Redeeming Zorus Page 11

“Yes. You’re definitely not a computer or an android.” His body relaxed again on hers, making her aware of how much he’d tensed up without her noticing.

“Exactly.”

“Then why do you talk the way they do?”

“Why does your race and others solely depend on technology to enhance your lives?”

“Computers are smarter than people.”

He suddenly smiled. “My race aspires to be better than humanity.”

She stared into his eyes and nodded. “I think I get it but it’s not so bad being more emotional.”

“I wouldn’t know.” He grew serious. “I rarely allow myself to experience emotion.”

“You should. I like you better when you stop thinking and just let your body take over.”

Something flashed across his face but then it was gone before she could guess at what he’d felt.

“Why?”

“You can be one cold ass**le when you want to be. I didn’t like you much at all before last night.”

“Yet you still gave up your chance to escape this shuttle by attempting to rescue me. Explain to me why you did that. I can’t make sense of it. It’s just not logical why you’d do that for me.”

Her sense of humor kicked in. “I guess I have a soft spot for ass**les.”

He withdrew from her body, lowered his a few inches, but kept her pinned under him. “I want the real reason.”

“I’m not sure but I kind of liked you for some odd reason. Not to mention that you did save me from being raped. You didn’t have to do that. It gave me hope that you had redeeming qualities and I was justified in believing that.”

Zorus studied her features. “We have things in common.”

“There’s that too. Of course we have a lot of things that are polar opposites.”

“Opposites can attract.”

His response surprised her and she smiled. “I’ve heard that before but never believed it until now.”

He suddenly glanced at the door. “The captain is coming.”

“How do you know?”

Zorus flattened his palms on the bed and pushed up then climbed off the bed and bent to pull on his pants. “I’ve been connected to the onboard computer since we woke. We’re less than an hour from docking with a ship hired by my people to pick me up and take me home.” He turned his head, his dark gaze fixing on her. “Put on my shirt.”

She accepted the one he’d worn the night before, slid it over her head and got to her feet as the door dinged. Zorus closed his pants and moved barefoot to the door. He braced his hands on the frame, using his body to block it when the door slid open.

“I brought you the clothes for the woman and the food. I tried to deliver them before but you didn’t answer.” Captain Varel attempted to step into the room.

Zorus didn’t budge. “Thank you. You may just hand them over. There’s no reason for you to enter my room.” He released the frame to put out his hands.

“Fine. Here. We dock with a shuttle in sixty-eight minutes. Be ready to leave the ship.”

“We will be.”

Charlie didn’t miss the “we”. Her heart had speeded up inside her chest as she waited for the captain to protest but he hadn’t. He’d just handed Zorus a bundle of folded clothing and a tray of food. Zorus backed up and the door slid firmly closed. He turned, his expression grim.

“We’ll eat, use the cleansing unit, and prepare to transfer.”

“They are going to allow me to go with you?” She didn’t believe that. “What about Gerald?”

“I convinced the captain not to deliver you to the man who purchased you.”

“How?” Uneasiness rose inside her. “What did you do? When did you do it?”

He ignored her questions when he crossed the room to sit on the bed next to her. He dropped the clothing on the end of it and turned a little to place the tray across his thighs. “Who is the human who attempted to buy you from your brother?”

She met his dark gaze and saw anger there. “When I was younger I used to date him. We were lovers.”

Definitely anger. The cyborg’s fist clenched the metal tray hard enough to dent it. The sound of metal bending made him stop. “You had intercourse with this male?”

“We were together for a few years. I thought we’d marry and have kids. I believed I loved him but then this rich woman took an interest in him. He had a job dealing with the upper-class, training them in self defense. She wanted to marry him and he dumped me to go live in her world.”

Oh yeah. Fury darkened his eyes and the metal dented enough at the corner where he gripped it until the entire thing curved downward. She reached out and tugged, trying to take it from him before their breakfast hit the floor. He released it to her and both of his hands fisted over his thighs while he glowered.

“It was a long time ago,” she explained, stunned that he’d be jealous. She was certain that had to be why he looked mad enough to hit something. “Gerald started sniffing around me again a few months after his marriage, wanting me to agree to be his mistress.”

“That’s a female sexual partner a male obtains besides possessing a primary sexual partner, correct?”

“Yes.” She set the tray on her lap, looking away from Zorus. “The bastard thought I’d jump at the chance to be with him after he ripped my heart out.” She shook her head and sighed. “As if I could ever forgive him for walking out on me and breaking my heart. Do you see the word ‘stupid’ stamped across my forehead?”

Zorus glanced up. “No.”

Charlie laughed. “Rhetorical question.”

“You have no forgiveness for males who betray your trust and abandon you.”

“No, I don’t. Would you have forgiven that?”

The anger in his eyes left. “Do you still love him?”

“Hell no.”

“Good.” He dropped his gaze to the food and reached for one of the sandwiches piled on a plate. “I’m glad to hear that.”

