Free Preview – Claimed by the Cyborgs

book cover for Claimed by the Cyborgs by Grace Goodwin

Danika, The Colony

Naked? Really? Before I opened my eyes the hum of a cold platform chilled my skin and rattled my bones. I was lying on my side. Good thing, because I was dizzy and felt like I was about to lose anything unlucky enough to be in my stomach.

Blinking slowly, I squinted at the lights until my eyes adjusted and I saw an alien, a freaking huge alien, kneeling next to me.

“Are you hurt?” His voice was deep and rough, like I imagined a giant would sound with gravel in the back of his throat.

“I don’t think so.” I was about to complain about the whole naked thing, but he draped a soft black sheet over me. The fabric covered me from neck to toes with plenty of extra left over. Even better, it was thick, soft and warm. “Thanks.”

“My pleasure. It is my duty to care for you.”

Alarm bells went off in my head and I forced my eyes open to take stock of where I was and who I was with. He was massive, bigger than any professional athlete I’d ever seen in real life. His features were not human, his cheekbones sharper, the angles of his cheekbones and chin leaner and more defined. And his eyes. Gold rimmed with silver. Shimmering. Glowing. Like expensive jewelry.

“Are you my mate?” I asked.

Those glorious eyes closed slowly, as if he were in pain. “No. I was meant to be your second. I am Captain Varin Mordin.”

“Danika.” I sat up and wrapped the black fabric around me like a blanket as I studied him some more. He remained next to me, unmoving, allowing me to look my fill.

His skin was dark, no color I’d seen before but a dark, golden bronze. I reached out with one hand to touch the bared forearm and hand nearest me. They were covered in geometric designs, the color of the patterns matched the shining silver that rimmed his eyes.

He was strange. Exotic. Sexy as hell.

Memories flooded me from the testing dream and I imagined that the male behind me, my second lover, had been him. His deep voice pledging to care for me, protect me, love me. Forever. My second mate.

I’d never really imagined having two men in my life before, but now that I had, I discovered the naughty little vixen in me wanted exactly that. Badly.

“Wait. Did you say was? What does that mean? If you are my second, where is my mate? The Warden said he would be here—” I stopped before I said to claim me. My body knew what I’d been about to say. My breasts grew heavy, my core wet and eager for this alien, Varin, to shove me up against the wall and make me scream.

He sighed and stood, then reached a hand down to assist me to my feet. His touch was careful. Minimal. Not at all what I wanted. I wanted him to wrap his arms around me, pull me into his arms and promise me everything was going to be okay.

But then, I’d never been that lucky.

“I will take you to speak to your matched mate, Thomar, as well as Doctor Surnen. They will explain things to you better than I.”

“Doctor? I’m fine. I had a physical on Earth.”

He released my hand and stepped back the moment I was steady on my feet. Why was my mate not here to claim me?

I knew it! I knew those Wardens had been lying. Knew their stupid promises and that testing dream had been too good to be true. Damn it.

So why were my eyes burning? My chest should not feel like it was collapsing in on itself. I should have been prepared.

“You will be protected and cared for, if not by your matched mate, then by another honorable warrior. I vow it is so.”

I turned away. What the hell was I supposed to do now? I didn’t believe him.

I sighed and looked up at him—way up. “I knew this was going to happen.”

“What are you implying, female? Did they tell you Prillon males were without honor?”

“No. In fact, they told me how amazing this match was going to be. Ninety-nine percent. The Warden told me my mate was going to be perfect for me. Perfect.” I wiped the one stubborn tear from my cheek, irritated that I’d shown even that small weakness. “I’m just mad at myself for believing them.”

Varin growled and stepped closer, his large hand cupping the side of my face with a strength and gentleness that made even more tears fall. What the hell was wrong with me? Well, other than transporting to another planet, naked, and being rejected by the sexiest alien I’d ever seen? Sure, mental toughness was important, but I was still human. Lonely. Tired of surviving on my own.

“I would give my life to protect you. I want you, more than you can comprehend.”

“I don’t understand.”

His thumb traced my bottom lip and I leaned into his touch despite every intention not to. He was so big. So strong. And the way he was looking at me made me want to believe him. So badly.

“The doctor will explain Thomar’s condition. Then you will understand why we cannot claim you.” He removed his hand from my face and left me bereft.