense of humor. Maybe it’s the Irish in me but I tend switch my moods fast. Piss me off, I’ll make you wish you hadn’t but if you get me in a good mood I’m pretty damn easygoing.” She jerked his pants down his hips, her thumbs hooking his black briefs, baring his beautiful skin. She was getting used to the soft silver color. She tugged down until his thick and impressively sized c**k sprang free. “I also am sex starved. I think I’ve hit my sexual prime and if you’re going to make me a sex slave then I’m going to take advantage of the situation.”

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