Burning Up Flint Page 2

at her. “Have a brain and get over here. I’ll make it fast and painless.”

Mira had no intention of dying, knowing her family and her employer would pay for her safe return. She came from a rich and powerful family and knew she could talk whoever captured her into ransoming her.

She ran for the bathroom just feet away from where she’d landed and made it inside. She slammed the door and pushed the lock. In seconds the general was beating on it, trying to gain entrance.

“Stay away from me,” she shouted. “I’ll pay my way out of this. Are you crazy? I’m worth more alive than dead.”

“Damn it, they won’t care.”

“Everyone loves money. They aren’t pirates for the hell of living in space. They are trying to get rich.”

The man cursed. “Stupid woman!” He kicked the door but then it grew silent.

Mira’s heart pounded when the shuttle shuddered. The lights flickered in the bathroom but they stayed on so she wasn’t left in the dark. She backed away from the door as far as she could get in the tiny compartment that housed only a toilet and a small foam cleaning unit in a corner. She bit her lip. Would the crazy general try to put his blazer through the thin metal to stab at her?

A long minute passed and then another. A knock sounded on the door. Mira jumped, startled. “Go away. I’m not going to let you kill me, General.”

Seconds of silence passed and then a deep voice with a gruff tone spoke. “I’m not a general and I have no intention of killing a woman. Open the door now or I’ll have to blow the lock. I would hate to risk damaging you.”

Mira was certain that voice didn’t belong to either of the two pilots or the general. She hesitated.

“I don’t have hours to spare,” the deep voice rumbled. “Open the door.”

She moved slowly, reaching for the lock and sliding the bolt. If the door was blown it could end up killing her. Before she could reach for the handle, the door was jerked open. Mira stared in astonishment at the tall man who filled the doorway, knowing her mouth fell open, but she was helpless to stop it as she took in the sight before her.

It wasn’t a human man who stared back at her. The urge to faint was strong but Mira wasn’t the fainting type. If she were she would have hit the floor. She’d seen pictures of men such as he . He was at least six-foot-four with jet-black hair that brushed the top of his shoulders. Intense dark blue eyes studied her.

Dull black leather encased his wide shoulders and powerfully built arms. His full lips curved into a tight smile and when he blinked, his thick black eyelashes drew her attention. The skin of his face was a dull nickel color.

“You’re a cyborg ,” she whispered in awe.

The smile grew. “You’re human,” he said softly, amusement sparking in his eyes.

“But…” She swallowed. “They said all of you had been destroyed over twenty years ago.”

He shrugged his massive shoulders. “They lied. What is your name?”

Her mind was reeling. “Um…”

“Um is an odd name.”

“ MirasiaCarver.” She cleared her throat. “I am just shocked.”

“You look it. Come with me. I won’t hurt you.”

He hesitated before holding out his large hand to her. She saw that he wore gloves and metal adorned the back of them like a weapon. If he were to backhand someone, it would break bones. She stared at the his hand and then realized he was offering to help her out of the tiny room. She was trembling as she lifted her smaller hand to place it in his, where only soft black material covered his palm.

His hand closed over hers gently as he tugged her out of the bathroom. She was a little alarmed as she glanced around the cabin of the shuttle to see the general and both pilots were bound—their hands behind their backs, on their knees on the floor. Three more large cyborgs were assessing her and Mira couldn’t help but stare back at each of the large men.

It surprised Mira that cyborgs looked different from each other. She half expected them to be so similar that they resembled clones, since they’d been manufactured in laboratories on Earth. She had read somewhere that cyborgs had metallic-toned skin to set them apart visually from humans. She took in the varying skin tones of all four men, ranging from a

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