Redeeming Zorus Page 13

His gaze drifted to the sleeping woman on the bed. She wouldn’t be happy with his plans for her but she’d have to adjust. Humans were capable of adapting. He placed the tray on the floor since the room didn’t contain a table. He returned to the bed to ease his weight down. His mind ran the variables of how she’d react when she woke while he watched her sleep.

* * * * *

When Charlie regained consciousness, she felt a bit lightheaded and confused. She opened her eyes and stared up at an unfamiliar ceiling but the metal beams told her she had to be on a ship. Memory slowly surfaced and she tried to sit but her arms and legs were held immobile. She wondered if she’d been drugged again but then lifted her head. The room wasn’t a large one, feminine things adorned shelves, and then it all came back. They’d boarded a shuttle with cyborgs and a human woman. Zorus had fought with his own men and he’d fooled her into believing he had a decent side.

The door located in the corner opened and she stared with trepidation at the cyborg who stepped into the room wearing nothing but a small towel around his waist. His hair dripped from the cleansing unit and water drops slid down his impressive chest. His dark gaze immediately locked on her.

“I hurried in hopes I’d be out before you woke.”

She attempted to move again but something kept her restrained. She had to twist her head to see material wrapped tightly around both wrists, secured to the top of the bed frame, her arms above her head. Zorus moved closer.

“I apologize for tying you but I feared you’d attack again. I didn’t want to risk you being injured twice. You will be fine.”

The glare she shot him made him take a step back. “Let me go.”

“I’m not going to do that.” Zorus took a deep breath. “You’re safe with me, Charlie. What you heard about me isn’t completely true. Do you remember my explanation about the humans I befriended and then had to kill?”

“You said they were bounty hunters.”

“They were. Rumors of cyborgs in space have circulated for years and occasionally they travel too close to the planet we settled on, looking for signs of us. We have sent ships out to capture them, taken them to Garden—that’s our planet—and then had to learn what they knew. We left Earth to avoid a war with Earth Government. We just want to live in peace.”

“I heard something about cyborgs owning humans too and you’re responsible for that.”

His mouth tensed into a tight line before he spoke. “That is true. Cyborgs were considered property by Earth Government on your planet. I believed it would be fitting to turn the tables on your kind. Cyborgs own humans where I live.”

“You bought me from that captain and now you think you own me.”

It hurt her to even say it, the betrayal a wound inside her heart put there by the man she’d allowed to make love to her. She’d even gone down on him because she’d wanted to make him happy when he’d been grumpy. It had all been a lie on his behalf. He’d used her just to distract her from escaping the shuttle so he could keep her long enough to do this to her.

“I feel so stupid. I assumed you’d done it out of the goodness of your heart when I heard you’d paid that captain to save me from Gerald getting his hands on me.” She looked at the chest she’d used for a pillow the night before and then looked back up into his eyes. “I guess you don’t have one of those, do you?”

“Charlie…” He moved closer.

“Don’t you dare,” she yelled. “I won’t be a whore to any man. Do you hear me? I won’t be forced to have sex with some ass**le who thinks he’s got a right to hurt me because money exchanged hands.”

Anger darkened his features when he sat on the edge of the bed near her hip. “I’m not asking you to be a whore, nor would I force you to have intercourse with me.” He paused. “I wouldn’t make you f**k me. I paid for your release to keep you out of the hands of the human but I had none of the motives at the time that you believe me guilty of. You are unique and I wanted to pay you back for being concerned for my welfare.”

She wanted to believe him badly. “Then why am I tied to a bed?” She shifted her h*ps and her bare skin touched the sheet. “Naked.”

“You believe I kill humans for fun and that I lured you onto this ship to kill you as well.”

She couldn’t deny that. “Your own cyborgs don’t like you, do they?”

“No.” He looked miserable as he spoke. “The ones on this shuttle do not. The only one who doesn’t hold a grudge against me would be Coal, the bald one. I haven’t done anything to anger him yet.”

She noticed the “yet”. “Why do they hate you?”

He paused before he drew in a deep breath. “I believed humans who entered into family units with cyborgs were detrimental to my species. I didn’t understand why any of our males would choose one of you over one of our own females. I attempted to block them from cementing their unions.”

“You wanted those women killed.” It wasn’t a question, more of a statement since she knew deep down that he had. She’d heard as much.

“Yes.”

It still horrified her to hear him admit it. She had to look away from his face and focus on the drops of water near his nipple. “What are you going to do with me?”

“I shielded you with my body and ordered my men to stand down when you held a weapon. Think logically. If I wished your death I wouldn’t have done that.”

She met his calm stare. “You want to kill me yourself?”

Anger tightened his handsome face. “No. I won’t allow any harm to come to you.”

He looked sincere and she felt confused. “Then what do you want?”

He leaned closer, put his hand on the other side of the bed by her hip, and the look on his face softened. “I wish you would trust that I don’t hate you, nor do I want anything to happen to you.”

