Loving Deviant Page 44

get naked.”

Deviant felt warmth spread through his entire body. It was nice to finally be wanted. “You are special to me, Venice.”

She leaned in and kissed him on the lips. “I feel the same way about you.”

“Tell me about your parents.”

Some of her happiness faded and he regretted the question. She spoke before he could tell her it was fine if she didn’t answer.

“They had my sister and me late in life. Our family wasn’t exactly well off. They had to bribe officials to get permission to even have children, so they saved up for a long time. They were wonderful parents.” Her smile returned. “Dad was funny and my mom was very affectionate with us. They were truly and deeply in love. They were always hugging and kissing each other, as well as us. I had a great childhood.”

“You speak of them in the past tense.”

“They could have afforded to just have one of us when they were younger, but they wanted their children to have a sibling. Mom was forty-nine when my sister was born and almost fifty-one when she had me. Dad was ten years older than her. They didn’t spend a lot of credits on medical upgrades for themselves, aside from what Mom needed to get pregnant.”

She got tears in her eyes but continued to smile. “They always said that quality of life was more important than the length of it. All the credits they earned after we were born went toward our education and us having some wonderful memories together as a family. Dad died right after I turned nineteen. He suffered a fatal stroke. My mom was just heartbroken. I’d never seen any other couple as in love as they were. Her health declined within two years and she refused to allow us to take her to a medical facility. One night she went to sleep and just didn’t wake up. It’s like she lost the will to live once he was gone.”

He pulled her into his arms. “I’m so sorry, Venice.”

“They loved us.” She hugged him back. “I’m glad they’re together again in the afterlife.”

Chapter Nine

Venice openly gawked at her surroundings as she sat in the backseat of a vehicle. Mavo drove them through a large gate that automatically opened as they approached the city. It wasn’t a large one but the tall buildings impressed her nonetheless. She couldn’t believe all they’d accomplished since they’d settled on the beautiful planet.

“What do you think?”

She glanced at her seatmate and grinned. “It’s beautiful, Deviant.”

“We take pride in everything we do,” Mavo informed her from the front seat.

“I can tell. I’ve never seen anything like it.” She admired how precise their streets were, and there wasn’t any trash on the ground anywhere.

Mavo parked in front of a building and turned in his seat. “Would you like me to go up with you?”

Deviant opened the passenger door. “No. I’d like to show Venice our home on my own. Thank you, Father.”

“Contact me if you have any problems. Remember we have a meeting with the council tomorrow.”

“Thank them for giving us a day to settle in.”

“I’ll unload your bag and have it sent up to you.”

Venice scooted across the seat and got out with Deviant. He took her arm and linked it with his, leading her toward the front doors of a building. The doors automatically opened and allowed them inside. She spotted some shops on the lower floor, but it was early and they weren’t open. A few cyborgs got off an elevator and openly stared at her. At least one of them smiled, so she did the same. Deviant took her into a lift and they went up alone.

“I’ve never upgraded my home but I could if you don’t like it.”

She shook her head. “I’m sure it will be great. I don’t want you going into debt.”

He chuckled as the elevator stopped and he maneuvered them into a hallway. Only six doors were on the floor. He stopped at the third one on the left, pressed his palm on a sensor, and it opened. He released her and motioned her to enter first.

“It’s not about debt here. I was offered upgraded living many times in the past ten years but the idea of moving didn’t appeal to me.”

She took in the living room area first. It was tastefully furnished and larger than she expected. A full kitchen with a counter divider had been placed in one corner. The view caught her attention the most and she

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