Loving Deviant Page 28

liked how protective he was. “I believe that. Thank you.”

“Krell agrees with your assessment, Deviant, and believes Stag will become a problem. We have decided to keep him unaware of her presence on the Varnish. You have a shift in less than an hour. We must resume normal duties to prevent suspicion.” Mavo glanced at Venice, then his son. “I take third shift. I thought I could keep her company so she’s not left alone. I’ll have just enough time to wait for you to return before I go on duty.”

“She won’t betray my trust.” Deviant scowled.

“It’s possible they could detect her presence. I’d rather one of us be with her at all times in case of that event. She’d be alone otherwise, and have no way to defend herself if security investigated.”

“The odds of that happening are slim. We don’t perform life scans ship-wide as part of standard operations.”

“We’ve had some issues with the oxygen scrubbers in section four. They could have to reset life support or test carbon monoxide levels. What is the procedure?”

Deviant grunted. “They would scan to see who’s in the surrounding areas and make them aware of the issue.”

Mavo inclined his head. “They would detect her. I’ll stay.”

Venice got an uneasy feeling but Deviant turned to her. “You’ll be safe with my father. I must go on shift or someone will come see why I am not on duty. A medic would arrive first, security next.”

“Okay.” She glanced at the other cyborg. The last thing she wanted was to be left alone with him but she understood why Deviant needed to leave.

“My father won’t harm you. He’s contracted with my mother in a family unit.”

Venice gave him a questioning look.

Deviant opened his mouth but it was Mavo who spoke first.

“I’m not interested in having sex with you. My son shared the terms of your agreement. I just plan to keep you company while he’s not here, for your safety.”

That was certainly clear enough. “Okay.”

Deviant sighed. “I need to get ready. Eat.”

He grabbed a uniform out of one of the storage bins in the wall and entered the cleansing unit. Venice regarded Mavo. “Well, at least we’ll get to know each other.”

He nodded. “I’d like that. Do eat. Don’t allow my presence to hinder you from what you would normally do.”

She turned and moved the tray to the floor, quickly making the bed. She replaced the tray and sat on one corner. “Would you like to sit? There are no chairs in here.”

He crossed the room to the other side of the long sleeping bunk and sat. She hesitated briefly but started to eat. The cleansing unit made soft noises as Deviant showered. Venice was hungry but she picked at her food.

“What do you think of cyborgs?”

She swallowed and turned her head, meeting his curious gaze. “I’m not sure how to answer that.”

“Do we frighten you?”

“I don’t know much about your kind but I’m not afraid of Deviant,” she admitted.

“Have you heard that we kill Earthers to steal their flesh?”

“I have but I don’t buy it, now that I’ve seen so much of your son.”

She instantly regretted admitting that but taking the words back weren’t an option.

She blushed a little and went on. “Deviant explained why you guys really left Earth. I believe his version of the story. Earth Government lies all the time and tries to use fear to control the population. That’s probably why they spread word that cyborgs were deadly threats, to make certain no one sympathized with your plight.”

“Tell me about this station owner you are married to.”

She grimaced. “It was a scam. The man I spoke to on communications was just an employee, not the real man. I mean, he wasn’t Darbis Martin. They did a bait and switch.”

“What is that? I’m not familiar with that term.”

“They advertise one thing, but then you get something totally different. It’s never a good thing. I came out into deep space believing he wanted a wife, but instead, when I got there, they were going to force me to work in a brothel. He bragged about marrying a lot of previous women to get them to his station. The marriage isn’t legal.” She shuddered at the thought. “I managed to escape before they could take me to the brothel. That’s not what I signed on for.”

“I understand.”

“Your son rescued me. I’m trying to put myself in your shoes, and I just want to assure you that I’d never do anything to hurt Deviant. I

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