She’s the innocent daughter of a terrorist. Can he abandon his greater mission to save her?
Mated with the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 2) is now available for sale. Second in the series, Mated with the Cyborg is written to be read as a stand-alone.
Kai Andros’s orders were simple. Get in. Gather the intel on the terrorist organization. Get out. Then he met her. Mariska. Beautiful. Innocent. Ignorant of her father’s atrocities. And marked for death. His orders said nothing about saving her. But he did. He went off-mission. Can a rogue cyborg outrun both Cyber Operations and the terrorists to save the woman he loves?
Mated with the Cyborg is an action-packed erotic sci-fi romance between a man with a mission and a woman with a secret that jeopardizes their lives and the fate of the galaxy.
Mariska’s dress dragged along the metal floor as she headed for the general’s receiving room. People glanced at R981, but the android could have been alone for all the notice they paid her. Her veil seemed to render her invisible.
If only she could truly disappear. Years had passed since the last summons. Why had her father called her? Perspiration slickened her palms, and she had to concentrate to avoid wiping them and leaving a telltale stain on her clothing. The only thing worse than being afraid was showing it. At least her voluminous skirt hid her wobbling knees. Outside her father’s fortified headquarters, she halted and took a deep breath. I can do this. I can do this.
“You are nervous,” stated R981 in his stilted, but gravelly voice. No other android had vocals like his. His rumbling tone vibrated through her in a most disturbing way.
“No, I’m not,” she quickly refuted. Fear was a flaw. Flaws were punished. Although R981 was assigned to her, he had been programmed to report misbehavior and anomalies to her father.
The solid-black orbs of his robotic eyes blinked once. “I detect pupil constriction, increased perspiration, and respiration, which indicate fear.”
“I believe you are mistaken and require a full diagnostic. How long has it been since your last maintenance overhaul?”
“I am a new model, entered into service five weeks ago. I do not require maintenance for another fifty-five point four days.”
She needed to shore up her courage, but R981 pulled open the door, making it clear he served her father. Just like the other droids.
Except C684. He’d been different. Some programming or circuitry glitch had made him loyal to her. He’d paid the price and been dismantled five weeks ago, replaced by R981. Androids were only mechanical parts controlled by a central processing unit, but C684’s stare had been comforting, reassuring. In the three days she’d had him, she’d confided more of her thoughts and feelings than she had to anyone.
Nothing about R981 invited a confidence. Not his opaque eyes, his waxy skin, his expressionless face, his harsh voice. His hulking form. Until he’d been delivered to her quarters, she hadn’t known they manufactured androids as large as him. His synthetic musculature was so overdone, he didn’t look real.
He shadowed her everywhere, gathering and reporting data with every flicker of his eyes.
She took another deep breath, tossed back her head, and entered the anteroom. Two members of her father’s personal elite force, snapped to attention, leveling their weapons. “State your business!” ordered the tallest one.
“Mariska is reporting as summoned,” R981 announced without an inflection to indicate he’d noticed the photon blasters. One solid shot at close range would disrupt his circuits, and he’d blink out. Bye-bye R981.
“I am Mariska’s service android.”
While the taller soldier kept them in his weapon’s sights, the other unclipped a device from his belt and scanned R981.
The machine beeped. “He’s clear,” the guard announced. “He’s registered to General Obido and has been assigned to the fifth daughter. To her.” He jerked his head in Mariska’s direction, palmed the entry module, and opened the inner door.
Power rolled out in a palpable, oppressive fog. Her father commanded the entire space station from this room. With a silent prayer for courage, she entered then dropped to her knees in front of his massive console and waited to be acknowledged.
R981 remained standing, hands clasped. Artificial Intelligence units were not required to bow.
Mariska ducked her head but peered through her lashes as her father finished a vidconference. One of thirteen children by six mates, she could count on her fingers the number of times she’d met the man who’d sired her.
He hadn’t changed much since her last summons. He was a tad grayer around the temples, but the ferocity of his visage hadn’t softened. Most people probably didn’t notice her father’s small stature because of his fierce features and the iron fist with which he ruled. The reddened Odgidian ridge pulsing with each heartbeat ran across his forehead and down his temples. Mariska’s hand shook as she checked that her hair and veil concealed her deformity.
Her unfortunate mother who’d birthed such a monstrosity had been put to death.
Her father’s newest mate and acquisition, Janai, sat on the floor next to the console. Exaggerated ridges so thick and beautiful Mariska had wondered if they’d been cosmetically enhanced, framed her comely face, further enhanced by siska, scars of affection gouged into her skin. Janai was close to her own age, only two years younger, and, once, she’d hoped for a friendship, but Janai had snubbed her like the others.
Two armed robot soldiers stood poised and programmed to kill at the slightest threat to the general or his mate. Her father’s military force consisted of both Lamis-Odg and androids. The former to make decisions, the latter to execute orders without question.
An android had no fear of death.
Her new android was bigger than either of her father’s soldiers. Stronger, too, if his build was any indication. But she didn’t fool herself. In a skirmish, R981 would defend her father before he would protect her. Women’s value was measured by their ability to produce children, preferably male ones. A disfigured, homely female never to be mated wasn’t worth saving.
“Consider it my gift to you,” Obido said into the vidscreen. Mariska faced the back of the unit, so she couldn’t see to whom he was speaking. Her father smiled broadly, pleased with his transaction. “A down payment on a fruitful endeavor. You’ll receive her within a fortnight.”
The vidconference ended. Her father pushed back his chair and patted Janai’s head before rounding on Mariska.
She dropped her gaze to the floor. Her stomach was already there. Show no fear. Show no fear.
“Stand up,” Obido ordered.
She attempted to rise, but her feet tangled in her skirt. R981’s arm shot out as if to keep her from stumbling.
“What are you doing?” Obido glared at the android.
“I am performing my duty and assisting her,” he replied.
“Your duty is to report to me.” Her father confirmed what she’d suspected.
“She was about to fall.”
It sounded like R981 was arguing. The general must have thought so, too, because his eyes narrowed on the android, but then he jerked his attention back to her. “Remove your scarf.”
No one had seen her face since she was a child teased to tears by her siblings. It had been a relief to be ordered to wear the veil to spare the sensibilities of others and escape their horrified looks. While bathing, she avoided the reflection glass and its taunting reminder of her ugliness. Stomach clenching into a hard knot, she released the opaque fabric from one side of her headdress.
Her father grimaced, and Janai, who’d never seen her naked face, gasped.
Mariska held her head high and stared straight ahead.