Touching Ice Page 10

“You’re f**king it , aren’t you?” Amusement suddenly curved Blackie’s lips. “Is it that good? If so, I’ll find out for myself soon if she won’t break since that’s my next option.” His smile died. “Don’t make me order your own team to restrain you because I will have them do it. After I’m done here I need to report to the council.” He paused.

“Do you really want me to have to tell them that you tried to protect it?”

“She’s not an “it” so stop referring to her as such.” Ice’s voice deepened into an angry tone. “Megan, get up.” He reached back, holding out his hand. “Now.”

She tried but as soon as she pushed against the floor to rise, the room spun and black dots blinded her. The dark-gray cyborg had really clocked the side of her head hard. She made a soft moaning sound as she collapsed back to the floor and then suddenly two arms slid under her. She stared up at Ice as he lifted her gently into his arms, cradling her against his chest as he rose to his feet and turned to face her attacker.

“Get me a medic, damn it.” He glared at Blackie. “You injured her.”

“That’s the least of her problems. Put her down and leave if you can’t handle watching a little blood spilled. This is too important for you to intervene.”

“I won’t allow you to kill a damn woman on my ship.”

“It isn’t yours. The Rally belongs to all of Garden.”

“Today it is mine,” Ice snarled. “Today I’m in command so move out of my way so I can get her medical help.”

“Damn it,” Blackie cursed. “You really did f**k her, didn’t you? I never thought you’d honestly touch one. Is that it? Is she that damn good in bed that you feel the need to protect her? If she’s that great then I need to change my tactics. Show me to a room with a bed and leave her with me. I’ll get answers from her with pleasure instead of using pain.”

“I said move out of my way.” Ice’s voice grew harsh, a frightening sound to Megan even though she knew it wasn’t directed at her.

They knew she wasn’t an artificial woman and yet Ice protected her. That knowledge astounded her. Had he known all along? She went over everything that had happened between them and realized that he probably had. He’d even fed her so she didn’t go hungry when he’d brought in that tray of cold food, pretending he couldn’t eat it, even leaving her alone so she could gulp it down. She hesitated and then wrapped her arms around his neck.

Ice’s beautiful blue gaze flickered to hers for a few heartbeats before he glared back at the cyborg in his way. “I said move, Blackie.”

“You have no authority over me.” The man crossed his arms over his chest. “Put her down and leave this room. You’re obviously too involved with the woman to be rational. You need to go.”

“Onyx,” Ice’s voice lowered into an even deeper pitch. “Forward now.”

Onyx moved to stand next to Ice, who turned, shoving Megan into the other man’s arms to both their surprise, leaving Megan being held by one unhappy cyborg. Ice stepped away and closed the distance between him and Blackie. Ice grabbed the man and threw him hard against the doors, gripping the front of his shirt with his fists, and hauled the shocked cyborg a few inches off his feet.

“The Rally is under my command today, everyone on it follows my orders, and now you’re on my ship.”

“Ice,” Onyx warned softly. “The council sent him. They are going to be alarmed by your actions and take it as a direct violation of orders if you don’t stop now.”

“I don’t care.” Ice continued to glare at Blackie. “I won’t stand by and watch abuse on a helpless female. If those are the orders from a council member, he’s wrong in giving them. I’m taking her to medical and then I will get the answers they seek from her my way.” He released the other cyborg, dropped him to the floor, and stepped back. “That is how it will be.”

Ice took Megan from Onyx, cradled her in his arms once again, and stormed toward the door. Onyx moved, slapping his hand to the panel to open it, and Ice left the cargo hold with her. Megan hesitated and then wrapped her arms around his neck, staring at his angry features. He refused to glance at her, keeping his attention on where he walked.

“Thank you,” she whispered.

“Not now.” He sighed. “You’re trouble, Megan. Is that even your real name?”

“Yes.”

He grunted. “I’m not sure I believe anything you say.”

“It’s the truth.”

“We’ll talk later. For now, are you all right?” He finally glanced at her for a few seconds before looking away again.

“I’m a little dizzy and my ear hurts. He nailed me pretty hard.”

“You’re bleeding.” His tone turned gruff.

She licked her lips and tasted blood. She hadn’t noticed that at first, too taken aback by the unprovoked attack. A cyborg waited in a hallway a few turns later and Ice stopped.

“Onyx said you were coming with a human.” He waved his arm. “Bring her in.”

The room appeared to be the same size as Ice’s quarters, obviously not a medical room but instead the cyborg’s private quarters. Ice gently placed her on the man’s bed.

The new cyborg brought over a bag, dropped it at the end of the mattress, and his dark- brown gaze studied Megan for a few seconds before he focused on Ice.

“Onyx informed me she took a hit to the head and a tumble to the floor. What are her complaints?”

“I don’t like being hit,” Megan said softly.

Ice’s lips twitched but he didn’t smile. “The side of her lip is bleeding, her ear on that side hurts, and she’s dizzy, Varion.”

