Seducing Stag Page 18

“Damn, Stag,” she whispered. “That had to hurt like hell.” She gently cleaned around it, wondering if he needed stitches instead. Her crew would have gotten them but Stag was a cyborg. His medic would know best. She put a fresh bandage on and straightened, her gaze wandering over his stretched-out body.

His arm jerked on her lap, startling her. She looked at his face, seeing it twisted in a grimace, possible from pain. She caressed his cheek. “Stag? It’s okay. Can you hear me? You’re in your room.”

He groaned, and she thought he might wake, despite the sedative. That would be a good thing, in her opinion. She was concerned what the lack of oxygen had done to him.

She touched him a little more firmly, stroking his smooth skin from his jaw to his ear. “Stag? It’s Nala. You’re safe. Do you hear me? Maze and a few of your men brought you to your room.”

Then he thrashed violently and in a split-second, brought up his knees. One of them hit her in the back and she fell on top of him, stretched across his upper body.

His eyes remained closed but he took a swing at her. His fist missed her head but some of his fingers caught in her hair. It hurt.

She shoved away from him and fell off the bed, landing on her ass. He thrashed more, made a pained sound, and she climbed to her feet, rushing to the panel.

“Maze!”

His voice came seconds later. “What’s wrong, Nala?”

She glanced over her shoulder. Stag thrashed, turned, and almost rolled off the bed.

“Help!” She jerked her hand off the pad and ran back to him, almost tackling Stag to put him on his back and away from the side of the bed.

He fought and tried to buck her off. She shoved at his chest, attempting to pin him down, but he was incredibly strong.

“Stop! It’s okay, Stag. You’re going to hurt yourself.”

Blood seeped through the bandage on his shoulder when she pressed her head to his chest to avoid a swinging arm directed her way. The bright red trailed toward her when he attempted to roll them into the wall, but she ignored it, keeping herself pressed tight against him, her arms around his waist.

Her gaze lifted to his face but his eyes remained closed. It was as if he wasn’t awake enough to realize he wasn’t still outside in his space suit, possibly having a flashback of fighting to survive.

She hoped Maze was close as the big cyborg under her rolled again and almost dumped them both off the bed. She braced one foot on the floor and shoved, pushing him back toward the center of the mattress.

* * * * *

They were going to kill him.

Stag fought against the three guards. They’d come to cause trouble, but he wasn’t willing to let them put him inside one of the food-storage lockers to see how long it would take for his body to freeze. They were bored, and they’d targeted him for amusement.

One of them laughed. “Think it’ll be okay when it defrosts?”

“They might have to replace the skin on the exterior if we leave it in there until the end of shift. It’ll be an ice cube.” He lunged at Stag, using a prodded weapon to try to stun him.

Stag twisted, avoiding it. “You’ll be brought up on charges for this. Destruction of property is a criminal offense. I won’t survive.”

“I?” The one in charge laughed. “Look at it, trying to act like one of us. You’re nothing but a skin droid. You’re an it, and we want to see if you turn blue once that skin you’re wearing starts to freeze over.”

They didn’t seem to care that it was against the law to injure him. Another one of the crew came at him, swinging a metal rod, aiming for his head.

Stag ducked, avoided the blow that would have knocked him out, and grabbed the rod. He tore it from the Earther’s hand and swung it himself. All three jumped back.

“I thought you said it couldn’t hurt any of us?” The youngest of the bunch backed up farther. “It looks pretty pissed.”

The one who seemed to be in charge pulled his stunner weapon and pointed it at Stag. “You’re programmed not to attack. Looks like it’s defective to me. I say self-defense, what about you guys?”

Stag glared at the Earther. “Discharge that weapon and you’ll set off alarms. Security will play the feeds to witness the event and they’ll see that you came after me. I’m expensive.” He glanced at the Earther’s uniform and curled his lip. “You’re support staff, not even military. They’ll toss you out an airlock for the money you’ll cost them to replace me. You and your two friends won’t survive to see the end of your shift.”

The Earther cursed and holstered his weapon. “Fuck you, skin droid! Get that thing. We’ll hurt it where it doesn’t show. No way am I letting this thing talk to me that way.”

Stag tensed, shifting his grip on the rod, as the men spaced out around him. They wouldn’t use weapons to set off the alarms, now that he’d reminded them of that safety feature. He couldn’t kill them, but he wasn’t about to allow them to cause him massive damage or death.

Two of them came at him. The fight was on.

* * * * *

Nala was grateful when Maze rushed into the room and came to help. He threw his body over Stag’s lower half, grabbed his arms, and tried to pin them down.

“What happened?”

“Hell if I know! I changed his bandages and then he started fighting. I tried to keep him down. I didn’t want him hitting his head if he fell off the bed or slammed into the wall.”

“Move.”

That wasn’t an easy thing to do. She had to wiggle a bit to get off Stag and out from under part of Maze.

The door opened again as she climbed off the bed, and Hellion entered. “What’s going on?”

“Get restraints,” Maze ordered. “I need my med kit outside the door, too.”

Hellion spun away but the door remained open. Nala stared at the corridor, tempted to flee.

It was a chance to escape—but where would she go? It was possible they had life pods on the ship. She had no idea the size of the vessel. Then again, if Stag had been telling her the truth, they were in the Pitch.

Stag yelled, the words not clear. She watched as Maze used more of his body to pin down the injured cyborg. Stag continued to fight whatever demons he saw in his sleep. She glanced at the door one last time, then rushed to the bed and gripped Stag’s ankles when he tried to use his knees to kick at Maze, the way he’d done to her before.

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