Cyberevolution VII: Rules of Engagement
War is all that any of them have ever known, but the strategies the cyborgs, Kameron, Damien, Gavin, and Kyle, are familiar with don't seem to work nearly as well in their campaign to win Zoe. She's human, after all and completely unpredictable.
Zoe isn't certain what to make of the cyborgs-beyond the fact that they're seriously big and dangerous-and quite possibly four of the most handsome males she's ever seen. She's their enemy. They've made that abundantly clear. So why is it that they've suddenly taken the notion to convince her to contract with them?
More importantly, why is that she finds herself wanting to when it's probably the worst idea she's ever had?
Length: Epic Novel
Word Count: 106,925
Genre: Sci-Fi/Futuristic Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, 2012
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Kameron was so deeply in thought that he wasn’t certain when the jungle around them began to lighten with the coming day, but he knew the sun was near the horizon if it had not already crested it for he had no difficulty discerning details that had not been able to see before. He glanced back at Damien several times or, more specifically, the female, and finally dropped back to walk alongside them. “It is light enough for her to see now. You should waken her so that she can walk.”“I do not mind carrying her. She is tired. When she awakens, then I will put her down.”
Kameron’s lips tightened with annoyance. “You have been carrying her for hours,” he pointed out.
“You carried her longer.”
Kameron frowned. “If you are thinking what I suspect, you may as well put it from your mind. We can not keep the woman.”
Damien lifted his brows, studying Kameron assessingly for several moments. “I do not see why we cannot.”
“She is human. They will not allow it.”
“Her sister is human also and she is not the only human who has been taken into the community. Cain and Dante’s woman, Amaryllis, is also human.”
Kameron lifted his brows in surprise and then frowned thoughtfully. “She is a hunter. They were all programmed to believe that they were human. That is why they are different from us.”
Damien’s lips tightened. “I know that as well as you do,” he said irritably. “She does not just believe that she is human. She is. I was at the academy when Cain trained her. He does not know that I know—he and the others have been careful to keep it from everyone else—but I am certain that she is.”
Kameron considered that and then shook his head. “Even if that is true, that would not help us with this one if it is not known by the council. As far as they are concerned, there is only one human who lives among us, and she was sent for.”
“They did not send the squad to collect her. They were sent to take her father. You did not read the entire article.”
“Which does not help us, regardless!” Kameron retorted irritably. “She is a doctor. They had need of her. This one has no skill that the community will consider useful.”
“We do not know that. We have not asked her,” Damien pointed out reasonably. “In any case, there are not enough females. Is that not reason enough?”
“They will not accept her only because we have no female!” Kameron snapped. “And we do not know that she would accept us in any case!”
“We do not know that she will not!” Damien shot back at him. “I do not see why we can not convince her when Gideon and his squad convinced her sister to contract with them. She allowed you to fuck her.”
Kameron glared at him with an abrupt surge of anger. “Now that you have brought that up, I would like to know why you joined us!” he demanded.
Damien shrugged. “You were not doing it right. You were supposed to fondle and kiss her breasts. It is a primary erogenous zone and you skipped that part.”
Kameron felt his face redden. He struggled for a moment to recall what he had done, but he knew even before he tried that it was useless. He had been mulling it over ever since and had already concluded that he must have done something wrong else she would not have dismissed him so coolly afterward. He had not been able to pinpoint what it was because he had discovered that he could not really recall it with any clarity.
He knew that he had begun it as he should have. He had helped her to relax and convinced her to accept his touch by beginning with the massage, and then he had kissed her. She had kissed him back, instead of merely accepting, which had pleased him and encouraged him to continue, but then she had begun to caress him and he was not very clear on anything after that except that he had been desperate to penetrate her.
Or mayhap the desperation to penetrate her had assailed him when she had come the first time and uttered his name in that breathless whisper that had almost made him come without penetrating her?
He was not at all certain, but he knew that beyond penetration his memories were even more clouded. It had felt nothing like he had expected, although he was not certain what he had expected. The only thing that emerged clearly in his mind from that point onward was that he did not want to stop and he had thought his heart might explode. He had not wanted to come, because he knew that would end it. He had tried very, very hard not to, and he had not been able to. When she had come, it was as if his processor had gone into meltdown. He could not have stopped himself from coming then if he had known beyond any doubt that he would die in that moment.
He had not completely comprehended the word ‘rapture’ until then. Now that he knew what it felt like, he could not think of much else.
“She came,” he growled after several moments. “Twice!”
“But she had already admitted that she had need,” Damien pointed out. “It was a foregone conclusion that she would with any stimulation and not a testament to your skills. And, she came the second time because I had the forethought to fondle and kiss her breasts! It is an elemental step in the process. Mayhap, since you are an earlier model than I, that is not a part of your programming?”
Kameron glared at him, wrestling with the dilemma Damien had presented him with. If he admitted that it was, then he would be admitting that he had skipped a crucial step with foreknowledge, but it went against the grain to ignore the insulting insinuation that he was inferior in any way only because he was an earlier model than Damien. “My programming allows for assessment of the situation and adjustment according to the subject. I ascertained that she needed no further stimulation,” he said with cold superiority, “which was evidenced by the fact that she climaxed without stimulation of the breasts!”
“Which makes me wonder why you penetrated,” Damien growled back at him, “since it obviously was not necessary. You said that you would take care of her needs, which you did, and it was at that point that you should have broken off.”
Kameron felt his face heat again. “I penetrated her because I could see that she had not been fully appeased. If you had ever utilized your sexual programming you would have been able to evaluate the situation better.”
Damien reddened, but he did not dispute Kameron’s guess that he had not actually utilized his programming before, which left him feeling somewhat superior … for a handful of moments, anyway. “How many times have you utilized your programming?” he asked suspiciously.
“What programming?” Kameron asked, stalling for time.
Damien ground his teeth together. “The sexual part.”
“Five times,” he hedged.
Damien’s eyes narrowed. “Simulated or real world?”
“I do not see what that has to do with it,” Kameron retorted, lifting his head to scan the sky, more because he was anxious to change the subject than because he had any need to to ascertain the time. “It is well beyond sunrise now. The humans will be on the move. We will need to find a defensible position.”
“It has a very great deal to do with it if you are to claim experience that I do not have!” Damien snapped, following Kameron as he abruptly struck off once more.
Kameron shrugged off handedly. “What difference does it make? It is virtually the same.”
“Except it is not the same,” Damien growled. “I have had four simulations.”
“Well—there you are. I have more experience.”
“You have one real world experience and you believe that you know more about it than I?”
“I know that I do,” Kameron said pointedly. “I am thinking that we must assume that all of the ships that we failed to destroy have followed us here. They will think that this is our home base, which will work almost as well as if we had destroyed them all. We should fight a retreating battle until we have led them at least two days march from their vessels and then circle around and disable or destroy their ships, repair our own, and leave the survivors here.”
“Wait a minute!” Damien said abruptly. “You are claiming last eve!”
Kameron glanced at him, pretended to consider, and finally nodded. “I should have said six.”
“But you did not!” Damien retorted, his eyes narrowed. “You said five. I make that four simulated and one real world.”