Redeeming Zorus Page 17

She hated it when he stood and turned away from her, but liked the nice view of his beefy, muscular ass when he crossed the room, heading for an open doorway located in the corner. His butt cheeks flexed with every step. “Okay.”

He paused at the doorway to look back at her. “Just don’t attempt to leave the apartment. Please, Charlie.”

Her body tensed. “I’m a prisoner?”

“This is your home,” he corrected. “Remember how you did not enjoy being stared at while we were on the street? I won’t be with you. I’m afraid someone would stop you to discover whom you belong to. No one will hurt you on Garden but you wouldn’t enjoy being detained until I arrived to collect you.”

“They’d lock me up?”

He ran his fingers through his dark hair. “I do not believe so but they wouldn’t be comfortable allowing an unescorted human to walk the streets. The odds are, you would be halted, kept in place until I could be notified, and then I would have to come escort you home. I want your word of honor to never attempt to leave the city walls. I’m familiar with your skills at hacking security measures.”

“What is outside the city?”

“Danger. We’re not the sole inhabitants on this planet. They are not logical creatures, more amphibian than humanoid, and we have no idea what they would do if they ever captured someone from the city. It’s never happened before.”

Curious, she sat up on the bed and crossed her legs, comfortable with her nakedness in front of Zorus. “What do they look like? I’ve seen a few aliens but only on vids. I never left Earth before I traveled with you.”

“When I return home I will show you. We have vids of them we study to learn more about their culture. We do not wish to interfere with their evolution. It is why we built a self-contained city to limit their contact with us.” He paused. “I must get ready or I will be late. That would not be acceptable.”

She waved her hand. “Go. I’m a big girl. I can amuse myself.”

He flashed a grin. “You may borrow my clothing. I will have someone come measure you to have a wardrobe created for you tomorrow.”

“Do I get to wear the stuff you do that looks like leather?”

“Do you wish to?”

“I’d like a few outfits made from it.”

“Then I’ll order you some.” He walked out of sight then into the bathroom, but left the door open.

Charlie climbed off the big bed when she heard water come on in the next room. She investigated his closets and dresser drawers until she found a large, soft, cotton button-down-collar shirt to wear. The hem fell to her thighs. She borrowed a pair of his soft boxers but had to roll the waist to fit her better. She then left the bedroom to explore the apartment.

Zorus found her exploring his kitchen pantry. He brushed a kiss onto her upturned face. “I will not be gone long. They called this meeting to find out what happened to me while I was detained on Earth. I also need to be updated on what has happened while I’ve been away. I shouldn’t be gone longer than an hour. The council building is very close.”

“I’ll be here.” She smiled.

“Do you promise not to leave?”

He looked so solemn that she had to bite back a laugh. “I promise I won’t go anywhere. Hurry back. I’ll try to make us dinner with what you have in your kitchen but I admit, I’m not sure what some of this stuff is. I’m not a bad cook though and can probably whip up something good.”

Charlie watched him go, missing him already, but then turned back to his food supplies. The guy had an abundance of everything. She’d gone from living in a crappy apartment to having the best the cyborg world could offer.

* * * * *

Zorus pushed his anger down. Two of the male council members who shared a human female in their family unit had purposely angered him with their petty smirks and comments over him bringing a human to Garden with him. He just wanted to leave the council building but a female cyborg had demanded to speak to him first. He sat behind his desk, his attention on the female who sat in a seat opposite him with the desk between them. He’d led her into his private office after the council meeting ended She had insisted on privacy.

“What is it, Alis?”

“I want access to Sky. I have been informed that you sent him on a mission.”

The tall female appeared irritated. “For what purpose? He’s my Earth expert.”

“I wish to have a child. I want access to Sky for his sperm.”

Zorus frowned. “He isn’t part of a breeding pact any longer. The council purposely excluded him from one in consideration of his importance and the nature of his recent tasks he’s been assigned to. Find a male who is on the list of males in your pact if you wish to have a child. That is what they were formed for. If the males of your family unit aren’t able to conceive a child there are males with the pact who have viable sperm. They can assist you.”

“I want Sky.” Her voice lowered. “Before the council assigned him to his current position he used to be a member of my breeding pact. The first child I birthed is a result of his donation of sperm.”

Frustration had Zorus tapping his fingers on the desk. He wanted to get home to Charlie. “What is your point?”

“I wish to have another who resembles my oldest son.”

“I’ve assigned him off Garden. He’s currently on his way to his new listening station. He’s our Earth expert and therefore best to serve that job.”

“I heard you were angry with him for some reason.” The female stood and reached for her uniform. “I will bargain with you. You may have use of my body for the availability of his sperm.”

When the female started to loosen her clothing, it brought Zorus to his feet. “No.”

She paused, her uniform shirt open down the front. “It’s an acceptable trade. You are a council member without a female and have basic needs. You’ve always bargained your favors in the past with intercourse.”

“Not anymore.”