Charlie grinned but didn’t say anything, stuffing food into her mouth instead. Zorus admitted to being glad—an emotion—and she wasn’t even sure he’d realized it. They ate in silence until they finished everything on the tray and didn’t speak until Zorus stood.

“I’ll use the cleansing unit first.” His dark gaze settled on her. “You won’t attempt to leave, will you?”

“They are going to let me go with you, aren’t they?”

“Yes.”

“Then there’s no reason to try to get off the shuttle without you.”

“Good. I will hurry.”

“At the first port, I need to obtain transportation to Saturn. Can you get your cyborg people to drop me off at one?”

His features tensed. “We’ll discuss that at a later date.”

“I want to discuss it now. Am I going to be safe with your people?”

“No one will harm you, Charlie. I give you my word on that. There’s no reason for alarm.”

“Then you’re going to have them drop me off somewhere so I can find passage to Saturn?”

He shifted his stance and then stalked toward the corner. “Yes.”

Charlie watched him disappear into the cleansing unit and heard it turn on a minute later. She sighed loudly while staring at the closed door that separated her from Zorus. She admitted that she’d miss him more than just a little when they said goodbye. She trusted his word that he’d make sure she got off the shuttle they were about to board and get safe passage to a port.

She had a brother to track down. Russell would pay for what he’d done to her. First she’d kick his ass and then make him give up half the money. After that he would be on his own since she’d never trust him again. She’d be all alone.

An image of Zorus flashed inside her head, his intense brown eyes. She pushed it back. It would be crazy to even consider trying to track him down after she took care of business. They were too different and he wouldn’t welcome her if she showed up at a future date to take up where they were about to leave off.

“Me and my attraction to men all wrong for me,” she muttered. “Stupid, Charlie. Don’t even go there. He’s a cyborg and he doesn’t even like humans.” Her gaze drifted to the messed-up bed she still sat on and she grimaced. “At least out of bed.”

Chapter Six

Nervousness had Charlie tugging at the oversized shirt she wore for at least the twentieth time. She hated not having a weapon except for the knife hidden inside her boot while she stood next to Zorus. Nine men surrounded them inside the cargo bay of the shuttle. Captain Varel looked grim when they docked with another shuttle.

“You remain here.” The captain nodded at his men. “I’ll be back when they have paid and you can release them then.” The doors opened to allow him to leave the shuttle with a few of the crew.

Zorus turned his head to peer down at her. “Enough fidgeting. There’s no reason for it. This transfer will go smoothly. My people will pay and we’ll board their shuttle.”

“I’m not fidgeting.” She gave him an innocent look while lying, refusing to admit her fear of what awaited her when they came in contact with more cyborgs or how out of place she felt. Time seemed to crawl by until she wondered what took so long.

Zorus clenched his teeth, a muscle jumped along his jawline, and he didn’t seem to enjoy the wait either. One of the crew smiled suddenly and nodded. The money had been paid.

They both faced the doors when the sound of the airlock softly filled the room. The noise reminded Charlie of a deflating balloon. It slid open as the crew backed up. Captain Varel smiled when he returned to the shuttle.

Zorus gave him a slight incline of his head. “Thank you.”

“No, thank you.” Varel looked really pleased.

Charlie followed Zorus onto another shuttle through a narrow docking sleeve. The instant they entered the small cargo hold, fear gripped her as she gaped at five large cyborgs who wore all black leather from their necks to their booted feet. Even the hands of some of the men were covered with black leather gloves. One cyborg with jet-black hair that fell to his shoulders stepped forward. His blue eyes were cold and he appeared downright mean when he scowled at Zorus.

“Councilman Zorus.” He gave a slight nod. “You look well.”

Zorus reached back and gripped Charlie’s upper arm to pull her none-too-gently against his side, and kept her there. “You should better hide your disappointment at my survival.”

The mean-looking cyborg didn’t deny it. “We have a cabin ready for you. We’re giving you the captain’s quarters.”

Zorus hesitated. “Flint, are we currently free from danger from Earth Government?”

Flint inclined his head. “Yes.” His gaze cut to Charlie. “And we’re settled up over you buying the woman.”

Charlie tensed, her mind trying to digest what she’d heard, but Zorus strode toward the other cyborg across the cargo hold, hauling her with him. She stumbled but he kept going. His strength all but pulled her through the room toward an interior shuttle door. She glanced around to take in her surroundings and spotted a human woman who stood next to a tall, fierce-looking, bald cyborg who mostly blocked the sight of her with his big body. No one looked particularly happy. One of the cyborgs suddenly moved into their path. Zorus came to a halt.

“What did he mean about buying me?” Charlie ignored the other cyborg to peer up in surprise at Zorus. She jerked hard on his arm to get his attention.

Zorus gave no hint of his emotions. “I had to buy you from the humans to obtain your release.”

She swallowed the lump that formed in her throat. He could have left her to Gerald’s mercy or the crew of that shuttle but he’d paid them off instead to get her free. It touched her deeply that he’d care that much. It also made tears of gratitude prick her eyes. He really wasn’t a bastard after all or an ass**le.

Prev Next