Taming the Cyborg
(Terras Five – Book Two)
By Anne Kane
Genres: Sci –Fi, Cyborgs, romance
Although he doesn’t understand why his brother chose to bond with a human female, Noah agrees to be the official cyborg witness at the birth of the cyborg/human couple’s first son. When he arrives on the human space station, he finds himself face to face with a female pilot, an unheard of occupation for a female on the cyborg home world of Terras Five. Hailey’s cute, she’s sassy, she’s sexy and she doesn’t automatically defer to him just because he’s male. Noah finds that combination irresistible.
After a night of amazing sex, Hailey heads off on a reconnaissance mission with her squadron, and Noah arranges to spend a little more time in the human world to get the sassy red-head out of his system. But when her ship goes missing, it’s up to Noah to use all the tricks of his cyborg heritage to track her down and rescue her.
Noah settled back on his heels, slanting a look up at the delectable female. Her two friends flanked her on either side. Hailey. Named after the comet? With that mass of shining red and gold hair he could definitely see the resemblance.
His pants were beginning to feel a size too small. Regretfully, this wasn’t the place to do something about that, even if he could convince the vivacious redhead to bunk down with him. If he didn’t get moving, Jebediah’s firstborn would come into the universe without an official witness, and his brother would never forgive him for that.
He tried to keep his voice from sounding too harsh as he addressed the female. “Turn him over to your commander for punishment? He initiated an unprovoked attack, and was moving to unholster his weapon so I had to assume he intended to escalate the situation. Do you treat all of your visitors in this fashion?”
No, just the ones with bulging triceps and the ability to take down an armed man without so much as breaking a sweat.
Hailey refrained from voicing her thoughts out loud, but damn, the cyborg looked good enough to keep tied to her bunk for a moon cycle or two. Lucky for her the sergeant wasn’t on deck, which left her as senior officer. Maybe she should take him into the office for a little strip search?
The cyborg swept his gaze over her and the knowing smile at the corner of his lips made her wonder just exactly how enhanced they were these days. Surely he couldn’t read her mind? She schooled her features into politely helpful, and tried to ignore the interesting way his uniform bulged at the crotch. Maybe she wasn’t the only one who needed a little R and R.
“Visitor implies someone who was expected. You aren’t human and you don’t have an ident-tag. This is a military base so we get a little bit jumpy when we see unexpected guests of another species heading for the civi-floor lifts. And you might want to let Miller there go get some medical care. He’s not going to do anything to harm you. Now.”
“He was reaching for his weapon, and technically cyborgs are not another species. I have permission to be on-station, and would have produced it if asked.” Noah shifted his weight to take some of his considerable bulk off the guard’s right arm.
“I wasn’t actually going to shoot it, damn it. Why do you technical types take everything so literally?” Miller sat up, gingerly supporting his shoulder, as Noah sprang lithely to his feet. “I just wanted you to stop from accessing the living quarters.”
“And he should have known that how? You have a weapon and you were reaching for it.” Hailey addressed the guard with an impatient note in her voice. “Go down to the med deck and get that shoulder checked out. We’re short-staffed as it is, what with having to double the border patrols. If you want to harass some aliens, volunteer for border duty and tazer a couple dozen Tra’an.”
“Said the female pilot.” The guard mumbled loud enough for Hailey to hear. He glared at Noah, his stomping departure ruined as he winced at the pain in his shoulder. “I hear rumors that the cyborgs keep their females locked up until they need them. You might want to be careful about who you’re defending here.”
Hailey didn’t bother to reply. She knew there was a faction of the old guard who thought the cyborgs were every bit as heretical and dangerous as the Tra’an, but starting a pissing match in the landing bay wasn’t the best way to deal with that.
When the door swished shut behind the guard she turned her full attention to the cyborg. “Okay, name, rank, and reason for skulking around the landing bay?”
“My name is Noah, my rank is really none of your business, and I’m here to witness the birth of my older sibling’s child by a human female.” He raised one infuriatingly handsome eyebrow. “Perhaps you could direct me to their quarters?”
“You came to see a baby?” That one was a little hard to swallow. He didn’t look like the kind of guy who would cross the galaxy to see a child, especially one too young to be indoctrinated into the ranks of the cyborgs. And she knew exactly who he was referring to. The only human female currently shacked up with a cyborg and with a belly big enough to make the drop lifts almost impossible to navigate would be Natalie.
“I came to bear witness to his birth.” He placed the emphasis on witness. “In order for him to be registered as a citizen of Terras Five, there needs to be an official witness to his birth.” He shrugged, and for the first time she thought she detected a hint of discomfort. “It is unusual for the offspring of a cyborg mating to be born outside of a state-approved crèche.”
Right. Of course. Just one tiny confusing little point here. “Natalie is human, so doesn’t that make the child human?”
That certainly raised his brows in a hurry. “You are familiar with my brother’s bond mate?”
“On a ship this size, it’s hard to miss a hulking cyborg and his very pregnant mate.” She smiled ruefully. “Your brother is almost as arrogant as you are.”
He looked puzzled, and she had to hide her amusement. No point in starting an interspecies war over such a non-negotiable issue as the inherent arrogance of the cyborgs. Her gaze slid down to that tantalizing bulge. They might have a valid reason for their arrogance.
Damn. She needed to get her mind out of the gutter.
“Perhaps you could tell me where I might find him then?” Looked like he didn’t plan to address her comment on arrogance.
“Perhaps you can show me some ID and that permission you mentioned earlier?” She wasn’t known for being a pushover either. Just because he knew Natalie’s name and the fact that she was pregnant did not necessarily mean he was who he claimed to be.
He smiled. “Touché.” Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a plastic identi-card and handed it over. “The pass is imprinted on there as well.”
“Thank you.” Pulling the portable scanner out of her inner pocket, she ran the card over it. Noah Janus. Rank, sergeant. Mechanical corps. Three commendations for bravery in action. Hmmm. Apparently he did his mechanizing on the battlefield. Currently on leave to witness the off-planet birth of his brother’s cross-bred child. She looked up to see him patiently waiting for her to finish. Standing in the classic, at ease position, legs akimbo and arms behind his back, he looked good enough to eat.
Maybe if she went for her gun, he’d feel the urge to tackle her? Crap, she needed to get her sex drive under control here. The med techs had taken her off the estrogen shots last month, and her hormones had been running rampant ever since. At least, that was her excuse. Why else would she be so damned attracted to a visiting cyborg?