Surprise widened her green eyes. “I am a healthy, attractive female. I cleared it with the males of my family unit before I came here. They are aware that I am prepared make this exchange.”

“No,” Zorus repeated, an image of Charlie fixed inside his mind. She wouldn’t approve if he touched another female. She’d refused to take the human Gerald back after he left her for another female. “I no longer exchange favors for intercourse. I have a female of my own now.”

“You are not joined in a family unit. I would have heard if you had.” She frowned. “I really want access to Sky.”

He stormed to the door. “No. Find another male if you wish to have a child. Sky will not be returning to Garden in the near future.” Anger still burned inside him at Sky’s interference with Charlie by making her fear he’d fooled her into a false sense of trust. “He is on an important mission.” Far from Garden and unable to cause more trouble with Charlie, he added silently. “I haven’t joined a family unit yet with my female but I plan to.” He slammed out of his office.

He refused to do anything to risk Charlie’s total agreement to remain with him. Not only that, he had to admit that the thought of touching another female left him cold and uninterested. It seemed as if it would be a chore, something unpleasant, if he had to have intercourse with anyone except Charlie.

He smiled faintly. Charlie was unique and wonderful. She stirred him in all ways, the only female he longed touch, and he made a mental note to circulate the fact that he no longer traded favors to females for intercourse.

Chapter Nine

Charlie walked out of the bedroom feeling refreshed. The water on Garden was a lot cleaner, in her opinion, than what she bathed in on Earth. She’d brushed out her damp hair until all the tangles were gone. She’d have to ask Zorus where he hid his hair dryer. She hoped he’d return soon. Dinner would be ready to pull out of the oven in twenty minutes.

The sound of the elevator opening made her grin. She nearly ran down the hallway into the large living space. She came to an abrupt halt when a tall cyborg stalked into the center of the room. He froze when his dark gaze met hers.

He wasn’t as tall as his father, but the strong resemblance left no doubt who she stared at. A frown creased his features, making him appear even more similar to Zorus.

“Hello.” She shifted her stance, reached for the hem of the borrowed shirt to tug it down her thighs as much as she could, more than a little aware how much of her legs were exposed. “Your father isn’t here. He had a council meeting to attend.” Her mind drew a blank on the guy’s name. She couldn’t remember Zorus ever telling her that information. “I’m sure he’ll be here soon.”

“Human.” He snarled the word.

Charlie took a step back. “I’m Charlie.”

“What are you doing here?” His hands fisted at his sides.

“I live with your father.” Talk about uncomfortable. “I’m sure he would have told you but we just arrived about two hours ago.”

Dark eyes exactly like Zorus’ narrowed dangerously. “He brought you with him from Earth?”

“Yes.” She swallowed. “Please take a seat while I go put on some pants. I apologize. I didn’t know you were coming to visit.”

He stood there, silent, and continued to glare at her. She spun on her heel, embarrassed at her half-undressed state, and silently promised to have a little talk with Zorus when he returned. He should have warned her that his son had a tendency to drop by unannounced and had access to the apartment. If she’d known, she wouldn’t have walked around in just a shirt and a pair of boxers.

Charlie entered the bedroom quickly and closed the door. She softly cursed before heading for the dresser. She’d seen some soft cotton-like breeches in a lower drawer when she’d explored earlier. She doubted they’d fit well but she’d rather wear loose pants than none at all around a stranger. She had reached the dresser when the door opened behind her. It hit the wall hard. The loud sound made her spin in surprise.

The cyborg glared at her, his gaze fixed on her, and rage his features. “What did you do to my father on Earth?”

Charlie backed up until she bumped the dresser. “Nothing. I helped him escape.”

The big cyborg stalked into the room, eating up the distance between them with his long legs, and grabbed her before she could recover from the shock of his rage, directed at her. Two big hands gripped her upper arms. She gasped painfully when he threw her. She cried out as her body flew through the air and then landed with a bounce on the massive bed.

“My father hates humans.” He yelled the words.

Charlie pushed up from where she lay sprawled on her side where she’d landed, her terrified gaze locked with his. “He doesn’t hate me,” she got out before he grabbed her ankle.

“What did you do to my father?” He bent over her, dragged her to the side of the bed by her leg, and clamped one hand around her throat. He leaned over her body, snarled, and his hand tightened enough to cut off her air. “Did you abuse him? That’s what you animals do.”

Shock and terror held her immobile for seconds until she realized she couldn’t breathe. Her hands clawed at his on her throat while she shook her head at him. He had it all wrong and he wouldn’t even allow her to talk.

“My father told me what you humans did to him in the past. If he brought you here it would only be to implement his revenge on you.”

Charlie managed to get her foot against the cyborg’s chest, kicked out hard, and broke his hold on her throat. She rolled away on the bed, gasping in air.

“That’s not how it is,” she choked out before he grabbed her again.

He roared in rage, his hand closing over the back of her calf. Pain caused Charlie to scream when his fingers dug into the muscle on the back of her leg. She flipped over to kick out at him with her free leg. She slammed her foot into his face.

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