“Why?”

“You make me feel, Charlie. For the first time in my life, logic doesn’t apply foremost. I don’t know why I’m so attracted to you or what causes the emotions that arise inside me but I want to continue our relationship to figure it out. I have chosen not to fight it.” He paused. “What about you? Are you willing to see how this is going to play out between us?”

Sincerity sounded in his voice. He either could really act or he told her the truth. The confused look on his features tended to make her believe him. He wasn’t masking his emotions now, rather allowing her to see them.

“What if we do this and you decide humans really are detrimental to cyborgs? I’m not really sure what your version of that is but what does my future hold if you get sick of me in a week or two? What happens when we argue? I’m not always exactly easy to get along with. If you think I’m going to bow to your will, rethink it.”

A small smile flashed. “I actually enjoy it when you are irritating me, for the most part.” Serious again, he leaned forward until only inches separated their faces. “We’ll make a pact. I swear to protect you from all harm, even from my own hand, if you swear not to attempt to escape my care.”

“And if I want to leave later?”

He hesitated. “I want to be completely honest with you.”

A sense of dread gripped her. “I wish you would be.”

“It would be too risky to allow you to visit Garden, my planet, and then release you. You would have knowledge that could harm my people.”

“You’re saying you won’t let me go, aren’t you?”

His hand rose and he brushed back hair from her cheek, his fingertips a soft caress on her skin. “I won’t force sex on you or make you live inside my home but you won’t be allowed to leave Garden.”

“I’ll be a slave to someone else?”

“No. I give you my word that you will live in peace, free from harm, regardless of what happens between us. Earth Government will be hunting for you and we both know Saturn isn’t far enough way for them not to track you there if they really want you in their custody. They will never find you on my planet. You’ll be much safer on Garden than anywhere else.”

“But Russell has all my money. I need to go after him. All I own are the clothes on my back.” She fought tears. “I don’t even have those anymore.”

“You won’t need money where we’re going, Charlie. I’ll provide you with all that you could ask for.”

“So I’ll be your kept woman?” Anger and pain burned inside her chest. “That’s a whore. You’ll be giving me money and things in exchange for sex.”

“I’m taking you from everything you know to force you to live on a planet unfamiliar to you. The sex is optional and only if you want to share it with me. I’ll be compensating you for bringing you into my world.”

She closed her eyes and turned her head. “My head hurts and I’m still tired. May I be alone?”

The silence grew very uncomfortable, only broken by their breathing. The bed finally moved when Zorus rose to his feet.

“I’ll get dressed and leave you to rest. Please consider my offer, Charlie. It is a genuine one. You can trust me.”

Zorus left her alone after he dressed. As soon as the door closed behind his retreating body, she stared at the metal door. Hot tears blinded her and she tugged at the bindings that held her down. He hadn’t untied her, hadn’t trusted her not to try to escape, and she knew then he really was intelligent. Escape would be her first option if given the chance.

“Damn you, Russell, you piece of shit,” she sniffed. “This is totally your fault. You had to screw up what we had on Earth and look where I am now.”

She pulled harder on the restraints, watched the material go taut where it secured her to the bed, but it didn’t break. She tried to jerk her legs up but Zorus had tied something around her ankles, her legs spread wide open under the thick, warm comforter shielding her body. She twisted and fought until she grew exhausted.

Chapter Seven

Zorus entered the room hours later only to find Charlie sleeping again. He moved soundlessly across the room to stare down at her. He noticed the tracks on the sides of her face where her tears had streamed but then dried. The bedding covering her revealed the struggle she’d put up, the once-smooth surface now a mess of wrinkles. His saw slightly reddened skin around her wrists. His jaw clenched. Damn stubborn female.

He turned to place another tray of food on the floor with the hope that he could talk her in to eating. He’d never been responsible for someone’s care before. He didn’t believe his skills were lacking until he’d met the fascinating human. His gaze returned to her and the shape of her body barely concealed beneath the blankets. He muffled a groan that threatened to rise when his body responded to the tempting sight.

She’d have to learn to trust that he had no ill will toward her and only wanted them to be as they had been the night before. He bent down to tear off his boots. Frustration nearly boiled over as he straightened then reached for his shirt. He wanted Charlie yet didn’t know how to make her yearn for his touch.

The shirt dropped to the floor and he unfastened his pants. His c**k sprang free when he pushed them down his hips. He glared at the part of his body that seemed to have ruled his brain for the past twenty-four hours. Memories of Charlie in his arms made his c**k swell harder, longer, and he softly cursed under his breath.

He paced, occasionally glancing at the sleeping woman, his mind going over feasible scenarios on the fastest way to alleviate her worries over his long-term intentions. He paused when an idea struck. Humans were needier than cyborgs. They placed a lot of trust in set roles inside their society. He discarded the idea almost as quickly as it struck. She’d be even more suspicious if he offered her too much, too fast.

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