“She’s too damn small for one of our males to strike.” The medic frowned at Ice.

“I’m in agreement.”

“Then why did you do this to her?” Varion moved, pushed Ice out of his way, and bent over Megan to stare at her mouth. “Open up wide and allow me to see the damage.”

“I didn’t hit her.” Ice sounded insulted. “Blackie did.”

“He’s such an ass**le,” the medic muttered, gently touching the side of her mouth and it made her flinch. “The cut is small but facial cuts bleed a lot. I don’t see any inner cheek damage.” His gaze locked with hers. “Open your eyes as wide as you can and do not look away from me. I am checking the extent of your injuries.”

Megan did as he asked and then realized the guy had strange eyes. His pupils weren’t rounded exactly but more squared. She frowned but didn’t mention it, not wanting to be rude. She had to blink but he didn’t complain when she did since she looked right at him again every time. A few minutes passed and then he straightened and turned away to face Ice.

“I scanned her. She has no internal bleeding, no swelling, no cranial fractures, or trauma to the brain. She has a slight concussion but she will be fine. It’s mostly shock trauma from the blow. She may experience dizziness for a short period of time and perhaps a headache. I’ll give her something for the pain.”

“You scanned my brain?”

The medic turned his head after he removed something from the bag at her feet, meeting Megan’s curious gaze, and nodded as he gave an injection in her arm. “I’m a medical model implanted with special features such as enhanced vision that can perform medical scans. They created me to be a medic unit.” He faced Ice again. “I heard―”

The doors suddenly opened and Blackie stormed in, looking smug as he gave Ice a cold smile. “I informed the council of your behavior and they have made a ruling. They were not pleased with this turn of events. They are confident she’s working alone since she’s not being tracked or attempted to send a distress signal to any co-conspirators now that she’s aware her cover is blown. Councilman Zorus was very persuasive in his argument due to the fact that we’re close to home on how threatening the female is.”

The man shifted his stance as he paused for long moments, seeming to silently communicate something with a flash of his cold gaze to the other two cyborgs. “You know how Zorus is. They voted in his favor. More of them agreed with him than not.”

“Son of a bitch,” the medic hissed.

Megan had a sinking feeling that, whoever this Zorus was, whatever vote he’d won, it would be very bad news for her.

Ice’s features hardened and he moved to the wall. He planted his hand on a panel there and it came on. He stood there with his back to the room and his body tensed noticeably. He jerked his hand off the panel and turned to glare at Blackie.

“I just read the order.”

“Did you think I would attempt to deceive you?” A black eyebrow arched.

“Get off my shuttle. I just sent a message to the Bridden that you are on your way and they can undock with us in minutes. Go now and return to your original mission.”

“I’m not leaving yet. I am to verify the council orders are followed so I will do it myself.” He took a step toward the bed.

Ice moved fast, shoved Blackie back hard until he slammed into the bulkhead wall next to the door. “I understood the order and I will take responsibility for the female since I am the one who chose to take us to Folion. I’ll take her to my quarters and make her as comfortable as possible.”

That didn’t sound bad or terrifying. Megan relaxed. “What’s going on?”

No one answered until Blackie met her gaze. He sighed. “You are going to gain your freedom from us. We’ve been ordered to drop you and the bots off at Hixton Station as previously arranged.”

“Don’t,” Ice snarled.

Blackie frowned. “I have my grievances against humans but I’m not totally without sympathy. I see that you care what happens to her and that you don’t want her last moments with us to be frightening. I’m not leaving until the order is followed and she’s no longer a threat but I will allow you to take her to your quarters to say goodbye.” He paused. “I’ll have a special meal sent to your quarters so she has a good meal first.

That’s the most I can do for you both. It will make things easier to end this.”

The tension eased from Megan’s body. “Thank you. I swear I really won’t tell anyone about the existence of cyborgs. I’ve known about your people for months and never once reported you.”

Blackie ignored her as he stared at Ice until Ice broke eye contact and faced Megan.

Ice studied her carefully and then nodded, taking his attention from her to glare at Blackie again, who still stood by the door. “I understand.”

Blackie’s mouth tensed in a firm line as he nodded, spun around, and quickly left the room. “Don’t take long.”

The medic had a grim expression on his pale-gray features. “You can leave and I’ll take care of her until she departs.”

Ice shook his head. “I’m the commander today and my orders put us in this situation. We’re going to my quarters now.”

“Of course.” The medic nodded.

Ice met her gaze. “Would you like me to carry you again? Are you feeling weak or dizzy still? I apologize for Blackie striking you. It never should have happened and it wouldn’t have if my council wasn’t afraid you were a threat to our future. You lied about what you were, which makes them wary of you.”

Megan sat up slowly and realized the shot had made her a little lightheaded but she moved fine. She didn’t suffer any dizzy spells or disorientation. She swung her legs off the side of the bed and then got to her feet. The room didn’t spin and her knees held her weight easily. She looked up, having to raise her chin a lot since he stood so tall, just to meet Ice’s concerned gaze.

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